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.
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.
17 February 2015 Brandon Mowry
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.
4 February 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 62 of the Only In Miami Show began with a remembrance of Jackie Jimenez – who ran #WPMIA and was very involved in building the Miami social media community. Jackie passed away unexpectedly this past week at the age of 28.
This episode features an interview with Mike B. Fernandez, local entrepreneur who discussed his recent memoir, Humbled By the Journey, and his personal #OnlyInMiami story.
Mike arrived in the United States from Cuba in the early 70s as a penniless immigrant to a philanthropic business mogul. Since then he’s bought, built and/or sold 25 local companies, the most recent of which being the Navarro Pharmacy chain.
Find the memoir at Books & Book or online here: http://www.booksandbooks.com/book/9780990520528
We also interviewed recording artist Chantil Dukart, who’s performing on Sunday, Feb. 22nd at the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival. You can find out more about her music, featured throughout the episode at www.chantilmusic.com and more about the festival at virginiakeygrassroots.org