Elections, zoning top issues in last half of 2014

Elections, zoning top issues in last half of 2014

Activist Al Sunshine vows to stop Coral Reef Commons project during a KFHA meeting.

Stories making headlines during the final six last months of 2014 focused on the environment and off-year election as Daniella Levine-Cava won the Miami- Dade Commission District 8 race in a short but occasionally bitter fight with incumbent Lynda Bell.

The Florida Department of Transportation began Krome Avenue four-laning while environmental interests lodged protests against Coral Reef Commons development on former University of Miami pine rockland near Zoo Miami, as well as proposed “Ludlam Trail” greenway on abandoned Florida East Coast Railroad tracks in East Kendall. Those and other stories made headlines in the Kendall Gazette from July to December 2014.

Florida Department of Transportation earmarks $496 million over five years to four-lane Krome Avenue with 40-foot median for 30-mile section from SW Eighth Street to SW 298th Street in Homestead…Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations hears newcomer candidate Daniella Levine-Cava accuse Commissioner Lynda Bell of “pay to play” politics as battle begins for District 8 seat…Mosaic at Venetian Park opens sales of 301 estate and townhomes off SW 176th Street…New air-conditioned Miami-Dade County “Hope Express” pet trailer visits four Kendall parks, urging adoptions of strays.

Daniella Levine-Cava’s ousts incumbent Lynda Bell for District 8 Commission seat in Aug. 26 primary…Community Council 11 chair Patricia “Shannen” Davis loses seat to Jose Miguel Soto as does Council 12’s Albert Santana to Daniel Diaz… Commissioner Juan Zapata pledges $400,000 for SW 152nd Avenue street lighting, north of Kendall Drive; says special tax district needed to light SW 154th Avenue, a designated “high crime area” abutting Olympic Park…Coral Reef Senior High School music teacher John Rose retires after 40-year career…Newly named “Debbie Curtin Park” gets $865,000 budget to improve barren “Palm Glades” field at 22820 SW 117 Ave.

Crowds jam Miami Baptist Church to see FDOT plans to extend Dolphin Expressway from SW 137th Avenue to Krome Avenue… Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport renamed “Miami Executive Airport” as urged by FOB operators to boost traffic…$ 15 million will build Camp Matecumbe community park and camping site next to S W 120th Street rockland pine preserve…Protests grow against Walmart and Coral Reef Commons development replacing rock pineland off SW 152nd Street after developer Peter Cummings appears at noisy KFHA meeting…James L. Marshall and Dr. Wylamerle Marshall honored as Richmond Heights pioneers…Palace resident Viola Smallwood publishes The Saga of Missy the Cat at age 85.

Hundreds protest proposed “Ludlam Trail” conversion of 100-foot wide abandoned FEC right-of-way to greenway with residential/ commercial uses… Commissioner Zapata puts West Kendall incorporation study on hold until MAC study committee combines areas north and south of Kendall Drive between SW 137th Avenue and Krome Avenue… Miami Baptist Church opens new Saturday Farmer’s Market from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m… Jose Diaz, Jaqueline Wheelock receive “First Generation” $1,000 scholarships at G. Holmes Braddock High School.

Repubublican challenger Carlos Curbelo defeats Democrat incumbent Joe Garcia for U.S. House of Representatives District 26 seat…Thousands attend fifth Miami Soccer Festival at Kendall Soccer Park as Alan Georgeson continues five-year $2 million investment in Soccer 5 for Miami-Dade youth… CAC-Florida Medical Center opens 14,779-square-foot multi-specialty clinic at 15516 SW 88 St. in West Kendall…Open Road Tolling starts Nov. 15 on Dolphin and Gratigny Xways, last two of five MDX toll roads implementing ORT… Kendall joggers join “Steps for Healing”5K raising $90,000 for Children’s Bereavement Center… Alfredo and Helga Ona mark 35- year history of Simbad’s Birds and Pets store at 7201 Bird Rd.

By a 8-3 vote, Commissioners join FECI to co-plan Ludlam Trail greenway and order January charrettes for resident input…Bikers view planning for 75-mile “River of Grass” trail from West Kendall to East Naples as $1 million feasibility study begins…$835,000 will fund extension of SW 157th Avenue biking and walking trail… Commissioner Zapata lauded by colleague Xavier Suarez for proposing $78 million from GOB funds for Courthouse repairs after voters defeat taxing referendum Nov. 4…KFHA hosts “Farm Share” area kids for fourth year at Dec. 12 holiday party…Former West Kendall activist Martha Backer begins watch-dogging Jacksonville government after family relocation to North Florida.

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