Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Coyote update - meeting held with officials from FWC - here is authoritative information regarding co-existing with Coyotes in Florida.

Photo of a coyote in Palmetto Bay
Palmetto Bay is a paradise that we humans share with many native and non-native animals. CLICK HERE to view some of my past posts regarding the many species of animals we can find here in Palmetto Bay; crocodiles, alligators, eagles, marsh rabbits, owls. There is a long list of animals that call Palmetto Bay home. We do note that there are some animals that we do want to keep close eye on - including those designated as "invasive species".  

Reports continue in regard to coyotes in our Palmetto Bay community as well as in nearby Kings Bay, actually located in Coral Gables. A conference call was held with FWC officials, myself and with members of our community (I was joined on the call by residents/animal activists Cindy Hewitt and Lloyd Brown) on the topic of coyotes. Palmetto Bay went to the source to find out the issues, as well as status, potential issues and management strategies (if any).  We look forward to working with Greg from the Wildlife Assistance Program Coordinator for the FWC, on a future “Living with Wildlife” workshop or presentation.

Information regarding Coyotes in Florida  posted on the official FWC website: 
Coyotes are found throughout Florida and have been documented in all 67 counties. This medium-sized canid is extremely adaptable and can be found in rural, suburban and even urban landscapes. They are typically shy and elusive but encounters between people and coyotes in Florida are occurring more often. Coyotes help maintain balanced ecosystems by controlling the populations of rodents and small predators, such as foxes, opossums and raccoons. They are native to North America, have been in Florida for many years, and will continue to make their homes around the state.
The mission of the FWC program is to mitigate human-wildlife conflict through education, outreach and technical assistance. The members of FWC work with individual citizens, neighborhood groups, local government agencies and other stakeholders on nuisance wildlife issues and human-wildlife conflict resolution strategies. 

We look forward to developing a strong relationship between Palmetto Bay and FWC to monitor and manage these issues.

Please view the FWC website for information on Coyotes – and everyone I have spoken to is quite surprised to hear that Coyotes have been found in ALL 67 counties in Florida. 

See FWC's "Living with Coyotes". http://myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/wildlife/coyotes/ There is also a link on this site for the Urban Coyote Brochure .

Important: If you are experiencing coyote problems, please contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or your nearest FWC regional office: West Palm: 561-625-5122

Prior blog posts on this topic:
August 18, 2017, Update on Coyotes in our area – updated/better photos – have you seen any?
June 4, 2017, Guest Post - Coyotes in Palmetto Bay? What have you seen?

CLICK HERE to view prior posts relating to FWC.

Addressed on the official FWC website:

What should I do if I see a coyote?

Coyotes are not large animals and rarely pose a threat to people, especially adults. They can be curious but are also timid and generally run away if challenged. If a coyote approaches too closely, there are methods you can use to deter it and frighten it away. Hazing the animal by making loud noises and acting aggressively will typically cause a coyote to leave an area, but you may need to increase and continue hazing efforts until the coyote is effectively deterred and leaves the area for good. There are several methods of hazing that are effective with coyotes.  (please go to the website for complete information on this topic)


How can I protect my pets from coyotes?

Coyotes can and do prey on domestic cats and small dogs. Most coyote attacks on pets occur either at night or in the early evening or morning hours (dusk and dawn). To protect your pets, do not allow them to roam freely. 
(Again, please go to the FWC website for complete information on this topic)

Why can’t coyotes be relocated or completely eliminated from my neighborhood?
  • Removing coyotes is an inefficient and ineffective method to control populations. New coyotes move into areas where others have been removed. When there is pressure (such as trapping) placed on coyote populations, the species can actually produce more pups per litter in response and populations can quickly return to original size.  
  • Coyotes are found throughout the entire state of Florida as part of natural range expansion from western states and now live in every state but Hawaii. 
  • Coyotes fill an important role in the ecosystem by keeping rodent and small predator (fox, raccoon, opossum, etc.) populations under control

Have you registered yet? TENTH ANNUAL “REASON TO RUN” 5K TO RAISE FUNDS FOR PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH - Sat., Nov 4

Happy Anniversary. 10 years for this 5K run - benefiting Pediatric Cancer research. Do you really need any additional reasons to participate/donate in this run?

The tenth annual “Reason to Run” 5K run/walk and family event benefiting CancerFree KIDS Pediatric Cancer Research Alliance will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017, at the Deering Estate, 16701 S.W. 72 Avenue, at 8 a.m. Preregistration is encouraged and can be accessed at www.reasontorun.org. On-site registration and check-in will begin at 7 a.m.

In addition to a beautiful, tree-lined course, the annual 5K run/walk features a post-race party on the Deering Estate with stunning views of Biscayne Bay. Participants will enjoy giveaways, music, food, drinks, bounce-houses and other entertainment in the family area. All participants will be automatically entered to win one of many raffle prizes including a Miami Seaquarium dolphin swim for four, a golf foursome at the Deering Bay Yacht and Country Club, admission to other attractions, and a host of other prizes. Those wishing to enter, but not walk or run, can make a donation or purchase a raffle ticket for $5.

To date, CancerFree KIDS has funded 97 innovative research projects, investing $700,000 in 2016 alone. Dr. Julio Barredo of the UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has received grants totaling $80,000, and Dr. Regina Graham, Director of the University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative, received a $30,000 grant.

The “Reason to Run” 5K run/walk is the brainchild of avid marathoners and training partners Linda Martinez and Lisette Zamora. Both women have participated in and coached a number of fundraising events for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“Finding cures for pediatric cancers took on a special meaning for my family ten years ago when my now 15-year-old nephew was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was 5 years old,” said Martinez, event organizer. “The fact remains that cancer is the number one disease killer of children but receives only four percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget, and the treatments currently available often negatively impact the quality of life for those who survive. Events like this will help fund life-saving research while raising awareness that there is still much work to be done.”

Sponsors for “Reason to Run” 5K run/walk include: Palmetto Ford, HiTEX Marketing, Florida Blue and Dolphin Mall. Several local schools and businesses have initiated fundraising campaigns, and several teams have formed in honor or in memory of a pediatric cancer patient.

CancerFree KIDS’ mission is to fund life-saving research of childhood cancers. CFK supports research by raising funds in a myriad of ways and by actively advocating for additional funding of pediatric cancer research on a national level. The non-profit 501(c)(3) organization was founded on the belief that research can lead to a cure, not only for children, but for everyone. For additional information, visit www.cancerfreekids.org.

For more information on the race event or to register or donate, please visit www.reasontorun.org or call (305) 807-7079.

# # #

Prior post relating to this outstanding event: November 1, 2016, A busy weekend - Saturday, November 5 - Two competing 5Ks and a Pine Rockland clean up- CANCERFREE KIDS REASON TO RUN 5K

Monday, October 16, 2017

Update of Irma related debris removal by Palmetto Bay contractors - Monday, 10/16 update

I am providing an official update provided by our Village Manager, Ed Silva:

Good morning Council, below is this morning’s update on debris removal

Debris DMS sites located at CRP and the vacant site to the northeast of 168th ST/ Old Cutler Road are both operational today.

*** *** ***

Map 2 - pick up zones - referred to by manager in posted update
Staff is currently working in Zone  3 (3- trucks) and Zone 6 (3-truck. At 10 am work in  Zone 6 will cease and the 3 trucks will relocate to Zone 5. As of Friday October 13, 2017 the Village estimates that 41% of the debris as estimated by our debris removal contractor has been picked up. The total amount expended to date for debris tickets totaling 48,948.01 cubic yards under this contract is $375,920.72.

We are currently reaching out to the contractor to see if additional trucks are being scheduled so that we can schedule staff accordingly or expedite a request for temporary staffing if needed. Please let me know if I can provide you with additional information regarding today’s debris removal process.

Additionally we have included two maps, one which shows the area of the Village that’s being picked up by the County and the areas being picked up by the Village. The second map shows the 6 zones we have established in the village so that you can understand where the crews are. We are starting to receive emails asking for specialized pickups, please understand that this will delay the process and is counterproductive to getting the job done. Therefore unless directed by Council we will continue with an orderly  and systematic pick up of our village. Thank you for your understanding and in working cooperatively through this process. We ask that you support and get the word out on locations, there is much misinformation out there that is detrimental to all.

Respectfully,

Edward Silva
Village Manager
Village of Palmetto Bay
Map 1- County / PBay zones - referred to by manager in posted update

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Non-hurricane recovery photo of the day - providing for the local butterflies - corky vine & Lantana

Seen in our front yard. Passion Vine, Corky Stem - Passiflora suberosa - a native Butterfly Host Plant - It is the larval host plant for Gulf Fritillary, Zebra Longwing and Julia butterflies. A very productive plant that I have never been able to plant. it appears when and where it wants.  It has small, yellowish green flowers supplying nector to attract butterflies.The plant is growing intermingled with purple Lantana, considered to be an invasive. It is filling a bare area - canopy lost to Irma.  Nature abhors bare spots and will fill it in with weeds if not properly cared for.



Saturday, October 14, 2017

Health Care Awareness Fair & 5K held on Saturday, October 14, 2017, at the Saint Louis Catholic Church in Pinecrest.

It was my honor to participate in the 2017 (annual) Health Care Awareness Fair & 5K held on Saturday, October 14, 2017, at the Saint Louis Catholic Church in Pinecrest. Hundreds of area residents turned out for this event.
Thank you Father Paul and the entire Saint Louis Parish / Ministerio de Salud y Deportes.
 

Thank you George Alvarado, Ministry of Health and Sport, team/volunteers and participants.
 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Here is a company that we will not hire to fix our screen enclosure. Illegal dumping?

I have had it with illegal dumping. I am patiently waiting for our Irma debris pile to be picked up.  We have not added any non-organic material to the pile - it is all plant debris from the storm.  So then, what makes a local business think it is permissible to dump their screen refuse on our pile?
Pictured below is what is left after we pulled it off our pile - we don't want to be passed over for pick up due to a mixed debris pile. We called the number 786-239-8999.  I am waiting for it to be picked up.  That or for the village police to respond.
This business made their failure to properly dispose of their work our problem.  Now I am returning the favor. 

I wonder who in my neighborhood hired this company and if they paid a "disposal fee"?

Update from Village Manager on debris removal 10-11-2017. 330,000 cubic yards of debris picked up in last 10 days.

I am posting an update from Ed Silva, Manager, provided to me earlier today, Wednesday, 10/11/2017:

At present we have cleared out the areas around the schools and are still working on our main north south roads, today we are on SW 82 ave.
Above - note the exact same location, but before and after photos
of the streets surrounding Southwood Middle school

We are diligently working through all of the piles in our community and in 10 days have picked up 330,000 cubic yards of debris along with what the County has already done.

Our crews are averaging about 6,000 cubic yards per day, this week alone and we hope to improve that mark going forward.

We understand the frustration of having debris in your neighborhood and we are working as quickly as we can to remove all of it in a timely manner.

Disposing collecting debris - the mountain grows - mulch will be available - but not yet

I stopped in at Coral Reef Park Tuesday evening on the way home from the office. Crews are working late as the debris collection continues - to varying reviews (more on that later). Coral Reef park is the interim staging point for the debris collected by the Village Contractors.  It is being mulched.  Most will be taken to the final disposal site designated by the County.  There will be mulch available to our residents, but not as of this date as the work site is not presently safe for the public.  I will keep everyone up to date on when the mulch will be available.
                                   (above) The mountain of debris - contractor trucks unloading while the heavy equipment 
                                  is perched on the pile breaking down and moving it toward the mulching machine. 
                                  (above) left a view of the mulch created in two hours
                                   right - the mulcher.  Fit for the job at hand. 

I am looking forward to the completion of the debris removal and restoration of Coral Reef Park.  

Sunday, October 1, 2017

It's beginning to look more like Palmetto Bay - again - and safer as well!

The hard work over the weekend is beginning to show some major results.  Parents, teachers, administrators, staff and students (their safety is a huge concern for us here in Palmetto Bay) will be greeted with the storm debris having been cleaned from around their schools when classes resume on Tuesday. It will be much more pleasant and safer for area residents living nearby as well as navigating around the schools.  We move on to major streets and problem areas after the schools are made safe. Here is my photo update for Sunday afternoon. Please note that its original posting is at 2:00 PM.  Much more work will be going on throughout Sunday. 

Post update: 5:30 PM Sunday, 10/1/2017 : 46 trips completed by the crews today, Sunday, 10/1/2017.

The debris collection crews have finished the area schools (the items they could reach with the clam shell grabber trucks - until they can 'push out some items with the bobcats - and then pick up).  The teams have moved on to 77th Avenue.  Police are working with the crews. Everyone should begin to see dramatic improvement throughout the village.
 
Schedule for Monday, 10/2/2017 includes 152, 82nd and 168th areas along with sections of Mangowood Area.

--------------------------------------------
Return to prior post:
Team Palmetto Bay has been hard at work since 2:30 Saturday; removing storm debris at and around Howard Drive, Coral Reef and Perrine Elementary schools as well as Southwood Middle School. 

I will continue updated as new information is available.  Please keep us up to date on your debris concerns through the AdminTemp@palmettobay-fl.gov e-mail.  And, as always, I am available to address your questions or concerns.  My e-mail is eflinn@palmettobay-fl.gov or by phone at 305-302-3713

See my prior post of 9/30/2017 - Palmetto Bay Council has approved a contractor to speed up debris collection within Palmetto Bay.  We were serious that we needed to accelerate the debris collection schedule and we have.  We are taking all efforts necessary to protect life and property in Palmetto Bay.
 Above - SW 80th - adjacent to Coral Reef Elementary
 
 Coral Reef Drive
At and adjacent to Southwood Middle School

The photos speak volumes about the long weekend clean up.  We prioritized collecting debris around the schools - a major area of safety and will be spreading out in even teams - 2 per district (6 total) beginning Monday.  The vendor, Ceres Environmental Services, Inc. has the proper tools for the work and are being monitored by Village staff.  
 Above left - Southwood side done - above right - both sides have now seen their first sweep 162
Above Grapple Trucks unloading at Coral Reef Park - Sun 10/1/2017
Above - left and right - the mountain of debris continues to climb
Photo taken approx 1:30 PM on Sun 10/1/2017

The Saturday, 9/30/2017 Stats:  Per the manager, "we started running 2 trucks with trailers at 2:50 PM to 6:45 PM.  We did a total of 10 trips. Pick up a total of 773.76 cubic yards..." Per Manager Ed Silva: this is the equivalent 32 trucks standard county collection trucks picking up in Palmetto Bay. 

Thank you for your patience.

Your Mayor,

Eugene Flinn

Hurricane Irma damage - Deering People's Dock.

Dramatic damage caused by Hurricane Irma at the People's Dock at Deering Estate.
 
(Photos above taken Saturday, September 30, 2017)

The  People's Dock is a great place to be anytime of the day, but especially at sunrise or near sunset.  It's a community gathering place.  Walkers, runners, bicyclists - so many people engages in so many differing activities gather here to meet up and watch nature - or rest up as an interim point of their activity. This is one of the places in Palmetto Bay where you feel like you are in the keys. The Outbound Collective listed this treasure, listing activities including "chillin", fishing, photography, touting that: Amidst the hustle and bustle of Miami, there is a charming little spot where you can just relax and catch a beautiful sunrise over Biscayne Bay.
                                                                     (photos above from February 8, 2015)
 Above - Deering and the "supertide" of Sunday, 9/27/15

Friends  recommended the People's Dock to watch a storm. Watching nature crashing over the cement pier, I am told, can be quite impressive.  Hurricane Irma obviously took it too far. It is sad to see the damage wrought by Irma on the dock. It was in need of repair before, now Irma as pushed that time line up to replacement and upgrade from repair.  
Above right: Osprey is "chillin" post meal - above left: something just became breakfast for a Tarpon
both photos taken Saturday, 9/30/2017

I look forward to Miami-Dade County restoring the People's Dock. This is one place where you can observe our local nature and appreciate what we have.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Palmetto Bay Council has approved a contractor to speed up debris collection within Palmetto Bay


This was not an issue that could wait any longer. Certainly not another full weekend. We have received reports to motor vehicle accidents.  The debris make it difficult to drive or safely walk in many areas of our village. We are taking all efforts necessary to protect life and property in Palmetto Bay.

The Special Emergency Village Council meeting was held today, Saturday, 9/30/2017. Palmetto Bay is moving forward with debris pick up through a Village contracted vendor.  The Village has trained personnel to serve as monitors.  Police will also be working with the debris collection in regard to road safety.

It was important to hold this Saturday morning meeting in order to allow the debris contractor to start immediately, Saturday, September 30, 2017, and not lose yet another weekend to clear.  We are prioritizing the schools located in the Village (especially as Monday is a Teacher Work Day). Staff and the Council has confirmed that this vendor, Ceres Environmental Services, Inc. has the proper tools for the work and will be monitored by city staff.

There will be regular reports of locations for cleanup provided starting next week. The weekend will see two crews.  There will be six crews beginning on Monday.

There will be two crews will be assigned to each district so that cleanup will begin across the Village at the same time.

Please keep us up to date on your debris concerns through the AdminTemp@palmettobay-fl.gov e-mail.  And, as always, I am available to address your questions or concerns.  My e-mail is eflinn@palmettobay-fl.gov or by phone at 305-302-3713

Friday, September 29, 2017

SFWMD Moving Water in Anticipation of Additional Weekend Rain from Tropical Disturbance

Update from the SFWMD in response to expected weekend rains (CLICK HERE to view the full release):


SFWMD Moving Water in Anticipation of Additional Weekend Rain from Tropical Disturbance
District working with local governments and drainage districts to assist in areas already saturated from Hurricane Irma
 

Orlando, FL - South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) gates and flood control structures in the Upper Kissimmee Chain of Lakes are operating at maximum practical capacity to lower water levels in anticipation of a tropical disturbance passing over South Florida. The disturbance is expected to drop heavy rains over areas still recovering from high water caused by Hurricane Irma. The SFWMD is coordinating with local water managers and drainage districts to prepare for the storm's expected impacts.


Northern areas of the District, such as Lake Hart, Lake Myrtle, Lake Ajay and East Lake Tohopekaliga, are forecast to receive an average of 3 inches of rain over the next three days with local maximums of more than 8 inches of rain possible. Areas along Shingle Creek and Boggy Creek could also receive heavy rainfall.
These northern areas of the District have already received 8 to 12 inches of rain earlier this month from Hurricane Irma. All SFWMD flood control structures have been moving water out of these lakes to lower levels since the storm. However, these lakes are still well above their regulation schedules for this time of year. Heavy rainfall from the disturbance could cause additional impacts in county-controlled and locally controlled drainage areas that are upstream of the areas drained directly by the SFWMD.

If any municipality or drainage district experiences areas of localized impacts, they are encouraged to contact SFWMD immediately. Staff will assess those situations and see if there is anything further that can be done on a case-by-case basis.

Emergency Special Council Meeting, tomorrow, Sat, 9/30/17, 10:30 AM

We cannot wait another weekend.  We may have a debris collector/hauling contractor that can start this weekend, without waiting for the start of yet another week.  

I have called an Emergency Special Council Meeting for tomorrow, Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 10:30 AM at Village Hall, 9705 E. Hibiscus Street. 

The purpose of this Emergency Special Council Meeting is to consider the following: (I) bulky waste pick-up throughout the Village of Palmetto Bay; (II) authorizing the Village Manager to enter into an agreements as presented to the Village Council to expedite debris clean-up and ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of those living, working, and/or attending schools within the Village of Palmetto Bay.

Please CLICK HERE to view the posting on the village website notice.  

Your Mayor,

Eugene Flinn

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Progress - 164th Street reopened. Line replaced. Thank you!

Thank you Dayron and Team CCU/Comcast. Promises kept today.
The satisfaction of seeing some progress.  Debris pick up is of utmost importance at this time. It was important to make sure that 164 (near 84th) was not left behind due to lack of access for the debris haulers. 

Please see my morning update on the 164th Comcast line issue immediately below - and thank you Team Palmetto Bay from our Manager Ed Silva, Public Services Director Corrice Patterson and Danny Casals, Field Operations Supervisor, and entire of the team.
And yes, I am still working on the separate update on the County debris collection later today as promised.  

Thank you Comcast.  The company met the assurance to us that you would address this downed line today - 9/28/2017.

Patience had worn thin.  Thank you CCU for addressing this issue.  I specifically thank the person in the repair truck - Dayron - who worked hard as part of team CCU/Comcast to do their part to get this street reopened.