Conexion Miami / David Rivera is still free 

In May of this year Progreso Weekly editor Alvaro Fernandez wrote a brief blog on David Rivera titled, “Rivera’s back. And we thought we’d ridden ourselves of the cockroach.” No truer lines have been written. Rivera, who many claim is under federal investigation, keeps turning up in the unlikeliest of places and for some of the oddest reasons. Just a couple of months back Fernandez crossed paths with Rivera in the Miami Beach condominium building where Fernandez lives. It turned out Rivera was hiding there while deciding what to do with his future. And recently the Miami Herald reported that Rivera is living in Doral and running from stalkers who turn out to be reporters wanting to capture the photo of Rivera when he is finally handcuffed and taken to jail. Still, Rivera remains free and threatening to run for political office yet again.

Scott’s chief of staff

The most powerful appointed job in Florida’s state government is considered by many to be the governor’s chief of staff. Reports say that the post will be (or has been) offered to Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign manager, Melissa Sellers. A native Texan, Sellers, 32, is a journalism graduate from the University of Texas with little governing experience. Scott’s former chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, is leaving to enter private practice – and probably chase major dollars lobbying the same state legislature he used to rule over.


Many criticize University of Florida President Kent Fuchs’ $860,000 salary when he begins his new job Jan. 1. Add deferred payments of $180,000, which puts him into the million-dollar bracket. And yet few complain about the fact that the UF head football coach, Will Muschamp, commands a salary higher than $3 million a year, and Jimbo Fisher, head football coach at rival Florida State University, gets paid more than $4 million. One last bit of info: the average university professor’s salary ranges between $60,000 and $90,000, according to American Association of University Professors. Go figure.

Hooray for more children with guns

The National Rifle Association endorsed Gov. Rick Scott against Charlie Crist. They also helped out with substantial contributions to his campaign. Scott just signed an executive order cutting the cost of lifetime sportsman’s licenses for children and young adults. The license now costs up to $1,000, but from Nov. 24 through Dec. 31, 2014, the price will be reduced to $500 for Florida residents who are 21-years-old and younger. “Rick has signed more pro-gun bills into law in one term than any other governor in Florida history. Law-abiding gun owners in Florida have a true friend in Rick Scott,” said Chris Cox, chairman of the NRA Political Victory Fun.


Florida=Medicare fraud

Medicare fraud continues to happen in Florida. Having a governor as a poster child helps. Rick Scott’s health care company once paid the highest penalty ever, more than $1.5 billion, for … Medicare fraud. The latest reported case is that of Armando Buchillon, of Hialeah, who must now serve 57 months behind bar for defrauding Medicare of $7 million. Buchillon worked as the director of nursing for a Miami home healthcare agency, Anna Nursing Services Corp. He must also pay $1.89 million in restitution. Scott, by the way, as most know, ended up in the governor’s mansion.

Cuban art wins in Doral

Cuba’s artistic group of silversmiths and craftsmen Pauyet, from Ciego de Avila, finished in second place in the sculpture category of the recently completed Art Fest @ Doral, held in the Miami-Dade municipality. The winning work was titled Don Quixote’s Silver. Another Cuban, Alejandro Sainz, obtained a first place for his piece titled Team, composed of woodcarvings and books grouped by a huge clamp.


28.5 million from Latin America and Caribbean

About 28.5 million Latin American and Caribbean people live outside the countries where they were born, 70 % of them in the United States, while a majority of the immigrant population of 7.6 million people originated from other countries in the region, according to a new study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Of the 28.5 million, 11.8 million come from Mexico (40 % of the total), with Colombia lagging far behind with 2 million emigrants and El Salvador with 1.3 million. In terms of destination countries, the United States ranks first as home to 20.8 million (70 % of the total), which includes nearly all of the 12 million Mexicans who live outside their country. Spain is the second most-common destination with 2.4 million people (8 % of the total).

miami_eiffel_tower_skyrise-559x1024SkyRise developer ‘duplicitous’ and a ‘hypocrite’

Progreso Weekly has kept you apprised of Miami’s SkyRise project, the paperclip-shaped tower that will stand 1,000 feet — making it easily Miami’s tallest building if it is built. The project won voter approval after the developer, Jeff Berkowitz, promised not to use public funding. Immediately after the vote, though, the well-connected Berkowitz and his lobbyists went to the county commission in search of … public funding. Miami blogger Al Crespo then published a story lambasting Berkowitz as “duplicitous” and a “hypocrite”. Now the bully developer is hitting back by threatening a lawsuit if Crespo doesn’t take down the piece. It’s in the commissioners’ hands now.

More Cuban jazz in New York

This has nothing to do with Miami but we thought we’d inform you anyway in case you might visit New York. The Big Apple’s Meat Packing District is opening a speakeasy-like space in a former basement parking garage at 63 Gansevoort St., adjacent to Little W. 12th St. that will put a spotlight on Cuban bands and other “eclectic, creative music” artists. The idea, say Blue Note Entertainment Group executives, who are opening the club, is to capture the vibe of a small Havana jazz club and be in tune with the Manhattan neighborhood’s fashion-conscious crowds. The name is Subrosa. Sounds like the kind of place we’d like to visit.

College students and smoking

fumar232Did you know there is research done by a tobacco company that tells us that if you don’t smoke by age 18, there’s a 3 to 1 chance you never will. By the age of 21, the odds are 21 to 1. It is why ASH (Action on Smoking & Health) has certified 33 universities and colleges “free from tobacco money.” Sad to say, we did NOT see any schools from Florida on the list. Did you know that in 2005, the tobacco industry spent more than $1 million a day sponsoring events and giveaways targeting college students?


Former Major League Baseball great (plus weird and controversial), Miami’s own Jose Canseco, continues to amaze with his stories. The Cuban-born slugger recently shot off a finger in his hand by mistake (he says he was cleaning his gun). They managed to re-attach it, thank god! But last week we learned that Canseco’s finger had fallen off (NOT a typo) while playing poker.

31 years of Miami’s Book Fair

If you live in Miami you’ve noticed. It’s the time of the year when the weather starts turning and most days deserve one’s time outside. Little humidity and blue skies will do that for you. So if you’re in Miami, don’t forget this year’s Miami Book Fair International. Renowned literary figures as Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Ford, Larry McMurtry, as well as celebrity authors like Andy Cohen, Sheila E, Questlove, John Waters, Norman Lear, Jason Segel and John Cleese will be joining us. It runs till Sunday, Nov. 23.


Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) enrollment has opened again. If you’re without health insurance and are wondering if you might qualify for a government subsidy, click here and find out. You have nothing to lose…

Florida a medical tourism destination

Visit Florida, the official state tourism website, announced the start of a new $2.5 million grant program aimed at helping Florida businesses promote the state as a medical tourism destination. The funding is broken down into two grant types: one for medical tourism destination promotion and a second for medical meetings and training marketing. Both grants are designed to help grow awareness of existing medical tourism centers and products in Florida and help persuade more medical conferences, meetings and training programs to host events here.