Thursday, June 11, 2015

Failure to Launch: The Paris Air Show, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and the Plan to put a major North American Air Show in the Middle of Big Cypress Preserve ... by gimleteye

While Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez leads a delegation to Paris to advance a plan for a major international aviation show in the middle of the historic Everglades, an army is assembling for battle to oppose it.

Please consider becoming involved in a legal defense effort to stop in its tracks Miami-Dade County's latest aviation scheme: a major international aviation exposition in the middle of Big Cypress National Preserve.

The location is the exact site of the late Everglades Jetport Battle. Miami New Times just published an excellent investigative report by Jessica Weiss on the latest insult-in-progress: "Fiery Debate Over Miami Air Show In Everglades".

County Manager Jack Osterholt and Mayor Gimenez are kicking a hornet's nest in the middle of the Big Cypress National Preserve, part of the historic Everglades, and stirring the hot coals of past aviation battles in south Florida: the memory of the Everglades Jetport and the Homestead Air Force Base fiascos.

So while the Mayor and his "Entourage" prepare for a "state visit" in Paris -- to attend the Air Show and other off-schedule fun, we hope they keep in mind, while they do so, a kicked hornet's nest.

We've published a few pieces on the Air Show:
Mayor off to gay Paree - May 18th
Paris Ooh La La Trip- June 2nd
International Aviation Show - April 1st

Mayor Gimenez' political vulnerability is the perception he is one more mayor insulated, as other Miami-Dade mayors before him, from criticism and surrounded by people who have learned not to test his patience by challenging his views. As a county commissioner, Mayor Gimenez once encouraged diverse points of view and was willing to listen, but he changed.

Judging from documents and statements, his view is that the air show in the Everglades Jetport will happen irrespective of what citizens think. County manager Jack Osterholt laughed about the plan's environmental sensitivities to Miami New Times ("Asked if he is aware of the environmental sensitivity of the jetport as the host for a potential air show, Osterholt laughs. "Everybody... knows the story of the Everglades Jetport," he says.)

Osterholt claimed to the New Times that a major air show in the Big Cypress will have "zero environmental impact". There has been zero outreach to the not-for-profit environmental groups that are significantly invested in permanently protecting the Big Cypress from industrial incursions. And because there has been zero outreach, it is a virtual certainty these issues will need to be ventilated in federal court.

I lead the battle to stop the Homestead Air Force Base fiasco in the 1990's and am board chair of the non-profit, Friends of the Everglades, founded in 1969 over the battle to protect against the Everglades Jetport itself, the same location for the newest planned incursion.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez and his team are headed to Paris to promote this idea but from EOM's perspective, like other schemes before it, this one will also "fail to launch". Here are a few county documents that detail the planning behind-the-public's-back by the Everglades Jetport enthusiasts.

Readers who are so inclined, please share this post on Facebook and other social networks and consider giving generously to the not-for-profit groups that will likely fight this plan. If you would like to become involved, please contact Friends of the Everglades. Perhaps Al Gore wants to help make things right in South Florida?


Anonymous said...

Fools that they are in Miami Dade County. Soon the international press will expose this travesty and their ignorance. Maybe right when they are toasting themselves for this "win-win" idea in Paris, will someone ask, "But Sir, do you not think it unwise to desecrate a World Heritage Site with this preposterous Air Show?"

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Gimenez other stupid idea - filling in the FEC slip in Biscayne Bay for Beckham's soccer stadium/shopping mall. The stupid grins on their faces when they were doing selfies with Beckham were quickly wiped off when their environmental ignorance was exposed. And the boondoggle was killed. Gimenez and his minions won't be laughing on election night either when he's ousted.

Anonymous said...

Foolish foolish foolish. Waste of taxpayer money. Waste of taxpayer money. Waste of taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

To those know-it-alls who supported the strong mayor measure and voted for egomaniac Mayor Carlos Gimenez in 2012- how do you like him now?
It did not bother his supporters that this man committed a major absentee ballot fraud in 2012. Nor that he created chaos by merging county departments with different responsibilities for the sake of claiming savings (today 27 county departments cost more to run than 52 in 2012). We could go on all day about the corruptness and unethical activity committed but this man but with his $3 million reelection campaign chest it looks as though you will have him for four more years! Great news for the lobbyists, bad news for our local environment and those poor county employees who were fired, laid off or simply resigned to avoid working for the tyrant.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the efforts but you are wasting time and money. This is not going anywhere. It is not even viable. This is not a recent effort, Frank Nero was obsessed with it and it got nowhere...there just isn't a demand. Honestly, asking for money to fight this sounds more like a contrived effort to raise funds. There is nothing to even fight yet, nothing has been proposed. Again, this is not going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Is Air show just an excuse to justify spending taxpayer money to fly Gimenez and entourage to Paris? Equally dastardly.

Anonymous said...

These documents prove that the Paris Air Show and Miami-Dade County are planning to put the largest commercial and military aviation trade show in the middle of the Everglades. In 1968, Miami-Dade planned to build the largest airport in the world there, and nearly did it. The previous commenter said "this is not going anywhere." but here the words of the Paris Air Show's head Louis Le Portz after doing a site visit of the Jetport: "OF COURSE YOU WILL HAVE MY HELP (even free of charge.) I am sure that in less than 10 years MIAMI AIR SHOW WILL BE A MUST FOR THE GLOBAL AEROSPACE INDUSTRY but for this target we have to stay modest the first time and grow year after year." It's all there in black and white.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact the mayor thinks he's a good administrator, able to rise above the political fray and see the big picture but the truth everyone seems to realize but him, he has so insulated himself with yes men, it is ONLY the metaphorical pitchfork carrying peasants in the streets that gets his attention.

Maybe the jetport part xx is a tempest in a teapot but one has to nip these things in the bud. we all know his MO. Want to slip your multi-billionare buddy Stephen Ross $5 million a year in public assistance? Proposed taking his stadium off the tax rolls. When the angry mob rises up to point out what a dumb phuck idea that is, change it to a $5 million tax credit for staging events and everyone walks away claiming victory. (But wait, i didn't win $hit.. I'm still out $5 million a year)

Anonymous said...

Fools. What is Carlos Gimenez doing to kill the idiotic proposed 63 story LED billboard tower pushed by Keon Hardemon and Marc Sarnoff? Does Gimenez want an ad tower that is brighter than 50 full moons? Seriously?

Anonymous said...

Carlos Gimenez jumps from one lobbyist promoted scheme to another. Need proof? Gimenez always travels with a bevy of lobbyists and sycophants. He has no vision.

Philip Stoddard said...

Zero environmental impact? I just read a paper in the journal Behavioral Ecology showing that birds flee fireworks displays. What do you suppose they do in the presence of low-flying fighter jets?

Anonymous said...

Those in power have no respect for our national parks. If anyone knows any national park rangers/volunteers/advocates who'd be willing to run for office in Miami-Dade I'd vote for them in a heartbeat.. Case in point: this s##tshow (Big Cypress) and the crooked-as-heck fiasco on Biscayne's doorstep in Cutler Bay.

Anonymous said...

If there was any real strategic thinking happening in the office of Mayor Jimenez, one might think the suggestion of the the Dade-Collier Training Field is just a placeholder. The Homestead Base is likely the only real option, and maybe the next federal Administration will consider granting approval for the use of that sight. But there is little chance this is a strategic dodge. Our mayor is a complete baffoon, and likely sees no problem with hosting an air show 45 miles from civilization in the middle of the Everglades.

I am sure the mayor's team of lobbyists will persuade the aviation executives from around the world that they are a serious lot. I can hear the mayor's driver / lobbyist inquiring at the air show information desk: "Excuez-moi, madame, I am looking for the Musee de French Fries."