Thursday, May 30, 2013

Miami Gardens City Manager Danny O. Crew is out to correct a few misconceptions you may have about his town



Yesterday, as I browsed stories on several local news sites, this jumped out at me: "MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - About 100 people were arrested Wednesday in 'Operation Smoking Gun III,' one of the largest efforts to fight drug and weapons trafficking, and money laundering in South Florida."

Intrigued, I headed on over to the Miami Herald's website to learn more. No such luck. At 8pm, hours after the arrests and a press conference, the Herald had nothing.

Well, I told myself, let's not be too hasty. Someone is probably writing a story right now that will make tomorrow's front page.

Surely, I reasoned, a story of almost 100 drug-related arrests, the seizure of 248 firearms, and various amounts of crack cocaine, heroin, Oxycodone pills, and marijuana in Miami-Dade County's third largest city is a big enough story to jar someone awake in the perpetually lethargic Herald newsroom.

I was partly correct.

The Herald did have a story in this morning's paper; but not on 1A or even 1B.

Despite a headline that called the federal operation a "Major gun [and] drug round-up," there wasn't anything "major" about story's placement in the paper.

Written by an inexperienced intern, the piece was relegated to a back page of the local section.

Click to enlarge.

Now, I was really intrigued.

In a town of 108,000 that logged 25 murders last year, what story could possibly be more important than the arrests of almost 100 bad guys and the removal of 248 guns from the city's streets.

I looked up the Herald's front page.

What's more important? A Dan Le Batard column - GO HEAT! - a drone attack in Pakistan, and a huge feature story about an 80 year-old blind Korean war vet who made "his first underwater visit to the statue of Christ that he ... brought to the Keys a half-century ago."

I was curious...what did the folks in charge at Miami Gardens City Hall think of the Herald's placement of the story? A story that was essentially a bit of good news for a change in a city that many see as one with a huge crime problem.

I picked up the phone and called Miami Gardens city manager Dr. Danny O. Crew.

He answered the phone on the second ring. "I'm just happy they put it in the paper at all," he told me.

Over the next few minutes, Crew told me a bit about Miami Gardens:
-Miami Gardens is the largest predominately African-American city in Florida.

-It's the site of the annual "Jazz in the Gardens" music festival held every March. "We had our festival the same time they had the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, only no one was arrested at our event," Crew said. (60,000 pus attended this year's festival.)

-Miami Gardens is building the world's largest LEED Platinum certified city hall.

Crew concedes that his city has a crime problem, but adds, "We're certainly not the city we were ten years ago."

I ended our call by asking Crew, "Given the placement of this morning's story, is there anything you want the Herald's editors to know?"

Here's what he emailed me a short time later:
To the Herald: Miami Gardens is a wonderful city of over 100,000, mostly homeowners, who are tired of the Herald’s ‘crime only’ coverage of the city. Our violent crime rate is lower than Miami, Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando and St. Petersburg but you wouldn’t know it from the Herald. I understand that you must report crime, but where was the Herald when one of our 10 year-old residents finished 2nd in the Super State Chess Championship? Where was the Herald this past December when the City sponsored a science fair for its 21 elementary schools with over 600 participants? Where was the Herald when the City was named one of 10 Crown Communities in the United States by American City and County Magazine for its innovative management?
If you want more readership, you need to change your one-dimensional coverage and make your product more relevant to this community.




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Your lunch hour time waster (for Neil Rogers fans only)

Were you a Neil Rogers fan?

I'm fond of telling people that when Neil was on the air, there were two three kinds of people in South Florida: 1) People who didn't get or understand his show, 2) people who thought they understood his show, and 3) people who actually understood the show.

Neil's show was the longest running inside joke in South Florida.

Neil died in 2010, but some of his fans just can't let go. For those folks there's a Neil Rogers Show Facebook group and a YouTube channel.

And, if you look hard enough, you can find some random sound clips like this from a 2004 or 2005 show. (CAUTION: NSFW language at about 5:00!)






A Classic Don Wright Cartoon from 39 years ago

Miami News, May 29, 1974.
(Click image to enlarge)


May 27, 1974: Army beagle pup tests to continue




Monday, May 27, 2013

I'd like to buy a vowel

End of an era: Workers took down part of the "Miami Herald" sign last Friday.

This is what's left.


Photograph by Michael W. Cole.
(Click image to enlarge.)




Sunday, May 26, 2013

Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero's Memorial Day message for Vietnam veterans [UPDATED x4]



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UPDATED 5-28-2013 @ 2:00pm: Armando Salguero emailed this apology today to Random Pixels and several other South Florida news websites:
I apologize. I sent an angry, unprofessional and inappropriate response to a reader with whom I was engaged in a heated email exchange, and I should be better than that.

I receive thousands of emails disagreeing with me and have been able to manage those exchanges. I should have been able to make my points to this reader without attacking his service to this country.

The most hurtful aspect of this incident for me is that it belies who I am and what I believe. I have never served in the U.S. armed forces but I respect the service of the men and women who have. This isn’t lip service. I have lived by this credo when no light was being shed on my comportment.

I was wrong to let myself be baited into a personal exchange with a reader, and I deeply regret my comments.

Armando Salguero

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UPDATED 5-27-2013 @ 6:50pm: A discussion focusing on this post is taking place at ThePhins.com.
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UPDATED 5-27-2013 @ 12:35pm: Miami Herald executive editor and vice president Aminda Marques Gonzalez has emailed an apology to Billy Johnston.

From: Marques, Mindy
Date: Sat, May 25, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Subject: Re: Memorial Day MISSION:

To: Billyjws@xxxxx.com
Cc: Peter Tira , Jorge Rojas , Rick Hirsch

Mr. Johnston,

I want to personally apologize for the tenor of the exchange that you had with our sports columnist Armando Salguero.

In his job as a columnist, he is paid to give his professional opinion on the Dolphins, which is his expertise. While there can be disagreements about his opinions on sports - and I do not know the full extent of your correspondence - we do not condone this type of response to a reader.

His comments do not represent The Miami Herald. We are well aware of the incredible sacrifice made by thousands of American soldiers in Vietnam, particularly on this Memorial Day weekend.

Thank you for your service.

Please know that we will deal with the matter as an internal employee issue.

Regards,

Mindy Marques

Aminda Marques Gonzalez
Executive Editor and Vice President
The Miami Herald | miamiherald.com | Follow @MindyMarques

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This post has been UPDATED with an additional email. See notation in red below.


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A few weeks ago, a Miami Herald reader named Billy Johnston took exception to this column by Herald sports scribe Armando Salguero.

Salguero wrote that Florida House of Representatives Speaker Will Weatherford "crush[ed] an election," adding, "My parents brought me to this country to escape such practices." .

That rankled Johnston, a Vietnam vet, who told me in an email that as "a young man my friends would kid me when I would tear up while singing the National Anthem at sporting events."

Anyway, Johnston started emailing Salguero . Here's the first one he sent last May 7:
On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 3:42 PM, [Billy Johnston] wrote:

Armando:

What third world rubbish coming from this benighted columnist. Armando where was your misguided ballyhoo when the citizens of Miami-Dade were clamoring for a say before the venal politicians shoved MARLINS PARK down our collective throats.That folly will remain as the standard for Miami-Dade's government dysfunction. pew

You are so foolish and easily swayed by the powerful that it is no surprise that your family has a past history of conforming to those who desire to control the masses. You believe that citizens of NFL cities, not just the football fans, should knuckle under to the extortion attempts by a loathsome, unconscionable group of billionaires. Little wonder the country your parents ran from, that it's citizens hasn't been able to unleash itself from its tyranical leader.

First lets get one thing straight, the Dolphins - ROSS, and his main henchnam 'pumpkinhead' DEE , strategically planned the beginning date of Jan 14 / 2013 to reveal their canard publicly, figuring that there probably wouldn't be enough time for a VOTE. Herald columnist Marc Caputo reported ROSS at one time remarking that he "ABSOLUTELY" wished the public had 'NO SAY'. That is the absolute reason they hid their agenda in the bushes and sprung it on the public on the late day they selected. That had received a Super Bowl Bid package, with secretive demands of the interested Cities, last year. More secrets Armando that your lack journalistic integrity prevents you from investigating and exposing.

After the display of 'poor sportsmanship' and all out vindictiveness [to include the SPARANO tirade] after matters didn't turn out as the entitled ROSS felt they should, you would have to be a total fool, or not understand capitalism or Democracy, to defend this cunning elitist. Both BOVO and Weatherford were voted to their jobs to protect their constituents from greedy extortionists who hunger for the revenue paid by others. That is called "character" Armando, mixed with patriotic principles.

Besides; the scheming BILLIONAIRE said he made an agreement - out of the sunshine - with the speaker. It wouldn't mean much to a guy like you Armando but I think 1st - its a lie - 2nd - it's definitely against STATE ETHICS [possibly illegal].

The only question left to be answered about the BILLIONAIRE BEGGAR ROSS is whether he looks more like Mortimer Snerd or Dill Dally?

Billy Johnston
Then it was Salguero's turn:
In a message dated 5/7/2013 5:20:01 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, asalguero@miamiherald.com writes:

Billy,

I don't know about you, but I don't live in a third-world country. Last I heard, this is America. When the Marlins rammed their project through, I was on radio saying it was bad, saying there should be a vote, saying Loria was a weasel. I've also written as much on The Miami Herald. So there's that.

Secondly, you don't know me or my family. You have no idea who in my family fought and died for the cause of freedom. So back off on that one, buddy.

Third, you apparently have a real issue with billionaires. You are totally bought in to the class warfare narrative that I loathe because rather than applauding success you feel the need to demean success. It frankly is low and echoes of envy. It is also, by the way, the reason places go from being first-world paradises to third-world dumps. If that doesn't make sense to you, look up the word socialism, look up which countries practice it, and you'll have your answer.

Finally, Ross never said he and Weatherford had a deal. He said Weatherford told him he'd bring the bill to a vote. Get your facts right.

Armando Salguero

UPDATED 5-27-2013 @ 8:45am: After that email, Johnston, for some unknown reason, decides to feminize Salguero's last name by addressing him as "Sally." If there was any semblance of civil discourse, it's now gone.
On May 7, 2013, at 11:10 PM, Billyjws@xxxxx.com wrote:

Sally

No, I don't know you, nor do I want to know you, but It's strange that people who do all this admirable and heroic fighting for personal freedoms, then take flight, leaving other friends and family behind to suffer under the fascist oppression left behind. Your mentioning the fact of your parents flight, bringing you to my country, gives you no special insight to American politics Your complaining on ROSS'S behalf that he wasn't able to buy the political influence he expected, is contrary to what American Capitalism. You probably even believe the jobs canard, even though for the last four decades of the NFL extorting monies from Cities with loyal fans, the country's most renowned economists have dismissed such nonsense.

Marc Caputo; wrote ' "BILLIONAIRE [does Marc also have a hang-up on billionaires?] pouts that a politician misled him over a CLANDESTINE out-of the-sunshine deal to help steer public money to his stadium. You can argue the semantics in your sick attempt to defend a greedy conniving NFL Billionaire, but an honest citizen knows what goes on in the real world of politics. Just ask former Mayor Alvarado.

Yes; you slammed Loria recently, and the Shipiro bashing as the Herald sportswriters have a habit of jumping on the bandwagon when the unscrupulous are uncovered by others.. I have been around and witnessed the NFL when you were playing tag in your old man's bag. So don't tell me about socialism, or much of anything, as your just a appeasement to the Latino sports crowd. I know your probably disappointed that maybe you'll miss out on some soccer matches, or your job will be in jeopardy if the government assistance you believe in, isn't given to the eighty-third richest American. Don't socialistic and Fascist societies distribute the revenues?

You're more foolish and worldly immature than I figured. Enjoy your soccer some place else.

Billy Johnston
Vietnam Inf. Veteran 68

Instead of letting it go, Salguero now feels the need to match every one of Johnston's insults with a few of his own...and then some.

He starts off this email - written on his iPhone sometime after midnight - by also feminizing Johnston's name. Billy is now "Billie.

And because Johnston is now signing off with a notation that he's a Vietnam vet, Salguero - who emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba when he was a child, and who has never served a day in the military - unloads on Johnston with this garbage (emphasis mine):
In a message dated 5/8/2013 12:11:35 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, asalguero@miamiherald.com writes:

Hey Billie, you must be still pissed off you lost in Vietnam. Talk about leaving people behind ... I'm sure the South Vietnamese appreciated you sucking as a soldier, failing in your mission and then leaving.

I'm wondering how you feel that immigrants like me came here with nothing and now we run the place? There are three Cubans in the US senate. Did you know that? By the way, cubans love baseball not soccer, so that piece of bigoted shit coming from you doesn't apply to me. I suggest you blow it out your ass old man.

Sent from my iPhone
I've emailed Salguero several times seeking his side of the story. He has yet to respond.



Miami New Times: Herald Editor Apologizes After Armando Salguero Slams A Vet For 'Sucking As A Soldier'



Saturday, May 25, 2013

The way we were...The Tornado of '59



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Fifty-four years ago next month - on the evening of June 17, 1959 - a tornado the Miami News called, "history-making," tore through Miami with 200 mph winds.


Miami News, June 18, 1959.
(Click here to enlarge.)







Friday, May 24, 2013

Governor Rick Scott will do anything for your vote...even kill a few people




From the Tampa Bay Times:

Gov. Rick Scott speeding up Florida inmate execution process

by Steve Bosquet
Tampa Bay Times

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott has accelerated the pace of signing death warrants in Florida by lining up three executions over the next few weeks, the most in such a brief period of time in more than two decades.

Scott and his chief legal adviser say they are doing nothing unusual. But legal experts who oppose the death penalty wonder whether other factors are at work — such as Scott's desire to improve his standing with voters as he seeks re-election next year.

Not since 1989, when an unpopular Gov. Bob Martinez set a record by signing six death warrants in a single day, has a Florida governor been so eager to use the death penalty.

"In the past, governors wouldn't do multiple warrants at a time. It was a much more orderly process than this," said Martin McClain, a lawyer who has defended many Florida death row inmates. "It appears that every 10 days, Gov. Scott is signing a death warrant."




Thursday, May 23, 2013

79 years ago today...Bonnie and Clyde die in 'a hail of bullets'





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St. Petersburg Evening Independent, May 23, 1934.


Click to enlarge.


H/T David Cypkin





Your lunch hour time waster

Dad re-enacts conversation with his 2 year-old daughter with him playing the part of his daughter.









Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Random Pixels Losers Corner welcomes....

Scott Simon.
(BSO photo)

....Scott Simon.

It takes a real criminal mastermind to pull off something like this.

Via the Broward Sheriff's Office:
HIGHWAY HOMICIDE SUSPECT MISTAKENLY DIALS 911, MENTIONS MURDER PLAN ON RECORDED LINE

Suspect(s): Scott Simon, male, 24, 4/30/88, 1221 N.W. 3 Ave., Pompano Beach (IN CUSTODY)

A man who orchestrated a murder on Interstate 95 “pocket dialed” 911 just before the fatal shooting. On a recorded line, Scott Simon can be heard telling someone else that he’s going to follow the victim home and kill him. Minutes later, 33-year-old Nicholas Walker was shot and killed while driving his car onto the highway.

Broward Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives arrested Simon Tuesday night. He is charged with first-degree murder for his involvement in the May 5 shooting. Detectives do not believe Simon was the triggerman but that he coordinated the shooting after getting into an argument with Walker in a nearby Waffle House.

When deputies arrived at the scene shortly after 6:40 a.m., they found Walker’s silver Buick crashed into a guard rail. Deputies and Oakland Park Fire Rescue extinguished a fire in the engine compartment, but Walker had already died of gunshot wounds. The investigation prompted a three-hour closure of all southbound lanes of I-95.






Your lunch hour time waster

Why you can't outrun a cheetah.









Miami Beach Police have a message for Urban Beach revelers: 'Leave your guns at home.'

Miami Beach Police have also instituted a strict dress code for this
year's Urban Beach Week festivities.


"We are asking everyone not to bring any weapons even if they have a [concealed carry permit], it would be best to allow the Police to do the enforcement and keep the peace. " -Miami Beach Police Capt. Enrique Doce

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If you're planning on heading over to Miami Beach this weekend for the Urban Beach festivities and you're not sure what to expect, Miami Beach police spokesman Sgt. Bobby Hernandez sums it very nicely: "It will be a carbon copy of last year."

For starters, there will be a massive police presence all weekend on the Beach with officers from sixteen separate Miami-Dade police agencies assisting Miami Beach police in keeping order.

Add to that a "traffic plan" that begins at 7am Friday morning and that remains in effect until 7am Tuesday morning, and you've got all the makings of a fun weekend. Especially if you love sitting in traffic for hours.

But wait! It gets better!

Police are inviting everyone to a special "meet and greet" that starts this Friday night at 7pm on the MacArthur Causeway at Watson Island. To get you in the right mood, my advice is to have three or four drinks before you get there.

On a serious note, Hernandez is 100% correct. Miami Beach Police don't plan on deviating from last year's successful strategy which includes license readers stationed throughout the city, saturation DUI patrols, and strict enforcement of anti-noise and open container ordinances.

Miami Beach Police Captain Enrique Doce offers this additional advice:
No bottles, cans, glass, Styrofoam containers on the beach, no alcohol, no littering, no drinking in public. Anyone with an open liquor bottle/can, will be asked to pour it out and throw the container away. Narcotics violations will be dealt with and state laws will be enforced as well. The traffic laws should be followed so drivers even on scooters need to follow all traffic laws. Do not block the box, no driving scooters between cars, no parking scooters on sidewalks and please keep your car stereos to a reasonable level.
Any questions?


Click image to enlarge.







Monday, May 20, 2013

The way we were...The McDuffie Riots and the aftermath

From the Miami News, 33 years ago today: Miami cleans up after a weekend of deadly rioting - the deadliest in the city's history -  following the acquittal of five Metro police officers who were standing trial in Tampa, charged with the beating death of black motorcyclist Arthur McDuffie.

The toll: 18 dead, scores injured, hundreds arrested and $100 million in damage. 


Miami News cartoon by Don Wright, May 20, 1980.

May 20, 1980.

Miami News, May 20, 1980.
(Click here to enlarge.)


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Video below from WTVJ, May 17, 1980. (Starts at 1:55)






Sunday, May 19, 2013

A perfect fit...Allen West joins Fox News

Click to enlarge.

News item: Allen West joins Fox News as contributor.

Is anyone really surprised?
(1) “YOU ARE NOT A LADY”: In July 2011, West responded to a perceived slight from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (R-FL) with a fiery letter in which he threatened her and scolded, “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” West later said he had apologized, but Wasserman-Schultz said she had not received one.

(2) JOSEPH GOEBBELS WOULD “BE VERY PROUD” OF DEMOCRATS: In December, West told reporters, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.” The link to Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945, drew criticism from several members of Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and others.

(3) LIBERALS “GET THE HELL OUT”: Speaking at the Palm Beach County GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner in last month, West said of liberals, “Take your message of equality of achievement. … You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.” West later tried to walk back the statement, claiming he was only referring to “the message” and not liberals themselves.

(4) “A THREAT TO THE GENE POOL”: In a July 2011 post on the website Red Country, West wrote, “I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”

(5) “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU”: Before running for Congress, West had a 22-year career in the military, but left after he abused an Iraqi detainee: “This is it. I’m going to count to five again, and if you don’t give me what I want, I’m going to kill you.” He then fired a shot “a foot” over the detainee’s head.

Click here for more Allen West quotes.





Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 16, 2013, 3:08 pm

Last news meeting in the Miami Herald newsroom at One Herald Plaza.


Photograph by Al Diaz.
(Click here to enlarge.)



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The way we were...Jay Maeder's People Column in the Miami Herald



_____


Today is the Miami Herald's last day at One Herald Plaza.(Will someone please remember to turn out the lights?)

The paper has gone through a lot of changes over the years, and editorially it bears little resemblance to the Herald many of us remember from 20 or 30 years ago.

Want proof?

Check this morning's Herald and see if you can find anything like these wickedly funny items from Jay Maeder's People Column that ran on page 2A in the early 80s.

For those of you too young to remember Maeder, here's how Glenn Garvin described him in a 2002 column:

1975: Herald reporter Jay Maeder gets part-time work as a Nazi zombie in an el cheapo horror movie, "Shock Waves," being filmed in Key Biscayne and Coral Gables. (Co-stars: Peter Cushing, John Carradine and Brooke Adams.) When the film opens, Maeder reviews it and praises his own performance (at 1:28 in video above) as "brilliant . . . sensitive . . . plumbing as it does the subtle nuances of the human condition.'' Maeder's skillful impression of a murderous Nazi promptly catapults him into management, and he eventually becomes the Herald's People columnist.


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HOW MUCH HIM FELLA DOG IN WINDOW?

May 28, 1982

Well, what do you want to do this weekend? We don't know, what do you want to do this weekend? Say, we've got it. Let's fly down to the Philippines and eat some dog. You know what a delicacy dog is down in the Philippines. Not at your better hotels, we grant you, you don't walk into the Metropolitan Manila Hilton and take a table and announce "I believe I'll have the dog," or "Just the dog for me, thanks." Or things like that. What you do is you go up-country and find a little luncheonette built out of rusty Coca-Cola signs and you rub your belly and point at your mouth and if the proprietor still gives you a blank look you go "Arf. Ralph. Owooo." a couple of times and then the proprietor says "Ah." and he brings you a steaming bowl of dog. They love their dog in the Philippines, have for years, and some say dog is actually quite tasty. If you like that sort of thing.


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TAKE TWO ASPIRIN AND CALL ME IN THE MORNING

December 17, 1984

In Lewistown, Pa., this weekend, dumfounded physicians were fixing to make some kinda medical history in the case of a 600- pound woman who has been discovered to be suffering from a 250- pound ovarian cyst. Nothing like this was ever discussed back in med school and the physicians aren't real sure what they're supposed to do with this patient and at press time they were bringing in steamshovels and forklifts and stuff and preparing to operate or something. This is about the most disgusting story we've ever heard in our life, frankly, and we don't believe we're going to continue this item another minute.


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SHAGGY DOG STORY


September 7, 1983

And now, a funny animal photo for you young people. Here's a dog with a metal arrow through his head. Ha. Ha. Can you put a metal arrow through your dog's head? Do this right now. Tell mommy we said it was OK. Actually, this is just a joke picture, and this dog is wearing one of those trick arrows that does not actually go through his head. The item is one of the things on sale at an arts and crafts festival up in Lakeland, Ga.


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SHAGGY DEAD WORM STORY


July 22, 1983

In Johnson City, Tenn., this week, meanwhile, they're going ahead with plans for The Second Annual International Worm Race despite last year's grim tragedy that saw the accidental deaths of most of the contestants. Last year's worms, it seems, were laid down to race on what proved to a blistering hot summer's sidewalk. "We fried them," sighs race official Miss Louise Dorton. Once the grand marshals realized what was happening on the speedway, they turned on water hoses to cool things down and proceeded to drown most of the remaining worms. Johnson Cityans "learned a little about life that day." remembers race official Miss Martha Reilly.


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SHAGGY BEAR STORY

July 2, 1983

So life is just one exciting time after another when you're a March Of Dimes poster kid and little Miss Lela Taylor was happily looking forward to posing for pictures with the nice man in the bear suit up in Chicago the other day. Except it turned out that the bear was a real bear, 250 pounds of large Syrian man-eater from the Circus Vargas. Nobody had told Little Miss Lela it was going to be a real bear. You've got to be kidding, she said, and she proceeded to scream and kick and bawl and refuse to cooperate with any of the photographers until after they called mom over to the hotel. Mom fixed things, mopped up the sniffles, sent the kid back into session ready to shoot, and Miss Lela patted away at the bear while everybody got their March Of Dimes pictures. Did you know this is March Of Dimes Telethon Weekend? This is March Of Dimes Telethon Weekend.


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THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD


August 24, 1983

Did you know that there's an active Ku Klux Klan chapter in Southern California that stalks black television stars? Young Mr. Todd Bridges of Diff'rent Strokes reports that the KKK has been shooting rifles at him and showing up at his front door with baseball bats and leaving threatening notes on his windshield and he's had to put his Canoga Park home up for sale. So this is why he carries around a loaded .45, he explains. Young Mr. Bridges has been explaining this now that Beverly Hills police have charged him with carrying a concealed weapon. Cops found the piece in his Porsche after they stopped him for speeding and running a red light. He goes to court shortly. "They got John Lennon, they could get me." says young Mr. Bridges.


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GRAVY TRAIN


September 24, 1983

On the save-the-animals front, it develops that Miss Brigitte Bardot, the noted saver of animals, has lately become aware that Polynesian people eat dogs, and she finds this barbaric and shocking. This week she press-conferenced in France to announce that she intends to call world attention to this situation and maybe get sanctions imposed against the Polynesian people until they agree not to eat dogs no more. Miss Bardot was joined at her press conference by a small, fat, juicy friend.

Photo: Brigitte Bardot with dog.





Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Your lunch hour time waster

Golden retriever comes back from the vet, high as a kite and with absolutely no interest in retrieving anything.








Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Facebook Photo of the Day

The Miami Herald continues the move to its new building in Doral, and staff writer Hannah Sampson captured the perfect image today.



"We're Gonna Need a Bigger Truck."
by Hannah Sampson
(Click image to enlarge)




Monday, May 13, 2013

North Miami mayoral candidate Anna Pierre claims she's been endorsed by Jesus Christ! [UPDATED x1]



UPDATED at 6:30pm: The Miami Herald reports that "Pierre said Jesus came to her in a dream."
“I had a revelation when I was going to give up on this race. I had a dream, I know what I saw,” she said. “A figure I can’t explain told me, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am your friend. I am walking with you side by side. You are not alone.’ I felt it was from heaven. It was an endorsement by Jesus.”

North Miami mayoral candidate Anna Pierre claims that Jesus Christ is backing her candidacy.

A flyer Pierre posted on her campaign's Facebook page says, "Anna Pierre, RN is endorsed by Jesus Christ."

Last month, Pierre told the Miami Herald that she believed unknown persons were trying to intimidate her with "Vodou."
A North Miami mayoral candidate has asked for prayers from three different countries because, she said, someone is trying to use sinister sorcery and threatening phone calls to get her out of the race.

Anna Pierre, one of eight candidates running for mayor, said unknown persons left chicken feathers, food scraps and candles at her office doorstep over the past three months. She believes the items are tied to mystical rituals in the Haitian Vodou religion.

“I found little dolls with needles in it. They put a lot of pennies at front of my office door,” she said. “I’m from Haiti I know what it is.”
[...]
“I have people in Haiti, Canada, and the U.S. praying for me,” she said. “I have Jesus with me.”








The way we were...Miami's Own Whirligig

Miami's Own Whirligig was a popular column that ran for decades on page one of the Miami Daily News.

Each day, the column contained four or five gossipy items; all of them short and to the point.

Here's a selection of five items that ran 65 years ago over the course of several weeks in May,1948.





May 5, 1948.

May 11, 1948.

May 14, 1948.

May 17, 1948.

May 20, 1948.




Sunday, May 12, 2013

Your Happy Mother's Day time waster

Via latimes.com:
So you think you and your significant other are pretty good at karaoke? Well, you've got nothing on Will and Monifa Sims, who delivered an impromptu gas station concert that was so impressive Jay Leno invited them on "The Tonight Show" on Wednesday.

It all started out as one of the show's recurring gags, "Pumpcast News," in which actor Tim Stack, pretending to be a cable news anchor on a gas station TV, startles customers by speaking to them.

While most people tend to jump in the air or scream comically and then move on, "The Tonight Show" struck gold with the Simses, a couple with serious musical talent and an even greater sense of fun.







Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Canadians are coming!!

It's time again for that most special of times in Miami Beach...Urban Beach Weekend.

According to the Miami Herald, "This year’s festivities are scheduled from May 24-27."

The Herald's David Ovalle and Evan Benn reported in today's paper:
Now in its 13th year, Urban Beach Week has long drawn complaints from residents angry about the debauchery and rise in crime, while spurring visitors and civil liberties groups to criticize what they call heavy-handed police tactics.
[...]
As the city prepares for another weekend, some 50 residents and business owners met with Miami Beach Police Wednesday, listening to investigators and neighborhood-resource officers discuss Memorial Day preparations.

Officers assured the group that the department will be ready to deal with anything, from prostitution to pot to drunken driving.

Officers will patrol Miami Beach streets on foot, on bicycles and in marked and unmarked vehicles in 12-hour shifts from May 24 through May 27. A DUI checkpoint will be set up on May 24th and DUI saturation patrols will be rolling on the 25th and 26th.

Like last year, police will use license-plate readers on the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle causeways to check for outstanding warrants and other red flags.
The Herald quotes Miami Beach Police Capt Enrique Doce as saying "[Last year's event] was safer and more enjoyable for everyone. And that’s our message: Come on over, and enjoy what we have to offer. If everyone follows the rules, we’ll all have a good time.”

But it wasn't always like that.

The first Urban Beach Weekend in 2001 caught Miami Beach cops and officials by surprise.

In June, 2001, Tristram Korten wrote in Miami News Times...
An estimated quarter-million revelers swamped hotels and restaurants, spilling into the streets in a bling-bling parade of ice, Lincoln Navigators, and Motorola two-way pagers, taking everyone by surprise. It all begs the question: Is South Beach ready to be thug paradise?

No one -- not city planners, not the police, not even the club owners -- was prepared for how popular South Beach had become to hot rappers and the middle-class kids who followed them here.
[...]
The concept of race was so problematic that the Miami Herald didn't use the words "black" or "African American" until its followup stories, a week after the action. Some Miami Beach police officers, paralyzed by the same issue, decided to substitute the word "Canadian" for "black" in radio transmissions, as in, "There's a large group of Canadians gathered on Washington and Fourteenth."

With that in mind, this year the Herald has produced a special issue designed to welcome our "Canadian friends" back to Miami Beach.

Pick up a copy at a newsstand near you tomorrow!



Click here to enlarge.



Filomena Tobias, the Heat fan who gave Joakim Noah the middle finger, is Michael Jordan's Jupiter neighbor!

Photograph by Steve Mitchell/USA Today


Tim Elfrink at Miami New Times posted this early this morning. We've since learned who the woman is who owns the most famous middle finger in the world:
Middle-finger lady: Riptide salutes you, for you are truly the soul of Miami embodied. Your patterned silk shirt: Glorious. Your tan: Immaculate. Your leather purse, gold jewelry and white pants: Perhaps wrong for a basketball contest, but oh so right.

And your look of pure glee as you shove your middle digit directly into Joakim Noah's recently ejected face? Well, that just speaks for all the Magic City. WE MUST KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Help us out, Miami!

The woman in the picture that's now blowing up the Internet is one Filomena Tobias.

Elfrink writes, "If her name sounds familiar, it's because she was all over the news in 2008, when her then-husband, trader Seth Tobias, was found dead in their swimming pool."

Jose Lambiet at GossipExtra.com reveals that Tobias is "Michael Jordan’s Millionaire [Palm Beach County] Neighbor!"
The woman in the expensive courtside seats who famously flipped the bird at Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah last night when Noah was ejected from the game at the Miami Heat was identified by her daughter as Palm Beach socialite Filomena Tobias!

Tobias, Phyllis to her friends, is the Ferrari-loving widow of deceased CNBC analyst and hedge fund manager Seth Tobias, who died under mysterious circumstances at their Jupiter home in 2007.

“I’m humiliated,” said Tobias’ daughter, Victoria Racanati from the family’s $4.4 million-home at The Bears Club in Jupiter, three doors down from NBA legend Michael Jordan‘s digs. “Why is everybody calling me about this? She’s a Heat fan who got a little excited. What’s the big deal?”

The big deal is that the photo of Tobias throwing her extended middle finger at a beaten down Noah went national in record speed. (Read the rest of Lambiet's story by clicking here.)

God, I love this town!




Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Random Pixels Losers Corner welcomes...

Louis Dominic Paolino III.
(BSO booking photo, May 8, 2013.)

....Louis Dominic Paolino.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of crimes are committed in South Florida every day.

Most are committed by people who, while not particularly smart, at least take some precautions to conceal their identity.

But it takes a special kind of idiot to commit three felonies in front of a professional TV cameraman who's rolling tape.

That's what Louis Paolino did last night and that's why he's been arrested and booked into the Broward County Jail this afternoon, charged with those three felonies.

And even though Paolino is facing some serious charges, for some unknown reason, Ft. Lauderdale Police left his home last night without arresting him. Instead they allowed him to surrender today.

But worse than all that, Paolino now has to suffer shame and humiliation that goes along with being the newest inductee into the Random Pixels Losers Corner.

Watch below as Paolino goes all Norman Bates on some of Local 10's lighting gear, all while reporter Ross Palombo prepares to go live Tuesday night in front of Paolino's multimillion dollar home at 2626 Delmar Lane in Ft. Lauderdale.








Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The way we were....The day Joel Hirschhorn made Judge Nesbitt watch a dirty movie....the whole damn thing!

From the Miami News, Sept. 20, 1973.
(Click here to enlarge)


September, 1973 in Miami: Apparently Miami police have eliminated all crime in the city and now keep busy by raiding seedy, X-rated movie houses and seizing copies of dirty movies.

In early September, plainclothes detectives raid the King Art Cinema on the corner of NE 79th Street and 2nd Ave. and seize a copy of "Devil in Miss Jones."

The owners of the theater hire a 30 year-old attorney named Joel Hirschhorn to plead their case.

According to Miami News reporter Ian Glass, Hirschhorn will "argue on the constitutionality of [Florida's obscenity] law and the legality of the [film's] confiscation" at a hearing on Sept. 21 before Judge Alfred Nesbitt.

But first Hirschhorn wants the judge to see the film.

Nesbitt asks if he can see just part of it. But Hirschhorn says he wants the judge to watch the entire film; all 70 minutes of it.

On Sept. 19, in a screening room at the Gusman Philharmonic Hall in the Olympia Building on Flagler Street, about 30 people show up to watch the film with Hirschhorn, Nesbitt and two special assistant state attorneys.

Glass reports that onlookers invited by state attorney Leonard Rivkind include, four Roman Catholic priests, a Little River church group that includes three women, an FBI agent, several sheriff's deputies and seven - count 'em, seven - assistant state attorneys.

The judge sits in the second row of seats of the theater, saying "I don't want to get too close."

After the screening, Glass goes straight to the Catholic priests for a comment on what they just saw.

"You couldn't possibly quote me," one of the priests tells him.

There's no word on how Judge Nesbitt ultimately ruled on the film, but the Miami News reported on Sept. 26 that Judge Nesbitt and six jurors returned to the Olympia to screen the film again.

It was Nesbitt's second time seeing the film.






The way we were...Don Wright's Watergate cartoons

Forty years ago today the Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Watergate scandal.

No one at Miami's two newspapers won a Pulitzer that year, but Miami News cartoonist Don Wright was producing some of the best work of his career, much of it inspired by Watergate.

(When Wright retired from cartooning a few years ago, he had two Pulitzers under his belt.

Here's a selection of some of Wright's best Watergate-inspired work from 1973.


May 8, 1973.
(Click all images to enlarge.)

May 23, 1973.

June 16, 1973.

Sept. 6, 1973.

Sept. 20, 1973.

Sept. 26, 1973.






Your lunch hour time waster

Dog doesn't understand why stranger sitting on a park bench won't play "fetch" with him.








Monday, May 06, 2013

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is a moron


My first car was a '59 Chevy that I bought for $600. It was a piece of crap.

But it was my fault for not checking it out completely.

Now, after all those years, I'm not feeling so bad.

Seems it can happen to the best of us.

Even to billionaires who should know better.

__________





“I don’t think Steve or any of us knew the condition of the facility was as desperate as it was when he bought the team. He really wanted to own the Miami Dolphins, it’s his home town, and I think he kind of made the bid, bought the team and figured it out later.” - Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee in an interview with Jim DeFede








Sunday, May 05, 2013

Hey, Steve Ross...now might be a good time to finally put your money where your mouth is!

Click here to enlarge.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is a billionaire times four.

And because he's wealthy, he's used to getting his way.

But, that didn't happen on Friday.

So, Ross did what most people with money who are used to getting their way do when they don't get their way. He threw a hissy fit.

Then he started threatening people.

But, in all the recent discussion of Ross's scheme to secure public money to fund a renovation of his private property, I don't think I ever heard anyone mention Ross's support for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential bid.

What does one have to do with the other, you ask?

In January 2012, Ross hosted a fundraiser for Romney at his Palm Beach home.

A few weeks after the fundraiser, Ross appeared on a CNBC program to discuss, among other things, why he was supporting Mitt Romney.

One of his hosts asked, "What do you think the number one thing this country needs to address in order to get the economy going again?"

"It's jobs. It's really bringing the business community back into the mainstream, where the jobs aren't going to be created by the government," Ross answered. (Watch has answer starting at about the 2:20 minute mark.)



(When you watch the video, take note of the Dow Jones average at the bottom of the screen back in Jan. 2012. Now, check the Dow close last Friday.)
 
Four months after he schmoozed with Ross, Romney was back in Palm Beach County, where, at a May 17, 2012 fundraiser, he made his now infamous "47 percent" remark.
 
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them.
[...]
And so my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

So, there you have it, Steve...now that your plan to have the taxpayers fund the renovation of your property has gone bust, why not - to quote your buddy Mitt Romney - "take personal responsibility and care" for your life and stop being "dependent upon [the] government?"

It's your stadium. Use your money to fix it!

Put your money where your mouth is.




Friday, May 03, 2013

The Random Pixels Friday Night Funnies


Classic Dan Akroyd bit from Saturday Night Live, March 12, 1977: "Ask President Carter."








Your TGIF lunch hour time waster

Rottweiler makes a new friend at the deer park.





Thursday, May 02, 2013

Andrew Mirmelli, scumbag owner of scummy Miami Beach parking lot, has a scummy past

Andrew Mirmelli.
via Local 10.

Andrew Mirmelli, owner of the Lenox Avenue parking lot that figures in one of the sleaziest parking lot/towing scams that Miami Beach has ever seen, has a criminal history that includes arrests for felony drug possession, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and passing worthless checks.

In April 1996, Mirmelli was arrested and charged with six felonies and one misdemeanor.

Click here to enlarge.

Court records show (above) that adjudication was withheld on four of the charges and he was sentenced to serve probation.

In 1998, he was again arrested and charged with passing a worthless check, a felony. Court records show that the state declined to take him to trial on that charge.

Mirmelli's first brush with the law came in 1994 when he was charged with petty theft. He beat that charge by participating in a pre-trial intervention program. 

Last night Mirmelli tried to mitigate some of the criticism leveled at him about his operation of the parking lot by talking to two TV reporters.

Mirmelli told CBS4's Brian Andrews that he's "looking for customers, not angry patrons," adding, "I have no ownership whatsoever in Tremont Towing," referring to the towing company that's been swooping down on motorists who don't read the fine print on the signs in his lot.



Technically, Mirmelli is telling the truth. But take a look at who is listed as Tremont Towing's manager.

None other than Deidre Mirmelli, Andrew's mother.

Source: SunBiz.org

Mirmelli and his mom own quite a few companies according to the Florida Department of State.


Click images to enlarge..



I'll bet Andrew's mom bakes a helluva an apple pie, too...that is when she's not dispatching Tremont's tow trucks to steal cars from unsuspecting Miami Beach visitors and residents who park at her son's lot.




Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Meet some of the thugs and goons who control South Beach's towing Mafia


From left to right, Keith Menin, Harold Rosen,
Neisen Kasdin and Russell Galbut.
(Click here to enlarge.)

Just when you thought the tactics employed by Miami Beach's two city-sanctioned auto theft companies towing companies couldn't get any scummier, comes this short tale from Frank Alvarado at Miami New Times:
There's a new twist to the ol' South Beach towing racket. At 17th Street and Lennox Avenue, just north of Lincoln Road, there's a parking lot that looks identical to scores of other nearby city-run lots. To pay, there's an electronic meter, just like all the city meters scattered around.

But here's the catch: The lot is privately owned, and if you pay in a nearby city meter instead of the one machine in the lot, Tre­mont Towing trucks are ready to pounce. The setup has led to scores of complaints and action by the city, which recently forced the owners to post more visible signs. "We had a rash of folks coming in [to complain]," Miami Beach Parking Director Saul Frances says.

In a town where cops use tourists on the beach as speed bumps, you'd think the people in charge at city hall would go out of their way to make sure Miami Beach's image doesn't take any more hits.

But this is Miami Beach; a place where a swank hotel hired a convicted felon to be its Goodwill ambassador.

In other words, what's unthinkable anywhere else, is perfectly acceptable in Miami Beach.

And that includes the movers and shakers at city hall, who work hand in glove with two firms that extort millions of dollars a year from Miami Beach visitors and residents.

In 1998, Miami New Times staffer Ted Kissell wrote, "The friendly folks in Miami Beach who tow away your car and charge you big bucks to get it back will do anything to preserve their monopoly. Absolutely anything."

And as Kissell reported in his piece, "anything" included enlisting the help of elected officials and getting the city's police chief at the time, Richard Barreto, to apply some pressure when Florida Parking Enforcment, an upstart booting company moved to town and started looking for new business. 

Fifteen years after Kissell's piece ran, some of the people he wrote about are still around, including former Miami Beach mayor and attorney Harold Rosen, who still represents towing companies to this day.

Back in 1998, Rosen told Kissell, that Beach and Tremont, "[were] model corporate citizens whose de facto monopoly on Beach business is deserved."

From Kissell's piece:
"We contribute to the community," [Rosen] begins, speaking as though he is actually a partner in the businesses. "There isn't a charity that comes to us that we don't contribute to. We provide a service. We've been part of the community for twenty-some-odd years. Some people don't like us," he acknowledges. "They don't like towing. But we still contribute to the community. These booting companies, they don't contribute anything. They're down here to take what they can, and that's it basically."
In 1998, when Kissell wrote his story, Tremont and Beach Towing charged drivers about $95 to retrieve a towed car. Last year both companies went before the city commission in an effort to hike the $205 cost per tow another $64.

“It’s really not this multi-million dollar profiting business that’s been implied, in an way shape or form, at least not in the last four years,” Andrew Mirmelli [told the Miami Herald's David Smiley.]

"[Mirmelli,] who says his mother recently invested in Tremont only to find that no one is making any money from Miami Beach tows," wrote Smiley.

(Coincidentally, Mirmelli is co-owner of M&M Parking Management, a company that owns the lot which figures in Tremont's latest scam written about by Frank Alvarado in New Times.)

Last November, the city commission issued new three-year contracts for both companies that included "fee hikes for visitors’ whose vehicles are towed on behalf of the city’s police and parking departments," reported the Herald's David Smiley:
In exchange, the two companies, which hold a monopoly on Miami Beach’s seemingly lucrative towing industry, agreed to new oversight measures.

Bottom line: Miami Beach residents aren’t affected and will continue to pay the standard $205 towing fee. But starting Dec. 1, visitors will now pay an average of $241 if their car is towed and released by the next day, according to the city. The city’s cut of each public tow increases to $30.
[...]
Commissioners Jerry Libbin, Ed Tobin and Mayor Matti Herrera Bower opposed the new contracts, largely because the city increased towing fees based on representations by the companies that they are losing money.
But not mentioned in Smiley's story is that the continued operation of Tremont and Beach Towing costs every Miami Beach taxpayer thousands of dollars a year.

In January 2005, the Miami Herald reported, "In 2004, calls to police for assistance reached a new high: 958 calls from irate customers and towing employees alike. By comparison, the police received 614 calls in 2000. The number has grown steadily since then."

From the 2005 Herald story:
The calls and the complaints have become a public relations dilemma for the city and a drain on police.

"It definitely takes away from our resources, especially because we have to often send two officers to respond to a call," said police spokesman Bobby Hernandez.

So who's responsible for allowing these overt criminal enterprises to continue to do business on Miami Beach?

Look no further than Miami Beach City Hall.

The other day I had a brief phone conversation with Commissioner Michael Góngora, who also happens to be running for mayor.

I tried my best to get him to condemn the towing companies' practices. No such luck.

However, he did tell me that the towing companies are a "horrible, necessary evil." Huh?

Góngora, by the way, voted last November to give the towing companies their rate hike.

Oh...and now here's a real shocker!

Look at this photo (below) of Góngora at a recent social event, smiling his ass off while standing next to one Ralph Andrade.

Who's Ralph Andrade?, you ask.

Ralph Andrade is - get ready for it - Beach Towing's attorney and lobbyist.

Beach Towing attorney Ralph Andrade and Miami Beach
Commissioner Michael Góngora.


However, back in 1998, Andrade was a director at Florida Parking Enforcment, the very same company that tried to muscle-in on Beach Towing's territory. Are you starting to get the picture?

And, who are the other behind the scenes players in Miami Beach's parking and towing industry?

Remember, according to Andrew Mirmelli, this is a business that no one is making any money from.

Well, for an industry that's not making any money, it sure as hell attracts some high rollers, including hotelier and real estate developer Keith Menin, who also owns part of Tremont, along with his uncle, developer Russell Galbut.

Menin is also a registered lobbyist with the Ciy of Miami Beach for Tremont.

But remember, this is Miami Beach. So while Menin owns part of a company whose practices do untold damage to Miami Beach's image, he also sits also on the board of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, a body whose job it is to burnish Miami Beach's image.WTF???

The other two clowns pictured at the top of the page are former Miami Beach mayors Harold Rosen and Neisen Kasdin.

In 2005, Rosen was registered as a lobbyist for both Beach Towing and Tremont. His fee was listed as $350 per hour. 

In 2008, Kasdin was also registered as a lobbyist for Tremont Towing.

For an industry that makes no money, it sure has some powerful and wealthy friends. 



Miami New Times: Three Miami Beach Towing Horror Stories.