Around Town

Ran into two very happy ladies the other day at Deli Lane. These two South Miami Hospital staffers, Cristi Stiltner-Angulo and Aleida Hernandez, were singing the praises of working at THE #1 hospital in South Florida and of Lincoln Mendez, the hospital’s CEO. It’s quite the honor for the hospital’s staff and patients, as well as our entire community, that South Miami Hospital received this honor from U.S. News & World Report.

By the way, among other things, Cristi is on the Santa’s Parade of Elves committee and we are counting on her to make this year’s parade the best one yet. This much-loved community event will be held Sunday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m., in the heart of South Miami.


Vice Mayor Josh Liebman and Pace Team Coordinator Paul Miller at the Chicago Marathon. By the way, thanks guys for taking us along.

Vice Mayor Josh Liebman completed his 95th marathon in Chicago on Sunday, October 7. He is well on his way towards an auspicious goal of running his 100th finish line at the ING Miami Marathon on January 27, 2013.

Although it was another great athletic success for Josh, unfortunately while he was away he lost his beloved best friend, Max, the sweetest Black Labrador Retriever in South Miami.

Beloved Max… RIP

“This is part of my countdown to 100,” said Josh. “A marathon is as much mentally challenging as it is physically. In this case it was emotionally challenging. As a Pace Leader many people were counting on me to complete the race. I was reassured that Max would be just fine when I got home but I was really torn being away from him. Knowing he was suffering made it all the more difficult.”

I know so many of our hearts are breaking right along there with you Josh but know that Max knew your schedule and that you had to go. It was his time and perhaps with your distance, it made it easier for him to leave this earth while you were away. This often happens with the infirm, they wait until family is not present to pass because otherwise they try to hold on for them and continue suffering. You gave him permission to go home and rest in peace.


A recent posting on The Watchdog Report listed an announcement that the Rosie Lee Wesley Health Center at 6601 SW 62 Avenue has ended “years of outsourcing at facility” and as of October 1 decided to instead staff the center with Jackson employees. The press release said in part: “Jackson employees will once again begin operating Rosie Lee Wesley Health Center, one of Jackson’s primary care clinics in South Miami. Most of the operations at Rosie Lee Wesley were outsourced years ago-part of a pilot project to determine whether a contracted model would provide the best quality and efficiency for Jackson’s full line of primary care centers.” Kudos to the folks at Jackson for the courage to admit they made a mistake outsourcing the health center and welcome back home team.


Good news from city hall! The city has taken a huge step in the right direction by allocating $30,000 to the South Miami Drug Free Coalition. Nice move, but not enough considering that the big bucks didn’t come directly from their own pocket but rather from the SMPD Forfeiture Fund. However I do pay homage to their efforts to send a message.

But wait a moment, we can’t stop at that… there is a complimentary effort now needed from the commission. Let’s have them put their money where their mouth is so to speak, by asking each commissioner to donate $100 from their own pocket to the cause so the total is $30,500.

Then, let’s have the commish’s take the drug test walk like cops do, new employees often do, and by the way are South Miami city employees subject to random drug tests does anyone know? Again, I have no reason to believe that any sitting city commissioner, (nor any past commissioners) have ever smoked or ingested any illicit drug. Now let’s prove it.

Can you imagine the positive publicity… perfect photo opp of the entire commission in chambers with a giant cardboard check to the Drug Free Coalition. Then we can announce the commissioner’s drug test results as a symbolic gesture of support to the cause. The picture can run on the city web site, be sent to local schools, maybe go viral on Facebook, and I’ll just betcha Community Newspapers will also run it on the front page of South Miami News and other papers

The city can even start their own campaign to encourage other municipalities like Miami Beach for example, to do the same thing. Well I was just thinking it would be a cool idea and I am willing to lead the charge. If we do it on Halloween I can wear my Reefer Madness Cape! But let’s try to get it done before my holiday buzz please.


Last issue I sent a shout out to SoMi to please email me with ideas for creative solutions on how to bring a dose of positivity to city hall. Some of the responses were interesting, fun, and unusual. My favorite was from Mayor Philip Stoddard who wrote:

“Last commission meeting had only 4 on the dais. We finished the agenda by 10pm. Walter said good night, and Josh and Bob both commented to me that this was the first commission meeting in their time in office that was pleasant.

How about that. Seems we don’t need team building games after all, so long as the dais is populated with civil personalities.

Keep emailing those ideas for solutions to the negativism at city hall by sending an email with subject title “let peace prevail” to and if you have the most practical and original solution you and a guest will win a dinner at a South Miami Restaurant. South Miami staff and commissioners are especially encouraged to submit ideas. BTW if any restaurants want to jump in and compete by submitting their own ideas for peace and maybe even sponsor the dinner, we can work with that too. Perhaps it can become a “let peace prevail” party and we can bring a soapbox and mike and give all guests a chance to share their ideas? Hmmm…

Thought for the Day:

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.

—Anatole France

Raquel Garcia contributed to this column.

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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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