Friday, November 07, 2014

Stop the Presses!!! Mayor Gimenez has done something I liked! By Geniusofdespair

Hint: You get a good picture on this blog when you do a good thing.

Okay, maybe he is pandering but I don't care. His downfall was Lynda Bell. He knows how I feel about that. Maybe without her evil karma, he can make a comeback and be human again. Gimenez will have to dump Broward Loving Osterholt too to regain some creds.

I am all for redemption. If you don't believe in redemption, then you are part of the problem. I did write the Mayor a PRIVATE email telling him what I thought of his policies. He can change. He is human. He can make mistakes and be abrasive, but hey, I am abrasive too.

I don't care why he is doing it, but he is talking about protecting our endangered pine rockland. In a Miami Herald article today (that you all should read):

Miami-Dade County will suspend building and other permits for a controversial Walmart shopping center in an endangered forest if the developer fails to strike a deal with federal wildlife officials to protect the rare butterflies, bats and plants that live there.

In a letter to commissioners on Thursday, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said that the county made the decision because in September, a year after a county planning board approved the 250,000-square-foot shopping center, parking lots and 408 apartments near Zoo Miami, federal wildlife officials expanded the number of rare species that inhabit the pine rockland, requiring more careful development. And if the project violates federal law, the county could be on the hook, said spokesman Luis Espinoza.

“In light of the recent federal action and in an abundance of caution,” the letter said, the county will shelve any existing permits without an agreement between Ram Realty Services and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The decision comes as opposition to the project continues to mount. Residents and environmentalists argue that the big-box store, LA Fitness, Chick-fil-A, Chili’s and other restaurants should not be built on the largest remaining fragment of disappearing forest outside Everglades National Park.

In his letter Thursday, Gimenez added another warning:
the butterfly protections will likely impact county plans for the sprawling Miami Wilds amusement park also near the zoo. The county land may face even tougher scrutiny because some of the project involves federal land, where officials have more power to enforce protections. The much larger project also has the potential to further erode land that for years has remained largely undeveloped.

I am all for saving butterflies, not so hot on saving the bonneted bats. I wouldn't recognize a pine rockland forest if I were in the middle of it but I know we have to save it especially from a stupid theme park and even worse a Walmart and a Chick-a-Republican Crazy Owner fast food joint.

Now Mr. Mayor on your 'game-changers' (look at the jobs generated):

These projects completely miss the original  intent. Your "game changing" projects will generate "Hundreds and thousands of jobs." Really for these projects?

The nail clipper tower ?? Other than construction how many jobs will pay over county  median wage (original requirements for money ). What is the ROI? These projects were supposed to create new incremental taxes that would have a ROI in excess of the incentives paid while creating high wage jobs (above county median wage.  Which is probably in the high $40,000 range or low $50's)

These GOB funds were supposed to be used solely to induce high wage. high tax  generating companies to locate or expand in Miami Dade county. These funds were not used for a decade because of the recession. Not many game changing projects being developed.  And also lack of economic development leadership. How active and successful have you or Osterholt been in attracting game changing projects to the county? They seem to be going to Jacksonville .. Palm beach .. Broward .. Tampa.. Orlando ..

The last big project was Univision's fusion network and you had nothing to do with it.

So absent of any real economic development  job/tax generating projects you dump money into these phony politically connected projects to subsidize developer/ construction /lobbyist contributors. Commission fed their pet projects at expense of mayors pet projects. Remember: We don't have to use this money. We don't pay for these bonds if we don't use the money. So there is no time frame or rush. Hold onto it until a game changer comes along.  Your hub for innovation is promising compared to these other stupid ideas everyone is pushing like theme parks and nail clippers, and money to multi-millionaire Leonard Abess:

In 2012, Miami-Dade County made an investment in a technology start-up called Venture Hive. Located in downtown Miami, Venture Hive has helped relocate more than 20 start-ups from all over the globe to our community, and it is helping to position Miami-Dade as the next great tech hub.

Our investment in Venture Hive has paid off in another way. Earlier this year, Microsoft opened the first Microsoft Innovation Center in the United States at Venture Hive. This center brings together innovators, along with students and others, to accelerate technological advances, creating the tech jobs of tomorrow. - Mayor Gimenez



Anonymous said...

I will believe in his redemption when he has the courage to say that Miami-Wilds is doomed. This lemon was on the streets as an RFP for years - tweaked this way and that - with no credible waterpark responders. Now Rupert Murdoch thinks he can build a world renowned theme park in South Dade. Yes Disney developed in a rural area - but they controlled everything thorough their very own special district - did not have built out neighborhoods around them and had perfect timing to catch on to increased spending on family vacations. A baby-boom that grew up an Mucky Mouse Club and could not wait to go and take their kids. Even Disney is struggling now as it has become more expensive. Do we really think Murdoch would be better than Walt at this game? Not a chance!!! Mr.Mayor -- Please wake up ...

Anonymous said...

The bonds could be better spent in conjunction with the honorable and forward thinking Knight Foundation efforts and follow their lead.

"A new Miami is presenting new opportunities. And some are starting to notice, including reports in the past year in The Miami Herald, USA Today, Ocean Drive, The Atlantic and Forbes. In December readers in Paris even opened up their morning edition of Le Figaro to learn about a refocused and newly energized Miami.

Still, as the city makes these important shifts, it’s more difficult than it should be for doers and innovators to build their ideas in Miami. It remains a fragmented environment; barriers to resources, such as mentors, funders and other entrepreneurs, are too high. Far too many opportunities are missed. Miami is producing many startups, but not many scale-ups. It’s not nearly as innovative as it could be. And, as a result, it’s retaining too few of its most talented.

Through our grantmaking, we aim to help fill the gaps in this nascent ecosystem. Not by investing in enterprises themselves, but in places for entrepreneurs to work and share; in mentor and investor networks; in convenings to forge better connections and learning opportunities; in better communication; and in broadening and diversifying our base of entrepreneurs through targeted educational and talent initiatives.

Anonymous said...

part 2

So far, the results have been very good.

Knight Foundation funding helped launch places such as The LAB Miami, which offers co-working space, events and educational workshops. Started in February 2013, the Wynwood facility is home to some 140 entrepreneurs and had more than 22,000 visitors to events and workshops in its first year.

Refresh Miami, the largest tech meet-up group in South Florida, grew from 3,000 members in May last year to more than 8,000 by year’s end, following Knight Foundation support.

We helped start Endeavor Miami to provide mentor support and access to funders for high-potential entrepreneurs ready to scale-up a new idea.

Meanwhile, we helped launch Enterprise Development Corp. of South Florida at the co-working site Pipeline Brickell to provide mentorship to entrepreneurs at all stages...We helped start the Venture Law Project to provide legal support for early-stage entrepreneurs. We supported Awesome Foundation Miami to offer micro-funding for creatives and entrepreneurs.

A host of entrepreneur education and talent initiatives are all underway due to Knight funding, aiming to broaden and diversify our base of entrepreneurs. And to better tell the story of Miami’s startup community, we funded national media company Tech Cocktail to launch in South Florida.

With each of these investments, the goal is to build a network that presents platforms for entrepreneurs to build ideas and forums for connection. Our belief is that top-down won’t work, but multiple centers of gravity are required in which entrepreneurs follow a path that best suits their own needs.

Our thinking is that our first measure is participation and connection. If people aren’t voting with their feet and joining in, then it’s not working.

Second, we’ll measure new ideas launched, scaled and validated by others investing in them.

But, the ultimate measure for this work is retaining the young talent the city is creating and attracting. Whether a robust, vibrant, connected community of entrepreneurs brings important social benefit by providing a sense of place and opportunity that draws and attaches people to Miami.

People like Brian Brackeen, co-founder of the startup Kairos. Brackeen moved to Miami from San Francisco and recently blogged about his experience navigating the nascent ecosystem that Knight Foundation is helping build. “So many people and startups have been touched by Knight that it’s incalculable,” Brackeen wrote for the Miami Herald.

That’s a sign that our bets are starting to pay off. We are still in the early stages, with much work to do. But our commitment is unwavering, and we can feel the excitement of this emerging, new Miami."

Matt Haggman, Miami program director at Knight Foundation

Geniusofdespair said...

Thanks Matt. They sound like game changing efforts. We need focus on efforts that will lead to better jobs not invest in spectacles.

Anonymous said...

Really, aren't there real economic development programs out there? How come the Beacon Council isn't proposing Miami Wilds? Because it's a loser. And when other places get manufacturing plants and major corporations, we get a carny ride.

Anonymous said...

Good for the Mayor. It's a rare thing that I agree with him too. Living in the zoo area, I was disgusted and heartbroken to hear about the sneaky UM sale to the Walmart developer. And what has Moss done about it? Nothing! He's too worried about his "Moss Plan" legacy of a theme park in his district, not the interests of his constituents whose quality of life will be negatively impacted by both projects for the sake of some minimum wage part time jobs.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Carlos Gimenez should be writing a letter to Mayor Tomas Regalado about the proposed Walmart Supercenter on a small Midtown Miami lot. The City's suspisious approval was appealed. Recently three judges hammered the City by QUASHING and REMANDING the City's approval of Walmart's application. Gimenez should be telling Regalado to honor the decision of the three judges. Gimenez should tell Regalado NOT to disrespect the three judges.

Anonymous said...

Miami-Dade simply deserves better. Even in the face of climate change, we can become a real place - not a fantasy land of failed tourist ventures - including the Nail Clipper and the Miami-Murdoch madness. Tourism is important. And we should cherish and protect what most people think of when the picture Miami and Miami Dade - wonderful beaches, the beautiful bay, fishing, flowers and the everglades. The idea that fickle foreign money will continue to buy into ugly sky rises that keep the sun off the beach (anyone been to Sunny Isles lately? -- call it Shadow land - the sun and sky blotted out by our very own version of Dubai) is simply stupid. We need tourists but we need more than a tourist economy. We need the kinds of jobs that will support the middle class - and that means more that catering to the rich and the famous. We need the kind of housing that our current residents - all of them - and young people who are coming here and risking so much on start-ups can afford. We need stable neighborhoods - not flash in the pan peons to the egos and greed of developers. One can go on and on. It is a don't give up situation - but also a don't count on current leadership. Get involved - share your visions - and speak up every change you get. Speak up for cleaner beaches, more - not less - protection for the bay, affordable housing. Connect with Emerge Miami with the Knight Foundation and all the other good guys trying to make the a real place.

Anonymous said...

So you believe Mayor Gimenez is doing the right thing? Don't fall for it. The day before he reased his memo threatening to suspend (not revoke) the permits for the Wal-Mart in the Richmond (Zoo) pinelands, he secured $13.5 million for the Miami Wilds project from the Commissioners in a public hearing. He did not disclose during that hearing that he was going to release this memo the next day. He did not disclose that the area is designated critical habitat for endangered species. He did not even disclose whether or not the USCG has agreed to vacate their property for Miami Wilds. (The $13.5 million is to relocate the USCG antennas to make room for Miami Wilds. The antennas are on land that could be restored to endangered pineland - especially with $13.5 million.

Don't believe the mayor or the parks department. They are fighting to make sure Miami Wilds will be built. How ironic that it will destroy real wild and rare lands.

Anonymous said...

Carlos Gimenez governs by "lobbyist crony".

outofsight said...

Hope they find burrowing owls.

Anonymous said...

Bonneted bats are adorable. And the males sing sweet songs to the females. I'll put up my bats against your butterflies any day.