Sunday, May 31, 2009
I didn't miss much, apparently, being away from the blogs most of the day. There's just not a whole lot to cover for your End of the Weekend evening Sift.
A- What are the newest restaurants around South Beach? South Beach USA has the answer.
B- Eye on Miami dishes Marco Rubio.
Glad to see his aspirations are so high, otherwise he might be running for Miami-Dade Mayor where his pretty-boy good looks would have given his a good chance at winning.C- A new French restaurant by the name of Au Pied de Cochon has opened on South Beach and has already been blessed with a visit from Food For Thought.
I'd just as soon see them work on the portion sizes and smooth out the menu pricing all around, rather than have such extremes. It's possible to have a reasonably priced meal here, but it can also quickly become quite expensive. While it's nice and cozy, it is simply not a fancy enough place to feel like you're having a $100 meal; and at some of these rates, the Miami Au Pied de Cochon is going to have a difficult time drawing in the butchers. But if they can straighten out some of the food miscues and pricing oddities, and make this more of an "everyday" rather than "special occasion" type of place, I suspect it will do quite well with the South Beach crowd.D- Both Bark Bark Woof Woof and Reidblog note today's church shooting of a doctor who performed abortions. From the former...
I am pretty sure the far-right anti-choice crowd is cautiously condemning this act of terrorism -- which is what it is -- while trying to mitigate it by saying that Dr. Tiller himself was guilty of thousands of murders of the "unborn." They can say "Yes, we condemn this, but..." all they want, they can make all the excuses that they want, and they can pray to whatever god they choose to in thanks for vindication of their beliefs, but Dr. Tiller was practicing medicine within the laws of the State of Kansas and even if he wasn't, the act this morning was nothing less than what we accuse the Taliban and Al-Qaeda of doing and for what we allegedly went to war for.The shooter was probably pro-life. Isn't it ironic? Don't cha think?
I'm heading out of town through Friday which means that the Cooler is going to be going on hiatus for a while and that posting will be spotty until I get back. Or maybe not. It really depends upon how much time I'll have available to me.
But the Sift's will continue, although they may be a little earlier or a little later than usual.
Here's a small sampling of some of the stories you'll find floating around the mainstream media today.
A- Herald: Would you buy a used car from this man?
Busted -- again: Ken Gorin, president and CEO of The Collection luxury auto dealership in Coral Gables. Felony charges: cocaine possession and resisting officers with violence. Misdemeanor charges: indecent exposure and possession of drug paraphernalia.B- Herald: Hiassen is in full snark mode.
Gables police say Gorin, 53, let it all hang out during a roadside pit stop, tried to dump a container of coke, and pushed two cops.
Gorin's recent arrest occurred at 12:10 a.m. Wednesday in the 700 block of Bird Road, between Le Jeune Road and Granada Boulevard. Officers Walter Thomas and Scott Selent say they saw Gorin, at the wheel of a black Porsche, pull onto the road shoulder at a ``high rate of speed.''
Gorin stepped out of the car, walked to the passenger side, then ''unzipped his pants and . . . started urinating in full view of passing traffic,'' the arrest report says.
'As we were advising Mr. Gorin that there were more appropriate places to relieve himself, Mr. Gorin then threw an object from his hand which made a distinct `pinging' sound by bouncing off the car,'' the report continues.
When Thomas tried to retrieve the ''object,'' Gorin allegedly pushed him in the chest with his left hand and ran around the Porsche ``in order to jump back into the driver's seat in an apparent attempt to flee.''
Gorin also pushed Selent, police say.
The unidentified flying object turned out to be a ``cocaine dispenser with 3.5 grams of cocaine inside.''
Like many other Americans, every time I take my family to a national park I find myself thinking: Wow! If I only had a gun . . .C- Herald: Not pedestrian friendly.
Now, thanks to Congress and President Obama, all of us will soon be able to carry loaded firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges. Even concealed weapons will be allowed, for those who have state permits.
It's about time. The one element that's been missing from the outdoor experience in Yellowstone and Yosemite was the adventurous possibility that the drunks at the next campsite might be fooling around with a loaded .357.
Now the thrill is back, and the man to praise is Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma and a proud warrior for the National Rifle Association.
Even though Oklahoma isn't famous for its national parks -- you're probably not planning your summer around a trip to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area -- Coburn took up the battle on behalf of armed tourists everywhere.
Two victims of a crash along Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami were identified by police on Saturday. Maria E. Carrillo, 49, died at the scene. Her daughter, Lilliana Carrillo, 17, remained in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.D- Herald: They write letters.
The women, both from Tampa, were walking on the sidewalk Thursday when they were struck by a Toyota Tundra pickup that spun out of control after a collision with a Honda CRV at the intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast Sixth Street, according to Miami police.
Does anyone remember the Mariel boat lift? Well I think it's time we give the Castro government a payback. We release the Gitmo prisoners into Havana.E- NBCMiami: Beaches are bad, reporting is worse.
ED BALL, Miami Lakes
Miami beaches are dangerous enough with all the paparazzi chasing celebs and horny holy men laying hands on their mistresses. Now, you can't even get in the water..
Five beaches in Miami have failed the bacteria test for water quality and should be avoided, Florida Department of Health officials said Friday.
All other beaches in Miami-Dade are safe for a swim and contain the normal levels of horny teens, peeing kids and the occasional shark.
It was a very quiet Saturday night in the rather damp South Florida blogosphere last night. As a result, the morning Sift is short and sweet, but dry.
A- One-time WSVN weathercaster, Elita Loresca, was recently interviewed by an LA blog who asked her a couple questions about Miami. SFLTV provides a link to that interview.
B- Dente Press has a reading recommendation for South Floridians.
C- Random Pixels links to a New York Times travel story on SoFi.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Well you can fall for chains of silver,
You can fall for chains of gold,
You can fall for pretty strangers
And the promises they hold.
You promised me everything, you promised me thick and thin, yeah!
Now you just say, "Oh Romeo? Yeah, you know I used to have a scene with him".
-Mark Knopfler, Romeo and Juliet
It's been a gloomy Saturday in Broward, for the most part. We got chased off the golf course at around 11 when the skies unloaded but not before we got in 14 holes. It continues to sprinkle here, making it look like a good night to spend inside reading the evening Sift and listening to the Turndown Service later on.
A- Some Cranky Guy shares his Saturday morning of wandering with us.
Speaking of unexpected turns, on the way home my wife suddenly directed me me to turn into Jesse Durkos Nursery on 5151 SW 70th Ave in Davie. A place well hidden. But one worth the adventure of locating. The place is like a tropical gardens. In fact, we have paid to visit tropical gardens that were not as nice as this place. We have been working on creating a butterfly garden in our back yard. We have a number of different plants, and so far have attracted tons of Monarch butterflies, plus Zebras, and three other varieties that my wife can name but all I can say is they are orange, one is yellow and one is deep black or blue with yellow edges. No,wait, that was the peanut butter sandwich I had for lunch at work yesterday.B- Mambi Watch claims that a Cuban-American organization that works with U.S. humanitarian missions in Cuba is preparing a campaign of provocation against the Castro regime.
C- They're sourcing Pravda and finding it "interesting" at babalu.
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D- $3 valet parking will be available at restaurants in the Design District, according to All Purpose Dark.
E- Superbee made it to the George Clinton concert at The Florida Room last night.
It was sort of amazing being in sweating distance of a musical legend - and I did have a good time...but it was surreal. And George Clinton should probably leave his 70s repertoire alone, so that we can all remember what "We Want the Funk" sounded like, as sung from a voice not fried by crack.F- Ipanemic heads home.
Oh, one more nugget: before George started singing, he drew graffiti all over a canvas behind him, and then rubbed mustard on it. After the show Liza wanted the canvas. We asked around, and finally found a guy from the Florida Room who could quote the price - she asked how much the canvas was, and he said, "fifty," at which she and I said "Fifty bucks? Deal!"
And then the guy said, "No, $50,000.00 - the canvas alone costs $50.00," at which point we burst out laughing in the guy's face. Seriously? 50K? We watched it get scrawled on. In 10 minutes. There was mustard on it - a lot of mustard. And we're in the middle of a recession.
I’m leaving this place now. I regret that I made zero effort to pursue options out here. I really do. But I’m coming home..
The right conveniently overlooks that on a consistent basis, Democrats are sometimes harder on their own than conservatives are.This sparked an immediate response from Babalu's George Moneo, pictured above right, who promptly awarded me the First Annual Babalu Howler of the Year Award, stating...
Ladies and gentlemen, the unvarnished stupidity of that statement, the blatant hypocrisy, what with the Barney Franks, Chris Dodds and assorted tax scandals brewing in the current Administration, is truly breathtaking.
The Kool-Aid cocktails are ready. Take a sip...
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Fast forward to this Thursday when the very liberal, and sometimes loony, Ted Rall posts a scathing column on President Obama in which he suggests that the President should resign.
You'll never guess what blog and writer alerted me to Rall's column. No, I take that back. Of course you will. Because many of you know what a duplicitous and hypocritical bunker of BS that Babalu and in particular, George Moneo, are.
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Sometimes I truly believe that the opinions that are formed and expressed over there are the result of nothing more than involuntary synaptic responses that cause fingers to dance across keyboards and compose some of more half-baked blog posts that you'll find in the South Florida blogosphere.
Some, and they are idiots, look at Judge Sotomayor and say: attack, attack, kill. A conservative activist told the New York Times, "We need to brand her." Another told me a fight is needed to excite the base.
Excite the base? How about excite a moderate, or interest an independent? How about gain the attention of people who aren't already on your side?
The base is plenty excited already, as you know if you've ever read a comment thread on a conservative blog. Comment-thread conservatives, like their mirror-image warriors on the left ("Worst person in the woooorrrlllddd!") are perpetually agitated, permanently enraged. They don't need to be revved, they're already revved. Newt Gingrich twitters that Judge Sotomayor is a racist. Does anyone believe that? He should rest his dancing thumbs, stop trying to position himself as the choice and voice of the base in 2012, and think.
The choice for Republicans isn't between "attack" and "roll over." It's broader than that, and more interesting. There's a new and fresh opportunity here for Republicans in the Senate to be serious, and, in their seriousness, to be seen and understood in a new light.
Serious opposition to Judge Sotomayor is not only fair, it's necessary: It's your job to oppose if you oppose. But it should be serious, not merely partisan. Mr. Obama himself well knows he voted against John Roberts and Sam Alito only in essence because they were conservative. He was planning a presidential run and playing to a left-wing base. But that didn't enhance his reputation, did it? Not with anyone who wasn't part of his base.
Noonan ends with a suggestion for Republicans to start respecting the American people.
This might be a good time for them to rediscover their faith in the American people, in their ability to listen, weigh and think. That thinking may not always show up immediately in polls, but it adds up in time and has its own weight, its own force, and future.
Trust them. They're grown-ups, even if they don't always dress the part.
Be serious and they'll listen and think? Well, I don't know if I totally agree with that given that this is a nation of "Deal or No Deal" program viewers and 2-term Bush voters, but I couldn't agree more with Noonan that the Conservative Party's opposition has to rise above the gutter level that it now occupies. They are the opposition party and they're expected to oppose but there is no room for racism and the level of discourse that they have lowered themselves to in the last 5 months. It's bad for politics, it's bad for this country and, even if they themselves don't realize it, it's bad for the future of the Republican Party.
Get up and get the weekend started with your SFDB Saturday morning Sift.
A- Miami Bike Scene has pictures of a couple bikes that were stolen recently on Miami Beach. Be on the lookout!
B- Local Motion Miami has some photos from her visit to the Rubell Family Collection's 30 Americans exhibit.
The artwork left my mind swarming. I was overwhelmed by the beauty and complexity of the images, which grappled with issues of gender, identity, race, sexuality, U.S. slave history and violence.C- Some Cranky Guy has some weird creatures catching rides on him.
It also left me feeling that a truly liberated society is not color blind but rather exults and celebrates its technicolored population. There is nothing wrong with noticing the features that make each of us unique. It would be an awfully boring world if everyone looked like carbon copies of each other.
D- Random Pixels makes an interesting point about a certain local Cuban-American blog.
Not really, but it is fun pondering when Babalu's Val Prieto will get around to responding to all the right-wing racist attacks on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.E- Eye on Miami has the raw figures on the number of foreclosures in Miami-Dade Count this year and how those figures compare to years past.
Especially since they're always ever-vigilant in their effort to expose what they perceive as left-wing racism against Hispanics and Cubans where ever it exists.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Finally. The weekend is here. Posting already slowing down so I have a light TGIF evening Sift for you tonight. Enjoy.
A- Sex and the Beach is your social media HQ.
B- AshAndBurn has more Urban Beach Weekend photos up. I particularly like the one of the champagne in the rear fender. Very classy.
C- Eye on Miami gets a favorable response from TransUnion Credit after they criticize them in a post.
Transunion brass read my blog and contacted me and they are fixing my problem. Hallelujah!
Mango&Lime was one of my favorite South Florida foodie blogs in the early days of SFDB, so it was with some regret that I decided to move it off the roll in March of this year due to inactivity.
Well, Paula's back and posting regularly again so I'm happy to welcome Mango&Lime back to the SFDB South Florida Foodies blogroll.
In fact, check out her excellent post on the recent Miami Pizza Crawl. Lots of mouth-watering photos.
Because they are nothing if not right-wing parrots, babalu posted the story on Tuesday with the ominous title "Economic Warfare."
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Yesterday, we learned that the story was pure fiction.
Silver explained, “It turns out that all car dealers are, in fact, overwhelmingly more likely to donate to Republicans than to Democrats — not just those who are having their doors closed.” In all, Silver found that “88 percent of the contributions from car dealers went to Republican candidates and just 12 percent to Democratic candidates,” while, the list of Chrysler dealerships being closed “gave 92 percent of their money to Republicans — not really a significant difference.”
False and misleading information tagged up with an attention-grabbing headline. It's the recipe the National Enquirer has been using for years.
I know you're tired of Cutié atories, so no more. Here are some of the other things that are making news this morning in the local mainstream media.
A- Herald: A new source of revenue for Floridians.
There could be a bounty on the head -- and frighteningly long body -- of the Burmese python, serpent scourge of the Everglades.B- Herald: Bear causes school lockdown. Really.
State wildlife managers on Thursday informally ran the bounty idea by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar before his tour of the Everglades. Salazar, who also was given the opportunity to examine a live 16-footer captured in Everglades National Park, agreed it was worth looking into.
Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades National Park, said scientists are studying myriad ways to track and capture pythons -- from traps baited with enticing snake sex scents to unmanned drone planes that could survey and spot them in remote reaches.
Someone spotted a black bear near a Weston elementary school on Thursday, prompting a brief lockdown of the school, officials said.C- Sun-Sentinel: One more reason to remain single.
The bear was spotted in some bushes across the street from Manatee Bay Elementary, 19200 Manatee Isles Dr. The school was locked down for about 20 minutes.
TAMARAC - A Tamarac woman was charged with attempted murder after authorities say she held a knife to her husband's throat and demanded he sign divorce papers and the deed to their house.D- WPLG: Last weekend to buy a Louis Vuitton handbag for $10.
Tamara Strulovici, 51, approached her husband from behind in their home in the 2700 block of NW 54th Street and put a steak knife to his neck Monday night, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.
MIAMI -- After 26 years at the same location, vendors at the Flagler Flea Market are being forced to pack up and move.E- WPLG: South Florida life and death.
Construction for a new casino at the Flagler Dog Track is prompting track owners to close the flea market.
PLANTATION, Fla. -- Two women are dead after a shooting at a South Florida gas station on Thursday morning.F- WPTV: Video, PETA showers in public.
According to Plantation Police spokesman Robert Reddig, around 1 a.m., the women drove into the Chevron station on Pine Island Road and Broward Boulevard. That's when a gunman entered the gas station and began shooting.
It's Friday and things are starting to wind down in the blogosphere. Light posting last night night translates into a light TGIF morning Sift.
A- All Purpose Dark visits BLT Steak at the Betsy Hotel.
Highlights include the tuna tartar (above), nestled on a bed of ice and nicely seasoned with a soy lime dressing. The Wagyu flat iron is served in a hot cast iron pan which makes it difficult to cut but also helps the meat keep warm. The best side dish was a heaping bowl hen of the woods mushrooms, chewy and flavorful with slight hints of garlic and rosemary. The tower of onion rings was disappointing, with flavorless batter that packed no crunch (too bad, too as I was really looking forward to those). The gnocchi were fuffy and enlivened by lots of grated parmesean but no real revealations there.B- 26th Parallel has some [hopefully] final thoughts on Father Alberto Cutié.
I'm glad that Father Alberto has decided to remain in the Christian community as a minister, but feel saddened that he has chosen to leave the church he committed to many years ago. As I've stated in previous posts on the topic, I can go either way with Catholic priests being married, but what's gotten kind of lost in this case is that Padre Alberto broke his vows, whether you agree with them or not.
Also, and most importantly in the grand scheme of things; as influential and charismatic as Alberto was with Catholics in South Florida, he's only one man.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Kind of a light day of posting in the South Florida blogosphere. Remember to check the Weekend Widget in the right sidebar to find out what's going on this weekend. Here's your Night Before Friday evening Sift.
A- Miami Bike Scene has information on an upcoming City of Miami Bike Summit.
On Monday, June 15th, the City of Miami invites you to the first Miami Bike Summit at Jose Marti Community Center to discuss Miami’s Bicycle Master Plan. Meet city leaders, planners, cyclists and neighbors and learn about some of the ways Miami is becoming a more bicycle-friendly city.B- Food For Thought shares his impression of last night's Pizza Crawl.
There will be maps of the city and markers so you can mark exactly where you think our city needs bike lanes, parking, signage...
While the pizza at Andiamo was perfectly serviceable, it paled in comparison to either Joey's or Pizzavolante. A good selection of beers did help wash it all down.C- TV show Burn Notice will be allowed to stay in Coconut Grove for another year, says Coconut Grove Grapevine.
Favorite so far? If I could get the crust from Joey's done in the woodburning oven at Pizzavolante, and topped with Pizzavolante's fresh dandelion greens and the pepperoni and guanciale and Vito's mozzarella (and maybe a few other more varied combinations), I'd be quite happy.
Burn Notice will continue to be based at the Expo Center in Coconut Grove through the 2010 televison season and maybe get a one year extension after that. The City Commission passed a resolution at 3:30 pm today after a long drawn out love fest in the commission chambers by fans and people involved with the show. The production company was literally filming a few blocks away at the time.D- Father Alberto Cutié is free to fornicate, according to Random Pixels.
In case you've been out of touch, Father Alberto Cutié, Miami Beach's naughty Catholic rock star priest has jumped ship and morphed into an Episcopalian today, which one very thoughtful Herald reader calls a "fake religion."E- Soul of Miami has a listing of what you can expect at Van Dyke's Upstairs for the month of June.
The Herald reports that the transformation took place at a "small, private ceremony happened early Thursday afternoon at Trinity Cathedral, the church's South Florida headquarters in downtown Miami."
I can't wait.
I wanted to update this post to direct you to Riptide's take on the show but also say one other thing that those of you who have been following SFDB have heard me say before, and that is...
If you pick up material from another blog and use it, throw them a link. It's etiquette, it's minding your manners and it's just being nice. I don't know if Riptide's Duran got an email on Social Miami or found it on his own. But if he picked it up while surfing through The South Florida Traveler or SFDB, he owes one of us a link.
Again, you don't get arrested, you don't go to jail, and you don't get your blogger credentials revoked, but, c'mon, folks...we're all in this together.
Riptide actually posted about Social Miami 1 day before The South Florida Traveler, according to information provided in the comments section.
My apologies to Riptide and specifically, Jose Duran, for any implications that may have been offensive.
There's a bunch of stories in today's MSM that I think you might find interesting.
A- Herald: Notable passing.
Rev. Gérard Jean-Juste, the Roman Catholic priest whose passionate, relentless, 30-year human-rights crusade on behalf of his fellow Haitians cast him as their spiritual and political leader in South Florida, has died.B- Herald: Hope and change.
Several positive signs suggest that the Broward housing market may be closer to bottoming out -- even as April existing home sales released Wednesday showed that prices in both counties continued to decline.C- Herald: Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's mother [Celina] lives in a condo in Tamarac.
Spurred by astoundingly low prices, low interest rates and an $8,000 tax credit, April home sales rose for the ninth-consecutive month over the same year-ago period in Miami-Dade and Broward, according to the Florida Association of Realtors.
Miami-Dade single-family home sales were up by 98 percent and by 70 percent for condos. Broward home and condo sales rose 33 and 39 percent, respectively.
But there were other signs that Broward may be recovering faster than Miami-Dade.
The actual number of properties sold in Broward was greater -- 1,517 compared to Miami-Dade's 1,097, or 28 percent more.
Also, there were fewer properties for sale in Broward, an important step in restoring balance between buyers and sellers.
The widowed Celina worked six days a week to send her daughter and younger son, Juan -- now a doctor in Syracuse -- to Catholic school.D- Herald: Editorial, keep Tri-Rail running.
She was once a telephone operator at a hospital and went on to become a nurse, often working at methadone clinics. The family lived in Bronxdale Homes, the red-brick housing projects of the East Bronx where they had moved in the 1960s.
''Celina is a beautiful lady, and her children have always been her priority,'' Fanny Seijas, a close friend who met Sotomayor at a computer class in Coconut Creek years ago, said Wednesday. ``She has had hard times. But she worked really hard to give her children the education they needed. She is so proud of both of their accomplishments.''
Like good public schools and safe neighborhoods, efficient mass transit can be a selling point for companies considering relocating. No self-respecting cosmopolitan area that likes to call itself the Gateway to the Americas can own that title if it lacks decent mass transit. Tri-Rail is the only viable north-south transit link to the three counties' growing bus systems. It carries thousands of workers every weekday. It's especially popular for commuters who work at Miami International Airport, Miami-Dade's No. 1 economic engine.E- Herald: They write letters.
South Florida business and civic leaders have the clout to convince county and state decision-makers how unforgivably short-sighted it would be to let Tri-Rail wither away. They should use that clout now.
In her May 24 column, Cuban soldier who died in Vietnam deserves highest U.S. honor, Myriam Marquez makes a good case for Army Capt. Feliz Sosa-Camejo being considered for a Medal of Honor. But the headline leads me to believe she has an agenda other than seeing him be awarded the medal.F- Sun-Sentinel: Hit the road, Jack...or Tony.
Just as Colin Powell is not a black general, Alvin York was not a Tennessee dirt farmer soldier and Colin Kelly was not an Irish air hero, Sosa-Camejo was not a Cuban soldier. I don't know if he was an American citizen, but I do know that he and the others were American servicemen.
LOU REILLY, Miami
FORT LAUDERDALE - A Broward prosecutor's husband has been busted as an accused drug dealer in possession of more than an ounce of cocaine, nearly a pound of marijuana and 21 prescription pills.G- Sun-Sentinel: Big ass advertising in downtown Miami.
The day he bonded out of jail, she filed for divorce.
Anthony Mercer, 35, has been married to Elizabeth Scherer-Mercer, 33, a prosecutor in the Broward State Attorney's Office, since May 4, 2002.
Mercer, a contractor, also is the son-in-law of Bill Scherer, a prominent Fort Lauderdale attorney, sometime developer and Republican Party fundraiser.
Following his May 21 arrest in the Fort Lauderdale warehouse where the narcotics and pills were found, Mercer admitted to police that he had packaged the drugs for distribution and said it was "basically paying the rent," according to an arrest report.
The next day, Mercer bonded out of jail for $22,100 and his wife filed for divorce.
The Miami Heat is adding a dash of Times Square to downtown Miami.H- NBCMiami: Your South Florida WTF moment.
The team unveiled a 3,400-square foot LED curtain-style marquee known as MiamiMediaMesh Wednesday night on AmericanAirlines Arena's west facade, launching the venue into a new era of promotion and advertising. It marks the first time the technology developed by a German company is being used at a sports venue in the United States.
The stainless steel mesh marquee, which is 3/4-inch thick and 70 percent transparent so it does not block the view from inside the arena, covers a dozen window panels, where the team typically hangs giant banners. It is replacing those banners with a dynamic display board that will promote Heat games, concerts and events, and at times, broadcast the public's Twitter messages.
It will also provide advertising space visible to the 1.4 million people who attend arena events annually, as well as 65,000 cars traveling on Biscayne Boulevard daily, and 3.8 million cruise passengers at the nearby Port of Miami each year.
The baby born with a massive tumor on his head that doctors had said may have been an undeveloped twin is doing just fine.I- WPTV: No LOL.
Little Jordan Jamal Smith was not expected to live when he entered the world with a two and a half-pound tumor the size of a softball covering his head on March 25, 2009.
Four months into her pregnancy, doctors had told his mother, Kimberly Robinson, that there was something very wrong with the child she was carrying.
Robinson had been told that her unborn child had an undeveloped twin protruding from his mouth and resting just millimeters from his brain. Many physicians said the child likely wouldn't survive birth.
But Dr. Ramzi Younis, an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor at The University of Miami/Jackson Memorial in Miami wasn't ready to give up on Robinson's baby, no matter what was attached to his face.
VERO BEACH, FL -- A suspected con-man who was scheduled for sentencing at the Indian River County Courthouse, killed himself moments before he was due to face a judge.
Patrick Bock, age 45, was convicted of racketeering and unemployment compensation fraud. Bock ran a mold removal business. State attorneys say he scammed two dozen residents out of more than $250,000 by fabricating lab results to attract new clients.
But Bock was late arriving to Vero Beach from his home in Orlando. He sent Slaughter a text message that he was running late. Then, at 9:28am, nearly a half an hour after court began, Bock sent Slaughter another text message that read, "I'm dead in the parking garage. I finally control my own destiny. Sorry Lev."
"Lev" refers to Lev Evans, the assistant state attorney on the case.
Court officials rushed to the parking garage across the street from the court house. That's where they found Bock's body in his car. He'd shot himself in the head.
I have a great, jam-packed morning Sift for you so let's not waste any time. Here are some of the highlights of what was posted last night as you slept.
A- Big ups [are they still saying that?] to Miami Dish for a super post on last night's Pizza Crawl. My Google Reader tells me the photo-laden missive was posted at 1:33 this morning!
Of all of the pizza places we tried today, I would most likely return to Pizza Volante. Many items on the blackboard menu intrigued me, including the pasta dishes, braised short ribs with potato gnocchi, and the mozzarella bar. The foods in the display cases, including tomatoes and fried zucchini looked so bright and appealing. I’m also curious to check out future Volante 100 flavors. One diner wondered what might be on the pizza this summer-Papaya? Mango?B- Random Pixels catches the Herald in an embarrassing moment.
C- Ipanemic shares, in depth, his experiences out in California after driving across the country on a scooter.
I drank, I danced, I sang.D- 305 went to the Keys over the Memorial Day weekend and has the photos to prove it.
And while it was only that night, it was a memory that I won’t forget. I had crossed the country for that moment. Just that one moment in time. And should you ask...
Yes. It was worth it.
While there we rented bikes to get around, which is the best, and arguably the only way you should see Key West. Forget scooters, you can get horribly injured, and parking a car is a nightmare. With bikes you can get around everywhere, tie them to any loose pole and explore. Riding at night is my favorite, once the temps in the 70s and 80s, the wind blowing and the only sound is the occasional creak of the bike, the crickets and the frogs.E- South Florida Theatre Scene posts their weekly theater wrap up.
F- In a post that is NOT about government waste or corruption, Eye on Miami gives us a look at what they call Miami's Schmatta Row.
In Allapattah, along N.W. 20th Street, we have Miami’s version of Hallandale Beach’s Schmatta Row, which was popular for dress shopping in the 70’s and 80’s. Schmatta is a yiddish word for “rag” representing a real comfy item.G- Bark Bark Woof Woof has the latest Republican inanities regarding Supreme Court Justice Nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
H- In a story you won't hear about over at that Cuban-American blog preoccupied with how their cigarettes and liquor are going to be taxed, Reidblog notes that President Obama has nominated a Cuban-American to represent the United States at the Vatican.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
It was another full day of posting in the South Florida blogosphere so we have a packed house for your Hump Day evening Sift.
A- Well, if you ever wanted an idea of what the legendary Michael's Genuine Food & Drink culinary experience is all about, Food For Thought has the ultimate in MGF&D reviews.
Now a little more than two years old, it's refreshing and gratifying to see the restaurant is still regularly finding new and interesting things to put on the menu, still dedicated to local, sustainable and artisanal foods, and still absolutely at the top of its game.B- South Florida Lawyers has some comments on Republican's reaction to President Obama's Supreme Court nomination.
Have we returned to 2005 and entered Stupidville again?C- I Shot The Chef makes some great looking apple strudel.
For example, did you know that if you graduated summa from Princeton and was EIC of the Yale Law Review, that makes you "intellectually mediocre"?
Employing the laziest of stereotypes, it's a proven fact that if you are Hispanic and female you are by definition "temperamental and excitable" and possibly "Che Guevara in robes."
D- The PhinPhanatic looks at the recent arrest of Dolphins player Randy Starks on South Beach and discusses whether race could have played into at all as Starks' attorney is claiming.
What is known is that on two occasions the officer tried to get Starks to stop and on two occasions he did not. By law, that is disobeying an officer, in other words try that if your speeding and you will see what happens when you say “sorry officer, I didn’t know you were trying to get me to pull over.E- Random Pixels finds an abandoned shopping bag at a Starbucks on South Beach and analyzes its contents.
Until the facts in this case come out, if they ever come out, Starks’ attorney needs to sit down with the DA negotiate a simplified plea to a misdemeanor, get the felony dropped and tell his client to use a little more discretion the next time he cruises Southbeach...
Inside the Whole Foods bag was a bag from CVS containing a Right Guard deodorant stick and pack of Marlboro Lights. The cigs and the deodorant had been purchased at 2:15pm. Total cost $8.88. He saved 66 cents on the smokes. Paid for with a credit card.F- Miamism answers a question many people who read blogs have: "What does $18 million get me on Miami Beach?"
The mystery shopper then walked 4 blocks to the Whole Foods at Alton Road and 10th Street and bought two bottles of Evian Spring Water 2:30pm. Total $4.98. Credit card used again. (I wondered why someone would care enough about their health to buy overpriced imported water but still smoke cigarettes.)
From Whole Foods our mystery shopper then walked across the street to Starbucks and took a table outside, spending some time and then leaving without their shopping bag.
This home is brand new and built in 2009 with 100 feet of water frontage and 24,000 square feet of land. It offers luxury in every way imaginable from custom closets, fireplace, elevator, 2-car garage, summer kitchen …just to mention a few things and was designed by Touzet Studio.G- Brickell Life continues his glance back into Miami Beach history and tells us the story of former Nazi collaborator and Treblinka death camp guard Fedor Fedorenko.
Seven years later, Fodorenko decided to move to Miami Beach, where he took up residence among the elderly Jewish population, many of which were Holocaust survivors. Eventually his past caught up with him and Fodorenko was charged with falsifying his immigration documents and for not revealing his service as a Nazi camp guard during the war. Fedorenko claimed he was just a poor Russian, captured by the Germans and forced to be a guard to stay alive. But witnesses described in heartbreaking detail how he wore the uniform, carried a rifle, forced people into the gas chambers and even enjoyed days off with pay in nearby towns.H- Carlos Miller, posting for Miami Beach 411, discusses Urban Weekend and, not surprisingly, takes a negative look at the behavior of police during the week.
Meanwhile, businesses on South Beach are recovering from the festive, but controversial, weekend that sends many of the locals out of town, and many of the tourists to jail.I- Foodtastic! reminds us that next week is Coral Gables Restaurant Week.
The 11th Street Diner reported the worst of it.
“It’s a nightmare,” said manager Isabelle Fernandez, who has been working at the Diner for 16 years. “You have people walking out without paying, sending food back after they’ve eaten half of it.”
“While it was less physically violent this year than previous years, it was more verbally abusive,” she said.
One waitress named Bianca said she was physically threatened by a woman who accused her of getting her order wrong.
“The women are worse than the men,” said Fernandez.
J- Incertus analyzes the Myth of the Most Qualified Candidate.
One reason that the defenders of the straight, white male judge flame are howling so loudly over this is that this move on the Court is just the latest sign that their (our, since I'm one too) era of unquestioned dominance is over, and our unassailable privilege is leaking away too, and quickly. They don't like that because it makes them actually wonder if their accomplishments came as a result of merit or as a result of an old boy's network that rewarded straight, white masculinity in the way they imagine Affirmative Action rewards skin color or Title IX rewards being a woman or ENDA would reward being gay (if it ever passes). They can't deal with that challenge to their egos, so they lash out and prove themselves to be just what we thought they were--out of touch and frightened of the future, hanging onto a mythical view of the world and thinking that if they just say what they believe long enough and loudly enough, it'll be true.K- Miami City Diggs profiles The Cosmopolitan on South Beach.
Where can you find the best pizza in South Florida?I am not a pizza expert by any means and haven't been to any of the restaurants that the Crawl is hitting, but I have to say that Anthony's ricotta and meatball pie is a hard one to beat.
Here are a few of the more interesting items I was able to pull out of the mainstream media this morning.
A- Herald: Keep Tabby locked up.
B- Herald: Pitts on not letting the terrorists win.
The mutilated bodies of three cats were found in Southwest Miami-Dade this week, adding to the dozens that were already maimed and killed this month by an apparent serial cat killer.
The bizarre crime spree has left residents of Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay reeling as cats have been found skinned and gutted, left dead on their owners' lawns.
Authorities are warning residents to keep their cats indoors at night when these killings seem to be taking place.
The difference is, the 2001 attack was so vast and horrific it did what none of the others could: It caused us to reconsider the very values that make us who we are, including the right to privacy, the right to free speech and worship, the right of habeas corpus and the right not to be waterboarded into a false confession. If history is a guide to the future (and it is) then terrorists will hit us again, no matter who is president, no matter what policies he or she sets. Dick Cheney knows this, yet he preys on our fear with politics.C- Herald: Hot for teacher.
No one denies a need to take every reasonable precaution for security. But we need to get over the idea we can guarantee we are never hit again. You simply cannot make that promise and have left a country worth living in. Or as President Eisenhower reputedly said, ``If you want total security, go to prison.''
Some of us would prefer not to. Some of us realize that a degree of risk is inextricable from any degree of freedom.
And some of us think freedom is worth it.
When police wanted to question a teacher accused of having an affair with an eighth-grader at a private religious school, she was out of town -- vacationing at Disney World with the student.D- Herald: About time.
Upon her return Saturday, 32-year-old Maria Guzman Hernandez, a sixth-grade teacher at Hialeah's Our Lady of Charity, admitted to Hialeah police she'd had sex with the 15-year-old.
Hernandez was charged with sexual battery on a child over whom she had custodial authority, a charge similar to statutory rape.
Rumors began circulating at the school around May 20. For two days, principal Xenia Torres struggled with whether to report the rumored affair to DCF's abuse hot line, but a school attorney insisted they had no choice under a state law that mandates the reporting of all suspected child abuse or neglect...
Though the school identifies itself as a Catholic private school in state Department of Education records, Our Lady of Charity is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, said Mary Ross Agosta, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Miami.
The Miami Police Department's crime scene photographers will soon dump their film developer fluid for the last time.E- Sun-Sentinel: Chan Lowe.
They're finally going digital: replacing their 35mm cameras, chemical batches and darkroom with digital Single Lens Reflex cameras, computers and a server.
Lazaro Fernandez, the forensic investigations supervisor, offered a reason for the delay:
Courts were initially reluctant to allow digital photography to be admitted as evidence because they wrongly feared the images could be easily manipulated, he said.
F- NBCMiami: Party like you don't have a job.
The Seminole Hard Rock is one of several South Florida hot spots hosting "Pink Slip Parties" to help people who have lost their jobs. The event is at 88's Dueling Pianos from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is free for the jobless masses. Another Pink Slip Party will be held in Miami on Thursday night at the Martini Bar on Sunset Place. The two parties are being hosted by JobsDirectUSA.
The "parties" are really networking opportunities that attract hundreds of the newly jobless and potential new gigs. The social/business get-togethers have become popular nationally, but not all are free, which is kind of a bummer for the people organizers are trying to attract - you know, the people who don't have any money because they don't have a job.
Heavy posting continued through last night in the South Florida blogosphere so grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable and enjoy your morning Sift...
A- I was all excited to get an informed, intellectual analysis of the Supreme Court nominee from babalu this morning after reading this...
...I think I have something to offer above and beyond the driblle you will get from all the plethora of wankers and the uninformed who don't know anything about the law or the courts.Alas...
They tried to vilify Roberts and Alito; unfairly solely for political gain. And the Dems take pride in saying they voted against their confirmation. Obama voted against them, well it's payback time. We should give the Dems the same treatment they gave President Bush with his nominees. Political? Yes. But they started it.Yes, let's all act like 2nd graders for the good of this country. Sheesh.
Apparently one thing Republicans are not very adept at grasping is that elections have consequences.
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B- For a more informed and adult discussion on the nominee, visit Southern District of Florida Blog or Bark Bark Woof Woof.
C- The biggest house in Broward County is owned by a guy who sells mattresses, according to Weston Daily Photo.
D- The Chowfather takes a quick look at a couple of the new pizza spots around South Florida.
I'm a huge traditional NY style pizza fan who has come to the realization that I'm not going to find the NY style Pizza I was raised on in Miami. Nevertheless, there is still good alternative style pizza out there to enjoy.E- More Blog About Buildings And Food has an issue with the New Times website which leads him to conclude that print journalism is dying because of online problems. WTF?
In my never-ending quest to find great pizza I recently had the opportunity to try Rack's and Pizzavolante.
F- A Hialeah cop got their bike stolen while on duty on Miami Beach this weekend, according to Random Pixels.
A platoon of bicycle-mounted police officers from Hialeah were having dinner at an eatery at 7th and Washington. They parked their bikes on the street without locking them.G- After reading Eye on Miami's latest post, I'm thinking a blogger got a ticket going down to the Keys this weekend.
That's right, you guessed it.
One of the bikes was stolen.
Simply put: The citizens and tourists in the Florida Keys come over the environmental menace called the Jew Creek Bridge and its attached “18 mile Stretch” right into the arms of the Florida Highway Patrol. Using their new laser toy, they are snagging tourist and resident alike speeding along the roadway.
What a shame they did not enforce the speed limits before widening the road. Maybe they would have made the road safer and eliminated the need for the destruction of mangroves and the removal of natural habit to satisfy the safety freaks.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
For three days, posting was light and easy and compiling the Sifts was a piece of cake. But as people returned to work today, the computers warmed up and posting resumed at a frenetic pace. Here's your rather large and robust Tuesday After a Long Weekend Sift.
A- Ipanemic is already plotting his return to South Beach. And I'm glad.
I’ll soon return to South Beach.B- Mood Vane has posted lots and lots of photos from last night's concerts at Fox and Hound.
I’m in a bit of a weird place; I have work I NEED to do out here. And work I want to do. But I feel pulled to return.
We bobbed our heads over at the bar and reggae danced from the chest up while we drank a couple of cold cocktails and people watched with great interest!C- Artlurker comments on Miami artist Jen Stark's first New York City solo show that is going on as we speak.
Stark’s work invites discussion on the nature of creation, of man-made and natural forms, infinity and ultimately our common affection for simulacra and the conscious aping of beauty. She focuses in on our desire to be enthralled by that which is not real, but which could easily be alive. Truth as we find it, the human experience as Stark and Baudrillard posit, is a man-made wonderland in which all art, whether produced by old masters or Miami contemporaries, shares a common ground in unreality.D- Little Limbaughs have latched on to Marco Rubio as the Republican's Party Great Hispanic Hope, according to Reidblog.
He's young, he's handsome, and by God, he's Hispanic! And so, the righties, tired of being branded a bunch of old white guys, have latched on to Marco Rubio, who has officially replaced Jeb Bush's son George P. as The Future of the Republican Party.E- Generation Miami plugs a movie that they feel is worthy of your attention tomorrow night at UM.
F- The South Florida blogosphere may have just gotten a lot bigger, according to this post from Mayor Manny.
Today we celebrate Miami sixth-graders who have earned a free computer as part of the Elevate Miami – Rites of Passage program. The program is a joint effort of the City of Miami, Miami-Dade Public Schools and private partners to close the digital gap within our community, and it is part of our committment to provide every 6th grader in Miami with a free computer and internet access.G- Random Pixels clears up some erroneous information being disseminated that indicates that taking photos around Metrorail stations is not allowed.
Curious as to why someone from the transit authority would confront a tourist with a camera, I sent an email to Harpal Kapoor, director of Miami Dade Transit asking for clarification on the legality of taking pictures at MetroRail stations.H- Eye on Miami has been posting some pretty lengthy diatribes on something called SB360. I can't stand long posts, so today's short and sweet video that they put up is a great way for everyone, including me, to get familiar with SB360.
In my email I explain that I learned of the incident on a blog but he apparently thinks that I'm the one who was confronted.
But the rest of his email is clear: It's OK to take non-commercial pictures at MetroRail stations.
I- Coconut Grove Grapevine says it makes sense to keep Burn Notice in the Grove.
They are said to spend upwards of $6 million per season on expenses from local crew salaries to food, lodging, car and truck rentals, lighting, construction materials and all the money that trickles down from that. With tax rolls down and money tight, why not keep Burn Notice's money coming in as well as keeping the good publicity the show gives Coconut Grove throughout the world?J- There were a coupla food reviews posted today: The Burger Beast thought Miyako Japanese Restaurant [where they don't serve burgers!] was good and Foodtastic! thought Puerto Rican restaurant Benny's Seafood Restaurant was a bust, and therefore, I guess, never listed its location.
K- The Veterans For Peace have a temporary memorial set up in Lummus Park on South Beach, as Sex and the Beach reminds us.
L- Miami Bike Scene has a recap of this past weekend's wet Call to Cranks events and their usual well done video.
The alley cat began at 4pm from Holiday Park, it started raining right at the start. The race was 15 miles long, stretching just west of I-95 all the way east to Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd. An excellent tour of FTL in wet conditions with 10 checkpoints in total. The check points consisted of the following: stenciling a t-shirt at Blackbook Stencils, swallowing a little cup of ketchup, releasing all the air from your bikes tube and then pumping it back up , track standing, running in the wet sand at the beach, dizzy bat, and more. There were 5 bridge climbs, a fast descend through the New River Tunnel, a few railroad track crossings, semi-strong head winds on A1A & Las Olas, and ample rain.M- Discourse lets us know what to expect in the coming days with President Obama's Supreme Court Justice nomination that he made today.
The battle lines are drawn. Democrats will start by noting that in 2005 Republicans claimed filibustering Judicial Nominees was the most hideous form of political subversion. Up or down vote was the mantra. And it’s all on tape at DemocracyOrHypocrisy.org.
The White House is going to take the high road, noting over and over again that no Supreme Court justice in a hundred years has had this much prior experience on the federal bench — without worrying about what this might mean for any future nominee who wasn’t a judge.
Just a few things in the news to get your Tuesday morning off and running.
A- Herald: Video, Urban Beach Weekend.
B- Herald: Stuck on the Palmetto. For years.
C- Herald: Dolphin drives a truck on Ocean Drive and acts the fool.
By August, the Florida Department of Transportation expects to select the private company or group of companies that will rebuild the massive interchange at the junction of the Palmetto and Dolphin Expressways -- one of South Florida's busiest with more than 430,000 vehicles a day using its confusing ramps and flyovers.Construction is expected to begin late this year or early next year and will last about six years.
D- Herald: Reader's "Best Of."
Miami Dolphins player Randy Starks was arrested and charged with aggravated battery early Sunday morning after veering his slow-moving truck into an officer who was trying to stop him along Ocean Drive during the busy Memorial Day weekend, police said.
Here's what happened according to a police report:
Starks, a 25-year-old defensive end, was driving a black freightliner through bumper-to-bumper traffic around midnight when an officer noticed there were 13 people in the four-person vehicle, including a woman sitting on his lap.
The officer walked up to the car and knocked on the side window; Starks kept driving. Starks finally stopped when the officer knocked on the side door.
Then the car accelerated, moving slightly to the left.
The movement caused the vehicle to hit the officer in the chest and pinned him against a vehicle in another lane.
Police ran the tag on the truck, which showed the license plate was not registered to that vehicle.
E- Sun-Sentinel: But are they Fido's or Fred's?
BOCA RATON - Investigators are trying to determine if body parts that washed up at South Inlet Park in Boca Raton are human and if so, where they came from.
F- South Florida Business Journal: Off da hook.
Following a two-year investigation, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has cleared Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones of allegations she accepted bribes associated with two high-profile residential projects.G- WPLG: Serial cat killer strikes again.
She also was cleared of allegations that she interfered with city personnel decisions tied to the Miami Department of Parks and Recreation, and accepted kickbacks during the time she was a cultural arts coordinator for the city.
PALMETTO BAY, Fla. -- Pet owners are warned to keep their animals indoors after another cat was found mutilated in a South Florida neighborhood..
Lynette Bass, a woman who lives in the area, called Local 10 and said she noticed a dead cat on her lawn Monday morning. She said it looked as if the cat had been shot and then skinned from the waist down.
When the South Florida blogosphere is dead, you know where you can always go to find something entertaining.
A- Babalu thinks the Obama Administration is making it a priority to shut down Chrysler dealerships owned by Republicans.
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I'm also hearing that many of the GM dealerships that are closing are owned by rich, white guys who like to listen to Rush Limbaugh.
I'll get that story to you as I get more info.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Back to work tomorrow. [Sigh] Holiday weekends go way too fast. Here's your waning Memorial Day 2009 evening Sift.
A- I didn't read Bark Bark Woof Woof's Memorial Day story until this evening when the day was almost done but it was still well worth it.
When I was a kid the parade was made up of the veterans groups like the American Legion and the VFW, and platoons of soldiers and veterans, including, through the 1970's, the last remaining veterans of World War I. They wore their uniforms and their medals, and those that couldn't march sat in the back seat of convertibles, waving slowly to the crowds that lined the sidewalks.B- A Mom, A Blog and the Life In-Between gets in a scary vehicle crash.
Once I felt a little more certain I was indeed alive (and the four men at my window yelling at me, asking if I was o.k., really helped with that), I sat still, silent, wondering if I could or should move anything, feeling this incredible haze around me, my brain not knowing what to think first. I opened my door to assure the men I was o.k., even as I asked, "I'm alive, right?"C- Tilefortlauderdale leaves Lucy at the Dough Boys on 17th Street.
D- The Sports Exchange on Miracle Mile is nothing special, according to The Burger Beast.
Unfortunately, the burger was just ok, nothing spectacular. The fries fall into the same category, a bit of a letdown which is a shame because of the close proximity of Sports Exchange to where I work.E- Tropic of Mom shares a video of a hellacious rainstorm that moved through her backyard today.
F- SFLTV says another news station is getting rid of their helicopter.
Chopper 4 will be no more. When WFOR’s contract with Helicopters Inc expires at the end of 2009 the station won’t be renewing it.G- Who knew a visit to the library could yield such great nature photos? Some Cranky Guy knew and took his camera.
H- Miami Beach 411 looks at the new and improved South Beach Hostel.
Unfortunately, even with the present improvements, the rooms generally tended to be claustrophobically narrow, devoid of furniture other than beds or bunks, and at the time of my visit, aside from the restrooms in the lobby, there was only one restroom per sex covering the entire 2-story hotel. And in the men’s room, there was only one stall. There was no dressing area, so you’d have to stand in front of the (3) shower booths to dress, hoping no one opened the restroom door while you were doing so, lest you be exposed to the world in all your glory.I-Race car driver, dancer and one-time defendant Helio Castroneves is on a roll and the Southern District of Florida Blog wants your input.
J- Worst Pizza is very disappointed with Big City Tavern's Las Olas location.
Big City Tavern, you have truly disappointed me with this pizza that you served, and I can never see myself coming back to give it another try, at least at your Fort Lauderdale location. I will give Big City Tavern 2 out of 8 slices..