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Watchdog Report Vol.18 No.10 July 16, 2017 EST:05.05.00 – I go when you cannot – Celebrating almost 18 years of reliable weekly publishing

The WDR is back in the saddle. However finances are still tight and hope you will consider keeping someone out in the public domain watching over where your tax dollars are going and had one long time reader asking Friday, “Where is all the money going? “They asked with the property taxes rebounding and it was a great question and in many cases much of this money goes to mid-term adjustments when government makes adjustments to the budget and these extra revenues keep the required budgets in balance. Further my web email problem is resolved, thank you.

I want to thank the readers and friends who contributed to my Pay Pal account (Which I am having trouble with since Microsoft thinks I am phishing with the WDR and one of the things I have to improve is invoicing my sponsors because I always go to a meeting rather than generating an invoice and that is one of the reasons I go through these cash flow issues and I hope you can help get me through this tight time that should be resolved with my readers help. If you can for. I hope in the coming months to have a better cash flow for Miami is such an expensive city now if you are a renter. Further, since 2000 every person that sent a check got a thank you letter and recently I have not been able to keep that tradition going but I thank you so very much. And my Best to all.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And to donate to my pay Pal account go to http://paypal.me/WatchdogReport that accepts most credit cards in a secure site found and if you can help keep me out in the field especially with all the new GOB bonds passed by JHS, M-DCC 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.

And here is my philosophy on why I do this?

To have a free neutral community education news service resource available to all. Since over the 17-years I have used my own money to support this (And even returned some money from certain people). >>>> Further, over the past 16-years I have created a free news service brand and community education resource. I have done around 200 radio shows on WLRN 91.3 FM and since Mar.2000 and been an editorial and hard news columnist for The Miami Herald. And in regard to WLRN and why I have not been on Topical Currents for the past year. I apparently had a bad show and management has to approve me to be back on the show. Further here is a national story that ran in all the Tribune papers around the nation and covers the early years of the WDR: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog and sand here is a different versionhttp://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190341_1_ricker-school-board-president-miami-s-first-cuban-american

 

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

 

>>>And having a member of the press at public meetings gives teeth to the Florida Sunshine Law and open meetings tape recorded keeps good governance in place and reduces waste fraud and abuse, and is why you don’t speed in front of a state trooper for example. >>>> Further the www.watchdogreport.net  in South Florida is an established news service presence, because most people are too busy to go to these important meetings. That is why my motto is ‘I go when you cannot.’ >>> Further, I am very efficient since I work alone and all the information comes through me as a central point allowing me to see things at a 100 mile altitude and being an early warning system when projects have overruns or other issues. But my job is to sound the alarm and I have done so many times over the past years in a host of ways. 

 

CONTENTS

 

ARGUS REPORT: Could vexing community transportation dilemma be solved by solar powered self-propelled gondola, air conditioned, system from Miami to Miami Beach?

State Of FLORIDA: Sen. Dist. 34 race heats up after Boston police report on challenger Diaz de La Portilla, after smoking in Boston hotel, pays cleaning fee, but continues the controversy associated with him in the past. — With the summer break the Children’s Trust of Miami –Dade has a host of summer activities including getting one free book for a young person and helps with a child’s reading ability. https://www.thechildrenstrust.org/parents/initiatives/read-to-learn-book-club

Further, check out the Health Connect program.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: Are surveillance Cameras coming to county’s regional parks, hope is to cut down on gangs and drug sales in Miami-Dade County Regional Parks, will prevent rapes says, Souto. Also Thousands of cameras left over after FTAA event where security was massive are in the county’s warehouses, dropped after privacy rights rears its head. –After five years of a surplus, Jackson Health this year with budget cuts only “breaks even, “has become the “hospital paying patients want to go too, not because they have to,” said PHT board chair Arriola in joint trust BCC meeting – County’s affordable housing program under fire in federal probe, Related Group chair Jorge Perez says company is highly ethical on all housing built in letter to Miami Herald– Will last minute amendment to MLS deal by Commissioner Diaz torpedo the deal when it comes to Miami?– 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: Audit Committee to hear verbal report on Friends of WLRN and update on federal auditors of stations draw down of PBC funding

— Supt. Carvalho focus on education excellence pays off in big way with no F schools after state rating, has been an elusive goal over the years — OIG report looks at minority owned firms getting contracts under GOB and is a priority with Supt. Carvalho — FIU Golden Panther Scholarship program helps fund thousands of students in 2017 needing fiscal resources to graduate in four years, great opportunity for Miami-Dade students wanting a higher education

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

CITY OF MIAMI: >>> With the sands of time running Mayor Regalado makes the big push, for a host of deals, some still being fleshed out. The Bond strategy will follow a Miami tried and true fear campaign as done in the past, politicians will say if $250 million bond doesn’t pass elderly could lose social services like meals on wheels, something badly needed for the elderly in Miami and that tactic was used in 2002 when a similar general obligation bond was on the ballot back then. — Commissioner Suarez (net worth $245,000) fires up his mayoral campaign with new campaign and wife Gloria is also part of the team – When it comes to hiring outside Atty’s, Commissioner Russell wants to be sure the city “is not out gunned,” in court after testy exchange with city attorney Méndez

CITY OF MIAMI BEACH: Mayoral campaign heats up how low will Gelber & Grieco go to win the top spot, suspicious PAC will be dissolved and money returned pro-rata

COMMUNITY EVENTS: Miami Marine stadium on this week’s Miami commission agenda –

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: Fordham student Ram co-editor Knight intern studying how people get there local news, what about you were 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.

 

knight-logo-300

 

>>> And here is the story done by Miami New Times when they named the publisher as the community’s Best of Miami and Best Citizen and to read the story go to: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/best-of/2003/people-and-places/best-citizen-6399517    

>>> and here is the verbiage related to the award: Three years ago we said Ricker was our Best Gadfly. Given his dedication and perseverance, this new honor, Best Citizen, is well deserved. Ricker goes to 2500 mind-melting meetings annually, from the Public Health Trust’s purchasing subcommittee to the Efficiency and Competition Commission to the Alliance for Human Services’ nominating council to the school board’s audit committee. Sometimes he’s the only public observe

Object: to be the Public Citizen for all those out there who can’t attend, and to connect and serve as an information bridge among the special-interest-dominated Miami-Dade governmental institutions that seem newsletter, The Watchdog Report, celebrates its [18h] Anniversary. In a former life Ricker made a handsome living as an international salesman of heart pacemakers. As the hard-working publisher of Watchdog, though, he’s struggling financially — this despite the fact that his weekly compendium of meeting summaries, analysis, interviews, and commentary has become essential reading for anyone involved in public affairs. What his written work may lack in polish, it more than makes up for in comprehensiveness. So raise a toast to the man whose official slogan says it all: “A community education resource — I go when you cannot!”

 

ARGUS REPORT: Heard Seen on the Streets – Heard Seen on the Streets

 

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

 

Gondola MMB Gondola MMB2 Gondola MMB3 Gondola MMB4

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

 

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

 

>>> A local millennial Cynthia Fleischmann I know from Switzerland and an active environmentalist came up with the idea of using a solar powered, air conditioned gondola from Miami to Miami Beach a barrier Island. And I showed these design renderings to a number of millennials who all said, “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 would have no problem riding in the pod. And the terminal could be near a Metro station could be located on the old Herald property, if Genting bought into it and given there Asian connection might see the eloquence of the design that would become known around the world for solving a major transportation problem, especially using solar power. Could be one of the iconic views especially at night and given Baylink a wireless street car est. costing $2.44 million? Editor’s note: I have no financial interest in the project. Bur 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: http://gondolaproject.com/

 

>>>> Russian controversy continues to expand, some blame it on the media, but with new revelations daily, Congress can’t wait for end of Mueller investigation to end, is making the GOP a hypocrite, something voters were ending with the mercurial businessman Trump

 

With the world waiting for the investigation to conclude of the Trump’s campaign and the role of Russia has expanded pimento a number of family members and his agenda is going up stream with healthcare bogged down and tax reforms were to be next up for the administration. But with all the new revelations which for many Trump (kind of blow off the media reports and many Republicans believe the state cannot handle all of people’s troubles “and believe people have to pull up their trousers and make their own plight better through education and hard work,” said two college seniors when talking about his father a Trump supporter,” while having breakfast

 

What about China and technology?

 

When I first went to China in 1978 the Cultural Revolution was just ending and the people looked like they were mentally wiped out and 1 billion people wore a green, blue or gray Mao jacket and if there were breast pockets that was sign of authority. Further, at the time Americans were sure it would take decades for the Middle Kingdom to catch up with western technology like the stealth fighter jet that is just like the F-35 stealth fighter after they breached the pentagon’s computers a few years ago. And now they are leading in quantum-teleportation and the following sites give details in this break through can could create a very secure internet, or beam me up technology

https://www.inverse.com/article/34094-quantum-entanglement-china-satellite-teleportation-micius https://www.space.com/37506-quantum-teleportation-record-shattered.html

http://www.npr.org/2017/07/14/537174817/scientists-teleport-a-photon-into-space

 

>>> Homeless families’ spending 100 days is straining the County’s homeless trust resources

 

The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust met Friday and a federal official gave an update on what the new administration is up to and he said a new national homeless strategic plan is being developed and he noted when it came to homeless veterans, Miami “has been doing a good job,” and ending homeless veterans is one of HUDs priorities and major funding cuts are expected under the Trump administration and one of the challenging issue facing the trust and straining their funding is because a homeless family is qualified for staying in certain hotels but the problem is the average “length,” of stay is 100 days and even if these families went to the homeless assistant Center (HAC) which is even costlier given the continuum of care the Alvah Chapman, Jr. Partnership for Homeless provides but families with small children needing a home is a Trust priory. Further the trust is doing extensive outreach seeking more rental units and with section 8 low cost housing there is a long waiting list and the county’s different departments involved with this are working together said the Trust administrator.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

New Citizen Scientist wanted supply and degradation of their environment

 

A new Citizen’s for science engagement group called Citizen Scientist’s and the Cloud are monitoring water quality around the nation and they are local eco warriors and I saw one of the programs and it involves retired scientists and retired engineers who are concerned about their drinking water and environment and some of the most distressed areas are in China where years ago The Yangtze River was on fire something that happened once with the Cuyahoga River in Ohio in 1969 that also ‘caught fire’ and convinced president Richard Nixon to create the EPA along with smog alerts in LA, NYC and a host of other cities and prompted most of the clear air and water laws. And for more on the program go to: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365985099/

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

 

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

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

 

>>> 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 www.connectmiami.org And Many of the events are free.in the future.

 

STATE OF FLORIDA      

 

>>> Early voting on Saturday has begun in the Sen. Dist. 40 race and the candidates are working the district and trying to get their supporters out race and over the weeks it has gotten testy as one Democrat Annette Taddeo is trying to flip a GOP senate seat.

 

Sen. Dist. 34 race heats up after Boston police report on challenger Diaz de La Portilla, after smoking in Boston hotel, pays cleaning fee, but continues the controversy associated with him in the past. However, on https://www.local10.com/live/watch-this-week-in-south-florida

With Michael Putney and Glena Milberg and with early voting beginning Saturday the candidates are trying to get their final licks and digs

 

Florida loses one of its key watchdogs with CFO Atwater (net worth 2016; $2,555,378) leaving the office, brought down state’s debt monitored state contractors ensuring performance without any real scandals tells Miami Chamber Miami-Dade County accounts for some 35 percent of the state’s revenues. Further the former banker is a past senate president and has supported transparency in government contracts.

 

And to read his financial disclosure form go to http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/Forms/2016/72587-Form6.pdf

 

Florida elected leaders have to submit their financial forms July1 and the Florida Ethics commission gives delinquent filers a grace period to the end of September but lawmakers from county commissioners to the governor has to file the disclosure document

 

PAST WDR: With Florida CFO Jeff Atwater retiring he has been a frugal watchdog since being elected in 2010 an he lowered the state’s debt and closely monitored Florida contracts and whether contractors were really delivering the goods.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article159147759.htmlhttp://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article159147759.html

 

The Senate race for Florida Dist. 34 is heating up and has one of the candidates getting a Facebook threat by a local member of the GOB’s executive committee member and former house Rep. Jose “Felix” Diaz, R-Miami was the target and he is seeking the empty seat when ex Sen Frank Artiles was forced to resign after some racially tinged remarks to a number of senators who were black and created firestorm. Further Alex Diaz de Portilla a perennial candidate and also running for the vacant senate seat on the GOP side got some media exposure for his refusal to stop smoking in a Boston hotel room with the wife of CJ Gimenez and the son of the mayor who is working mow on the former state senator’s campaign and are friends and she goes after another GOP candidate Diaz, saying. She is working on the Diaz campaign and his brother Miguel Diaz de La Portilla along with Gimenez’s son were the lobbyists pushing for municipalities to purchase red light cameras and the duo represented the company and a host of municipalities approved them and the elder Diaz de La Portilla when it came to the cameras and would later be elected senator walked the Miami commission chamber like it was his living room and the only other time I saw such familiarity was Vicky Leva Garcia Toledo but she has since divorced Raphael Garcia Toledo who was Gimenez’s campaign fundraiser and while the county’ ethics commission gave the GT construction executive a pass re his relationship with the mayor Carlos Gimenez. Further on his lobbyist registration he wrote on issues: “Everything that involves Miami-Dade County,” a fairly wide window when it comes to issues. However the political savvy DPL family has a reputation for playing it fast and loose and one brother, Renier got into a fight with candidate Carlos Lacasa in a Spanish radio parking lot and his brother Alex a chain smoker who at one republican meeting threw a butt into a planter at the hotel event where former Republican Chair Manty Sbatis Morse was voted out as the Republican Party chair after the party was having financial challenges back then. And for more go: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article152049552.htmlhttp://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/rafael-garcia-toledo-mayor-gimenezs-friend-has-millions-in-county-construction-contracts-6388774http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article160217214.html

 

>>>> PAST WDR: With the summer break the Children’s Trust of Miami –Dade has a host of summer activities including getting one free book for a young person and helps with a child’s reading ability. https://www.thechildrenstrust.org/parents/initiatives/read-to-learn-book-club

Further, check out the Health Connect program.

 

Health Connect

 

Further the trust also has health connect a program ensuring wellness of children and for more go to https://www.thechildrenstrust.org/providers/health-connect

 

Health Connect is a comprehensive, three-tier, quality-driven health initiative, spearheaded by The Children’s Trust, with the goal of having the healthiest children possible in Miami-Dade County. Health Connect: Connects children and families to low cost medical insurance options and health services with the help of health navigators.

Provides information and support through home visitations by family coaches to all new and teen mothers. Provides a team of nurses/nurse practitioners, social workers and health aides to public schools to provide needed health and mental health services. Please visit the FORMS section for provider forms. Agencies funded by The Trust for Health Connect, Borinquen Health Care Center, Inc. Catalyst Miami, Citrus Health Network, Inc., Community Health of South Florida, Inc. Jessie Trice Community Health Center, Inc. Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Nova South-eastern University, University of Miami, to download a brochure, please visit the Publications section.
 

Monthly Kid Reads

 

>>> State Atty. Katherine Fernandez Rundle weighing governor bid, but will past decisions nix that race, with other candidates joining the fray?

 

The top cop in Miami-Dade County Katherine Fernandez-Rundle (net worth was $2.368 million in Dec.1, 2012) is said to be considering a run for Florida governor in 2018 when Gov. Rick Scott is termed out. And she gathered a host of campaign consultants to discuss her possible bid, which could be fraught with criticism of how the office prosecuted cases related to one high profile death Darien Rainey continuing staying in the news. And for more go to:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article154707729.html

 

Rundle first took office when she was appointed after her predecessor Janet Reno became the nation’s attorney general in the Clinton administration and she has won reelection several times since then and given she is elected county wide critics believe she is soft on local political corruption over the years and recently the Miami-Dade Democratic Party has called for her removal after the office did not pursue the Rainey case where the man was scolded with hot water while in a county jail and has infuriated the community and is still lingering and could complicate any attempt of her running for higher office either as a gubernatorial candidate or Florida Attorney general since AG Pam Bondi is termed out and she is weighing her political options for the future but if she runs her long prosecution history will be dissected in detail and could be a rough race for her to win.

 

>>>Further to search for any Florida Constitution officers net worth go to http://public.ethics.state.fl.us/reshttp://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article159147759.htmlhttp://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article159147759.html isults.cfm

 

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

 

>>> Are surveillance Cameras coming to county’s regional parks, hope is to cut down on gangs and drug sales in Miami-Dade County Regional Parks, will prevent rapes says, Souto. Also Thousands of cameras after FTAA event where security was massive are in the county’s warehouses, dropped after privacy rights rears its head.

 

Cameras in county wide parks is coming and Commissioner Sally Heyman wants them to be phased since the unbudgeted cost is $3 million and has to have periodic updates. However Javier Souto championing the cameras suggested that if Heyman did not support this he suggested without the cameras she did not want to stop a rape he suggested in a sharp exchange and Heyman has been a big supporter of ending domestic violence and other women rights issue.

Further at another commission meeting Souto when discussing all the projects that have been approved. He blamed former assistant manager Pete Hernandez. Souto said because ‘so much money over the years,” has been spent and “nothing happens,” he said in frustration to how long it takes to get a county project completed (editor’s note after the FTAA there were thousands of such cameras and I don’t know if the administration has forgotten about these devices after, privacy rights became an issue back then).

 

>>>Related Group and affordable housing stays in the news, commissioner Barreiro “welcomes all investigations,” all he asks is to do it “promptly” since it pts a “cloud” over affordable housing projects

 

When it comes to the federal investigation of possible irregularities with the Related Group. The Miami Herald did a follow-up story Sunday. And whether the issue of the investigation was factual, had Commissioner Barbara Jordan questioning the paper’s story since some of it was anonymous sources and she said “what I read in the paper does not have to be true,” and she believes some of the these people might have their “own agenda,” and Commissioner Bruno Barreiro who had one of the affordable housing projects in his district, under scrutiny said. “I welcome all investigations, all I ask is do it promptly,” because the probe has “put a cloud over are affordable housing projects, “Further Barreiro noted the probe “slows down the process,” of approving more affordable housing projects around the county, he believed. And for more on this go to http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article159788874.html

 

>>> BCC names a street for slain 6 year old boy King Carter, Commissioner Estephan laments Dade is not “Bagdad or Aleppo,” re all the children being killed

 

What about the naming of a street after the six year boy King Carter shot walking to get some candy and this senseless killing has chilled the community and later BBC Chair Estephan Bovo, Jr., who has a similar age boy related and he lamented “This is not Bagdad, or Aleppo,” he said in frustration since the killings keep going on despite any law enforcement increase in the affected communities and kids being killed has bedeviled the public school district and has supt. Alberto Carvalho calling for an end of these killings of the communities youth. And for more on the little boy’s death go to: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article70700267.html

 

>>> Press release: New Miami-Dade Ethics Commissioner appointed

 

A St. Thomas University Law Professor and former champion swimmer is the newest member of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust (COE).  Carol L. Zeiner, who was sworn into the post last week by Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida Bertila Soto, will begin her tenure at the August 9th meeting of the Ethics Commission.  Her appointment was announced at today’s meeting of the Ethics Commission.  Prof. Zeiner has been a member of the law faculty at St. Thomas University since 2002. Prior to that, the Key Biscayne resident practiced law with two prestigious Florida-based firms and the in-house legal department of Wometco Enterprises. In 1991, she became the first College Attorney of Miami-Dade College where she created and managed the in-house legal department and provided legal advice and services to the College and the Board of Trustees for more than a decade.   A magna cum laude graduate of University of Miami School of Law, Prof. Zeiner earned her undergraduate degree at Florida State University.  While in Tallahassee in 1970, Zeiner became the first female from FSU to compete in the women’s NCAA national swim meet, before the federal Title IX made gender discrimination illegal in college sports.  In 2015, FSU presented her with its prestigious “Champions Beyond the Game” award.  “I think it’s a great honor and a wonderful way to give back to the community,” Prof. Zeiner said of her appointment.   She will complete the term of Marcia Narine Weldon, who resigned when she left St. Thomas University to accept a position at the University of Miami.

 

In today’s action, the COE found No Probable Cause to allegations made in a complaint (C 17-07) by Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez that two City Commissioners exploited their official positions by ordering or intimidating the Sweetwater City Clerk to deliver recall petitions to the County Elections Department without first making copies. Commissioners Manuel Duasso and Idania Llanio were members of a committee behind the recall movement and were among those delivering the signed petitions on February 8, 2017.  At the previous (May) meeting, Ethics Commissioners found No Probable Cause that the Mayor violated the Ethics Code by ordering City Clerk Carmen Garcia – who was unfamiliar with the petition process — to return to her office to make the copies.  Today they determined there was no evidence that the Sweetwater Commissioners committed any violations.

The COE found No Probable Cause to a complaint (C 17-13) filed against North Miami Beach City Commissioner Phyllis Smith, alleging that she has lied on financial disclosure statements because the Commissioner publicly stated that she worked three jobs, while only formally listing two.  The investigation concluded that her sources of income come from her work as a real estate broker/associate and city councilwoman.  When interviewed, Commissioner Smith said she considered her 50 years as a wife, mother and grandmother to be a full-time job, but did not disclose it on financial statements because she could not list a dollar value for her time and dedication.  Another complaint (C 17-14) filed against Commissioner Smith was found Not Legally Sufficient because it concerned allegations involving election law violations that are not within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission was created in 1996 as an independent agency with advisory and quasi-judicial powers. It is composed of five members, serving staggered terms of four years each. Through a program of education, outreach and enforcement, the Commission seeks to empower the community and bolster public trust.

>>> The vote on the fate of The Vizcazya Gardens and its management under a not for-profit passed and one of the controversies to this change is what to do with the 30 or so county employees who will have to seek a job in the county using what is known as the pipeline where the human resource administration is adding extra staff to help facilitate the hiring process, and the deal was “like a friend with benefits,” deal said Commissioner Suarez, who believes the organization will “not meet,” its fundraising goals, and will come to the county for more money. The Vizcaya gardens a national treasure supporters believes will be able to receive more cultural grants for the property is a community jewel but its upkeep is no small fiscal matter and the county’s general fund needs a little assistance and it is hoped the not-for-profit will be the vehicle to help with funding issue and Rayfield McGhee. CPA, Esq., is the not for profits chair and in a different capacity he is chair of the Miami-Dade School board Audit and budget review committee and is a CPA and is a member on the publics firewall of how the $5 billion district spends your county tax dollars and the WDR wishes all the success in the future

 

>>> 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. Further the IG report puts more pressure on the Mayor Gimenez’ administration to get these numbers further lowered.

http://www.miamidadeig.org/Reports2017/1.%20IG14-39%20Transmittal%20&%20Executive%20Summary%206.26.17.pdf Further I have learned that many animals adopted are not checked on and some dogs are said to be “bait dogs” used in dog fights that can be held apparently easy in any empty pool and is still popular in south Dade.

 

>>> PASTWDR: After five years of a surplus, Jackson Health this year with budget cuts only “breaks even, “has become the “hospital paying patients want to go too, not because they have to,” said PHT board chair Arriola in joint trust BCC meeting

 

The joint meeting of the public Health Trust board on Wednesday was a smooth affair but the trust warned there was fiscal choppy waters depending on what the new Trump administration pushes in the way of cuts ranging to a potential block grant system (versus LIFT) that has the state determining how it would be distributed among the public healthcare facilities in the state. Further after five years of a surplus, this year Jackson will close out break even, said Jackson CEO Carlos Migoya and he has signed on for two more years as the hospital president. He noted one of the big ongoing projects is the new $175 million UM Jackson rehab center and will be a “landmark facility,” said Migoya to commissioners. The president said things are moving quickly when it comes to the five urgent care centers and being staffed with UM physicians. Further a number of wellness programs “like cribs for kids,” that teaches new parents how a child “can sleep safely and while births have been going up with the new concierge service it also includes teaching mothers the benefits of breast feeding for a child in the early years and Jackson is celebrating its 99the birthday in the summer.

 

What about Jackson first?

 

Jackson First is a program to serve the county’s 26,000 employees health needs and is doing well and in the past few years have served employees medical needs and has grown to 1,431 at the beginning and is now heading up to 2,981 paying county employees and since the county is self-insured and if this population continues to increase the savings to the county is significant and all the PHT new facilities take into consideration “resilience,” and the perception among Miami- Dade residents is Jackson health System “is the hospital you want to go to,” rather “than the hospital you have to go to,” said PHT board Chair Joe Arriola and Migoya and Arriola told commissioners UM Miller Medical School “relationship has never been better nd is helping to provide cutting edge medical care, and Jackson just completed a three year contract with the institutions nurses and it is “maintaining the nursing ratio,” said Migoya and the nurses leadership is working well with the administration and SEIU Union Local 1991,said the CEO Carlos Migoya. Further, the JHS has reduced the “length of stay,” a major cost saving and while the health system had a $830 million GOB, the trust still has a $1.2 billion capital plan and the institution is “stretched thin,’ and with the “squabble,” in Washington “we are heading for some very tough times,” said Migoya to commissioners that had a number of trustees at the dais and Arriola stressed the point that “Carlos is one of the lowest paid presidents of large healthcare systems, and had Migoya saying his work at Jackson is “one of the proudest chapters in my career,” he closed.

 

What about the Pelican Harbour seabird Station?

 

Pelican Harbour Seabird Station was the talk of the beginning of the Tuesday County Commission metting and included a tragic presentation on Biscayne bays seagrass that is dying at a high rate and provides habitat for manatees, and other sea life and its fast dying also reduces the quality of the bay’s water since sea grass cleans the water as well. And a representative’s gave an impressive slide show of the dying seagrass and what the bay looks like now and Commissioner Sally Heyman supported the item to go in front of the commission and for more go to https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=pelican+harbor+seabird+station&spf=1498340957225 And a young man along with Heyman had socks created with a pelican on them to raise money for the not for profit and Heyman supplied some of the seed money but when I googled the pelican socks nothing came up and the organizations slide show is incredible with one shot looking like some kind of dinosaur and to see them gohttps://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=pelican+harbor+seabird+station&spf=1498340957225 Further long time clerk and early Envoronment Harvey Ruvin who is rarely at commission meetings spoke of the need to keep the bay healthy and he and Heyman are board members of the Pelican Harbour Seabird Station .However a young student had an idea on how to raise.

 

County employees raise $ 1.million for Miami-Dade United Way yearly fund drive, helps fill in “some gaps,” the county can’t cover, says CEO Mogul

 

The county workers that were loaned to the United Ways yearly fundraising, raised over $1 million and includes the mayoral ball and a host of other events and the organization helps fill in gaps that the county can’t, said united Way CEO Harve Mogul

 

>>> County’s affordable housing program under fire in federal probe, Related Group chair Jorge Perez says company is highly ethical on all housing built in letter to Miami Herald

 

A new investigation on affordable housing projects and if some projects were inflated by The Carlisle Group, Pinnacle and the issue concerns the profit of these public funded projects generally low cost housing, and were the numbers inflated and includes Related Group projects that chair and founder Jorge Perez says in a letter to the Miami Herald that the deals and projects done were on the up and up and the organization prides itself on the companies ethics but it remains to be seen how this all plays out in

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article156697314.html

 

>>> 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:

http://www.miamidadeig.org/Reports2017/TrafficControlModernizationServicesBidWaiver06.12.17.pdf

 

>>> Movie and production mavens want county film incentives Ga. Reaps $2 billion in revenue due to productions leaves Miami out in the cold

 

Movie and film representatives filled the commission chambers last week asking the county to create a production incentive program that the state legislature shot down and movie advocates say Georgia is reaping a $2 billion windfall given their creative incentive program and would help fill hotel beds and show case Miami-Dade and the full commission will consider the matter

 
>>> GMCVB press release: For January – May 2017, hotel rooms sold in Greater Miami and The Beaches increased by +3.6 % compared to the same time in 2016, significantly absorbing the +4.8% increase in hotel room inventory year on year.

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

 January-May 2017
Rooms Sold
January-May 2017 January-May 2016 % Change vs. 2016
6,666,668 6,431,914 +3.6%
 
Rooms Supply
January-May 2017 January-May 2016 % Change vs. 2016
55,454 52,937 +4.8%
 

 

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

 

PAST WDR because our Youth are dying at a terrible rate: because this is killing our kids and caused the creation of The Miami-Dade County Opioid Task force met and heard some of the committee recommendation on how to end this scourge that kills 33,000 people in the nation of overdoses and last year. Where Florida saw 3,000 deaths from overdoses and it cuts across all ethnic lines an even physicians are saying they were guilty as well after medical reviews indicated treating someone for pain was beneficial and the clinicians were told many of these drugs were less addictive than in the past which turned out not to be true and many users in pain shifted to cheap Mexican yellow heroin mixed with very toxic fentanyl mainly from China and is highly toxic and a drop can easily kill. Further, in New Hampshire they are arresting dealers as killers when one of their doses kills someone and here in Miami-Dade government leaders were warned about this scourge about three years ago when former addict now clean, Jon Schmidt told some commission staff the county was not prepared for the onslaught coming. And discussions are going on to increase the availability of NarCan, a drug that reverse the overdose but also has some addicts getting an immunity to the dose that may have to be given twice to the slumped over person. And the task Force will be presenting their recommendations in the coming weeks to Mayor Carlos Gimenez. Editor’s note: I keep running this story because it is such a scourge that kills across all ethnic lines.

 

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

>> Audit Committee to hear verbal report on Friends of WLRN and update on federal auditors of stations draw down of PBC funding

 

>>>> Board’s Audit and Budget Review committee meets Tuesday and a verbal report will be given on the Friends of WLRN federal audit is expected at the meeting according to the agenda and the fund raising arm of Worn is undergoing a federal audit and previously reported in the WDR and the audit is being done briskly but until the conclusion the audit committee is essentially monitoring the overall process after the station for number of years did not submit audits to the school district. To read the agenda go to: http://mca.dadeschools.net/AuditCommittee/AC_July_18_2017/Agenda.pdf

 

>>> 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:: http://www.miamidadeig.org/Reports2017/GOBIG0013FinalReport6.15.17.pdf

 

The final OIG report on a high school coach recruiting baseball players from foreign countries and “ a gross violation,” of state statutes is completed and to read the report go to: http://www.miamidadeig.org/2016MDCPS/SB.1213.1005.pdf

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Read More

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Watchdog Report asked Carvalho and the district’s Chief Auditor if there was any news on the federal IGs audit of Friends of WLRN the fundraising arm for the WLRN but is facing an IG inquiry since the organization has not been able to produce a certified audit after the organizations CFO was fired and he had used an inappropriate formula that may have ginned up the federal draw down from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. And for more go to https://townhall.com/watchdog/florida/2017/03/14/290811-n10467

 

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

http://mca.dadeschools.net/AuditCommittee/AC_May_9_2017/item13.pdf

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

How did Ryder come about?

 

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

 

CITY OF MIAMI

 

>>> With the sands of time running Mayor Regalado makes the big push, for a host of deals, some still being fleshed out. The Bond strategy will follow a Miami tried and true fear campaign as done in the past, politicians will say if $250 million bond doesn’t elderly could lose social services like meals on wheels, something badly needed for the elderly in Miami and that tactic was used in 2002 when a similar general obligation bond was on the ballot back then.

 

A discussion of Museum Park set on Bicentennial Park caused a brisk discussion on whether the Omni CRA owed the city $2 million a year for 30 years and was included in the Global Agreement the county came up with and for the parks maintenance and completing the expensive master plan that lacks funding and Commissioner Frank Carollo chair of the Bayfront Park Trust has stated in the past that the trust wants that money since a new playground is being considered and involves a $2 million German design.

 

However, Commissioner vice Chair Ken Russell and chair of the CRA in a policy dispute wants to use the money for affordable housing and rehabbing structures in the CRA not for financing Museum Park and Carollo and Russel are trying to hash out their differences

 

“I was embarrassed” at the pathway to the Perez Art Museum and people on the July 4th had to use flashlights since the anticipated solar lighting has not been completed, said Carollo. And he wants the money rehab the path to fit the enormous investment in the Perez Museum of Art PAMM.

 

What about the city’s new proposed budget?

 

The city of Miami with its booming real-estate market is looking at a $1 billion budget total budget and includes a host of projects that may or not pass and while Regalado says these deals are not about his legacy and tells the media “it either passes or it doesn’t’ he says in an extensive story in The Miami Herald on the last few months of the administration that ends in November. To read the budget go to: http://www.miamigov.com/Budget/docs/FY18/fy18proposedoperating.pdf and her is the long story on the Regalado administration: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article161030464.html

 

>>> Will Miami’s upcoming elections be a celebrity event? Or will it keep the old political order in place?

 

Since both Francis Suarez (17 net worth $245,000.) and Raquel Regalado have lived their lives in the public eye and many suggest they led a charmed life and Suarez ran his first long campaign ad last week and he is portraying himself as the next generation (that a past tag line was “our time,” when he had a past mayoral campaign).Since his father Xavier Suarez was a past Miami mayor. Further he has a $3 Million campaign war chest with his PAC and he and his father take every opportunity to promote the son who is vice chair of the County’s Transportation Policy organization (TPO) but used to be known as the MPO. Further his wife Gloria on a tube video is campaigning for him and she did a good campaign video that you can see at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgbFKxeTo6M . Further Suarez has a young son and the family is part of the package and since his father’s nemesis former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo is running for his open Dist. 3 seat. He will have to later deal with the mercurial Carollo. And his new campaign piece in the Herald is now in English and he is touting the $3 million he has in his campaign war chest and it reads like he has already won the post, which is a very risky maneuver and to see the ad go to: http://www.francisformiami.com/

 

So here in Miami politics. The family that runs together apparently wins together and that is the case with the Diaz de la Portilla family where one brother Alex is running for the Florida senate. But had a very messy divorce that even included who would get the dog and will make him a prime target for attack ads in the future and his campaign ads are popping up in the media. Further Suarez is proposing a multimodal Transportation impact fee that would be just enough to fund a new tunnel across the Miami River on Brickell and he believes with these funds the city would pay for “45 percent of the cost,” and believed the state might kick” in 45 percent.” However his colleague Wilfredo Gort saw it differently saying such a fee “would kill businesses opening,” and a further discussion on the fees around the city will continue and one commissioner asked what the area should be through the city. However, the county will have to agree and commissioners will consider hash out the details in the future if it turns out to be a possible solution.

 

>>>>And next week I will run all the Miami commissioners July 1 financial disclosures and on the whole there is nothing to exciting about them except that Regalado is a paid board member on the HCA Coral Gables Hospital board where county commissioner Rebeca Sosa is the chair of the for profit board located in Sosa’s commission district.

 

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 $250 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 http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article159278724.html

 

>>> Former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo made an appearance in city Hall and he suggested to commissioners that when doing leases there should be “penalty,” if they don’t begin the development after three years, the commission candidate said

 

>>>>When it comes to hiring outside Atty’s, Commissioner Russell wants to be sure the city “is not out gunned,” in court after testy exchange with city attorney Méndez

 

When it comes to hiring attorneys, “I want a knockout punch, “believing the commission’s decision to call Flagstone in “default,” of the agreement had with the city and Flagstone now suing Miami for $120 million on damages for breaking the agreement first created back in 2002 when the city’s voters approved a massive project on Virginia Key and has yet to really get anything done except a mega yacht Marina

 

What about the exchange between Commissioner Ken Russell and Miami attorney Victoria Méndez?

 

Russell and Méndez got into an exchange where she said he did not “understand the law,” since he was not an attorney and after the exchange the city attorney kind of rubbed it in saying “she could lose her Florida Bar License and highlights the strain between Russell who a few months ago wanted to have her fired because of a past performance but it did not occur and just simmers in the background

 

>>>> CIP discussion gets testy over “heroics,” police chief Rudy Llanes wishes CIP would remember the “heroics” of officers, exchange ends civility earlier supported by ethics omission Director Joe Centorino

 

The funding for the Civilian Investigative Panel (CIP) was a hot topic at a past commission meeting and Chair Keon Hardeman in the discussion noted his appointment Was not accepted because the slot was not for Dist. 5 since the bylaws were modified years ago to have people on the CIP who live in the five commission districts because years ago many of them lived in Dist. 2 with many of the members living in Grove Isle. Further, funding was dramatically cut during the Great Recession and the body financially with a new director has shaped up and is running much smoother said the board’s chair Horatio Aguirre a close confident to Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado

 

What about the civility program?

 

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:

http://ethics.miamidade.gov/library/2017-meetings/summary_jan_17.pdf

 

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article154960954.html

 

What about The Bay front Park Trust?

 

The Trust met Wednesday and negotiations are going on if the Omni CRA has to pay the Trust $2 million a year for 15 years (some $30 million) for the maintenance of the park and includes a proposed playground in Museum Park where the playgrounds facilities will cost some $2 million in a no bid contract for playground equipment that is made in Germany, and the deal was part of the County’s Global Agreement, with Miami. However the Omni CRA would like to use the $30 million for new affordable housing in the CRA area and negotiations are going on between Miami Commission Vice Chair Ken Russell and Commissioner Frank Carollo who chairs the Bayfront Park trust board and readers will have to see how this all pans out.

 

Further, Bayfront Park Trust is considering building a playground in Miami Museum Park and the Omni CRA in a past agreement has agreed to pay $2 million a year in park maintenance that Russell wants to go affordable housing in the CRA district.

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

 

The Virginia Key Advisor Board is bristling with a city plan to let a developer put a tony Beach cabana club on the Historic Black Beach and the Miami Commission is reviewing the matter given the sensitivity of the historic beach relegated to only Blacks back in the late 1950s And at one ceremony back in 1999 then Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek and Althea Range planted a tree in memorial of the sacred beach. However the developer has apparently bought a part of the beach and environmentalists are concerned it will be a concrete jungle that also must be open to the public and it remains to be seen what the final development will be that must be approved by the Miami Commission.

 

CITY OF MIAMI BEACH

 

>>> Mayoral campaign heats up how low will Gelber & Grieco go to win the top spot, suspicious PAC will be dissolved and money returned pro rata

 

Defense Attorney Michael Grieco has been fighting back after the Miami Herald did an investigation of a PAC that the commissioner said did not involve him and since the reporting the PAC has been dissolved and money returned to donors in a pro rata basis but the Kerfuffle has amped up the intensity of the race for mayor and pits Gelber a former federal prosecutor against his opponent a former state representative and senator and historically there have many tough mayoral races over the years and the beach has some of the tightest campaign finance rules in the county and why this became a major political issue in the race and Grieco suggests the paper of record is doing a hatchet job on him in

And for more go to: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/ this matter but many wonder if these type of issues will impact on the election in November and voters will make the decision.

 

>>>Mayor Levine, calls for 2:00 a.m. drinking curfew at bars & restaurants on Ocean Drive, which draws a rowdy crowd late at night

 

>>> When to end drinking on Ocean Drive splits city leadership, after incidents during packed Memorial Day celebrations and has Mayor Phillip Levine calling for a 2:00 a.m. curfew though he notes (people could continue to drink in hotels) but it can’t be at the bars and restaurants on Ocean Drive and has restaurant owners up in arms but the Drive has changed over the years and is not drawing the family crowds like years past. Further Kristen Rosen Gonzalez sent a memo to City Manager Jimmy Morales questioning if the police body cams is keeping the officers from policing. However, Morales notes how the police were reacting prior to Chief Dan Oates taking the helm and the commissioner is a congressional candidate could be looking for a little press. For more on the story go to

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article153870244.html

 

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article153813234.html

 

What about the missing money?

 

A man from Syracuse NY has been arrested for stealing some $3.6 million from the city’s coffers and the man is already in custody and authorities are working getting the money back and the city has beefed up its finance department that in the past missed the transfers from a Sun trust bank account.

 

>>> Further, The Miami-Dade Ethics and Public Trust commission released a survey after city workers all went through extensive ethics classes and the survey found some employees are still being asked if they want a bribe. Further these training sessions have been done in the city of Miami and across the county and like the county’s Inspector general it is another watchful watchdog. For more go to: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article141609749.html

 

What about zoning plan expediters’?

 

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

 

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

 

Community EVENTS & Public Service announcements

https://secure2.convio.net/nthp/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1231

The goal: To generate 1,000 emails to Miami City Commission by July 12. Sharing the link, prepared by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, with friends and colleagues can make all of the difference!

Yours truly

Don Worth, Co-Founder

Restore Marine Stadium
https://www.facebook.com/Restoremarinestadium

Photo credit: Leslie Harris

 

Margulies Collection 2

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

 

>>>> Now closed until Nov. The Warehouse and check it out at http://www.margulieswarehouse.com/#/home

Margulies collection

 

>>>And the Margulies Warehouse for more info for this community treasure go to http://www.margulieswarehouse.com/#/home

>> Press release: The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and Miami Science Barge join together to bring the expression of art to a scientific experiment. Visitors will have the opportunity to create artworks on a drift card that will be deployed into the ocean. These drift cards will help scientists gain understanding of how the ocean currents distribute debris through the Biscayne Bay. Admission is free. Miami Science Barge 1075 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami

 
Cynthia Fleischmann Gallery www.CynthiaFleischmann.com
+1. 508. 479. 6631 cynthia@cynthiafleischmann.com

Gallery visits are available by appointment. Other

Posted by Cynthia Fleischmann

12 Jun to Utopia Court + 25 neighborhoods ·

 

Cynthia Fleischmann

Bodypaintography: ‘Front Door’ FL, 2017                                                                                                                     Cynthia Fleischmann
EDITORIALS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

>>> The Watchdog Report is soon Celebrating 18 years of weekly reliable publishing since May 5th 2000 and when I started back then I never thought I would be doing this so this is a national story in all the national Tribune papers: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog. And while I have taken a licking over the years including some medical issues I have kept at the job thanks to my supporters who I thank so very much over the many years. And the community’s public institutions are better when it comes to them knowing what the other is doing. And Why I have tried to be an information electrolyte for these giant institution’s leaders and things and here is a national story done on why I started to watch government back in 2000 http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog and to all the people along the way that have helped me I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

LETTERS

 

>>> 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: http://lotusendowment.org/about-lotus-village/

>>> The Watchdog Report publisher would like to thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation www.knightfoundation.org for funding by the Knight Foundation with technical support from the Knight Center www.knightfoundation.org   to maintain my webpage. The Watchdog Report webpage is free, has no pops-up and is just the news in a mainstream reporting manner.

 

>>>> The Watchdog Report publisher for 16 years now, has reported back weekly on how your billions of public dollars in local government are being spent. And how to help support me providing this information is at the end of the WDR. And I hope you will consider supporting keeping an independent news service out in our community, where what is going on with all our government entities is of critical benefit for both the public institutions but voters as well l. Thank You.

 

And to my Supporters I pledge to keep ‘going when you cannot.’ And we have about $9 billion in GOB funds being spent through a variety of public institutions and that is no small number and in the past I have broken the story on Cuban refugees coming in droves and also the Oriental fruit fly quarantine and its huge economic impact to name just a few of the more recent stories in past WDR’s.And I also keep watch for the all-important tourism industry and with the Zika Virus people are starting to understand how vital these tourists are for a host of amenities like culture and the arts, Jackson health System and transportation dollars all entities that benefit from tourism sales tax dollars.

 

>>> And while the Watchdog Report has reached16 years of using my own money to survive in the costlier Miami community. And while I have cut expenses I need my readers help. In this fast changing world and with Pay Pal now you can easily use a credit card to contribute and I hope you will consider helping keeping someone out in the field. And I have not wanted to be a lobbyist but rather a lobbyist for everyone and is why I use the tag line ‘I go when you cannot’. But things were made worse after spending 18 days in the hospital with a badly infected finger. And is why I am behind sending my traditional thank you letter to any supporters contributing and hop to catch up in the near future. And I thank these people from the bottom of my heart for the past financial help.

 

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

 

>>> And to support the WDR go to my Pay Pal account at https://paypal.me/WatchdogReport

>>>And you can now easily support the Watchdog Report by going to my new PayPal Button account, you know you want to do it at https://paypal.me/WatchdogReport for as media resources contract residents still need to know that someone is also watching out for their interests. Because government watched is a better governing experience for voters and their local quality of life?

 

However, it is no easy task to do the WDR weekly. And years ago the county Ethics Commission did a report that suggested over the past decade some $50 million had been spent fighting waste fraud abuse and public corruption and having the press at public meetings (some very obscure) changes the tone of the meeting (and is why you don’t speed past a state trooper, if you’re smart) Further, I have tried to be an information electrolyte available to all free between these large public institutions when I first started back in 1997. And many public meetings back then were not being recorded except by me and that is no longer the case.

 

For an accurate public record is key and diminishes future legal action. For you either have an accurate public record or you don’t. And I hope you will consider helping me in this effort to keep the community informed and saving taxpayer monies in the process. And I thank my supporters over the last 17 years. And to read a national story and profile of the WDR publisher in the early years and background back in 2003 go to: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190341_1_ricker-school-board-president-miami-s-first-cuban-american        

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

 

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

HUGH CULVERHOUSE, Jr (The first contributor)

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

 

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

 

EIDSON, COLSON & HICKS www.eadisoncolsonon.com

BADIA SPICES www.badiaspices.com

BERKOWITZ POLLACK BRANT Advisors and Accountants www.bpbcpa.com

JEFFREY L. BERKOWITZ TRUST

BERKOW RADELL FERNANDEZ & LARKIN www.brzoinglaw.com

RON BOOK

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

WILLIAM PALMER www.shutts.com

Rbb PUBLIC RELATIONS www.rbbcommmunications.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

 

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

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, 2017, Daniel A. Ricker

 

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

 

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

CITIZEN ADVOCATE’ KEEPS TABS ON POLITICIANS

 

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

MIAMI-DADE WATCHDOG WILL BE MISSED

 

Published on January 20, 2003, Page 1E, Orlando Sentinel, PAPERWORK TIGER, Miami’s citizen watchdog piles up government files in his quest to keep the “little people” informed. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog

 

>>>Watchdog Report publisher named ‘Best Citizen’ 2003 by the Miami New Times

 

The publisher would like to thank the weekly alternative paper Miami New Times for bestowing their 2003 Best of Miami, ‘Best Citizen’ award to me and I am honored.  Thank you. To read the full story go to http://www.miaminewtimes.com/best-of/2003/people-and-places/best-citizen-6399517

 

>>> General subscriber’s names will not be published in the Report. To subscribe to the Watchdog Report please use the form below as a subscription invoice. ********************

Watchdog Report Supporters Invoice-Form Thank you

 

Supporting Sponsors $5,000

Sustaining Sponsors $2,000

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

 

Large Business Supporters $500

Small Business Supporters $250 

Individual Supporter $150

 

Make Checks payable to Daniel Ricker

3109 Grand Ave, #125 Miami, Florida 33133