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.
9 July 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 84 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured an interview with Carlos Miller, founder and publisher of PhotographyIsNotACrime.com.
3:27 – Grant expressed his support for the recent resolution passed by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners condemning Donald Trump’s recent comments on immigration. Trump’s comments created outrage in the Latin American community and have cost him business relationships with Univision, NBC, and Macy’s.
8:35 – Grant welcomed Carlos Miller, founder and publisher of PhotographyIsNotACrime.com to the show. They spoke about a situation in Jacksonville where the acting chief judge for the Jacksonville County Court has issued an order that disallows any protests that are critical of the court or its judges on the courthouse grounds. The order is being challenged by PINAC as being a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution. UPDATE: The day after the show aired, the judge reconsidered his order and has scaled it back significantly. For ongoing coverage of this situation and other First Amendment violations, visit photographyisnotacrime.com.
12:41 – Local attorney Thomas Cobitz called into the show. He and Grant began by talking about the push to equip Miami-Dade police officers with body-worn cameras. They talked about Sunshine Law requirements for the video footage from these cameras. Thomas expressed concern for tipsters because of the likelihood for retaliation based on those they accused being able to request the footage to know who turned them in. Likewise, concern was expressed for making the inside of a private residence public record. Carlos Miller joined the conversation and talked about the length of time that videos should be preserved. Current legislation indicates that they would be preserved for 90 days. However, some defendants are held for that long or longer and may not be able to submit a records request until after the footage has been deleted. Cobitz argued that a fairer solution might be to preserve the footage until the statute of limitations for the crime has expired.
25:54 – Grant and Carlos were joined by PINAC’s Jacksonville-based reporter Jeffrey Gray, who talked about what he does for the website. He talked about his experience filming the courthouse in Jacksonville from a sidewalk that was not covered in the judge’s order and how he was approached by law enforcement and harassed anyway. Carlos talked about how PINAC will respond, since credentialed media are exempted from the order, but the judge reserves the right to determine who is or is not credentialed media.
41:49 – Grant was joined by Timothy Canova, who talked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a trade agreement that many are troubled by. One such aspect is that businesses could challenge U.S. law and have their case decided by a trade arbitrators. This could have implications for environmental law, as corporations could potentially appeal such laws to an arbitrator to avoid compliance or to receive compensation. For more information about this ongoing debate, visit isdscorporateattacks.org or search Twitter for the hashtag #stopTPP.
47:14 – Grant continued his conversation with Carlos Miller talking about a civil action in Jacksonville to protest Chief Judge Mahon’s order. PINAC is sponsoring a meet-up and protest at the Duval County Courthouse on July 20. They also talked about the case of Michale Hoffman, who was arrested for holding a sign critical of the Transportation Security Administration at the Jacksonville airport.
56:15 – Grant welcomed local composer Jim Camacho to the show. He talked about his upcoming show on Saturday, July 11 at 8:30pm at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center that will feature his compositions, including a world premiere. For more information or tickets, visit smdcac.org. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
1:08:02 – Grant, J.J. Colagrande, and Brandon Mowry talked sports, reveling in the fact that the Heat and Dwyane Wade have come to terms and looking forward to the coming Heat season. They also talked about free agency for the rest of the league, including admiration for what the Spurs were able to achieve in free agency.
1:28:20 – J.J. Colagrande interviewed Forrest Shaw, a comedian in L.A. who grew up here in Miami. They talked about his career and his upcoming show at Gramps in Wynwood. He will be appearing on July 15 with a few other comedians. For more information, follow Forrest on Twitter (@forrestshaw) for information on upcoming shows and links to purchase tickets.
1:39:31 – Grant, J.J., and Brandon continued talking sports. They talked about the U.S. Women’s National Team and their big Women’s World Cup victory this past Sunday. They also lamented losing Giancarlo Stanton for a couple weeks due to his hand injury.
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.
21 April 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 73 of the #OnlyInMiami Show featured interviews with Steve Janowicz of Patients Out Of Time, Fred Frost of Stop the TPP, and Jag Davies from the Drug Policy Alliance.
The show began with Grant Stern talking about the initiative to legalize marijuana for medical use in Florida. He stressed the need to be properly registered to vote and to do so when issues like this arise.
Grant was then joined by Steve Janowicz from Patients Out Of Time, who talked about the upcoming conference on medical marijuana that will be held in West Palm Beach from May 21 to 23. For more information about the conference, visit patientsoutoftime.org.
Then, Fred Frost joined the show to talk about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a trade agreement involving twelve different countries bordering the Pacific Ocean. This agreement has been kept mostly quiet from the public, but deserves attention due to the devastating effects it could have for the American worker. In essence, it would easily allow American companies to outsource certain labor to countries like Vietnam, where workers are paid only 70¢ per hour. This could result in a vast quantity of American manufacturing jobs being moved overseas, since labor costs would be significantly reduced. For more information and updates, visit cwa-union.org or search Twitter using the hashtag #StopTheTPP.
Steve Janowicz then talked about in more detail about Amendment 2 in the 2014 election which would have legalized marijuana use for medical purposes. The amendment received almost 58% of the vote, yet failed because it required to be passed by a supermajority of 60%. Steve detailed that turnout and undervotes in the populous counties like Miami-Dade contributed to the amendment not being adopted. He also talked about the disparity in advertising in the closing weeks before the election as another reason why the initiative failed. Finally, Steve and Grant talked about the differences between competing legalization plans, including limits for medical use only to full legalization for anyone.
At the bottom of the hour, Jag Davies from the Drug Policy Alliance joined the show to talk about civil asset forfeiture laws, which basically allow law enforcement agencies to confiscate personal property and/or money if certain criteria are met. Jag related that approximately 75% of people who have had property seized are never convicted of a crime. It has become a four billion dollar industry for police departments across the country. The Drug Policy Alliance issued a report in the Los Angeles Times in which they report on the actions of a number of small municipalities in Los Angeles County who are illegally creating department budgets based on future civil forfeitures. They tend to prey on lower income minorities who have a hard time fighting to have their things returned because of the time and money required. It seems as though police are using these laws as a legal means to steal. For more information about civil forfeiture, read the L.A. Times here. For more information about the Drug Policy Alliance, visit drugpolicy.org or follow them on Twitter at @DrugPolicyOrg.
At the beginning of the second hour, Grant spoke with Sarah Trudgeon (@SarahTrudge) from the O, Miami poetry festival happening throughout April. She talked about how she got her start in poetry and read a poem called 2006. For more information about Sarah, visit saratrudgeon.wordpress.com, and for more information about the O, Miami festival, visit omiami.org.
Then, Grant was joined by Shayne Leighton (@shayneleighton), a South Florida musician whose first recording, Invincible, was just released. She is also about to start out on her Rock It Like a Redhead Beauty Tour. She talked about her musical inspirations and shared a few tracks from her EP. For more information about Shayne or her tour information, visit shayneleighton.com or follow her on Twitter at @shayneleighton.
Finally, Grant was joined by Drastic Fanatic to talk sports. They started out talking Marlins and Mets baseball and how the Marlins can’t wait to get Jose Fernandez back in the starting rotation. They were then joined by Surya Fernandez of Hot Hot Hoops (@hothothoops) to talk about the Heat who have now begun their longest off-season in a long time. They talked about the team’s chances in the lottery and the offseason dealings that the Heat could engage in.
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.
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.
31 March 2015 Brandon Mowry
Grant Stern started the show by talking about local efforts opposing Walmart development in the Richmond pine rocklands and in Midtown Miami. He indicated that there are several reports that are forthcoming that will detail that the University of Miami was using a portion of its south campus as a nuclear waste dump. The university reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency that was kept quiet. Grant also updated everyone on the status of the Midtown Walmart project. It came to light on Monday that Walmart has asked the appeals court for a speedy resolution of the issues, because if they don’t begin construction very soon, the property will revert back to DDR, who is the mall development company responsible for the Midtown development. Grant also filed an amicus curae brief summarizing the problems with Walmart’s permit. For more information and to receive updates as they become available, visit facebook.com/nowalmartinmidtown.
Grant was then joined by Natalia Napoleon de Bens and Lauren Fernandez. They talked about the StartUp Miami conference sponsored by The Atlantic. They also talked about their own startup, Lemon City Teas, which started last year and produces Miami-inspired tea blends. They talked about how they started their company and some of the things that make them unique, such as the fact that they were founded by four first-generation American women. They also spoke about how they have expanded their market by working with local bars to create tea-infused cocktails. For more information about Lemon City Teas, visit their website at lemoncitytea.com, connect with them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter at @LemonCityTeas, or check out their pictures on Instagram at @LemonCityTea.
Later, Tamara Wendt, Executive Director for The Lab Miami, stopped by the show to talk about some of the startups that have launched from that space in Wynwood. The Lab is a co-working site where members can use the office facilities and resources to create their own companies. It is currently host to a diverse group of professionals, including lawyers, software developers, designers, and others. She also talked about the neighborhood of Wynwood and what it is like to work there. For more information about The Lab Miami, visit their website: http://thelabmiami.com/, follow them on Twitter at @thelabmiami or on Instagram at @thelabmiami.
In the second hour, Mia Vassilev and Georgi Danchev from the Miami Piano Circle stopped by the studio to talk about their upcoming concert presentation, American Grands, which will be held at the New World Center on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 8:00pm. It will feature ten grand pianos playing arrangements of composers such as Scott Joplin, John Phillip Sousa, and many more. Mia and Georgi talked about how they came up with the concept for the show and shared some music from a show from last year entitled Miami Grands. For more information, visit their website at www.miamipianocircle.com or connect with them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/miamipianocircle
Finally, as usual, Drastic Fanatic joined the show to talk sports, including many NBA teams’ push to to the playoffs (or a great quantity of ping pong balls if you’re the New York Knicks). They talked about the Heat’s prospects looking to the postseason and looked at the the other teams in the race, including the Indiana Pacers, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Boston Celtics. They also talked about the offseason pickups in the NFL, particularly the AFC East’s New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.
10 March 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 67 of the #OnlyInMiami Show featured a preview of the Calle 8 festival occurring this weekend in Little Havana in Miami.