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J. J. Colagrande talks about OnlyinMiami.co – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 82

23 June 2015

J. J. Colagrande talks about OnlyinMiami.co – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 82


Episode 82 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured an interview with J. J. Colagrande talking with Grant Stern about the launch of the new OnlyinMiami.co news website.

Hour 1

2:51 – Grant began the show by talking with local activist Peter Ehrlich of Scenic Miami about the proposal as part of the Miami Innovation District to construct a 600 foot tall tower whose sole purpose would be displaying advertisements on LED screens. Peter talked about his group and their opposition to the visual pollution that billboards and especially LED billboards provide. He talked about three upcoming meetings about the tower. First, a meeting will be held on June 23 at the Planning, Zoning, and Appeals Board at City Hall. Another meeting, this time with the City of Miami Commission, is scheduled for June 25. A final meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 29 with the Southwest Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency board. For more information, visit Scenic Miami’s website (scenicmiami.org) or find them on Facebook (facebook.com/ScenicMiami).

9:17 – Grant was joined by local writer J. J. Colagrande. They talked about the new OnlyinMiami.co which will launch June 1. It will feature daily Miami-specific news stories, a feature lacking in many local news outlets who have moved operations to Doral or Miramar, despite the center of the South Florida metroplex being the City of Miami.

15:11 – Diana Umpierre from the South Florida chapter of the International Dark Sky Association joined the show to talk about the LED tower that Grant and Peter spoke about and the light pollution it would create. She talked about the impact of light pollution on resident’s quality of life and also on the environment. For more information about the International Dark Sky Association, visit darksky.org. To find out more about the local chapter, visit their website at idasouthflorida.org or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/IDASouthFlorida.

23:30 – J. J. Colagrande and Grant Stern talked about local Miami politics, including the hotly contested campaign for the District 2 seat on the City of Miami Commission. They talked about the upcoming virtual debate between the candidates and about what issues are the most pressing facing Miami. They spent some time talking about the issue of homelessness and what can be done to address the 1,000 homeless persons living in downtown Miami. They also talked about the SkyRise Miami project and what it might mean for the city.

40:36 – J. J. Colagrande talked about what topics the new OnlyinMiami.co will be covering. The big areas will be News, Culture, Sports, People, and Events. He talked about the voice that the site will use, which will not be sarcastic, but a serious but still fun look at Miami from the perspective of Miamians. The website will include a number of writers and a number of different formats, seeking to tie together many different forms of media, like podcast, film, and the written word, into one site.

Hour 2

55:41 – Taylor Hardy, a correspondent with PhotographyIsNotACrime.com, joined the show to talk about his experiences with PINAC, including being charged for wiretapping violations simply for calling a Massachusetts Public Information Officer about an incident. He also talked about a recent case in Miami Gardens where a man was arrested more than 150 times for trespassing at his place of employment. Police needed to fill certain quotas (which are illegal) to achieve funding levels, so they would arrest this man simply for statistics purposes.

1:08:00 – J. J. Colagrande, Grant Stern, Darrin Bentley, and the Drastic Fanatic talked local sports. J. J. offered a wrap-up of the NBA Finals and talked about how Miami Heat fans should have supported LeBron James as a thank you for his four years in Miami. They also talked about NBA free agency and the drama surrounding the contract negotiations between the Heat and Dwyane Wade.

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The Best of the #OnlyinMiami Show – Episode 78 – 5/25/2015

26 May 2015

The Best of the #OnlyinMiami Show – Episode 78 – 5/25/2015

Episode 78 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured the best clips from interviews from the beginning of the year.

Grant began this special Memorial Day show by talking about the only U.S. Navy airman stationed at the Richmond Naval Air Station to die during World War II. The airship, on patrol with a crew of 10, encountered and was shot down by a German U-boat submarine. While 9 of the crew were rescued, bombardier Isadore Stessel was attacked by a shark moments before rescue.

The remainder of the show featured clips from the first part of 2015.

  • Al Sunshine spoke about a lead early in his career that led to a big story, exposing ties between the CIA and the Mafia.
  • School board member and local activist Raquel Regalado spoke about the proposed SkyRise Miami project adjacent to Bayfront and their application, despite their assurances to the contrary, for public funding for infrastructure improvements.
  • Yeshi Milner from the Power U Center in Miami spoke about the #BlackLivesMatter campaign and the protests held in Miami during Art Basel following the non-indictments of the police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY.
  • Jag Davies from the Drug Policy Alliance spoke about civil asset forfeiture, an enforcement tool that law enforcement agencies have been abusing, confiscating billions of dollars in money and assets with little oversight.
  • DJ Andres Fresko talked about getting his start in electronic music and about life on tour.
  • Local poet Antonia Wright talked about some events of the O, Miami poetry festival that was held this past April. She shared some of her original poetry as well.
  • Philip Stoddart, mayor of South Miami, spoke about FPL and their plans to expand the nuclear power generation facilities at Turkey Point and about their plan to construct transmission lines along US-1 through Cutler Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami, Coral Gables, and into Brickell.
  • Cindy Lerner, mayor of Pinecrest, spoke about the need to protect the endangered pine rockland habitat adjacent to Zoo Miami and lamented plans by developers to raze a significant portion to construct housing and retail spaces.
  • Finally, in a clip from May 2014, several members of the Miami Heat Wheels organization joined the show for an extended feature on their wheelchair basketball team. The team was recently crowned champions of their competitive division, beating a team sponsored by the San Antonio Spurs.

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Andrea Cuccaro Talks About the Dangers of GMOs

19 May 2015

Andrea Cuccaro Talks About the Dangers of GMOs

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.

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State Rep Jose Javier Rodriguez Talks About Tallahassee Dysfunction – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 75 – 5/4/2015

5 May 2015

State Rep Jose Javier Rodriguez Talks About Tallahassee Dysfunction – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 75 – 5/4/2015

Episode 75 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured an interview with Florida state representative Jose Javier Rodriguez who talked about the legislative session that just concluded in Tallahassee.

Host Grant Stern started off the show by talking about the plan negotiated by then-Governer Charlie Crist to purchase certain agricultural land from U.S. Sugar to be used for Everglades restoration. The purchase of the lands would allow the water flowing into the Everglades to be purified of pesticides and other pollutants. Funding for the purchase was provided for in a constitutional ballot initiative this past November; however, Governor Rick Scott and the Florida legislature are so far refusing to finalize this transaction. All concerned citizens are urged to contact their state representatives and senators to let them know there is broad support for this purchase.

State representative Jose Javier Rodriguez then joined the show to talk about the legislative session that ended recently. He started by talking about the discussion surrounding healthcare funding. The federal government has authorized funds to expand Medicaid programs for low-income residents. However, certain Republican leaders in Tallahassee are refusing to accept the federal money. In fact, due to an impasse between the House and Senate, the House adjourned several days earlier than planned in order to avoid some of these difficult decisions. Representative Rodriguez then talked about Florida Power and Light. FPL is looking to expand the nuclear power generating facility at Turkey Point, adding two new reactors. However, they have not yet received approval from federal regulators. The expansion plan also includes a component that would construct transmission lines along US-1 through the communities of Pinecrest, South Miami, Coral Gables, and Brickell. The 100-foot tall towers would bisect these neighborhoods and create not only an eyesore, but also potentially lower the property values surrounding the corridor. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is accepting public comments about the expansion plan until May 22; for help submitting comments, please call Representative Rodriguez’s office at 305.854.0365.

Representative Rodriguez also spoke about how FPL has been rigging the game against distributed power generation. In essence, companies who own property and would like to install solar panels for their own needs and to sell excess power to the grid are forced to sell any excess power well below the market rate. In fact, it is so low that investors and developers have agreed that it will not pay enough to make it worthwhile. A new coalition of citizen activists, Floridians for Solar Choice, will be advocating for changes in the regulations to make it possible for individuals and businesses to create a distributed solar power generation network. He also spent a few minutes discussing fair districting which would seek to eliminate some of the more egregious gerrymandered districts statewide. To connect with Representative Rodriguez, follow him on Twitter at @josejavierjjr.

Then, Omar Rivero of Occupy Democrats joined the show. He talked about the history of the site and their mission. He gave his thoughts on the issue of the pending purchase of big sugar land to aid in Everglades restoration and how citizens might get involved in the political process to encourage Florida lawmakers to appropriate the funds. He also talked about the recent issues of police brutality that have come to light in Baltimore, Ferguson, and elsewhere, and how addressing economic inequality might be able to curtail some of the illegal activities that occur among inner city youth.

Omar also spent some time talking about the upcoming 2016 presidential election and the two Democratic candidates who have announced their candidacy, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. He talked about the positions, sometimes surprising, that the two candidates have espoused in the first few weeks of the campaign. He also talked about the difficulties surrounding campaign finance due to the Citizens United ruling that allows virtually unlimited funds to flow to candidates and political action committees. For continuing coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, visit occupydemocrats.com or follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/occupydemocrats.

At the beginning of the second hour, Casey Rodriguez joined the show to talk about the upcoming Spring Ballet Gala presented by the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, which will feature the Shostakovich Suites and Pentimento. For more information, visit http://www.artsballettheatre.org/p4.html or for tickets, visit aventuracenter.org (for the May 9 performance) or browardcenter.org (for the May 10 performance).

Finally, Grant was joined by producer Brandon Mowry and Daren Bentley to talk about sports, including the NBA playoffs and a recap of the Dolphins draft.

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Sean O’Hanlon Talks About Sustainability in Miami

18 March 2015

Sean O’Hanlon Talks About Sustainability in Miami

In this clip from the #OnlyInMiami Show, Sean O’Hanlon talked about sustainability. Sean defines sustainability less as an environmental issue and more as a chance to implement best practices. Grant and Sean talked about the recent passage of Amendment 1, which provides funding to acquire privately-owned land for conservation purposes. They also talked about the issues that the need for a continuous clean water supply and the risk of  urban flooding present for Miami. They offered a brief analysis of the impact that Hurricane Sandy had on the greater New York area.

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Sean O’Hanlon and Irela Bagué Talk About Sustainability – Only In Miami Show, Ep. 68

17 March 2015

Episode 68 of the #OnlyInMiami Show featured an interview with sustainability expert Sean O’Hanlon who talked about the challenges facing South Florida due to sea level rise. He also talked about power issues, including the vulnerability of the power grid in South Florida, and presented the concept of micro-grids as a solution to improve reliability.

Florida governor Rick Scott was also featured in a pre-recorded interview which was recorded at the announcement by Major League Baseball that Marlins Park would host the 2017 All-Star Game. In light of the recent allegations of pressure the Scott administration applied to oust the former director of the FDLE, Grant asked if the governor would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations. Predictably, Governor Scott sidestepped the issue and declined to answer the question.

We were also joined by Irela Bagué, the chair of the Sustainability, Environment, and Energy committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. She talked about daily impacts that can be felt from the failure to address environmental concerns. She also talked about some of the changes that might need to take place to sustain our community for the future.

In the second hour, Grant was joined by Karla Campos. They talked about Sunday’s Calle Ocho festival, which is one of the largest block parties in the country. If you missed the fun, you can view some photos of the event here.

Finally, Drastic Fanatic joined the show to talk sports, including the impacts that might be felt in the AFC East due to all of the recent NFL free agent transactions. He and Grant also talked about the playoff possibilities for the Miami Heat and whether the Heat need to add any pieces to the roster for next season to compete again for an NBA title.

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Mayors Cindy Lerner and Phillip Stoddard Discuss Conservation and Green Initiatives

6 March 2015

Mayors Cindy Lerner and Phillip Stoddard Discuss Conservation and Green Initiatives

Village of Pinecrest mayor Cindy Lerner and City of South Miami mayor Phllip Stoddard stopped by the #OnlyInMiami show to talk about a number of current issues in their respective municipalities. While a good portion of their time was spent discussing Florida Power & Light’s plan to construct transmission towers along US-1 (you can listen to that clip here: http://onlyinmiamishow.com/2015/03/04/mayors-cindy-lerner-phillip-stoddard-talk-fpl/), Mayor Lerner also discussed her #OnlyInMiami story and talked about the importance of preserving the largest remaining tract of pine rocklands adjacent to Zoo Miami which are currently threatened by various development projects. Additionally, mayors Stoddard and Lerner both talked about the future of energy, including the use of electric vehicles such as will be featured in the Miami ePrix on Saturday, March 14.

The video Grant played for Mayor Lerner (5:58 in the track) is below:

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