Friday, October 25, 2013

The Worst City in Miami Dade County (after Homestead of course) AVENTURA. By Geniusofdespair

Aventura City Manager Eric Soroka with his wife - The City Clerk
Out of respect for my friend Jim Mullin publisher of The Biscayne Times and author Jay Beskin, I am not going to print the whole article but I urge you to read it. It will make you very angry. Here are two excerpts from the article:
So in December 2008, when Soroka (Aventura City Manager being sued by Aventura former principal) and Mayor Susan Gottlieb decided to commission a book on Aventura’s history, it seemed quite possible that our government was coming around. They chose Seth Bramson to write the book.

Bramson, who teaches Florida history at Florida International University and Barry University, is known for his well-regarded histories of the Florida East Coast Railway and of South Florida cities, such as Miami Beach, Hallandale Beach, and the Curtiss-Bright cities of Hialeah, Miami Springs, and Opa-locka. He received recognition from the leaders of the City of Miami for chronicling that city. On behalf of Aventura, Soroka and Gottlieb committed to underwrite the publication of 500 books.

After Bramson submitted his draft to Soroka and Gottlieb, they invited him to what he thought would be a routine meeting to discuss it. At that meeting, according to Bramson, Soroka and Gottlieb blindsided him.

They had essentially rewritten his book, deleting chapters and pictures, and eviscerating the substance of his work. Never before had leaders of a city profiled in one of Bramson’s books censored its contents.
Mayor from Hell: Susan Gottlieb - never saw a development she didn't like. Nasty as they come. When she was running, I met her at the polls and she was so dismissive and unpleasant, I changed my vote.
This past August our city attorney (who is employs Soroka’s son) used the taxpayers’ dime to write a letter to Bramson’s publisher. The letter stated that “the City has not authorized Mr. Bramson to write a history of the city or to use photos, papers, or other property of the city in the proposed book.”

The city attorney’s letter is disingenuous. Since when does the subject of a book have to authorize its publication? If that were the case, the publication of many nonfiction books, including biographies, would essentially cease.

Under what statute or theory does a city have exclusive ownership of photos and papers in its possession? What happened to the public records laws under which anyone has the right to review and copy municipal papers and records?

Despite the ludicrousness of the letter, it had the desired chilling effect. Bramson’s publisher, not wishing to face a lawsuit, bailed.

I talked to Bramson myself and he also told me they wanted him to remove a photo of an African American from Aventura's Ojus history. It wasn't just about the Soroka case. Read the whole article. It is revealing. Aventura also pulled advertising from The Biscayne Times. This is like Lynda Bell retribution.


Anonymous said...

Palmetto Bay and Hialeah might be worse.

Anonymous said...

Miami has them all beat. They are the true masters. It doesn't get any uglier than our city. You should have a poll on which city is worse!

Anonymous said...

Aventura is composed of people who are liberal and they would be appalled if they knew about this assault on free speech.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Bramson was asked to co-author, along with local historian Bob Jensen, a history of Homestead for our Centennial year celebration. He did an outstanding job, we introduced it at the recent Homestead Centennial Book Fair to great acclaim. We are very happy with the final result: Homestead, Florida...From Railroad Boom to Sonic Boom. Thank you Dr. Bramson and Mr. Jensen.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the Bramson / Jenson poster!

Rich in history and tradition, Homestead truly deserves better than the Bell Klan.

Vote Jeff Porter!

Mensa said...

Aventura certainly has nasty, dishonest people in charge but North Miami is worse as it ie run by crooks.

Anonymous said...

Miami is the Detroit of the South.

Anonymous said...

Oh for Pete' sake. What incredible nerve. Aventura just may be the only city in America named after a shopping mall. When Ojus was incorporated, Aventura was the "wrong side of the tracks" - largely mangrove swamp. There was a small African American Church there. How embarrassing that this mini-city, one of the most affluent in the County, would deny this history. Shame on them. Seth Branson is to be commended for his research and for trying at least to help us retain some history of this place. We need to be reminded of our rich and complicated past - not turn our backs on it.

Anonymous said...

Oh pleeeze....

How about:
North Miami

Scott Ross said...

Those who have known and suffered Seth Bramson's boorish bluster, vulgar outbursts and incendiary provocations for decades empathize with Mayor Gottlieb and the City of Aventura. His strongarm business practices and in-your-face temperament belie his engaging shmooze and have earned him the scorn and disgust of those who might otherwise be his most enthusiastic supporters.

To wit, Bramson is reviled by leaders of the Miami Beach Senior High Alumni Association, which he twice improperly exploited for personal gain. When the Association balked at his demand that they underwrite a "book" on the high school's history, former board member Bramson retaliated by promising to exclude the school's hall of fame members from his yet-to-be-published promotorial. Remarkably, Bramson continues to relentlessly hound the Association for induction into the hall, while belittling those who have quietly EARNED induction with extraordinary life achievements.

Last year, Bramson led a senseless insurrection which splintered the 50th anniversary reunion of his Beach High class of 1962. Only a handful attended Bramson's splinter reunion, but the divisive wedge he created prompted many classmates to stay home and attend neither. What he can't command and control, he destroys -- in this instance, a once in a lifetime celebration.

It seems somehow unfair that someone as genuinely intelligent, capable and historically astute as Bramson could trash that gift on the micro-targeted, souvenir paperback bubbe-fluff he publishes, then hawks like a carnival barker.

Bramson's stature is barely even parenthetical in the presence of esteemed South Florida historian authors like Arva Moore Parks, Paul George, Howard Kleinberg, even Ferdie Pacheco, all of whom are routinely quoted and hailed as preeminent for the integrity and enduring quality of their works. They chafe at the very mention of Bramson's name. None pander for attention, disrespect each other to gain standing or recognition, or exaggerate their stature with counterfeit superlatives. They rise on merit and virtue, and celebrate each other's works.

Bramson counters, "You can't write about Miami Beach (or the Jewish community) unless you grew up on, lived on, went to school on and worked on Miami Beach (or are a lantzman) and in regard to Miami Beach ONLY this writer, Michele Oka Donner and Mickey Wolfson and Alex Daoud qualify." How quaint.

Whatever backstory may have been relayed to seed Jay Beskin's Biscayne Times story, "Aventura, City of Pettiness," if it originated with Bramson, it's bogus, self-serving and characteristically vindictive.


Geniusofdespair said...

Others disagree.

Gloria said...

Scott Ross you are unfair and a bully To Mr. Bramson. The city had no right to stop the publication of the book if he was paying for it.

Cato II said...

First, Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes makes municipal records open to the public to be freely available. Second, there is no copyright recognized for these public records, including the photographs that were taken with public money. Third, and most importantly, Bramson may have a viable claim for tortuous interference with a contractual relationship against both the City of Aventura and the City Attorney, personally. Bramson should immediately send the required statutory letter noting his intent to sue to the Town of Aventura, with a copy to the Governor and State Insurance Commissioner. Then wait 180 days from the time they receive the letter and sue the hell out of them.

Anonymous said...

Ross is the Bell of Ojus

Anonymous said...

Bet they don't have a Joe the Plumber wanna-be (M. Bell)

Anonymous said...

The City of Miami might be the most corrupt. The employees, lead by the best paid fire union members in the world, take 80% or more of every $1 Mil in revenues. 80% or more of the $524 Mil budget goes to employee pay and benefits. 45 of the 50 highest paid employees all work for the Fire Department.

Anonymous said...

Aventura and Homestead are not in Miami! All of South Florida
is corrupt, Banana republic and then some!