Are there more depositions around the corner?

The Russians have arrived (according to our frequently fallible sources) and have been “singing like canaries” to the government folks on NW 12th Ave. It seems as though they’ve given enough information to warrant further investigation into some activities that occurred a few years back in the City of Pleasant Living. Oops… Did I actually write that?

Last week, the folks over at Lee Park condominium got some welcomed relief when South Miami and Metro Dade County Cops did a walk through around 8 pm and surprised a whole bunch of guys that were hanging out. It sounds like some 15-20 folks were detained for a while and four or so were arrested. “Well done and about time,” say several longtime residents who wanted to remain anonymous.

And speaking of cops, former chief of police Orlando Martinez de Castro got canned a few weeks ago, for some total BS, but he isn’t going away so fast. It seems as though a judge recently ruled in his favor and said his lawsuit against the current mayor, Phil Stoddard can go forward, An interesting point of this particular lawsuit (and there are a few) is that Stoddard is being sued personally for some alleged statements he made or wrote and that the judge said that he was not acting in his capacity as mayor of the city. So it looks like, as of today, is that Stoddard just might not be able to get the city to pay his attorney fees and anything else that might follow. But as the saying goes, it “aint over till it’s over.”

The stress factor and paranoia over at city hall continues, as the police department has a new boss and some old regime folks leave, but the big stressor is that the election is coming up in February, 2014 with the mayor’s seat and two commission seats are up for grabs.

Story around town is that a drug store chain is looking to open up on the north side of Sunset Drive on SW 62 Ave. Golly Gee folks, wouldn’t a nice, a one or two story 10-12,000-square-foot drug store with plenty of parking to serve the community. I wonder if the city leaders (now that’s an oxymoron) could support that. And for the purpose of full disclosure, our offices are located on SW 62 Ave just north of Sunset Drive.

The Beacon Council recently announced that Larry K. Williams has been chosen to be the new President and Chief Executive Officer

“Our dedicated search committee, led by Chair-elect Sheldon Anderson, was committed to matching our dynamic community with an experienced professional of the highest caliber. Larry clearly fits that bill,” said Joseph W. Pallot, Chair of The Beacon Council and General Counsel for HEICO Corporation. “I’m honored to welcome Larry and his wife Pamela to The Beacon Council and Miami-Dade County.” Williams brings a wealth of economic development experience and a proven ability to attract and retain businesses of all sizes, including startups and those in the Information Technology industry. Starting Oct. 7, Williams will be responsible for leading and further developing and implementing the strategy of The Beacon Council, a public-private partnership created in 1985 to attract companies to Miami-Dade County in order to create jobs for residents.

Before coming to The Beacon Council, Williams worked as an economic development professional in Atlanta, Seattle and Raleigh in a span of about 20 years. He was Vice President of Technology Industry Development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Assistant Director of International Trade and Economic Development for the Washington State Department of Commerce, and rose through the ranks to Director of Operations of the International Trade Division for the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Williams is a graduate of North Carolina State University, and the Darlington School. Williams also studied in Costa Rica and speaks Spanish. While in Atlanta, Williams lead the strategy and growth of the technology industry, which includes such giants as AT&T Mobility, NCR and IBM. He also provided direction for the Mobility Task Force and Technology Leadership Council. During his time with the Washington State Department of Commerce, Williams was appointed by Gov. Christine Gregoire to serve on her executive cabinet and act as co-chair of the newly created Washington State Tourism Commission. There, he recruited industry leaders to serve on a global competitiveness council, which created a report that served as the basis of a 10-year economic initiative for the State of Washington.

The Search Committee for The Beacon Council, which included members of the board, said many well-credentialed local and national candidates applied, but Williams stood out for his leadership, consensus building and communication skills. “His experience and leadership in Washington State, coupled with his time in Latin America, and recent leadership in the development of the technology sector in Atlanta will serve The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County, our businesses, and residents very well,” Pallot said.

Pallot also praised Robin Reiter-Faragalli, a past Chair of The Beacon Council, who accepted the role of Interim President in March to facilitate the transition of the organization during the search. “Robin’s strong leadership and guidance, along with the experience and expertise of The Beacon Council staff, made the transition seem effortless,” Pallot said. “Under her direction, the organization continued its mission to bring job-generating investments to Miami- Dade County and worked with partners to enhance long-term projects.”

The Search Committee members included: The Beacon Council Co-Founder Sidney Levin; Chair Joseph W. Pallot of HEICO Corporation; Chair-Elect Sheldon Anderson of Northern Trust; Past Chairs, Adolfo Henriques of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust and Alex Villoch of Miami Herald Media Company; Co-Chair of One Community One Goal Art Torno of American Airlines; Executive Committee Members Donna Abood of Colliers International South Florida and Jaret Davis of Greenberg Traurig LLP; Board Member Ed Holden of Wells Fargo, and Chair of the New Leaders Taskforce Fabiola Fleuranvil of Blueprint Creative Group. >>> About The Beacon Council -The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s official economic development partnership, is a not-for-profit, public-private organization that focuses on job creation and economic growth by coordinating community-wide programs; promoting minority business and urban economic revitalization; providing assistance to local businesses in their expansion efforts; and marketing Greater Miami throughout the world. For more information, visit www.beaconcouncil. com.

Jackson Health System (JHS) President and CEO Carlos Migoya and his team have hammered out the lowest in cost University of Miami Miller Medical School Annual Operateing Agreement since 2008 when it came in at $138.8 million versus the upcoming year’s $102.5 million agreement approved by the PHT board on Thursday. The Miller Medical School physicians, and over 1,000 residents provide a host of world-class medical services, but the Jackson Health System has had to scale back some aspects of past agreements, and hired some of its own physicians to reduce costs. Moreover, this new agreement includes a more accurate reconciliation of the medical services provided by UM than some of the other agreements over the past 17 years that the Watchdog Report has watched and covered JHS. UM Medical School representatives said it was a good agreement and they’re was a lot of “working together” to craft the document for the year that started Jun. 1. Which is the UM budget year, but past agreements in years past went way past that June deadline and actually had JHS owing the university millions of dollars in credits that have been paid down over the years.

And since UM is the single largest vendor JHS has and provides the bulk of the medical firepower that made the health trust number one in South Florida in a national magazine ranking recently. The past over 50 year relationship changed dramatically in 2007, when UM bought the old Cedar’s Sinai Hospital across the street from the Jackson main campus, and both institutions have been trying to work out some of the issues since that acquisition of the hospital.

The Good Government Initiative at the University of Miami Invites you to a Community Conversation & Luncheon. Gaily Forward: The History and Future of LGBT Rights in South Florida Wednesday, September 18, 2013, Hurricane 100 Room at UM Bank United Center 1245 Dauer Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146 11:30 a.m. registration, 12 p.m. lunch 12:30 p.m. Conversation. Join Ruth Shack, President Emeritus, Miami Foundation; Jorge Mursuli, Organizer of the 1998 Human Rights Campaign; Rick Siclari, Executive Director, Care Resource; Jared Payne, President, SpectrUM; Elizabeth Schwartz, Esq., Attorney, Sobe Law; Tony Lima, Executive Director, SAVE Dade; as they discuss the history of LGBT issues: from the passage of the 1977 anti-discrimination ordinance to the health issues related to the gay community, DOMA, transgender legislation and campus life for LGBT students. Moderated by Katy Sorenson, President and CEO of the Good Government Initiative. Ticket Prices: $35 Individual Ticket, $30 GGI Member* $50 GGI Contributor (Individual Ticket + $15 donation) $500 Table of 10 (Sponsor Table) $20 Concerned Citizen $15 Student (with student ID) *made a donation of at least $100 this year Register Now! To pay by check please send to: 1320 South Dixie Highway, Suite 911, Coral Gables, FL 33146, no later than Wednesday, Sept 4th. The last three items were provided by

Thought of the Day:

We make a living by what we get… But we make a life by what we give.

— Winston Churchill

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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