Food Trucks barred from Art Walk, again [updated]

By | May 7th, 2012 | 3 Comments

There may be Storm Troopers but there reportedly won't be an official food truck gathering in Wynwood Saturday night. -- photo by Robby Campbell

The food truck roundup that typically accompanies Second Saturdays Art Walk in Wynwood will not happen this month, according to its organizer. Shortly after noon today, the manager of Sakaya Kitchen — whose owner, Richard Hales, organizes the roundup — sent the following message to the food truck community via email: “Unfortunately the Wynwood event is not going to happen this month on the lot; the City will not give the permission … See you hopefully next month.”

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Three Occupy Miami May Day protesters arrested amid violence

By | May 1st, 2012 | 2 Comments

An Occupy Miami protest in downtown on Tuesday, timed to coincide with May Day demonstrations by Occupiers across the country, involved a clash between protesters and police that ended with three arrests and accusations of violence by both sides.

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Walmart de Mexico scandal rocks retail giant

By | April 24th, 2012 | 4 Comments

Will the Walmart de Mexico scandal affect Walmart's plans to open its first Miami location? -- photo by Josh Haner/The New York Times

With Walmart trying to garner local support for a proposed two-story store in Midtown, which would be its first Miami location, the retail giant is dealing with the fallout from a hard-hitting, 8,000-word New York Times story on alleged widespread corruption in Mexico.

Update: “In Los Angeles, a Wal-Mart building permit is getting a once-over. In New York, the City Council is investigating a possible land deal with the retailer’s developer in Brooklyn. A state senator in California is pushing for a formal audit of a proposed Wal-Mart in San Diego. And in Boston and its suburbs, residents are pressuring politicians to disclose whether they have received contributions from the company.” — from “Wal-Mart’s U.S. Expansion Plans Complicated by Bribery Scandal” (NYT, 4/31/12)

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Art Walk food truck roundup back on this month

By | April 13th, 2012 | 2 Comments

After being shut down last month, the food truck roundup is back on for Saturday's Art Walk in Wynwood. -- photo by Robby Campbell

Love ‘em or lament ‘em, the food trucks are going to be back in full force at Art Walk Saturday night. The organizer of the food truck roundup, which sets up in a lot west of N.W. Second Avenue, between 22nd Street and 23rd Street, just sent out an email to all the trucks eligible for the event proclaiming, “WE HAVE A PERMIT AND THE EVENT IS OFFICIALLY ON! START TWEETING AND GET THE WORD OUT!”

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Grill Walmart: The retail giant answers your questions

By | April 10th, 2012 | 14 Comments
"How May I Help You?" by Robby Campbell

Walmart answers 10 of your questions about its plan to open its first Miami location. -- illustration by Robby Campbell

On March 29, we gave you the opportunity to grill Walmart on its controversial plan to open its first location in the City of Miami, a two-story store in Midtown, and scores of you took the opportunity to be heard in the form of post comments, emails, tweets, and Facebook postings.

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Liberty City community members remember, mourn Trayvon Martin

By | March 31st, 2012 | 1 Comment

This is a community contribution as part of Beached Miami and Open Media Miami’s joint commitment to provide community news and opinion.

With thousands expected to attend a related rally at Bayfront Park on Sunday, an array of Liberty City community members, diverse in age and ethnicity, gathered in a brightly painted room at the Belafonte Tacolcy Center on Friday to pray and come to terms with the controversial death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who was not officially arrested for the shooting.

A 17-year-old African American who attended Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School, Martin was visiting his father in Sanford, Fl., when Zimmerman shot him dead in an incident that has garnered international attention and outrage among those who see it as a case of deadly racial profiling. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense.

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Grill Walmart: The retail giant is fielding your questions

By | March 29th, 2012 | 18 Comments
"How May I Help You?" by Robby Campbell

Got questions about Walmart's plan to open its first Miami location? The retail giant is at your service. -- illustration by Robby Campbell

Walmart’s plan to open its first City of Miami location, a two-story store in Midtown, has sparked contentious debate between people who see it as a threat to an emerging neighborhood and others who see it as a boon to residents who will benefit from easy access to inexpensive goods and new jobs. With so much at stake, Beached Miami, which has been leading the local media with its coverage of the Midtown Walmart debate, asked the retail giant if it would field questions from our readers. To its credit, Walmart agreed to be grilled.

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Park may hinder construction of Midtown Walmart (by design?)

By | March 27th, 2012 | 7 Comments

There’s a new twist in the debate over Walmart and the future of Midtown Miami.

A developer opposed to the store opening in the neighborhood, Alex Vadia, has submitted to the City of Miami a preliminary design for “Mpark”, a new urban park to be located on a narrow strip of land on Midtown Boulevard near N.E. 29th Street. The location is significant: The park’s plan includes property that Walmart had planned to use to build the entrance for a parking garage with space for 650 cars.

MPark Rendering
A preliminary rendering of MPark

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Video: Miami high school students demand justice for Trayvon

By | March 26th, 2012 | No Comments

I’m truly moved by Miami students’ mature and engaged response to Trayvon Martin’s killing. But watching this video of a protest in front of Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, where both Trayvon and I went to school, I wonder: Where are the white students? Why aren’t they standing out there with their classmates?

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Major Midtown landowners clash over Walmart

By | March 22nd, 2012 | 4 Comments
Walmart via istockphoto

Two major Midtown landowners are battling over a proposed Walmart for the retail district. -- photo via istockphoto

The development company that owns Midtown Shops allegedly threatened to use an unorthodox legal tactic as part of its effort to bring Walmart to Midtown, one that the opposing lawyer called “distasteful” in a letter submitted to the City of Miami. That same letter also gives a hint of the legal and city code issues that could decide if the store is ever built or not.

The letter (in full below) is from Midtown Opportunities, a company managed by Alex Vadia that owns undeveloped land in Midtown and is opposed to Walmart’s plans to build a store in the neighborhood. The letter presents two key arguments:

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