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Wyncode Academy and #MiamiTech – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 80

9 June 2015

Wyncode Academy and #MiamiTech – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 80

Episode 80 of the #OnlyInMiami Show featured interviews with some of the participants of the recent WynCode pitch night.

Grant began the show by commenting about multiple issues facing the Miami-Dade County government. He talked about the nine-month shutdown of the Venetian Causeway and the impact that it will have upon annual events like Art Basel. Grant urged the county to release more funding to be able to speed up construction to finish in time for the winter season. Grant also talked about the three projects proposed for the Park West neighborhood. One project would include a 600 foot tower whose sole purpose would be LED advertising. He encouraged the project developers to create affordable housing first rather than advertising so that the technopark they want to create will have people to work there. Finally, Grant talked about the Miami WorldCenter project whose application for funding had its first reading in front of the  Miami-Dade Commission this past week. He mentioned that there is a lawsuit that has been filed claiming a lack of adequate public notice for some of the hearings.

Grant was then joined by members of Outnix, a cadre of developers from WynCode Academy who won the recent Cincode pitch night. They are building an app that will allow local bars to post the games they will be showing so that sports fans can find the game they want to see at the bar they want to go to. The team talked about how they came together and about the WynCode Academy, a nine-week intensive bootcamp that teaches people from all experience levels how to code using current technology like Javascript and Ruby on Rails. For more information on WynCode Academy, visit their website at http://wyncode.co/ or follow them on Twitter at @wyncode.

Grant continued talking about Wyncode Academy by speaking with another development team from Wyncode Academy. Their app, Coffee Break, saves user preferences and places orders automatically to speed the time from when you feel the need for a caffeine fix to when you actually get it. The app’s developers spoke about their experiences at Wyncode Academy as well.

At the beginning of the second hour, Grant spoke with Mark Hart, the Executive and Artistic Director of the Community Arts Program, which consists of two basic components. The Summer Concert Series hosts renowned classical and jazz artists every other Thursday night at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ. Mark talked about this summer’s series and the artists who are coming up. The other component is a community outreach that provides musical education to area middle and high school students in both the classical and jazz arenas. They are the recipients of a recent Knight Arts Challenge grant to develop a Jazz Institute to offer instruction in this uniquely American art form. For more information about the Community Arts Program, visit their website at http://www.communityartsprogram.org or follow them on Twitter at @CommArtsProgram.

Finally, Grant, Darrin, Brandon, and the Drastic Fanatic talked sports, specifically the NBA Finals. The guys talked about the past two games and their expectations for the rest of the series.

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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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Discussing Medical Marijuana, TPP, and Civil Forteiture – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 73

21 April 2015

Discussing Medical Marijuana, TPP, and Civil Forteiture – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 73

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.

TPP CountriesThen, 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.

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County Commissioner Xavier Suarez Talks About Issues Facing Miami – #OnlyInMiami Show, Ep. 72

14 April 2015

County Commissioner Xavier Suarez Talks About Issues Facing Miami – #OnlyInMiami Show, Ep. 72

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.

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Talking With the Women of StartUp Miami – Episode 70

31 March 2015

Talking With the Women of StartUp Miami – Episode 70

Episode 70 featured interviews with a few of the presenters from the StartUp Miami  conference sponsored by The Atlantic.

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.

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Raquel Regalado Talks About Transparency in Government – Only In Miami Show, Ep. 65

24 February 2015

Raquel Regalado Talks About Transparency in Government – Only In Miami Show, Ep. 65

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.

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Tony Guerra Talks About Eats ‘N Beats – Only In Miami Show, Ep. 64

17 February 2015

Tony Guerra Talks About Eats ‘N Beats – Only In Miami Show, Ep. 64

Miami is a city that always has something to do, and on episode 64 of the Only In Miami Show, we featured two local events coming up this weekend: Eats ‘N Beats and the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival.

The show started with guest host Drastic Fanatic talking with Tony Guerra about the 2015 edition of Eats ‘n Beats, a food and music event which will be held Saturday, February 21 in Miami’s Design District. They were joined by Chef Adrienne, who will be one of the featured chefs for the event. The event features local restaurants and chefs who will be offering samples of their menu. There will also be live music and DJs. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.eatsnbeatsmiami.com

We then turned our attention to another big event coming up this weekend: the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival. The Grassroots Festival consists of live music and dance performances, with stages set up around Virginia Key. DJ LaSpam from the Spam All-Stars called in to talk with Michael Mut about his music and his upcoming appearance at the festival. We also got a chance to listen to some of the All-Stars’ music throughout the show. We were also joined Ed Cardona, from Nag Champayons, who talked about the foundations of the band and their current gigs. For more information and to purchase tickets to the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival, visit virginiakeygrassroots.org

We finished up the show talking about the current happenings in the world of sports. We recapped the NBA All-Star Game and all of the surrounding events like the three-point contest and the dunk contest. We also talked a little about upcoming transactions, including Amar’e Stoudamire’s departure from the New York Knicks and where he might end up playing for the rest of the season.

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