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.
23 June 2015 Brandon Mowry
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.
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.
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.
18 June 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 81 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured an interview with local film director Joe Cardona.
Grant Stern began the show with an editorial comment talking about the newly christened (albeit unofficially) Dan Paul Park and the event that was hosted this past Saturday by Emerge Miami and the Urban Environment League of Greater Miami. The park is commonly known as Parcel B, a four acre tract of land between the AmericanAirlines Arena and Biscayne Bay. It was supposed to be developed into a public park by the arena’s main tenant, the Miami Heat, but still remains undeveloped more than a decade after the completion of the AAA. Grant talked about the park’s namesake, a lawyer and civic philanthropist who fought for public green space. He also thanked the many organizers who contributed to the event.
Grant was then joined by local documentary film director Joe Cardona, whose films, including Miami Boheme and The Day It Snowed in Miami, have won several awards. He began by talking about his childhood (during which the day it snow occurred) and about what Miami was like back then. He talked about how the issue of gay rights was very much a hot-button issue, where non-discrimination ordinances were passed, then repealed and not adopted again until twenty years later. Joe and Grant also spoke about how some areas of Miami-Dade (notably, Miami Beach and Coconut Grove) are have lost some of their unique character and charm due to small local businesses being pushed aside in favor of national chains.
Grant was then joined by Dave McDougall and Justin Wales of Emerge Miami who talked about the weekend’s event at Dan Paul Park. They talked briefly about the history of the parcel and how it was supposed to be developed by the Heat to be a park but is now being used as a valet parking lot. They also talked about the conversations they have had with city leaders about how to develop it as a true public space. For more information about Emerge Miami, visit their website at emergemiami.com or follow them on Twitter at @EmergeMiami.
Grant and Joe then continued their conversation, focusing on the Dan Paul Park site and the plan for a Cuban-American history museum for the site. They also talked about his views on the future of the Cuban-American community in Miami and the Little Havana neighborhood.
At the beginning of the second hour, Grant was joined by Bruce Wayne Stanley of the Miami-Dade Green Party who talked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which, if ratified, would be the largest international free trade agreement. He said that the TPP would harm workers in this country by making it easier to move their jobs overseas and it could also provide a much greater degree of corporate immunity, making it harder to average citizens to effect change to the regulation of business. The discussions of the terms of the agreement have been so secretive that even some members of Congress do not know the full details of the treaty. For more information, visit stopfasttrack.org or search Twitter using the hashtag #TPPFastTrack
Grant was then joined by the Drastic Fanatic and Darrin Bentley talking about sports. They talked about the Marlins and the return of Jose Fernandez as well as the NBA Finals. They talked about whether the Cavs had reached the end of the road. They also talked about the impending NBA offseason and what moves might be made and what they would mean.
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.
26 May 2015 Brandon Mowry
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.
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.
14 April 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 72 of the #OnlyinMiami show featured interviews with Commissioner Xavier Suarez from the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and journalist Carlos Miller from the Miami-based national news website, photographyisnotacrime.com.
Grant began the show talking about recent discussions to route approximately half Tri-Rail commuter trains into the proposed downtown Miami terminus of the All Aboard Florida intercity train. The trains would travel north using the Florida East Coast right-of-way from downtown through the neighborhoods of Wynwood, Midtown, the Design District, Morningside, and the Upper East Side before turning to the west to join the existing line just south of the Metrorail Transfer station. The move would not only allow commuters from Broward and Palm Beach counties to easily travel into downtown Miami, but would also potentially allow new stations in some of these neighborhoods as well.
Then, Grant was joined by Carlos Miller, a local journalist and photographer who is the founder and publisher of Miami-based national news website, photographyisnotacrime.com. The site focuses on issues of police and government accountability and upholding constitutional rights for photographers and videographers. They talked about the recent police shooting of Walter Scott by a police officer in North Charleston, SC, where a citizen journalist was able to record a video of a police encounter gone wrong. The video shows the suspect fleeing a police officer when he was shot in the back five times by the same officer. The incident has made national news because the video appears to contradict the report made by the officer after the incident. Carlos also talked about another incident out of Oklahoma, where a reserve deputy, intending to discharge his Tazer to subdue a man, ended up using his gun instead, killing the man, Eric Harris.
Grant and Carlos were then joined by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez. They talked first about the issue of police-worn body cameras and whether footage from these cameras should be available to the public under government sunshine laws and what exceptions are reasonable to expect. They also talked generally about police accountability and how best to achieve it. Then, the conversation moved to Miami-Dade politics and whether or not Commissioner Suarez would seek the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s seat. Commissioner Suarez said that he was considering the possibility, but that he felt that it was too soon to begin campaigning and raising funds with some of the issues and needs facing the city, including the pressing need for transit expansion. Finally, they talked about the need for citizens to be able to hold their government accountable and the methods that should be available for them.
In the second hour, Grant was joined by Annik Adey-Babinsky to talk about the O, Miami poetry festival which will be taking place throughout Miami during the month of April. She talked about some of the upcoming events, including the O, Wolfsonian event, where museum visitors are encouraged to write a poem about one of the pieces in the collection. The event will happen this Friday from 1pm to 9pm. She also shared some poetry from visitors to last year’s festival’s O, Wolfsonian event. For more information about O, Miami festival events, visit their website, omiami.org.
Then, as usual, Grant was joined by Drastic Fanatic and Jose el Rey to talk sports. The NBA regular season is winding down, and the guys talked about the prospects for the Heat to make the postseason. They also talked about their predictions for the NBA’s second season and who might be able to come out of the East and the West. Finally, they spent a few minutes talking about the upcoming NFL Draft and how the Dolphins might approach it.