With Election Day looming, there is a tension in the air all across America that even a diligent disregarder of politics can’t help but feel. The heated presidential contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, with its bottomless negativity and relentless fear-mongering, has brought the tension to new heights, but, in truth, America now exists in a perpetual state of hyper-partisan apoplexy, and has for all of the 21st Century.
With the presidential election one week away, newspaper editorial boards across the country are announcing their endorsements. In Florida, the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times endorsed President Barack Obama while the Orlando Sentinel and the Sun Sentinel threw their weight behind Republican challenger Mitt Romney. For its part, the Palm Beach Post is choosing not to endorse a candidate for president and is instead presenting a case for each candidate to its readers.
Cindy Hewitt is a former employee at the Miami-based plant of Dade Behring, a defunct medical company that Mitt Romney’s buyout company, Bain Capital, took over and lead to bankruptcy in the ’90s. For more background on the controversial takeover, see the related links at the end of the op-ed. Beached Miami does not necessarily endorse Hewitt’s views.
During election years, politicians love to talk about creating jobs. Creating jobs is something I know quite a bit about.
On Saturday, September 1, journalist Amy Goodman, co-founder of the independent news program Democracy Now (broadcast daily on radio, television, and online), spoke at Books and Books’ Coral Gables location about her new book, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope. Muhammed Malik and Subhash Kateel, co-producer and host, respectively, of the Miami-based weekly radio show Let’s Talk About It, interviewed Goodman after the event to discuss The Silenced Majority, which she co-authored with Denis Moynihan, and the state of media and politics during this heated 2012 election cycle.
On Tuesday, the community-activist group 1Miami is rallying at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami to call on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour ($7.67/hour in Florida) to an even $10/hour. The following is a joint op-ed by Wynwood resident Juana Reyes and Overtown resident Karla Silva, who work as janitors downtown and will be participating in the rally.
In the news, we see many stories about the big companies whose offices we clean in the Southeast Financial Center in downtown Miami.
In town for a Miami Book Fair tour date, cartoonist Sarah Glidden visited the Occupy Miami encampment at Government Center downtown earlier in November to get a feel for the wide-spread movement’s Magic City iteration. The result of her observations and several interviews is the Occupy Miami sketchbook, the latest chapter in an ongoing series of “picto-essays” on cartoonmovement.com.
Glidden’s sketchbook begins at a cafe on Biscayne Boulevard, where a group of suspicious cops help her decide between a medianoche and a classic Cuban sandwich. It goes on to record her experience at the camp itself (aka “Peace City”), which began its occupation in mid-October, her conversations with various protesters, and her observations of Occupy Miami’s “Day Of Action” march through the Financial District on Nov. 17. Written from the perspective of a sympathetic outsider (“This is not really what I was expecting when I came to Miami”) and stocked with illustrations on every page, the Occupy Miami sketchbook offers a fresh look at perhaps the nation’s most overlooked Occupy Wall Street-inspired protest. To view the sketchbook in full, click on the image below. To learn more about Glidden and her latest book, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, visit smallnoises.com.
In today’s Herald, Andres Viglucci provides grim analysis of what will happen to South Florida if — when — Governor Rick Scott signs measures that would mortally wound the department in charge of keeping suburban sprawl from gobbling up the Everglades. An excerpt:
Measures approved by the Florida Legislature with little scrutiny or debate in the waning moments of this year’s session would dismantle the state oversight that has acted as the principal brake on repeated efforts by the county commission to breach the line for new development.
The measures, almost sure to be signed by business-friendly Gov. Rick Scott, would significantly water down the state’s 25-year-old growth-management system, giving counties and municipalities far greater freedom to amend the local comprehensive development plans that are meant to control suburban sprawl.
“In time,” Viglucci continues, opponents of the measure fear “Miami-Dade will look like Broward County — fully paved from the Atlantic Ocean to the Everglades dike, with no remaining agricultural land.”
In blatant disregard of Florida’s millions of vacant dwellings and hundreds of millions of unused commercial square footage, Gov. Scott will likely approve the measures in the name of jobs, jobs, jobs. The ramifications are ominous for the fragile Everglades, itself the unsung and underutilized economic engine of the Sunshine State. (A recent study suggests restoring the national park could net Florida more than $100 billion.)
Indeed, there is a lot at stake in a battle that already seems to be lost. As Viglucci writes at the end of the article, “Former Democratic Florida governor and U.S. senator Bob Graham, in a joint letter with Nathaniel Pryor Reed, a Republican who served as assistant Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Nixon and Ford, called on Scott to veto the measures, calling them a ‘massive assault’ on 30 years of mostly effective growth management, and a potentially pivotal moment in state history.”
Pivotal, yes, but turning the wrong way.
Read Viglucci’s article in full on miamiherald.com.
Three years after Gregory Horowitz killed himself in a motel room, leaving behind a suicide note that accused North Miami councilman Scott Galvin of molesting him as a child, the North Miami Police Department has reopened its investigation of the suicide and the molestation allegation.
North Miami police spokesman Maj. Neal Cuevas confirmed to Beached Miami that the department has reopened the two “companion cases”, but Cuevas declined to say what prompted the decision. The news comes as North Miami residents are getting ready to decide whether to re-elect Galvin to a fourth term on May 10. [Update: Galvin easily won reelection, and North Miami police dropped their investigation..]
Back in late March, I recapped the Horowitz case after the Herald reported on an incident in which a North Miami resident confronted Galvin with the molestation charge at a March 22 city council meeting.
In 2008, Horowitz, 26 years old, shot himself with a chrome revolver in a North Miami motel called the White House Inn. Police found cocaine, oxycodone, morphine, and other drugs in his system. In a suicide note, Horowitz accused Galvin and two other men of molesting him when he was 12 years old. At the time, Galvin, who is openly gay, admitted to having had a relationship with Horowitz when both men were adults, but denied the accusation in Horowitz’s suicide letter. North Miami police ultimately found no evidence to substantiate the molestation allegation and closed the case on Nov. 19, 2008. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office also declined to prosecute because of a lack of evidence.
It remains unclear why North Miami police decided to reopen both cases three years later.
Saturday’s Herald story “North Miami councilman said sex abuse allegations ‘shameless politics’” takes the reader to the heart of darkness. A recap: In 2008, a 26-year-old named Gregory Horowitz killed himself with a chrome revolver inside the White House Inn, a North Miami motel. Police found cocaine, oxycodone, morphine, and other drugs in his system, according to the Herald. In a suicide note, Horowitz accused openly gay councilman Scott Galvin and two other men of molesting him when he was 12 years old. Galvin admitted to having had a relationship with Horowitz when both men were adults, but denied the accusation in Horowitz’s suicide letter. North Miami police ultimately found no evidence to substantiate the allegation, and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office also declined to prosecute because of a lack of evidence, according to the Herald.
The story is back in the news after North Miami resident Jane Del Rosario alluded to “secret files” that Galvin had assaulted a 10-year-old boy at a city council meeting on Tuesday. “There must be something that’s being hidden,” said Rosario, imploring council members to investigate.
Galvin called Rosario’s claims false and accused her of doing the bidding of Edwin Hiram Quiñones, Galvin’s only opponent in the May 10 city election. “This is an assignation on my character,” Galvin said. “It’s all politically motivated.”
(Assignation means a secret rendezvous, especially between lovers. Galvin probably meant to say “an assassination on my character”. However understandable, the misusage may bring Freud back from the dead.)
Dear Governor Scott,
It’s one thing for you to deprive Floridians of the comfort of knowing they have an earthling, eyelids and all, in the Governor’s Mansion. It’s quite another to deprive them of a really cool toy like a bullet train (see below) to appease the Tea Party. Do you not realize they won’t be happy until we retrogress to wagons and galleys?
Listen: I acknowledge the existential absurdity of a train that carries passengers between Tampa and Orlando — two places no human deserves to be — at 160 mph. But how does turning down $2.4 billion in federal dough for a project that will employ thousands of Floridians square with “Let’s Get to Work”? And I know you’re very concerned about the debt — that whole historic Medicare fraud thing notwithstanding — but how does forfeiting the $2.4 billion to California help balance the nation’s books? I can’t make sense of any of it without reaching the cynical conclusion that it’s simply a cold calculation made in the interest of keeping your own job. Which, you know, could backfire. And I don’t think there is a train out of Tallahassee, let alone a bullet.
A Lowly Lad of the Lidded Masses