Just like Horace, the city should set a goal for success

Executive Editor Michael Miller
Executive Editor Michael Miller

Well, it’s official. The former – yes, the very former mayor – Horace Feliu is running again. “What?!” Some may ask, “he’s actually gonna give it a shot?” Yes, he surely is. As you may know, Horace has been around the track many times. This ain’t his first race. And he’s making it official. Yes, this time around, our former mayor has announced he’s going to run a 5k race.

Apparently this race he’s entering is coming up pretty soon, and he’s been out training, sorta. In fact, the other day, Horace was spotted in his running clothes, sitting on a bus bench, bent over with his head in his hands as passersby, including a young mom pushing her four-month-old in a baby carriage, heard him saying “one block down and one more to go.” Naw, that really didn’t happen like that.

But folks, I gotta tell you, this city ought to figure out what, if anything, it can do about the dozen plus stores that are so sadly shuttered on Sunset Drive between US1 and SW 57 Ave. It’s only a two-block stretch but the city ought to go block by block just like Horace as he muddles through his routine, to consider how it might rebuild Sunset Drive – because the way it looks now, the sun has set on Sunset Drive.

I have to say, amidst the sad signs of failure up and down the strip, there are also some businesses that are finding ways to adapt and grow and succeed here in our downtown district. What comes to mind is Taste Buds of India. An associate of mine enjoyed his lunch buffet last week and reported he was not only quite satisfied with his decision to drop by, but he got an earful of good news from the owner regarding this growing entity, tucked beside the Irish Times Pub at 5850 Sunset Drive.

Chef-owner Arvind Kumar, from Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), came to Miami in 2009. Soon after opening his first Taste Buds in Coral Springs he came to South Miami where, he’s pleased to report, this restaurant is doing quite well. Now operating in four locations across South Florida, the menu is inspired by ayurvedic principals of balancing sweet, salty, sour, bitter and pungent flavors in a meal based on regional traditions from around India. In other words, there’s some really delicious food being served up in here!

Arvind said the success of this South Miami location is seen in a constant flow of guests Thursdays through Saturdays, and he’s pleased with the very robust take-out business at this location. There’s a saying that goes, “Failure is the mother of success.” Well if that’s true, then this is certainly an amazing example of how to make it happen here, baby. Based in part on the success of this Sunset location, Arvind also recently opened in Coral Gables and is hosting a grand opening of yet another Taste Buds on Miami Beach in April. I don’t know how to write good luck in Hindi, so, “Best of luck!”

You know, while I’m on the subject of successful dining spots in South Miami, I dropped by Big Cheese Italian Restaurant the other day and in one of those “aww-heck-go-for-it” moments, I ordered and totally consumed a plate of veggie lasagna. My oh my it was absolutely deliciously wonderful. And as I ate it, I looked up at all the patrons in the Big Cheese – and there were lots of happy people there – enjoying their families and friends and having a great time. This place, located at 8080 SW 67th Ave., is more than a restaurant, it’s an institution that has been serving up smiles, good times, and great food for decades. My compliments go out to Bill Archer and his Big Cheese staff for a job well done.

Friends of WLRN have been getting a lot of press because of a possible District operating agreement with the station that some believe would impact the public radio station’s independence and the agreement has raised red flags and Supt. Albert Carvalho has been trying to tighten up some of the procedures at the station and he has asked for help in finding a resolution and includes two past publishers of The Miami Herald and includes Alberto Ibarguen President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, David Lawrence, Jr., and reporter Joe Oglesby, a former editorial editor of The Miami Herald, along with former County commissioner Katy Sorenson who ran the Good Government Initiative at UM and this independent group and the station also has a relationship with The Miami Herald and a separate entity funds some of the stations staff who Carvalho wants to convert to school employees subject to background checks and other conditions.

The Watchdog over the years has been the only media keeping an eye on the station owned by the school board and I have their audits for almost a decade and The Friends of WLRN board changed their charter years ago without the district’s knowledge and the issue of some high salaries was voiced years ago by then school board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman. Further I went to the stations WLRN’s web page and I could find no agendas or minutes of past meetings and this information should be easily accessed but is currently not and that should be corrected.

The Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade County is working with the public schools district on a new program for three year olds where every month the child will get a new book free and is the Trust’s way to improve reading skills at an early formative age and being a strong reader early is a lifetime achievement and these children develop to their full potential and to sign up go to: thechildrenstrust.org Further, reading skills can also predict children that might fall into the criminal justice system a former us attorney who reads to children said. And this program could jump start a child’s interest in books.

Who is the new county commissioner that will sit on the 33 member Trust?
County Commissioner Xavier Suarez was appointed by commission chair Estephan Bovo to the Children’s Trust and he will replace Daniella Levine Cava on the volunteer board that has been free of any scandal’s and was renewed overwhelmingly in 2006 by voters.

Further Suarez pushed an alliance with the school board and county and funded some 3,500 summer jobs for young people last year.

Dade County School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho discussed a new stay healthy care “Blue book,” that lists the cost of medical procedures throughout the county and since the district is self-insured the Blue book lists medical facilities and the different costs and Carvalho said if the employees used the “green marked” hospitals the district will save millions of dollars and in some cases procedures could cost the district less “if they went to the Mayo Clinic in Ohio,” said Carvalho. And if the districts 50,000 employees and retirees used the green facilities “millions” could be saved if the green medical hospitals were used and if the greens are used the employee could get a check back for seeking the more reasonable pricing but still keeping a ‘high,” level of healthcare. Further, Carvalho noted one of the big reasons healthcare costs are so high is because of all the Medicare “Fraud,” he said and is why the district has a “white collar fraud crime unit,” something most public districts don’t have but here in Miami it is a must. Since people from Miami do fraud beta sites here and then export it around the nation.

(The last few items were provided by Watchdog Report)

Thought of the day
The greatness of man is not how much wealth he acquires but in his ability to affect those around them positively. 
– Bob Marley

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669-7355, ext. 249, or send emails to Michael@cnews.net.

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  1. You are right Michael…The city should set a goal for success. Businesses are leaving at an unprecedented rate. The only things that are up is…. crime, parking fees, lawsuits and taxes.


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