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.
19 May 2015 Brandon Mowry
Episode 77 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured interviews with Andrea Cuccaro, Art Herrera, and Pam Larry, all of whom talked about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and how they are affecting our food supply.
Grant began the show by talking about the proposed development in the pine rocklands adjacent to Zoo Miami. The developer, Ram Realty, submitted a 500-page habitat conservation plan to the federal government; however, it has come to light that the developers, in conjunction with the University of Miami, conspired to degrade the site and eliminate some of the protected species. Concerned citizens are urged to write to their county, state, and federal representatives encouraging them to act to preserve this very endangered natural habitat.
Andrea Cuccaro then joined the show to talk about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), particularly in terms of how they relate to our food supply. Andrea is one of the organizers of the March Against Monsanto, which will occur this Saturday, May 23 at 2pm. The march will begin at the Adrienne Arsht Center MetroMover station, then march north along Biscayne Boulevard. Featured speakers include Jill Stein, the 2012 (and potential 2016) presidential nominee from the Green Party, Trish Sheldon from GMO Free Florida, Sam Van Leer from the Urban Paradise Guild, and others. For more information about the march, visit their event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/847841778587193/. She also talked about what GMOs are and why they are an issue. She stated that several diseases have been linked to GMOs, but as of right now, food manufacturers are not required to indicate their presence on the label.
Art Hererra then called in to talk about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an international trade agreement currently being negotiated, and how it would affect GMO production and labelling. For example, the agreements in this pact would supersede any existing federal or state law regarding labelling of GMOs. For more information and ongoing updates, follow the GMO Free Florida page on Facebook.
Andrea then spoke about certain bills that have been proposed in the Florida legislature relating to GMOs. HB 351 would require accurate labelling of food products as to whether they contain GMOs. It was sponsored by Michelle Vasilinda, a Democratic state representative from Tallahassee. Unfortunately, the bill died in subcommittee at the end of the legislative session.
Pam Larry, the self-described initial instigator of California’s Prop 37 which would have required GMO labelling, joined the show to talk about her push to limit GMOs. She talked about the state of the debate in Congress, where certain bills like H.R.1599 would seek to limit the ability of states to require GMO labelling. She also talked about the Boxer-DeFasio (H.R.913 and S.511) bill which is much more favorable to the notion of standardized GMO labelling. For more information and to connect with like-minded activists, visit www.gmoactionalliance.org.
In the second hour, Grant returned to the idea of conservation and how it affects the GMO labelling movement. Producer Brandon Mowry talked about the news from last week where the South Florida Water Management District voted to kill the deal to purchase agriculture land owned by U.S. Sugar. The land would have been used to clean water headed for the Everglades from pollutants. This will be an ongoing issue, and concerned citizens should contact their representatives to let them know their feelings on this important conservation issue.
Finally, the guys talked sports, including the NBA Playoffs that are now down to the conference finals, the firing of Marlins manager Mike Redmon and subsequent hiring of Dan Jennings, and the signing of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a long-term deal.
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
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.
8 January 2015 Grant Stern
On Episode 58 of the Only In Miami Show, longtime local journalist Al Sunshine joined Grant Stern to discuss plans created by real estate developers to build a commercial center, apartments, and a theme park on the environmentally-sensitive pine rockland tracts adjacent to Zoo Miami in southern Miami-Dade County. Recently, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss put out a proposal that would declare the area a “blighted slum” and establish a community redevelopment agency to oversee future plans for the area. This appears to be an plan to make an end-run around environmental regulations that would protect an area like this. A rally is planned for Saturday, January 17 at 2pm – for more details, visit the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1518501615081294/?fref=ts.
17 December 2014 Brandon Mowry
Board of County Commissioners
Commissioner Dennis Moss
Florida City Office
In an ongoing demonstration of how the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners believe the exist only to serve big business, Commissioner Dennis Moss, whose district includes the environmentally-sensitive tract of pine rockland habitat adjacent to Zoo Miami, has drafted a resolution to declare that area “blighted slum” in an effort to circumvent environmental protection laws. The area in question, whose rich biodiversity provides a habitat for many unique organisms, including the Miami tiger beetle once thought to be extinct, was recently sold by the University of Miami to a developer who intends to construct apartments and retail spaces, including a Walmart. A full hearing will be held in January; stay connected to the Only In Miami Show for ongoing updates. In the meantime, feel free to let Commissioner Moss know how you feel about the project. His contact information appears to the right.