Monday, September 16, 2019

Photo of the Day - SFWMD - let's step up the maintenance of the C100 canal

A FOSDU sent me a photo of the ooze winding the way down the C100 canal. This photo was taken on Monday, September 16, 2019.  Not a 'chamber of commerce day' for anyone wanting to kayak down the waterway. 

Is this water safe for swimming? 

Are fish caught from this canal safe to eat?

Friday, September 13, 2019

Update on Petition filed against the Village of Palmetto Bay by Yacht Club By Luxcom. Initial order rendered.

I will update further on more interesting aspects of this DOAH Petition. Here is a procedural update for now:

Update on the Petition filed against the Village of Palmetto Bay by Yacht Club By Luxcom – seeking an administrative review of the rezoning of the properly commonly referred to as the “FPL Cutler Plant” property, DOAH Case No.: 19-004612GM. Relevant updates are posted below:
  • Case has been assigned to the Honorable FRANCINE M. FFOLKES, Administrative Law Judge, Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH).  
  • The initial order was rendered September 6, 2019, (this is a procedural order and provides no insight as to whether DOAH will accept jurisdiction and act on this petition. Village Manager Edward Silva is listed on the counsel page. He is the Village Manager, not Village Attorney.
  • There has been no appearance of counsel filed on behalf of the Village of Palmetto Bay. No appearance may be required depending upon any action on this Petition.
  • Note, "If all parties agree, this case may proceed as a summary hearing, without discovery, if requested by motion within 15 days from the date of this Order…." - as recited in numbered Paragraph 8 of this order. The 15 days will expire on September 21, 2019.
  • CLICK THIS LINK to view this initial order of September 6, 2019 (posted on Google docs). This document is obviously available on the actual DOAH online docket, link is posted immediately below.
  • CLICK HERE - DOAH main page - to view the official DOAH docket page (you will have to search the specific case or enter the case number - 19-004612GM - into the quick search box to view the actual DOAH case file).

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Order of September 6, 2019, is merely procedural and provides absolutely no insight into whether DOAH will accept jurisdiction or what, if any, orders or findings may result.

More will follow at a later date.

Eugene Flinn

Monday, September 9, 2019

Stealth tax increases they were hoping you wouldn't notice. New revenue. TAX ALERT

A new tax and without any changes in law - a stealth reason used to justify placing anew tax upon commercial properties as well as private communities that are not served by Miami-Dade County Solid Waste.  Any property owner who uses private garbage haulers will have to pay this new fee.  Businesses and schools will pass it on to those who use their services. Residents of private communities served by commercial haulers will simply pay more taxes.

CLICK HERE to read the Staff report and proposed legislation (not available online, except here).

There is nothing that prevents the Village from passing any ordinance, noise, neighborhood protection, or otherwise, to regulate the use of its streets, alleyways or dedicated public right of way at the present time. This is about the revenue.

How can you tell? If it was about regulation, you would see proposed restrictions in collections time, place and manner as part of this ordinance. There is none. Regulation is not contemplated. It is money/revenue first, then argue about any laws later.

This tax has been rejected both under Mayor Stanczyk and Flinn administrations.

FPL Franchise Fee Reboot. Once again, first attempt rendered invalid. Will a 5 year phase out become a 30 new encumbrance?

Most residents fail to realize that this current Palmetto Bay Village Council enacted its own tax upon our power bills. Note that this tax replaces a County (unincorporated Miami-Dade County) tax that was approved by the voters in 1992. Why is it that we could vote on a 30 year tax when we were unincorporated, but this current Village Council felt entitled to place a 30 year encumbrance upon our power bills by thir own unilateral action?  Final action was taken on June 17, 2019, at a special council meeting that few knew was being held, even fewer were able to attend. See the screen shot of the Manger report, photo right).

This is why I requested a meaningful town hall meeting. The current Village Council voted on an agreement that they obviously did not understand, and obviously failed to properly negotiate or even fully notify FPL as the power company rejected this franchise fee as 'passed' by this village council by a 3-2 vote (and how was there no representation by FPL at the first and Second reading to voice any objections?).

Once again, a swing and a miss that will cost anyone within Palmetto Bay who pays a FPL bill.

And, it is important to note, the $0.68 figure is misleading in my opinion, it is an “adjustment” figure, not the overall, actual cost, to each and every FPL account holder. That amount was not included in the memo.

VIEW THE ACTUAL FPL TAX INFORMATION: You won’t find the details online from Palmetto Bay, but you can CLICK HERE to view all 18 pages, the actual staff report and the long-franchise fee (another term for “TAX”) that I have placed on a google drive.

PLEASE CLICK HERE to read detailed information posted on my blog (much more complete than any information provided by the current Mayor, Manager or council member of this FPL Franchise fee issue).

Saturday, September 7, 2019

More Hurricane Heroes – Rotarians are hard at work in service of those suffering the impact of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Pics/more info provided

Rotarians Maria & Andrea
A Rotary consigned container ship was filled and departed for the Bahamas at 2:00 AM Saturday morning (9/7/2019).  Thank you Rotarians. Thank you to the hundreds of people behind the scenes who been hard at work collecting, sorting, packing, palletizing, performing inventory of donations and loading them onto the ship on its way to Grand Bahama.

Palmetto Bay is blessed to be home to The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay CLICK HERE to view the official club website, including Maria Kesti (pictured to the right), who is the current Area Governor and District 6990 Polio Chair.  Her husband, Michael Kesti currently serves on the Disaster Committee.

The photos posted to this blog document the tremendous volume of much needed materials shipped to the Bahamas.  Rotary is far from declaring mission accomplished. To the contrary, work continues on receiving donations. There will be additional packing events so check their website for ongoing announcements.


Information below taken from the official Rotary District 6990 website (CLICK HERE).
Grand Bahama Island has 5 Rotary clubs and is a valued part of Rotary District 6990. We will do everything possible to help them recover from the devastation.  Rotary International District 6990 has secured a 181-foot ship and begun the efforts to fill four (4) 20-foot containers with needed supplies to aid in the Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts. The local Rotary Clubs will be collecting items and packing them for the first shipment by this weekend. 
Items being collected are Cleaning Supplies, Tarps, Toiletries, Diapers, Gloves, First Aid, Sunscreen, Clean Towels and Rags, Flashlights, Batteries, Building & Repair Supplies, Canned Food Goods (non-perishable), Garbage Bags, and others.  For a complete list of items, see list below. 
Currently, items are being collected at the following locations :
Broward County

  • SpareZ Bowling –  5325 S University Dr, Davie / 9:00am to 1:00am, seven days a week
  • Weston Hills Country Club, 2600 Country Club Way, Weston /  Tuesday, Sept. 3–Friday, Sept. 6. 7 am–10 pm
  • International Montessory Kids Center, 602 Anderson Circle, Deerfield Beach / Wednesday and Thursday 9am – 8pm
  • The City of Hallandale Beach Cultural Community Center, 410 SE 3rd Street, Hallandale Beach

Miami-Dade County

  • Florida Blue Center (The Falls) – 8895 SW 136th Street, Miami / Hours: M-F 9am-7pm & Sat 9am-4pm
  • Coral Gables Fire Station 1 (Headquarters) 2815 Salzedo Street
  • Coral Gables Fire Station 2, 525 South Dixie Highway
  • Coral Gables Fire Station 3, 11911 Old Cutler Road

Friday, September 6, 2019

It's "Deja Vu, all over again". Or is it Groundhogs Day in Miami-Dade County? Select Miami-Dade beaches have again failed to meet Health quality standards. Clean this up and promote clean water during Super Bowl Week

Update the "Days without a beach advisory sign" and reset to "ZERO"!  

In the haven't I heard this before? department, 

Good Grief! Our Miami-Dade County is allegedly a tourist based economy yet our County Officials have allowed our beaches to go to crap. How many days has it been since we were not under an advisory?  At last check, there was an advisory on August 22nd. 

We need ACTION, not officials who merely "sound alarms." 

We have the local health department and media to sound the far-too-frequent-alarms. Action from our County Officials needs to follow the alarms - which to date has been Missing In Action.

Once again, I ask: Is it now required that we check both the weather and the pollution advisories before we decide to go to the beach?  Is this our new normal?: Child: "Mommy, can we go to the beach today?" Parent: "Let's me check first to see if the toxin levels are acceptable." Note the use of the term "acceptable" rather than clean - yuck!

PRIOR RELATED POST: August 22, 2019, Not again! Our beaches have again failed to meet Health quality standards. Clean this up and promote clean water during Super Bowl Week

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Palmetto Bay Cart Club T Shirt Fundraiser for the Abacos - limited time to buy

This is yet another outstanding example of community spirit; as well as another opportunity to participate. 

Chad Heffernan and the Palmetto Bay Golf Cart Club have organized a hurricane relief effort to help victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Please consider buying a Palmetto Bay Cart Club T Shirt or donating to support the victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. All proceeds will go to the Abacos Relief Fund which will be utilized to get necessary food and supplies to the islands!

Here is how this Tee Shirt fundraiser works: The T Shirts are only for sale until Saturday. 100% of the proceeds go to the Abacos Relief fund, will just send them a check when it is done. It's easy. Buy a shirt (you can also donate supplies to the Golf Cart Group as indicated below) and the proceeds to the Abacos Relief fund.

But this sale ends Saturday, so don't delay. Order now.

Chad Heffernan:
I feel passionate about the recovery effort because my family and I were lucky enough to vacation in the Abacos this past summer. Dozens of friends and their kids went too. We boated over and island hopped in six boats, and everywhere we went, the people were amazing. So much fun, always smiling. Helpful, courteous, and genuine. One of the best vacations I have ever had. That’s one of the reasons I am doing this.
The Palmetto Bay Golf Cart Club is working on a mass drop off of supplies this week. As Chad says, "(He) can’t think of what those people went through or a better cause."

CLICK HERE to Buy/Donate

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information below taken from the Custom Ink site:
About this campaign

All proceeds from the sale of these shirts will go directly to the Abacos Relief Fund, which will use 100% of the funds to purchase supplies and get to the islands of the Abacos, tax, duty, and import free. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Palmetto Bay Councilman David Singer organizes Hurricane Relief for the Bahamas - At Dadeland Station

Palmetto Bay Councilman David Singer has teamed up with Corporate America - Dadeland Station and its stores for supplies to Abaco Relief. This is yet another outstanding example of community spirit; as well as another opportunity to participate. 

Councilman Singer has organized a hurricane relief effort to help victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, teaming up with Dadeland Station.

He is asking folks to drop off non-perishable donations at the Dadeland Station center located at 8312 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33143.  Items should be dropped off at the Security Office located on the 1st floor of the parking garage.

David Singer will oversee the transfer of these goods from the Dadeland Station security office to the ships transporting the much-needed supplies to the Bahamas.

The Dadeland Station donation site offers a unique opportunity for those looking to buy and contribute as they do not have to transport. Items can either be brought from home, office or schools to the site, or you can purchase items at any of these stores and simply brought down to the security office via shopping cart - one stop.

Councilman Singer has expressed his heartfelt appreciation for those who participate in the many efforts going on to assist the Bahamas in this crisis.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Facebook Birthday Fundraiser for Hurricane Dorian Relief for the Bahamas. Happy Birthday Tracie Rusak!

Great community spirit coming together to help those devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

Palmetto Bay resident Tracie Rusak has set up a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser for Hurricane Dorian Relief for the Bahamas. It is designated to the Greater Miami Billfish Tournament Inc. Please assist to the extent that you are able. Great going Tracie - a 2019 Hurricane Hero.

CLICK HERE to find the Facebook fundraiser and to donate!

Happy Birthday Tracie Rusak.
“I'm turning 41 and I'm raising money for Hurricane Dorian relief for the Bahamas. The charity I chose is a local organization collecting money and supplies to send to the Bahamas. They have already secured a vessel and are now collecting items as well as money. If you would prefer to send an item, please let me know and I will send you the shipping address. If you are not comfortable with this, please donate to the Bahamas Red Cross. The Greater Miami Billfish Tournament Inc and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. Thank you for your support. I've included information about Greater Miami Billfish Tournament Inc below.”

CLICK HERE to view and make your donation.

Abaco Relief uodate: List of official DROP OFF LOCATIONS

Update from Richard Peeples - Abaco Relief: Providing a list of official DROP OFF LOCATIONS (listed in the JPEG below, click onto it to view in larger size). 

The administrators of the group plan on sending several ships over with supplies.  Please drop off your items as early as possible as these items will be processed and located Friday for a Saturday departure to the Bahamas.
The immediate needs are listed. All information is listed (and kept up to date) on the Abaco Relief Facebook page, but I have also listed it on this blog, see: Sept. 2, 2019, Update from Richard Peeples - Abaco Relief: Providing a list of immediate needs for Abaco Relief

I will continue posting updates here on my blog for those who may not use Facebook, but for those who do,CLICK HERE.

Update will continue to follow as relevant, but I recommend that interested people join the official Abaco Relief Facebook Page

Monday, September 2, 2019

Update from Richard Peeples - Abaco Relief: Providing a list of immediate needs for Abaco Relief

Monday, September 2, 2019, 5:20 PM Update from Richard Peeples - Abaco Relief: Providing a list of immediate needs. The administrators of the group plan on sending several ships over with supplies. 

Richard Peeples - Abaco Relief, will post an updated list of official drop off locations. Lots of people are offering for drop off locations but - Richard Peeples - Abaco Relief – has advised that they cannot guarantee how those locations are getting to the ship.

I am posting updates here on my blog for those who may not use Facebook, but for those who do, CLICK HERE.

Update will continue to follow as relevant, but I recommend that interested people join the official Abaco Relief Facebook Page

Local businesses and governments - how you can participate in post Hurricane Dorian Bahamas relief efforts

Another opportunity to participate in post Hurricane Dorian Bahamas relief efforts. 

Please review the details in regards to items requested, drop off locations as well as the groups participating.

Please join and donate to Abaco Relief - Assisting those devastated by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas

There are many leaders of this effort, including Palmetto Bay resident Richard Peeples (among others)

Here is the link to the Abaco Relief Facebook page. This is a public group.

One such plea: This just in from Richard H. Peeples III in South Florida

Good morning my friends, as we all know the Abacos have been destroyed and left the people desperate for help. Because I am insane, I am taking on the task along with Cody Holcomb, Bruce Marx, Ed Dwyer, and numerous others. We will need everything and are setting up locations to drop off your donations. So far Scott Baxter, SeaHunter Boats and Crook and Crook are established drop off locations. We will have a ship going over on Sat. That doesn't give us a lot of time to get it loaded. I've been in contact with some people in the Abacos and they will need everything. I am comprising a list. Budweiser will be donating two containers full of water. So water is not a priority. Please join Abaco Relief for information on how to make your tax deductible donations through the Miami Billfish Tournament. We are not associated with any go fund me pages. They take to large of a percentage to deal with. All monies donated will go directly to purchasing supplies and to pay shipping. All monies are for the people of Abacos. Nothing is going through the Bahamian government. We already have assurances that all customs and duties will be waved. If you need further information please send me a text since my phone is blowing up and I can't answer everyone. I appreciate everyone's help on this. Your thoughts and prayers have been great but now its time for your donations, no matter how small. These people need us and now its time to give back to the Bahamians who have given us so much. God Bless you all.

(Above information taken from the Abaco Relief public Facebook page - all the information you need is available from this site or from any of the administrators)
I will update this topic as information becomes available, but all you need to know will be posted to this Facebook site, including the ability to ask question of the leaders of this relief effort.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Hurricane Safety - Photo of the day - with link to important handling info. Don't try this - anywhere!

Safety first - especially when preparing for a significant weather event such as a storm.  This is simply unbelievable, commonly remarked with "WTH"? 

This photo has been circulating social media.  I, myself have witnessed several examples of dangerous handling of fuel cans - Thursday, 8/29/2019 - I witnessed a person filling the containers while they remained in the back of her SUV. That's right, apparently not wanting to lift the containers to and from the ground (to safely fill) she put her vehicle at risk of being soaked by an overflow or fuel spill.  Needless to say, I did not pull in directly behind her.

Please read online: Understanding New Regulations for Portable Fuel Containers, by Kelly Burke  Updated 08/10/19.

I hope the actions in the photo are staged for effect and not an accurate depiction of an actual event. I claim fair use in order to put out this safety lesson on handling flammable materials.  

Read important tips contained in a document that is part of a series from the Agricultural Engineering Department, Agricultural Extension Service, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee. Publication date: April 1986. The material is just as valid today.

NASD National Ag Safety Database - Storing Gasoline and Other Flammables, by Timothy G. Prather:
How many times have you seen people pumping gasoline into milk jugs and the like and then putting it in the trunk of the car or the back of the truck to haul it home?
Have you ever wondered how they make it home without setting the vehicle on fire, or how they keep the house from burning days later when the fuel expands, possibly rupturing the jug or blowing the top off? Milk jugs, anti-freeze jugs, glass containers and many 'gas cans' are not suitable for carrying or storing gasoline.
Stability: The cans must remain stable when filled and placed on a 30 degree slope.  
Leakage: When a filled safety can is inverted, the valve cannot leak more than four drops per minute over a period of five minutes (UL) or 10 minutes (FM). This test must be passed before and after 5,000 (FM) or 10,000 (UL) normal opening/closing operations of the valve. In addition, the seams and joints are examined under pressure for leaks. 
BLOG EDITOR'S NOTE: The plastic buckets obviously are a big fail as to the safety ratings.

I sure hope he made it home safe. I sure hope that the vehicle was fully aired out as gas vapors are much more explosive than liquid gasoline.

Don’t do this. And if you have to, don’t do this near anyone I care about.