Thursday, May 28, 2020

We all love a well deserved comeback! Here's a sweet one: Necco Wafers candies make a sweet comeback after 2-year absence. My thoughts on welcoming back a childhood treat.

We all love a well deserved comeback! Here's a sweet one: Today Show May 27, 2020, Necco Wafers candies make a sweet comeback after 2-year absence, by Randee Dawn. After the New England Confectionery Company went bankrupt in 2018, all seemed lost until Spangler Candy stepped up to the plate.

And you wonder why I bike!  Good news for sugar junkies. Many of us welcome the news from The Today show, alerting us that sweet Necco Wafers are soon to be back. (see my prior somewhat related post relating to another childhood sweet confection – Twinkies: CLICK HERE)

SOooooooo:
If you've been craving the classic candy known as Necco Wafers, for the past two years, you've been out of luck. Amazon doesn't have them. Ebay might — for a price — but bear in mind that any rolls would be at least two years old.
I am, I am, I am, in fact I commented just the other day how I missed Neccos while standing in the drug store checkout line, which I also refer to as ‘the gauntlet’ – as in you have to run the gauntlet of impulse candies that tug at you while you wait to check out. I will admit – temptation resisted – for me its Neccos or Nada. But as the article reveals:
Soon, that's about to change.
When will we see Necco Wafers back in stores? In just a few days!
This week, in an exclusive interview with TODAY Food, Kirk Vashaw, the chairman and CEO of Spangler Candy, revealed that fresh rolls of Necco Wafers are set to hit store shelves in just a few days.
But here is a caution:
There might be a slight difference in taste with the chocolate wafer, though. "Connoisseurs may notice a slightly richer taste to the cocoa," he explained. "It's the same flavor, but we use a slightly different process. To our palate, it brings out the flavor a bit differently."
But there was no plan to "improve" on what already, for fans, is perfection. "Candy is a simple joy in life and it's a simple reward," said Vashaw. "People want the same thing they remember as a kid. That's the beauty of candy — nostalgia."
It may have been two years, but I'm trusting that I will have the experienced knowledge to taste any difference. 

I will allowed a measured resumption of Neccos as a reward for otherwise good dietary practice – and for making mileage and time goals on my bike.

Enjoy responsibly!
Photo credit - from the official Today Show article post

National Bike Month - great read: Article(s) on How to Have a safe Family Bike Ride, by A.C. Shilton

"The humble bicycle is the surprise star of lockdown. With youth sports on hold, car traffic down and cooped-up kids doing park hour on living room furniture, going on a family bike ride has never sounded better." 

A.C. Shilton

But as pointed out by A.C. Shilton, there are a few things to know about staying safe and having fun.

From an Everglades Bicycle Club (EBC) past president and long-time cyclist: "This is by far the best guide I’ve seen for beginner bicyclists and for people who want to get the family involved for a bike outing. For experienced riders, share with someone you know to help get them started." So I am sharing it to readers:

I have the guide in the JPEG posted. I also have provided CLICK HERE (or the headline) links to view an article online, NY Times, How to Have a Safe Family Bike Ride, by A.C. Shilton, Published May 18, 2020, Updated May 23, 2020.

CLICK HERE to download and view a printed copy of this article if you can't get through a NY Times paywall.

The point is to enjoy cycling. It is a event that can be enjoyed alone, with friends, family, small and larger groups. This is a sport that does require some planning and maintenance of equipment (though far less than owning a boat). There are laws and courtesies that must be followed in order to ensure a fun and safe event.

Some cities have gone so far as to temporarily close off streets so families can safely cruise (sorry, none around here - think of how it would have been nice to have 'pop up' safe recreation areas - what a missed opportunity). 

On the road or the trail, there are many places to have a successful adventure on wheels. 

Unfortunately, new administrations equate to new directions, new policies, new priorities, so cycling is not being encouraged here in Palmetto Bay. 

However, the residents are speaking through their action and we have seen many people of all ages out and about on bicycles. I have posted previously about how there have been a run on bicycles - one of the hottest items to buy.

Please contact me via e-mail at eugeneflinn@bellsouth.net if you have any questions or request assistance as to cycling.

Stay safe, stay healthy and enjoy our local outdoors!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Be prepared! 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday, May 29th and runs through Saturday, June 4th

It is that time of year again. Starting Friday, May 29th through Saturday, June 4th - Florida's 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.

Be prepared! Preparing now can save you headaches if storm warnings do go up.  Proper preparation will allow you to avoid the lines and possible short supply that will occur if storm warnings go up as well as provide peace of mind that you are ready, even if we have a (fingers crossed) storm free season.

Please take the time to review the Florida Department of Revenue web page to view the details on qualifying items related to hurricane preparedness are exempt from sales tax.

One of the many things I learned as a Scout was Be Prepared.

During this sales tax holiday period, qualifying items related to disaster preparedness are exempt from sales tax. However, the sales tax holiday does not apply to the rental or repair of any of the qualifying items. Additionally, the sales tax holiday does not apply to sales in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging establishment or airport.

For more information and a list of qualifying items, please see the Department of Revenue's Taxpayer Information Publication on the 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.

See: https://revenuelaw.floridarevenue.com/LawLibraryDocuments/2020/05/TIP-123007_TIP_20A01-02_FINAL_RLL.pdf   for the full 3 page TIP sheet (cover page posted)

This is first of the 2020 season series.

Bicycling - NARCITY - Things To Do: 6 Scenic Bike Trails In Florida With The Most Breathtaking Views Of Nature. Old Cutler and Shark Valley make the list

National bike month continues. Where to ride, places to enjoy.

We made the list! See: NARCITY - Things To Do: 6 Scenic Bike Trails In Florida With The Most Breathtaking Views Of Nature, A bicyclist's playground, by Kareem Gantt, May 26, 2020.
The Sunshine State is a nature lover's paradise. What it lacks in mountain views, it makes up with its diverse scenic wonders that will take your breath away, especially if you're on two wheels. These bike trails in Florida will provide you with a break from the hustle-and-bustle of city living while providing stunning nature views as your backdrop.
From sandy beaches to refreshing springs, most of the state's hidden treasures can be seen while biking through these Florida trails. Whether you're an avid rider who wants to ride amongst the alligators on the Shark Valley Trail or do a leisure ride through orange groves, these routes present a multitude of options for all riders itching to get out and explore.
So go ahead, break out that bike, and make your way to one of these six scenic bike trails that will take you on a vista buffet of Florida's natural wonders.
__________________

Two of these recommend trails are located nearby, one actually runs through Palmetto Bay:

Old Cutler Trail
Price: Free 
Address: 7001 Old Cutler Rd., Cutler Bay, FL 

Shark Valley Trail 
Price: $15 per cyclists
Address: 36000 SW 8th St., Miami, FL

EDITOR'S NOTE: Maintenance is iffy along parts of the Old Cutler Trail - grass attempting to retake portions of the trail as well as the dreaded 'root snakes' - where the tree roots have pushed up the asphalt to the point it becomes uncomfortable for the cyclists and a tripping hazard for walkers and joggers.

The Shark Valley Trail is fun for groups (so long as you are paying for yourself and not an entire group) – in Shark Valley National Park. A great place to see alligators and other wildlife – the scenic outlook building is outstanding. Take a picnic and spend the day. 

I have blogged often on the subject of cycling both on road as well as on trails. I enjoy both, though remember – the Old Cutler Trail is not a dedicated bike lane – it is a multi-use path. Old Cutler Road is both a "Sharrow" as it has shared lane marking and signage and it has a multi-use path. Bicyclists have equal rights and responsibilities to use the Old Cutler Road lanes as any motorist.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Please don't cite me $150 through Code Enforcement as I am following the County rules. Please, Palmetto Bay, do not interfere with my essential County services.

No Palmetto Bay resident should fear a $150 citation from Palmetto Bay for a garbage cart, especially when the residents are following County rules. This post will provide information on how to request service for broken county trash carts, provide necessary links as well as to educate our current members of our village council how to not to put residents at risk of fines. The interesting part is that the vice mayor is terming out (serving nearly 8 years to date), the mayor is entering her 6th year of service, and this is the second time in office for council member Fiore. They all should know better.

The background: see May 19, 2020, Q: How much does it cost to leave your garbage can out in Palmetto Bay? A: $150. Palmetto Bay has gone mad.

I remember the fight to incorporate Palmetto Bay. The promise was we could (and did) do more for our residents by keeping our UMSA money home. A specific issue was staying government lite and not becoming the next Coral Gables or Boca Raton by way of aggressive code enforcement. But new administrations bring new policies and new priorities. The current mayor promised a new direction for Palmetto Bay in the 2018 elections and, well, you've got one. Palmetto Bay certainly has embarked upon a new direction under this current mayor, has reduced transparency, held far too numerous to easily track special council meetings - or keep up with, as well as busted budgets and increased taxes and park user fees.

I detailed the story of Palmetto Bay Code Enforcement issuing a $150.00 ticket to a homeowner, a nurse - for leaving her garbage cart out too long! Not that they actually have the power to, but I am betting that this code enforcement citation has been ‘torn up’ in response to the justified outrage that followed this $150 citation (this will make for a interesting public records request, to track this ticket and its resolution).

My request: Please Palmetto Bay officials - do not interfere with my right to receive Miami-Dade County services, as per the protocol put in place by Miami-Dade County. Take any issues up with the County, but please refrain from issuing citations to any residents following County rules. 

My current situation: My trash cart is broken and it requires repair or replacement. I really wasn't paying attention until several residents contacted me regarding the homeowner ticket as detailed on May 19. One in particular advised that Miami-Dade County requires the homeowner to leave their trash cart out front (by the street) in order to receive a repair or replacement. I went to the online 3-1-1 page and sure enough, this information is correct:

I have made my request for service to my trash cart - see photos documenting damage. I am following the County instructions. 
I do have a Service Request Number:
20-10335909
Following county guidelines:  My trash cart will remain out and accessible as requested by the County - this repair or replacement should be perfected anywhere from today to 10 days (similar to bulk waste pickup). 

Please Palmetto Bay - I am following the County protocol - please don't issue me a ticket for following the process set by Miami-Dade County.

INFORMATION AND LINKS TO MIAMI-DADE COUNTY ONLINE 3-1-1 FOR SERVICE

CLICK HERE to be taken to Miami-Dade County's 311 Direct - the page to submit a service request. Services include (but many others are listed): Animals, bulky waste pick-ups, missed garbage pickups or recycling, mosquitoes, senior meal assistance and, of course, requesting repair / replacement of the damaged green waste cart as well as blue recycling carts.
Please Palmetto Bay officials - do not interfere with my right to receive Miami-Dade County services, as per the protocol put in place by Miami-Dade County. Take any issues up with the County, but please refrain from issuing citations to any residents following County rules. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

COVID-19 update released Monday, May 25, 2020, by FLORIDA HEALTH– Palmetto Bay reaches 34 (plus another mysterious listing of “Village of Palmetto Bay” with “1”), Pinecrest remains at 10 and Cutler Bay reaches 12. Link provided to full daily report.

Monday - 5/25/2020 State of Florida Update:

Source - official Florida Health Report for Thursday, May 14, 2020:


Cases          Area

17,041*        Miami-Dade County (Countywide) (inclusive of the municipalities listed below)

       12            Cutler Bay                      See pages  12
      34            Palmetto Bay                 See page     8  & 14 
      10            Pinecrest                         See page    10

FLORIDA HEALTH report - Coronavirus: summary of persons being monitored, persons under investigation, and cases - verified as of Monday, May 25, 2020, 10:00 AM. Data in this report are provisional and subject to change. An area is only listed if there is a confirmed report of the COVID-19 virus for that specific municipality.

The increases may be more an indication of the testing than an actual increase in occurrences.

CLICK HERE to view the official update for 5/25/2020 (913 pages - municipalities listed can be found beginning page 6 – 16)

The Remembrance Poppy and the Poem, "In Flanders Field"

“In Flanders Fields" was written on May 3, 1915 by Lt. Col. John McCrae who was a physician, poet, author, artist and soldier serving in World I. Flanders is a region of Europe that comprises parts of Belgium and France. 

This poem resulted in the remembrancepoppy becoming one of the world's most recognized memorial symbols for soldiers who have died in conflict.

This poem can be found online at http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm

In Flanders Fields, by: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day 2020 - We remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Monday, May 25, 2020 - the day we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.

We owe our peace and democracy to them. Please observe a minute of silence at 3:00 PM local time to pay tribute to Americans who've died in military service.


Visit USA.gov's Memorial Day page to learn about the origins of this federal holiday; read veterans' stories; find patriotic songs; get tips on barbecue, boating, and swimming safety; and more!Brief History: 

The first Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.

 
Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The occasion is also marked in almost every State on the last Monday in May. 
 
Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day, asking Americans wherever they are to pause in an act of national unity. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died for our freedom.  
 
The flag should be flown at half staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds and naval vessels throughout the United States, and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. All people of the United States are requested to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary period.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A total lack of transparency. Why you have to ask. It now takes a formal public records request to obtain information from Palmetto Bay. No resolutions posted since February 5, 2019. No updates to the index since July, 2019.

Information. You are entitled to it. It used to be easily accessible. However, it is like the Internet doesn't even exist for our local Palmetto Bay officials. For those interested in what is happening, who really want to be kept in the loop, current information must be obtained the 'old fashioned way' - you need to ask in the form of a formal public records request - but make sure you ask the right question or you will get what they want you to see, not what you need.

Why is Transparency important? An Example: Transparency prevents behind the scenes deals and protects residents from abuse - as once exposed, bad government acts are forced to be withdrawn. There would be no controversy forcing elected officials to change bad policy or bad acts if you never knew about them. See:  Q: How much does it cost to leave your garbage can out in Palmetto Bay? A: $150. Palmetto Bay has gone mad (May 19, 2020). There would be no public outcry if there was no public knowledge of incidents such as the infamous $150 ticket for a garbage can left out. Picking on the little guy. Has the $150.00 ticket been withdrawn yet, can it be legally 'torn up' once issued?

Why do Palmetto Bay officials complain about transparency? Yet, we hear complaints about people making public records requests by the current elected officials and their supporters (horrors! – people wanting to know what is going on in their community, with their tax dollars - and it is the absolute right to have access). Do you want to know why? Information is being withheld as I explain below. And all is documented on the official website.

There would be far fewer public records requests if full transparency was restored to the Village website. I always made sure that the actual resolutions were posted within 30 days of passage as well as keeping the index updated. Policy and priorities change when there is a change in administrations. Your voice doesn't matter if the village fails to provide you with access to information to see how the government is, or is not, functioning. The online location of resolutions passed by the Village of Palmetto Bay remains. But it is being neglected by the current mayor and council. To review it would lead readers to believe that very little has happened over the last year, year and three months. Not that the reader would be wrong.

Note that there is no listing for "Resolutions - 2020" Photo 5-19-2020
Serious neglect. The index has not been updated since July 29, 2019 (nearly 10 months ago). The last resolution indexed is dated July 29, 2019. (Resolution 2019-109):

A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND VILLAGE COUNCIL OF
THE VILLAGE OF PALMETTO BAY, FLORIDA, RELATING TO
TRANSIT; URGING THE MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
TRANSPORTATION PLANNING ORGANIZATION TO STOP
EXPLORING ALL OTHER ALTERNATIVES IN SMART PLAN
CORRIDORS UNTIL ALL FUNDING OPTIONS FOR THE
CONSTRUCTION OF LIGHT RAIL AND/OR METRORAIL
(ONE-SEAT RIDE) ON THE EXISTING SOUTH DADE
TRANSITWAY ARE FULFILLED,

How did that resolution go by the way?  This was yet another failed effort - a photo op resolution without follow up or success. The county (Miami-Dade TPO & Miami-Dade County government) is proceeding at full steam ahead with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), so resolution 2019-109 had absolutely no effect. See prior related post of May 11, 2020, Update on the ‘Gold standard BRT”. A single qualified bid was received by Miami-Dade County for the BRT line along US1. The Final Bid is $326,172,000.00. What this means for Palmetto Bay. Renderings posted.

CLICK HERE to view the alleged list of resolutions passed by the village of Palmetto Bay. The resolutions were posted within 30 days under my administrations. However, the current Mayor apparently does not feel that public information or transparency is important.

Record setting procrastination – adversely affecting your rights to know. Would a teacher allow students to withhold their work for this long? I want see your work!. The answer should be that we can see it on the website, not you will see it if and when we feel it is necessary - and then take more than a year to post it.

What about the actual resolutions? After all, the index is just an index. The details are contained in the full resolution, not the heading. Are you sitting down? The last complete resolution posted dates back to February 4, 2019, resolution 2019-033.  That is more than 15 months. It takes more than a year and 3 months to post the full resolutions? Well, we will see as there is no hint that any updates are actually set to be posted so the record setting official procrastination continues to run, setting new records by the day.

Why would the mayor not want the resolutions posted? The details are important. Headings fail to tell the full story. Fellow residents would see the long string of wasted time and unfulfilled promises that many of the legislation, resolutions and ordinances would reveal. At some point this mayor probably will release all resolutions in a big dump update, relying upon people not having the time or energy to review years’ worth of wasted council action.

Hide the actions that demonstrate that the council actions are not working. That appears to be the mantra of this current mayor.

The Tool Box for this topic:



Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Ride of Silence – 2020 & Reddy's ghost bike – the stop on my modified RoS event

I completed my #rideofsilence2020 #socialdistancing in #PalmettoBay & #CutlerBay #Florida to honor cyclists who were injured or died from cycling related accidents.

Today’s ride was personal rather than the traditional large group ride due to the pandemic and the need to be socially distanced. The purpose of this ride is just as important and many participated this day in unusual ways including indoor and virtual rides.  My ride took from my home in Palmetto Bay through Cutler Bay into deep South Miami-Dade County – Black Point where we stopped to take a moment to reflect at Reddy’s Ghost Bike (pictured). The bike is located along the main drive through black point on the corner with the first driveway turn in to the marina parking.

I ride by the ghost bike often and look upon it as a reminder of Reddy and the need for safety on our roads. Reddy was killed 2 years earlier while training with a group for the Dolphin Cancer Challenge, a major charity to raise money for cancer research. Today’s RoS and this specific ghost bike for Reddy provided me with a strange sensation as we all are now meeting via ZOOM or Skype due to the pandemic. Reddy's parents, who lived overseas, viewed the April 8, 2018, event via Skype. A striking coincidence. Perhaps anyone who has access to Reddy's family information can reach out and remind them that Reddy is not forgotten.

Please #sharetheroad ... I respect you, please respect me, #obey the #3footrule #miamibikescene #rideEBC #bike305 #bikeadvocacy  #bicycling #GhostBike

See prior related posts on the Ride of Silence (CLICK HERE)

More information on Ghost Bikes - from GhostBikes.org:

Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists' right to safe travel.

Today, May 20, 2020, is the RoS, it is still going on globally but this year it is an INDIVIDUAL or VIRTUAL event

Today is the RoS, it is still going on globally but this year it is an INDIVIDUAL or VIRTUAL event.

Please do your part . We encourage you ride individually, respect our local community social distancing/mass gathering rules. Try and visit a local ghost bike, Key Biscayne, Black point and, unfortunately, other areas too.
.................................

Ride Of Silence, the #SociallyDistanced and virtual edition:
.................................

Official date:
20-May-2020, 7pm
Alternate /rain date:
23-May-2020, 10am

Ride Rules:
1. Ride in silence
2. Remember and honor those who've been hit & killed while riding or seriously injured.
3. Ride slowly and a relatively short distance
4. Wear a helmet & obey road laws for bicyclists & your communities social distancing & mass gathering rules

The official RoS organizers ask you share your pics on social media & to their official Facebook
2. Include location, & names of those you honored

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Q: How much does it cost to leave your garbage can out in Palmetto Bay? A: $150. Palmetto Bay has gone mad.

The current mayor promised a new direction for Palmetto Bay in the 2018 elections. Well you've got one. Palmetto Bay certainly has embarked upon a new direction under this current mayor, reduced transparency, numerous special meetings - far too numerous to count or keep up with, busted budgets, and now this:

Palmetto Bay Code Enforcement issuing $150.00 tickets to homeowners - for leaving their garbage can out too long! Have our Palmetto Bay officials gone nuts?

As recited on the Facebook post:

(Name redacted) I’m a bit upset at a PB inspector. Last week he apparently came by my house and states he gave a verbal warning to someone.... that the garbage can was out.... funny thing is I didn’t even take out the garbage on Tuesday.... he then returned to my house Saturday morning and left a $150 citation in my door because my garbage can was out! None of my neighbors seem to have received citations and saw multiple garbage cans out. It was pouring rain and couldn’t bring it in before leaving to work at the hospital. This is ridiculous! Since when are garbage cans citations $150? And much less when it’s not enforced unanimously!!!!!"

As one person commented: "Regardless, $150 seems quite excessive!!!!"

OMG. This certainly marks a new direction for Palmetto Bay. In some places, a friend, neighbor, or even a government official would bring in the can. Believe me, it takes much more in village resources to make good on a $150.00 ticket. 

This is insensitive. So many people are losing money (and their sense of well-being) during this coronavirus and this is how they are being treated!

I give this ticket a ZERO PERCENT chance of holding up in court (a hearing before the Palmetto Bay Special Master).

Why the sudden change of direction of this nature; why are we citing our fellow residents over a garbage can being left out for too long? Don't blame our code enforcement department. I personally know this code enforcement officer. This is not his MO. He assists residents. He is obviously under strict new directions. New mayor and council = new policy for our code enforcement officers must comply with.

Could it be that Palmetto Bay officials are so desperate to fill an alleged (yet still unconfirmed) $1 million budget deficit that they plan on making it up $150 at a time against our valued residents?

I'm calling BS on this one. This is a garbage punk move by an administration that is at war against its own residents.  How about issuing $150.00 tickets to the current mayor and council members for blowing up the current Palmetto Bay budget and costing us in time, services and increased taxes?

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Significant changes to Ride of Silence for 2020. Details posted. You can still participate as listed. Please stay safe and honor those who've been hit & killed or seriously injured while riding.

Ride of Silence (RoS) update - there are significant changes to the 2020 RoS event due to coronavirus. There will be no large organized group ride for 2020. The  RoS will occur as it never has before. But it will still go forward as it is important to honor those who've been hit & killed or seriously injured while riding. 

The event date remains: Wed. May 20th, 2020, 7:00 PM Worldwide

(always the 3rd Wednesday of May) Note there is an alternative date of 10:AM Saturday, May 23,  for the reasons discussed below.

The National RoS Board has set this 2020 RoS ride to participate in the following ways:
  • Ride solo, 
  • with their family or same household members or "virtually" (on a trainer). 
The simple rules remain:

1.  Ride in silence
2. Remember and honor those who've been hit & killed while riding or seriously injured
3. Ride slowly and a relatively short distance - this is not a race
4. Wear a helmet & obey road laws for bicyclists

Take a selfie photo or 2 and use the hashtag #RideofSilence2020 and location of the event when posting your ride on social media. You can post directly to the official RoS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/rideofsilence/ 

Posting to Social Media will allow us all to participate as a virtual group.

**Additional ideas for documenting/ reporting:
Some organizers are encouraging their participants to visit a ghost bike in their area (if there is one) and take their photo with it as a gesture of honoring the deceased person. If the name of the deceased is known and can be included in the social media post or report with the RoS that would help to personalize it. Some organizers are placing a ghost bike at their city/ township hall or state capitol to draw attention to the event with their local politicians/ legislators and media. Participants can then visit this ghost bike one by one at a safe distance to show their respects.

Alternative date available:  Saturday, May 23, at 10 am.
Some may not feel comfortable engaging in a solo/family ride  on a weekday evening (the annual official RoS is a large group event with police escort)

In consideration of the safety and security of individuals and small groups of riders who may not feel comfortable riding in the evening on a weekday are encouraged to ride the following Saturday, May 23, at 10 am, which is also the official rain date and date/time for S. Hemisphere events.

The RoS Board


What is the Ride of Silence (RoS)?:

WHERE: Hundreds of locations world wide
Join cyclists worldwide in a silent slow-paced ride (max. 12 mph/20kph) in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways.

WHY DOES THIS ORGANIZATION EXIST?
To HONOR those who have been injured or killed
To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here
To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD

THE RIDE OF SILENCE WILL NOT BE QUIET

PRIOR RELATED POSTS - Please CLICK HERE to view prior posts relating to the Ride of Silence / events relating to honoring those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways.
Is there any place in Miami-Dade County not infested with invasive non-native species?

I am seeing these invasive Agamas everywhere. I first noticed them along the South Dade bike trail. This guy is making a home in Westchester.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Palmetto Bay Parks - re-opening Monday, May 18. Here are the 'new normal' (for now) Rules and Regulations

Starting Monday - limited use of Palmetto Bay parks. Your "Village of Parks" are back in operation under the stated "new normal" rules and regulations. 

Part II – results obtained. Evaluating Palmetto Bay's efforts in Tallahassee at the 2020 Legislative Session.

This is Part II of a series. Part 1 was - Evaluating Palmetto Bay's efforts in Tallahassee at the 2020 Legislative Session - goals set. What were the legislative goals set by the current mayor and village council for the 2020 legislative session?

Palmetto Bay may receive $100,000 out of the $3.2 million requested, barely over 3% of what was being sought. But, this $100,000 is $100,000 more than made it into the budget at this time last year (2019).  

The $100,000 in Stormwater funding will require a $100,000 match by local dollars (this is standard). But this is not the entire story as the hard and soft costs spent on staff time, travel, per diem, and a reported last-minute no-bid award of $10,000 for lobbyists count against that $100,000. These costs over the last two years have not been fully disclosed by Palmetto Bay (I'd like to see the actual numbers), but theses costs could come close to completely offsetting the $100,000 earmarked in the 2020-2021 State budget.

I am starting with the goals set in Village Council resolution no. 2019-121*, the annual legislative agenda which set the following priorities for funding, versus the actual results stated in each category below:

A. Supporting legislation that provides funding for traffic calming projects and public transit improvements and extensions for Miami-Dade County;


RESULT: ZERO. While municipalities such as Doral received a budget line of $350,000 for Doral Intersection Signalization Pedestrian Safety (HB 4201) (Senate Form 1832) for traffic improvement, Palmetto Bay had ZERO requested and therefore, ZERO was placed in the budget for Palmetto Bay. 


B. Requesting funding for South Florida Water Management District specifically for canal bank restoration to address the critical erosion needs in the Village of Palmetto Bay;


RESULT: ZERO. Palmetto Bay officials continue to talk lawsuits against the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Let's hope not as there are currently several lawsuits lingering out there which serve no other purpose than to destroy the collaborative spirit between Palmetto Bay and Miami-Dade County.  The goal of litigation is to gain a positive result you were unable to reach pre-lawsuit, not to try to impress residents with how much money can be wasted on filing lawsuits that fail to gain results. Please mayor & council: win a lawsuit - or at least move one forward, before any more lawsuits are filed.

C. Maximizing all available appropriation and funding opportunities to implement storm water and other needed infrastructure projects throughout the Village;


RESULT: $100,000 The standard funding received by any other municipality that make such a request.

D. Supporting any legislation and requesting funding assistance and partnership opportunities that support the age friendly city initiatives and the development of unique opportunities for individuals with special needs;


RESULT: ZERO. There was money placed in the State budget for projects in other municipalities - just not requested, and therefore not earmarked for Palmetto Bay or our special need residents. In fact, special need events have ended since the last election  case in point - Jonathan's Day. I was a huge supporter of these important efforts, but it has ended with my last term. Two years and done in Palmetto Bay. There is no current leadership or desire to see such programs continue here in Palmetto Bay. 

There were no policy initiatives that Palmetto Bay officials worked for in Tallahassee. And at home, well, this current mayor and council have killed any ability to have a community center - a place where serious senior programming can develop and move forward. Same for any incentives in any of the zoning code updates for senior housing or semi-autonomous special needs hosing within Palmetto Bay, Just like workforce housing, the current official attitude appears to be live somewhere else, there is not desire to have 'any of them' here.

E. Support any legislation requesting funding assistance and partnership opportunities for projects that enhance mobility and create a network of interconnected lanes in support of bicycle and pedestrian activity within the Village;


RESULT: ZERO. In fact, bike lanes are being undone in Palmetto Bay, which is contrary to the existing Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, the current 5 year capital plan as well as the current strategic plan. This mayor and council refuse to follow the plans. Additionally, Palmetto Bay is at risk of losing the $1 million TAP grant for bicycle lanes that was fought for and obtained under my administration. 

See prior related posts:
and

My goodness, we are talking about a gift of $1,000,000 (One Millions dollars and no cents). Compare that to the currently alleged budget deficit for Palmetto Bay's FY 2019-20 budget which is alleged to be in the neighborhood of $1,000,000.00. Something is seriously out of balance here.

The current mayor and council cannot afford to be turning down money - and then expect us, the village taxpayers to shoulder the burdens they create.

F. Seeking funding assistance for the Village’s FRDAP and other such FDEP projects to address park capital improvements and park property acquisitions.

RESULT: ZERO. Palmetto Bay became "the Village of Parks" under my administrations in large part through taking advantage of state programs such as the Florida Communities Trust (FCT) and FRDAP. Yet, it appears that there were no FRDAP applications even filed for this last cycle. Do I have to do everything myself? The Wayne Gresky quote is applicable here - "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

The year prior - 2019 legislative session recap - also known as "the year without a return on significant investment". Compare / contrast the present status of the Palmetto Bay appropriation requests (2019):


$ 1,790,800   Total money requested from the legislature limited for 3 projects, broken down as follows:

$   745,900   Multimodal center – location undisclosed (23% of the total estimated cost)
$   745,900   Enviro Center to be constructed at Coral Reef Park
$   299,000   Drainage for sub basin 61 (50% match from Village)

$ 1,790,800  Total money requested from the legislature to cover:

$ 6,089,800 Total cost of these proposed projects to the residents of Palmetto Bay.
$   ZERO        Received from the State of Florida for the 2019 efforts.
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Please note that Palmetto Bay Resolution 2019-121 is NOT currently available under the resolutions page posted on the official Palmetto Bay website - only resolutions 1-33 are posted (CLICK HERE to view this page. CLICK HERE to view a screen shot of the page as it existed on 4/14/2020 - to document where this page has been updated in the interim).