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.
6 March 2015 Brandon Mowry
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:
3 March 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 66 of the #OnlyInMiami Show began with an editorial by Grant Stern urging residents who care about preserving what is left of native Florida habitat to make their voices heard at the County Commission meeting on Tuesday, March 3 in opposition to the plan to pave over a native pine rockland forest adjacent to Zoo Miami. For ongoing information, visit the Miami Pine Rockland Coalition website, connect with them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
Sebastian Rusk then joined the show to talk about his book, “Social Media Sucks (if you don’t know what you’re doing).” He will be having a book signing at Books and Books next Monday. For more information, visit his website: SebastianRusk.com.
Then, Grant was joined by Pinecrest mayor Cindy Lerner, who talked about her city and her views on conservation, development, and smart growth. Mayor Lerner was then joined by South Miami mayor Phillip Stoddart who talked about FPL’s plan to construct transmission lines along US-1 through Pinecrest, South Miami, and Coral Gables. The two mayors discussed the reasons why FPL was resistant to alternative alignments or underground lines.
In the second hour, Grant was joined by Josie Romero of the Miami-Dade Public Schools to talk about the upcoming Parade of the Stars talent show sponsored by the school district. For more information, or to apply to perform, call 305.261.8383 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drastic Fanatic joined the show to talk a little sports, including a preview of the upcoming baseball season, specifically, the state of the NL East.
Bea Garcia joined the show to talk about the upcoming Formula E series race that will be held on the street of downtown Miami in a few weeks. The motorsports series features electric racecars on city center street courses.
Finally, Sol Ruiz of Picadillo joined the show to talk about her Miami roots, her band Picadillo, and their upcoming performance at Carnaval on the Mile. For more information about the festival, visit carnavalmiami.com
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.
22 January 2015 Brandon Mowry
Howard Tonkin joined the show to talk about the neighborhood’s viewpoint regarding a North Miami Walmart plan to build over the last flyspeck of old growth palms in a drainage easement.
North Miami residents are also opposing the construction of a Walmart Neighborhood Market in their community.
It seems that Walmart is trying to take over South Florida piece by piece, and yet, many residents are fighting back against Walmart sprawl.
The proposal to build a Walmart store in Midtown has been met with significant local opposition, and the residents of Kendall are up in arms over the proposal to develop a the last major portion of native pine rocklands adjacent to Zoo Miami off of Coral Reef Drive to include a Walmart.
20 January 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 60 of the Only In Miami Show began with host Grant Stern talking about a concerning situation in Tallahassee where Governor Rick Scott, whose administration and agencies (and quite possibly the governor himself) are being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), unilaterally forced the head of the FDLE to resign. Conveniently, the only person authorized to investigate this potential abuse of power is Rick Scott, who will likely not spend a great deal of time investigating himself! It is up to us, the citizens of Florida, to demand good government and transparency in its dealings.
Grant was then joined by Yeshi Milner of Miami’s Power U Center, an organization dedicated to organizing community involvement to preserve neighborhoods, fight for reproductive justice, and address a whole host of other social issues facing our community. She spoke at length about the non-indictments of Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and Daniel Pantaleo, a New York City police officer who performed a non-sanctioned choke hold on Eric Garner on Staten Island, NY, eventually leading to Garner’s death. She also talked about the protests that were organized in Miami during the Art Basel festival in early December and about the recent revelations that the North Miami Beach police department was using mugshots of people they had arrested for target practice in their gun range. A protest at the headquarters of the North Miami Beach police department (16901 NE 19th Avenue, North Miami Beach, FL 33162) will be held on Tuesday, January 20 from 6pm to 9pm.
Grant was also joined by Marta Viciedo, founder of the Transit Action Committee. She spoke about the 2015 Transportation Summit sponsored by the Citizen’s Independent Transportation Trust, which will be held on Thursday, January 22 on Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. She also spoke about the purpose of the Transit Action Committee, which advocates for smart growth when it comes to transportation improvements in Miami-Dade County.
The first hour concluded with an interview with Howard Tonkin, a citizen activist who has been opposing national retail giant Walmart’s plans to build a supercenter in North Miami. The problem with their plan is that the land on which they are planning to build is in the middle of a residential area. Building a Walmart there would subject residents to delivery trucks using residential streets to access the store. Not only that, the land in question is notorious for flooding. Walmart plans to elevate their land, meaning that the water will gather in the neighborhood streets, causing more flooding issues for residents.
At the beginning of the second hour, The Time Zookeeper, lead singer for local band Telekinetic Walrus, stopped by the show to talk about the band and about the Virginia Key Grassroots Music Festival, which is coming up on February 19.
Finally, the guys talked sports, including the NFL Conference championship games this past weekend and the upcoming Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.