It's an unusually busy news morning, readers. Let's get into it.
A- Herald: So the question that no one dares ask is, "How good is Ramon's English?"
Seconds before a bus full of Jehovah’s Witnesses slammed into a low overpass at the Miami International Airport Saturday morning, passengers urged the driver to turn around, according to the daughter of one of the survivors.B- Herald: I'm thinking someone's taxes are going up.
“When he was going to go under the overpass, the people in the front of the bus told the driver that he was going a way that he shouldn’t,” said the daughter who didn’t want to be named. “They told him to back up, but he didn’t pay attention and they crashed.”
The driver, Ramon Ferreiro, 47, took a route through the airport that is marked with three yellow warning signs for high vehicles, one of which is illuminated with blinking yellow lights.
Six months into negotiations with federal regulators over Miami-Dade’s aging sewer system, the county has come up with a $1.5 billion, 15-year plan to rebuild pipes, pumps and sewage treatment plants that in some cases are almost 100 years old.C- Herald: Wynwood is "flashy?"
County leaders devised the proposal in an attempt to fend off a federal lawsuit, and potentially millions of dollars in fines, for not abiding by the federal Clean Water Act. The county also has proposed replacing or repairing a good portion of the 7,500 miles of sewer lines that regularly rupture and spill millions of gallons of raw waste into local waterways and Biscayne Bay.
On an anonymous, lightly traveled corner on the edge of Overtown, celebrity street artist Shepard Fairey has quietly spent most of the past few days high up on a lift with an X-acto knife and a can of spray paint, slowly making ugly beautiful.D- Herald: Should Miami-Dade County employee's salaries be posted online?
Just don’t call it Wynwood south, Lesniak and Knoefler say, alluding to the warehouse district a few blocks north that went from derelict to happening in a seeming flash, thanks in large part to a rapid proliferation of graffiti murals. Though urban pioneer Tony Goldman’s Wynwood Walls complex — where Fairey just completed a tribute mural to the developer, who died in September — is gallery-quality, it’s attracted too many lesser imitators and an inconsistent hodge-podge to the blocks around it, the activists say.
The latest high-profile database, posted in August, features the names, titles and salaries of the county’s nearly 26,000 employees. And some workers are less than happy about it.E- Herald: More money for the arts.
The county commission will vote Tuesday on a proposal by Commissioner Barbara Jordan that would force the administration to take down the database and prohibit it from putting the information online again. It would still be available upon request.
“Information should be provided publicly, regarding salaries or anything else that is done in Miami-Dade County,” Jordan said. “But I think we also have to be concerned with balancing that with the safety and security of our employees.”
“You are paying for this information already through your taxes. You own us,” he said, as if speaking to the public. “I just don’t get this.”
After five years of supporting artistic ventures dreamed up by everyone from indie filmmakers to museum directors and musicians, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is ready for more.F- Herald: Not everyone is down with efforts to improve our roadways.
The Miami-based foundation is devoting a total of $23 million in new gifts for the arts in South Florida, including $14 million for seven institutions and $9 million to continue the popular Knight Arts Challenge for another three years.
Michael Spring, director of Miami-Dade’s Department of Cultural Affairs, said the initial challenge came at just the right time to sustain the growth of the arts when the economy took a nosedive in 2008. The Knight support, Spring said, was key for organizations and donors.
“What the Knight Arts Challenge does, in addition to investing a lot of important dollars, is it puts a spotlight on the arts as an important area for civic investment,” said Spring, whose department has been a challenge winner.
Hollywood leaders envision State Road A1A — which ushers traffic north and south through the beachside community — as a place where motorists, pedestrians and bikers can coexist.G- Herald: They write letters.
But not all residents were happy with the plans, with some saying the new configuration with fewer lanes will cause gridlock on an already clogged street.
“Traffic and parking is already a problem,” said resident John Saporita, who said that people who live on the island know there are certain times nobody wants to drive because of traffic. “Reducing the number of lanes will only make it worse.”
Require a bond for gun ownersH- South Florida Business Journal: Good eats at MIA.
Yet again we are faced with the tragic death of one child at the hands of another, due to an accidental discharge of a loaded handgun.
While a few voices may still call out for reasonable gun control, that ship has sailed, thanks in large part to the National Rifle Association and its deep pockets which allow it to seemingly purchase legislators, and their votes.
Here’s a possible solution: Potential gun owners should be strictly liable if anyone is shot with the gun he or she owns, even if the gun was stolen or taken without permission, if the gun wasn’t kept under lock and key. Each owner should be required to purchase an insurance policy or post a significant bond, as a condition of ownership. We’re required to insure our automobiles, why not our guns?
Leonard P. Fenn, Miami
The Icebox Café and Versailles Restaurant at Miami International Airport are listed among the 31 best airport restaurants around the world, according to The Daily Meal.I- CBS4: Duuuuuuuude.
Versailles Restaurant ranked highest at No. 15. The restaurant’s four locations, including a 24 hours spot on the second floor of the Central Terminal, make it convenient to grab a Cuban sandwich, Cuban coffee or a flaky pastelito.
DELRAY BEACH (CBSMiami) – The arrest of naked man running around his Delray Beach neighborhood led to police to at least four marijuana plants he was growing in front of his home.J- NBC Miami: Life in South Florida.
Police were called to the 2500 block of Albatross Road after Raymond Schmamis’ neighbors called them to say he was naked and throwing stuff out of his home and running around naked, according to the Sun-Sentinel. When officers arrived, Schamis, 41, reportedly charged at them and tried to break the windows on a patrol car.
The Florida Highway Patrol says a pig is responsible for causing a series of car accidents in Collier County and injuring nearly a dozen people.K- WSVN: Classy.
An FHP report says 24-year-old Gabriela Resendiz struck a pig Saturday night that was in the middle of the road. Several other cars collided with her vehicle, injuring nearly a dozen other drivers and passengers.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A sacred symbol of the Jewish faith vandalized. The cruel crime raised a lot of questions Sunday night.
The proud artist said it's a huge attraction on Miami Beach each December and attracts thousands of tourists. But Sunday, the larger-than-life menorah was hit by hate.
In front of the giant display of a giant shell-covered menorah and dreidel, the photo-ops turned into shocked reactions. "Oh my God, isn't that terrible! How awful," said passer-bys.
Vandals scribbled "You killed Jesus" on a curb bordering the Hanukkah display.