Saturday, April 30, 2016

State Keeps Balking on Transit

    As the quest for funding six transit corridors gets focused, one natural source -- the state -- is proving exceedingly balky in helping any of the Miami-Dade initiatives. The Legislature rejected all county attempts to support mass transit, while setting a budget so that $900 million gets spent in the coming year on county roads and highway expansion. Show Me the Money, Part 102. Full story is HERE.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Zapata: Stop Building till Traffic Fixed

    In what could be a portent for major changes in local transit and development, Miami-Dade Commissioner Juan Zapata is demanding a building moratorium in his West End district until the area's horrendous traffic woes are addressed. The LBA says that could be a disaster, but experts say that regulators should address transportation matters the same way they consider water and sewer requirements before a development is approved. Full story is HERE.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Half-Penny to fund SMART plan?

Show me the money, part 101: When it comes to discussing the future transit in Miami-Dade, a key element is the half-penny transportation sales tax -- a fund that is supposed to be overseen by a watchdog agency, which has persistently approved spending in ways that voters didn't want. When can the half-penny start funding the 12 corridors approved last week? Full story HERE.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Key Transit Questions Unanswered

 While county leaders were ecstatic last week after agreeing to move forward simultaneously on developing 12 rapid transit corridors, the politicians achieved unanimity in transit by avoiding the hard questions of what corridors should go first and how to pay for them.
    While the mayor and transit director didn't mention key figures in their talks to the MPO, the accompanying written report and slide presentation did show that there are vast disparities in how much the routes are currently used and the associated costs of creating new rail lines. The North and Kendall lines in particular could be very expensive while having far fewer riders. Full story HERE.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Liberty Square Residents: Construction Now!

While some pastors said the bidding process was so skewed that it should start over, Liberty Square resident Takeria Allen had  one word to describe when she thought construction should begin:  "Now!"
    Allen was among the hundreds packed into the Liberty Square community center on Thursday evening to hear Mayor Carlos Gimenez and other speakers explain what Related Urban proposed to do in its $300-million redevelopment of Dade's oldest and largest public housing project. Full story HERE.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pastor Demands HUD investigation

   A prominent Liberty City pastor is demanding that HUD investigate the bidding process that resulted in the mayor recommending Related Urban do the $325 million makeover.
HUD is crucial because it must sign off on any deal before construction begins. Updated with Liu comments at 12:27 pm. Correction added 3 p.m. April 15. Full story HERE

Monday, April 11, 2016

Protests, electioneering at Liberty Square

     With a mayoral election looming, a pastors' protest at Liberty Square on Monday took on strong political overtones, with harsh criticism of Mayor Carlos Gimenez, an appearance by his top rival and -- perhaps a first for the county's oldest housing project -- an appearance by fervent animal rights activist Rita Schwartz. For photos and a report on the show, click HERE. I'll have a serious analysis of Related Group's final final proposal later.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Legend Continues

November 1978, Jonestown, Guyana: Jim Jones is at bottom right, face up, belly exposed, while a San Francisco Examiner photographer walks among the dead. Photo: Tim Chapman, Courtesy of HistoryMiami
es, it’s true: He once paid for a voodoo curse on a photo editor. (“It worked!”) True: He was able to rush off to the Jonestown massacre because he had $2000 in cash in his work locker. Yes, he slashed a TV camera operator’s cable because the crew was blocking his shot. Trying to stuff a snake down a driver’s throat? Well, that’s an exaggeration.
     Now, HistoryMiami is preparing an exhibit of his work. My story in Biscayne Times is available HERE

Friday, April 1, 2016

Transit App: Good and Bad

   A new, unpublicized GPS app for Miami-Dade Transit is working: (A) Pretty Darn Good, (B) Not So Good and (C) Spot on. That's three reactions -- two from regular bus commuters and one from my own observations. Full story is HERE.