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Tuesday, August 22, 2017



Proud to be at Francis' side for his historic filing.

He will be the next mayor.

He has already proven his capabilities to our family in dozens of ways as a compassionate and intelligent leader.

His commitment to diverse communities is unmatched.

For 8 years, he has represented our City Commission District with poise and is more than ready to graduate to citywide leadership.

Monday, August 21, 2017



Each day, dozens of younger voters and households with an eye on the future of Miami are meeting Ralph Rosado and pledging their support based on his expertise on urban issues and his strong roots in/commitment to community.

I predict he will win a close election and become an excellent replacement for the strong leadership that Francis Suarez -- our next mayor -- has given District 4.

Our family has proudly lived in District 4 four 16 years, have known Ralph Rosado as a friend and colleague for the same number of years and will support him at the upcoming election.

With all due respect to Ralph’s opponent Manolo Reyes, he has high name recognition because older voters mistakenly think he is the pioneering Cuban-American broadcaster of the exact same name -- the Manolo Reyes who passed away nearly a decade ago. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017


PlusUrbia Design -- -- is working daily to craft a plan that is inclusive and balances all needs of the unique and wonderful neighborhood known as Little Havana.

We are proud partners in an initiative that has gathered far more pubic input than every previous LH planing effort combined.

Nearly half of our boutique studio -- follow us at @plusurbia -- lives in Little Havana and supports the small businesses that give LH its charm.

We restored historic homes and were attracted to the enclave because of its amazing Cuban-American, Latin American and just plain American history and heritage.

We know that small businesses, low rise housing, urban density and great connectivity to jobs and activities are what make LH an increasingly attractive place to live, work and play.

Our designers are putting thousands of hours into enhancing affordable housing, historic preservation, recreation/green space, adaptive re-use, safe walkability and premium multimodal mobility.

Saturday, August 19, 2017



The Green Tomb (Yeşil Türbe) is a mausoleum of the fifth Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed I.

It was built by Mehmed's son and successor Murad II following the death of the sovereign in 1421.

The architect, Hacı Ivaz Pasha designed the tomb and the Yeşil Mosque opposite to it.

Set amidst cypresses on top of the hill in Yeşil neighborhood, the mausoleum stands higher than the rest of the complex. 

It is built on a hexagonal plan and crowned with a hemi-spherical dome. 

The exterior of the mausoleum is clad with green-blue tiles that give it its name. 

A majority of the tiles were replaced by contemporary Kutahya tiles following damage in the 1855 Bursa earthquake.


Friday, August 18, 2017



Bursa is the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire, the heart of the famed Silk Road, and resembles an open-air museum, a true reflection of Turkey's Ottoman heritage. 

Nestled at the foot of Mount Uludağ, the city is known for its lush, green scenery, healing hot springs and Turkish baths, and is also world-renowned for winter tourism.

-- Daily Sabah

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Drink vendor at edge of market district in Bursa

Serbeti is kind of like sherbet, only melted.

It's sweet and served cold.

But it's not frozen like sherbet is.

It's often a blend of fruit and flower petals, turned into a juice.

Serbeti is very refreshing.

Here, it's for sale for 2 Turkish Lira -- far less than a dollar -- quite a deal.

There are so many varieties.

This one looks like possibly rose hips.

Or possibly a blend of pomegranate and rose water.

When you enter a home or place of business during Ramazan, you are almost as likely to be offered serbeti as tea.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What to Ask to Make Sure Your Hotel Is Mobility-Friendly


by Christina Vercelletto

Researching, booking, and taking a trip isn’t always smooth sailing from beginning to end. It takes some time and a little know-how to pull off a perfect getaway. When planning a vacation for a person with limited mobility -- whether yourself, your child, or another family member -- there’s an additional challenge of making sure that the hotel you choose meets your needs. Begin online, narrowing down the property options in your target destination. Keep in mind that finding a hotel that calls itself “accessible” is only the first hurdle of many. From there, you’ll need to start asking the property questions directly.   

“The descriptions that properties use to define accessible when it comes to rooms varies -- not just from country to country or from brand to brand, but even from hotel to hotel within a brand. This makes it very difficult for the individual traveling,” says Nadine Vogel, CEO of Springboard, a company that serves people with disabilities. 
Asking questions like “is your hotel accessible?” or “do you have accessible rooms?” won’t reveal all that much, even if the answer is yes. Vogel stresses that asking specific questions that reflect your particular needs is crucial. To help, we rounded up what you need to inquire about to make sure your hotel is mobility-friendly.

Vogel points out that a good way to start compiling relevant questions is by checking out online photos of the property, especially the areas or amenities you know you’d like to make use of. Those images can be a springboard to smart questions. You might ask something like, “From the photos online, I see the lobby bar is elevated. Is there a ramp to access the bar?” Or, “The gym seems to have plenty of equipment. Which machines can be used by someone in a wheelchair?” If it’s your child you’re inquiring for, then kid-centric amenities should be the first thing you look at. You might ask, “The kids’ camp looks like it offers a variety of activities. What do you provide when the child has a walker and may not be able to participate in all of those activities?” Or, “Does that children’s pool have a wheelchair lift? I don’t see one in the picture.”

Will there be designated parking with a priority location in the parking lot? “Also, ask if you can self-park, especially if your vehicle has special equipment, such as hand controls. It’s not a good idea for a valet to try and drive a specialized vehicle,” says Heidi Johnson-Wright, ADA Coordinator for Florida's Miami-Dade County. 

Is there step-free access to the main entrance? 

Does the main door open automatically?

Is the lobby level washroom accessible?

Is there level or ramp access to public areas, such as breakfast rooms?

Is the hotel shuttle accessible? “If you qualify for door-to-door paratransit service in your hometown, you may be able to apply for temporary paratransit use in the city you’re visiting. Just remember it requires significant advanced planning,” says Johnson-Wright. If the hotel shuttle is not accessible, and a free shuttle to and from the airport or into town is included in your room rate, ask that alternate transportation be provided. 

Questions to Ask About the Rooms

Are the accessible rooms located on the first floor? If not, is there an elevator? If I’m going to be on a higher floor, who will assist me, especially in the event of a fire alarm or other evacuation?

How wide is the entry to the room, and the bathroom doorway?

How many beds are there? “What many hotels do to make a room accessible is reduce a two full-bed room or two queen-bed room to a one king-bed room. That’s fine if you’re comfortable sleeping with your traveling companion,” says Johnson-Wright. “Just don’t assume you can ask housekeeping to bring in a rollaway. Sometimes they can’t due to fire codes.”

At what height are the light switches and power outlets? What about the rod in the closet? 

Are there lever-type door handles on all doors?

Is there a roll-in shower? If not, is there space next to the tub to leave a wheelchair? If a tub shower is all that’s available, will a transfer bench be provided? Transfer benches, which have two legs that sit outside the tub and two that sit inside it, are harder to come by in hotels than simple bath or shower benches. “They make it much easier for a wheelchair user to transfer to, then scoot over into the shower,” says Johnson-Wright. You may need to email over pictures to get a straight answer. “Few people in hospitality industry know the difference without seeing a photo,” says Johnson-Wright. 

Are there grab bars around the toilet and shower?

Is the toilet raised? 

What is the height of the bottom of the bathroom sink?  

If you need a lift to transfer yourself from your wheelchair to the bed, ask if open-frame beds, rather than box-frame beds, are available. This way, the lift will be able to roll completely under the bed.