Sunday, November 19, 2017

‘Jonathan’s Day’ Returns To Palmetto Bay - December 9 from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Coral Reef Park

All are welcomed to join in and participate in this fun and information filled event!

The event is being held in conjunction with the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD). CARD is a non-profit organization providing direct services to thousands of South Florida families affected by autism.

All are welcome to Jonathan’s Day on December 9 from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

CLICK HERE to view official CBS 4 online information regarding Jonathan's Day 2017.

CLICK HERE to view the official Palmetto Bay online information regarding Jonathan's Day 2017.

CLICK HERE to view a prior post regarding Palmetto Bay's first Jonathan's Day:  November 28, 2016, Palmetto Bay's Unique Abilities Fair / Jonathan's Day
The Village of Palmetto Bay is committed to fostering inclusion in our community by implementing and promoting positive programs that benefit children of all ages and all abilities.  In its 2nd consecutive year in Palmetto Bay, this day of inclusion and acceptance is named after South Florida's very own Jonathan Mizrachi, the 13-year-old son of a CBS 4 Miami News employee.  Despite being autistic, Jonathan's fearless attitude toward life defines him much more so than his condition, and his exceptional outlook is something to be celebrated.  The event serves to connect parents, friends and families to resources and information that enrich the lives of children with unique abilities in a fun and celebratory outdoor environment.

The event will take place on December 9th at the beautiful Coral Reef Park, located at 7895 SW 152nd Street, from 8 am until noon.  Everyone is welcome to Jonathan's Day; Fun in Palmetto Bay; all kids, all abilities, all ages!  Just come prepared to have a great time.  Don't miss being part of the community connection that makes Palmetto Bay the best place to live, work and play.

                                         Thank You to Our Supporters

Palmetto Bay is thankful to have the support from the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) and the Association of Agencies (AOA), along with that of CBS 4 Miami News.  These organizations are key service providers for individuals and families with unique abilities, and they continue to pledge their commitment to these families by supporting events such as Jonathan's Day.

(information above from the Village web page for Jonathan's Day)

Village of Palmetto Bay / Peterson’s Harley Davidson / Sugar-4-Kids Fall Toy Drive events continue

Saturday, Nov 18, was yet another great day for family fun (and giving) in Palmetto Bay. Fun and giving.  Please consider making a donation of a new, unwrapped, toy for the 2nd Annual Sugar-4-Kids Toy Drive.

The Village of Palmetto Bay is teaming up with Peterson’s Harley Davidson and Sugar-4-Kids in hosting the Fall Toy Drive & Concert event and collect toys for the 2nd Annual Sugar-4-Kids Toy Drive. The village event was held on Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Municipal Center.  CLICK HERE to view the official Peterson's Harley Davidson / Sugar-4-Kids Fall Toy Drive online event page.
Attendees enjoyed great food from food vendors, live music from Cutler Stew and inflatable rides for kids.  
There is still time to enter into a raffle to win a brand new, loaded Harley-Davidson 2018 IRON 883 Sportster. Raffle tickets are $50 and can be purchased online or by visiting Peterson’s Harley Davidson South or Peterson’s Harley Davidson of Miami.

The raffle winner will be announced during the 2nd Annual Sugar-4-Kids Toy Drive, when all toys will be distributed.  The event will take place on Saturday, December 9th at West Perrine Park from 10 am to 4 pm.  Raffle winner does not need to be present to win.

The 2nd Annual Sugar-4-Kids Toy Drive has seen numerous events including a kick off party/toy drive held on site at the Peterson Harley Davidson. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Presentation from TPO at special council meeting - of 11/15/2017

The TPO is planning for 1.4 million new people moving into Miami-Dade County by 2060. Robert Piatkowski, AICP, Town Planner, AICP, Town Planner, from Dover, Kohl & Partners brought forward a short presentation to the Village Council at the special council meeting held on Nov. 15, 2017.  I will update with a link to the presentation when posted.

View the SMART Plan information by following this link:

following from the TPO webpage:
The SMART Plan intends to advance six of the PTP’s rapid transit corridors, along with a network system of Bus Express Rapid Transit (BERT) service, in order to implement mass transit projects in Miami-Dade County. To ensure the SMART Plan moves forward, the TPO Governing Board directed the Miami-Dade TPO Executive Director to work with the TPO FPC to determine the costs and potential sources of funding for Project Development and Environment (PD&E) studies for the projects, and to also take all necessary steps to implement the SMART Plan.
Follow the TPO actions through public meetings and online. #YourVoiceMatters

Palmetto Bay is contiguous to the South Dade TransitWay that runs from the Dadeland South Metrorail Station south to the SW 344th Street Transit Terminal (Florida City)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Will there be a Palmetto Bay Holiday Boat Parade in 2017? #YourVoiceMatters

The annual time of year has been reached when I begin to field questions about the date for the "Palmetto Bay Holiday Boat Parade." Many canal residents plan their holiday parties so that guests can enjoy this parade as well as donating to the canned food drive.

This year may be different.  The question is not "when", but "if". Will there be a Palmetto Bay Holiday Boat Parade in 2017?  Your support may be needed.  This is a true #YourVoiceMatters.  I am a supporter.  Palmetto Bay Holiday Boat Parade is a wonderful community event that brings participants, friends and neighbors together in the holiday spirit, collecting canned food for a good cause, and is supported both by members of the residential community as well as a local business.

This is not a Palmetto Bay official event (maybe it should be).  It is put together by an all volunteer group - The Palmetto Bay Canal Association - which is made up of Palmetto Bay (and Pinecrest) residents who are both users and stewards of our local canal system. The group includes pleasure boaters, fishermen, skiers, canoers and kayakers.

Click the link to go view my bog posts regarding this event, including prior posts such as Nov. 21, 2016, 7th Annual Palmetto Bay Canned Food Drive - oh, and yes, the Boat Parade - Sat., Dec 10, 2016, 5:30 PM; Dec. 22, 2013, The fourth Annual Palmetto Bay Canal Association Holiday Boat Parade held Sat, Dec 22, 2013, links to photos - and others. Once there, you can find other past articles by clicking on the label “Boat Parade” to see other posts and photos from prior events.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day 2017 - Thank you to those (and their families) who have served/are presently serving our country.

Thank you to those who answered the call to serve.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank all US Military veterans for their service to our country. Today, Saturday, Nov 11, 2017, everyone should take a moment to honor those who have preserved our freedom and protected all of our rights, including the right to vote. Veterans Day is a holiday honoring living military veterans. It is a Federal and State holiday observed by all states.

President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. Other countries today also still recognize November 11th as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in honor of the Armistice treaty which ended WWI. The U.S Congress amended this act on November 8, 1954, making this holiday Veterans Day as we know it today. 

Military dot com list ways that you can celebrate and educate your children about Veterans Day:

History dot com offers a wealth of information about Veteran’s Day:

Please see a prior post:
Recognizing Purple Heart Awardees:  August 12, 2016, Recognizing our Purple Heart Awardees. Palmetto Bay is now a Purple Heart City!  This special day was made even more special in Palmetto Bay as we became a recognized "Purple Heart City" -

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Routine procedure is causing a temporary change to our water - see the County Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department for more information

I was asked about a recent change in our water here in Palmetto Bay (Water is a service provided by Miami-Dade County) - inquiries have been made regarding a chlorine smell in the water drawn from the tap.

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department begins temporary change to its water chlorination method for two-week period beginning Nov. 6th. See their website: This routine procedure is an annual event where WASD partners with the Florida Department of Health of Miami-Dade County and the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER). County residents may experience some chlorine smell and/or taste in their water during this short-term period. This is normal as free chlorine has a slightly different taste and smell than combined chlorine. The temporary changes does not cause adverse health effects and is a necessary part of WASD's ongoing efforts to provide safe drinking water to Miami-Dade County residents.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

15 year history- creating the first LEED Platinum Certified Municipal Center in the Southern US

In honor of the 15th Year Anniversery - see a article still online from the Palmetto Bay News, a Community Newspapers publication.

See:  New Village Hall now open for business, by: Gary Alan Ruse, January 4, 2011

As (then founding/former) Mayor Eugene P. Flinn Jr., the principal champion of the first permanent village hall, is happy to see it completed.

“I am very pleased that we’ve got that project finished,” Flinn said. “I’m very proud of that building. It should be an outstanding and lasting legacy for our people. We have the first municipal building here in South Florida with that level of green technology, and it’s not going to be obsolete.”
Read up on the article.  It was exciting to oversee the creation of the first LEED Platinum Certified Municipal Center in the South (South US).

Also see: October 9, 2012, post: Great news. It is official. Palmetto Bay's Village Hall receives Platinum LEED certification.

Friday, November 3, 2017

TONIGHT! Festival Under The Stars - Family time in Palmetto Bay - Friday, Nov 3rd - 6 - 9 PM

Southwood Festival Under the Stars tonight!

SUPER excited to announce we will have an amazing chance drawing at Festival Under the Stars.  Who wants tickets to DISNEY, SEA WORLD AND AQUATICA?????  Yes please! 🙋‍♂️🙋

Each drawing entry will receive a small gift, AND those who purchase 5 Disney entries at a time will also get a Southwood T-shirt!

Make sure to get your entries in before 8pm at the event. 

The entry prices are as follows:
DISNEY (4 one-day park hopper tickets)
$15 per chance

SEA WORLD - (4 one-day tickets)
$10 per chance

AQUATICA- (4 one-day tickets)
$5 per chance

Best of luck to everyone!

Link to prior post: October 24, 2017, Festival Under The Stars - Family time in Palmetto Bay - Friday, Nov 3rd - 6 - 9 PM  -  A great event to enjoy with the entire family

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sometimes politics goes too far. First Budget Hearing Speaker - Fact Checking Gary P and CCOC

What was Gary watching? Significant fact checking is in order concerning a missive sent out which seriously misrepresented an occurrence held at the first budget hearing. Watch this video. This is one of those "Palmetto Bay checks the record" moments - a line used stated by others. This video speaks volumes and clarifies the record and serves as a warning about the "opinions" you may be receiving in your email. Fact check.  Don't rely upon third hand inflammatory fake news.

I usually do not respond to baseless unsubstantiated attacks. It just gives them attention they crave, but then there are times where the 'opinions' are so egregious, that a response is required. The video above if posted in order to allow you to fact-check the caustic inflammatory comment from Gary Pastorella in one of his e-mails where he once again goes off into a personal misleading attack. This e-mail was circulated by Gary Pastorella on October 17, 2017, with the subject line "Budget Vote: Services Maintained? Business Committee Funded? Were you flooded? Dover Speaks @PBBA,"

Please, after you watch the video above, explain to me how he could possibly write what he published in his e-mail.  The text below is taken verbatim from his e-mail:
During public comment a gentleman who volunteered that he had never attended a meeting before attempted to ask a question regarding the budget. His opening comment allowed the Mayor a great point of attack. The resident began with telling the Council he wanted to ask a question but was unsure how to do it instead of just jumping in with his comment. This gave the Mayor an opening to embarrass the resident. The Mayor, it seemed, did not allow him to finish his statement but instead informed him that the time to ask a question was during the budget workshops held June 27, July 12 and July 19.
I cannot let distortion go unchallenged.  What is important is that we do not begin to let their continued distortions go unchecked.  We cannot allow this to become the norm.  The facts do require checking - and correcting.

Comparing the e-mail with the video causes wonder as to whether the author was even present to view the exchange that he so missed the mark on reporting or was this part of a "committee effort" at just presenting distorted facts, hoping to state them loud enough and often enough that the misstatements become the truth, assuming that fellow residents who hadn't attended the hearing would believe him when he so wrongfully alleged that I "attacked" and embarrassed the speaker?

So why argue?  I have posted the 'exchange' for all to view and determine for themselves.  The speaker presented without interruption and the record reflects that 4 out of 5 members of the council - myself included, RESPONDED positively to his questions and concerns, offering helpful comments.  

I am pleased with how the council interacted with this speaker.  I remain at a loss as to why the helpful exchange, as evidenced in the video above, between 4 members of the village council and a first-time speaker evokes such a negative and destructive e-mail blast.

I thank everyone for their positive efforts in our village.  We are a family.  Families argue at times and I believe that through conflict comes resolution - but when that conflict is on an honest level.  Comparing the video with the e-mail attack illustrates why I ask everyone to fact check and be careful when reviewing comments made by Gary Pastorella - I am always available to discuss any issue or correct the record.

Thank you to those who took the time to 'check the record.'

I remain committed to advocating on behalf of Palmetto Bay for debris clearing and post Irma restoration - e-mail contacts listed

Palmetto Bay may have dropped out of the debris pickup business, but that does not mean that I, personally, am not here to address your concerns.  I remain committed to seeing Palmetto Bay through the restoration.

Please mail e-me at and I will forward it to those still involved in pick up and monitor to the best of our ability. You can also forward your concerns to everyone at once. Here are all the emails that your concerns will be going to:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Surprising - Palmetto Bay's contracted Irma debris pickup ends as of 10/29 for lack of a second

I have to say that I am very surprised. Palmetto Bay has backed out of Irma storm collection and area restoration.  The Palmetto Bay Contractors had ceased collection as of Wednesday, October 25, 2017.

The request from staff to extend the collection failed for lack of a second at the Special Council Meeting held Monday, October 30, 2017.  This meeting was specially called due to the time sensitive nature of the item to consider extending the debris removal services (CLICK HERE - to view the agenda items).

Yes, the debris pick up was not without its frustrations, but overall, our hired crews worked well in complementing the County efforts at debris removal. The Contractor satisfied the contract - the fact was that the level of debris was actually greater than estimated, which to me meant that it was even more important that we supplement the pick up rather than sit back and place the entire burden on the County. 

The renewal failed for lack of a second at the meeting:

The two-team collective effort is now down to one.  Miami-Dade County is now on its own and solely responsible for continued debris removal, to finish the first sweep and complete any additional clean up or specialty sweeps (including stump or hanging branch removals).  Our efforts died as no council member would second the resolution after Council Member Larissa Siegel Lara moved the item forward - and noting that she stated an intention to enter into a compromise, rather than a full approval of the proposed extension.

Please click the "Storm Restoration" label, and then scroll down to view some of my past updates regarding our efforts to get Palmetto Bay back to pre-Irma status.  

Our crews collected debris over a mere 29 days. Irma struck our area on September 10/11. They  were contracted to start debris removal at the Saturday, September 30, 2017, Special Council meeting.  The Crews started at 2:30 PM on that same day.  Our contracted crews  removed nearly 120,000 cubic yards of debris - as can be seen piled high at the east end of Coral Reef Park or at the second debris station off 168 and Old Cutler Road.

I was told that our crews averaged about 6,000 cubic yards per day, the first two weeks. Toward the end, the crews were averaging 5,000 cubic yards daily. 

Palmetto Bay is now out of the storm debris removal efforts, turning the responsibility back over to Miami-Dade County to complete the efforts. 

The crews will complete their contracted duties of grinding the piles located at both our debris collection points.  The ground debris will then be disposed of at a County/FEMA approved site.

I commend the work of the contracted crews who did work seven days a week to work with Miami-Dade County to remove debris from Palmetto Bay.  This effort greatly sped up the debris removal.  The village staff who were diverted to this effort (which included monitoring) will now return to their normal assignments, unless they are required to remain at the debris collection sites.

Monday, October 30, 2017

FEMA Comes to the Palmetto Bay Village Hall to Offer Assistance

Palmetto Bay is hosting FEMA at our village hall:

PALMETTO BAY, FL, October 30, 2017 -  Starting today and through Saturday, FEMA officials will be stationed at the Palmetto Bay Village Hall to assist anyone that needs to register for federal assistance as a result of Hurricane Irma. 

Miami-Dade County is one of many designated counties in the state to be within the Major Disaster Declaration area, which makes county residents eligible for various federal assistance programs offered through FEMA.  Some of those programs include unemployment assistance, public assistance, small business low interest loans and bridge loans, among others.  Palmetto Bay recently posted a notice of upcoming FEMA deadlines for these and other programs on its municipal website to make sure that residents apply for the assistance they may need within the established time period to do so.  Starting today, FEMA staff is available to answer questions, provide guidance with the federal process and register applicants.

FEMA staff will be onsite at Village Hall from today until Saturday, November 4th, between the hours of 8:30 am and 6:30 pm in the Village Hall Council Chambers.  Anyone who has any questions or needs help to register for federal assistance due to  hurricane damage to their homes or apartments may drop by at any time during these hours, and bring the following required documents and information:
Social Security number (one per household)
Address of the damaged home or apartment
Description of the damage
Information about insurance coverage (insurance policy documents would be helpful)
Bank account number and bank routing number for direct deposit funds (information is printed on personal checks)
Individuals will also be required to provide their telephone numbers and mailing address. 

FEMA staff is ONLY assisting with the registration process for hurricane-related assistance and NOT for the Food for Florida DSNAP Program.  More information about federal disaster assistance is available on the FEMA website or by calling 800-621-FEMA, TTY 800-462-7585.