Thursday, October 02, 2014

Urban Envrionment League's Onion Awards. By Geniusofdespair

2014 Onion Awards were not announced previously. Orchids were.

The Urban Environment League held its annual Orchids and Onions awards event Tuesday evening September 30, 2014 at the Coral Gables Museum.

The featured speaker was newly elected County Commissioner Daniella Levina Cava. In her remarks Cava noted that “Miami is an iconic place, and let's make sure we continue to lift up not only its amazing diversity of culture and design, but also its natural beauty, making it accessible to residents as well as visitors.”

Guests heard a list of those who were awarded Orchids for their role in preserving Miami’s waterfront, its public spaces, more open public processes, and trying to retain historic and archaeological places. Several Onions were also awarded for questionable actions by public officials, a developer and by the University of Miami for its sale of environmentally sensitive land in South Dade.

UEL Vice President Gregory Bush noted the many struggles that the organization has been involved in over the past eighteen years. It was founded trying to stop the American Airlines Arena from being built on the public waterfront land. Involved in the design process for Bicentennial Park (now Museum Park) and Virginia Key, the UEL has also been one of the leading organizations calling for more well planned park systems as we as the preservation of the Urban Development Boundary Line.

Denialism, November elections and Florida's future … by gimleteye

How do you make a post-partisan appeal to vote against Rick Scott?

Daniel Tilson, for Context Florida, tries: what you need to find is your "fire in the belly" to change "the current course of history in Florida." Tilson takes a curious, soft course in "Here's why you should vote in the Florida election on Nov. 4th". He refrains from laying rubber on the road like Jeb Lund in Rolling Stone and his recent, devastating, "The Florida Farce: Rick Scott v. Charlie Crist".
"Look to a Ponzi state running eternally on the next out-of-town sucker, administered by a gerrymandered GOP hammerlock and overseen by a man who the president of Public Policy Polling once said could be trounced by "a ham sandwich." That man is Florida Governor Rick Scott, who bought one election and feels like having another, who — depending on your point of view — makes the Sunshine State either more of a national punchline than it already is, or a paradise where every political malignancy can sizzle and bloat before coming home to fuck up wherever it is you live."

That's not Tilson's game. He takes another course. Tilson aims at a post-partisan appeal. He tenderizes his readers, prefacing that he won't scold. He won't whine. He even holds an olive branch while reaching for the complainers, perhaps the libertarians or even Tea Party faithful who initially flocked to vote for a governor precisely because he had never held an elected office and was worth a fortune. "This isn’t about fire in the belly to rock the vote. This is about fire in the belly to rock the boat."

But gently. Tilson's audience is also Fox News viewers who read. (Context Florida OPEDs are picked up and distributed to other Florida newspapers.) That is a small subset but large enough to swing an election. There are in fact more Fox News viewers than Rolling Stone could dream of and more than all the network news combined.

"Forget partisan politics," Tilson writes, trying to land a punch against Scott in a velvet glove. "Remember your family’s future."

Some of us, though, have been fighting for our family's future in Florida for decades with bubkas to show for it.

Thinking about this sad state and why one would need to treat the Fox News viewer sector with kid gloves turned me back to an email I had just received from a friend in China.

It landed in my inbox stuffed with unhelpful campaign fundraising appeals just before the final, crucial reporting period before the November election; a hail storm of dire warnings if we don't contribute this minute to upsetting the apple cart. Yes, that apple cart that won't tip.

My friend had just crossed over from Hong Kong to the mainland. If you haven't been watching the news, Hong Kong is in the grip of the most intense civil disobedience in decades. The protests have been peaceful, non-violent, and moved the needle of world financial markets -- more than its progenitor, Occupy Wall Street, ever did.

Here is what my friend wrote from China: "Greetings. This morning in Guangdong, we were able to see the protests on CNN International in our hotel room. By this afternoon CNN announces, "Next up, Hong Kong protests". Then the channel goes dark for ten minutes. That being said most business people are aware of the Hong Kong protests through the web. They do not agree with the sentiments of the protestors. They are quite up to speed on the difference between democracy and central control of government. They express concern at how messy and stressful democracy is for us in the United States. So I've come to think of it as if everyone in China gets their news as though from Fox TV. China is more like being inside a nation of Fox TV viewers than any place I've ever been."

Then my friend makes a worthy imaginative leap. "Would Fox News viewers in the United States really care if they were restricted from CNN? The very same CNN that both conservative Chinese and conservative Americans mutually dislike or are indifferent to. Fox TV viewers in the US have often said to me that they despise CNN and its viewers. Most American conservatives are as content without CNN as loyal Chinese citizens are content without news from a restive Hong Kong. An entire country without CNN is a Fox News viewer's dream come true."

But we are not in China. We are in Florida, the sunshine state of inertia. We know the path we are on, with Gov. Rick Scott. Sadly, it reminds me of a political statement I clipped from the magazine Adbusters in the mid-1990s long before 9/11 brought down the towers misted in background fog.

"… it seems most of us are crossing our fingers and simply hoping for the best"
That photo and its lament were published before the boom and bust, before the housing boom and bust, and even before Jeb Bush slipped into the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee. Fox News, Gov. Rick Scott, and the extremist right are selling a version of the future that deploys the background misted in the fog of fear, inertia, a TV commercial looping with such hypnotic force that nearly half of all voters are unwilling to budge their positions; either at the ballot box or from their barcaloungers.

Without delivering the hard truth, how do you get people to vote?

Daniel Tilson: Here’s why you should vote in the Florida election on Nov. 4
Context Florida

If you or folks you know are tuning out Florida’s 2014 midterm elections and don’t plan to vote, we need to talk.

No worries, there’ll be no scolding.

No finger wagging or whining about your civic duty.

No repetition of the “If you don’t vote, don’t complain!” line.

Far as I’m concerned, you never lose your right to complain.

I’m not about to lecture anyone about how our American ancestors fought and died to gain and protect our voting rights, or about how many other people worldwide have fought the same fights in their homelands.

This isn’t about knowing or honoring history.

This isn’t about fire in the belly to rock the vote.

This is about fire in the belly to rock the boat.

911: Miami Dade Police Department has problems with a failing Radio System. Guest Post

This is a memo without an author - Whistleblower...

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Former Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman Is All Tears as he Awaits Sentencing. By Geniusofdespair

Former Homestead mayor speaks about conviction on corruption charges If you don't see video try this link

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
Meanwhile, Attorney Ben Kuehne's other client, Michael Pizzi, is trying to get the Miami Lakes position of Mayor back...armed with a harshly worded opinion to Rick Scott from the Florida Supreme Court.

Flights to and from Ebola stricken nations? not so much … by gimleteye

The state of the world in a map: this morning's real time flight data. (courtesy of FlightRadar24)

Picture of the day: County Commissioner Javier Souto Alert Guy. By Geniusofdespair

No that is not County Commissioner Javier Souto sitting up in his coffin. It is him sleeping on the dais in September. He is waaay past his prime and pretty much an embarrassment.  But he was on the right side of the ban on fences in front yards, the ordinance Lynda Bell got repealed. That should be revisited.

  Good to know how alert the guy is. The public must have been speaking, he is all ears for developers.

Law Enforcement Discussion Group Targets Miami-Dade County. By Geniusofdespair

Leo Affairs.Com is a National blog/website/message board that identifies itself as the voice of Law Enforcement Online. They had a thread about Miami that I think you would all find worth reading, not surprising most were anonymous postings, so take what is said in that spirit. There is usually some truth in what is posted anonymously but don't take it as gospel. Their mission statement:
LEOAFFAIRS.COM™ got its start as an Officer Rights website, but soon became aware of the need for LEOs to talk candidly about law enforcement related topics without the fear of repercussion.  Thus, our Message Board area was born.
LEOAFFAIRS.COM™ basically consists of a Website and a Message Board area.  
Here is a post from 9/29/2014 with 2 comments:

38 transfers at Narcotics and ECU-the latest bureaus to be decimated by Mayor Gimenez

Once again the transfer grim reaper has gotten hold of our department. Late today, members of the Narcotics and ECU bureaus were scrambling to "find new homes" after being told they will be transferred in the immediate future. Of course for the most part these selective transfers are surgical in nature and target senior members of this department who are either on the drop or near their 25 year retirement date. The way Old Toothless sees it, when those guys opt for retirement he can employ three rookies off the street for what it costs to pay a senior member of this department. Sad thing is the experience loss in irreplaceable and it inevitably leads to a much younger department built on the image of our infamous deputy director. I truly hope that after putting in a full career in this department those young men and women who now come into this job are not cast aside as we currently are by some future mayor and forced to retire by an equally obtuse group of administrators.

Isn't there a drug-gang turf war going? Why the hell would you transfer all of the cops outta narcotics and gangs.

Because Gimenez does not give a damn about the turf-drug war going on in Black neighborhoods. Gimenez' interests lie with the "beautiful People" from Brickell and other affluent areas. Appointing J. D. Patterson MDPD director was an astute political move. Would the Black community criticize one of their own for being utterly inept? Hardly! For Gimenez, Patterson is and will continue to be an insurance policy. This is one of the many reasons why Gimenez must be RECALLED!

Is your in-box stuffed with campaign money appeals? … by gimleteye

The 2014 election cycle will go down in history.

One reason this election cycle is exceptional has to do with email.

If you ever gave political contributions over the web, this is the election cycle where the parties mastered algorithms to trigger a merciless assault of your in-box based on your giving history on the web.

If there was an appeal to fear that could be made in a word or two, to get your money on the web, it was used.

If there was an appeal to catastrophe that could be made in a word or two, to authorize your credit card or Paypal account, it was used.

If there was an appeal that you hadn't given yet, or had given lightly, or had ignored prior urgent emails from the Pope to the Emperor, it was used.

By the time the clock struck One, I was convinced this blatant, perverse assault on privacy was designed by an infiltrator from the opposition. A double agent tasked to suppress voters as cheaply as possible.

We always sigh, 'enough is enough!', but when it comes to money in American politics it is evident that enough is never enough.

The upcoming mid-term election is the most important in a generation. The flood of dark corporate money to the extremist right is driving a massive push for small donations.

Some of the email solicitations read like extortion. This feeling of violation competes with anger that one has to tamp down one's fury because the result of the upcoming elections could bring even worse to our nation.

I, for one, cannot wait for the election to be over. My in-box can't take it anymore.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reminder Orchids and Onions Meeting is TONIGHT! By Geniusofdespair

Please try to attend to honor these worthy people who get an orchid and see who gets the onion for being a general pain in the ass.  All are welcome to this event.

Friends of Ludlam Trail Ask You to Please Attend Ludllam Trail Meetings! Guest Post

Reminder: Meetings to Decide Fate of Ludlam Trail:

September 30, 6:30 p.m. Westchester Community Council (10); Ruben Dario Middle School, 350 NW 97 Avenue

October 20, 2 p.m. Planning Advisory Board; County Commission Chamber, 111 NW 1 Street
Email Commissioner Suarez, Commissioner Sosa, and Mayor Gimenez, and let them know we want a linear park and trail!

First Community Council Voted to Transmit with Recommendation of DENIAL! Two more to go!

Friends of the Ludlam Trail urges you to attend one of the upcoming Community Council meetings (listed to the left) where the future of the Ludlam Trail may be in question. FECI is seeking an amendment to the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) that will upzone the land and allow over 2,300 residential units to be built directly on the corridor. If this actually gets built it will have substantial impacts on traffic, community services, and the environment.

Despite seeking a significant bonus to their development capacity, there has been NO public planning process, nor has any plan been presented publicly that explains the project!

The proposal leaves many questions in the minds of FOLT members. What happened to the rail-to-trail and linear park that was proposed by Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Department? How can the land be rezoned with no master plan or public process? Review the proposal by following this link and let us know what you think.  190 pages...really!

GENIUS SAID: I think it is great, but I am not going to read 190 pages, I am just going by those I know who are supporting it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Latest From the Power Struggle For County Commission Chair. The Lobbying has Begun. By Geniusofdespair

Rebeca Sosa: Miami Dade County Commission Chair

They might not know who it is going to be the next Chair at the County but I think I know. Pepe Diaz won't be -- he hasn't had his epiphany yet. Taking too long -- and everyone will think he is too stupid to not have heeded God's warnings to him. Work on that transformation Pepe, then maybe next time.

Sally Heyman yells too much. I heard that Javier Souto is deathly afraid she is going to slug him when he goes into one of his long winded rants. He asked to be put on the other side of Zapata so he is afforded some protection by Juan. So forget both Souto and Heyman. I, however, would love to see Souto as the chair. Commission meetings would be 12 hours minimum. Such torture, such fun.

It won't be Juan Zapata, he disagrees too much although he and the mayor stirring it up would be fun to watch. I remember when Arthur Teele and Joe Carollo almost got into a fistfight on the City of Miami Dais. They both menacingly stood up to have a go at it. Those were the days. We need more of that. I had my money on the solid bodied Teele at the time, although Carollo was feisty and maybe faster.  In County politics I definitely would bet on Zapata over the Mayor.

I don't think it will be Xavier Suarez as we usually go Black, Hispanic Black, Hispanic.

So my best guess is Commissioner Audrey Edmonson. She is no longer one of the unreformable majority. She understands the manifestation of the divine nature of the UDB, Pepe. She finally realized that her district was being robbed and neglected by over-development out West. That got her off the bad list that Pepe Diaz is still on.

Audrey Edmonson: Next Miami Dade County Chair?

Vice chair? I think it will be Sally Heyman. She has been on the Commission a zillion years and we usually go white on Vice Chairs. Daniella Levine Cava would be a long shot, but so was Bell.

Rebeca (one 'C') did/is doing a good job. I think she will be running for Mayor next.

Nice Dress Audrey