Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Palmetto Bay mourns the passing of Rosemary Fuller. Educator, mentor. Retired Principal of Perrine Elementary

Palmetto Bay mourns the passing of Rosemary Fuller.

Today, the Palmetto Bay community mourns the loss of longtime Perrine Elementary School (Dr. Henry E. Perrine Academy of the Arts) Principal and a dear friend to the Village, Ms. Rosemary Fuller.

Principal Fuller was an outstanding person who served Palmetto Bay as a member of one of our original advisory committees and played an essential role in solidifying the great relationships we have with our local schools. She helped me start up what is now an annual tradition, our Palmetto Bay Principals’ Breakfast – establishing a bridge between Palmetto Bay and our local schools. She remained active in the community well after her retirement from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools and we would occasionally cross paths at the Palmetto Bay Business Association and other events held in South Miami-Dade County.

On behalf of the Village, I’d like to extend my condolences not only to Principal Fuller’s family, but also to all of her students and her fellow educators whose lives she impacted through her passion and dedication to education.

Eugene Flinn, Mayor
Palmetto Bay

Chabad of Palmetto Bay invites you (and your family / friends) to Celebrate Chanukah with a Balloon Menorah!

Sunday, January 1, 2017, 2:00 - 4:00 PM at Coral Reef Park

Chabad of Palmetto Bay invites you (and your family/friends) to Celebrate Chanukah with a Balloon Menorah! 
This is a free of charge event.  
Go to or call (786) 262-043 for more information.

Invasives continue to turn up in strange places - please report them if and when you spot them

Pythons swimming in Florida Bay?!  There appears to be no place safe if South Florida environment to encroachment from invasive species. 

I recently received a report of a 5 foot alligator approaching kayakers in the canal that runs along 84th Street here in Palmetto Bay (a NATIVE Florida species).  They were referred to the South Florida Water Management District where they made the report.  At least that is a native species that we need find a way to live with in peace.  For local gator issues - information on how to live with/report them - see my 6/16/16 posting: "Local Gator? Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program - SNAP. FWC Alligator Management Program".

This post is about the continuing travels of invasive species and how I continue to run into more and more of them in and near Palmetto Bay.  This is my 24th posting under the “Invasive Species” label.

Christmas 2015 involved two python sightings (both dead).  No such sightings in 2016. No reports of python road kill or being pulled from swimming pools in Palmetto Bay. 

I am posting an article posted online on December 27, 2016 – Miami Herald  - Think sharks are scary? There’s a new critter swimming in Biscayne Bay, By Jenny Staletovich.

We cannot ignore the fact that we have our shares of Python captures in Palmetto Bay.  A prior post from three years earlier (Dec 12, 2012), noted that two large pythons had been removed from Palmetto Bay in 2012.  CBS 4 reported on November 26, 2012, that a “very large” python who made its home on a Palmetto Bay lawn was removed by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Unit near 180 Street and SW 77 avenue.

But I have not yet received a report of a python swimming in the canal.

The invasive were smaller in 2016.  I posted on my personal Facebook page: "Happy Holidays from the non-native invasive basilisk lizard now making its home in Palmetto Bay" - a Brown Basilisk lizard.  This sighting was at my mother-in-law's near Sadowski.  I had first noticed them at Perrine Wayside back when we were first developing that park into our Dog Park. 

Please report what you see – download the app from the FWC – “IVeGot1” Go to - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and link over to "Wildlife & Habitats"

See something?  Report it – and please keep me up to date on what you see and report.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Kicking off Christmas music Season - A Charlie Brown Christmas - Christmas Time is Here Song

I am posting the gold standard classic - let's lighten it up post election and enter this Christmas season on a Palmetto Bay high note. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Warning - Dollar Tree customers are having their cars towed for parking in neighboring properties - be forewarned

WARNING - aggressive tow away practices are being employed by owners of property owner(s) adjacent to the Dollar Tree Store located at 13811 South Dixie Highway, Palmetto Bay.  Is this fair protection of property rights or a predatory operation?  It is a fair question.

Saturday, December 10, 2016, was an (unwanted) eventful day for unsuspecting Dollar Tree store Patrons.  Many people have parked in what they thought was a common parking lot only to find their car towed.  Most people are unaware that these businesses are largely separately owned properties with separately owned parking lots - in other words, this collection of businesses is unlike most shopping centers where there is common parking.  The current result is that those who unwittingly park in the wrong spot are being towed, sometimes immediately upon parking.  Don't let this happen to you!

It may simply not be worth it to shop at this Dollar Tree location, not unless you are lucky enough to find a parking space right in front of the store location, or being savvy enough to abide by the competing property rights of the neighboring businesses.  
Above left - view of the property (taken from the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser website).
Above right - a tow removal in process, interrupted by the owner catching the tow truck driver before he could drive away. 
Above left and right - views of the signage warning drivers of the tow-away zone.  
I spoke with many people who pulled in to go to the Dollar Tree.  Not a single driver noticed the signs or realized where the property lines for the different stores began or ended. All would have been towed and faced hundreds of dollars in costs for the car towing along with the aggravation.

I was told that the driver of the truck (pictured in these photos) ended up negotiating an $80+ charge for the tow truck operator to "drop" his vehicle in place, returning it to him within the same parking lot, 'saving' him the time, inconvenience and additional expense of having to retrieve the vehicle from the tow company storage lot. I was told by bystanders (and the owner of the truck pictured in this event) that it makes no difference if there are people left in the vehicle (students in the case of the black truck), the tow trucks are still moving in on occupied, but parked vehicles, and picking them up for towing. 
SPOTTER ENGAGED: It appears that a "spotter" is being employed to immediately identify any offenders and call in the tow trucksCan you see the car (headlights on) parked in the lot (photo above left)?  I was told by bystanders in this shopping plaza (frequent customers and employees of adjoining businesses) that the driver of this car acts as a "spotter" and calls in the tow trucks when an unsuspecting patron parks in an incorrect parking spot and walks into the Dollar Tree store.  

The driver of this "spotter vehicle" did get out of his vehicle while the Palmetto Bay Policing Unit was on scene.  He is pictured above (above right), wearing the long pants with the blue folder under tucked his left arm.  

Above left and right - the alleged "spotter" moving his car when the witnesses in the parking lot brought out their camera phones to document the event - note that the license plate has been obscured as a courtesy to him.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only example of what I consider to be an aggressive tow-away zone parking situation in Palmetto Bay.   

This matter has been brought to the attention of our Palmetto Bay Village Manager and it will be brought before the entire Village Council for discussion.  I asked those involved in the event on Sat, 12/10 to provide post event communication; providing additional details.  It remains to be seen if they do follow up and contact me.  I ask anyone else who has suffered similar experiences within Palmetto Bay to contact me via official e-mail:  

In the meantime, be careful and respectful where you park - especially if you are planning to shop at the Dollar Tree - even if you think you will be "in and out of the store" in "just a moment." 

Please be careful where you park, both to be considerate of the property rights of business owners as well as to prevent yourself from falling victim to having your vehicle towed away.  I also request that you pass on this information to your friends and neighbors.  

Very truly yours,

Eugene Flinn, Mayor

Friday, December 9, 2016

176 / Old Cutler Crosswalk. More examples of new pedestrian infrastructure being installed by Miami-Dade County within Palmetto Bay

These photos were taken on the afternoon of Friday, December 9, 2016.  Miami-Dade County is adding on push-buttoned signaled crosswalk upgrades to Old Cutler Road at 176 Street.  This will make it safer to cross over Old Cutler Road.
This crosswalk upgrade is an example of ongoing collaborative efforts to improve traffic mobility throughout Palmetto Bay - part of a complete effort.   

Dec 9 - I am proud to participate in Miami-Dade County's #PublicTransitDay

Today, Friday, December 9, 2016 is the first-ever "#PublicTransitDay" in Miami-Dade County.  I will be participating.

I am pleased to be cited in the Miami Herald as one official who regularly uses public transportation - and yes, there are many days I take my car.  Its a matter of using it when I can and recognizing that I actually save commuting time and traffic gridlock along US1, while also relieving me of downtown parking hassles and expense by using MetroRail/MetroMover.  See: Miami Herald, 12/8/2016: Discounts! Freebies! But you’ll have to ditch your car and take the bus, by Monique O. Madan

The community-wide day is aimed at encouraging people to use public transportation and use the hashtag #PublicTransitDay on social media while they commute. What started out as a Miami-focused effort has now expanded to include transit riders and leaders in Broward and Palm Beach counties as well.

My family has used MetroRail (as have many others) to commute down to events at the (now demolished) Miami Arena for events such as Heat or Panther games - or the Ice Shows - or down to the Miami Book Fairs.  We often took MetroRail from the Datran South, South Miami or UM Stations to games/events at the Orange Bowl.

Today may not be your day to participate in #PublicTransitDay, but I look forward to your participation.

And, as the #PublicTransitDay sponsor ask, please tweet or post out your experiences today for all to see, using the hastag "#PublicTransitDay"

Have a great day, 

Eugene Flinn, Mayor
Palmetto Bay.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Remembering the events of the Pearl Harbor attack - 75 years later. Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Pearl Harbor Address

75 years ago today. December 7, 1941. "A day which will live in infamy." Please take a moment to reflect on this day and remember those who still survived this Day and those who gave up their lives in service of our Country.