La Carreta on the way!


The wait is almost over but it seems like eternity to many. While La Carreta is set to open next month, it’s only been some nine-plus months since the Miami chain took over Lario’s and, soon after, shut it down. Now modernized and refurbished, we’re guessing it’s going to look even better when the doors open in the new surroundings. It’s sure to bring back lots of folks who went elsewhere to don a Latino feedbag since the first of the year. For one, I can’t wait to order a really good espresso, a couple of pastelitos and dish of arroz con pollo prepared by a well-experienced Cuban team of chefs. And, oh yes, for those unaware, the location is on SW 73 St.k, right opposite our newly-remodeled Winn-Dixie supermarket.

Speaking of the new WD, went shopping there the other day and found it like other places claiming ‘shopping is a pleasure.’ Even the folks who work there seem happier. Lottsa smiling faces offer “May I help you, sir?” (the “sir” part comes with graying hair). Layout of the entire store is now easy to follow and a very fresh and colorful fruit and vegetable display hits your eyes, right as you walk in the front door. Then, while shopping, the wonderful aroma of baking goods (as well as just-cooked chicken wings) led me right to a section where, of course, some really harmless low calorie and obviously delicious pastries wound up in my cart, just to sweeten up my wife and grandson although a few main courses may wind up elsewhere. Overall, a great introduction to WD’s new look and a personal thanks to the WD foks for making my experience so delightful.

Ran into South Miami Police Officer Henry Guzman (you know, the singing cop who has belted out more patriotic songs at public events that even he can remember). Now, we can’t be more proud of him than ever because Henry has trimmed down a former heavy physique with a BIG weight loss, making him stronger and more muscular than ever with his near-svelte body frame. Gotta be happy for him and his family, too.

Vice MayorWalter Harris of our fair city recently spent time in a local hospital but in between seeing the doc’s and RN’s, he wouldn’t let hell or high water get in the way of performing his public duties. Wally was all set to go from bedside connected by modern technology (via phone) right into the commission meeting, voicing opposition to the Madison Square project. For the uninitiated, the proposed project at SW 64 St. and SW 59 Pl. has been bantered, chewed upon, discussed and addressed so many times over the past 10 years plus that someone could do a doctoral thesis on how local government can stiff the people who need it most. In my book, the city earns a big fat”F” on this one.

The last commission meeting brought a barrage of ordinances and changes that kept even the most ardent activist scrambling to react and respond.

Even the fact challenged, easily led by the nose, Commissioner “Bobble Head” Welsh showed signs of realizing that something might be amiss.

However, as I predicted in a previous article, the self-proclaimed “anti-development activist,” Welsh failed to mention that the cart is being placed before the horse and that a vote by the people to change the zoning of the Sylva Martin Building in order to accommodate developers, lobbyist and special interest, should be decided by a vote of South Miamians. The rezoning of the Silva Martin Building, constructed in 1935 was decided by a 3/5 vote. Isn’t a 5/5 vote required in this case as well since it is a liberalization of the Land Development Code (LDC)? I guess Mayor Phil has decided that the “failed experiment” is over.

The Miami-Dade designated historic Sylva Martin building, made of olitic limestone in its current and original location is considered South Miami’s treasure. Many even claim that it could easily be designated a National Historic site if it is not moved from its location. In addition, composed of native materials, there is fear by activist and historians that moving the delicate building will compromise its integrity. The building was built as a result of the Federal Emergency Relief Agency (FERA) created by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. Through the decades, the old father of city hall has worn many hats serving as a hurricane shelter, library and polling place and also used for social gatherings, commission meetings, civic organizations, and impressively, as an entertainment center for WWII soldiers.

Golly folks, am I becoming a softy in my old age by actually caring what happens to this old building? Love to hear your thoughts or better yet, email us and we just might publish it.

Out to dinner the other night at Khoury’s Mediterranean Restaurant and gotta tellya, it’s just a lot of fun to figure out what to order, so this time me and mine just went for a wide range.

Turned out like having a personal buffet on the table. As best I remember, we stuffed down hummus, baba ghanoush, grape leaves, baked lamb, beef kabobs and ‘chicken artichoke.’ Not that we were so hungry, just couldn’t do without the best of the Khoury’s menu choices by a family that owns and operates ‘the real deal’: friendly, happy to see you, attentive and appreciative and the food is totally authentic with extra-gourmet Khoury’s touches added in. Located at 5887 SW73 St., open for lunch and dinner, there’s private parking right outside the front door.

With cooler weather on the way, consider Khoury’s for outdoor dining, a special treat for you and your friends.

Jim and Kathy Harris along with Christopher Kraus and his bride were having dinner at Two Chefs, when they spotted our roving reporter secretly meeting in a very quiet corner of the restaurant. It’s almost as though our guy knew they the two couples were going to be there. Gee whiz guys, I wish you would have invited me, as I would really want to know more about what’s going on over at Baptist Hospital.

Thought of the Day:

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
—Albert Einstein

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  1. 10/2015 South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, Commissioner Bob Welsh, and faith leaders will join the cleaning staff of Sunset Place to protest the mall’s new cleaning contractor Coastal Building Maintenance (CBM)’s refusal to hire them.

    Representing the City of South Miami Mayor Philip K Stoddard and Commissioner Robert Welsh speak out of both sides of their mouths at this protest – they are firing employees so that they can bring in a company that pays lower rates and benefits, that’s not our values.
    City of South Miami Regular City Commission Minutes June 12, 2012
    N. RESOLUTIONS 6. A Resolution retroactively authorizing the City Manager to enter into a month to month agreement with Able Business Services, Inc. for janitorial services at City Hall, Police, Sylva Martin, Central Services, Community Center, Head Start, Senior Center, Motorpool and Public Works facilities. 3/5 (City Manager-Public Works) ((A consent agenda is a meeting practice which packages routine committee reports, Board meeting minutes, and other non-controversial items not requiring discussion or independent action as one agenda item. This can save precious meeting time by allowing the Board to approve this ‘package’ of items together in one motion))
    This item was pulled from the Consent for further clarification.
    Moved by Commissioner Welsh, seconded by Commissioner Harris, the motion to approve Resolution no. 131-12-13688 retroactively authorizing the City Manager to enter into a month to month agreement with Able Business Services, Inc. for janitorial services, passed by a 4 – 0 vote:
    Yea: Commissioner Harris Commissioner Welsh Commissioner Newman Vice Mayor Liebman
    Nay : None
    Mayor Stoddard: Absent

    the city has laid off or fired at least five janitorial workers and given their work to an outside contractor… Commissioners allowed Mirabile to enter into a retroactive month-to-month agreement to clean city buildings on June 12, 2012… Mirabile was not at the meeting, but in an earlier memo, he said staff estimated the annual savings for the city with the privatization at $160,000 a year. The amount can’t be determined until the city gets new proposals for a 3-year contract for janitorial services…

    The City of South Miami is seeking proposals from experienced and capable parties to provide janitorial services for all City facilities and buildings. Publication Date/Time: 7/7/2015 10:00 AM
    Closing Date/Time: 8/4/2015 10:00 AM
    Pre-bid Meeting: July 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM


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