Saturday, June 12, 2021

Flinn Mango co-op is open (free to any who wish, no strings attached). A big year for mangoes. Please take your fair share.

Today’s weather has decreed that Mango Season 2021 has arrived. I have placed a load of mangoes out by my front door for easy pick up (for protection from the weather).  I will place the bin out by the street in better weather.

The guidelines:

  • Take what has been placed out, but do not pick fruit from any of the trees. 
  • You must supply tour own bags for pick up (hopefully reusable totes)
  • Do not enter or remove any fruit from or enter, park in, any neighboring yards. 
  • Do not ring the doorbell.
  • Additional fruit will be placed out as it becomes available.
Thank you for your taking and enjoying the mangoes. 

RECIPES FOR 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.

TECHNICAL READING FOR MANGOS

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.

Special note: Those looking for livestock quality (good, but not fit for humans) should contact me through social media for available and pick up. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Monday, June 7, 2021

the Personal Attack Fallacy - part of my "inside baseball" series.

From my "inside baseball" series:

personal attack fallacy

Ad hominem means “against the man,” and this type of fallacy is sometimes called name calling or the personal attack fallacy. This type of fallacy occurs when someone attacks the person instead of attacking his or her argument.

I will not dignify the attacker by name as it provides them with the attention they crave.

Sad, very sad. We should all agree that protection of our residents is of utmost importance.

Remember, most of these "attacks" are really proxy attacks - put out on behalf of those unable to properly articulate their arguments. 

Think readers! Perhaps the attackers don't understand (or refuse to acknowledge) the importance of the issue when they attack the messenger rather than resolving the issue. 

Stick to the issue at hand. Avoid ad hominem fallacies.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Weekender - sometimes you do need to poke the bear (don't try this at home). Taking action for the safety of others.

Its easy to say don't poke the bear, but tell that to someone who sees their children or pets at risk. There are those who act in concern for those the care for without concern for their own safety. 

Here is a viral video posted by NBC Los Angeles of a teen who pushes a bear (a mother bear at that!) off the backyard wall in order to protect her dogs. It is fortunate that all came out unscathed.


Full Story relating to the video embedded above: NBC Los Angeles, CAUGHT ON CAMERA - Watch: Dog Mom Pushes Mama Bear With Two Cubs Off Backyard Wall, by Jonathan Lloyd and Nyree Arabian • Published June 1, 2021 • Updated on June 2, 2021

Sometimes you have to poke the bear when you see something of concern, when you see someone at risk!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Here is the affidavit that is required to comply with Palmetto Bay's Shannon Melendi Act - and some discussion points I have received.

Compliance with The Shannon Melendi Act is not difficult. It only takes the will and some effort. Palmetto Bay has a professional staff who are familiar with this critical law of public safety. It has been the law since we adopted the County Code and updated our own version in 2008. Are our current village officials really willing to assume the risks associated with waiving the protections of Palmetto Bay's Shannon Melendi Act? It takes a village. Volunteers at Schools are required to meet these same regulations. Should our Village Parks be any less safe? Did human trafficking go away?

I have received many many comments generated from my post of June 2, 2021.

As one reader commented to me:

Background checks are required for volunteers at church, school and parks, and for working in government, how is this not required for vendors at a recurring event?

Exactly. It’s not difficult. You just have to be willing to make the effort.

Another person (who is affiliated with the school system) opined that:

100% enforcement needed. Let’s not have a false sense of security and forget that Florida had the 3rd highest amount of human trafficking cases in 2020 and the 2nd highest amount of Amber alerts in 2019.

I am posting the affidavit that the Village requires in order to provide assurance that The Shannon Melendi Act is met. CLICK HERE to download and view Palmetto Bay's official SWORN STATEMENT PURSUANT TO ORDINANCE 08-10, SECTION 26-33, THE SHANNON MELENDI ACT (Pictured immediately below)

FAIR QUESTIONS: 

  • Volunteers at Schools are required to meet these same regulations. Should our Village Parks be any less safe? 
  • Are our current village officials really willing to assume the risks associated with waiving the protections of Palmetto Bay's Shannon Melendi Act? It takes a village. 

PRIOR RELATED POST - BACKGROUND - June 2, 2021, Palmetto Bay's Shannon Melendi Act - more important than ever. Here are the facts and my opinion on enforcing it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Palmetto Bay's Shannon Melendi Act - more important than ever. Here are the facts and my opinion on enforcing it.

I have received many inquiries in the last two weeks about the Shannon Melendi Act as enacted by Palmetto Bay. I am posting the discussion here. The law was enacted in 2008. It has not been amended or repealed by any subsequent administrations. I will add that this law was very important to me. Important as a father as well as a mayor who feels a huge responsibility to safeguarding the safety of our residents, of all ages. Therefore, it was important to me to work to enact our (Palmetto Bay's) own version of the Shannon Melendi Act. As Palmetto Bay's founding mayor, I pushed hard along side the initial Village Council to create what I later coined (and had trademarked) "The Village of Parks" in 2006.

Please note that Miami-Dade County had enacted the Shannon Melendi Act which Palmetto Bay incorporated into our initial parks ordinance. We went further, strengthening this law; casting a wider net of protection for child / personal safety. It was stated in the Ordinance that we, "...are concerned about the security and safety of children visiting Village Parks..." Police, Protection, Parks, ... all part of what I have long called 'the "Ps" of Palmetto Bay.' all are needed to work together for benefit our our village.

Who falls under, who is exempt, from the Palmetto Bay’s version of the Shannon Melendi Act?

The Palmetto Bay’s version of the Shannon Melendi Act applies for any event or program other than a single day event (the one-day picnic, Relay for Life, a single day special event) that takes place in our parks. Where applicable, who must comply with the Shannon Melendi Act? The short answer, in my opinion, nearly everyone other than the following who are specifically excluded:

  • Law enforcement personnel; 
  • Emergency or fire rescue personnel;
  • Persons conducting deliveries; and
  • Military recruitment personnel

Why are those listed above exempt? Because all on this list go through a vigorous background check.

Employers of child event workers, employers of park vendors, and programming partners and CBOs shall, upon request, provide copies of these documents to the village or to any law enforcement personnel with jurisdiction.

Every child event worker, park vendor, and staff member and volunteer of a programming partner or CBO shall wear, in a conspicuous and visible manner, an identification badge that contains his/her photograph and full name while working or volunteering on park property owned or operated by the village, except when in costume and during a performance. The identification badge shall be of a size, design, and format approved by the village park and recreation department.

Volunteers are NOT exempt. The Act does include Volunteers as well. Palmetto Bay’s ordinance defines the applicability as follows: "Volunteer shall refer to any individual performing volunteer duties for a CBO, for a programming partner, for the village's park and recreation department, as a child event worker, or as a park vendor for more than three days in any six-month period. Students volunteering in order to fulfill high school graduation requirements shall be exempted from this definition." (bold emphasis added)

Reading the original Shannon Melendi Act on Municode may be a bit arduous, so here is a link to the actual Ordinance that I and fellow members of the village council championed in 2008: CLICK HERE to view.


PENALITIES - FINES FOR VIOLATIONS REMAIN THE LAW IN PALMETTO BAY

By the way, there are penalties for those who violate Palmetto Bay's Shannon Melendi Act. Sec. 20-179. - Section 8CC-10 Schedule of civil penalties. Read the entire code section (CLICK HERE to view this specific section on Municode).

Village Officials, who are charged with enforcing (or amending) Village Codes, may issue a notice of violation which carries a civil penalty up to $500.00 for violations of this action, including: "Failure to secure nationwide criminal background check of a prospective child event worker, park vendor, or employee or volunteer of a programming partner or CBO whose duties would require physical presence on The village-owned or operated park property"

FAIR QUESTION: Should this ordinance (law), The Shannon Melendi Act, be enforced as enacted or applied selectively if at all? I say this law is needed more that ever.

IN MY OPINION: There is no 'explaining away" or "reinterpreting" Palmetto Bay's Shannon Melendi Act. Either enforce it, amend it or repeal it, but don't leave a law on the books and not enforce it. That only risks a false sense of security for our residents and their children that may lead to tragedy. 

BACKGROUND - Why did the members of the Village Council in 2008 enact this ordinance (Law)? For subscribers of the Miami Herald, see: A beloved Miami college student vanished 25 years ago. There was a murder, but no closure, by Miami Herald Archives, March 10, 2019

Friday, May 28, 2021

Memorial Day - 2021 - The Remembrance Poppy and the Poem, "In Flanders Field" written by Lt Col John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

“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 remembrance poppy 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.
_______

Thursday, May 27, 2021

The true meaning of Memorial Day. Monday, May 31, 2021.

Monday is Memorial Day, a day to honor the brave men and women who gave up their lives in defense of our ideals and country. We owe our peace and democracy to them.

We must continue to remember the sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers who have lost their lives on our behalf. May they rest in peace. We must thank you for their service; for making the ultimate sacrifice. May we watch over the surviving members of your family as you watched over our freedom. 

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. On Memorial Day, we honor the men and women in uniform who gave their lives in service to our Nation. 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.


CLICK HERE to view prior related posts - Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Happy World Turtle Day 2021 - let's shellabrate!

 May 23 is World Turtle Day. Its a day of shellabration!

Related reading: 16 Fun Facts About Tortoises, mentalfloss online, by Amanda Green, May 23, 2014.

Also see www.worldturtleday.org part of Tortoise.Com - American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, is sponsoring its 17th annual World Turtle Day® on May 23. The day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

The founders of ATR, advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. Since 1990, ATR has placed about 4,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes. ATR assists law enforcement when undersize or endangered turtles are confiscated and provides helpful information and referrals to persons with sick, neglected or abandoned turtles.

Happy World Turtle Day – 2021!

Friday, May 21, 2021

Weekender. Canceled? Update on the "Hybrid Conflict Resolution Assessment Meeting with Miami-Dade County Transportation Planning Organization ("TPO") Regarding the SW 87th Avenue Bridge Project - CANCELED"

One word: “CANCELED” – let that sink in. WTH? We, the people of Palmetto Bay, appear to be on a "need to know basis" and apparently, those in the know deem us unworthy of a substantive update.  Who here is actually being kept in the loop? Take note - the official notice is marked "CANCELED" in big bold read letters - it does not state "RESCHEDULED TO XXXX XX, 2021"

FAIR QUESTIONS:

  • Has this very important public meeting been rescheduled, if so, then for what date?
  • Was it canned because someone wasn’t ready? 
  • Is this it? Has the towel been thrown in?
  • Are any meetings scheduled to review and prepare for the rescheduled meeting?

What is the next step? My sources tell me that the 87th Avenue bridge is currently scheduled for groundbreaking this coming January, 2022. This is a mere seven (7) months away.  That is a blink of an eye in terms of government timeline. That is a mere 7 regular village council meetings from now.

Remember that I announced this issue was revived in my prior related post of December 15, 2020, 2021's first test - the bridge is back. Will it unite or divide Palmetto Bay? Will it happen without input from Palmetto Bay's so-called leaders? - and quite frankly the report card demonstrates that this bridge is happening without input from Palmetto Bay's so-called leaders. Can anyone demonstrate any real effort from this current mayor and council from December 2020 to this date? Most likely none, or this meeting may not have been canceled.

As I have stated before, it is universally recognized that the 87th Avenue Bridge is one of the most important issues of concern above affected Palmetto Bay residents. This post is in follow up to a PRIOR RELATED POST of  May 18, 2021, Any updates on the 87th Avenue Bridge "fight"? Why are village officials not holding any public stakeholder town halls? The issues relating to the 87th Avenue bridge are complex. Palmetto Bay officials need a solid plan – worked out with public and expert involvement. 

Also see another RELATED POST of May 20, 2021, Preparing for the dispute resolution. Is there a plan. Let's look to the status of the Town of Miami Lake and that bridge litigation (SPOILER ALERT - dismissed with prejudice - on appeal).

There is not much time. It is one thing for a public official to allege that they will ‘fight’ for or against a position, but it is quite another the properly prepare in order to be successful in that fight.

It is almost as if the talk of Palmetto Bay's current electeds fails to meet their (in)action; as if the current electeds say one thing while actually allowing the issue to be resolved by the County outside of their influence. 

I am waiting for an update - and hopefully some positive news.

Editor's Note: The term "need to know", when used by government and other organizations, describes the restriction of data which is considered very sensitive. Wikipedia

Bike305 Holds 'Ride Of Silence' To Raise Awareness About Persistent Problem Of Safety South Florida Cyclists Face

Bike305 Holds 'Ride Of Silence' To Raise Awareness About Persistent Problem Of Safety South Florida Cyclists Face: In a show of solidarity, bicyclists gathered to raise awareness of the persistent problem of cycling safety in South Florida.
Event held Wednesday, May 19, 2021