Wednesday, April 01, 2015

International Aviation Show in Everglades? Mayor Carlos Gimenez bets on trading America's wilderness values for a few good meals in Paris … by gimleteye

The news finally percolated to the surface at the County Commission on Tuesday: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez rolled out his plan to use the Dade-Collier airstrip in the middle of Big Cypress National Preserve for an international aviation show.

This June in Paris at the world's largest aviation exposition, Mayor Gimenez and God-knows-how-many county staff, sycophants, and "business leaders" will pitch their idea to for an international air show in the middle of the Everglades. Batting this environmental hornet's nest troubles them, not.

The Dade Collier Training Facility is a mostly mute testament to an earlier environmental battle royal that engrossed the US Congress and a president. We remember what happened in the 1960's.

The organization I represent as volunteer board president, Friends of the Everglades, was founded by civic activists opposing that airport scheme, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas -- author of the River of Grass and daughter of a Miami newspaper publisher.

To paraphrase the late author Edward Abbey, the wilderness value of the Everglades -- including the site of the Dade Collier Training Facility -- doesn't need defense, it only needs defenders. There are plenty. (It took six years of my life to persuade the US Department of Defense to reject the scheme by Miami-Dade cronies to privatize Homestead Air Force Base on environmental grounds.)

Only a few years ago, the Dade Collier facility in the middle of Big Cypress was the subject of another scheme by a Miami-Dade County Commissioner. Sweetwater's Pepe Diaz promoted a recreational playground for all terrain vehicles in the middle of Big Cypress. Fortunately, Everglades defenders rose to the occasion, underscoring the history of the battle to protect the area, and the ATV plan sank under its own weight.

What's up with Mayor Gimenez, anyhow?

Last week it was his support for the largest mall in the United States in a region of the county already saturated by traffic and malls. The week before it was the Nail Clipper building by Biscayne Bay; an observation tower from which tourists will have front row seats to the pile-on of poor planning, enabled by US visa-seeking, EB-5 investors.

Who of the aviation industry's multi-millionaires and gad-jillionaires really wants to trek out to the middle of the Everglades for an air show? Picture salesmen and executives in bespoke suits and hand-made Italian shoes, stopping on Krome Ave. for a Quik Mart empanada.

What the boosters for an international aviation exhibition in the middle over the Big Cypress really have in mind is more highways and more development into agricultural lands in Miami Dade to build constituencies for leapfrogging growth into the Everglades.

This June while Mayor Gimenez eats at Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris, taxpayers will get heartburn and voters, another good reason to vote for new leadership in Miami-Dade. If Florida's aviation industry enthusiasts are honest, they will argue for an international air show where they are not wading into thickets of litigation.


Anonymous said...

To all those who thought former Commissioner Joe Martinez "too unethical" to vote for him in 2012 do you not feel a bit foolish for having contributed monies, political support and your vote to Mayor Carlos Gimenez? Go back to 2011 and read up on all the debacles this blue blooded mayor has gotten us into. From the absentee ballot fraud committed by his campaign manager in 2012 to the destruction of a professional county workforce by comingling departments (Public Works and Solid Waste???), to the give aways to professional team franchises, attempts to lay off cops, close libraries, give away county properties and public places to the Trumps of this world, what bad deed has this tyrant of a mayor not committed already? I don't think Martinez would have committed any of those things. Hope we send Gimenez packing in 2016.

Anonymous said...

And watch out for that 12 foot wide bike bath through the Everglades, too - the so-called greenway. Could it be a new paved road for cars eventually? The fact the Miami-Dade County Parks Department is promoting and supporting it is suspect actually, since that department like all County departments is really just an extension of Gimenez' office. It was this same County parks department that wanted to sell mining rights around the Dade Collier airport and support the Pepe Diaz recreational "park."

Geniusofdespair said...

I dont think mayor gimenez is serious. This is just a cover for another first class Paris trip. CEO's want amenities nearby. They aren't going to take buses back to restaurants, hotels and hookers. The air show is not for the public as much as to sell aviation products. You can't do that in the Everglades when it is hot and overrun with mosquito.

Geniusofdespair said...

Oh, And Martinez sucks.

Anonymous said...

It could be an April Fool's joke?

Anonymous said...

Carlos Gimenez has been a huge disappointment. He panders to that thug Jorge Luis Lopez 24/7.

Anonymous said...

God bless blood-sucking mosquitoes for being able to contend with a blood-sucking County Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Rick Scott is joining Gimenez.

Anonymous said...

You are right about this being just a 5star junket for friends and family. No one knows just how extensive these junkets are, with many $millions spent each year. Juan Kuryla, port director owes his $300,000+ per year job to his ability to provide these types of lavish trips to the right insiders, which he has done for many years at taxpayer expense.

Frank Denninger said...

Mention was made above of the River of Grass Greenway (ROGG) that will be built for a mere $140,000,000+ dollars on the web site. It must not be so green since protestors to it are walking across the Tamiami Trail from almost Naples to the Casino at US 41 and SR 997 (Krome Avenue) 76 miles to stop it in it's tracks now before going to next phases. The promoters and managing consultants have even seen fit to remove their draft plan from the web site after their arbitrary 30 day comment period so folks can't see the details of it - that's an indicator of environmentally destructive it will be with all of it's impacts permanent.

This air show would be held once every 2 years with only 4 or 5 days of increased traffic and aircraft flyovers which are insignificant compared to the permanent devastation of ROGG.

If folks are looking for something very worthwhile to protest and STOP in it's tracks look in the direction of the River of Grass Greenway - Please.

Hopefully this air show idea won't distract folks from a much more dangerous problem.

Anonymous said...

Yes Genius Martinez "sucks", but you must agree that Gimenez "sucks" a lot more and those that endorsed, supported and pushed him into office in 2012- you know the Michael Putneys, Miriam Marquezes, Bernadette Pardos, etc., who drank the Kool Aid were the biggest "suckers" . In fact, Jimmy Cefalo, an undistinguished wide receiver who once played for the Dolphins can't get enough of the "sucking" from Gimenez on his daily radio check. By the way, unless we all get behind whomever runs against Gimenez we can all suck for another four years!

Anonymous said...

This is Osterholt's plan.