29 July 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 87 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured interviews with Marc Caputo, Elaine de Valle, and Subhash Kateel talking about local, state, and national politics and issues.
2:54 – Grant spoke about Fox’s Sherron Inn, a South Miami landmark that is closing it’s doors after almost 70 years in business. The current owner, who bought the property about five years ago, is planning to raze the building and construct a mixed-use commercial and residential structure. Grant lamented the “sanitizing” of the US-1 corridor and urged local activists to consider pursuing a historic designation for Fox’s.
8:49 – Marc Caputo, political writer for Politico Florida, joined the show to talk about several key races and issues statewide. Marc writes a daily newsletter on Florida politics, the Florida Playbook. To subscribe, visit politico.com/floridaplaybook. Grant and Marc discussed the race to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Marco Rubio. Two Democrats, Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson have declared their candidacies, and a recent poll by Mason-Dixon shows them fairly even. Alan Grayson is the more outspoken progressive of the two and is gaining some traction, showing a 19% improvement from the last poll. A third candidate, Pam Keith, has also announced, but her lack of political experience and funding mean that she will have a very tough time against more experienced and monied opponents. On the Republican side, the story is much the same. There are a greater number of candidates, and while David Jolly is leading with 16%, there is certainly no consensus within the Republican ranks either. Marc talked about how while the conventional wisdom in Democratic circles believes that hotly contested primaries are bad, the Republicans have had fairly contentious primaries and still end up being very competitive and oftentimes winning the election.
23:09 – Marc and Grant continued discussing politics, turning their attention to the Republican presidential race. Two Floridians, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and current U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, have declared their candidacies for the Republican nomination. A poll out recently indicates that Bush is leading Miami-Dade Republicans by 10 points. More interestingly, however, is that Jeb improved his numbers among Cuban-Americans, now leading Cuban-born Marco Rubio by 12 points. Marc and Grant then spoke about education policy, noting that during Jeb’s tenure as governor, one of his signature actions was taking the FCAT that Lawton Chiles had introduced as a statewide education diagnostic tool and making it into a high-stakes school accountability vehicle. Currently, Jeb’s stance in support of the Common Core curriculum, which seeks to standardize education on a more national basis as well as cut back on the high-stakes testing environment is putting him at odds with many factions within the Republican party.
29:02 – Marc and Grant were joined by Elaine de Valle, a local political writer who can be found writing for the Political Cortadito. They talked about the immigration issue that has largely defined the Republican primary to date and how the rank-and-file’s support for the deportation of undocumented immigrants may affect their outreach to Hispanic voters. Elaine believed that part of the Republican’s desire to not offer amnesty is driven by the fact that the vast majority of those undocumented immigrants will end up voting Democratic in future elections.
40:40 – Grant spoke with Elaine de Valle about issues facing Miami-Dade County, beginning with the proposed SkyRise tower adjacent to Bayside Marketplace. The project has come under fire for applying for public funds for infrastructure improvements while claiming that no public funds would be used for its construction. A lawsuit filed by school board member and mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado would seek for the subsidies to be eliminated or a new referendum held, since the original referendum stated that no public money would be used for construction. The SkyRise project may face another hurdle, as funding may be more scarce than first thought. They also may face stricter FAA limits on the overall height due to a change in regulations.
56:00 – Grant spoke with Subhash Kateel about two issues facing the county, namely, the changes to historic neighborhoods and police brutality. As to the first issue, the historic Overtown neighborhood, which was traditionally populated with African-Americans, has often been the target of projects that have pushed out residents. The construction of I-95 right through the heart of the neighborhood served to separate the two sides of the neighborhood. Today, the Miami WorldCenter project looks to take over a large portion of the Park West and Overtown neighborhoods with little if any benefit to local residents. This will result in more forced emigration among long-time residents of Overtown. Fortunately, local activists have won some concessions that will provide training and potentially jobs for residents. However, locals need to remain vigilant, as some of these concessions could be easily revoked. Subhash also spoke about the state violence by the Miami Beach Police Department against Israel Hernandez, a Colombian-born street artist. Israel was killed when Jorge Mercado fired his Tazer at him after he was approached by police for tagging a shuttered McDonald’s on the beach. Last Thursday, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle declined to indict the officer for misconduct. In fact, it has been more than 25 years since a police officer in the county has been prosecuted for misconduct. Subhash argued that, legally speaking, there is no difference between the officer who loves his job and his community and an officer who commits official misconduct, since neither will be prosecuted (the first shouldn’t be, but as to the second, we’ll let you be the judge).
1:18:43 – Grant was joined by the Drastic Fanatic, Brandon Mowry and Darrin Bentley to talk sports. The guys talked about the Heat’s most recent offseason moves, including waiving Henry Walker, sending Shabazz Napier to the Magic, and sending Zoran Dragic to the Celtics. They also talked free agency around the rest of the NBA.
1:40:47 – Football season is right around the corner, and teams have begun reporting this week for training camp. The guys talked about the upcoming NFL season and expectations for the Miami Dolphins. They also talked about fantasy sports and the upcoming drafts for leagues throughout the country.
14 July 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 85 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured interviews with Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Jimenez, Basil Binns and Robin Porter, and Morris Broad.
3:24 – Grant talked about the need for services like Uber and Lyft, who have both recently announced that they will be ending their operations in Broward County. He said that there is a need for innovative and cost-effective solutions in the transportation marketplace. Read Grant’s article on Uber on onlyinmiami.co for more information.
10:32 – Grant spoke with Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez about many issues facing the county. They talked about the county budget, the recently christened Dan Paul Park, the proposed Miami Innovation Tower (which would basically be a tall LED billboard), public subsidies for private development, and many other issues.
30:53 – Basil Binns and Robin Porter joined Grant to talk about the proposal to construct the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) in the historic Buena Vista neighborhood just north of the Design District. The project would include indoor gallery space and an outdoor sculpture garden. However, local residents are fighting the proposal because they feel that there will not be a significant benefit to the community. They also want to preserve the historic character of their neighborhood.
43:46 – Morris Broad and Paul C. Savage joined the show to talk about the debate over the Bay Harbor Continental Co-op and whether it should be designated as historic. Part of the issue concerns whether or not an historical designation can be reversed. Morris and Paul talked with Grant about balancing the needs for preservation with progress. Morris believes that the Continental should not be designated historic to allow for future redevelopment.
56:11 – Daniel Ciraldo joined the show to talk about historic preservation. He advocated maintaining the historic buildings in our community, including the Continental. His organization advocated preserving the Miami Modern architecture found on the Bay Harbor Islands in the zoning appeal. UPDATE: The appeal to overturn the historic designation for the Continental was granted.
1:06:50 – Grant was joined by J. J. Colagrande, Brandon Mowry, and Darren Bentley to talk sports. They talked about NBA free agency and about the Miami Heat’s moves to acquire Gerald Green and Amar’e Stoudamire. They also talked about the free agent situation with the rest of the NBA as well.
1:26:22 – J. J. Colagrande spoke with local photographer and filmmaker Tabatha Mudra who talked about the Miami 48 Hour Film Festival and her team’s film, Souvenir, which won Best Film of 2015, qualifying it for the international festival. They talked about the process of the festival and specifically about the film.
1:39:16 – J. J. spoke with comedian and Miami-native J. C. Currais who will be recording a live album at the Comedy Inn this coming Friday night at 9:30. For more information, visit comedyinn.com.
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.
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.
17 March 2015 Brandon Mowry
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.
4 March 2015 Brandon Mowry
Village of Pinecrest mayor Cindy Lerner and City of South Miami mayor Phillip Stoddard joined the #OnlyInMiami Show to discuss the plans proposed by Florida Power & Light to construct high-tension transmission lines along the US-1 corridor from their nuclear power facility at Turkey Point through the cities of Pinecrest, South Miami, Coral Gables, and more. The mayors talked about alternative plans and about the very lucrative deal that FPL would receive from the state legislature, allowing them to access state funding at the beginning of construction and for raised rates on consumers after that. They also talked about burying the lines underground instead of constructing tall towers along Main Street.
The Village of Pinecrest has created an excellent source of information regarding this project. Visit their website for more information: http://www.pinecrest-fl.gov/index.aspx?page=512
24 February 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 65 of the Only In Miami Show featured an interview with elected Miami-Dade County School Board Member Raquel Regalado, who is involved in more than school board issues in Miami-Dade County.
Host Grant Stern talked about Walmart’s continuing plans to colonize all of Miami and the Rally for the Rocklands / Shame on The U protest on Friday, February 27th from 3-6pm at the University Metrorail Station. This Walmart war is over south Miami-Dade’s native pine rocklands surrounding to Zoo Miami which University of Miami recently sold to a developer Ram Realty.
Racquel Regalado joins the show after 7 minutes to speak about her personal #OnlyInMiami story and about the need to preserve our local history and pursue a consensus land use policy. Raquel also disucssed transparency issues in local government and about her fight against the recent courthouse bond question. She also spent a few minutes discussing her recent lawsuit with Norman Braman in opposition to the SkyRise subsidies.
At the beginning of the second hour, VP of Curation Michael Knoll of History Miami joined the show to talk about the Community Photo Gallery, a project he operates with funding from the Knight Arts Challenge.
Finally, Grant was joined by Drastic Fanatic for the Sports Hour, which included a special interview with Mike Heineman, who is the president of the Miami Heat’s development league affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.