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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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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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Mayors Cindy Lerner and Phillip Stoddard Talk About FPL

4 March 2015

Mayors Cindy Lerner and Phillip Stoddard Talk About FPL

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

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Mayors Cindy Lerner and Phillip Stoddard Talk Conservation and Energy – Only In Miami, Ep. 66

3 March 2015

Mayors Cindy Lerner and Phillip Stoddard Talk Conservation and Energy – Only In Miami, Ep. 66

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.

JennyLee Molina joined the show to discuss 305 Cafecito and their upcoming event, 305 Day. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/305cafecito.

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 josieromero@dadeshools.net.

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

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