Friday, June 13, 2014

A Civic Uprising, The Beckham Retreat, Brazil Defeats Croatia … by gimleteye

IN Miami one can hope -- in fact, all one really has is hope -- that the civic uprising that brought so many voices to push back against the plan to site a new professional sports stadium at Museum Park is a sign of Miami's maturation. Unlikely.

Still, Miami's political leaders finally figured out it was OK to say no. No to wealthy celebrities, no to well-heeled developers instead of giving away the waterfront for a song or putting taxpayers in the hole, again. (Now comes the Nail Clipper Building By The Bay.)

It took a concentration of civic energy to object loudly enough to the Beckham plan to get the point across to decision makers. In Miami it takes a lot to get everyone pulling the oars at the same time in the same direction.

The planning of the city, with little care for public space or efficient transit or parks, never matured beyond its goal to be a destination resort. Despite the banks, the high finance, the trade with the Americas, Miami hasn't grown up. Its suburbs are layered like indifferent coats of paint.

Governance is an after thought, despite the fact it has such profound consequences on daily life. Most people don't even know the names of county commissioners or the mayor. As a civics lesson, connecting the dots is not a strong part of Miami's curriculum.

Perhaps the Beckham people finally read the blogs and the many, many reader comments that predicted a tough battle ahead for the FEC slip site. For example, it would have taken years to get through the permitting process to fill the site. The monkey-wrenchers would have had plenty of money from the condo owners to gum up the works. Comparatively speaking, it was a small beans.

The Beckham group says it is taking a breather. Now all that civic energy can be turned to the plan by Florida Power and Light to build two new nuclear reactors at sea level at Turkey Point and high voltage power lines up the US 1 Corridor.

Meanwhile the World Cup is off to a stuttering start in Brazil. There may be no model of governance less attuned to public opinion than FIFA, football's organizing entity. It is accountable to no one, apparently. It is run by its own oligarch, Sepp Blattner, who controls a very, very rich kingdom by doling out favors and tolerating corruption in its ranks. FIFA would be at home in Miami, but the culture is so much more refined in Switzerland and the food and wine is better.

The man of the match for Brazil against Croatia was Oscar, a young twenty something who plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. Chelsea's boss is Roman Abramovitch, a Russian oligarch. His manager is Jose Mourinho who played his young Brazilian intermittently through the season. Yesterday Oscar was the only footballer on the pitch who controlled the ball and made something of each possession. He disrupted the Croatian midfield and made brilliantly timed passes into the center where other stars seemed unable to match their hulk. Finally Oscar broke through himself and scored the third goal. Take that, Mourinho.

It was a victory for Brazil and that's all that mattered to tens of millions of frenzied fans. Meanwhile, Iraq and the Middle East are dissolving in the remnants of our trillion dollar investment; your taxes and mine. David Beckham, scarcely forty, watches from the stands or his television, like the rest of us, wishing it could be different.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about the influences of blogs like this one... I just got invited to a rally to celebrate this down at Museum Park on Saturday....

Anonymous said...

What is so sweet about this is our core democracy at work.

rudy said...

People should also consider trying to stop the foolish Skyrise development in Bayside coming before the City COmmission on Thursday and to promote the Parcel B park plan of COmm Audrey Edmonson on Thursday at 2pm at County Hall as opposed to Comm Bovo's plan for a inappropriate Cuban Exile History Museum on the site. Such a Museum is fine but not glumping up what has so long been promised to be a park. These struggles sometimes seem to be endless but your voice can make a difference. WE have just seen how organized public pressure can stop bad development ideas.

Anonymous said...

I love that Beckham's 2 million a year rent offer to to the City didn't even warrant a discussion but at the County a million a year for essentially the same land deal for the Heat was a "great great great deal". Gimenez, you're such a tool.

BTW stay tuned, he's about to hand another multi-billionaire team owner millions of our money to "help out" the already successful franchise.

Anonymous said...

thank you to eye on miami for being a repository for a great deal of constructive discussion and inspiration to save the FEC slip as it is. I am going to send a kudos to Regalado for extricating himself out of the muck that he was not very astute in getting himself into in the first place.

As for Gimenez, he is done for me and my group. This was the most hair-brained idea since that old pioneer dude proposed drying up the everglades with malelueca back at the turn of the 20th century. Inglorious-- and a black eye for Gimenez' reign to want to desicrate our waterfront and park.

Kudos to Papa Suarez for coming out against it. I see a run for mayor from papa y hijo.

A huge rotten tomato to Sarnoff. He may want to run for Suarez' county seat. He is mainly weasel in species with a mix of marmoset and mongoose and whistled past the graveyard on this issue while his district voters were screaming against it. When can we be rid of this shyster?

Geniusofdespair said...

Actually Sarnoff voiced his opposition to the Beckham Group preferred site before it was announced.

Anonymous said...

What took the local press so long to report the facts that Biscayne Bay can't just be cemented in - that the FEC slip is part of a state protected Aquatic Preserve ecosystem, that there is a history to the creation of a public waterfront park at the Bicentennial Park and a history of activism to protect it from many, many predatory land grabs over the years, that there is a growing residential community in downtown that are stakeholders. The media never ever got around to reporting issues related to sea level rise and putting more infrastructure on the waterfront - I guess that's for when a superstorm comes at high tide and we all see how vulnerable the area is to flooding and the day when the waters just don't recede.
Just goes to show you how ill-informed and superficial and out of town local reporters are about our history and environment. Thank goodness for Eye on Miami!

Anonymous said...

Gimenez and his lobbyist friend and his assistant mayors all owe this community an apology. What about all the employee time spent researching how to fill in the FEC slip? And negotiating this ill-fated deal? What about the time attending Beckham events and posing for selfies. That's taxpayer money spent. We should send a bill to Beckham. Better yet, to Gimenez. Hope Gimenez learned something from this fiasco. (Probably not)>

Harry Emilio Gottlieb said...

Yes there where many folks that spoke out against the soccer stadium being built on waterfront land. Many folks also spoke out against the Marlins Baseball Stadium. But this time around, some of our more responsible elected leaders actually paid attention and agreed with us. Be sure to thank them. The question remains. Do we really need a soccer stadium anywhere in Miami? Cant we find one with a multiuse?

Anonymous said...

When did Sarnoff express opposition to filling the FEC slip? Please be more specific. Did he not make the maneuver regarding contiguous submerged land?

Anonymous said...

As an alternate location, why not the old Miami Arena (now known as Grand Central Park but totally lacking vegetation)?

Anonymous said...

Voters, community activists, residents, elected officials and concerned Dade Countians. Because of our beautiful waterfront and wonderful tropical environment, con men will continue to come here every year with various scams, rackets, and schemes. Brcause of the Marlins deal, they think we are weak, and are a potential mark. The key is to kill these ideas early, in fact now that we have a better understanding of the confidence game, we need an early detection system so we can smell it, and destroy it as soon it is proposed. Otherwise, every year we are going to have to continually mount these major battles.

Al Crespo said...

The old Miami Arena site is going to be the location of the convention center for the World Center Project, and for Rudy above, I just posted my latest and most exhaustive story on why Skyrise isn't a good deal for the citizens of Miami.

Anonymous said...

Sarnoff never took a public stand on protecting the FEC slip and the park until AFTER the Mayor and Manager told John Alshuler No. He ignored his constituents. Meanwhile he pandered to Beckham begging him for selfies. Coward.

Anonymous said...

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/562/748/048/support-beckham-soccer-stadium-at-former-orange-bowl-site-and-bring-um-football-back-home/

Anonymous said...

We have several alternate locations for a soccer park. A old and improperly closed landfill could seal the deal. Wasn't the Marlins stadium originally slated to be built on the site of the old Delta Dade/Peerless landfill?
I am sure Jack Osterholt will put that location on his "short" list.

Anonymous said...

Gimenez is a liar! He may not use tax dollars at first but giving them taxi breaks as he's going to do for the dolphins is using tax dollars because that means less revues for our services like police and fire and essentials quality of life services. But, Gimenez is a maniac who thinks that he is smarter than the entire population

Anonymous said...

As long as Jorge Luis Lopez makes money, so does Gimenez. It's funneled by way of cash.mstop bull shifting the public mr Lopez and Mrs Gimenez-Lopez

Anonymous said...

That is what happened with the Mayor of Detroit. He made contractors hire his friend, and the friend split the money up with the Mayor. He is doing time in jail now.

outofsight said...

He never said that he wasn't giving land to them, Gimenez pointed out that he wasn't giving taxpayers dollars. Gotta watch the political double speak.

Anonymous said...

I believe the difference was civic leaders! not the public

Anonymous said...

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/562/748/048/support-beckham-soccer-stadium-at-former-orange-bowl-site-and-bring-um-football-back-home/

Anonymous said...

We also need to think of a way to give commissioners exposure to stars and the like so they would not be willing to sell us down the drain for a selfie with one of them. We are dealing with small minds and big egos. Perhaps when entertainers come to town, they could be included in receptions, parties and those kinds of activities. They would have a chance to rub shoulders with the larger than life figures in an environment where nothing is on the table from the tax payers. When con men come in with their stars, it will not be a big deal. We know they like strawberiries and chocolate in their milk bottles, so let's give it to them until they grow up.

Anonymous said...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BybUR9Ii0SWIbnZkQXBwcTVmYmNsSHB4VG5fQmQyWnU3QS0w/edit?usp=sharing

Anonymous said...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BybUR9Ii0SWIbnZkQXBwcTVmYmNsSHB4VG5fQmQyWnU3QS0w/edit?usp=sharing

Anonymous said...

People are saying spokesmodel Beckham and lobbyist John Alshuler will not pay for a site. They only want free land.

Anonymous said...

Well, it that is the case, they will have to look for another sucker community. Everyone I meet here wants money. No one is giving up anything for free. Especially land.

Anonymous said...

There are a number of privately held alternatives available, but these property owners will be looking for cash deals and perhaps a percentage of the business. I don't know anyone who would give them their land for free.