Follow by Email

Friday, November 30, 2018

The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio



Next time I need to go back to Ohio, I'm skipping the TSA lines, cramped seats and staggering air fares.
I'm going back on a swarm of bees.

MARAIS

Paris, France

If we were to name one district in Paris that is particularly popular with the LGBT community, it would have to be the Marais. 

Most of the French capital’s gay-friendly venues are located in this neighbourhood squeezed in between Place de la Bastille, Place de la République and Hôtel de Ville.

A whole range of bars, boutiques and clubs have sprung up here over the past 30 years, turning this district into an authentic yet trendy little village drawing a disparate crowd of visitors.

The Marais is also known to be a cultural hotspot.

It has some of the top museums in Paris – the Pompidou Centre, Musee Picasso and Musee Cognacq-Jay.

--Parisinfo.com

Thursday, November 29, 2018

SAINT GERMAIN DES PRES

PARIS, FRANCE

The legendary district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés has a dual identity these days.

On the one hand, it’s filled with boutiques showcasing goods by some of the top luxury brands.

But it’s also popular with students, who like to meet up for a drink in one of the area’s numerous cafés and bars.

Vibrant, cosmopolitan Saint-Germain is definitely in vogue!

Located in the chic 6th arrondissement of Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés was the post-war haunt of such luminaries as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Picasso, Man Ray, Léo Ferré and Georges Brassens.

Some of the places where the intellectual and artistic élite used to meet still exist today.

--Parisinfo.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

PANTHEON

PARIS, FRANCE

The Panthéon’s iconic silhouette and dome is perched at the top of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, the historic hill of the Latin Quarter.

Since the days of the French Revolution, this former church, dedicated to the patron saint of Paris, has housed a necropolis, in its crypt, of well-known French figures: Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Alexandre Dumas, etc.

From April to October, tourists can enjoy the fine views of the capital from the colonnade of the dome.

--Parisinfo.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

CATHEDRALE NOTRE DAME

PARIS, FRANCE

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is the most visited monument in France.

It was built in the Middle Ages, at the far end of the Île de la Cité.

Work started in the 13th century and finished in the 15th century.

Badly damaged during the French Revolution, the cathedral was restored in the 19th century by the architect Viollet-le-Duc.

Its many visitors come to admire its stained glass and rose windows, the towers, the steeple and the gargoyles.

They can also discover the Notre-Dame treasury and have a go at climbing the towers to enjoy a panoramic view of Paris.

In 2013, Notre-Dame is celebrated its 850th anniversary.

For this occasion, many events were organized and the cathedral renewed its bells with the arrival of eight new bells as well as a new great bell.

Road distances from Paris in France are calculated from point 0 on the cathedral forecourt.


--Parisinfo.com

Monday, November 26, 2018

ARC DE TRIOMPHE

PARIS FRANCE


Situated at the Place de l’Etoile, overlooking the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe is the biggest arch in the world.

It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz.

The architects Chalgrin, Joust and Blouet all worked on the monument. 

Sculptures were designed by Cortot, Rude, Etex, Pradier and Lemaire.

Beneath the arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and each evening at 6:30pm its flame is rekindled.

From the top of the monument, visitors benefit from a panoramic view of Paris, during the day and at night, and two viewpoint indicators.

A museum retracing the history of the Arc de Triomphe, situated within the structure, completes the visit.

--Parisinfo.com

Sunday, November 25, 2018

THANK HEAVEN FOR

CATS, OUR FUR BABIES


Honeybear has been with us for 5 years.

We guess that she’s about 8.

It turns out a neighbor down the street had her when she was a kitten and responsibly got her treated so she couldn’t have more kittens.

HB did give birth once, to a litter of 3.

The only baby of hers that we know of is a very skittish Tortie that dubbed Cocoa Kitty.

When Honeybear went out in daylight and nighttime, mother and daughter would hunt together, sand bathe together, hug and fight (as HB the queen would smack her grown kitten – just to make it clear who the king of the hill was, is and always will be).

We tried to get Cocoa Kitty to be an indoor cat, but it’s not for her. So we bought a used dogloo and set her up with food and water in the back of our house.

Before long, many cats were visiting. We bought a used small tent and used it for shelter, with a food bowl in it.

We bought cushions and built shelter out of some old benches left behind by the previous owner of our house.

When one of our most beloved visitor couples – a Maine Coon dubbed Big Boy and his lady Squirt – a tiny ginger cat – had 4 kittens, we went into action.

We worked with Miami-Dade County Animal Services (perhaps the best department in the County) to work with the Trap-Neuter-Release program.

A wonderful, soulful worker named Octavio came by long before dawn and set up a half dozen traps.

Repeating this routine over the years, we have helped far more than a dozen cats to be spared from giving birth. You can tell by their clipped single ear.

We don’t want to turn a sweet tale into a lecture.

But people really do need to be responsible and get their cats fixed – and even work with Animal Services to get in the TNR program. It doesn’t cost a penny and at the most, you will move your car out of the driveway to create room for some humane traps.

Cats, after surgery and recovery, are returned to your lot 48 to 72 hours later.


Our all-time beloved baby from TNR is Dusty.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

THANK GOODNESS FOR HONEYBEAR

OUR MEEZER MEMBER OF THE FAMILY


Before we knew it, our Siamese cat visitor had a name – we called her Honeybear.

She launched a months-long plan for getting us to fall in love with her.

It worked.

At first, she was going out when we went to bed and when we left the house.

We were still so new to cats, we feared she would soil our beds, furniture, etc.

We were too dumb to buy a litter box.

Heidi started DVRing Jackson Galaxy shows and reading things online.
Soon, Amazon was delivering cat books.

And Honeybear was only going out at night.

Soon, we loved her so much, we were afraid she might get hurt outside.
Multiple test litterboxes arrived.

She hated the covered one.

She was too big for the one labeled large.

She had a favorite dry cat food.

She had multiple water bowls.

Before we knew it, HB (as we call her when shortening her name) was inside 24-7.

When we traveled, we hired a trusted person to come in twice a day to look after Honeybear.

Mom Heidi bought air prey and other speciality toys, when we realized our Meezer’s health depended on play and exercise.

Daddy Steve welcome Honeybear into his bed.

She curled up right next to him, often snoring, frequently walking over his body and sweetly coming up to smooch him.

(part 4 tomorrow)

Friday, November 23, 2018

WE PAUSE TO GIVE THANKS FOR

OUR FELINE FRIENDS


In early fall 2013, I was on FMLA leave from a miserable job – gladly taking unpaid leave to care for Heidi, my companion of one third of a century.

She was having a hip revision and would be recovering for up to two weeks in a great hospital’s rehab ward after her daylong, brutal procedure.

I would sleep at our house and I would run home to do chores and all – allowing Heidi to rest and get crucial physical therapy.

One day, I was taking a medical device out of a ton of shipping cardboard.

A cat jumped on it and sprawled out.

She had been darting around on and under the wheelchair ramp that leads to our century old house.

We called her the mottled kitty.

Now, in the sun, I could see a beautiful Siamese cat.

She wanted to be petted.

I took some pictures and shared them with Heidi during my long visit.

She said our mottled kitty was at least 75% apple head seal point Siamese.

Not long after Heidi came home, we were out enjoying the break in the weather and doing some yard work.

The Siamese cat came over and let me pet her.

Then she took some milk.

And some kibbles – as we had bought a small bag of cat snacks.

Soon, she was visiting us inside the house for 30, 60, 90 minute periods.

(part 3 tomorrow)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

I GIVE THANKSGIVING FOR

DISCOVERING THE LOVE OF CATS 



We were a dog family growing up in exurban Ohio.

Cats were thought of as a nuisance.

They caused allergic reactions and dug up plants.

At best, something an old spinster would keep as a pet, because they were low maintenance and could be virtually ignored for weeks.

I never hated cats, but I really didn’t get them.

It’s like cats have the worst public relations firm on earth.

Every negative stereotype gets repeated in movies, TV shows, even cartoons.
Little Havana, sadly, is a dumping ground for cats.

Moving into an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, turn your poor kitty out to the streets in Little Havana.

Kids lost interest in that kitten you got for Christmas – dump it around Calle Ocho.

Didn’t get your cat fixed and have a litter bigger than you are ready to take on – cast the poor critters off to fend for themselves in the blue collar neighborhood of Shenandoah.

So we were used to cats.

We talked to them.

We had a few run in the house.

We were never mean or anything, but we just didn’t take much interest in having any kind of pet – because we travel a lot and we’re always on the go.

(see part 2 tomorrow)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I AM THANKFUL FOR

COCONUT GROVE ANIMAL CLINIC


We love living in Miami.

But in the big city, there are very few small town businesses that treat you like family.

Coconut Grove Animal Service is one of them.

Now operated by the 2nd and 3rd generations of Marmesh family Veterinarians, the practice has been open since 1965 – one year after we were born!

The people are amazing. Loving, intelligent, expert.

The prices are unheard of. Very fair.

Since we took in our rescue cat Honeybear about five years ago, she has been a regular at the Grove Animal Service’s quaint and slightly cramped office on Grand Avenue at 32nd Ave.

Our beloved Siamese has gotten her shots, her wellness visits and some treatments when she’s had an infection or GI symptoms.

Check out the practice at:


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

THE BEST CAT AND DOG CARE IN MIAMI

COCONUT GROVE ANIMAL CLINIC -- SINCE 1965


We love Dr. Marmesh (he gets extra points for graduating from Heidi’s alma mater, Ohio State University) and the third generation talented vet in the family – Dr. Kate Marmesh.

They have lovingly cared for our healthy Siamese rescue cat Honeybear for half a decade.

Here’s a bit more about the high quality, low cost clinic in their own words:

Coconut Grove Animal Clinic was founded during the days of the 'Old Grove.' It has been rich in family tradition and pet care ever since. 

After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Michael Marmesh, Sr. opened Coconut Grove Animal Clinic in 1965. 

His wife, Sarah Marmesh, acted as office manager, and they maintained a small-town business in an area that quickly grew up around the clinic.

In 1978, the couple was joined by their son Dr. Michael E. Marmesh, Jr. after he graduated from The Ohio State University. 

The father and son pair worked together until Dr. Marmesh, Sr. passed away in August 2000. 

Michael's wife Nancy has taken on the job of business manager after recently retiring from her work as an elementary school gifted teacher.

Most recently Dr. Kate Marmesh (daughter of Dr. Marmesh, Jr.) has come to work with her father. 

She graduated from St. George's University in May 2005 and worked in Fayetteville, Tennessee until June 2008. 

She has returned home to be the third generation in this family business.


Monday, November 19, 2018

I GIVE THANKS EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY

FOR THE LOVE, COMPANIONSHIP AND
CAT GUARDIAN EXPERTISE OF MY WIFE HEIDI




That’s our Siamese Rescue Cat Honeybear in the picture.

We bought her a sleep mask as a joke.

She didn’t like it.

But I snapped a picture.

And Heidi, my wife of 30 years, edited it and posted in on her Facebook page.

Barely a day goes by without a cat pic or video shared by my Heidi.

Barely a week goes by without a heartwarming animal clip comes in, often from the Dodo, courtesy of my beloved.

We’ll have about a week’s worth of cat parenting stories posted for the Thanksgiving week.

For now, I need to tell my bride how much I love her.

She bought us tickets to a special Jackson Galaxy appearance – which also funds the Cat Network.

My Heidi DVRs Jackson’s My Cat From Hell TV show – and watches it like a master’s class in cat behavior.

She has purchased books by Jackson and others, to learn about felines.

She found us a wonderful vet nearby in the Grove – a blog item will touch on that this week.

Heidi found cat toys and helped us assemble an emergency first aid kit, should our inside Meezer get hurt.

She scans all of our feline baby’s medical records.

We chose to never have kids.

With Honeybear our indoor baby – and dozens of outside cats that we care for on our small urban lot in the heart of Little Havana – we have become parents.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

WYNWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION DISTRICT

HONORED WITH THE PLANNING PROFESSION'S HIGHEST AWARD




PlusUrbia Design has done dozens of projects that I have been proud to play some role in.

The Wynwood NRD still stands out as the classic.

And it's one that could help communities around the nation and globe.

On the fun side of things, I make my screen debut 40 seconds into the clip on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxVbgDhKiLU

Saturday, November 17, 2018

THANKS AKRON BEACON JOURNAL + OHIO.COM

FOR PUBLISHING A BLURB ON THE BOOK THAT FEATURES MY WIFE'S MEMOIR



Kent State University alumna Heidi Johnson-Wright is a contributor to “Firsts: Coming of Age Stories by People with Disabilities,” 

A collection of seven essays by “writers sharing various first-time experiences” with blindness, post-traumatic stress disorder and, like Johnson-Wright, conditions that demand the use of a wheelchair. 

The book will be available in October from online retailers. 

Johnson-Wright now lives in Miami.

Friday, November 16, 2018

LITTLE HAVANA ME IMPORTA

WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT CALLE OCHO?


Check out the videos linked below to learn more about how special Calle Ocho is and what it means for people in Miami!

PlusUrbia’s Principal, Juan Mullerat, was happy to contribute to the video to express why he and his family value Calle Ocho and Little Havana so much. 

Also sharing their love for one of Miami’s iconic main streets are local developer and owner of the popular bar Ball and Chain in Calle Ocho, Bill Fuller, and Viernes Culturales Executive Director, Pati Vargas.

Thank you, Christine Rupp, Executive Director of Dade Heritage Trust for putting together these videos to show how wonderful Calle Ocho is and how important it is to preserve its vibrancy, heritage, and character. 









Thursday, November 15, 2018

ADAGIO ACCESS PARIS REUILLY -- part 5

GREAT PARIS APARTMENT-HOTEL IN 12th ARRONDISSEMENT


The Adagio Access Paris Reuilly has a small, onsite, self-serve breakfast area on the ground floor (there also an inner courtyard terrace for warm weather.

The courtyard is decorated, for several vertical stories, with neon lights.

They look cool and hip – but they lit up my room at night.

I was in room 101, facing the back – it would benefit either from the neon being turned way down/off at night.

Better still, install blackout curtains.

The room has one small window – equipping with big, no gaps blackout drapes would serve the savvy travelers attracted to the Adagio brand.

The Accor Hotels site for the Adagio Reuilly is:

I got a slightly better deal through Booking.com:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

ADAGIO ACCESS PARIS REUILLY -- part 4

GREAT PARIS APARTMENT-HOTEL IN 12th ARRONDISSEMENT


Dear Adagio Access Paris Reuilly: I’m sharing some ideas to make a great room perfect.

Put the room safe anywhere but the bottom floor of the closet.

Coming off a long flight and being mid 50s, the last thing I want to do is get down on hands and knees and kiss the floor to access the safe for stowing my passport. 

Raise it up to waist height.

Put in a toaster.

The cooktop and microwave are very nice, but for morning toasting of all sort of French bread, bagels, even pastries -- I needed a toaster or small toaster oven.

Put a chain on the stopper in the wet room sink. 

I pushed the stopper down to do laundry in the sink -- a very common practice for road warriors -- and could never open it again.

The sink filled up with soap suds, toothpaste waste, etc -- fix this oversight.



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

ADAGIO ACCESS PARIS REUILLY -- part 3

GREAT PARIS APARTMENT-HOTEL IN 12th ARRONDISSEMENT


Adagio Access Paris Reuilly is a great deal because I got a room at a great time of year in Paris (September) for 200 USD per night -- fully loaded with VAT including.

I don't want to pay extra for a big lobby, tired crappy round the clock restaurant, gift shop, concierge, or 10 stupid decorative pillows on the bed upon arrival.

I'm a savvy traveler, so that extra crud insults me and tacks on 50 USD or more per night – making me pay for things I don't want.

Thank you, Accor/Adagio, for figuring out that there are those of us who will eat local, figure things out for ourselves and be low maintenance on housekeeping and staff -- so savings are passed on to us.

One other super high bonus point – the 3 star amenity (4 of 5 in ratings) property has 6 rooms adapted for people with disabilities.



Monday, November 12, 2018

ADAGIO ACCESS PARIS REUILLY -- part 2

GREAT PARIS APARTMENT-HOTEL IN 12th ARRONDISSEMENT


The apartments at the Adagio Access Paris Reuilly range from a 20 square meter studio to a 35 square meter one bedroom.

I had the studio and was amazed by the efficient use of space.

I loved the wet room – no enclosure around the shower.

I don’t know how the floor dry so quickly, but every hotel on the planet should use the same not slippery, super-fast-to-dry material.

The bed was firm and super comfortable.

The fridge plenty big, as were the kitchen sink, cooktop and microwave.

I'm low maintenance.

I do not like housekeeping barging in daily.

At the Adagio property, housekeeping is an extra charge unless you stay 7 days or longer.

That suits me perfectly.

I like to go to local/artisanal markets to buy some snacks, breakfast items, bottled water, and local food to keep in fridge.

The Reuilly property accommodates that perfectly.




Sunday, November 11, 2018

ADAGIO ACCESS PARIS REUILLY

GREAT PARIS APARTMENT-HOTEL IN 12th ARRONDISSEMENT


I’m not normally big on chain hotels, but the Accor Hotels’ Adagio Access Paris Reuilly was perfect for nearly two weeks of business and pleasure in the City of Light.

I give the brand new, non-smoking low-rise hotel high marks for:

  • Great price point
  • Super close to major subway stations
  • Helpful, low-key staff.
  • Location in a neighborhood more authentic/less tourist-choked than closer-in arrondissements.
  • Very close to the hip and eclectic 11th Arrondissement.

Quiet is very important to me.

I don't know how a budget place could be better built than a high end property, but I never heard construction sounds during my stay.

And the entire city block opposite this property is under heavy construction.

My room was right next to the apart-hotel’s two elevators -- like inches away.

But I never heard the typical people departing the elevator at night talking loud sounds.

Bravo. 




Saturday, November 10, 2018

THANKS TO AVON LAKE PRESS FOR WRITING ABOUT HEIDI JOHNSON-WRIGHT


AND HER ADVOCACY WORK INCLUDING MEMOIR IN BOOK
“FIRSTS: COMING OF AGE STORIES BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES” 


By KAREN UTHE-SEMANCIK AVON LAKE — It’s been about 40 years since former Avon Lake resident Heidi Johnson-Wright was interviewed by this newspaper.

The former “poster child” for Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis comes full circle, taking a step back in time to share a unique coming-of-age story for a new book.

The book, “Firsts: Coming of Age Stories by People with Disabilities,” asked some of today’s best-known writers with disabilities to recount a personal first.

These reflections range from body transformations to societal setbacks, love affairs to family trauma, all with the goal of dispelling myths about those with disabilities.

Johnson-Wright was one of 11 writers asked to contribute to Belo Miguel Cipriani’s third book.


https://olebbooks.com/firsts-coming-of-age-stories-by-people-with-disabilities/

Friday, November 9, 2018

WYNWOOD BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

MARKET REPORT


PlusUrbia’s best work is born of a healthy, intense collaboration with the public and private sector. 

Our work with the Wynwood Business Improvement District was a perfect combination of collaboration with private and public sector visionaries on the BID, with the City of Miami and from the Akerman law firm’s land use practice.

The resulting Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD) envisioned a vibrant and eclectic person-first district that is walkable, innovative and filled with mixed-use development, 24-hour activity and a healthy balance of land uses.

We were proud when our innovative approach to shared parking, micro units, transfer of development rights and preservation of legacy buildings and businesses was honored with the American Planning Association’s Gold Economic Development Award. 

The national APA award is the highest honor in the urban design profession.

But we are even more gratified of our winning collaboration on the NRD, thanks to the BID’s recently-released Market Report.

The report, created by Integra Realty Resource, basically proves that our work has resulted in virtually unmatched economic activity – in a district that was a mix of warehouses and light industry not that long ago.

The best news in the report is that our goal — to create a live/work/play neighborhood to balance the artistic, restaurant and retail uses – has come true in just a few years. 

The report shares dozens of facts that demonstrate that Wynwood already is one of the most valuable neighborhoods in Miami. 

And the district has a healthy mix of chip projects, all properly-scaled within the BID boundaries thanks to our regulations, in the pipeline for years to come.



To read the BID’s overview, and the full report, click:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

DEAR RIGHT WING GOP SHAMELESS WHORES


THANK YOU FOR SELLING YOUR SOULS
(AND OUR LIVES) TO THE NRA

I know I speak for the majority when I say I would gladly sacrifice my wife of 30 years so a few gun makers can earn billions.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to see their little nephew lying in a pool of blood – knowing he gave his life so you could amass political power with NRA contributions?

Thank you for having your priorities in order.

Thanks for enabling weekly mass killings.

Hugs and kisses for helping us all live in fear.

Your pal,

Steve


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

WE NEVER FAVOR PAVING OVER PARADISE -- ESPECIALLY TO BUILD A HIGHWAY OVER THE EVERGLADES


BETTER ALTERNATIVES THAN EXTENDING SR 836




The PlusUrbia team supports smart growth, walkability, complete streets and Transit Oriented Development as solutions to our region’s traffic congestion. 

We applaud the leadership of Miami-Dade County trying to resolve traffic issues. 

The SMART Plan is an excellent step in the direction of giving people mobility options beyond the automobile.

That is why we continue to seek alternatives to the planned southward expansion of 836 over environmentally-sensitive land. 

We respectfully believe, and many studies prove, that adding more lanes does not solve traffic congestion.

We commit to working with Miami-Dade and regional officials to give residents the benefit of different approaches to mobility. 

We will continue to collaborate with expert partners to explore multimodal solutions to traffic congestion that is negatively impacting our quality of life.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

SAY NO TO PAVING OVER PARK LAND

VOTE NO ON MIAMI ISSUE 379


Long time parks, green space and neighborhood activist Elvis Cruz composed this spot-on argument of why the mega mall pretending to be MSL soccer would be one of the biggest disasters in Miami land use history:

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

If you’re a registered voter you’ve probably received five or six large postcards from “Miami Freedom Park Political Committee” telling you how the “Miami Freedom Park” is such a great idea, saying it will create jobs, jobs, jobs.

I’ve seen this movie before.  Here’s the big picture:

A group of politically well-connected billionaires wants to use 73 acres of the Mel Reese Golf Course to build a huge profit-making venture; an office tower, a high rise hotel, an enormous shopping mall, and, last and least, at 10% of the project, a professional soccer stadium.  

The soccer stadium is the bait.

The billionaires can easily afford to buy their own land to create jobs, jobs, jobs, but why should they bother when the City is willing to be so generous with our park land?   

The billionaires met with City of Miami officials and cooked up a scheme behind closed doors before it was announced publicly.

There were some inconvenient truths the City had to work around, like the fact that the golf course is a park.  So they simply lied about that; some of our elected officials have said repeatedly that the golf course is not a park.

The problem with that lie is that the City has said for years that the golf course is most definitely a park.  That fact is well documented, as you can see for yourself in the Miami Parks Master Plan, chapter 3, pages 27 and 33: http://www.miamigov.com/parks/docs/masterplan/Miami_03.pdf

Miami is one of the lowest-ranked cities for acres of park land per 1,000 residents in the country.  Miami has supposedly been trying to increase the amount of park land in the City for years, but now it wants to lease away 73 acres of our park land to private developers for 99 years. 

That’s 8.2% of the 882 total acres of park land in the City.

Miami officials often say Miami is a “World Class City”, whatever that means, but Miami doesn’t even protect its own park land.  

A World Class City would protect its parks as sacred ground, and have a golf course.

But for some at Miami City Hall, there was little hesitation to deal away 73 acres of park land, and the only question was how much money they could get for it.

If this is allowed to happen, no City of Miami park is safe. 

Should there be office towers in Peacock Park? 

A waterfront hotel in Bayfront, Margaret Pace and Morningside Parks?  

A shopping mall in Merrie Christmas Park?

That land has had a golf course since 1942, but if the City of Miami no longer wants a golf course, it should turn ALL of it into a big, glorious, wonderful park.  Why isn’t that on the ballot?

And then there’s the City of Miami Charter, Section 29-A. (b), that says any private development proposed on City land put must be put out for competitive bidding.

If the City wants to put public land out for private development, why isn’t it going to the highest bidder?  

Because this is a sweetheart deal for politically well-connected billionaires.   

So, instead of obeying the City Charter, the City wants the voters to change the Charter to achieve its goal.

If approved by the voters on November 6, 2018, the City of Miami Charter would be changed to create a sweetheart deal for these specific billionaire developers.  

Here’s the actual language on the ballot:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Shall Miami's Charter be amended authorizing City to negotiate, execute 99-year lease with Miami Freedom Park LLC, for approximately 73 acres of City land, waiving bidding, converting Melreese Country Club (1400 Northwest 37 Avenue) at no cost to City to: 

• soccer stadium; 

• minimum 1,000,000 square feet office, retail, commercial uses; 

• minimum 750 hotel rooms; 

• living wage for on-site employees; 

• $3,577,365 minimum annual rent; 

• $20,000,000 for 58-acre public park or other green space?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Aside from being grammatically incorrect, notice that the question says, “no cost to City”.   Hogwash.  We’re giving up 73 acres of public park land for 99 years!

Notice that the ballot doesn’t mention that it’s a golf course, and that the golf course is actually a park; instead it’s being called a "Country Club”.  

The voters aren’t being asked if they’d rather have the whole golf course become a park.

This deal is supposedly “fair market value”, but how can anyone be sure without competitive bidding?

If the City of Miami needs to start monetizing parks to balance the books, what will it do when it runs out of public parks to monetize?

The billionaire developers' PR machine has cranked up to manipulate the voters into allowing a sweetheart deal that is not in the public’s best interest.  

They have lots of money to run their campaign.  

It’s up to us to spread the word to protect our parks.

Shame on City Commissioners Ken Russell, Joe Carollo and Keon Hardemon for voting to allow a referendum to turn public park land over to a private developer.

Thank you to Commissioners Willy Gort and Manolo Reyes for voting against allowing this land-grab referendum.

Please vote NO on this land-grab and ask everyone you know to also vote NO.  

The park you save might just be your own