Thursday, February 28, 2019

Great news reported in the Miami Herald. Palmetto Bay resident Maria Kesti participating in the Rotary International NID Program

Palmetto Bay resident Maria Kesti spent weeks in India, participating in the Rotary International NID Program. Maria Kesti is a past president of the Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay and an active member/volunteer in our Palmetto Bay community and beyond.

See Miami Herald: Miami Rotarians travel to India to administer polio vaccines, by Christina Mayo

As reported in the Herald:
The trip was initiated by members of the Rotary Club to continue support of the major world project of Rotary International —eliminating polio from the world. They raised funds to support the “Immunization Days,” and helped pay some of the costs of travel.
The volunteers also visited a hospital for those suffering from polio, schools, temples, mosques, the headquarters of the Indian World Health Organization, and Rotary Clubs in India.
For her dedication in continuing the efforts of the campaign “End Polio Now” Kesti has been named the Polio Chair for Rotary International District 6990, which includes South Florida and Grand Bahama Island.
Congratulations Palmetto Bay resident Maria Kesti!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Ready to roll? 2019 Bike To Work Day is set for this Friday, March 1st 2019 - time to check that your bike is ready for the ride. This is always a fun time. Presented by Bike 305

This Friday - try a different mode of travel to work!

WHAT:         Bike to Work Day 2019 - join your Palmetto Bay friends and neighbors.

         This Friday, March 1, 2019

DETAILS:    (See full information posted on flyers above and at bottom) Participants will depart from the Village Hall Parking Lot at 6:45 am to head towards the Dadeland South Metro Rail Station. Upon arrival to the station you will learn how to take your bike on the Metrorail and then head to the full Bike 305 County Event where all of the Bike 305 festivities will take place.

All participating cyclists will receive a FREE Bike305 performance cycling t-shirt (at the event site), FREE one-way easy ticket on Metrorail (*limited quantities and must provide valid email address), FREE air & bike checks by Mack Cycle & Fitness and other goodies (while supplies last). Light refreshments and breakfast foods will be served at the event site.

For more information on Bike305's Bike to Work Day, visit  Bike305 is a collaborative effort forged by the County Mayor in partnership with several municipal Mayors and Parks Departments to unite and support the connectivity of people and places through the county's bike trails. Throughout Miami-Dade County, Mayors are promoting the opportunity to achieve physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle by cycling to parks, attractions, shops, and events located on or near bike trails.

CLICK HERE to view prior posts relating to this event, including photos.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Congratulations Doral - awarded the 2019 Safe Streets Community Award

Congratulations Mayor JC Bermudez and City of Doral for its 2019 Complete Streets Community Award. Doral was announced as the winner at the 2019 Safe Streets Summit (Monday 2/25/2019)

Relevant past post/background: January 28, 2019, Congrats Team Palmetto Bay - a nominee for the 2019 Safe Streets Awards. Will the current Mayor and Council remain committed to Palmetto Bay's policy of Complete Streets Guidelines?

The Safe Streets Awards are an opportunity to highlight individuals and jurisdictions that have led by example in creating better streets for all users. Palmetto Bay is nominated in the Miami-Dade County section for the Complete Streets Community Award. The nominees are as follows:

• Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG)
• City of Doral
• Freebee
• The Street Plans Collaborative
• Village of Palmetto Bay

NBC 6 - News Story: Lost Manatees and 'Careless Boaters' in Neighborhood Canal Worry Local Resident

The following video report aired Sunday evening (Feb 24, 2019) on  NBC 6 (CLICK HERE) to view the report on the official NBC 6 web page.

Lost Manatees and 'Careless Boaters' in Neighborhood Canal Worry Local Resident
The resident said the canal is "notorious for careless, speeding boaters"


By Andrew V. Pestano
Published Feb 24, 2019 at 2:07 PM

CLICK HERE to view the online text of this local NBC6 story.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Canal update relating to SFWMD - C100A Canal Tree Removal Project Phase 4 - beware the ides of March!

Homeowners living adjacent to the C100 canal: 

It appears that the "grace period" has ended. New notices were delivered to affected homeowner on or about February 21, 2019. A friend of South Dade Updates (FOSDU) has provided me with the notification letter (see right). Please review the notice for official information.

I also recommend individual contact to Armando Villaboy, director, SFWMD for any official updates -  Or through the SFWMD contact point:

The letter advises that work will be performed by a private contractor. "One Two Tree, Inc." is the listed contractor. 

For those who live adjacent to the C100 canal system in Palmetto Bay, are you affected, is work scheduled to start on March 6, 2019?

For background, here are some links to past relevant posts:

December 4, 2018, Copy of the SFWMD tree Removal Notification letter - provided to village council Dec 4, 2018 - unpermitted structures may need to be removed

September 12, 2018, Water Meeting held. Commissioner Cava & SFWMD at Palmetto Bay to update and coordinate efforts

January 13, 2017, Update on the SFWMD canals – two main meetings that I suggest those interested/impacted by the canal attend

Manatee update – Sunday afternoon (2-24-2019) Commissioner Cava's staff hard at work coordinating efforts between multiple jurisdictions.

Reports are that Commissioner Cava's staff has connected Fish and Wildlife with the Marine Patrol as soon as it was brought to the Commissioner's attention. Both agencies have already been sharing information over the weekend.

Commissioner Cava's staff is in the process of drafting the proposed boating restrictions for the C100 network of canals which cover three municipalities. Staff is close to having a draft ready for review by the affected cities and residents.

The schedule (Goal) is for first reading introduction by either the second March or first April meeting of the Board of County Commissioners.

Attached is a link from FWC to the speed zones in Miami-Dade:

Those interested should continue to monitor and participate with the SFWMD and Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava's office.
This is an update relevant to earlier post: Manatee and its two calves have been spotted and photographed within Palmetto Bay. Is this sufficient to trigger manatee protection rules by the FWC?

Manatee and its two calves have been spotted and photographed within Palmetto Bay. Is this sufficient to trigger manatee protection rules by the FWC?

A new development. A manatee and its two calves have been spotted and photographed within Palmetto Bay.
Manatees have  now been documented (2-23-2019) in the C100 Canal that runs through Palmetto Bay. This may trigger FWC protection. And note - FWC is key.  FWC has the authority to place "Idle Speed / No Wake" rule. Local governments can as well, but these rules require FWC approval.  More information listed below, but first, enjoy a short video, courtesy of Craig Merwitzer, whose family lives in one of the many homes that lies adjacent to the C100.

          Manatee Protection Zones
What are Manatee Protection Rules?
Manatee protection rules are rules that are established by FWC to restrict the speed and operation of vessels where necessary to protect manatees from harmful collisions with vessels and from harassment. In areas that are especially important to manatees, the rules can prohibit or limit entry into an area as well as restrict what activities can be performed in the area. FWC is authorized to adopt these rules by the Manatee Sanctuary Act, 379.2431(2), Florida Statutes (FS). The rules appear in Chapter 68C-22 of the Florida Administrative Code (FAC). Click here for maps of these areas.
Local Government OrdinanceLocal governments can also establish manatee protection zones through the adoption of a local ordinance. These zones must be approved by FWC before they can take effect, as required by 379.2431(2)(p),FS. Local manatee protection zones cannot include waters within the main marked channel of the Florida Intracoastal Waterway or waters within 100 feet thereof.
Rationale for Reducing Vessel SpeedsThe rationale for reducing vessels speeds to reduce risks to manatees
(Underline and bold emphasis added) (SDU Editor note - please review the complete web page for all details and specifics on the FWC Manatee protection rules)
Nothing is simple. There are rules and procedures. Please review the complete FWC web page for complete (and detailed) details regarding Manatee Protection Zones, Creation of Manatee Protection Rules (CLICK HERE).

I leave you with an additional manatee video while we discuss and debate - enjoy:

Monday, February 18, 2019

FPL Franchise Fee defined - info from explaining your electric bill charges

This is your money funding FPL property taxes and various other charges - eventually 6% added to each and every electric bill until the year 2050, from which FPL will use to pay some of its obligations to Palmetto Bay before turning over the remainder of your money to the Village. 

No amount of political spin can change the facts. This is an agreement between FPL and the local government - in this case Palmetto Bay. FPL does NOT pay anything for the "right to serve electric customers". No, FPL collects the money from We, the people, who actually pay for this 30 year exclusive agreement that will run from 2020 to 2050.

Information below taken verbatim from

Storm charge*: Used to repay the bonds issued during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane restoration efforts and to partially replenish the storm damage reserve fund for future storms.

Gross receipts tax*: A tax of about 2.56 percent on a customer’s electric bill that is paid to the State of Florida.

Other taxes and fees: Vary by area, as established by local governing bodies. FPL collects these costs for distribution to the appropriate entities.
» Franchise charge*: FPL competes with municipalities and county governments for the right to serve electric customers. If a local government chooses, it can enter into a contract with FPL that enables the government to charge residents a contractual amount, the franchise fee, in exchange for its agreement to not form an electric utility for the term of the franchise.
 » Utility/municipal tax*: A tax imposed by a municipality or county government on the sale of electricity. 
NOTE: The term “base rate” refers to the total of the customer charge and base energy charge. It is not a separate item on the bill.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Palmetto Bay Restaurant updates. Welcome Greek House Kitchen. Palmetto Bay loses La Mora Italiana and La Maison de Bruno

Dine out? How often? Residents want restaurants, but you have to show local businesses the love (patronize our local restaurants) if you want them to locate and THRIVE here in Palmetto Bay.

Current score card for Palmetto Bay 2019: 2 local family owned restaurants have closed.  Greek House Kitchen has opened.

First - the new relocation/opening here in Palmetto Bay:.

Welcome to Palmetto Bay

Greek House Kitchen
17041 S. Dixie Highway
Palmetto Bay, FL 33157
TEL: (305) 777 8910

Open 7 Days -- 11am - 10pm

Palmetto Bay losses. We will miss these restaurants.  Palmetto Bay recently lost two fine restaurants:

La Mora Italiana    
17225 S Dixie Hwy
Palmetto Bay, FL 33157

          Now CLOSED

See Community Newspapers, October 8, 2017: La Mora Italiana Restaurant: 'great food, great family'

 La Maison de Bruno     
16701 S Dixie Hwy
Palmetto Bay, FL 33157

            Now CLOSED

See Miami Hal, June 30, 2017: New French Eatery in Palmetto Bay (La Maison de Bruno) (note - review also ran in the Community Newspapers).

Please - Shop, dine, support our Palmetto Bay businesses. The proprietors put their all into making a go of it here. Palmetto Bay recently lost 2 family owned businesses that worked hard to make Palmetto Bay their home and serve our community.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Report: The FPL Power Pole delivery trucks started rolling into the neighborhood at 8:20 on a quiet Sunday morning.

Those local mega power poles just keep coming into a Palmetto Bay neighborhood. Work started at 8:20 AM, Sunday, February 10, 2019, with the reports of the trucks rolling the neighborhood on a previously tranquil Sunday morning. I have been asked as to whether this part of a scheduled maintenance and upgrade program or hurricane hardening.  I cannot answer that, but your present local officials should be keeping you up to date.

Have any of the affected neighbors received official notification as to the work, scope and time frame of this work?

Is this an example of the current application of the Palmetto Bay "Neighborhood Protection Ordinance"?
Prior related post: January 11, 2019, Removal of Palmetto Bay Street Sign - required to get a large utility pole through a tight turn in a Palmetto Bay neighborhood. Updated 1/16/19- PBay Public Services required to revise the re-installation of the street sign.

The January 11 blog post demonstrates some of the prior work that has been occurring in the neighborhood West of Old Cutler Road, bordered by SW 144 to the north and 152nd to the South.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Friday, February 8, 2019

Palmetto Bay Garden Club combined Garage Sale and Plant Sale: Saturday, February 23, 2019

The Palmetto Bay Garden Club is having a combined Garage Sale and Plant Sale!

WHEN:            Saturday, February 23, 2019

DATE/TIME:    Feb. 23 – Sale starting at 6:30 AM through 3:00 PM

NOTE:             No early birds!

WHERE:         15203 S.W. 84th Court, Palmetto Bay, FL 33157

Interested in gardening? The Palmetto Bay Garden Club provides opportunities to learn about garden related topics from area experts and engage in many garden related activities. CLICK HERE to review some prior posts relevant to the Palmetto Bay Garden Club.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

POD Pelican seen for first time at C100 - Thurs. Feb. 7, 2019

A FOSDU sent me this photo of a pelican seen at the C100 canal here in Palmetto Bay (near Coral Reef Park). Are the Pelicans common to the area? I have seen a few along the Palmetto Bay coast, at Deering and Deering (Snowden's) Point.
Photo credit - a FOSDU who prefers to remain anonymous 
I am not sure what the Pelican is up to other than it appears to be reflecting. Is it checking out a new area for the dining possibilities, lost, dazed, or a frequent visitor who I simply had not seen before?

Thank you for the photo. More wildlife making itself home here in Palmetto Bay.

Eugene Flinn

Anaheim Police Department posts an outstanding video (from a series) relating to bike safety. No one—no driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian—has sole rights to the road. Safety is everyone's responsibility.

A great educational video by the Anaheim Police Department, posted to their Facebook page, February 5 at 3:00 PM

No one—no driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian—has sole rights to the road. Safety is everyone's responsibility. #ShareTheRoad

Miami-Dade County has sharrows and many are located here in Palmetto Bay - 77th Ave, 152, 168th and even US1 to name a few.

Related reading: For more information of Sharrows and types of bikeways that you can find here in Palmetto Bay, see my blog post of December 17, 2018, Taking a close look - Old Cutler Bike Trail - designed use, rules of the road - Types of bikeways - 2 discussed here: paved path & sharrows 

Drive safe. Traffic safety is a two way street. It is important for everyone to follow the rules of the road, regardless of their method of travel.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Bike305 Bike the Wild Side - Zoo Miami event - Saturday, March 16 - a twilight bike ride through Zoo Miami

Time to get up close and personal with the animals at Zoo Miami!  The kids will love it - and so will the young at heart.

REGISTER NOW for the Saturday, March 16th twilight bike ride: Bike305 Bike the Wild Side - Zoo Miami event. 

This family-friendly ride and tour will take place at dusk when the Zoo is closing and void of crowds. Ride guides will stop at various animal areas along the way to talk about the animals' habits and habitats! 

This is a very special bike ride that few will ever experience!

                                                                       (Photo credits - published through Bike305 / EBC Facebook pages)

This family-friendly ride and tour will take place at dusk when the Zoo is closing and void of crowds. Ride guides will stop at various animal areas along the way to talk about the animals' habits and habitats! This is a very special bike ride that few will ever experience!

After-hours guided ride and tour (bring your own bike and helmet):
  • Adults (13+): $10 plus tax
  • Children (3-12): $5 plus tax
After-hours guided ride and tour with rental bike/helmet*:
  • Adults (13+): $20 plus tax
  • Children (3-12): $10 plus tax
*Bike/helmet rentals - a limited number of adult and children's bikes will be available to rent.
Advance reservations are required. Arrive by 5:30 p.m., ride starts at 6 p.m. - a ride at dusk. The ride is 1 to 1.5 hours. No walk-ups will be taken.
Proceeds benefit Zoo Miami's Conservation Fund to save wildlife.
Click the link provided for more information and to register: (official Zoo Miami site)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Palmetto Bay Charter - Citizens' Bill of Rights - requires Truth in Government by our municipal officials and employees

Municipal official and employees of the Village of Palmetto Bay cannot simply say what they want. They are required by the Palmetto Bay Village Charter to speak the truth and not a filtered or convenient truth. This is the law in Palmetto Bay: “No municipal official or employee shall knowingly furnish false information on any public matter, nor knowingly omit significant facts when giving requested information to members of the public.”

I am proud to have participated in the incorporation process of the Village of Palmetto Bay. The original Charter Committee made sure that the rights of our residents are protected through inclusion of a detailed Citizens’ Bill of Rights that remains untouched through several charter review processes.  Today I post the Citizens’ Bill of Rights – focusing on subsection (2) – Truth in Government.

CLICK HERE to view the full section posted online through Municode.

 (A) This government has been created to protect the governed, not the governing. In order to provide the public with full and accurate information, to promote efficient administration management, to make government more accountable, and to insure to all persons fair and equitable treatment, the following rights are guaranteed:
           (2) Truth in Government. No municipal official or employee shall            knowingly furnish false information on any public matter, nor knowingly omit significant facts when giving requested information to members of the public.

          *** [Items (1) and (3) – (13) are omitted but can be viewed by clicking on the
          links posted below] ***

Municode is an online source for the Codes of most local governments.  CLICK HERE to reach the start page for the CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE VILLAGE OF PALMETTO BAY, FLORIDA as published on Municode.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Palmetto Bay is, or will be, #273! (That is good news - this is a tease).

This is a tease, as stated in the caption above. Palmetto Bay will soon be #273!

More information to follow. Hint - it  was mentioned in this blog in 2018. Another hint: the number #38 also comes to mind, but for identification purposes.

Watch this space for more information in the near future ...

MDFR Station 62 continues to take shape. Projected to open in June. Possible grand opening April 8. Photo update.

Photo update regarding ongoing construction of MDFR Station 62 - photos taken Jan. 27, 2019.

I continue to get inquiries as to the status of this station. As Many can view from traveling along Old Cutler Road, Station 62 continues to take shape.  The value to the life-safety of this area is immeasurable.  The Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest Communities are made safer through this enhanced life-safety service in the area. 

The composite photo (to the right) demonstrates how the action construction (top - right) is tracking, faithful to original renderings (bottom of composite - right). 

A source advised me that Station 62 structure is scheduled to be complete in May. Outfitting/furniture comes next. The permanent station is on schedule to be operational in June.

Thank you MDFR! I am looking forward to the completion of Station 62 in Palmetto Bay, a grass roots started in our earliest years of incorporation, which was grass roots and official efforts. It involved an original village safety committee, a couple of mayors & Village Councils and several County Commissioners.  Thank you Commissioner Katy Sorenson for the original support and Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava for support for MDFR to bring it to close. 

The Fire Station was not immune to court contest. The original approval was made after a zoning hearing held in October, 2014, resulting in resolution 2014-075 (links below).  

A lawsuit was filed in circuit court on November 24, 2014, to contest this 3-2 decision (CLICK HERE to view the entire 17 page complaint), filed under Case No.: 2014-029993-CA-01, Gary Pastorella v Village of Palmetto Bay, OCPC & Miami-Dade County. The case was filed on November 24, 2014, and languished with no substantive activity for nearly two years (11/24/14 - 11/14/16), before it was ultimately DISMISSED for lack of prosecution by order rendered November 14, 2016 (CLICK HERE). The official court docket posted online does NOT list a settlement agreement. I never saw any formal agreement, but was told that Miami-Dade County agreed to run a waterline to their property line with the Pastorellas (which is interesting as the Defendants were holding some information back, as discussed below).  

Thank you Miami-Dade County officials who actually determined that the ENTIRE street should have benefit of this water line. Miami-Dade officials made the right choice to bringing much needed County infrastructure to everyone on this street.  The timing, opportunity, was there. It makes little sense to bring water to a County property, using county taxpayer dollars, and not bring the line to an area long in need. 

The Ground Breaking for the Fire Station was held February 5, 2018.  The original estimate for completion remains at 400 days from start of construction.  There have been rain days (built in to the schedule).  The project currently remains on schedule, so we are beginning to see the date when there will be a ribbon cutting / grand opening soon in 2019. I am told by Commissioner Cava that April 8th is the tentative date.

Please look carefully at the front of the station. Did you notice the second bay bay door (2 big read garage style doors)? One bay is for Engine 62. Once completed, Palmetto Bay can look forward to the eventual increase of life safety service. The station is built in anticipation of a future Rescue 62, which should not be too far distant future to complement the service of Engine 62.
There are two main zoning developmental orders that involve Station 62 (click the links provided below for both resolutions 2014-075 and 2015-086 to view the complete resolutions):

Reso 2014-075 -                This was the hearing where the Village council, serving 2010-2014, APPROVED the location on the present location: the southeast corner of Old Cutler Road and SW 142nd Terrace. The site plan was approved. The zoning development order was narrowly approved by a slim 3-2 margin. (Vote was 3-2 with Current council members - Vice Mayor John DuBois and Council Member Patrick Fiore voting in favor along with then Council Member Tim Schaffer. The 2 NO votes were cast by then Council Member Joan Lindsay and Mayor Shelley Stanczyk.)   

Reso 2015-086 -               This updated development order impacted the following: Requiring compliance with recent Public Works Department conditions (a letter dated 9/24/2015 is attached to the resolution) and 2. Fire Station staff will not use the ringing of bells or other alarms in the exterior for notification of emergencies.
(Vote was 4-0 to approve, after public hearing, with then council member Cunningham absent for the hearing and vote)
Click onto the label for Fire Station” to see prior posts.

Also see prior post of July 27, 2018, Photo update - progress of construction of permanent Station 62 located off Old Cutler Road and 142nd Street – a photo update of the status of the construction of Station 62 as of Thursday, July 26, 2018.