Conexión Miami / Money, money, money, money!

Someone once said that greedy politicians and Miami go hand in hand. For example, there’s the case of Dade Medical College and its principal owner, Ernesto Perez. His for-profit college abruptly went out of business leaving 400 employees without their final paychecks. And more than 2,000 students wondering what to do next. The Miami Herald had reported that “Perez was under criminal investigation. Perez had also been previously arrested. There were still-pending 2013 charges for perjury, a 2002 arrest for aggravated battery, and in the early 1990s Perez spent six months in jail in Wisconsin after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of battery and exposing his genitals to a 15-year-old…” Last month state prosecutors also charged Perez with illegally bundling $159,000 in campaign contributions. Still, Miami legislators such as state Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, state Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, state Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, and Coral Gables Vice Mayor Frank Quesada have been receiving Perez contributions, percs, and who knows what else from this shady character – while also helping advance his agenda. In fact, Sen. Garcia worked for him – earning $134,399 as Dade Medical’s senior VP of government and community relations, a position he held for seven years.


Killing bears – for sport

As in-school shootings become commonplace, Americans have proven to have a lust for guns and the right to use them. It is why we are not surprised to read that Florida’s first black bear hunt in 21 years wielded hundreds of bears killed in the first few days, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Sales of bear hunt permits — $100 for residents and $300 for out-of-state residents — were reported at 3,778, more than the bear population, estimated at more than 3,500. There was even an 11-year-old boy among the hunters. The largest bear shot was a 391-lb. male in Flagler County. Hunters said they’d heard that taxidermists were charging $1,500 to mount a bear head.

No mercy

Donald Trump has no intention of easing up on his Jeb attacks. During a campaign swing through Florida a couple of weeks back the Donald had this to say about Jeb: “Here’s a guy who wants to run our country, and he can’t even run his own campaign. And you know what? He’s cutting back big.” The comment came the day after the Bush campaign announced it was cutting payroll by 40 percent by trimming staff and requiring an across the board pay cut for those remaining. “Bush has no money. He’s cutting. He’s meeting today with mommy and daddy and they’re working on their campaign,” Trump said. Which leads us to wonder: where’s the more than $100 million Bush had raised?

Florida parks to become killing fields?entrance-to-blue-springs-state-park1

Florida’s Rick Scott is considered by many one of the worst governors in the country. We’d like to add dangerous to the list. And it’s not only because of those scary, bulging eyes of his… It turns out there are 161 state parks in Florida. A good thing, if you ask us. Created in 1935, the parks system is intended to preserve unique portions of Florida’s natural landscape. The problem, as far as the governor and his appointees are concerned, that the parks’ system only pays 77% of their expenses, and they want that number to be 100. Their solution? Allow hunting in Florida parks! In the future, then, if you’re out camping with your family, out by a beach in one of our lovely state parks and you suddenly hear gun fire, all we can advise is that you take cover. One of your kids might be mistaken for a small animal.

Miami rentsMiami rents ain’t cheap

This information come from Curved Miami. According to Zumper, Miami was the 8th most expensive rental market in the country last month, with a median one bedroom at $1,850 and median two bedroom at $2,500. The most expensive area? Fisher Island at $4,650 for a one bedroom. That same space in Park West would cost $2,740. Looking for something on the cheaper side of town? More affordable options around $700-$1,500 can be found further inland, such as Flagler ($1,200), Little Haiti ($1,080), or Gladeview ($750).


Blonde Bondi doesn’t believe the sea is rising

Florida attorney general Pam Bondi is such a ditz! Not surprising. She serves in Gov. Rick Scott’s cabinet. But either Bondi fell into a ‘blonde moment,’ or she is just so damn hard-headed in her republicanism that she just doesn’t care. We’re hoping for the stereotype. We say this because for those of us who live in Miami, we’ve seen the effects of rising seas lately. Streets inundated and un-passable and, according to most scientists, it’s not going to get better, but worse. And yet, Ms. Bondi recently joined a lawsuit with attorneys general from 23 other states against the Obama administration’s mandate curving carbon emissions. A few weeks back Miami state Rep. Jose Javier Rodrigues sent Bondi a letter where he writes: “When a new study released this month projects a potential five-foot rise in the sea level in South Florida, it is hard to see how this is a philosophical issue.”

Five want to replace Rubio

There are five candidates so far in the race to replace Sen. Marco Rubio who is trying his luck in the presidential sweepstake. On the Democratic side are two current members of congress, Alan Grayson, from central Florida, and Patrick Murphy, from south Florida. On the Republican side are Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, from Miami, and congressmen David Jolly and Ron DeSantis, both from the central part of the state. It’s still early to consider any one of them a frontrunner.


What makes a great democracy?

Last week elections were held in several Miami-Dade county municipalities including Miami, Hialeah and Miami Beach. Positions being decided were commission and council seats, including the mayor’s chair in Miami Beach. Progreso Weekly finds it odd that a country that prides itself in its democratic system based on the vote has so little respect for it. Turnout in Miami-Dade was a paltry 14.6 percent. But let’s play the numbers game. About 50 percent of citizens are not registered to vote. And if only 14.6 percent of the registered participated last week, then less than 10 percent of citizens in Miami elected persons to positions that will affect their daily lives…