Around Town – Early October 2017

Miami's Community Newspapers
Executive Editor Michael Miller
Executive Editor Michael Miller

Couldn’t help but notice Horace Feliu and his band of merry men mapping out, what looks like, the plan to unseat the current mayor of South Miami, Phil Stoddard. Yes, Horace is serious this time around.

He’s got his team(s) in place and is actively working on becoming the mayor once again of the City of Pleasant Living. One thing is for sure, that the longer the current commission is in place, the worse it is for the current mayor. Phil, for the most part is surrounded by a bunch of old timers whose time has come and gone. They’re holding back any hope for progress that the mayor might have been thinking about. This commission has been named, “the do nothing commission”. Let’s see, who is the leader of the do-nothing commission? It’s always the mayor, and in this case, it’s Phil Stoddard. Nothing against Phil, except he has not been able to get things done. This is mostly because those old timers are just bent on holding back the city by whatever means they can.

Nothing against the team leader, the mayor, or the administration, but the whole commission ought to consider calling it a day. They should just resign and give a whole new team an opportunity to move the city forward.

Oh and yes, isn’t it about time that that a woman is back on the commission? How about if she was Hispanic, and imagine if she became mayor of our fine city… sorry, Horace.

ROKBRGR has been tucked away in the heart of South Miami for a few years now. Located right on the corner of 58th Avenue and 73rd Street, the burger bar + gastropub is known for its decadent burgers that nearly reach the ceiling. Not only does the place have burgers to die for, but nearly everything on their menu is bound to take your taste buds to heaven, including sweet potato wedges, and comfort food galore. My personal favorite, the Sweet Caroline is the epitome of what a burger should be. Vermont cheddar, short rib, creamy coleslaw, fried onion strings and bbq sauce all topped on an angus beef patty. Lord have mercy. Oh, and on Mondays, all the burgers on the menu are just $10. It’s a win-win situation, so if you haven’t already sat down for a meal at ROKBRGR, I highly suggest for you to give it a shot. You owe it to yourself.

Now here’s some fabulous news. Happy to report that one of our favorite spots in town for a great outing with friends and neighbors, Casa Cuba Restaurant, is also super friendly to our gay and lesbian neighbors. Last month, Casa Cuba continued its long tradition of hosting a happy hour event for a group called Coral GAYbles that organizes mixers for “like-minded men and women” 12 times a year at local restaurants in South Miami, Coral Gables, and the Kendall/Dadeland area.

More than 100 mostly professional folks in our GLBT community – and friends of the gays – were treated to drink specials and hot appetizers at the restaurant on SW 73rd to exchange ideas on a social or business level – or to just to find a nearby place to meet with friends who live or work in the area.

The group has been in existence for more 15 or 20 years, offering members of the local GLBT community a safe and convenient place to gather, since there apparently aren’t many exclusive gay-bars or restaurants left in the Miami metro area – outside Miami Beach.

Coral GAYbles monthly socials are held at a different restaurant the first Wednesday of every month, 6 – 9 p.m. The October gathering was at Villagio Restaurant in Merrick Park. And while the Nov. 1 venue has yet to be announced, you’ll find out soon at, where you may also register to receive e-newsletters announcing upcoming socials and other events.

The John S. and James L. Knight foundation has committed $2.5 million to organizations fighting fake news and the idea of fake news I believe it started when Dan Rather of CBS ran a story on George Bush II that turned out to be wrong and after that mistake broke a republican candidate when I was interviewing said “are you going to Rather me?” I joked back you want me to FOX you and that blunder on Rathers part started the bowl rolling and Brian Williams added to the fire when he embellished his military coverage and saying he had been under fire which was not true.

When it came to cleaning up the county with debris, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the county has 1,600 miles of roads on private property and while the county picks up the trash they have to get a memo of understanding from these many developments. 

FEMA does not reimburse all expenses and clear documentation must be provided and ice is excluded as well as tree replacement something county Commissioner Dennis Moss wants the county to help with to reestablish down trees and try to keep as much of the county canopy as possible but it is clear it will be awhile before Miami-Dade gets back on its feet and at the first public budget meeting very well attended millennials and others talked about the need for a better transit system and objected to funding cuts in the system. Further after Andrew FEMA had to write off billions in federal aid back then and the city of Miami essentially used some of this money to run the city and that will not be the case this time because money is scarce versus back then. 

What about the massive citizen participation at the long meeting and how millennials and community based organizations (CBO) have bed the “safety net, “lifeline for so many needy in the county providing critical services from the elderly to the community’s youth, Further the county commissioners with Gimenez dissected how the county did and how the county departments did. Gimenez said the county worked closely with the public schools district and that 42 shelters were opened very quickly. However the mayor thought in the future they should identify an ice source and carped that elected officials giving out water was odd since there was no boil water issued and the county’s water was just fine, he said. These last few items were provided by the  


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