Posts Tagged ‘Miami Dade County’

After cruise line gripes, Miami-Dade scraps terminal bids – and $19 million in savings

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
A major cruise line strong-armed Miami-Dade County officials into killing the winning bid for a new terminal at PortMiami that would have saved $19 million in development costs so that the company could pick its own design and construction firms.
The post After cruise line gripes, Miami-Dade scraps terminal bids – and $19 million in savings appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Village of Bal Harbour keeps residents in the dark

Monday, February 27th, 2017
Residents of Bal Harbour, one of the smallest municipalities in Miami-Dade County, continue to fight against the aggressive expansion efforts of the seaside town’s namesake shopping center, Bal Harbour Shops.
We first discussed the mall’s expansion plans — and the tactics of harassment and bullying it has employed to push them through — in a March 2016 piece entitled The Bullying of a Small Town.
In October, we detailed the last-ditch effort by the shopping center’s wealthy owners to remove political opponents from office, buy friends in Village Hall and impose their will of expansion on Bal Harbour’s residents and government.
Confident

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Brandes urges Tri-Rail to hold off on controversial half-billion dollar contract, seeks inquiry

Thursday, January 26th, 2017
Saying he is concerned “it just doesn’t look right,” state Sen. Jeff Brandes, who chairs a key committee, said late Thursday he hopes the South Florida Regional Transit Authority does not award a controversial operations contract Friday that could be worth $511 million over ten years.
Brandes said he’s asking the staff of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development to look into the transit authority’s procurement process that led to this point, with five of six proposals being tossed on technical reasons and the authority then pushing a more expensive deal with the remaining bidder, Herzog Services.
Concerns about

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Ken Reecy named interim head of Florida Housing

Friday, January 13th, 2017
Ken Reecy has been named Interim Executive Director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), according to a press release.
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, announced the move on Friday. Reecy currently serves as the agency’s Multifamily Program Director.
“Ken has extensive experience and is committed to helping Florida families secure safe, affordable housing in communities all across our state,” Proctor said in a statement. “He has a strong understanding of the unique programs used to meet different needs for affordable housing in Florida and is a respected leader at the agency.”
The release added, “A national search for a

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More than just the presidency: 10 down ballot races in Florida to watch on Election Day

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016
Presidential races get all the attention, but it’s the folks down ballot that make the real decisions.
In the Sunshine State, there’s no shortage of high intensity — and sometimes high drama — battles for office.
And we aren’t talking about the races for state House and Senate. There have been allegations of election fraud in a mayor’s race, dirty tricks in a superintendent battle, and fights over genetically modified mosquitoes.
Here are 10 down ballot races and referendums we think you should be paying attention when the polls close on Tuesday
Miami-Dade County Mayoral
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez thought he had it in the

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Donald Trump tells backers to ‘watch the polls’ — but signups slow

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
Donald Trump regularly warns his crowds to closely watch polling places to prevent Democrats from stealing the election. But his campaign has failed to enlist many to serve as official poll watchers in major population centers, according to spot checks by The Associated Press.
In some key regions, Democratic monitors will far outnumber Republicans on Election Day.
The Trump team seeks volunteers on his website to “Help Me Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election.” But it’s unclear what the campaign does with its list — voters in Arizona and Virginia who signed up were never contacted.
While specific rules vary from

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Miami-Dade Commissioner questions value of $3.7 million Beacon Council subsidy

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
An elected official’s recent inquiry into The Beacon Council, a private agency that is tasked with keeping companies in Miami-Dade and attracting new ones, revealed that 10 firms that supposedly received assistance in the past year have either zero presence or no employees based locally.
The post Miami-Dade Commissioner questions value of $3.7 million Beacon Council subsidy appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Buying political influence in a small town in Florida

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016
Bal Harbour, a small Florida village of under 3,000 residents in Miami-Dade County, is home to Bal Harbour Shops, one of the most upscale and expensive shopping malls in the country.
In March, we wrote The Bullying of a Small Town, an examination of the mall’s tactics of intimidation and harassment employed in pursuit of its financial interests.
Owned by Whitman Family Development, the Shops is in the lucrative business of luxury retail, attracting shoppers with high-end brands such as Prada, Gucci and Neiman Marcus.
Now, it seems, Bal Harbour Shops is also in the business of politics; its owners have poured

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Zika test urged for pregnant women throughout Miami-Dade

Thursday, October 20th, 2016
The government on Wednesday recommended Zika testing for all pregnant women who recently spent time anywhere in Florida’s Miami-Dade County.
The county is the only area in the continental U.S. where mosquitoes have been spreading the virus since the summer. Testing is recommended for pregnant women who lived in — or visited — Miami-Dade since August 1, whether or not they have symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously urged testing for pregnant women who had been in one of the county’s Zika “hot zones.” On Wednesday, it extended the advice to the entire county.
New cases continue to

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Who watches the low-income housing watchmen? (Part III)

Monday, October 10th, 2016
Now that the ink is dry on a federal criminal plea deal that put an end to a $36 million housing fraud, what will legislators do now to make sure it doesn’t happen again?
To recap, federal prosecutors had alleged 70-year-old developer Lloyd Boggio of Carlisle Development Group and others defrauded the government out of millions. They did so by padding South Florida affordable-housing projects to get federal tax credits and grants, then keeping the excess.
Last month, Boggio pleaded guilty and agreed to turn over his Coconut Grove mansion and an initial $2 million in cash to begin making amends.
This

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Growers: Bromeliads aren’t to blame for Zika in Miami Beach

Monday, October 3rd, 2016
Just over a month ago, Miami Beach Botanical Garden was home to over 2,000 colorful, water-trapping bromeliads, some featuring red flowers that burst like fireworks from dark green spirals. Identified as breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry Zika, they’ve all been pulled out, leaving shallow depressions in flower beds and exposing irrigation lines.
Walking through the quiet haven in South Beach recently, executive director Sandy Shapiro pointed to where spiky yellow leaves once topped a block of stone at the entrance gate and where thick leaves with purple speckles would have served as camouflage for a 3-foot iguana sunbathing at

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More Miami-Dade mosquitoes test positive for Zika

Friday, September 16th, 2016
More mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus have been found in the Miami Beach area.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Friday it detected Zika in one mosquito sample from a small area in Miami Beach. The mosquito sample was located in the same area where four other samples tested positive for Zika.
Miami-Dade County submitted 375 additional mosquito samples since the first positive mosquito poll was discovered. Those 375 mosquito samples tested negative for Zika.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the positive pool was collected in Miami Beach within the current zone that has been treated for local

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Who watches the low-income housing watchmen? (Part II)

Friday, September 16th, 2016
Earlier this week, I wrote about “a South Florida swindle” that resulted in 70-year-old developer Lloyd Boggio copping a plea and agreeing to spend his golden years in a federal pokey.
Federal prosecutors allege Boggio, Matthew Greer and others defrauded the government out of as much as $36 million by padding affordable-housing projects to get federal tax credits and grant monies, then keeping the excess.
Boggio, co-founder of Carlisle Development Group, also agreed to turn over an initial $2 million in cash and the keys to his opulent Coconut Grove mansion.
Boggio personally pocketed $7 million. Greer at one point

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Who watches the low-income housing watchmen?

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
A South Florida swindle that involved stealing money intended to put roofs over poor folk’s heads is spinning to an ignominious close.
Lloyd Boggio, once the head of the affordable-housing developer Carlisle Development Group in Miami, copped a plea Monday rather than face the full extent of the accusations against him.
Those accusations are that he was one of several people who schemed to “pad construction costs of rental apartments (for lower-income residents) to generate higher government-issued tax credits for (the company) and its investors,” as the Miami Herald put it.
In other words, both a heist on Uncle Sam and the poorest among

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Florida residents outside Zika zones express pesticide fears

Monday, September 12th, 2016
Backlash over aerial spraying of the insecticide naled in South Beach is prompting other Florida residents to question how it’s used.
Miami-Dade County plans another spraying of naled early Sunday over South Beach, the first place on the U.S. mainland where the Zika virus was isolated in mosquito samples. The first round of aerial spraying in Miami Beach was completed early Friday.
The Naples Daily News reports that the Collier Mosquito Control District is receiving an increasing number of calls from residents who want the county to stop using naled.
Palm Beach County residents also have been questioning the pesticide’s use. One Palm

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Jack Cory: Florida’s greyhound racing industry deserves protection

Sunday, October 11th, 2015
Florida was the first state to officially sanction greyhound racing in 1931 and for almost 85 years it’s been an enjoyable source of entertainment for Floridians as well as visitors to our state.
Just as importantly, greyhound racing track owners have made billions in revenue and made a big contribution to Florida’s economy over the years. Greyhound tracks and other pari-mutuel facilities enjoy a state-created monopoly, meaning they aren’t forced to compete in the open marketplace. Tracks not only are protected from competition, they have received hundreds of millions of dollars in tax benefits.
When attendance at greyhound tracks began to

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Jeff Kottkamp: Breaking the cycle of generational poverty

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
On the opening day of the 2014 Session in the Florida House of Representatives, then Speaker of House Will Weatherford spoke at length about an issue that few leaders in government talk about — generational poverty. During his remarks, Speaker Weatherford noted “There will always be poverty — the kind that results from temporary setbacks: job loss, foreclosures, or unexpected challenges … but there’s a far greater and more dramatic problem for some of our Floridians. They’re stuck in generational poverty — the persistent, year after year oppression and hopelessness that starts with grandparents, is passed on to parents

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