Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Staying in town this holiday weekend? Kick it off at the PBVC on July 1. The second in the series. The Food Trucks return to the Palmetto Bay Village Center this Friday.

Friday, July 1st, the Food Truck Fridays event will be at Palmetto Bay Village Center in common areas around the main front courtyard.

There will be live music and PBVC, thru a vendor, will sell the alcohol.

Palmetto Bay Village Center is a great place to come and enjoy the Summer breeze, live music, great picnic areas and of course, the Food Trucks. This time the Food Trucks are invading a beautiful property down the historic Old Cutler Road. Take the Old Cutler tree tunnels down South 4 miles past Pinecrest. The event is held in a gorgeous setting that hosts many weddings, TV & Film productions and huge events like the Taste of Cutler Bay.

This event will continue to be held every 1st & 3rd Friday of each month. This event is billed as a family-friendly atmosphere with a vast variety of foods to taste from. Bring a big appetite and tell your friends.

There is a parking fee: $5 per car collected at the gate.

It should be a lot of fun. 5:30 – 10:30 PM!

Click "Read more" for a link to the Miami Food Trucks official info page.

EYE ON MIAMI: The Victory Celebration for Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. By Geniusofdespair

A night of celebration welcoming in the new Mayor of Miami-Dade County.

Congratulations Mayor-Elect Carlos Gimenez and family.

One evening of celebration and now the hard work begins including preparing the next County Budget. More on that later.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

FPL Solar Rebate Program - get ready. Limited availability, first come, first served. Study up on the specifics

A solar energy rebate program for Florida Power & Light Co. customers begins Wednesday, June 29th. Rebates will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis for customers who install solar water heating or solar photovoltaic panels this year.

Links to the official FPL site as well as a recent article in the Miami Herald are posted.

As reported in the Miami Herald, FPL to offer solar energy rebate program: The program will provide up to $1,000 per installed residential solar water heater, and FPL estimates rebates will be available for about 4,500 customers. Residential customers can receive up to $2 per kilowatt of output, or a maximum of $20,000 for a PV system. FPL estimates rebates will be available for about 400 customers.

New York TImes 2010 U.S. Census Map

The New York Times

Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census

Browse population growth and decline, changes in racial and ethnic concentrations and patterns of housing development. 

It appears that in Florida, only Monroe  and Pinellas  Counties see a decline in population.  Monroe's decline is 8.2%.  Pinellas' decline appears statistically insignificant at 0.5%

Click “Read more” below for the link to the interactive map link

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vote for Carlos Gimenez, for Mayor. The proven leader for Miami-Dade County

CLICK HERE and read the Miami Herald's latest endorsement for Miami-Dade County Mayor:

The Miami Herald | EDITORIAL
No gimmicks, no shortcuts, no amnesia

OUR OPINION: Carlos Gimenez is the proven leader for Miami-Dade County

This is an important election that will determine the future of our community.  As stated in the editorial:

The new mayor has to present the county budget to the commission barely 17 days after Tuesday’s election. Mr. Gimenez won’t need a primer. He has made political enemies precisely because he studies issues in depth and puts the facts before the voters. No gimmicks, no amnesia about past positions — armed only with the resolve to do right by taxpayers.
(Emphasis added)

Early voting continues this week through this Saturday, Final Election Day is this Tuesday, June 28.  VOTE.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My recommendation for Miami-Dade County Mayor - Carlos Gimenez. Please vote in this very important election.

This is a tough election season with school being out and folks heading out for vacations. An election is the last thing most of us are thinking about right now.  

However, this June 28th election is important to all of us.   

The county is in another tight budget year and the budget is due almost immediately after this election. Our new mayor needs to jump in and have his ducks in a row. With this budget, there is no room for a learning curve. Gimenez has experience and as fiscal conservative he will pull in the reigns on county spending. He did an amazing job managing the City of Miami as well as serving on the county commission. We can expect more of the same outstanding and thoughtful public service from Carlos Gimenez as our county mayor. 

The voter turnout is slow with only 12,000 voters early voting in the past three days and a total of 70,000 absentee ballots returned to date.  During the May 24th election there were only 194,467 ballots cast and a voter turnout of 15.96 %. County has around 1,218,291 registered voters. It is obvious that we need to do better during this election. Here are the early voting hours and locations. The hours have changed since the new 2011 election  laws went into effect.  

Please get out and vote! Don't let other people decide who your mayor will be!

CLICK HERE to view my original recommendation post of Sunday, May 15, Elect Carlos Gimenez for Mayor Miami-Dade County.  This blog entry also contains a link to the Miami Herald original endorsement of Carlos Gimenez, calling him a reformer.

Be Election Ready - Important information

Did you know that a Pinecrest precinct has permanently been moved to a new location? Did you guess that there are dozens of temporary precinct reassignments for this election with many of them located in the South Dade and Kendall areas? 
 Election Logo
Don't wait till Tuesday when you are wanting to vote to realize that your precinct has been moved. Click here to be taken to the elections page which has all the links to changes in a pdf format. Or you can call elections directly at 305-499-8421 and ask them to look up your voting location.
Would you like to send Lester Sola, Miami Dade County Supervisor of Elections, an email? Click here.

Are you a bit curious about campaign financing? Look here for information on committees and candidates. Committees, by the way, are the Political Action Committees (PACS).

Do you know who your local, state and federal elected officials are? Click here to find out.

See you at the polls!

Public input sought - FPL and the Everglades meeting tonight, Wednesday, June 22, 2011

There is a critical public meeting today at Florida International University on FPL's plans for  Everglades National Park.  

A meeting is being held today for public discuFPL Towersssion on Florida Power and Light's proposed western county corridor for new power lines. These lines are for their unapproved nuclear power reactors at Turkey Point. The eastern aspect of their plan includes running poles up US1 from Palmetto Bay all the way to Downtown Miami.

FPL is attempting to swap an utility corridor it owns inside the 109,000 acre East Everglades Expansion Area (in Everglades National Park) for a new corridor on the east side of the park. This new corridor that FPL wants is still inside current park boundaries.  If permitted, one of Florida's unique natural areas will gain a new industrial viewscape consisting of three sets of power lines carrying up to 500,000 volts of electricity across towers as high as 150 feet (15 stories tall). The lines would connect proposed new nuclear reactors at Turkey Point to points north.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day, 2011 - Sunday, June 19

I want to wish a very Happy Father’s Day this Sunday to all fathers and grandfathers and those who fill the role of Dad, who live, work, play, or raise their family here in and around our communities.

Father’s Day is a day to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. A special Father’s Day wish goes out to the families who are separated due to military service, especially overseas

“Fun Facts” relating to Father’s Day:

The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.

Father's Day is the fifth most popular card-sending holiday, with an estimated $100 million in card sales. Husbands, grandfathers, uncles, sons and sons-in-law are honored as well as father.

Neck ties, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, are the number one gift for Father’s Day.

Fun quote:

Stanley T. Banks; Father of the Bride (1991):
You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. She looks up to you. You're her oracle. You're her hero. And then the day comes when she gets her first permanent wave and goes to her first real party, and from that day on, you're in a constant state of panic.

Happy Father’s Day!

This is your community. Take charge and participate in choosing its direction - VOTE!

96 hours of early voting starts today, Saturday, June 18, 2011.  There are 20 locations to cast your vote early for Miami-Dade County Mayor.  There are only two Saturdays for early voting, June 18 and June 25 (also the last day of early voting).  There is only one day of Sunday early voting - June 19. 

It will be easier to get out and vote at some convenient time in the next 86 hours than to figure out a reason why not to vote.  This election is far too important for the future of Miami-Dade County. 

Don’t let others make this important decision for you.  Election Day is Tuesday, June 28. 

You, the voter, should determine the outcome of this election.  This election should not be decided by someone paid to collect and fill out absentee ballots, emphasis on absentee. Absentee ballot voters should mail in their own ballot to the elections department. Do not hand over your ballot to an unknown "ballot collector".  Protect your vote. Prevent vote fraud.

Under a recently changed Florida law, the early voting will span just eight days — June 18 through June 25. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This is the second election affected by the new law that limits voter participation.  Please see a prior post: “Change your plans last-minute early voters.Change to the voting schedule came swiftly, and without much notice.

Please join me at the polls, the future of our community is far too important not to participate.

Resources (click on the links):
Miami-Dade County Elections Department Website official info for early voting

EYE ON MIAMI: CBS Reporter Jim DeFede Looks at Julio Robaina's Record. By Geniusofdespair

Always good to "know before you go" (vote).  Do your due diligence regarding the candidates, read Eye On Miami:
EYE ON MIAMI: CBS Reporter Jim DeFede Looks at Julio Robaina's Record. By Geniusofdespair

Jim DeFede decided to check Mayoral Candidate Julio Robaina's rhetoric while campaigning against the facts. They didn't match up. DeFede reported Julio touts his successful record in the city of Hialeah but others beg to differ:

“...he’s destroyed the city,” said Barbara Hernandez, president of union representing a majority of Hialeah’s 1,600 employees. “I believe he acted out of malice toward the residents and its employees.”

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Palmetto Bay Village Voice Miami-Dade Mayor Forum a success

PB Village Voice Chair Rick Cook
The Palmetto Bay Village Voice, held its initial event,  the Miami-Dade mayoral forum held on Thursday, June 16th. This event was held in conjunction with the Palmetto Bay Village Center.

I counted approximately 100 people who attended this 8 am event.  

This was an outstanding opportunity for those in the South Dade area to attend a Miami-Dade Mayoral Debate and familiarize yourself with the candidates before the June 28th runoff election.  Please vote.  This will be a light turnout election.  Your vote will have an even greater impact on the result.

Both candidates appeared at this event. 

Click "Read more" immediately below to view several photographs from this event.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today, June 14, is Flag Day, a special day to fly the US Flag.

Are you up to date on flag custom; which days are appropriate to fly your flag?  The answer is every day, but there are special days when the flag should be displayed. I have chosen the Air Force Association web site to provide more information on flag custom:

(Display of U.S. flag)

Title 36, Chapter 10 PATRIOTIC CUSTOMS
Sec. 174. Time and occasions for display

The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on New Year's Day, January 1; Inauguration Day, January 20; Lincoln's Birthday, February 12; Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February; Easter Sunday (variable), Mother's Day, second Sunday in May; Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May; Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, first Monday in September; Constitution Day, September 17; Columbus Day, second Monday in October; Navy Day, October 27; Veterans Day, November 11; Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November; Christmas Day, December 25; and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States; the birthdays of States (date of admission); and on State holidays.

Questions about how and when to properly display the US Flag?  One of many online resources:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Opportunity for public input: The National Park Service is seeking your input on aquisition of lands owned by FPL within the East Everglades Expansion Area of Everglades National Park.

Dear Friends of Everglades National Park:

The National Park Service (NPS) is initiating an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate options and potential impacts for acquiring lands owned by the Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) within the East Everglades Expansion Area (Expansion Area) of Everglades National Park.

 Acquisition of FPL's lands in their undeveloped condition is needed to help facilitate the hydrologic and ecological restoration of the Everglades ecosystem.  FPL has owned about 320 acres within the Expansion Area since the early 1970s. Because the FPL property is currently undeveloped and is needed for ecosystem restoration and enhancement, the NPS is seeking to acquire the FPL property, manage it as part of the Park, and maintain it in its undeveloped condition.

 There are several ways to participate in this process and make your voice heard.

Public Meeting: The public is invited to attend a public scoping meeting on
June 22, 2011:

      Location:   Florida International University Stadium Club
                             11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33199
      Time:            5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

The first hour of the meeting will be an open house and NPS staff will be available to discuss the project and answer questions. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a brief presentation on the project, followed by a public comment session.

Click “Read more” below to read the complete e-mail with links for both e-mail contacts as well as to be directed to official web sites for more information.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

PB Village Voice and PBVC present a morning Mayor forum, Thursday, June 16

The Palmetto Bay Village Voice, in conjunction with the Palmetto Bay Village Center, will present a mayoral forum this coming Thursday, June 16th, at 8 AM.

This is an outstanding opportunity for those in the South Dade area to attend a Miami-Dade Mayoral Debate. Please take the time to come out and familiarize yourself with the candidates before you vote in the June 28th runoff election.

Both candidates have confirmed their attendance.

Admission is free, and coffee will be served.

We will end promptly at 9 AM.

Please email me at for any additional information.  Thank you.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mango season has arrived! Support your local backyard grower.

Mango season has arrived and it means that time of year that my daughters and their friends set up their neighborhood mango stand.  Only problem for them is that competition is fierce here in Palmetto Bay.  Try driving 152nd street, 82nd or 87th avenues most weekends or even after school hours (afternoon drives) and it is hard not to find an open home mango seller.  The sales market is very competitive in the area and enterprising kids as well as some adults have their stands that have actually built seasonal consumer loyalty.

I am told that the general Palmetto area, Pinecrest, south through Palmetto Bay into Goulds was at one time the world’s largest exporter of Mangos.  I have not been able to authoritatively verify this interesting claim.

I think we all should be permitted an agricultural property tax exemption on our homes! Support your home agriculturalist, buy local Palmetto area mangos!


Food dot com has a listing of mango recipes including Mango Pies and Tarts, Mango Canning, Mango Desserts, Salads, Smoothies; well, you get the idea, it reminds me of the Bubba shrimp scene from Forrest Gump.  There seem to be just as many different recipes for Mango as there are for shrimp! CLICK HERE to view the online article.

Alexandra makes an outstanding mango salsa.  The ideal party or tailgate dip.

The listed recipe for the Garlic Lime Grilled Chicken With Mango Salsa sounds like an absolute must try for the South Florida area.


Have a tree not doing well, or just trying to improve the production?  I recommend the following online article (click the title to read) Mango Growing in the Florida Home Landscape published by the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy end of school year - Have a safe and happy summer vacation.

As always, I congratulate the students, parents, teachers and school staff for completion of another successful year. 

Back in 2004, in hopes of  getting the summer kicked off right, I implemented with the assistance of Ana Garcia (Palmetto Bay's first Parks and Recreation Director ) a "controlled" end of the year celebration at Coral Reef Park.  I would like to see this end of the year blow out continue for children from all area schools to come to Coral Reef Park after school Thursday for this current end-of-school celebration.  

This celebration allows our kids to have a fun "hello to summer", while having some organization and security for the end of year festivities.  This event has been coordinated each year through both the village policing unit and Parks and Recreation department.

Please take your usual special care to watch out for playful children darting out into your car's path while driving  this week and throughout the summer.

For more information, please call the Village Parks and Recreation Department at 305-259-1237.

Have a safe and happy summer vacation! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

EYE ON MIAMI: Absentee Ballot Fraud is Alive and Well in Miami Dade County. By Geniusofdespair

Eye On Miami has spent significant time alone and with other activists who have investigated the allegations of absentee Ballot fraud in Miami-Dade County Elections.  

The concern is that the Election Department needs to do more to protect your vote. Eye On Miami has proof that absentee ballot fraud is going on. It has looked at hundred of envelopes at the Elections Department and has seen many questionable signatures (same signature for multiple ballots from the same household), traced signatures and even MISSING signatures on absentee ballots that were counted. 

There is a cited instance of a voters being brought down to elections who was not allowed to vote election day because she was told she already voted absentee. She lived in an assisted living facility (ALF). She looked at the ballot envelope that elections claimed was hers. She proclaimed loudly and clearly: "That is not my signature." I looked at her signature next to the signature on the ballot envelope. It wasn't even close.

Read this Eye Opening post on the Eye On Miami blog.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Anyone remember the small plane crash in Palmetto Bay in 2010 at the FPL canal site?

On August 18, 2010, a single-engine Cessna made an emergency landing into a canal near the Florida Power & Light Cutler power plant in Palmetto Bay. Anyone remember this eventful day?

Click read more below for more background and follow up including comments on the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report.

Traffic Nightmare for Cutler Bay and US1 Northbound commuters? The traffic buzz in Cutler Bay.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is working a roadway project which will last about three months from start date.  This project is located at State Road 5/US1 at SW 200 Street/Caribbean Boulevard in Cutler Bay.  

This project will be a short term inconvenience for what will hopefully result in long term gains for area traffic flow.

Click "read more" to continue to view official project details including scope of work and project time frame for completion.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The first sign of impact for your property tax assessments for next year released June 1 by the property appraiser. How did your area rate?

Are we reaching bottom on the property value bubble burst, poised for a rebound?

Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia released the June 1, 2011 estimate of property values to the County’s taxing authorities which include county government, the 35 municipal governments, School Board, Children’s Trust and the State regional districts.  The release of this estimate is the initial phase of the various budget preparations for the 2011-2012 budgets.

Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia explained in his official Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s Press Release that:

The 2011 June 1st estimates reveal a mixed picture of property values. For the fourth straight year, overall values declined, but some areas fared better than others. In Coral Gables and Pinecrest, for example, there were signs of values stabilizing and even appreciating. Other areas, such as Florida City and Homestead, continued to see significant declines.

Read more (click below) to review some city by city breakdowns as well as links taking you to the full official press release and a full chart covering all of the taxing authorities.

OK, for those to lazy to click and read more, Pinecrest led the South Dade rebound with an estimated increase of 0.8 %.  South Miami was second with a -1.7% drop, Cutler Bay had the best rebound from 2010 with an estimated -2.0% drop and Palmetto Bay’s estimated reduction in value is -2.4%.  These numbers are estimates. Final numbers are released July 1st.

Go native this weekend (as in shop for native plants at the TAS Native Plant Sale)

Create an Urban Oasis! Shop TAS Native Plant Sale
Sat. & Sun. 4 & 5| 5530 Sunset Drivenative plant sale 

Join TAS at the Doc Thomas House for the native plant sale, open on Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and then on Sunday from 9 p.m.-3 p.m. Lea nuestro folleto en espaƱol.

Experts will be available to help educate
anyone interested in creating a wildlife oasis in their backyard to help connect urban spaces throughout our city.

Please contact TAS if you wish to volunteer to help set up or work the sale over the weekend contact us.

Information taken from the
Tropical Audubon Society (TAS) newsletter.

The entire June 2011 newsletter can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.  Issue includes:
Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve Update, Native Plant Sale, NPS Public Meeting, Hold the Line!

6/17 (Friday) - the start of the Food Truck Event - Palmetto Bay

Friday, June 17th, marks the start of a twice a month event, where 40 food trucks will be at the Palmetto Bay Village Center  in common areas around the main front courtyard.

There will be live music and PBVC, thru a vendor, will sell the alcohol.

Palmetto Bay Village Center is a great place to come and enjoy the Summer breeze, live music, great picnic areas and of course, the Food Trucks. This time the Food Trucks are invading a beautiful property down the historic Old Cutler Road. That's right! Take the Old Cutler tree tunnels down South 4 miles past Pinecrest. A gorgeous setting that hosts many weddings, TV & Film productions and huge events like the Taste of Cutler Bay.

This event will be held every 1st & 3rd Friday of each month. This event is billed as a family-friendly atmosphere with a vast variety of foods to taste from. Bring a big appetite and tell your friends. 

It should be a lot of fun. Around 6:30 - 8:00!

Palmetto Bay Village Center
18001 Old Cutler Road
(Old Cutler & SW 184th Street)
Palmetto Bay, FL. 33157

We hope to see you there!