South Miami Hospital team rocks

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.


Is it really possible that the residents of the senior center are about to be moved to some mysterious unknown temporary location in two months and they still have no idea where they are going? As we reported last issue, the county recently sold the center to a private developer.

Although it seems the new owners, Related Urban, have been trying to do the right thing by meeting with them regularly to allay their many concerns, the seniors still have no idea where they will be while the six floors of the residence building and activities center gets a much needed make over.

The center is managed by the city and although candidates and commissioners raid the place right before election season, the only gentleman with the grace to attend the meetings in concern for our elderly population has been former Mayor Horace Feliu. Thanks Horace for showing you care, and let’s hope you start a trend at city hall to help the seniors get some answers pronto.


Local organizations “promoting family values” and offering leadership opportunities for Hispanic young women: Miss Hispanidad USA and Unity International Foundation, recently honored Chief Orlando Martinez de Castro with a special presentation in commission chambers.

Michelle Setty and Nicole Pelaez of Miss Hispanidad USA thanked the chief for his contributions to the Hispanic community of South Florida. This is just the recent in a series of accolades the chief has received from a vast South Florida community that sure seems to appreciate his service.

Now if only the loud minority of naysayers at city hall who are attempting to discredit the chief’s performance would allow him and his department to do their jobs in peace, we would all be better off.


Can it be true? While enjoying my favorite breakfast at a local eatery I heard an area health care company might just be interested in purchasing the shopping center at SW 62 Ave and US 1. Imagine that…a professional office center with lots of parking spaces right across the street from South Miami Hospital.

It could easily house a major medical/urgent care center and lots of doctor’s offices. They could even build a bridge across the highway to make it easier for professionals and clients to commute back and forth! I am still trying to get a pulse on which health care giant might be examining the possibilities but it sure is an interesting scenario isn’t it.


Just when they thought they got away with it, I mean, even though the mayor’s concrete laden “pond” was declared permissible without permits in a county hearing shortly after last year’s election, it seems Channel 7 wants to know more. Former Mayor Julio Robaina Jr. made a huge fuss over his gigantic “pond” (which is deep enough to dive into) in a major campaign broo haha. At the time City Manager Hector Mirabile chose to hand off the issue to the county to settle although by city definition it appeared to clearly be in violation of city pond standards. Let’s hope the naked truth reveals itself soon.


spoke with Footworks co-owner Hans Huseby (sorry we spelled your name wrong in the Halloween story last issue, my friend) the other day and he was tickled pink regarding his latest experience in trying to get a permit at city hall. It seems city staff actually took the time to help him out…wow.

Rather than repeating history and doing things the old way (which according to many disgruntled souls would be to simply reject the permit if not filled out properly) they actually took the time to assist him in completing some information that was missing so he could get it done right and before deadline. I think we can thank Hector’s leadership for this one, Go Manager!


Rhonda Sibilia of the Miami-Dade County Ethics Commission sent notice recently that the complaint against Chief Martinez for possible ethics violations is moving forward. Attorney for the Chief Simon Steckel said: “A probable cause finding in this scenario is merely an invitation for both sides to conduct a full trial before the committee and present all the evidence. We feel that since every witness who has been interviewed has taken a position favorable to Chief Orlando Martinez de Castro, we are confident that he shall be exonerated.”


Thank you John Edward Smith of SOMI Mag for sharing last issue’s front page Halloween Safe Streets photo and we apologize for the oversight in omitting the appropriate attribution. Sorry to Karen and Ed Nercess of All Star Photography for missing the photo credit on the online story for Chamber South’s 41st Annual South Miami Arts Festival. Thank you to Arelis Ferro of Chamber South for letting us know. We appreciate the spirit of collaboration we can share with South Miami’s finest media.


Ran into Fitness Together proprietor Scott Baumann at Casa Lario’s recently and he sure was chomping down on some yummy looking chicken loaded with veggies and capped off with an Espresso. Not that I was watching him or anything but he is sort of hard to miss with the huge pair of guns the guy is sporting nowadays. I am just happy to consider him a buddy and not a boxing opponent.


Well folks, another year is nearly behind us, and as we prepare to show the special people in our lives how much we love and care about them, please consider shopping local to find that one of a kind December present. I guarantee if you take a stroll down Sunset Drive downtown to window shop you will see a range of possibilities for the athlete, professional, fashionista, pet lover, or foodie in your circle of dear ones. So keep those dollars circulating in our community and spend in SoMi. And by the way, while you’re at it, take a moment to reflect on how lucky you are to have so many people in your life who love you no matter what.

Thought for the Day:

Our family is a circle of love and strength. With every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love. Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger

— Unknown

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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