Watchdog Report Vol.17 No.08 June 27, 2016 EST: 05.05.00 – I go when you cannot – Celebrating 16 Years of Weekly publishing
Argus Report: Britain says sayonara to EU, will others follow? Sanders just wants a government, “by the people for the people,” he writes in The Miami Herald editorial
Florida: Bid protest turns Virginia Key Miami Marina 75 year contract into a battle of the lobbyist, titans Dotson, Jr., Garcia Toledo, husband Raphael drives county mayor Gimenez around, and GOP Sen. Miguel Diz de la Portilla rounds out the field – past WDR: Miami Marina on Virginia Key bid protest at city of Miami brings in cream of local lobbyists Sen. Diaz de la Portilla and Dotson, Jr., gets deferred until June 22, at 2:00 p.m. Residents object to slips in Marina’s Basin and could be dragon be Chinese Dragon Boat races that draw thousands of tourists in Hong Kong, could be new tourist draw with competitors coming from around the world
Miami-Dade County: What about P3 projects and Burgess & negative comments by Stierheim on strong mayor form of government Merrett– Commissioners Jordan, Barreiro, Bovo cruise to uncontested victory for another four-year term on dais, will be termed out at end of term-
Miami-Dade County Public Schools: Child Advocate Modesto Abety throws hat into school board Dist. 6 race, for vacated seat held by Raquel Regalado running for county mayor -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
Public Health Trust: AOA agreement with U university of Miami Miller Medical School gets heated over non-exclusive transplant agreement, calm and reason must reign at health trust meetings
City of Miami: Commission Chair Hardeman storms off dais after elderly man mentions “Haitians,” his temper of concern, later “apologizes” on air–Upcoming Sea Level Solution meetings-Please see the following list of upcoming events this month, more details for which can be found on our Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC) Events Calendar.-
City of Miami Beach: Attorney Gongora goes for the gold wants to replace retired Sen. Margolis in Fla. upper house, works at high profile law firm, failed in his bid for mayor a few years ago
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 celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2016! – Major new show at The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse – History Miami has 100th anniversary
Editorial: 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.
>>> 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. 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 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 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
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 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.orlandosentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190045_1_ricker-miami-watchdog
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 17th 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.
ARGUS REPORT – Heard, Seen on the street
>>>> Britain says sayonara to EU, will others follow, Sanders just wants a government, “by the people for the people,” he writes in The Miami Herald editorial
A new political wrinkle has entered the globe with Britain voting to leave the European Union and the question is will any other countries join in leaving the union and will this sentiment of securing a nation’s borders bleed into the American electorate and is highlighting the difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and persistent candidate Bernie Sanders in an editorial last week he details what he wants writing what President Lincoln said at Gettysburg, “we want a government by the people and for the people. That is what we want and that is what we will continue fighting for,” writes Sanders, a socialist independent in the Miami Herald Editorial and he also is now supporting Hillary because he believes Trump would be a disaster.
>>> Beacon council press release: The vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union and what it could mean for Miami-Dade County
The voters on June 23, 2016 decided that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union. A small majority (52%) vote in favor of an exit by the United Kingdom. Although the process of separation could take up to two years and there are several options for the relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, much of the world is already trying to figure out what it means to the global economy as well as their own economies and its business communities.
Miami-Dade County and South Florida traditionally have had strong economic ties with the United Kingdom. The total trade between South Florida (the Miami Custom District) and the United Kingdom was almost $1.6 billion dollars in 2015, of which more than $1.1 billion was imported from and close to $600 million was exported to the United Kingdom. There are over 60 British multinational companies in South Florida. The United Kingdom is also an important source of visitors for Miami-Dade County with 326,000 visitors in 2015. There are direct flights to London and Manchester. South Florida also has a population of about 26,000 individuals who were born in the United Kingdom.
One of the immediate results of the vote is the decrease in value of the British Pound compared to the Dollar. This means that imports from the United Kingdom might become cheaper, but at the same time, for British visitors, staying in Miami-Dade County might become more expensive. The same can be said for the Euro, which also lost value, which means that coming to Miami-Dade County for European visitors might become more expensive as well. About 1.5 million visitors in 2015 were European (not all from the Euro zone). Traditionally international visitors spend more money than their domestic counterparts.
The initial response around the world was that of surprise and worry about what the consequences will be of this vote. In addition to the decline in the value of the British Pound and Euro, the major stock markets also responded with losses.
While it is unclear what the impact could be on Miami-Dade County, British companies may now be more inclined to grow into new markets, such as the Americas where the exchange rate may be more favorable. In that case, a location in Miami-Dade County to serve those new markets might prove an opportunity. Conversely, there may be a decline in exports through the Miami Customs District as British companies scale back their activities from the US and increase them elsewhere. As the consequences of this vote are revealed in the coming weeks, it will become clearer what this change might mean to Miami-Dade County and South Florida.
And with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. changing his mind and deciding to run again after saying if he was not the GOP nominee he would become a public citizen and he only wanted to be president or he was out of politics he would proclaim during campaign speeches and it was a compelling story for the telegenic fresh faced senator who has four children and his wife was a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader. But he now says while the senate is ‘frustrating,” the claim that he hated it was not true and the attorney is back into the race. However, when Rubio was running in the Republican Primaries. He lost all of Florida’s 67 counties except for Miami-Dade County and in the upcoming primary there are challengers. Dem candidate Pam Keith Patrick Murphy, Alen Grayson http://www.miamiherald.com/news/
What about Rubio’ housemate Rep. David Rivera’s $1.5 million net worth?
The revelation that Rivera is saying he has $1.5 million in net worth up from $147,000 a few years back and the man is an enigma within the local GOP and he is running for a state House seat now but his other claim to fame is he was Rubio’s roommate when they were all in Tallahassee and Rubio was the Republican Speaker of the House.
What about JHS?
Jackson Health System (JHS) CEO Carlos Migoya told a Prosperity Committee meeting last week that the money from a $830 million GOB passed by voters back in 2012 that some $ 256 million has been approved and “80 percent,” went to “SBE,”s and four sixths are owned and run by women, with five sixths going to “Black owned firms he told committee members. And some of the projects are the’ remodeling of Jackson North,” and includes a new cardiac catheter lab.
And the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, said Commissioner Daniela Levine Cava has announced Carlos Migoya has won their most prestige’s community award.
The Chambers, “The Sand in My Shoes Award,” for his turning around JHS which has been remarkable after a GOP bond passed on the transformation of the ageing campus is moving at a decent rate and some $1.4 billion in projects are slated including a new West wing tower. And Migoya is making the public hospital competitive against such competitors as Baptist Health and Mt Sinai Medical Center as the healthcare industry changes under the Affordable Care Act and has JHS losing some $200 million in federal funding, because Florida did not expand Medicaid and the total hit could be as much as $2.37 million in 2015.
>>> White House press release: Members of the Media. I am sharing with you this advisory from the White House and the Opportunity Institute on the June 2 event in Miami entitled: The Importance of Supporting the Learning and Development of Young Dual Language Learners in Early Education Settings. Additional information, including attendees and speakers is below. If you are interested in covering this event, please contact directly: email@example.com
WHEN: Thursday, June 2, 2016 Program: 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM ET, Preset: 9:00 AM ET
WHERE: United Way of Miami-Dade, Ansin Building, Ryder Board Room
3250 SW 3 Avenue, Miami, FL 33129: For press credentials, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 31, 2016
MEDIA ADVISORY: The White House, Too Small to Fail, and Invest in Us Co-host Event on Importance of Supporting the Learning and Development of Young Dual Language Learners in Early Education Settings
Miami, FL – On Thursday, June 2, Too Small to Fail will co-host an event with the White House and the Invest in Us campaign on the need to support early learning and the development of dual language learners. The event will bring together local and national early childhood leaders, advocates, researchers, families, and business leaders to discuss challenges and specific actions and investments to better support dual language learners.
The event will feature a series of remarks and panel discussions emphasizing the importance and effectiveness of high quality early learning environments for dual language learners and the implications for early childhood educators. Research shows that developing a child’s home language provides the foundation for reading, writing, and school success.
Several announcements and new resources will be released at the event, including:
A new policy statement by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education on supporting dual language learners in early education settings;
The expansion of Too Small to Fail’s “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” public awareness and action campaign into Miami-Dade and Monroe. Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Opportunity Institute and Clinton Foundation, promotes early brain and language development by encouraging parents to engage in meaningful activities with their young children starting at birth; and, Three research briefs on the cognitive and economic benefits of bilingualism, as well as on language diversity in the educator workforce to support young dual-language learners, from the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Science, the University of California Los Angeles’ Civil Rights Project, and the New America Foundation, respectively.
WHITE HOUSE press release: FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY***SUBJECT TO CHANGE***WHAT: The White House, Too Small to Fail & Invest In Us Event on Dual Language Learners WHO: Roberto Rodríguez, Deputy Assistant to the President Education, White House Domestic Policy Council, Donna E. Shalala, President, Clinton Foundation, Alina Mayo Azze, News Anchor, Univision Noticias 23 (Miami, FL)
Kris Perry, Executive Director, First Five Years Fund, Kara Dukakis, Director, Too Small to Fail, Evelio Torres, President & CEO, Early Learning Coalition of Miami/Dade and Monroe, Patricia Kuhl, Professor, University of Washington,
JoAnn Rullan, Director, Community Empowerment Initiatives, Univision Communications Inc., Gladys Montes, Vice President, United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, Sylvia Acevedo, Presidential Commissioner at White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Carlos Migoya, President and CEO, Jackson Health System
Janet Murguía, President and CEO, National Council of La Raza
Blanca Enriquez, Director of the Office of Head Start, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
WHEN: Thursday, June 2, 2016
Program: 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM ET, Preset: 9:00 AM ET
WHERE: United Way of Miami-Dade, Ansin Building, Ryder Board Room
3250 SW 3 Avenue, Miami, FL 33129, for press credentials, please contact email@example.com.
About Too Small to Fail
Too small to fail, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute, is leading a public awareness and action campaign to promote the importance of early brain and language development and to empower parents with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth. Today, almost 60 percent of children in the United States start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, math, and social-emotional skills. Through partnerships with pediatricians, hospitals, faith-based leaders, community based organizations, businesses, entertainment industry leaders, and others, Too Small to fail is meeting parents where they are to help them prepare their children for success in school and beyond. Whether at the pediatrician’s office or the playground, Too Small to Fail aims to make small moments big by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions anytime, anywhere.
Learn more at www.toosmall.org. Find resources for parents and caregivers at www.talkingisteaching.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/2smalltofail), Twitter (@2SmalltoFail), and Instagram (www.instagram.com/2smalltofail).
About Invest in US
Launched in 2014 by President Obama at the White House Summit on Early Childhood Education, Invest in US is a challenge to business leaders, philanthropists, advocates, public officials and the public to build a better nation through high-quality early childhood programs for children from birth to age five. Aad de investí in the, we investí in us.
This email is UNCLASSIFIED.
>>>>> Bid protest for Virginia Key, turns Miami Marina 75 year contract into a battle of the lobbyist titans Dotson, Jr., Garcia Toledo, husband Raphael drives county mayor Gimenez around, and Sen. Miguel Diz de la Portilla rounds out the field
On Thursday round two of Miami Marina bid protest on Key Biscayne was a great show with the two top lobbyist bringing in their wing woman (For Al Dotson, Jr., that means Vicky Garcia Toledo a former Miami attorney, whose husband Raphael Garcia Toledo drives Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez to the polls in a black Cadillac Escalade during Election Day and others. And Raphael on his county lobbying form says he is lobbying on all county matters. But he and his wife are a top lobbying team and one of the biggest threats Gimenez has in getting reelected because of their behind the scenes influences. And the wife tools around in an imposing Range Rover.
>>> PAST WDR: Miami Marina on Virginia Key bid protest at city of Miami brings in cream of local lobbyists Sen. Diaz de la Portilla and Dotson, Jr., gets deferred until June 22, at 2:00 p.m. Residents object to slips in Marina’s Basin and could be dragon be Chinese Dragon Boat races that draw thousands of tourists in Hong Kong, could be new tourist draw with competitors coming from around the world
At a City of Miami Commission meeting a battle of the lobbyist took place and had state Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R- Miami representing a firm that had bid on the Miami Marina request for proposals and the former county commissioner is facing Democrat state Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami and the senator’s brother has also held a different senate seat but was termed out and de La Portilla has strong support from the Republican Party candidates including the congressional delegation and Rodriguez is
and the only reason I flag de La Portilla is because he blends his legislative job when he lobbies and elected bodies generally defer to his comments or observations and I have flagged Democrats that did the same thing because elected leaders have had to deal with reprisals from some past legislators and in this case the senator during the meeting faced off against attorney Al Dotson, Jr., and Richard Perez was with him at the podium. And Perez is important because he was a part of a group of people that all had lunch at Versailles and I happened to see them and Suarez at the time was mulling his first run for mayor and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff was part of the group along with Mathew Greer an what I objected too was the two sergeant of arms that drove them to the iconic restaurant. Where Perez said it was just a couple of fiends getting together but some people have more access to elected leaders than others and that is what THE WDR objects to especially when it comes to RFPs for Waterfront land in Miami a precious commodity that has not been well preserved in Miami over the years.
What about Perez and Suarez?
And the only reason I flag de La Portilla is because he blends his legislative job when he lobbies and elected bodies generally defer to his comments or observations and I have flagged Democrats that did the same thing because elected leaders have had to deal with reprisals from some past legislators and in this case the senator during the meeting faced off against attorney Al Dotson, Jr., and local attorney Richard Perez was with the senator at the podium. And Perez is important because he was a part of a group of people that all had lunch with Suarez at Versailles and I happened to see them and Suarez at the time when the commissioner was mulling his first run for mayor in 2013 and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff was part of the group along with Mathew Greer an what I objected too was the two sergeant f that drove them to the iconic restaurant.
>>> Commissioners Jordan, Barreiro, Bovo cruise to uncontested victory for another four-year term on dais, will be termed out at end of term
Three county commissioners were reelected last week without a challenger and they were incumbent Commissioners Barbara Jordan, Bruno Barreiro and Estephan Bovo and these are four year terms that pay around 48,000 when benefits are kicked in and include free healthcare and a hefty car allowance.
What about the security at the Miami-Dade County Stephen P. Clark Center?
And a discussion at a county committee on security at the Stephen P. Clark government Center once elaborate but went away during the Great Recession when general funds were low, but county employees were allowed to go in without being searched but the issue of security is a vexing question given some world events and will probably be brought up again and could get enhanced in the coming months as commissioners debate the matter.
>> The Miami Expressway Authority (MDX) will be instituting a new Lexus Lane on 836 and commissioner Bovo wants people to know he is not involved with the toll and did not vote on it since he gets much of the blowback he asserted.
>>>> Commissioner Zapata wants County Park’s department to open camp Matecumbe to the public as a “passive,” and “just wants folks to have access,” to the park, Commissioner Hyman concerned about cost, and security could be issue given its Heritage status
Commissioner Juan Carlos Zapata wants iconic Camp Matecumbe in West Dade to be open to the public. The iconic camp of heritage value (has $5 million on GOB money and $100,000 from the county PARK’S FOUNDATION) And the camp was where the Pedro Pan Cuban boys stayed when they arrived in the 1960s and many of these young men are the current movers and shakers in Miami including Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and the place has a special spot. The commissioner said all h wants to do is “people to have access,” to the green space he insisted and there some county facilities there and even has walking trails and all he wants is a “passive,” park said Commissioner Sally Heyman concerned about any new cost in the budget and the public does own the land
And here is a MIAMI herald video on the camp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW5sg5R_DMg
>>> Are CRA reforms coming, Commissioner Levine Cava and Miami Commissioner Ken Russell want citizen on body, not just elected officials?
Commissioner Daniela Levine Cava pushed for reforms of the Community Redevelopment Authorities (CRA) last Tuesday at the board of county commissioner’s meeting and a she is getting support from newly minted Miami Commissioner Ken Russell. She said she held “18,” different meetings on CRAs and included the OIG and other Interested stakeholders trying to get more transparency and accountability and for them not to be a political slush fund since there creation was to fight slum and blight but oversight controls are weak and since politicians are mostly on the boards Levine Cava wants to have a citizen on CRAs as well and that was recommended in a controversial Grand Jury Report on local CRAs, done by the local state attorney.
>>> MPO Smart Plan video just released: http://www.miamidadempo.org/smartplan.asp
>>>PAST WDR: Record 15.5 million visitors help pay for JHS, Homeless Trust, the arts
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau celebrated a record year with 15.5 million visitors coming to South Florida and that is 6.4 percent growth and these people play a key funding role. Since we have a variety of sales taxes for the Homeless Trust, transportation and Jackson Health System, the Adrianne Arsht Center gets convention development taxes and this funding gets ginned up by these visitors and also helps pay for some of the $6 billion debt at MIA.
>>> In China Miami becoming education destination, UM said to have some “1, 000,” students from China, big business at $50,000. Tuition
Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz led a trade delegation along with the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor Bureau to S. Korea, China and Taiwan and Diaz called it a very successful trade delegation and County staffer Manny Gonzalez said in China especially there is “a shortage of colleges,” and the University of Miami has some “1,000,” students from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and their tuition is around some $50,000 said Gonzalez and Diaz noted “no public funds,” were involved for the trade delegation and it will be seen if Diaz, becomes the county’s sinologist in residence when it comes to the growing Middle Kingdom.
What did FIU President Mark Rosenberg say to the Miami-Dade County Commission about China? CITIZEN’S PRESENTATION BY FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY’S PRESIDENT MARK B. ROSENBERG ON ”OPPORTUNITIES FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COLLABORATION”
Incoming Greater Miami Chamber President Marc Rosenberg, Ph.D. the president of Florida International University (FIU) gave a passionate citizen’s presentation in front of the Miami-Dade Commission and the role the Peoples Republic of China is playing in South Florida and how he believes just as foods are from all parts of South America the community needs to foster the availability of great Asian cuisine if we are to effectively lure a greater number of Asian tourists and a direct flight from Miami is a must and Cathay Pacific is looking at a long distance aircraft for such a flight but is still up in the air. However FIU has an extensive presence in the Middle Kingdom including a school of hospitality in Tianjin and for more on FIU go to www.fiu.edu
>>> MD-C IG publishes 2015 annual report also keeps watch on public schools district,
The Miami-Dade County Office of the inspector General Mary Cagel has issued their 2015 annual report and the Watchdog agency created in 1997 amid numerous scandals also keeps watch of the public schools district and a host of county’s 25 departments including Jackson health system and to read the annual report go to http://www.miamidadeig.org/annualreports/2015AnnualReport.pdf
What about P3 projects and Burgess & negative comments by Stierheim on strong mayor form of government Merrett?
Long serving professional manager and solid public servant Merrett Stierheim spoke against a strong mayor form of government at a Commission Committee meeting. He noted he left in 2000. After Mayor Alex Penelas was reelected and prior there were scandals “a month, “and the “concern,’ was Penelas could lose his 2000 reelection because of the scandals “and “we cleaned the place up,” under his administration and Stierheim was brought into to establish trust with the community and clean it up. Stierheim said and when he left he gave Penelas a list of names which he ignored, Stierheim said to Commissioner Rebeca Sosa who brought up the matter. But Penelas later named Steve Shiver as the new manager, and Stierheim “went into mourning,” and “did not have a Christmas tree.” That year. Because he believed Shiver was “eminently unqualified,” for the massive job with 27, 0000 employees and 11 unions and 13 commissioners (and Shiver got confirmed on a split vote) He mourned because the professional management corps Stierheim fostered was being treated badly by the former Homestead mayor and it was a very political administration with patronage blossoming. And Stierheim believes there should be a “criteria,” of what a manager should be including a good communicator and “respecting” the “legislature,” and believed an executive manager form of government is better and more stable since an elected mayor may not have the skills to run such an unwieldy enterprise. And the manager’s power is not unlimited and that argument is no more than “smoke,” since a mayor if he is a leader has “the bully Pulpit,” if there is leadership and he noted most of the new infrastructure you see around the county today was done under this strong manager form of government and the results are not that bad, noted long serving Commissioner Javier Souto. Look at the resurgence of downtown Miami. But Sosa wanted the issue debated and she asked it be deferred so it could come back later in front of the body.
A ghost from the past, at county hall Mgr. Burgess gives update on P3 Task Force findings
And former Manager George Burgess the lead lobbyist for Becker Polokoff spoke on P3 projects and a task force recommendations on possible such projects with the Miami Tunnel the most visible example. But Burgess also said P3 projects are complex and are all different and not for every project he insisted. However, Burgess is still dealing with the Miami Marlins Stadium’s fiasco that finances out to some $2.6 billion and the man during the discussion refused to disclose the anticipated cost and his county career ended with past Mayor Carlos Alvarez who was recalled and Burgess left his job.
>>> Further, last week, A presentation by the Miami-Dade state delegation to Maim-Dade county commissioners was much warmer than years past when there was real tension between the County and its state legislators but hey are getting along now and the members were here when the county commissioners honored recalled County Commissioner Natasha Seijas for her work getting a livable wage ordinance passed in Miami-Dade and a usual she took a shot at The Miami Herald, and while she had been a fixture on the body in the end she enjoyed verbally slapping people down
Further, state Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Miami said after the Orlando massacre how the need to keep Ryder Trauma the areas only Level 1 Trauma center strong while Level 11 centers are popping up at Kendall Regional and Aventura Hospital all HCA private hospitals and Garcia wants to make sure Ryder which is a community jewel is fiscally strong since these other centers bleed off many paying cases like car crashes, versus Ryder which gets gunshots.
>>> Sosa wants to push for film incentives, blocked by state, productions go to Georgia, big economic impact
Film incentives that get vetoed or shot down in the Florida legislature was a hot topic and the county is looking at its own incentive program for movie people are going to Georgia to film and it is costing Miami-Dade millions in local community development revenue. And Commissioners Rebeca Sosa and Jose “Pepe” Diaz want to get the local state legislative delegation together, and also talk to Gov. Rick Scott and Enterprise Florida in a public sunshine meeting in the commission chambers, suggested Sosa last week and see if there was some way to end the stalemate in getting any film incentives money and funding. And the special Miami sun was what “brought the famous Jackie Gleason Show,” to Miami Beach said Diaz and the show put the Beach on the map back in the 1960s.
And who gets to have concessions at MIA had commissioners grilling MIA Director Emilio Gonzalez last week and commissioners Dennis Moss and Barbara Jordan asked if a local Creole restaurant had found a spot and commissioners have been beating on staff in what is a mystical process of becoming a concessionaire at the airport and had Commissioner Rebeca Sosa asking what she can say when asked about getting someone a concession.. Since in all her years on the dais she has never been involved with deals at MIA. And she did not know what to tell a resident, and frankly does not want to get into procurement and she has pushed for procurement reforms at the county and MIA, over her years in office.
>>> Mayor Gimenez should insist water and sewer repairs on roads should end with a smooth roadway, and be part of a repairs final inspection.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez could get a huge number of votes if county contractors doing the $10 to $20 billion in water and sewer repairs on the streets after they dug up the road asphalt that the new asphalt be done so there is a smooth road and not the rough uneven surface the road usually becomes and this is a big deal given the mammoth scope of the upcoming work and any final inspection should include a suitable final road surface for currently the streets are getting badly torn up and is a major complaint that I hear all the time.
>>> And here is what Lester Sola the director of Water and Sewer wrote regarding the matter of the torn up streets, “In response to your recent statement in The Watch Dog Report, I wanted to clarify the process that Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) undertakes in relation to paving roadways following construction projects. It is the policy of the department to leave an area better than they found it and to ensure the public’s safety and convenience. Currently, WASD also works with municipalities, local and state utilities/entities that also conduct roadwork to attempt to schedule projects simultaneously in order to minimize repeated cuts and repairs to roadways, as well as to mitigate traffic impacts.
For emergency repairs following an event such as a water main or sewer line break, WASD performs a temporary road repair will allow the roadway to be reopened to traffic. The department then submits a paving request to Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) for final restoration that is then completed in accordance to Public Work standards. I hope this information is useful to both you and your readership and whether this would be something that you would be inclined to update on your site for your audience. If you have any questions, please contact me,” wrote director sola last week.
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
>>> Child Advocate Modesto Abety throws hat into school board Dist. 6 race, for vacated seat held by Raquel Regalado running for county mayor
Child Advocate Modesto Abety filed to run for the school board District 6 seat vacated by Raquel Regalado and the man was the Children’s Trust of Miami Dade’s first CEO and is a solid candidate and worked at the county for years and is coming out of retirement for the race.
Family, friends, and colleagues for children: it’s official! I have qualified as a Candidate for Miami Dade County School Board; District #6 (the seat that Raquel Regalado is vacating to run for Miami Dade Mayor). After a couple of fabulous years of retirement, I am so excited to get back to advocating for children, families, and community full time, and I am so looking forward to fighting for teachers… It goes without saying… Cause you know me: I’m in it, to win it! Only 60 days to the election. It will be fast and furious. More soon…
>>> 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:
>>>> Here is the office of the inspector general’s annual report for the nation’s fourth largest public schools district
http://www.miamidadeig.org/2015MDCPS/SB%20ANNUAL%202015%20WEBSITE%20version.pdf And when it comes to oversight there are a number of mechanisms watching over the diverse public schools district and to read the IG report go to http://www.miamidadeig.org/2015MDCPS/SB%20ANNUAL%202015%20WEBSITE%20version.pdf
PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST
>>> AOA agreement with U university of Miami Miller Medical School gets heated over non-exclusive transplant agreement,
Calm voices and restrained tempers need to prevail at PHT board meetings these meetings cannot go back to old days when a major security presence was necessary. After CEO Ira Clark was replaced and there were contentious meetings and one was so packed that there was extensive security. And in this case there was a hot exchange between a UM physician and the PHT board Chair Joe Arriola who is known for his temper but this is a public setting where decorum is a must because in the past some of those meetings erupted into shouting and in that case back then racial undertones reigned and the volunteer board has done a remarkable job turning the health trust around and heated exchanges must maintain the decorum and not become the norm.
CITY OF MIAMI
>>> Commission Chair Hardeman storms off dais after elderly man mentions “Haitians,” his temper of concern, Chair apologizes on air later,
Miami Commissioner Chair Keon Hardeman walked off the dais in a huff after a man in a walker made some mention to the Haitian community last week and people are wondering about the former public defenders temper and whether being commission chair is his calling after being appointed by Mayor Tomas Regalado.
>>> Upcoming Sea Level Solution meetings-Please see the following list of upcoming events this month, more details for which can be found on our Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC) Events Calendar.
Tomorrow (Friday, June 3), an information session will be held at 2pm in the Miami Beach City Hall 4th Floor (City Manager’s Large Conference Room), to discuss a Grant Opportunity for Environment and Sustainability.
The City of Miami Sea Level Rise Committee will next meet on Tuesday (June 7), at 6 PM in the Miami City Hall Commission Chambers. Hope to see you there!
And on the following Saturday (June 11), the 14th Annual Fishing Tournament and Dock Party will take place at Shake A Leg Miami. The Dock Party is open to the public at 3:30pm and features food, music and activities. There will be activities for all ages. Join the fun for a good cause, and register here!
Last but not least, the FIU School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) is proud to present work done by undergraduate students in a recent Spring Visual Storytelling course that contributed to the FIU Digital Commons, by curating research, storytelling, art, and communication related to work on sea level rise conducted by FIU faculty, students, and staff. Their project is titled, “Submerging the Sunshine: Explore Sea Level Rise in South Florida” and categorizes stories of rising seas into four main narratives that highlight FIU’s work on this pressing issue.
Some of the media captured, digitized, and archived for this project includes what’s been published on eyesontherise.org and work conducted in other units at FIU. Students in this course were introduced to cultural themes of visual communication, museums, and libraries. Through practical application and collaboration, they created digital narratives, using the content that is already in – and that was added to – the collections to make the archives approachable and sharable for wider audiences.
But they are not done, and THEY NEED YOU:
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Robert Gutsche Jr. (email@example.com) for more information, or to add the work of your units or recommend others.
As always, you can visit our SLSC website for more info, or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions and/or recommendations for other events to include.
http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2015/11/francis-suarez-sworn-into-office-makes-case-for-new-miami.html an here is a video of Miami PD doing the running man challenge very funny especially the end and has 179,000 views as of last week.https://twitter.com/wsvn/status/731197152110616576
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
>>> Attorney Gongora goes for the gold wants to replace retired Sen. Margolis in Fla. upper house, works at high profile law firm, failed in his bid for mayor a few years ago
And former Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora has announced he is running for Sen. Dist. 38 previously held by retiring Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Miami, and Gongora failed to become Mayor of the beach losing a few years back to Mayor Philip Levine and he is an attorney at Becker Polokoff, a prominent municipal law film and was spotted a while ago at a Brickell homeowners meeting along with former Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, and it is surprising Sarnoff did not jump into this senate race once Margolis announced she was withdrawing and the other candidates are state Rep. Daphne Campbell Anis Lemur, former mayor Kevin Burns, Don Festge Jason Pizzo ound out the field looking to replace Margolis in the state’s up house. Here is more on the race http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article85808552.html
>>> 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.