5 August 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 88 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured interviews with local street artists Trek 6 and Diana Contreras who are participating in the Beck’s Urban Canvas event in Miami.
2:46 – Grant began the show by talking about the anniversary of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, MO. Grant lamented the fact that this tragedy occurred, but argued that this may well be the moment that the public awakened to the fact that police interactions should be monitored and that law enforcement officers should be held accountable for their actions.
7:57 – Grant was joined by Lia Figueredo who talked about the Beck’s Urban Canvas campaign that is sponsoring murals by local street artists throughout the county, including Little Haiti, Little Havana, Wynwood, and the new ‘Leah Arts District. She talked about some of the upcoming events that Beck’s is sponsoring, which include a number of art walk type of events. The next event will be Arts & Drafts event – visit https://www.facebook.com/ArtsDraftsMiami for more information. Another event this week is the Wynwood Art Walk this Saturday and will be a part of the Secret Garden party – for more information, find The Secret Garden on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EnterTheSecretGarden. For more information about more upcoming events, visit becksurbancanvas.com or follow the hashtag #becksurbancanvas.
10:38 – Grant was joined by Trek 6, who is one of the street artists Beck’s is sponsoring this summer. He talked about his project at the Region’s Bank on NE 36th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. It features hummingbirds as a motif symbolically representing the Little Haiti and Wynwood neighborhoods. He also talked about his personal story and how he came to be involved in art. Trek 6 previewed his upcoming projects, which include a trip to Vietnam. Connect with him online on Facebook (www.facebook.com/trek.six), Twitter (https://twitter.com/treksix), and Instagram (https://instagram.com/trek6).
24:46 – Grant talked with Diana Contreras, another of the artists Beck’s is sponsoring through the Urban Canvas project. She talked about her current projects, including her Urban Canvas project which will be in Little Havana at Futurama on Calle Ocho and 17th Avenue. She will be painting a Cuban girl surveying Calle Ocho. She is also preparing for a solo show in Orlando which is coming up soon. She generally likes to paint portraits of women, and she talked about her artistic inspirations. Connect with her on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also visit her website at www.dianacontreras.com.
33:11 – Grant talked with Robert William de los Rios, one of the creators of Wynwood Map, a service that is cataloging and mapping street art within the Wynwood neighborhood. He has been heavily involved in the Beck’s Urban Canvas project, and he talked about how the project came to be. He also talked about some of the upcoming events.
44:01 – Grant spoke with JennyLee Molina about the Leah Arts District, an area that the city of Hialeah is hoping to attract local artists to live and work in. It’s located in the southeast corner of the city and already features a few murals by local street artists. JennyLee also spoke about the rest of the artists who will be creating pieces for the Beck’s Urban Canvas.
55:41 – Grant spoke with Johnny Aguiló of the local group Conjunto Progreso. They are a local band who have a more traditional Latin sound. He talked about the group’s origins and blood lines and shared some music from the band. This Friday, the band will be playing at the Afro Roots Festival along with other local bands including Palo!, Nag Champayons, and more.
1:04:41 – J. J. Colagrande spoke with Rio Chavarro, a local spoken word artist. He was one of the founding artists of Theatre de Underground at Churchill’s which is still running today. Rio is currently hosting Words and Wine at The Social Lubricant in Wynwood on Wednesday nights. He lamented the large number of live event venues that have closed throughout Miami in the name of progress. He believes that though many of these places that opened their doors to local artists are gone, the artists will continue to find new places and a way to share their art. Check out his burlesque troupe, Moon River Cabaret, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/moonrivercabaret.
1:16:01 – Surya Fernandez of Hot Hot Hoops joined Grant ant J. J. to discuss the most recent moves by the Miami Heat and the start of training camp which is only a few weeks away. They also talked about the makeup of the team long-term, as many pieces will be free agents after this season.
1:37:03 – J. J. Colagrande welcomed local businessman Mario Silvestri who owns Junior & Hatter, a hair salon and spa in Wynwood. He also hosts Wynwood Radio which focuses on local artists. He talked about the character of the Wynwood neighborhood and how it is a great place to collaborate and work together with other business owners. Check out Junior & Hatter on Instagram and Facebook.
9 June 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 80 of the #OnlyInMiami Show featured interviews with some of the participants of the recent WynCode pitch night.
Grant began the show by commenting about multiple issues facing the Miami-Dade County government. He talked about the nine-month shutdown of the Venetian Causeway and the impact that it will have upon annual events like Art Basel. Grant urged the county to release more funding to be able to speed up construction to finish in time for the winter season. Grant also talked about the three projects proposed for the Park West neighborhood. One project would include a 600 foot tower whose sole purpose would be LED advertising. He encouraged the project developers to create affordable housing first rather than advertising so that the technopark they want to create will have people to work there. Finally, Grant talked about the Miami WorldCenter project whose application for funding had its first reading in front of the Miami-Dade Commission this past week. He mentioned that there is a lawsuit that has been filed claiming a lack of adequate public notice for some of the hearings.
Grant continued talking about Wyncode Academy by speaking with another development team from Wyncode Academy. Their app, Coffee Break, saves user preferences and places orders automatically to speed the time from when you feel the need for a caffeine fix to when you actually get it. The app’s developers spoke about their experiences at Wyncode Academy as well.
At the beginning of the second hour, Grant spoke with Mark Hart, the Executive and Artistic Director of the Community Arts Program, which consists of two basic components. The Summer Concert Series hosts renowned classical and jazz artists every other Thursday night at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ. Mark talked about this summer’s series and the artists who are coming up. The other component is a community outreach that provides musical education to area middle and high school students in both the classical and jazz arenas. They are the recipients of a recent Knight Arts Challenge grant to develop a Jazz Institute to offer instruction in this uniquely American art form. For more information about the Community Arts Program, visit their website at http://www.communityartsprogram.org or follow them on Twitter at @CommArtsProgram.
Finally, Grant, Darrin, Brandon, and the Drastic Fanatic talked sports, specifically the NBA Finals. The guys talked about the past two games and their expectations for the rest of the series.
2 June 2015 Brandon Mowry
Grant began the show by updating the audience on the proposed Midtown Walmart development. Oral arguments in the lawsuit regarding the building permit and whether or not Walmart has followed established procedures for its approval have been set for August 20 at the Richard Gerstein Justice Center. Stay tuned to the #OnlyinMiami Show for updates.
Local activist Juan Cuba then joined the show to talk about the proposed Miami WorldCenter project. The project will be the second-largest development project in the country and has sought public funding from the Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency to the tune of $108 million dollars. The City of Miami Commission has voted to approve the funding, but local activists are pressuring the Miami-Dade County Commission to review the plan and see if there is a better deal that can be negotiated to ensure local residents are given priority in hiring. The County Commission will be holding a meeting and a vote on the project on Tuesday morning, June 2 in the commission chambers.
We then heard from Pastor Rhonda Thomas of New Generation Missionary Baptist Church. In addition to being a member of the clergy, she is a community organizer with ties to the historic Overtown neighborhood. She is not necessarily against the project, but expressed her desire that the project would mean a better life for the local community in terms of increased employment opportunities and a better quality of life.
Henry Brown of E-STOPP (Eradicating the School-to-Prison Pipeline) then joined the program to talk about the WorldCenter project. He believes that some of the issues facing the African-American communities today stem from unemployment or underemployment. He cited his background and work that showed that children from families where the parents worked were far more likely to succeed in school. He hopes that guarantees can be secured from the developers that will ensure certain percentages of those employed in the new project will be from the surrounding zip codes.
The three guests then discussed how to address the needs of the Overtown community and how to encourage the residents to return once they have been able to get an education. The group discussed the need for residents of Overtown to receive adequate training to be able to fill the jobs created by the WorldCenter project.
At the beginning of the second hour, Peter Ehrlich talked about the current happenings in the Lemon City neighborhood. He is hoping that the history of the neighborhood, which actually predates the City of Miami, is preserved and passed on to future generations.
Finally, the Drastic Fanatic joined Grant to talk sports, primarily the NBA. They talked about the upcoming NBA Finals featuring the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They also talked about the local sports news from the weekend involving the contract negotiations between the Heat and its star guard, Dwyane Wade.
19 May 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 77 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured interviews with Andrea Cuccaro, Art Herrera, and Pam Larry, all of whom talked about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and how they are affecting our food supply.
Grant began the show by talking about the proposed development in the pine rocklands adjacent to Zoo Miami. The developer, Ram Realty, submitted a 500-page habitat conservation plan to the federal government; however, it has come to light that the developers, in conjunction with the University of Miami, conspired to degrade the site and eliminate some of the protected species. Concerned citizens are urged to write to their county, state, and federal representatives encouraging them to act to preserve this very endangered natural habitat.
Andrea Cuccaro then joined the show to talk about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), particularly in terms of how they relate to our food supply. Andrea is one of the organizers of the March Against Monsanto, which will occur this Saturday, May 23 at 2pm. The march will begin at the Adrienne Arsht Center MetroMover station, then march north along Biscayne Boulevard. Featured speakers include Jill Stein, the 2012 (and potential 2016) presidential nominee from the Green Party, Trish Sheldon from GMO Free Florida, Sam Van Leer from the Urban Paradise Guild, and others. For more information about the march, visit their event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/847841778587193/. She also talked about what GMOs are and why they are an issue. She stated that several diseases have been linked to GMOs, but as of right now, food manufacturers are not required to indicate their presence on the label.
Art Hererra then called in to talk about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an international trade agreement currently being negotiated, and how it would affect GMO production and labelling. For example, the agreements in this pact would supersede any existing federal or state law regarding labelling of GMOs. For more information and ongoing updates, follow the GMO Free Florida page on Facebook.
Andrea then spoke about certain bills that have been proposed in the Florida legislature relating to GMOs. HB 351 would require accurate labelling of food products as to whether they contain GMOs. It was sponsored by Michelle Vasilinda, a Democratic state representative from Tallahassee. Unfortunately, the bill died in subcommittee at the end of the legislative session.
Pam Larry, the self-described initial instigator of California’s Prop 37 which would have required GMO labelling, joined the show to talk about her push to limit GMOs. She talked about the state of the debate in Congress, where certain bills like H.R.1599 would seek to limit the ability of states to require GMO labelling. She also talked about the Boxer-DeFasio (H.R.913 and S.511) bill which is much more favorable to the notion of standardized GMO labelling. For more information and to connect with like-minded activists, visit www.gmoactionalliance.org.
In the second hour, Grant returned to the idea of conservation and how it affects the GMO labelling movement. Producer Brandon Mowry talked about the news from last week where the South Florida Water Management District voted to kill the deal to purchase agriculture land owned by U.S. Sugar. The land would have been used to clean water headed for the Everglades from pollutants. This will be an ongoing issue, and concerned citizens should contact their representatives to let them know their feelings on this important conservation issue.
Finally, the guys talked sports, including the NBA Playoffs that are now down to the conference finals, the firing of Marlins manager Mike Redmon and subsequent hiring of Dan Jennings, and the signing of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a long-term deal.
13 May 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 76 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured interviews with Rebekah Monson and JennyLee Molina.
Grant began the show by updating the audiences on two ongoing projects involving proposed Walmart developments. First, regarding Walmart’s Midtown proposal, lawyers for the company have filed a motion to exclude a citizen’s amicus curae brief, claiming that the brief was not submitted in a timely manner. The brief argues that the City of Miami did not give a proper hearing on the updated Walmart permit petition after an appeals court quashed the original permit. Secondly, in the battle over the pine rocklands in South Dade, Ram Realty, the developer looking to create Coral Reef Commons on environmentally sensitive land has submitted new plans to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The plans will be made public soon; however, it is likely that there will be few changes from the original plans.
Then, Rebekah Monson (@rsm) of Code for America and The New Tropic joined the show. She talked about her background and how she got involve with these groups. She also talked about her group’s biggest project in Miami-Dade, the Miami Open Data project. The project seeks to develop a policy that would consolidate public data in usable formats online. Currently, a citizen must request a document, wait for a response, and sometimes pay a research fee before receiving the information they need. A better policy might be to have data available online, allowing businesses or individuals to access the public data they need quickly and easily. This could include real estate data, demographic data, transit data, and more. The group is advocating for a much larger quantity of data to be made available, in formats that are machine-readable (no need to copy and paste), and in bulk (no need to download individual records one by one). For more information about the Miami Open Data project, visit their website at miamiopendata.org.
Afterwards, JennyLee Molina (@jennyleeisme) joined the show. She talked about her company, JLPR (@JLPR), and about an upcoming event she is involved with which will launch the ‘Leah Arts District. The district will feature spaces for artists and creative professionals to live and work. The kickoff event occurs this Sunday, May 17 from 4pm-8pm. It will feature food trucks, live art demonstrations, live music, and more. For more information, follow @leahartsdistrict on Instagram or the hashtag #HialeahNOW.
Finally, Drastic Fanatic and Brandon Mowry joined the show for a wide-ranging discussion on sports. They talked about the NBA Playoffs and about #DeflateGate, as well as touching on the Marlins.
28 April 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 74 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured an interview with Hialeah City Commissioner Paul B. Hernandez.
Grant began by talking about a new development project in Overtown, the “Miami Innovation Tower”. While the project might possibly be worthwhile, special attention needs to be paid to the visual elements on the building exterior to ensure that visual pollution from extensive advertisements does not occur.
Then, Paul B. Hernandez joined the show to talk about the current happenings in the Miami-Dade County’s second-largest municipality, the City of Hialeah. He talked about the governmental structure of Hialeah, where every commissioner is at-large and represents the entire city.
He also talked about how Hialeah is looking to become a new haven for artists in Miami-Dade County by creating a new arts district within the city boundaries. The new arts district will extend along East 10th Ave from 9th Street (NW 62nd St in the county numbering system) to 17th Street (NW 71st St). It will be a place where artists can live, work, and display their art.
Grant Stern and Commissioner Hernandez also gave a brief history of Hialeah. They talked about the financial demographics of the area and the dynamics of real estate within the city.
Finally, Commissioner Hernandez talked about a kickoff event that will happen on May 17. For more information and updates, search the hashtag #HialeahNow or follow @LeahArtsDistrict on Instagram.
Later, Xavier Gonzalez joined the show to talk about the second annual eMerge Americas convention at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The main event will be Monday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 5. It’s a chance for executives to network and talk about technology.
Special guest presenters include the Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development chief Julian Castro.
At the beginning of the second hour, Grant was joined by local poet Antonia Wright. She talked about her start in poetry and the closing events for the O, Miami poetry festival that has been running throughout the month of April in various places around Miami-Dade. Antonia also shared an original poem, You Must Be An Artist.
Finally, Grant was joined by the Drastic Fanatic and Jose El Rey to talk sports. They spoke about the upcoming NFL draft and whether the top draft pick will be Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariotta, or a dark horse. They also talked about what teams might be trying to move up or down in the draft. They gave their opinions on what approach the Dolphins should take and what holes need to be filled. They guys also talked about the Marlins turnaround and the NBA playoffs.
7 April 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 71 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured an interview with blogger Roger Craver, an activist whom the Wall Street Journal called “a assassin of all things right-wing.”
The show began with Grant’s rant on the recent tactic employed by the city of Miami to combat citizens seeking good government who have challenged the city’s actions in court. The City of Miami is fighting numerous court cases challenging it actions by arguing that these citizens who are suing the city lack the standing to do so; in other words, because they are not personally harmed any more than any other citizen, they need to express their discontent at the ballot box, not in court.
For the balance of the first hour, blogger Roger Craver joined host Grant Stern to talk about his background in helping create citizens’ action groups such as Common Cause, the National Organization for Women, the Environmental Defense Fund, and Greenpeace. They also talked about the issues currently facing the city of Miami, including the need for transparency in city government dealings. Roger spent some time talking about how average citizens can get involved in government and become active in achieving change. He also talked about the upcoming elections for the city of Miami commission, primarily the race to replace District 2 Commissioner Mark Sarnoff. Finally, Roger and Grant talked about one of Roger’s newest projects, the Coalition Against Causeway Chaos, which, among other things, is challenging the proposed Watson Island Flagstone development, where developers received a below-market rent for city-owned waterfront property to construct a shopping center, hotel, and marina. However, citizens are questioning the value of the project and the potential traffic impact to the MacArthur Causeway.
In the beginning of the second hour, Grant talked with Ashley M. Jones from the O, Miami poetry festival which will be happening throughout the month of April in various places around Miami. She shared her own poem, Letter to Miami (Using Lyrics from the Golden Girls Miami Jingle). The first big event of the festival happens at the Soundscape Park on Sunday, April 12 from 4pm to 9pm. For more information about all of the events of the O, Miami festival, visit their website at http://www.omiami.org/. You can also follow them on Twitter (@omiamifestival).
Finally, Grant talked about the Marlin’s Opening Day, which included perhaps the first rain delay in a stadium equipped with a roof. He also talked about the Heat, who are in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time in five years because of numerous injuries.
31 March 2015 Brandon Mowry
Grant Stern started the show by talking about local efforts opposing Walmart development in the Richmond pine rocklands and in Midtown Miami. He indicated that there are several reports that are forthcoming that will detail that the University of Miami was using a portion of its south campus as a nuclear waste dump. The university reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency that was kept quiet. Grant also updated everyone on the status of the Midtown Walmart project. It came to light on Monday that Walmart has asked the appeals court for a speedy resolution of the issues, because if they don’t begin construction very soon, the property will revert back to DDR, who is the mall development company responsible for the Midtown development. Grant also filed an amicus curae brief summarizing the problems with Walmart’s permit. For more information and to receive updates as they become available, visit facebook.com/nowalmartinmidtown.
Grant was then joined by Natalia Napoleon de Bens and Lauren Fernandez. They talked about the StartUp Miami conference sponsored by The Atlantic. They also talked about their own startup, Lemon City Teas, which started last year and produces Miami-inspired tea blends. They talked about how they started their company and some of the things that make them unique, such as the fact that they were founded by four first-generation American women. They also spoke about how they have expanded their market by working with local bars to create tea-infused cocktails. For more information about Lemon City Teas, visit their website at lemoncitytea.com, connect with them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter at @LemonCityTeas, or check out their pictures on Instagram at @LemonCityTea.
Later, Tamara Wendt, Executive Director for The Lab Miami, stopped by the show to talk about some of the startups that have launched from that space in Wynwood. The Lab is a co-working site where members can use the office facilities and resources to create their own companies. It is currently host to a diverse group of professionals, including lawyers, software developers, designers, and others. She also talked about the neighborhood of Wynwood and what it is like to work there. For more information about The Lab Miami, visit their website: http://thelabmiami.com/, follow them on Twitter at @thelabmiami or on Instagram at @thelabmiami.
In the second hour, Mia Vassilev and Georgi Danchev from the Miami Piano Circle stopped by the studio to talk about their upcoming concert presentation, American Grands, which will be held at the New World Center on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 8:00pm. It will feature ten grand pianos playing arrangements of composers such as Scott Joplin, John Phillip Sousa, and many more. Mia and Georgi talked about how they came up with the concept for the show and shared some music from a show from last year entitled Miami Grands. For more information, visit their website at www.miamipianocircle.com or connect with them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/miamipianocircle
Finally, as usual, Drastic Fanatic joined the show to talk sports, including many NBA teams’ push to to the playoffs (or a great quantity of ping pong balls if you’re the New York Knicks). They talked about the Heat’s prospects looking to the postseason and looked at the the other teams in the race, including the Indiana Pacers, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Boston Celtics. They also talked about the offseason pickups in the NFL, particularly the AFC East’s New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.