Vol.20 No.12, April 7, 2019 Soon Celebrating 20 years of weekly publishing! www.watchdgreport.net & Former Miami Herald news & editorial columnist. 05.05.00, I go when you cannot, for almost 18 years & a trusted community education resource & news service, without the attitude
ARGUS REPORT: Will voter apathy mar the upcoming municipal elections; your local government determines your quality of life? — 2020 Census complete count top priority $177 million lost in 2010 undercount, says census bureau outreach coordinator Diaz a former Little Havana resident $675 billion annually at stake nationwide $29 billion goes to Florida commissioner Bovo leading the charge, school district must work closely to ensure accurate count students’ best way to explain to parents what the 2020 Census is, undercount costs millions, maybe even a new future house seat like in 2010, the worse count ever after Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez sent fear through the Cuban community of the federal government, some $800 billion at stake for some counties around the nation.
STATE of FLORIDA: Disruptive pre-k children getting “suspended,” new challenge for Children’s Trust — Complete 2020 Census count critical to get our share of $675 billion annually, some $29 billion in 2010, undercount costs $1,400 in lost revenue
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: FHWA hears regional traffic issues from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade- Will the county float a new GOB for infrastructure, getting thousands off septic tanks, suggests commissioner Jordan? –Commissioner Souto says with humongous county government mayor should “crack the whip,” believes, running slower, “wants more eyes on major contracts”–Domestic violence takes a new twist, “strangulation,” new issue, difficult for cops to see some 200 cases since bruising takes a couple of days, may being underreported in Miami-Dade – Last week’s hot topics were, vehicles & furniture, “4 to 10 police,” vehicles a week can be processed by county in new police cars, $84 million contract, $38 million from previous year “1,006 new cars from that amount
Miami-Dade County Public Schools: Holocaust survivor tells SB, “it must never be forgotten” since some 54l % around the globe don’t believe it happened, he spent two years living in closet in a Nazi administrative building, came to Miami in 1954, faced local discrimination educated at Beach High, then law school
PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST: Good governance is ruling at JHS, trustee recuses himself on Goodwill linen & laundry contract, not always the case years ago
New wellness program cohort had a “600 Lb.” loss of weight and another cohort had 29 employees getting their B.A.’s at MDC, says trustee Dr. Lipof —
Christine E. Lynn rehabilitation facility fitted Friday $175 million rehab, home to UM Project to Cure Paralysis
CITY OF MIAMI: Carollo staffer Miro loses his whistleblower civil service board case against Carrolo, federal court next up, — Mayor Suarez needs to get commission under control law practice gives Carollo a huge opening and now we find he is a lobbyist for ritzy Fisher Island, he is a well-paid mayor, causing his own problem by not fighting acknowledging the potential conflict — Will commission turbulence affect bond ratings, “you are not the chair,” says Carollo, says he “knows one Harvard idiot [referring to mayor’s father and political nemesis], commissioners tooling around in new $73,000, SUVs with massage chair button — Is Omni CRA public records request suggest Sarnoff will run for Dist. 2 seat? Man is known to be vindictive aloof, I was polled again– Commissioner Carollo attacks staff and administration for dereliction of duty and code enforcement, end of meeting like a Tchaikovsky sympathy’s climax — Mayor Francis Suarez gave his first state of the city speech at the Miami Freedom Tower and the high energy young man and attorney was received by quests almost like a rally as he detailed the administrations goals in the coming year, but can he deliver? – mayor Suarez moving on up now sitting on dais between manager and attorney, make it seem he is a strong mayor though voters rejected that idea, not stopping him – Bayside Foundation Willy Gort scholarship to get $250,000 anti-poverty funding from his dist.1 fund, foundation gives $200,000 in scholarships, odd taxpayer money being used, will it start a trend of scholarship programs?
EDITORIALS: Carollo claims extensive corruption in code enforcement, verbally beats down mayor Suarez and administration, not a good look for commission, political daggers out – Elected leaders’ foreign trips, could determine if they are Marco Polo, to county and city voters! – Mayor Suarez’s strong mayor proposal flawed should not allow outside income for either mayor or manager, not about him but future mayors – Politicians don’t realize voter’s frustration is they are such hypocrites, many times (like now when congress gets paid but no other federal departments with a gov. shut-down) in their own actions Florida Constitutional commission should insist on transparency, not darkness as Sunshine law gets diluted — Most politicians hate the press- Florida needs Sunshine Amendment many municipalities out of control and get little press coverage or oversight, legislators are on wrong side of this one
Community Event: Lotus Village gala https://lotushouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2019-Gala-Sponsorship-Package-final.pdf
>>> Just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean politics will not take an interest in you. –Pericles (430 B.C.)
ARGUS REPORT: Heard Seen on the Street
>>>>Will voter apathy mar the upcoming municipal elections; your local government determines your quality of life?
“You may not take an interest in politics, but politics may take an interest in you,” Pericles is quoted saying and the Athenian general was a leader during Greece’s golden Age and the sage’s words apply to Miami-Dade County and its some 34 municipalities. The county’s home rule county charter preamble and Bill of Rights opens with, “This government has been created to protect the governed, not the governing. In order to provide the public with full and accurate information, to promote efficient administrative management, to make government more accountable, and to insure to all persons fair and equitable treatment, the following rights are guaranteed.” I write about this because your participation in your local governments’ is a key ingredient to good government. Since we have elections coming up in Coral Gables and the Village of Miami Shores it is important for voters to review the candidates and vote for your local government has the greatest impact on your community’s quality of life.
What about regional traffic issues and FHWA MPO’s certifications?
What happened at the county when three MPOs met with the Florida Highway Authority and listened to public comment earlier last week at the county commission chambers.
The one salient point was that these regional transportation organizations that include counties Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County and has a four-year recertification process requirement. Meeting description: Every four years the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) conduct a review of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) transportation planning process as required by law. The primary purpose of the certification review is to evaluate the TPO’s compliance with Federal regulations. Every four years the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) conduct a review of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) transportation planning process as required by law. A Public Meeting will take place to provide the general public an opportunity to express their thoughts about the transportation planning process, allow the Federal Team to obtain a better understanding of the community’s issues, and inform the public about the Federal transportation planning requirements. All interested parties are invited to attend.
Location: Speakers said Miami needs more dedicated bike lanes and ways to bike to mass transit sites where funding is lacking.
Re run because so important: 2020 Census complete count top priority $177 million lost in 2010 undercount, says census bureau outreach coordinator Diaz a former Little Havana resident $675 billion annually at stake nationwide $29 billion goes to Florida
The Miami-Dade County Community Relations board (CRB) met Wednesday in the county commission chambers and the topic was community “fear,” when it came to the upcoming 2020 Census. Where some $1,400 is lost in federal funding across the board through federal agencies and in the 2010 Census only “82 percent” of the community was counted and nationwide the percentage was “74 percent,” said Ana Maria Diaz with the Census bureau outreach coordinator.
The importance of the Census is not only financial but is key to reapportionment of congress and in 2010 south Florida picked up two congressional seats.
What about community outreach and education?
Further, while many residents may not be eligible to vote these people must be counted for the federal funding helps these possible undocumented and the citizenship question is what many residents and while many residents fear that ICE or HSH might raid and arrest them. The count since 1790 has been sealed for 72 years and a president cannot unseal the information and that can only be done by an act of congress said the Census Bureau outreach coordinator who grew up in Little Havana populated with seniors and may have their kids living with them and they all must be counted she said and “a 3 percent increase in the count,’ would be a major achievement for the county and while it is a year away now is the time to educate. For many residents who don’t understand the Census that starts April 1 next year. The WDR spends so much time on this subject since I interviewed many people working on the 2000 Census and the count was terrible after the young Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez was extracted from his Little Havana home after federal authorities raided the home and chaos erupted in Miami with extensive ethnic divisions and curb sitting counting was a problem where there were many people living in homes or apartments and the undercount was considerable and had to be adjusted later but that may not happen again so it has to be done right because as Diaz said “It starts and cannot be stopped,” despite weather or any other issue. She noted when challenged about “doing damage control, ” for the Trump administration and her boss U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross and the fear in the community which is a minority majority committee that keeps many people afraid to even go to a bank and use check cashing stores where there are lines but that is the reality of South Florida and is why getting a complete count is so important.
>>> Census 2020 kickoff April 1, “all hands must be on deck,” billions at stake in a minority majority community, commissioner Bovo leading the charge, school district must work closely to ensure accurate count students’ best way to explain to parents
April 1, is the kick off of the Miami-Dade County census efforts that include a taskforce that includes the public school district since students area key information electrolytes with their parents and since Miami is a minority majority community an accurate count is the top priority and the county is sending out some 90 community speakers and county commissioner Estephan Bovo, Jr.’ is heading up the county commission’s efforts commissioner Barbara Jordan is concerned that multiple families are sharing homes and could be worried of county code violations, she noted “there is fear in this population” and that fear is somewhat similar to the 2000 census after young Elian Gonzalez was extracted from his Little Havana home by federal agents in an early morning raid. And the community erupted and hated the federal government and attorney general Janet Reno.
>>>The Knight Foundation releases commission report on restoring trust in media
The John. S. and James L. Knight Foundation has released a report looking at restoring trust in the media and its corrosive effect to Democracy to read the commission’s report go to: http://csreports.aspeninstitute.org/Knight-Commission-TMD/2019/report
>> The super bowl is not the big enchilada of upcoming events, but the 2020 Census is, undercount costs millions, maybe even a new house seat like in 2000, the worse count after Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez, sent fear through the Cuban community of federal government, Chair Bovo wants to help this important event, All hands-on deck activity
While Miami-Dade county is preparing for the Super Bowl next year a bigger event is coming in the 2020 U.S. Census that in Miami the count has been generally a flawed process and the worst count was the 2000 Census after the young boy Elian Gonzalez was extracted from Little Havana and the community erupted in ethnic tensions and fear for many residents since even though the count is done by the commerce department many saw a “federally,” and would not participate and years later the numbers had to be revised and south Florida got an extra congressional seat that was later filled by U.S> Rep. Mario Diaz Ballart, R-Miami and the census count per person back then brought some $23,000 in federal funding and was in stark contrast to other counties around the nation where very high count was achieved. Further for some counties the undercount could result in some communities losing some $800 billion in lost federal funding that includes Medicare funding and a host of other programs.
School Board member Lubby Navarro is part of the 2020 census taskforce being assembled an she spoke in front of the county commission about the important matter and noted residents will get a form with a number on it and they can file online using that number. She also noted there will be Major outreach at schools’ libraries and other sites with NGOs to get an accurate count and the community’s fair share of representation and federal funding. She also noted we might get a new house seat if the census is done accurately.
County Commissioner Dennis Moss asked to put a representative from the United Way of Miami-Dade, The Children’s Trust (the choice is Gus Barreiro a former state representative) on the 2020 Census Task Force given the importance of children to explain to parents what the national census is and is not used to target illegal people. Further he counts maybe asking people of their immigration status which is expected to diminish the count. However, the last time the government did this was during World War II with the Japanese internment.
Back in 2000 I watched and wrote a lot about the undercount and how it starts and then stops, though the county did get an extension back then but that is no longer assured.
>>> Connect Miami is a new program trying to get residents to engage with their neighbors and friends to broaden community interaction something that at times may be difficult to do. And for more go to www.connectmiami.org And Many of the events are free.in the future.
>>>> Disruptive pre-k children getting “suspended,” new challenge for Children’s Trust
During a Children’s Trust television show on the cunty cable channel a speaker said when it comes to pre-K early learning programs many minority and other children are being “suspended,” for their behavior and since it is proven that these early programs put children in a readiness state to learn. And this a new challenge among these troublesome children age “3 to 5,” the expert said.
>>>> Complete 2020 Census count critical to get our share of $675 billion annually, some $29 billion in 2010, undercount costs $1,400 in lost revenue
The state of Florida must also gear up for the 2020 Census since the federal government will be allocating some $675 billion and for the state that is $29 billion annually and in Miami-Dade the undercount cost us some $177 million and this has got to be a top priority for the state’s leaders.
>>> FHWA hears regional traffic issues from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade
Two days of public hearings were held Tuesday and Wednesday by the Florida Highway administration (chaired by Stacey Blizzard and she listened to the publics comments about traffic in south Florida something on everyone’s mind. This agency that helps craft what will be planned for the next “20years,” The federal agency is and is a key piece to the county’s Smart plan and the proposed six corridors yet to be fully funded and includes the three counties from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade and is a regional agency
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The top-level official of the FHWA is the Administrator, who reports directly to the Secretary of Transportation. FHWA is headquartered in Washington DC, with field offices in every state.
FHWA is charged with the broad responsibility of ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be the safest and most technologically up to date. Although state, local and tribal governments own most of the nation’s highways, we provide financial and technical support to them for constructing, improving and preserving America’s highway system. Our budget, which is funded by fuel and motor vehicle excise taxes, is divided primarily between two programs: (1) federal-aid funding to state and local governments, and (2) Federal Lands Highways funding for national parks, national forests, Indian lands, and other land under federal stewardship.
The Florida Division of the FHWA does not build or repair roads in the state. Rather, it provides funding for qualifying state and local highway and other related transportation projects. In addition, the division offers technical assistance and oversight to ensure federal requirements are met, such as the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
To work in cooperation with our transportation partners to ensure that Florida’s transportation network meets the needs and exceeds the expectations of our customers.
To achieve this mission, we will:
Empower employees and value their diversity
Be flexible and innovative
Be customer driven
Be good stewards of the public trust
Recognizing that people are our most valuable resource, we will create a working environment where the team members are encouraged to develop and use their skills and abilities to the fullest.
>>> Will the county float a new GOB for infrastructure, getting thousands off septic tanks, suggests commissioner Jordan?
On Tuesday the county commission had a discussion on whether the county should consider another general obligation bond since the 2004 GOB projects have mostly been completed and he noted many municipalities voters have approved recent bonds citing Miami Beach and Miami but while these were approved many people are asking when the taxing will end in a poor community
>>>>What about the Homeless Trust and this year’s number of who had died on the street, a new high many opioid related, last year 138 passed this year 201 passed state’s medical examiner confirms.
The watchdog Report contacted Book about the solemn but stirring meetings after the students spoke and he wrote back, “It was even more because we had the vigil for an hour and a half before in the lobby and it was extremely emotional and painful. Last year, 138 individuals died on our streets. The number jumped up this year to 201, which is the highest year yet and 77% are confirmed by the medical examiner to have died from opioid overdoses. That is simply unconscionable and unacceptable and disheartening.
Secondly, if that’s not bad enough, the national average from a life expectancy perspective on someone who lives on the streets is 79 years of age nationally. Our average this year amongst the 201 was 55 years old. Think about it, our average is 24 years younger than the national average and we don’t have minus 44-degree weather. It was very emotional and very hard and draining. Then we go to the Trust Meeting and it just becomes a high, but it was a high after one of the worst downers in the 25 years I’ve served this Board. Then right after the Board meeting, I had to judge with four of my team members, our annual essay and poster contest amongst elementary, middle school and high school kids. Just a hard day around on homelessness, wrote the long-time chair. For more on the Sadowski trust go to;https://www.bradenton.com/opinion/editorials/article48810155.html
>>> Commissioner Souto says with humongous county government mayor should “crack the whip,” believes, running slower, “wants more eyes on major contracts”
“Let’s crack the whip,” says commissioner Javier Souto to mayor Carlos Gimenez Tuesday when discussing a controversial water and sewer contract and believes things are slowing down with a “Humongous,” county government and he believes it is important “for people to watch the process, the more the merrier.” He said the county is “sweating money at MIA,” and the county is floating some $700 million in new aviation bonds for MIA and I was reminded of the county’s “Review,” committee in the 1990s chaired by attorney Norman Powell and they were reviewing some $400 million in change orders twice and explained in a one paragraph memo referencing new airline “alliances,” but there was no discussion and it took about three minutes to pass the change orders and that trend ballooned the cost of MIA to over $6.4 billion and at one point having to pay some $1 million a day in debt payments.
>>> Domestic violence takes a new twist 200 cases of, “strangulation,” new issue, difficult for cops to see since bruising takes a couple of days, may being underreported in Miami-Dade
When it comes to domestic violence a new way is being reported, strangulation said county commissioner Sally Heyman during a discussion at Tuesday’s and presentation about the county’s domestic violence board and its need for another safe house for abused residents. The police when it comes to strangulation may not file a report since versus being hit where a bruise is easily visible but with strangulation it may take days for the trauma to be seen said Heyman. She noted the issue was being discussed at a national county organization national association of counties (NACO).
The board of county commissioners voted on two Jackson memorial trustees on Tuesday and one new member is a relative to a past PHT chairmen Amadeo López Castro and it is his son an attorney Amadeo Lopez Castro, III and the commission also reappointed Dr. Walter Richardson
Commissioner Dennis Moss has suggested a representative from the Children’s trust and the United Way of Miami be on the 2020 Census taskforce because the correct count is so important to the community and there is concern given the possible question of one’s immigration status and will have a chilling effect
Commissioner Joe Martinez a former police officer took the administration to the wood shed after the administration missed deadline when ordering new police cars and some fire apparatus and garbage trucks that leave a sheen of oil when thy pass by in neighborhoods because they’re so old.
What about shot spotter more cameras and extra police for school safety?
Mayor Gimenez told commissioners recently shot spotter and their use by police that someday drones may be found “on police cars in the future,” after commissioner Javier Souto went into a discussion about the need for police “to have eyes in the sky,” he thought and would decrease gun violence.
Further the county has “three dome areas,” which is what the shot spotter areas are called and the Ring security camera on people’s homes i reducing crime and Gimenez at his home has one and he can keep track of his home.
Gimenez said the one-time funding to have county police guard schools cannot be sustained and will approach school district Superintendent Alberto Carvalho in January since the district had a bond passed to enhance teacher pay and more school security that the county cannot cover any longer. MDPD director Juan Perez that shell casings collected by ATF is an invaluable tool along with license plate reader technology. He noted two officers killed in south dad end the shell casings showed the gun was “used five times before,” in a crime said Perez.
Will elections and sheriff be political patronage havens, or repositories for termed out elected officials to land?
Lack of competency in candidates in new elected offices, highlighted during the last election cycle has many concerned what the future of key elected officials will be. For example, Miami-Dade state attorney in office since 1992 has said she was not running again back in 2015 her last election and there is no current successor of an organization that handles some 250,0000 cases. This highlights the problem when offices are political like a supervisor of elections, sheriff and a host of others recently created by statewide voters and create political patronage rather than competency is one of the reasons Broward elections supervisor Brenda Snipes had problems in November’s elections
What is the new elderly crisis coming seniors & children housing money their lack of permanent long-term homes?
Homeless seniors are becoming the biggest threat facing the county in the future and it is a “Crisis, said Ron Book,” the Miami-Dade County Homeless trust chair. At past trust meeting and the need for permanent housing for this emerging group is critical and he is on a crusade to find permanent housing the trust can buy but in Miami the inventory is small an expensive he has said in the past. And to review the task force recommendations and has some elderly having to live in shelters for up to “1,000,” s and that number qualifying will only increase in the future.
Ron Book has been making the political rounds speaking at a Miami commission meeting about a new encampment in the inner city that has been blocked off by the health department after open sexual acts and drug dealing has resulted in a spike of AIDs cases and the finding of drug paraphernalia around the local schools and the trust has gone into emergency mode to get these people into rehabilitation and other programs and those coming back are being addressed where one Women had “black lips,” gangrene and was “spotted having a rat eating the food in her mouth,” in her stupor condition said Book to city commissioners and she was taken into rehabilitation but this is the challenge the county’s homeless trust faces. For more go to https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/downtown-miami/article219921130.html
>>> New continuum of care center coming for homeless with mental issues, JHS involved one stop center
The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust along with Jackson Health System is opening a one stop public facility for homeless who qualify for a new diversion program with a mental illness and includes many veterans on the streets and is an old facility previously used by the state, but it will offer a continuum of care and was briefly discussed at the trust board meeting Friday. The whole community has been seeking ways to resolve the mental health issues of the homeless now drawing in people with opioid addiction and a drop of fentanyl can kill and many times is cut with cheap yellow Mexican heroin that appeared years past and is causing thousands of overdoses and the city of Miami spent $150,000 in procuring the miracle drug Narcan that can revive a overdosed person almost immediately and these people cut across all ethnic lines and the issue was discussed Sunday on “This Week in South Florida,” and to see the show go to https://www.local10.com/this-week-in-south-florida/this-week-in-south-florida-oct-29 Chapman, Jr. partnership go to: https://www.chapmanpartnership.org/about-us/leadership/ https://www.chapmanpartnership.org/wpq_events/nextgen-gala-party/
The trust has a new program where people with rental housing can register their rental units with the county and for more on the program go to: http://www.homelesstrust.org/rentconnect.asp
PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST
>>> Good governance is ruling at JHS, trustee recuses himself on Goodwill linen & laundry contract, not always the case years ago
For the first time in a long time a trustee had to recuse himself from voting on a laundry contract with Goodwill Industries since David Landsberg, a former Miami Herald publisher is the CEO. Trustee Amadeo Lopez Castro, III an attorney indicated he had in the past helped in a legal issue with the man. I only write about this because such recusals were not always the case years ago and it shows the system is working that includes the County’s Ethics and Public Trust commission and is key to good government.
>>> New wellness program cohort had a “600 Lb.” loss of weight and another cohort had 29 employees getting their B.A.’s at MDC, says trustee Dr. Lipof
Trustee Dr. Irene Lipof at this week’s televised board meeting noted a new wellness program cohort had a “600 Lb.” loss in weight. She further said that another program collaboration with MDC had a host of nurses getting their B.A. degrees and these programs are proving to be quite useful and while the trust given its payer mix is facing some financial strains and resulted in some staff administration cutbacks the health system believes it will be in the black by April and March (where cash was good). And there is 50 days of cash on hand that years ago was only 9 to 10 days but a leaner JHS has improved that condition.
>>> Last girder to state-of-the-art Christine E. Lynn rehabilitation facility fitted Friday $175 million rehab, home to UM Project to Cure Paralysis
On Friday the last girder was added to the new state of the art rehabilitation facility and it is dearly needed after the previous one was inadequate and antiquated and was always a hot topic with county commissioners especially commissioner Sally Heyman who had a back issue and had to get rehab there. The $175 center will also be home for UM’s The Miami Project to cure Paralysis and the fundraising got a jolt when Christine E. Lynn donated the first $25 million and was augmented with proceeds from the $830 million GOB approved by county voters.
>>>> Sen. Braynon taps Rep. Duran for PHT delegation appointee, replaces Rep. Avila, helps keep Tallahassee informed and major progress being made
Sen. Oscar Braynon, III, D- Miami Gardens and the chair of the Miami-Dade delegation has tapped state Rep. Eric Duran, D-Miami as the delegation’s appointment to the seven member PHT board. Duran is replacing state Rep. Brian Avila,R-Miami on the trustee board and Duran is on the healthcare committee and campaigned very hard back in November 2018 and having a member of the delegation helps in Tallahassee and began in 2010 when JHS was on life support and a smaller 7 trustee board was created from 21 considered unwieldy and the smaller board along with CEO Carlos Migoya has turned around the largest public hospital in the South East.
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
>>> Holocaust survivor tells SB, “it must never be forgotten” since some 54l % around the globe don’t believe it happened, he spent two years living in closet in a Nazi administrative building, came to Miami in 1954, faced local discrimination educated at Beach High, then law school
School board member Dr. Martin Karp sponsored a resolution in remembrance of Holocaust month celebrated in March and April and he had a survivor speak during the school board meeting and
The man now an attorney said when the Nazis invaded Poland and they were living in Warsaw. He said he had to hide in a “closet” for two years and said the survivors all said to “never forget what happened and it is surprising that 54 percent of people around the globe don’t believe it happened I have met a number of survivors and one was a good friend of my father a local physician and with the rise of hate groups and antisemitism. The global community must recognize this reality even though dark forces are trying to distort the truth.
>>> For the second time Ryan Ramirez was honored for his advocacy of childhood diabetes and he has made socks to sell to help raise money $45,000 for research at the school board and at the county as well and his sister also has the disease
SB item Wednesday Ryan A. Ramirez is an advocate for Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and a student in District 7 at Leewood Elementary School. As Ryan grew up, he was involved in physical sports six days a week as the starting quarterback in flag football and tackle football, did mixed martial arts, and did strength and agility training with a trainer. Ryan was also an exceptional student receiving straight A’s and making the Principal’s Honor Roll, ranking top in spelling bees, and receiving other academic and citizenship awards. On May 4, 2016, weeks before his 8th birthday, Ryan was diagnosed with T1D.
In 2018, Ryan became a youth ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, better known as JDRF, the leading global organization funding in T1D research, with a mission to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. The organization hosts a yearly walk, the JDRF One Walk, which brings together more than 900,000 people across the country to change the future for everyone living with T1D. This fun, family–friendly event gives people with T1D, their loved ones, companies and the local community the opportunity to come together, create change and positively impact the lives of those living with T1D. Before being diagnosed, Ryan had been participating in the walk since he was born. His sister, Ashley Ramirez, had been diagnosed four years prior to his own diagnosis. Today, Ryan continues to be involved with his own team the “Ashley’s Army/Ryan’s Rangers,” and has spoken at the event for two consecutive years. In 2018, he partnered with Are You Kidding Socks and JDRF, to raise awareness for T1D through the sale of the socks for the 2019 JDRF One Walk. To date, Ryan has sold upward of 600 pairs of socks and raised over $40,000 for this year’s Walk. This year, the JDRF One Walk in Miami will be held on Saturday, March 16, at 9:00 a.m. at Tropical Park.
Although, Ryan has experienced numerous life changes, he has overcome his challenges by becoming an advocate for T1D. The day after Ryan’s diagnosis, he went to speak with his then second-grade class about diabetes. Additionally, with the help of his parents, Ryan has shared his experience about living with T1D, and how he learned to try new devices such as the continuous glucose monitor and insulin pumps. In 2018, an article was published in the Kendall Gazette about Ryan’s story and the different fundraisers he has done to help find a cure. He has appeared on Channel 7 for a video used at the May 2018 JDRF Hope Promise Dreams Gala to raise funds for research and spoke at the event about his life with T1D. Last month, Ryan addressed the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners to raise awareness for T1D through the socks he designed for the cause. Ryan and the family continue be hopeful that a cure for juveniles and adults facing T1D will soon be found. Ryan A. Ramirez is to be commended for his extraordinary efforts in creating awareness for Type 1 diabetes to his peers in Miami-Dade County and for his determination, through his remarkable work. Here is the link honoring the young man whose father is a deputy county police chief and his mother sleeps with Ryan to make sure he is OK and the disease cuts across all ethnic and social strata. Here is a link to the resolution http://www.dadeschools.net/schoolboard/agenda/b9rev.pdf
Check out the OIG report on the selling of GED documents:
>>> Mentoring is being emphasized at the public schools’ district and was sponsored by board member Lubby Navarro who was mentored by board chair Perla Tabares Hantmen the school board chair and this activity can have profound effects on young people, WLRN agreement at workshop Feb.27 at administrative bldg.
CITY OF MIAMI
>>>> Carollo staffer Miro loses his whistleblower civil service board case against Carrolo, federal court next up,
Fired Miami commissioner staffer Steve Miro who had worked for Miami commissioner Joe Carollo For two days was on the dais during his hearing with the city’s Civil Service Board. Miro maintains he was fired for bringing a whistle blower case against Carollo since he was fired just after two state attorney investigators had stopped by the office asking about a campaign event at a senior center where another candidate Alex de la. Portilla was running for the county commission attended. Miro was claiming public funds were being used for that campaign and he was supporting a rival candidate. However, the city’s attorney said the man was a “Jeckle and Hyde,” because when there were no “men in the office he acted differently said one of three women to the board.
The chief of staff a former police chief Richard Bloom told the board that the women had come to him about their concerns because “they were visible shaken,” and felt he was harassing them by “standing behind them while they worked at their desks,” and his attorney hammered the city for the lack of paperwork of this behavior before he fired and when commissioner Carollo took the podium to be grilled about the episode. The former Miami mayor said when Miro was outside on the phone. Carollo wanted to know if it was “social day,” since the staffer was talking to a lobbyist. Miro the commissioner said was on a website for hours called “Second Life, https://secondlife.com/
Further at the end of the day the board did not believe Miro and his attorney did not make their case and the board’s chair stated, “He was having a problem with the burden of proof.” But the board ultimately voted, “that the city was justified and when it came to the whistleblower aspect. “Miro did not meet the burden of a whistleblower,” said chair Tray Sutton.
However, it is not over yet since he is taking the matter to federal court said Miro’s attorney.
>>> Blogger Crespo like Howard Beale in Network tells Haitian residents to rise up and vote corrupt leaders at all levels out of office, Carollo blasts back this “anti-corruption hero has been convicted” “seven times for bank robbery, “Claims the man hates “Cubans,” and Crespo better bring “Two guns, if he goes after Carollo,” another Miami moment
Actor Peter Finch of “Network fame,” has a soulmate with Miami blogger Al Crespo of the https://www.crespogramnews.com/. He played Howard Beale the television anchor and Crespo at Thursday’s commission meeting went to the mic and told the Haitians speaking on the Magic city SAP.
He said when it came to “impact fees,” In Miami they essentially just disappear and suggested everyone one in the room should “rise up,” and vote out all the commissioners on the commission and at Miami-Dade County including the state attorney and he also had taken a shot at commissioner Joe Carollo but he was not on the dais that had Crespo asking if he was “giving lie detector tests to his staff,” to find out who is the ‘snitch,’ in his office. Here is the exchange in video on the Crespogram https://www.crespogramnews.com/ Carrolo coming to the dais chronicled the man’s history of seven prison convictions and that he had gotten a tip from “Bubba,” in the big house who said Crespo had a hard time with a Cuban inmate,” and that he “hated Cubans.” Carollo then questioned how this type of man was “supposed to the pillar of anticorruption,’ with such a record.
Further, when Carollo came back to the dais he railed at Crespo that he was “dressed like Santa Clause,” but is no Santa clause since he has been imprisoned “seven times for bank,” and jewelry robberies with a gun,” said Carollo something Al has written extensively about and here’s Miami New Times take on the man:https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/al-crespo-bank-robber-and-justice-seeker-6385849
What about the Cuban ethnic charge?
Carrolo when he was mayor back in 2000 whipped up ethnic tensions to the point that in Homestead you had rednecks with confederate flags and African Americans shouting “f…ck the Cubans.” And was a South Florida low point when it came to ethnic tensions and he continues to use that strategy with Crespo though the blogger has gone after commissioners Marc Sarnoff and Ken Russell and Keon Hardeman over the years but in Carollo’s case it came with a warning. If Crespo was “going to go after him he better bring more than one gun,” he cautioned to the blogger who has a real knack for getting public records and emails that many times back up his adult blogs stories.
What about the upcoming Miami civil service committee board meeting?
Steve Miro a former district liaison staffer for Carollo is having his civil service hearing on April.2 after Carollo fired him on June 14, 2019 the item is H-1 on the boards agenda and fireworks are expected. He is claiming Carollo wanted him to lie to county ethics investigators Here is part of the report
During the walk-through, Miró mentioned that Fuller’s partner, Martin Padilla, was there and Joe “was brushing him off”. Padilla wanted to request a meeting with the Commissioner in order to settle the differences.
Miró said Carollo never told him that he was targeting the valet servicing Ball & Chain in order to harm the business financially but in his opinion, Carollo was selectively enforcing/targeting Fuller’s properties: “In my opinion, Yes.”
He said Carollo did “brag” to him about following valets from Ball & Chain to the new lot they were using, and claimed he observed valets digging through the glove compartment of vehicles they were parking, presumably searching for valuables they could steal. Miró stated Carollo made a comment on the record about this during one of the Commission meetings.
With respect to the allegation in the complaint concerning filming at Ball & Chain, Miró said Carollo asked him to find out whether they had obtained a permit. He said that he contacted “Vinnie” Betancourt in the Special Events office and was told they had been issued a permit. He said he informed Carollo and because they appeared to be doing this legally, he did not contact Code Compliance to disrupt the filming.
Miró noted that after the COE Complaint was filed, naming Miró and others as Respondents, he was approached by Carollo and questioned about how he might respond to questions from investigators. Miró said Carollo expressed surprise that he had retained counsel and pressed him for details after he said he intended to answer all questions truthfully. He said that Carollo was not satisfied with this response and instructed him to tell the investigators that all actions taken against properties owned by or related to the business interests of Bill Fuller/ Barlington Group…. were the result of “anonymous complaints?” He said that Carollo wanted him and Lugo to get formal statements from neighbors.
Miró said Carollo tried to “coerce me into saying something that is totally not true” and he (Miró) would not put himself in that predicament, to lie about anonymous complaints. “Joe wanted me to say there were anonymous complaints and there were none. I never received any anonymous complaints,” said Miro, noting that in his city position, he would have to be aware of citizens’ complaints. He suggested that any complaints would be kept in a log for Constituent Complaints and Tanja Quintana would be the employee in Carollo’s office maintaining the log. Miró said that Carollo’s Commission Office has an annual operating budget of $514,000, and about 9 or 10 employees. These include his chief of Chief Richard Bloom, who came a month before his termination; Anthony Barcena, Deputy Chief of Staff; Jose Suarez, Special Assistant; Lizette Palares, Administrative Assistance; Tanja Quintana, Receptionist; Mara Roman, District Liaison; Gisela Maestre, Special Aide. Here is the complete ethics investigation report http://ethics.miamidade.gov/library/closed%20investigations/2018/k_18-21–c_18-14-03_carollo.pdf
>>> Mayor Suarez needs to get commission under control law practice gives Carollo a huge opening and now we find he is a lobbyist for ritzy Fisher Island, he is a well-paid mayor, causing his own problem by not fighting acknowledging the potential conflict
Mayor Francis Suarez has a new television program in a flash new studio, and he answers soft ball questions from his communication director Rene Padrosa an award-winning television journalist but. He is also very coy about his law practice which his nemesis Joe Carrolo verbally pounds him on from the dais and he has become a verbal punching bag for the former Miami mayor during commission meetings and his controversy just got a bigger deal since he also was lobbying the county:
>>> Will commission turbulence affect bond ratings, “you are not the chair,” shouts Carollo, says he “knows one Harvard idiot [referring to mayor’s father and political nemesis], commissioners are tooling around in new $73,000, SUVs with massage chair button
“You are not the chair,” shouted commissioner Joe Carollo Thursday to mayor Francis Suarez after he suggested his speaking during the meeting was OK since he was the “commission chair,” when in fact under the executive mayor form of government all he can do is appoint the commission chair said Carollo. The man then suggested that Chair Ken Russell was playing favorites and did not want to be cutoff until his question was answered. Carollo has escalated his attacks on the mayor and has said “He knows one Harvard idiot.” Referring to the younger man’s father.
The WDR writes about this because this simmering rehash of past political battles is making commission meetings real theater and eventually the rating agencies are going to pick up on this and could potentially downgrade the city’s bonds given the cities past fiscal issues.
What about the sergeant-of-arms new SUVs?
At a time when budgets are tight the commissioners along with a police officer are tooling around in a new ride. A Ford SUV and a “platinum edition,” car that has a massage feature for the two front seats and is a top of the line SUV including a heated steering wheel. I am sure these cars might be leased but what message does it send to the city’s taxpayers, many of whom don’t even have a car. When they go to community events.https://www.ford.com/suvs/expedition/models/expedition-platinum/?searchid=308158881|1311717421225343|81982424746266|&s_kwcid=AL!2519!10!81982350566283!81982424746266&ef_id=Wy0ikAAAAHtk_ANC:20190317173309:s
>> Commissioner Carollo attacks staff and administration for dereliction of duty and code enforcement, end of meeting like a Tchaikovsky sympathy’s climaxes,
The Way Back Machine was in full use Thursday at the Miami commission meeting when commissioner joe Carollo had what was likened to a star chamber interrogation of code enforcement staff and past lapses, including verbally attacking Mayor Francis Suarez and his law firm. Further hours later commission chair Ken Russell later apologized to city workers for the way they were spoken to by Carollo who believed there was a plot to get him out of office based on his demands for code enforcement saying it was selective enforcement and some people connected got a pass especially if they used attorneys from the firm that Suarez is of counsel and he promotes the firm on his twitter page. Carollo used terms like corruption and had one sharp exchange with Miami Police Chief Jorge Collina, who shot back that the commissioner “cannot bully him,’ like he was doing with a lot of other staff.
Suarez on his twitter account had him giving blood with a tee-shirt that said “not all super heroes wear caps,” but on Thursday Carollo’s relentless hammering had the man and attorney sliding low in his chair at the dais and clearly Carollo bested the man in the heated rhetoric on selective code enforcement and had Suarez, saying the city follow’s the “law,”
Further later in the night Bill Fuller the owner of the Ball and Chain restaurant came to the podium and accused Carollo being like Castro’s Cuba and the man said his uncle in 1960 “was executed in Cuba,’ and what was happening to him was like the communist country. The man also noted he had a federal case against the commissioner
What about the state lobbyist contract?
The city will be using Becker and Poliakoff as the new state lobbying team though Carollo had a problem with the process and that the manager made the decision on the firm and believed a request for letters of interest would be a better way.
Commissioner Manola Reye’s son is a government lobbyist for the firm, and he should have recused himself from voting on the contract and supporting Carollo in the discussion and I am sure the county’s ethics commission will weigh in on this ethical lapse Since a son is one of the forbidden relationships when it comes to voting on contracts. Further Reyes is always talking about transparency and while he is facing no challenger. Since one withdrew. He has raised $165,932 for his campaign war chest and these races are just escalating in cost to the point it is perceived to be compromising of the official.
What about Reyes and corruption?
Commissioner Manola Reyes said he was shocked by all the comments about all the “corruption in the city and noted in the media Miami,” was again cited as one of the most corrupt in the nation and the read the report go to: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/miami-dade/fl-ne-miami-ranked-among-most-corrupt-cities-20190213-story.html
County official Spring does public record request of HEP board member Lynn Lewis, however, no other member of the HEP asked about she is strong preservationist, had issue with demolitions outstanding member on many Miami boards!
The Miami Historic and Environmental Planning board had a records meltdown after a discussion on the Coconut grove Playhouse did not have the attendant 1,000 pages of documentation with the packets and members would not vote on the county plan until they knew what they were voting for and has people wondering if the county is running out the time. editor’s note: The County attorney Edward Kirtley who went after HEP member attorney Lynn Lewis and any conflict of interest and that she was “Biased” against the county’s plan was the subject of a public records request with the city by Cultural Affairs director Michael Spring. However, Spring only focused on her and none of the other board members, so he was focused only on her because ultimately, she had a hard time with the idea of demolition of the playhouse, but it shows the county is playing hardball and is determined the mixed-use plan gets approved regardless what the Grove residents want.
Further Spring in his legal appeal to the commission after the denial went after Lewis for allegedly violating the sunshine law. She is a respected attorney and a strong preservationist accusing her of being “biased.” Since she was the lone no vote on the proposal to demolish the historic Playhouse in the grove. The county playing hard ball with this appeal could end many people being on city boards where allegations could forever harm one’s reputation and she says, “she did not violate the sunshine law.”
>>> Mayor Francis Suarez gave his first state of the city speech at the Freedom Tower and the high energy young man and attorney was received by quests almost like a rally as he detailed the administrations goals in the coming year, but can he deliver? Suarez facing some losses like his strong mayor rejection by Miami voters sees the sunny side of the city and his only road block is Miami commissioner Joe Carollo who has challenged a host of deals being presented by the young mayor following in his father’s footsteps as mayor. The man who raised millions from firms and lobbyist has been criticized for this blatant addiction to campaign money that he Cooley says that is the world of politics despite facing no real competition for his last race where millions were raised.
>>> Mayor Suarez moving on up now sitting on dais between manager and attorney, make it seem he is a strong mayor though voters rejected that idea, not stopping him
Well Mayor Francis Suarez may have failed in his bid to become a strong mayor rejected by city voters, but he is moving ahead anyway and now sits between the city attorney and manager with a sign below his seat on the dais proclaiming the occupant is mayor Francis Suarez on the commission dais and that is a first. Further we will see over the weeks if he takes a more aggressive tone in his battles with commissioners and was seen on the questionable deal for a new city government center that commissioner Joe Carollo believes is a terrible deal and hammered Suarez during the commission discussion Thursday. Editor’s note: After Carollo’s accusations about the administration both Suarez, and manager Emilio Gonzalez want to hire their own attorneys on the city’s dime.
What about Carollo verbally pounding Suarez like a punching bag?
At the last commission meeting Carollo verbally decimated the mayor and the mayor’s non response has made the young man and scion of his father former Mimi mayor Xavier Suarez an arch enemy of Carollo after a disputed mayoral election
Suarez an attorney is very mum about his clients but at a previous law firm he was hired by the ritzy Fischer Island residents to lobby Miami-Dade county Carollo has raised the conflict issue with the new father and has bought a $1.4 million home in the south Grove but is very coy about how he could afford such a high end home given his net worth and previously reported in the watchdog Report. The man blows off any criticism of any conflict many times saying it is not anyone’s business but Carollo keeps needling him and he allows a doubt of his true interest is the city or possible running for higher office, but many are now saying he is not ready for prime time. And he is shocked when challenged on the matter and seems oblivious why some would even ask.
>>>> MESA Chaired under former mayor Regalado hires and supports questionable director, audit report finds major lapse of city code, some $170 million not included in city budgets from a host of organizations and CRAs
The Miami independent auditor gave Miami a gift for the new Year and the detailed audit of the obscure Miami agency Miami Exhibition Sports Authority (MESA) shows under former Mayor Tomas Regalado rules and procedures were bypassed and the former mayor’s aide Lourdes Blanco,62, did not have the skill sets (only a AA) for the job as Director and a combined salary of $112,976 since she was also paid out of a second budget. She claims the audit is a ‘witch hunt,’ and did nothing wrong but lack of oversight and violation of city policies is disturbing and the audit Theodore Guba, C.P.A. report shows a failure of responsibility while also identifying some $170 million in an assortment of other accounts not included in the city budget. Further Blanco who is seeing the city told me months ago she was innocent, and she did not “write any checks,” that was done she said, “by an auditing firm,” she insisted and suggested she was being set up since a hot of lawsuits are coming from deals with MESA like a heliport or seaplane airport base. Further Regalado attended the last MESA meeting even though he was no longer mayor. The audit brings up the fact that minutes were not available, even thou Blanco had a stereo tape recorded in the middle of the table and she assured it was being taped years ago and I have minutes from past MESA meetings but back then there was a different director, and many have occupied that position.
Here is a sentence from the audit
“We also found that approved budgets totaling $170 million for 14 authorities, agencies, and trusts were not included in the City’s adopted budget book.” Wrote the auditor and to see more go to
or to read the actual report go to:
>>> Lotus Village Event April 18
Join Us at the 2019 Gala Benefiting Lotus House and celebrating All Things New at Lotus House, most importantly, new lives and brighter futures with your help. Your sponsorship provides essential programs that heal, support, nurture, educate, and uplift women, youth, and children to improve the quality of their lives on every level and build the foundation for a safer, healthier, brighter future.
2019 LOTUS HOUSE GALA
ALL THINGS NEW! New Village, New Programs, New Clinic, New Lives
Thursday, April 18, 2019, at The Margulies Collection at the WAREhOUSE Wynwood Arts District: 591 NW 27th St., Miami, 33127
6:00pm VIP Reception, 7:00pm Dinner and Program 6-9pm Silent Art Auction
Frank Stella, K. 144, 2013
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
591 NW 27th Street, Miami, FL 33127
p: 305.576.1051 / f: 305.576.4963
State of Florida students with valid ID: Free
All other students: $5
All admission and book sales benefit the Lotus Village, a unique residential facility with wraparound support services for women, youth and children experiencing homelessness in our community.
>>> Carollo claims extensive corruption in code enforcement, verbally beats down mayor Suarez and administration, not a good look for commission, political daggers out
What happened last Thursday at the Miami commission meeting where commissioner Joe Carollo went after the mayor and city staff reminded me of the Sen. Joe McCarthy hearings since words like corruption possible incompetence were thrown around like confetti and it was only the police chief Jorge Collina who stood up to the inquisition by the former mayor, “saying he would not be bullied,” that had the moniker of “Crazy Joe,” it was Mayor Francis Suarez who had it worse and the man just got up and started to walk away (realizing anything he said was useless) under the tirade and has the magic city becoming one of the counties dysfunctional governments
>>> Elected leaders’ foreign trips could determine if they are Marco Polo, to county and city voters!
Since Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is termed out next year he is a lame duck and he is using this time to become the community’s Marco Polo as he travels the globe with his wife in tow and while he pays for her trip it comes across to the public as someone with entitlements and is his reward for being the strong mayor since 2011 and while luckily the region is booming people are wondering what is being accomplished on what used to be called junkets in the congress. However, Miami is not some unknown place throughout the world, and I used to joke. I could be with headhunters in Borneo and say Miami and they would come back with a response. The man a former Miami Fire and Rescue Chief should consider what his legacy will be in the twilight of his political career and these types of trips are little dings, especially since he never admits he might be wrong and bristles when challenged with is lobbyist son C.J. Gimenez his biggest liability as he ply’s the halls of the municipal governments.
And to support the WDR go to my Pay Pal account http://paypal.me/WatchdogReport Further, if you would rather send a check send it made out to Daniel Ricker and mail it to 3109 Grand Ave., #125 Miami, Fla. 33133. Thank you, Dan
Informed and saving taxpayer monies in the process. And I thank my supporters over the last 17 years. And to read a national story and profile of the WDR publisher in the early years and background back in 2003 go to: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2003-01-20/news/0301190341_1_ricker-school-board-president-miami-s-first-cuban-american
Daniel A. Ricker
Publisher & Editor
Copyright © of original material, 2018, Daniel A. Ricker