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Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez Answers Your Questions – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 85

14 July 2015

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez Answers Your Questions – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 85

Episode 85 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured interviews with Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Jimenez, Basil Binns and Robin Porter, and Morris Broad.

Hour 1

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.

Hour 2

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.

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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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