Friday, February 16, 2018

Traffic Study Conducted When Schools Are Closed? WHAT? By Geniusofdespair

We previously reported on traffic studies paid for by developers. Here is a questionable study. Were nine schools actually closed for the summer in the study area? How is it possible that Homestead Hudstead allowed and accepted this study? The Kingman Commons Traffic Study for SW 152nd Avenue and SW 320 Street in Homestead -- dated August 1st 2014. The Study is 252 pages long. It looks very official (Scrolling through it, I am sure no one read it). I wasn't going to read the damn thing, am I assuming too much from the date of the study and the (July 17th date I found) that schools were closed? I don't think so.

Traffic studies are just cover for developments.

Transit: Metro Mover Sucks. By Geniusofdespair

First time I took the metro mover was last night about 7 pm. The metro mover I was on stopped at a station and remained stopped. The minutes passed. It turned to a quarter hour. People were leaving in drips and drabs. My though turned to the Clash Song: "Should I Stay or Should I Go." No information to speak of, like an announcement that it will be rectified shortly. Giving up, I decided I should go. No sooner did I get out of the car, the doors closed and it went. Why not an announcement like "We are resuming service"? There is only one track up there so you are at their mercy. You either go back to the street in some zany place or you hope the line starts running again.

Roulette with commuters. Can't do that. I was due somewhere at a certain time. Remember: MY FIRST TRIP. I ended up taking a Lyft through traffic. Streets were closed all over the place. It took me an hour to get a few blocks. Why didn't I walk you might ask? I was with a person afraid to walk in downtown. Nightmare!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

This works for me, watch the damn video: Sums it all up. By Geniusofdespair

End of the World Part II has been updated to include today's problems, it is TRUMP, climate change, Russians, it is all here (it is hysterical and tragic rolled into one) You will want to share it.

Send your friends a link to my blog, put on facebook. Want to test our faithful readers. Just hit below on Facebook or Twitter, that will share it.

Michelle: It doesn't look like you. By Geniusofdespair

Michelle Obama's bottom lip is bigger, her eyes are also larger, chin too broad in painting, amount of skin between eye and hair line too broad in painting, cheek bone almost goes to her mouth, not in painting, eyebrows lift at middle of eye then more sharply descend in the photo..... etc., there are other problems.

As a portrait painter I think a portrait should at least be recognizable of the one it portrays. I don't think it has to look exactly like the person you are painting but I think it is incredulous that likeness seems unimportant here, that this very important portrait doesn't look like the person it represents. If the painting weren't in the National Portrait gallery, I would not know it was our former First Lady.

Definition: a likeness of a person, especially of the face, as a painting, drawing, or photograph.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Philip Stoddard is Still South Miami's Mayor. By Geniusofdespair

With 6 precincts in, I would say it is a slam dunk for Philip Stoddard. I guess Disbarred Steve Cody's misuse of the Me-Too movement in a robocall turned other people off, not just me. I didn't like the Me-Too card played so blatantly to try to get a political advantage.

Final tally 929 Feliu and 1,227 for Philip. In group one might be a runoff don't know how South Miami works. But Luis J. Gil was the top vote getter, final at 28.89%. Sandra DiMarie-Vivar got 20.87%.  In group four neither candidate got over 50%. Walter Harris got 49.26% (1,028) and Mark Lago got 47.01% (981). I guess that is a run-off too.

Mayor of South Miami Philip Stoddard

Not final, one precinct missing - Close enough.

George Lindemann Jr. v Maggy Hurchalla, cont. by gimleteye

My comments and following notes from Donna Melzer, a Martin County activist who is attending the ongoing trial of Lake Point v. Maggy Hurchalla.

My comments: the Lake Point v. Maggy Hurchalla is a proxy for a larger battle that should make all Floridians sit up and take notice. The larger battle has several fronts: first and foremost, a decadal assault by Big Sugar and large sprawl developers against growth management in Florida.

After his election in 2010 Gov. Rick Scott, his Cabinet, and the Florida legislature crushed the capacity of the state of Florida to order and enforce growth management laws in Florida. Jeb Bush started the destruction, reinforced by serial attacks by the Republican-led legislature against decades of bipartisan consensus. The purposes of the act was to compel Florida's counties to some measure of order and accountability to taxpayers and to a sustainable future.

By the time of Scott's first election, the willingness of the state to protect that earlier consensus had been hobbled. The champions for growth management, who came of age in the 1980's and in recognition of the massive forces at work pitting Florida's sprawl based economy against water resources and natural habitat, dwindled in influence. Among those, Maggy Hurchalla in Martin County stood tall.

Martin County, on the urbanized east coast, embraced the protections afforded by the Growth Management Act through its own comprehensive land use plan. Maggy Hurchalla, as county commissioner, drew on Reno family history and experience with Miami-Dade's rampant sprawl, to author the county's plan in compliance with state law. Thanks to its growth plan, Martin County had retained a low-volume, old Florida character while Palm Beach to the south and St. Lucie to the north buckled under the costs of suburban sprawl.

Lake Point is charging Maggy Hurchalla with interference in its contract with the South Florida Water Management District to provide lime rock aggregate and, importantly, to be able to sell water on its lands as a source of private profit. The exact charges of Lake Point against Hurchalla, even beyond the fine points of growth management, are proxy for a much larger and more significant fight in Florida.

As soon as it is profitable and permittable, Big Sugar will convert sugar farms to sprawl, inland ports, and rock mines. Only the boundaries of state and federal laws hold its investment and its profits, back.

With the Trump White House, Florida's polluters have never had a more favorable environment for tilting toxic pollution water laws in its direction. With Trump's ally, Rick Scott, aiming for the US Senate, Big Sugar has never had a better opportunity to dictate terms to the Florida public.

Lake Point's principal, George Lindemann Jr., had never been a rock miner before his investment, but the ties of Lake Point to Big Sugar's interests are clear enough, as a matter of geography and friendships. That said, Big Sugar is not on trial in Martin County nor is it on the attack.

It is on the attack in Tallahassee, now. It is forcing a multi billion dollar reservoir plan that lacks adequate storage and treatment marshes to clean up pollution it is believed to be primarily responsible for creating, through its fertilizer and agricultural farming practices. In Martin County, too, its shadow hangs over the proceedings no matter how hard the Lake Point legal counsel tries to tightly frame its allegations against Hurchalla.

One of the key achievements in the last session of the Florida legislature was to carve out a new project that primarily benefits the Fanjuls/Florida Crystals' empire: a provision in the Everglades reservoir legislation that allows taxpayer funding to aid and assist in the conversion of Fanjul held land into water storage and treatment marshes that will, in the future, allow the corporation to sell rainwater to South Florida utilities.

This principle is a key point in the Lake Point contract with the South Florida Water Management District, and it is another way that the Lake Point outcome is a proxy for Florida's water future.

Until now, Florida water law has never provided for private corporations to be "water supply entities". Florida's water belongs to the people. Or so it always had.

Last year's Everglades reservoir legislation -- whose nominal purpose was to protect Florida's toxic-choked estuaries and rivers and battered, water-starved Florida Bay -- turns out to have been exactly the Trojan Horse its critics predicted. Floridians are being rear-ended into permitting rainwater and groundwater to be "owned" for re-sale to water utilities and consumers.

From this point of view, the Lake Point litigation - funded by a billionaire's fortune -- not only seeks to crush a civic activist who has been lauded by environmentalists as a Florida hero but also to grind into dust a history of conservation, environmentalism, and consensus that Florida's water resources and natural habitats belong to people and must be preserved and protected for both the economy and a sustainable future.

That revisionism is supported by outrageous settlement terms agreed to last year by the state, and endorsement by the governor and cabinet, in separate litigation by Lake Point against the South Florida Water Management District.

The Lake Point settlement with the District was a tacit blessing by Gov. Scott, worth tens of millions of dollars to Lake Point's owners, : a blanket-endorsement of Florida's water future as a private rodeo for billionaires.

Today, the revisionism is in full swing, funded by Big Sugar marketing budgets through industry sponsored "news" outlets. Independent, investigative journalism should train sharp focus on all the ways the Lake Point litigation against Maggy Hurchalla is a proxy for a hostile takeover by special interests who pushed Growth Management over the edge first and now making an example of Maggy Hurchalla in a Martin County courthouse, seeking a trophy like conquistadores who displayed the severed heads of the vanquished on sharpened, wooden stakes.


LATER TODAY - TUESDAY - George Lindemann, Jr., son of billionaire, and Maggy Hurchalla will testify.
Closing arguments should begin Wed. - but maybe Thurs. if Lake Point goes long again.

DAY 6 - Excellent Day for Team Maggy (sorry this email is so long but lots happened - pages and pages of notes)

Highpoint: Finally, after 5 years in litigation - we heard WHAT "breach" Lake Point sued on!
Maggy is accused of a tortious interference with a contract.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Maggy Hurchalla on trial in Martin County ... by gimleteye

The following is from Donna Melzer, a Martin County activist following the trial of Miami-native Maggy Hurchalla.

We've written about Maggy's contributions to Florida at length. You can read our archive, by clicking here. This week, Miami realtor/rock miner George Lindemann Jr. has been called by the defense as a material witness to claims that his company suffered damage from Hurchalla's alleged interference in a contract that has -- despite the lawsuit -- proven extraordinarily lucrative for him.

Last year the Miami environmental group founded by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Friends of the Everglades, gave Hurchalla its highest honor: Defender of the Everglades. (I am a volunteer board member and conservation chair of the organization.)

COMPLY WITH THE COURT DIRECTION: TREAT THIS AS YOU WOULD A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE. I do not intend nor believe that I am sending to any juror, but just in case...

Yesterday Was the START of Maggy Hurchalla's Story Being Told
(Monday - Thursday were about Lake Point's stories and Maggy's defense to testimony in Lake Point's stories).

(No story found today - maybe later.)

Lake Point is NOT suing Maggy on Open Government law.
Maggy is NOT being accused of Sunshine Laws or Public Records violations.

Lake Point has asserted that Maggy caused them $4Million in lost rock sales -- claiming damages going out beyond 2030.

Lake Point did not produce one cancelled contracts, no loss of existing clients.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Misuse of Transit 1/2 Penny Tax: Mayor has Concocted a Sophie's Choice for Residents. By Geniusofdespair

The Mayor is pitting neighbor against neighbor, bus transit users against rail transit users, because of squandered funds we can't have both. Or can we. Get the funds Mayor Gimenez, it is your job. Stop playing games with the transit union.

In today's Miami Herald (this is an excerpt read the whole article):

Commuters frustrated with Miami-Dade’s traffic woes and the diversion of money intended to pay for new mass transit routes may have a hero or a goat soon in their state government, depending on how things play out over the next few weeks.

Just past the midway point of Florida’s legislative session, a bill that seeks to shift nearly $100 million annually in voter-approved transit tax money out of transportation operations in order to fund new mass transit lines is moving through both chambers. The legislation would force the county to quickly honor a commitment made more than 15 years ago to use money from a “half-penny” sales tax to fund new commuter rail lines — which have mostly failed to materialize since the tax was approved.

Miami-Dade’s transportation department and some elected officials warn that the proposal would force drastic cuts and possibly the elimination of more than half of Miami-Dade’s bus routes. “It would have a devastating effect,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Thursday.

But the group of Miami lawmakers pushing the bill in the Florida House and Senate say that’s a worst-case scenario claim by a government that’s ignored the will of the voters for more than a decade and left the region with a worsening traffic problem.

“If Dade County was doing what they need to be doing, we wouldn’t be in this situation, having to correct a wrong,” Senate bill sponsor René García, R-Hialeah, said in an interview. “A bag was pulled over our heads.”


The men and women of Transport Workers Union Local 291 have worked without a contract for more than three years.

Mayor Gimenez, meanwhile, has tried to blame transit workers for the poor Metrorail and MetroBus service that Miami-Dade residents have been getting.

Today, TWU Local 291 is fighting back with a series of demands for the mayor, starting with the demand that he stop denigrating the blue-collar workforce.

“The mayor should stop trying to blame transit workers for the shabby service,” Local 291 President Clarence Washington said. “It’s quite clear that he is trying to distract people from the fact that he has failed to provide good management, adequate transit funding and reliable equipment. He has simply failed to improve mass transit, and that has caused more and more people to drive. A horrendous traffic situation has gotten even worse because Metrorail and MetroBus are not viable options for too many people.”

Local 291’s Five Demands for Mayor Gimenez:

Democratic House Leader Lied To My Face. By Geniusofdespair

At Daniella Levine Cava's Traffic Summit I asked Kionne McGhee why he voted to allow people who committed domestic violence offenses to get their guns returned to them, noting that he didn't vote with the other local democrats (the only other local Dem. Roy Hardemon  - who has part of Miami - voted with him).

Kionne McGhee said: "That is untrue" and turned his back on me.

He didn't even inquire about it to make sure he understood what I was saying. Just turned his back.

2/1 Ross Hancock on Facebook:
Yesterday afternoon, State House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee abandoned his Democratic common-sense colleagues and joined Republicans to pass a bill that would make it much easier for suspects in a disorderly conduct cases, including domestic violence cases, to get their seized guns back from police. Thanks to Reps. Asensio, Duran, Geller, Stafford and many others for opposing HB 6013, “Return of Property: Removes provision requiring court to order return of pistol or firearm when pistol or firearm is taken by officer with search warrant or without search warrant upon viewing breach of peace.”

Not trusting Ross only, I looked it up on the State of Florida Website:

Local Republicans Bileca and Trujillo voted for this, in fact, every single Republican in the House voted for it.  Kionne McGhee actually voted with a guy called Pigman. That should have been his first warning.

So, Liar, Liar Pants on Fire Mr. McGhee.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

NBC 6 Local Weather Gets It On Global Warming: Props ... by gimleteye

NBC 6 in Miami appears to have made a momentous decision, allowing its weather reporter to link our bizarre, hot winter to climate change and global warming.

The controversy has been on boil for years, framed as a question: why aren't weather reporters -- who have more than a passing knowledge -- out in front on linking for the public the connections between extreme weather events (which news stations avidly follow) and climate change?

The answer is easy: major advertisers like car manufacturers, gasoline and electricity producers don't like the implications of global warming to their business models. So the news, rather than report science and fact, follows business-friendly scripts to encourage the passivity of consumers.

It took the Miami Herald many, many years to shift its position on global warming. It is good to see the weather segment on local television news shift.

Climate change is real. It is happening. Not only have we experienced the warmest winters in record, in recent years, there is NOTHING in the forecast to suggest that weather will revert to normal.

Now if only the Frost Museum of Science in Miami, whose benefactor is a climate change denier, would focus on the science of the greatest threat to civilization.

PBA New Head Honcho Hires Steve Shiver to do What? By Geniusofdespair

John Rivera was ousted as head of thee police union.  Steadman Stahl hired Steve Shiver as something. On February 1st This Anonymous Post was on the Voice of of Law Enforcement Online:
Embattled ex-politician to run PBA

Recognizing is inability to run the organization, Steadman Stahl has hired his long time drinking buddy Steve Shiver to run the organization, leaving Stahl to be more of a ceremonial President.

Shiver has had a checkered career to say the least. The Miami New Times, Miami Herald and Eye on Miami have written extensively on his dealings which range from mismanagement to corruption. Shiver has several failed marriages and business foreclosures under his belt.

The price tag for this embattled ex-pol is not yet known as the new administration is not as transparent as they promised. But expect it to be around $250,000.00 of you dues money for basic salary. Benefits and expense card will add to that price tag.
We have indeed written 52 posts on Hudstead's Favorite Son: Steve Shiver.

We only have one thing to impart to the police union if this hire is true (No mention on PBA of Dade County website of it but Doug Hanks from the Miami Herald tweeted a picture of Stedman Stahl, Steve Shiver and Carlos Gimenez, on February 6th -- also mentioning Shiver's job working with the PBA):

It feels so good to laugh till you cry.