Saturday, July 31, 2010
I'm headed down to South Beach tonight for some chow so I'm going to get your evening Sift up a little earlier than usual. Enjoy!
A- Some Blogging Guy visited Dolphins training camp today and, boy, you could really tell that he is happy football season is getting closer.
I was really impressed with the cheerleaders today. I think we are going to be able to field one heck of a cheer leading squad this season. There was one physical feature of every cheerleader that I was just blown away by. Their smile. Everyone had the most perfect teeth imaginable. Like photoshopped teeth! Just fabulous teeth and fabulous smiles, no matter how many screaming kids they saw and no matter how many times they signed a schedule, calendar or hat.B- Meanwhile, PhinPhanatic is focusing more on the football.
1st practice over, the team showers and hits the meeting rooms. First individual position rooms, then expanding to offense and defense and then team. Lunch of course, more meetings that find the coaches implementing the afternoon practice plays and schemes.C- You're going to have to click over to Flickr to view the photos South Florida Food & Wine captured at the recent Taste of the Nation event.
Afternoon practices, more meetings, dinner, and then more meetings. After that the team is bussed back to the hotel where they study their play-books and get ready to do it all over again. I know that during the season, the team will eat dinner and have team meetings in the various hotel conference rooms.
D- It's avocado time in the Redland, according to Redland Rambles.
The time has come to pick avocados. Last week Farmer Margie mustered her crew of mostly volunteers and they went through the grove to gather the first of the season. Thirty bushels of certified organic Donny avocados went straight to the area Whole Foods warehouse, and I’m told that the fruit just flew out of the stores. This week Margie’s crew picked again, and she took 30 more bushels to the WF warehouse on Thursday. I found her Donny avocados at the Pinecrest Market on Friday afternoon. They are selling for $3.49 each, ouch! But even at that price, there may not be many left today..
Except it's all a lie.
The Wall Street Journal, not exactly a bastion of liberalism, provides a graph showing who will be affected should the Bush tax cuts expire.
So yeah, if you're making over $300K a year, get ready for your taxes to go up. Everyone else will pay less federal taxes, no matter what crap the Gentleman from Texas and his ideologically-handicapped minions want you to believe.
Someone needs to remind Sam that serving your country doesn't usually involve lying to Americans on the House floor.
If you're like me you probably wonder why the office building parking lot gets so empty on Friday afternoons after 2 PM. Are there really that many people getting an early start on the weekend?
Summertime and the living is easier -- at least in some Miami offices.For those of us who aren't so lucky there is usually a bright side: less traffic on the way home.
Summer Fridays, the traditional long weekends in New York publishing houses, have trickled down to Miami in the past decade, especially in the advertising and public relations fields.
``In New York, it became apparent a few years ago that media people we were trying to reach had already gone to the Hamptons,'' said Cheryl Andrews, owner of Coral Gables-based Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications, which specializes in travel. ``I said, `You know what, we work plenty hard and [keep] long hours. Let me give my team here a little breather in the summers.' ''
For a decade or more, many offices nationwide -- including those in South Florida -- have dubbed the end of the business week Dress-down Friday, encouraging employees to wear casual clothes unless they have client meetings. The early Friday exit pushes that perk a step further.
Israel Kreps, CEO of Coral Gables-based Kreps DeMaria Public Relations and Marketing, has a similar view.
``Most businesses are doing more with less staff,'' Kreps said. ``Consequently, all the more, you need to make your staff feel like they're getting something back.'' Exit hour for his 15 staffers on summer Fridays: 4 p.m., versus 5:30 p.m. normally.
Here's a rare weekend Cooler for you, readers. Enjoy.
A- Herald: Horror stories from Cuba's prisons.
The political prisoners also witnessed how common prisoners resorted to drastic measures, making themselves ill -- setting fires to their mattresses and wrapping themselves in them, cutting their eyeballs -- to get a guard's attention to be sent to the infirmary.B- Herald: They can always go work for Cleveland.
``I saw a prisoner inject excrement in his veins. Nobody told me this, I saw it with my own eyes,'' said Omar M. Ruiz Hernández. ``They sewed their mouths with wire. They do all this to protest the conditions, to get something they've been denied.''
The Miami Heat easily sold out its season tickets after LeBron James announced he was joining the team. That turned out to be bad news for the ticket-sales staff, which the Heat fired Friday.C- Herald: Joe Garcia gets the Democratic nod for Congress. For U.S. House District 25 Democratic primary, The Miami Herald recommends Joe Garcia.
``Now that the supply for [season tickets] has been exhausted we no longer require a season ticket sales team,'' the Heat said in a brief statement Friday afternoon.
A team spokeswoman, Lorrie-Ann Diaz, declined to comment or answer questions about the firings, which one staffer said cost roughly 30 people their jobs.
D- Herald: They write letters.
Tea Party explainedE- Sun-Sentinel: Global warming!
Thank you for printing Tim McClellan's explanation of the Tea Party in the July 25 Issues and Ideas section. From his column I learned that they claim to believe in fiscal responsibility, constitutional rights and small government. They want to achieve these things in our time of economic crisis by saying no to TARP; no to the separation of church and state; no to the healthcare law; no to cap and trade; no to bank, insurance and auto company takeovers; and no to the national debt.
My conclusion is that ``Tea Party'' is another name for that small percentage of Americans called conservative Republicans whose only solution to the country's problems that they created by getting George W. Bush elected is to say ``No.''
JANICE TESH, Miami
The temperature climbed to 96 degrees in West Palm Beach on Friday, trying the record for July 30, set in 1990. And the heat index, or feels-like temperature, soared to 103 degrees, the National Weather Service in Miami said.F- Sun-Sentinel: Chan Lowe.
Miami's high was 94 degrees, one degree shy of the record set in 1999, while Fort Lauderdale also reached 94 degrees, well shy of that city's record of 97 degrees, also set in 1999.
We're off and running here at SFDB so let's get sifting this sunny Saturday morning.
A- Restaurant Gal decides that enough is enough.
The first M&M bounced off the bar and onto the floor. I didn’t look up and, instead, gave her the benefit of the doubt that she had “dropped” it, albeit three feet away from her and right next to my elbow.B- Ipanemic is in Wonderland and it's your job to figure out just where that is.
When the second M&M hit me square in the chest, nailing the spot where my dermatologist had recently removed a skin cancer–a spot that is still a tad tender, and one that I will keep covered up until it is fully healed–that I knew.
I knew I was done at this bar. Done with the horrible tips, done with the questionable characters who always seem to outnumber the nice regulars, done with pretending that liking and respecting those for whom I work would eventually make up for the horrible tips and the questionable characters.
Done. Just done.
This Wonderland… it is the home of a South Florida blogger. So here’s the mystery for you, dear friend and reader: whose Wonderland is this?C- South Florida Watershed Journal rates sunsets in Belgium and South Florida and readers get samples of both.
D- August's schedule of classical musical events in South Florida is available at South Florida Classical Review.
E- More peacocks are unveiled in Coconut Grove and you know who has found a way to paint one himself, according to Coconut Grove Grapevine.
This bird was designed by artist Romero Brito and sits outside the Coldwell Banker office in the center of town.F- Presenting another edition of It's Okay If You're a Republican at Bark Bark Woof Woof.
Friday, July 30, 2010
It took a little while to get this evening Sift together but it's all ready now for your review. Enjoy your Friday night, readers.
A- Hidden City starts us off this evening with a story from his boyhood that he applies to his life today.
My grandfather asked how long I’d left the rocks in the tumbler. Since this morning, I said, so they would be extra-smooth. He sighed, and opened the little door again. “Your rocks are in there,” he explained, “but you left them in too long. They were ground away to nothing. There’s nothing left but rock dust.”B- One of Miami Favs favorites is Flickin' Summer Movies at the Gusman Center.
i recommend these to anyone who loves drinking wine in a theater, watching cheesy 80’s movies, and then kickin’ it all night long to the best 80’s dance mix you have ever heard.C- Jefe's Original Fish Taco & Burger is the latest meals on wheels to hit South Florida and Mango&Lime caught up to them on Biscayne Blvd. last night.
The truck is bright orange and sports the logo and slogan “Vatos Making Tacos.” Music flows from its built-in speakers and once the sun started going down, lights built onto the side of the truck came on. A very friendly woman (didn’t get her name) greeted us and offered us menus. Without even looking I knew what I wanted to order. I love fish tacos, particularly those that I’ve tried on a couple of visits to California, so I was looking forward to trying these.D- Food For Thought does a fantastic review of some of Miami Spice's more interesting offerings.
We've been through this before here, but I'll briefly repeat my basic rules for navigating Miami Spice season: (1) there's no reason to bother with restaurants where a $35 menu is not a meaningful discount from their regular prices (though, of course, go to them if you like them; just don't do so because they're offering a Miami Spice menu); (2) the infamous chicken breast/farmed salmon/churrasco (or substitute short rib) "trifecta" is usually a tell; and (3) look for food that actually interests you. If a restaurant doesn't excite you the other 11 months of the year, it is unlikely there's going to be something really inspiring on their Spice menu. I like to see it as a chance to try some places, both new and old, that may not be in your "regular rotation," with limited financial commitment.E- Discourse describes Kendrick Meek's problems and makes a prediction.
Given his lackluster record on progressive issues, Meek is a difficult candidate to get excited about; only the abysmal quality of his opposition spurs one to sympathy. Charlie Crist has to be laughing: if Greene manages to buy this nomination, people like me may have to vote for Crist, even though he’s as principled and as reliable as a weathervane, just to avoid getting a hard-core rightist in Marco Rubio. Or we may sit that race out. Either way, if Greene wins, then Crist wins.F- Obalesque likes to sweat.
Yesterday we had friends over for dinner. They brought the lobsters they caught, Guido prepared and served them. At one point. With the oven on, the kitchen temperature hit 93. No problem. We moved here to enjoy heat and humidity. Our biggest gripe is that it doesn’t last long enough – winter arrives every year, carried down like an infectious disease with the Yankees and Canadians.G- FTL Collective jumps all over the Sunday Jazz Brunch on Lauderdale's Riverwalk.
In addition to the sounds of soft, poppy jazz tunes (I’ll get to that shortly), the Jazz Brunch soundtrack comes complete with crying babies, barking dogs, and the occasional interrupting train, which in comparison to a 5-year old screaming, is actually quite pleasant. On the City of Fort Lauderdale’s website, on the Special Events page, it mentions that “everyone is welcome to attend, including well-behaved, leashed pets.” Obviously this is not a rule that is abided by. Leashed? Yes. Well-behaved? Tell that to the woman pushing the yapping Shih Tzu in a Louis Vuitton stroller.H- Last night's Pizza TweetUp was held at a favorite of mine, Panaretto Pizza, and Worst Pizza has all the photos.
I- Bark Bark Woof Woof posts the emotional video that has been making its rounds on political blogs this afternoon. The Reid Report also has a clip of Round 2 on Fox News.
Folks, the squeaky wheel of activist conservatism and American populism might be getting the grease (i.e., a lot of media attention) right now, but when election time comes the buzz and passion of a new movement will matter less than appealing to the widest group of voters possible with the most credible candidate possible.As usual, I disagree with Fox News. I think the Republican Party should continue to French kiss the loons of the extreme right and demand that we continue to deepwater drill, raise the Social Security retirement age and repeal healthcare reform. And keep Limbaugh and Beck as their intellectual reservoir to tap for ideas and motivation. After all, what have they got to lose but another election?
Fact is, Crist is perceived as being reasonable; Rubio is in danger of being perceived as too doctrinaire and unpredictable because of his outsider status. And in Florida, as in the rest of America, reasonableness and predictability almost always win over ideology.
There’s a big lesson in this for Republicans looking for a reshaping of government in their favor this November. You simply can’t rely on the Tea Party. The most passionate, most vocal and most media-covered portion of the electorate will not win you the office. At the end of the day, a politician’s Target Market has to include independents and moderates and these voters will go for the candidate who is likeable and least extreme. Conservatism might go a lot farther in November, if it remembers the middle and doesn’t go too far right now.
Lots of news this morning but make sure you watch the video of the woman talking the robber out of robbing her store (B).
A- Herald: It's a done deal.
Miami commissioners passed one of the most controversial zoning issues in years Thursday, giving developer Mark Siffin the green light to build a pair of towering electronic signs that will hover almost 500 feet over downtown.B- Herald: Video, woman talks religion to a Broward robber who then changes his mind and leaves.
The two-hour discussion was filled with speeches from unemployed union members in favor of the project -- and residents concerned about the visual pollution they say it will bring.
In the end, the commission's decision came down to money.
It voted 4-1 to allow the twin electronic towers, a parking garage they will sit on, and, ultimately, a retail center with outdoor cafes on Biscayne Boulevard next to the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts and facing The Miami Herald. That influx will mean millions of dollars in new revenue for the cash-strapped city.
Commissioners Marc Sarnoff, Wifredo ``Willy'' Gort, Richard P. Dunn II and Francis Suarez voted in favor. Commissioner Frank Carollo, concerned the city was rushing the measure, voted against.
C- Herald: Morin.
D- Sun-Sentinel: Dodged a bullet.
The top federal official on the BP oil spill said Thursday there's now very little chance any of the oil will reach South Florida.E- Sun-Sentinel: Chan Lowe.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said at a news conference in New Orleans that recent events, including the arrival of remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie, have sharply diminished the oil threat to South Florida. And if an attempt by BP to permanently plug the well succeeds, he said, that danger will end for good.
F- Palm Beach Post: Winn Dixie v. Publix in a nutshell.
When Consumer Reports magazine rated national and regional grocery store chains in 2009, Publix ranked third in overall satisfaction among 59 companies. Winn-Dixie ranked 55th, in part because of low marks for cleanliness, and Walmart Supercenters ranked 56th.G- Palm Beach Post: Crist still leading in the polls.
Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist leads the general election race for U.S. Senate with 37 percent to 32 percent for Republican Marco Rubio and 17 percent for leading Democrat Jeff Greene, a new Quinnipiac University poll finds.H- South Florida Business Journal: Like a rock.
Second quarter profits for The McClatchy Co. fell 83 percent from last year’s results, which were lifted by a gain from debt restructuring.I- South Florida Business Journal: Can you hear me now?
McClatchy, parent company of The Miami Herald, earned $7.3 million in the second quarter, or 9 cents a share, down from $42.2 million, or 50 cents a share, in the same three-month period in 2009.
AT&T said it has activated two new cell sites with 3G-speed capability in Miami-Dade County.J- CBS4: Video, chip your dog.
The sites expand coverage in a residential area centered at S.W. 127th Avenue and Killian Parkway (S.W. 104th Street); in the Flagler business park and neighboring residential areas in northwestern Doral; and along a stretch of the Florida Turnpike between Okeechobee Road and Northwest 74th Street.
It's TGIF, readers. Let's get this day started and off to a good start with your morning Sift...
A- David Letterman lists the top 10 reasons why Jeb Bush won't run for President and Miami-Dade Dems has the video.
B- Lots of testosterone is present as Carlos Miller returns to a Metrorail station a second time with camera in hand and news crew in tow apparently because there was still work to be done and poorly paid security guards to excite. Voices got loud and sometimes rose to surprisingly high pitches in the ensuing hilarity that once again required the professionals to respond and sort out whether photography is a crime when Carlos is behind the lens...and looking for trouble. Man or Maniac? also has some commentary. From the victim...
The guard then began pushing me aggressively after I had pulled out my iPhone to continue recording – all while telling me to stop pushing him.C-PhinPhanatic gets us fully prepped for the upcoming Miami Dolphins training camp.
He then struck my hand again in an attempt to snatch the iPhone.
I struck him back, busting his lip.
There are a number of different elements to consider when looking at Miami this preseason. There are camp battles, young players vying for spots held by departed veterans. The team installs a new defense, several new high profile pieces join the team and there are still some big questions on the offense. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Hopes are still high, almost nobody is injured yet and everyone is just dying to get some football. Practice reports will actually matter in the coming weeks, we’ll get to know players based on a few good write-ups from position drills in pads and some will actually question the team when they get cut.D- South Florida Theatre Scene picks up an award, as does Random Pixels.
E- Food For Thought visits Fin.
It is clearly not the place to go if you're not in the mood for fish. And even then, you won't find anything like the more encyclopedic list of options at someplace like Oceanaire. But when you are in that mood for beautifully fresh fish, simply and expertly prepared, and are willing to exchange an abundance of choice for a carefully sourced selection fresh out of the waters, Fin fits the bill perfectly.F- Good answer to a stupid question, over at Bark Bark Woof Woof.
G- Eye on Miami endorses three Republicans for positions in Miami-Dade.
Republicans, I can do without them, but these three are so lovable even though they are misguided on some issues. I guess you could call them moderate Republicans, yes they do still exist. Left to right: State Senate District 36 Candidate Julio Robaina, State Representative Candidate for District 117 Jose Pazos, endorsed by the Miami Herald, and last but least, Whilly Bermudez, running in District 116, who was also endorsed by the Miami Herald..
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The Weekend Widget in the right sidebar is going full steam and I have the latest comments up and running with a hack so all is good here at SFDB. Enjoy your Saturday evening Sift...
A- Tropic of Mom's husband goes lobster diving and gets turtles instead.
B- Food For Thought posts photos of the delicacies at NAOE.
C- Burger Beast orders a burger at 15th Street Fisheries in Lauderdale and walks away pleasantly surprised.
The burger was just plain awesome. It was cooked to medium and the bacon was crispy deliciousness. I was surprised to find such a good burger in a place known for its seafood but I'll take it. And that's what makes this burger find so good.D- South Florida Theatre Scene shares their regular weekly wrap up with us.
E- Talula is for sale and has been for quite some time, according to Eater Miami.
Born and raised in Miami, Luis Diaz doesn't consider himself a "Miami Artist", though he "loves living here", his art doesn't scream Miami. He prefers to be considered a global artist than be stereotyped as a Miami artist. A graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Luis stays in touch with friends that have included him in various projects. These projects allow him to spread his work as near as Atlanta, GA and as far as Portland, OR; where he is currently participating in a show called The Atomic Tiki. His body of work is expansive and ranges from real life sports heroes to fantastic superheroes.G- Fort Lauderdale residents can park [almost] for free at the beach armed with the information that FTL Collective tells us about today.
You must have a current driver’s license, vehicle registration, a current utility bill, and a valid 12-month lease or proof of ownership of property within Fort Lauderdale. The card works like cash when you insert it into the parking meter, covering the cost of your parking in three select beachfront lots.H- Five summer cocktails you can make at home, courtesy of South Florida Food And Wine.
I- Coconut Grove Grapevine thinks hassling commuters driving through the Grove is a good idea.
Why doesn't someone hand out a map or coupons or movie tickets to every car stopped in traffic? Why not grab these people while they are literally sitting on our main street looking around? While they may not be able to stop for dinner or a movie at that moment, a coupon or incentive handed to them while they sit in traffic may get them back.J- Obalesque was a fan of the late cartoonist John Callahan.
I loved his stuff and bought all the books. His contempt for the conventional was right up my alley, and, from my own personal experience working and playing with disabled people, right on target.K- Americans approve of health care reform by a large margin, according to this post from The Reid Report.
Unique. We’ll never see his likes again. Callahan broke his own back at age 21, but they broke the mold right after his birth.
According to Josh Green, writing for Washington Monthly, Reagan’s 1982 tax hike raised $100 billion over three years, which at the time was the biggest tax increase since World War II. He also raised the tax on gasoline that year, as Sen. Simpson noted, and then raised taxes overall again in 1984 — the year he was reelected — by $50 billion over three years, primarily by rewriting the code to close business loopholes. In his second term, Reagan’s historic Tax Reform Act of 1986 increased taxes on corporations by $120 billion over five years — the largest corporate tax increase in history.As Governor of California, Reagan was even more liberal-like, as Pensito Review notes and as you might expect, but to the Tea Baggers and right-wing extremists who have hijacked the Republican Party, facts don't matter...
Of course, none of these aforementioned facts can ever counter the propaganda about Reagan that fills the airwaves of Fox News and AM radio or the talking points of right-wing ideologues like Sarah Palin. Facts do not matter to the Republican base, including especially those in the base’s current incarnation as tea baggers.Go read it all.
The Reagan myth is fundamental to the tea baggers’ drive for ideological purity — to their relentless purging of realists, like Reagan, and moderates, like the first Pres. Bush, from the conservative movement.
In the long run, the nation will benefit from the extreme right’s irresistible urge to roust reasonable people from their movement because eventually they’ll shrink it “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub,” as the right-wing propagandist Grover Norquist might say. This will be a net positive for the country because the United States has historically done well during periods when conservatives are neutered — see World War II, for example, after Republicans were sidelined in disgrace after their fiscal policies had caused the Great Depression, and the 1960s, when the GOP was vanquished after their McCarthyite pogroms in the 1950s had revealed the hollowness of their paranoid core.
Here it is, folks, the main objectives of The Republican Tea Party. If you agree with them, by all means, vote for your Tea Party candidates like Marco Rubio. If you have a problem with it, vote for anyone else.
You can click on the contract to make it get bigger or you can go here to see a larger version with a little more clarification included.
Here are the main points...
1. Repeal the Affordable Care Act (Health Insurance Reform)
2. Privatize Social Security or phase it out altogether
3. End Medicare as it presently exists
4. Extend the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil
5. Repeal Wall Street Reform
6. Protect those responsible for the oil spill and future environmental catastrophes
7. Abolish the Department of Education
8. Abolish the Department of Energy
9. Abolish the Environmental Protection Agency
10. Repeal the 17th Amendment
People getting hit as they cross the street with their walkers, and other uplifting news bites are hereby presented in this morning's Cooler.
A- Herald: Sounds like fun!
Calm seas and sunny skies may have spurred a heavy turnout for Wednesday's opener of the two-day statewide lobster recreational miniseason in South Florida. But the balmy weather apparently did nothing to enhance diver success, and marine law enforcement officers were obliged to curb the usual crop of lawbreakers.B- Herald: Because it's easy money.
``I don't think I've ever seen so many boats,'' said Jeff Torode, operator of Pompano Beach-based South Florida Diving Headquarters. ``You could walk from Miami to Palm Beach boat to boat. If there are kayaks, john boats, whatever, they were in it.''
Cash-strapped Miami is joining the growing list of South Florida cities with camera-enforced ticketing at traffic lights.C- Sun-Sentinel: More Winn-Dixie store closings.
Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said the city is ``in the process of procuring the traffic infraction detector system.''
``They should be up and running by the end of the year,'' she said in an e-mail.
Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. announced late Wednesday that it will close 13 of its South Florida supermarkets, among 30 the company plans to shut down nationwide.D- Sun-Sentinel: South Florida: Epicenter of compassion...and great drivers.
POMPANO BEACH —E- Sun-Sentinel: Chan Lowe.
A hit-and-run driver struck and killed a man Wednesday night as the victim attempted to cross a busy street while using a walker, authorities said.
The incident happened shortly before 10 p.m. in the 900 block of East Sample Road, a few blocks east of Dixie Highway, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.
F- Miami Today: Publix getting closer to coming to downtown Miami.
Downtown's Omni area is one step closer to getting its first major grocery store.G- CBS4: Cleaner beaches in Broward and Palm Beach.
A request to override two elements of the City of Miami's zoning code in designs for a Publix at 1776 Biscayne Blvd. was approved 8-1 last week by the city's Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board, said Luciana Gonzalez, assistant to the Planning Department director.
This allows the Publix to be built with no setback from the public right-of-way, which includes the street and sidewalk, and less than the required amount of green space.
The city's zoning code requires a 10-foot setback from city property and at least 8,309 square feet of green space.
The Biscayne Publix plans include no setbacks at Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast Second Court. Proposed green space measures 5,373 square feet — 2,936 less than what's required.
Last week's variance approval marked another step toward the go-ahead for construction.
In the Natural Resources Defense Council's annual report beaches in Broward and Palm Beach counties fared much better than their counterparts in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. In 2009, the beaches of Broward only exceed the state's bacteria count standard two percent of the time; Palm Beach beaches only one percent of the time, according to The Sun-Sentinel.
Beaches in Miami-Dade, however, exceeded the state limit eight percent of the time and Monroe County beaches nearly 10 percent of the time.
The Weekend Widget is up and running in the right sidebar and it appears as though I have a temporary fix in place for the Recent Comments widget. So things are going pretty well, widget wise, this Thursday morning. Enjoy your morning Sift...
A- The South Florida Traveler checks out the Miami Spice offerings at the different Fontainebleau restaurants.
Since there were a group of about 60 of us going on this culinary journey, we were split up into 3 groups. Our group headed to Hakkasan and we were swept off to Asia for a taste of Cantonese fare. Hakkasan puts a modern twist on classic favorites and the Miami Spice menu will feature some of their classic dishes like the Grilled Shanghai Chicken Dumplings, Cream Corn Soup, and for a main entree a Crispy Szechuan Shredded Rib-Eye Beef is available, a nice combination of flavors and textures. Hakkasan will offer the $35 Miami Spice dinner menu Sunday-Friday and will also offer a $22 lunch and dim sum menu.B- Soul of Miami already has some photos up from last night's City of Miami birthday celebration.
C- There's a beer dinner going down at Rack's next Tuesday, according to South Florida Beer Blog.
D- Discourse dives into the political mess that Miami-Dade's Republican Party has created for itself over the last month.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
We're halfway through the week, readers. Smile and remember we're on the down slope into the weekend as you check out your evening Sift...
A- Babalu has spent the last couple weeks vilifying and denigrating the Spanish Government and the Catholic Church for their efforts to release Cuban political dissidents. Ironically, they were on hand to welcome one of those freed dissidents to the United States when he arrived in Miami. The hypocrisy couldn't have been any thicker in MIA's Terminal J today.
B- Miami Favs loves a daytrip to Wynwood.
C- When you're in Lauderdale and in the mood for coffee but don't want to tap DD or Starbucks, FTL Collective has some suggestions.
This locale will make you feel like you’re in your good friends’ home if not your own, especially with the presence of helpful owner Aileen. Undergrounds Coffeehaus aims to please everyone with their wide variety of books, themed nights, Turkish coffee, crafting sessions, and nearly two dozen kinds of tater tots. Most books, art, and other items around for entertainment are available for purchase. Events scheduled regularly so head over to their website to keep up with what’s going on.D- Mini-lobster season is rather stressful for a Keys resident like Ferfelabat.
There are people who will tie up to your boat while you are diving. Most are harmless. Some want to steal your GPS numbers and / or your equipment. Sometimes they have worse intentions. Leave someone on your boat at all times and have a shotgun handy – especially during mini-lobster season.E- UVu Blog links to a video profile of Coconut Grove artist Nancy Martini.
F- Sex and the Beach was there for the unveiling of the Julia Tuttle statue at Bayfront Park.
The statue is beautiful, thanks to the handiwork of Daub and Firmin studios. In a graceful gesture, Tuttle's palm extends upward holding the famous orange blossoms that convinced Henry Flagler to bring his railroad to the shores of the Miami river. That offering summarizes the story: "I gave orange blossoms and a city was born."G- Both The Reid Report and Miami Dade Dems have the 411 on the big Republican dirty tricks story that may yet involve Marco Rubio.
H- Bark Bark Woof Woof offers commentary on the Arizona immigration law ruling.
Aside from the fact that the Obama administration has increased the deportation of immigration law violators over the Bush administration, every attempt by the Obama administration to fix the immigration laws has been blocked by the Republicans. Why? Because they know that it would hand another victory to the Democrats, so they know they can't have that. They would rather demagogue immigration and all the issues -- employer sanctions, separated families, the Neo-Nazis patrolling the border -- that come with it and get face time on cable TV than actually do something. What a surprise.
The Most Recent Comments widget is still acting stupid in the right sidebar and although other Blogger users are reporting the problem, I don't expect things to be corrected any time soon. This assessment is based upon my past 6 or so years of using Blogger and the woeful display of interest that Blogger pays to its Help forums.
Hey, it's free. Whattau expect fer nuthin'?
The Defense Department is unable to properly account for $8.7 billion out of $9.1 billion in Iraqi oil revenue entrusted to it between 2004 and 2007, according to a newly released audit that underscores a pattern of poor record-keeping during the war.The Party of Fiscal Responsibility ain't.
Of that amount, the military failed to provide any records at all for $2.6 billion in purported reconstruction expenditure, says the report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which is responsible for monitoring U.S. spending in Iraq. The rest of the money was not properly deposited in special accounts as required under Treasury Department rules, making it difficult to trace how it was spent.
Though there is no apparent evidence of fraud, the improper accounting practices add to the pattern of mismanagement, reckless spending and, in some instances, corruption uncovered by the agency since 2004, when it was created to oversee the total of $53 billion in U.S. taxpayer money appropriated by Congress for the reconstruction effort.
-via the L.A. Times
Steve Gibson [pictured right] has a plan to save the media world’s financial crisis — and it’s not the iPad.So newspapers partner with Righthaven to strongarm bloggers who use their content by filing lawsuits that carry stiff financial penalties.
Borrowing a page from patent trolls, the CEO of fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission. And he says he’s making money.
“We believe it’s the best solution out there,” Gibson says. “Media companies’ assets are very much their copyrights. These companies need to understand and appreciate that those assets have value more than merely the present advertising revenues.”
Gibson’s vision is to monetize news content on the backend, by scouring the internet for infringing copies of his client’s articles, then suing and relying on the harsh penalties in the Copyright Act — up to $150,000 for a single infringement — to compel quick settlements. Since Righthaven’s formation in March, the company has filed at least 80 federal lawsuits against website operators and individual bloggers who’ve re-posted articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, his first client.
And it's working.
One defendant who is ready to settle is Fred Bouzek, a Virginia man who runs bikernews.net, a user-generated site about hardcore biker news. He was sued last week on allegations the site ran a Las Vegas Review-Journal story about police going under cover with the Hell’s Angels.Which gives Steve-O a lot of confidence behind his pink ties.
Even if he had grounds to fight the case, he says it would be cheaper to settle. “The only choice I have is to try to raise money and offer a settlement,” he says.
Gibson says he’s just getting started. Righthaven has other media clients that he won’t name until the lawsuits start rolling out, he says.
“Frankly, I think we’re having tremendous success at a number of levels,” Gibson says. “We file new complaints every day.”
-thanks to Al Crespo for the tip
Here are the South Florida mainstream media stories that caught my eye this morning. Enjoy.
A- Herald: One reason we have so many pedestrians killed in South Florida is because we actually still have debates about the need for sidewalks.
For 14 years, a fiercely determined group of McMaster's neighbors has fought the village of Pinecrest's plan for a sidewalk on 60th Avenue. They've staged protests, penned angry letters, and even once -- in 1998 -- plopped down on the ground to stop the bulldozers.B- Herald: Video, Miami Spice.
``It would attract all the traffic, dog-walking, people-walking and noise that they bring,'' said sidewalk opponent Joe Morales, 54, who moved to Pinecrest over 30 years ago because he liked its ``rural'' feel.
C- Herald: Pitts on people like Andrew Breibart.
Ten years ago, Arthur Teitelbaum, then an official of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote in another context: ``Beware the moments when facts seem to confirm prejudices. Such times are traps, when the well-meaning are misled and the mean-spirited gain confidence.''D- Sun-Sentinel: Your "Only in South Florida" moment of the day.
It is excellent advice.
What does Breitbart exemplify, if not a mean-spirited confidence? Why not? He knows that we are a people loath to listen, resistant to reason, imprisoned by our own narratives. And thus, easy to fool everytime.
The mudpit is getting full.
FORT LAUDERDALE — Broward County Court candidate Jordan Howard Breslaw says he may be collecting unemployment benefits, but that shouldn't detract from his superior qualifications in his bid to unseat Judge Mary Rudd Robinson.E- Sun-Sentinel: We suck at recycling.
The chiropractor, attorney and author of "How to Raise Millionaire Children," also known as Jordan H. Jordan, says his current unemployment is an "unfortunate circumstance" that came about when he was "let go" from a Coral Springs law office in July 2008.
"Recycling is a tough sell in South Florida," said Russell Ketchem, who oversees the recycling program in Pompano Beach. "There is definitely room for improvement."F- Sun-Sentinel: Sad.
And not participating is like throwing away money. Most residents in Broward and Palm Beach counties already pay for recycling through their property taxes and garbage bills. Condos and businesses usually have to pay an extra fee for recycling but can lower their solid waste bills if they generate less trash.
The rate of recycling in South Florida hasn't changed much since 2004. Broward recycled about a quarter of its trash in 2008, and Palm Beach County recycled around a third that year — compared with 50 percent in Seattle and more than 72 percent in San Francisco, according to figures provided by each city.
PARKLAND — A week after she and a friend were found hanging from a picnic pavilion in a Parkland park, 24-year-old Nikayla Baldomero has died, the Broward Sheriff's Office reported Tuesday.G- South Florida Business Journal: I blame it on the humidity.
Florida nabbed the No. 17 spot on Businessweek.com’s top 20 list of America’s laziest states.H- NBC Miami: I'm predicting they'll be bought out and burned by the usual suspects.
The report was based on five years – from 2004 to 2008 – of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use survey.
It averages the time people spend each day on various activities.
Floridians spend, on average, 8 hours and 36 minutes sleeping, 2 hours and 53 minutes watching television and 18 minutes relaxing and thinking.
We spend another 40 minutes a day socializing.
Castro has generated plenty of ink in the last five years, with constant speculation about his health and his role in the regime. Now he's generating ink of his own.I- WPLG: Video, In a story you will never see at Babalu, a recently-freed Cuban prisoner is coming to Miami and his family is overjoyed.
Due out in August, according to a Cuban State Operated website, "The Strategic Victory" is Castro's account of the 1958 battles and skirmishes between the Batisita Army and Castro's Revolutionary Army.
It's Hump Day and the South Florida blogosphere apparently took a breather last night. Oh, and my comments widget in the right sidebar is acting weird. Interesting morning. Your morning Sift will take but just a second.
A- A Mom, a Blog, and the Life In-Between is celebrating her birthday today.
I feel like this post is reflective of my life right this moment (warning! could change at any minute!): calm and not particularly exciting. This is good. I like this. It might not make for spectacular writing, but hey. I probably just jinxed myself so who knows what the next year of my life (and writing) will bring.B- Swampstyle's composes an ode to summer.
I'll hang tight for whatever lies ahead.
C- Concrete yards, over at Sweet Home Hialeah.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Driving home on the turnpike today I thought I would see a bunch of boats headed south to the Keys for tonight's lobster mini-season kick-off but only saw one. Hopefully everyone is careful tomorrow but I'm sure we'll be reading about dead divers by the afternoon. Grab a seat and check out your evening Sift...
A- The Heat Lightning shares some big, sharp photos from the New Work Miami 2010 exhibition at the Miami Art Museum and interjects a little opinion, too.
And it was packed. I actually did not get images of some of the best pieces in the exhibition because I spent so much time talking to people. A return trip is in order, and as much to see the exhibition of work from the permanent collection upstairs. It’s true that the MAM’s collection is far from world class, but it’s grown a lot over the last few years, to the point that these yearly shows are able to feel both cohesive and distinct from each other.B- Miami For Change revisits City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado's website before he was elected.
C- South Florida Food and Wine says you can drink, eat and watch a movie at Fort Lauderdale's Cafe Vico.
As you are being served and eating your dinner the food and wine theme-related movie is showing. It's sort of like going to the movie theater but you have much better food and are able to drink wine. You would think in an intimate yet large group of 20 there would be disruptive chatter, didn't happen. Everyone there was in attendance for the food, the wine and the movie and a delightful time was definitely had by all so much so, I was the last person to leave at midnight. This Wine Dinner - Movie Night is a monthly event at Cafe Vico and is exclusively limited to 20 people reservations are booked quickly.D- Big honors for South Beach's Club Deuce.
E- Depth of Field (welcome back!) posts some images of Miami-Dade's new Park It campaign.
F- Sex and the Beach is celebrating its 6 Year Anniversary and takes the opportunity to announce some big plans.
I put travel writing on hold for several years but that passion hardly ever lost its spark, so at long last, I'm opening up a whole new travel section here, which is a no-brainer, obviously. Sex and the Beach intends to cover as many romantic beach or waterfront destinations a girl can take!G- Big drama over at Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds.
My new house has black mold and termites. I have to move out of my new house for two months. The baby is going to be born in about two or three months. If I have to bring a new baby home to my parents' house, I might go on a rampage.H- Something called Miami Squares is going down over at Sweat tomorrow night.
SFDB selects its Post of the Week by going back and reviewing all the Sifts that we've done over the past 7 days. We find the best post of the week and note the runners ups as we judge them to be.
It was another head scratcher for this week's Post of the Week. Selecting the winner wasn't so tough. It was picking out the 3 best runners-up from the 10 finalists that caused my head to hurt. Here we go with this week's selections.
Runners-Up: Brickell Life told us all about his recent crawfish boil with some nice prose and some great pictures. For those of you planning a wedding in South Florida or know someone who is, Midtown Chic-a did your heavy lifting for you in an information-packed post called On The Hunt For An Ideal Wedding Venue. Restaurant Gal continues to be quite the storyteller with her latest tale she called Mosquito Man.
Winner: A small urban garden located in the most unlikeliest of places in North Miami provided the basis for a wonderfully composed post that acquainted Redland Ramble's readers with the Little River Market Garden. Muriel Olivares, the garden's caretaker, is profiled and through her we find out what goes in to such an ambitious effort. This is some good, solid blogging, folks, and totally deserved of this week's SFDB Post of the Week.
'Til next time, keep on blogging!
The New York Times' Brian Stelter tweeted that, according to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News has averaged just 29,000 black viewers in primetime so far this television season (9/09-7/10). That represents just 1.38% of its 2.102 million total viewer audience.Totally expect Fox to maintain that their black audience was too busy robbing people or watching basketball to tune in.
CNN and MSNBC, meanwhile, both have far more black viewers, both in absolute terms and as a proportion of their overall audiences.
It's a rather slow news day in South Florida so the Cooler isn't up to its usual high standards this morning. Enjoy...
A- Herald: Get a job!
Months after Miami-Dade County cleared out a camp of sex offenders living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway, some of the former squatters are once again homeless, and many of the others are on the verge of being out on the streets again.B- Herald: Creep.
Most are unemployed and unable to continue to pay the rent once the money that officials kicked in so they could find housing runs out.
``It feels like moving us from that bridge was just a publicity stunt,'' said Homer Barkley, 44, who served time after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl. His six-month lease will expire Sunday. `How do they expect me to find a place to live? I'm not a millionaire.''
The city's building official has been fired after a resident complained the man began calling her repeatedly and made sexual advances toward her when she went to his office to resolve a code dispute.C- Sun-Sentinel: Chan Lowe.
``He called me 18 times in three days and kept calling,'' said Nancy Loft, 43. ``He said instead of meeting me at his office, we should meet at a restaurant.''
D- South Florida Business Journal: Housing holding us back.
The biggest roadblock to the state’s recovery is the oversupply of housing and the glut of foreclosures, not to mention the number of homeowners who are seriously delinquent and on the verge of foreclosure.E- CBS4: But at least our taxes aren't going up.
“This does not mean that Florida’s economy and housing sector will not recover; it simply means the recovery will likely be long and arduous,” the report notes.
Six of Miami-Dade's largest and most popular parks will soon begin charging a fee to park.F- WPLG: Life in South Florida.
The Miami-Dade Parks Department will start charging a $5.00 parking fee per car on October 1st. The parks are A.D. Barnes and Tropical parks in West Miami-Dade; Kendall Hammocks Indian Park, Kendall Soccer Park, Larry and Penny Thompson Park in South Miami-Dade; and a portion of Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah. The parking fee will only be in effect on weekends and holidays.
"This isn't something that we're happy to be doing," said Doris Howe, Parks Department Communications Manager. "We are discouraged to be in a position where we have to do this."
A warning from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission after a dog, cats, sheep and even a horse appear to have been victims of coyote attacks in Parkland. Residents are being warned to take action to protect their pets.
Joseph Famularo, who has already lost two cats and a goat to coyotes, has been putting up bigger and stronger fences to protect his animals. Those animals include miniature goats, ponies, chickens and pigeons.
The SFDB Post of the Week is coming up later so stay tuned as we take you through your Tuesday. Here's your morning Sift...
A- The Heat Lightning posts a video interview of the organizers of The Borscht Film Festival that is conducted in what looks like a utility closet.
B- South Florida has some nasty stadium food, according to Eater Miami.
C- Jennifer's bike brightens Ipanemic's day and it's easy to see why.
This bicycle brought me such happiness. So thanks, Dear Jennifer, for this. You are, without question, “the awesome.”D- Redland Rambles rambles up to the middle of Nowhere, Florida, and checks out C&B Farms.
C&B Farms is sandwiched between Clewiston and the edge of the Everglades. According to owner Chuck Obern, the farm is 2500 acres in size, with 1500 acres that are tillable. Of that, 1000 acres are planted conventionally and 500 acres are in organic production. Chuck offered us a quick tour of his farm, so Margie and I hopped into his truck and headed down a sandy road into the heart of the farm. One side of the farm is organic, and the other side is conventionally farmed. The two sides are separated by a large ditch and a row of of trees. Each side has separate farming equipment and packing lines, where the produce is rinsed and boxed, and there’s a separate organic section in the enormous cooler.E- The Miami-Dade/Collier off-road park out in way West Miami-Dade is dead and Eye on Miami speculates why.
The Collier County Commission-- that initially approved the reckless scheme last spring-- was to make its final vote tomorrow. Last night the MIami-Dade county commission quietly withdrew its application. Why?
Monday, July 26, 2010
TGWDWM!* Get comfy and enjoy your evening Sift...
A- Brickell Life reaffirms his love for the place he calls home and includes some amazing images shot with his iPhone.
B- A stranger's jewelry given as a gift brings good karma to Restaurant Gal.
"You know how I used to take care of my friend, the older woman?” she asked, which I didn’t really remember, but it didn’t surprise me. “Well, when she died, she didn’t have much, but what she did have I am sorting through and giving away.”C- Glazed cinnamon rolls are served up at I Shot The Chef.
Okay, I don’t need anything, I am sure, I thought, wondering where this conversation was really headed.
“She would have loved you had she been able to meet you, because you are so cool and funny. And you wear similar jewelry to hers, believe it or not,” my regular continued. “So, I want you to take these gifts from my friend. She would have wanted you to have them and would have loved seeing you wear them.”
In my hand she dropped a tiny silver pinky ring inlaid with sapphire chips, and a pair of of dangling, antique silver-mesh earrings. I was stunned.
D- Lots of new photos are up at The Street.
E- A cool little local biking video [say that fast 3 times in a row] is posted over at The Miami Bike Scene.
F- Coconut Grove Grapevine has decided that interacting with the Grove's ceramic peacocks is a good thing.
So the consensus is that the peacocks are there for people to enjoy, to sit on, to hook their dogs to, to be part of people's Grove experience. It all makes sense now. They are actually living art and they mean something to people. Guess it would be a sad thing if people just walked by and ignored them rather than adore them.G- I think I'm going to pass on FTL Collective's suggestion that we should drop in on Alex's Gift Shop in Dania.
Just drive a mile down US1, south of Griffin Road, and you’ll pass the neon sign for Tropical Acres (established in 1949), a couple of inns that strongly resemble The Bates Motel, ice cream juggernaut Jaxons (est. 1956), an endless row of antique shops, and an establishment known as Alex’s Flamingo Groves & Gift Shop (established in 1963) that looks like it belongs in Key Largo.H- South Florida Food And Wine wrote a couple good posts today but because Broward gets little love from South Florida's foodies, SFFW's review of D'Angelo Pizza Tapas & Wine Bar on Federal in Lauderdale is going to get the nod.
It was one of those meals where you couldn't decide what you liked best so you just kept eating and eating hoping some form of divine intervention would make the decision for you before you spontaneously combusted. I like the menu at D'Angelo the prices start at $8 and cap off at $15, (unless you order the meat and cheese boards for 4-10 people then the prices start at $20 and go up to $50.) the portions are sizable and plenty ample even for Tapas, every item is sharable. And that is what made our lunch so special, the sharing, the sampling and the variety of our lunch.I- Urban Environment League has a good post on some recent proposals that the American Institute of Architects made with the intention of making the Miami River more publicly accessible.
With so much at stake, and so many populations affected, the AIA concluded that the Miami River Greenway and River walks needed renewed attention from the Miami River Commission, the State, City and County, as well as the private property owners along the River. In particular, they called for strengthened governance to keep all the parties working together for the shared vision as already promulgated and endorsed by the Miami River Commission, and the approved Greenways Action Plan of the City and County. It calls for a continuous public walkway and bike path from the mouth of the River to the new Miami Intermodal Center at Miami International Airport. When possible on public land, it will be a River Walk, and when it needs to go around private water dependent property it will be an on-road landscaped walk on North or South River Drive paralleling the River.J- It's gotten to the point that I just can't get all that excited about the POS's that seem to always seem to turn out to be Republicans...but Bark Bark Woof Woof does in his latest entry.
K- The Cuban Triangle reports that there wasn't much worth reporting from today's 26th of July celebrations in Cuba.
Hugo Chavez couldn’t make it to Cuba’s 26th of July celebration in Santa Clara – an event dedicated this year to Bolivar – because of impending imperialist aggression across his western border. Fidel Castro didn’t make it, but he had marked the 26th on Saturday by traveling to Artemisa in “his olive-green shirt of a thousand battles,” as Granma noted, continuing to show that he’s in better shape than anyone thought.
Raul Castro made it, but didn’t give a speech. This broke long precedent established by his brother, and it frustrated expectations of many that he would use his talk to define current policies more sharply.
*Thank God We're Done With Monday
Three days into their vacation in early May, Cody and Danette [SFDB note: his mother] went for a day trip to a nearby village with her cousin and his Cuban fiancee.You might think that the passionate Cuban-American hardliners at babalu would consider Cody just another innocent victim of the tyrannical Castro regime. But instead babalu takes the position that 19-year-old Cody is getting what he deserves for visiting a communist country with his family and allows one commenter to insinuate that he was hiring hookers. From the comments...
As they passed through an intersection, a dump truck slammed into the passenger's side of the car. The car spun around and was struck again on the driver's side where Cody sat, Danette said.
Police did not show up at the crash site, but came to the hospital to question them.
Everyone in the car suffered internal bruising, but were eventually released from hospital. The cousin's fiancee was severely injured and needed an operation to remove part of her liver. She has since fully recovered.
The driver of the dump truck was not injured.
Danette was later told that drivers must be 21 to rent a car, but the rental agency allowed Cody to drive even though his licence showed him to be 19.
A few days later they tried to catch a flight home, but Cody was told that he could not leave the country.
I'll leave it up to readers to translate "Que se jodan."
While I believe that a good argument can certainly be made that travelers to a place like Cuba assume a certain degree of risk, the above kind of ideologically driven disregard for human decency and vulgar display of callousness is one that only a few in this world can applaud and appreciate.
-photo via IFP