Couldn’t help but see Cong. Carlos Curbelo and former FIU president Mitch Maidique at Deli Lane chatting up a storm with another gentlemen, as I plopped myself down within earshot. Wow! My gossip radar was up and in full operational mode, listening and watching. Then, much to my chagrin, former South Miami Mayor Horace Feliu comes by, takes a seat and starts yapping about next year’s city election, indicating it may be the year of his great political comeback. So, I sat there politely listening to his hyperbole for at least 10 minutes while the congressman and his guests finished their breakfast and left. Shucks! My one big chance to listen in on big league stuff was squashed, thanks in part to friend Horace. But wait — there’s more.
The political season in South Miami is now heating up and the air is thick with rumors of a City Hall takeover by a bunch of Never-Been-Elected-Before newbie’s (except for Horace). The trio open for opposition are Mayor Phil Stoddard who will go for another twoyear term, Bobby “The Bobble Head” Welsh, looking for four more years, and Josh (“I’m not a politician”) Leibman, all of whom have put on quite an act, led by Top Banana Bobby with Stoddardattempting to maintain a peaceful balance, and Josh somehow becoming a favorite of sorts, adding his two cents to the mix. “The Joshua,” as friends call him, has done an admiral job and will probably be re-elected. (I must feel a bit like a lot of residents do about a guy who has run some 100 marathons and inspired thousands to be more than they thought they could be). Okay, enough good stuff about Josh.
BTW: Come February, some folks may still like to get a new commission but I gotta tell ya’ that any anti-incumbent movement is so slow it seems to be going sideways. So, if the “We Hate City Hall” handful of lost souls is looking for a rallying cause, they’d better get on the stick now or else the incumbent musketeers will be there for another term or two or more!
Speaking of having a good time, about 1,800 walkers, joggers and runners went for a 3.1 mile jaunt around our city. The Twilight Run on May 31 brought out a healthconscious crowd that included youngsters of all ages as well as moms and dads pushing baby-strollers, all having lots of fun with a live band starring Bruce Turkel. Tables galore were filled with nutritional refreshments including watermelons, oranges. bananas and my personal favorite, Subway cookies (if one is good, then three or four are even better). During my jogging journey, ran into Margaret Ward (all-forgiving wife of Richard Ward), Jerry Proctor, Fred Truby, Margaret Sotham, Joe Moya and John Edward Smith, the latter napping pix for his magazine.
I’m told that, as always, Josh Liebman was there, as was Gabriel Edmond (my favorite Commish) and family. Looked high and low for, but just couldn’t find South Miami Hospital CEO Lincoln Mendez, but pretty sure he was there as SMH was one of the big event sponsors.
And yes, I ran into an ol’ running buddy, too, but not sure if I ever thanked her enough for helping me when I needed it the most. Her guiding and supporting light, is as bright as ever and back when the skies were dark and the path seemed unclear, her light helped me to see a world filled with gratitude and appreciation. Many, many thanks again.
Looks like the corner property at S.W. 62 Ave. and Sunset Dr. is under contract for purchase by Oxford Universal. The former gas station site sits right between two parcels owned by Baptist Health which has tried to purchase the corner but, alas, no deal has come about (yet). The Oxford folks have apparently snatched this critical piece right out of the hands of the hospital giant and it should be interesting to see how the property will be developed under Oxford ownership.
As of the moment, I hear it may become a physicians’ office building perhaps with its own surgical center, which makes me wonder what health care provider (other than Baptist) will get naming rights for a building slated to go up right next to (and across the street from) a Baptist Health Medical office building and South Miami Hospital. Some folks bet it would carry the University of Miami name while others guess Mt. Sinai Hospital or HCA (which owns Kendall Regional Medical Center, Mercy and Aventura Hospitals) will go for naming rights, or at the very least, a dominant sign displaying its presence. Should that happen, it could qualify as a major medical coup, although even today, Baptist still has an opportunity to snatch the property from competitors. “It ain’t over til’ the fat lady sings!” is the tune we’re still hearing.
Thought of the Day:
We can draw lessons from the past, but we cannot live in it.
— Lyndon B. Johnson
Gary Alan Ruse contributed to this column.
Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669-7355, ext. 249, or send emails to Michael@communitynewspapers.com.