Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nix The Trolley and Put The 200 Mill into BayLink

What's wrong with this picture? As far as MVB is concerned, nothing. Recent talk about building a $200 million trolley car system in Miami is getting some mixed reactions from Miami commissioners-- and well it should. We're against the trolley car for a host of reasons which can be found here. We're for a Disney-style monorail system linking Miami and the Beaches which can be found here. That $200 mill could help make a high-speed link between Miami and the Beaches a reality much sooner than later-- especially if some forward thinking visionaries could lure Disney in to co-build BayLink with the promise of land for a hotel on the beach and a port on Watson Island. Getting a Disney cruise ship-- or any cruise ship for that matter-- to make Miami a stop instead of only a point of departure will benefit everyone in the county-- especially when tourists and locals can get back and forth between Miami and the Beaches quickly and with little hassle.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Another Mojito Moment or Recent Reasons Why We Drink In Miami (introducing Bad News Boy)

Miami Vision Blogarama (MVB): You're saying the new nearly HALF BILLION DOLLAR Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, already ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS over budget, fell short by nearly ONE MILLION DOLLARS in projected earnings since it opened in October?

Bad News Boy (BNB): Yes.


MVB: You're saying the County wants to spend 1.2 BILLION DOLLARS on a truck tunnel connecting Watson Island to the Port of Miami?

BNB: Si. (He's bilingual)


MVB: You're saying the 6.2 BILLION DOLLAR airport construction project is years behind schedule and already ONE BILLION DOLLARS over budget?

BNB: Wi. (Excuse us, he appears to be trilingual)


MVB: You're saying Commissioner Barreiro is now the new Commission Chairman?

BNB: Sim. (Fvck it! The little bastard is multi-lingual)


MVB: You're saying Commissioner Seijas is now in charge of the environment?

BNB: Yes. Si. Wi. Sim.


UpDate (12/13/08): Christmas comes early with the announcement that the tunnel project succumbs to a well-deserved death when the state and Bouygues Travaux Publics can't agree on terms. Hurray!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Good Luck, Manatees!

This is a "heads up"-- or maybe it should be a "heads down!" to all manatees reading this blog. Through some slick maneuvering of a rule that keeps commissioners from chairing the same committee for more than two consecutive years, your nemesis Commissioner Natacha "I want my water-- and apparently yours too" Seijas is back chairing the committee that supposedly looks out for you. And "look out" are the operative words here, my corpulent aquatic vegetarian. Of course you know she is famous for dissing your kind wondering out loud on the dais why you're even necessary. So, you may be asking, how did she circumvent the rules? Just change the name of the committee. Once it was known as "Land Use and Infrastructure Committee." Now it's called the "Governmental Operations and Environment Committee." So be careful my obese friend because for some reason she has it in for you. Maybe it had something to do with an unhappy childhood encounter with one of your kind while swimming in the canal behind her house. Who knows? Who can explain how the Seijas mind works. Just remember this: You might be cute to some, but for others like Seijas they believe, to paraphrase Randy Newman, short people and manatees got no business living.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Push a Button. Save a Life.

MVB is against the Iraq war and especially sending more troops over there. If you agree, please sign this petition. Your AutoFill button makes it a one-step no brainer.

Legal Drag Racing Returns to South Florida!

It's been a long time, probably not since the mid-seventies, but legal drag racing is returning to Miami. This Sunday, you can race your car on an old runway at Opa Locka West Airport. It will cost you $20.00 to race, $10.00 to watch. MVB thinks this is a great idea and applaud the guy who came up with it. If nothing else, it will probably make our streets safer.

Once upon a time, when Verticus was a teenager, he use to race his chariot at a strip north west of Miami Dade College's north campus. For those who aren't aware of it, the north campus was built over an old Navy airfield called Master's Field. You can see the runways gradually disappearing over the years in these aerial photos. Believe it or not, you can still find them-- the south parking lot is basically an old runway.

The drag strip had bleachers on one side of an open field with a runway and a "Christmas tree" timing light and not much else-- including built-in safety devices. I remember some guy brought out a slingshot dragster that after crossing the finish line couldn't stop because it had lost its brakes and its parachute. All the poor driver could do was ride it out-- over the runway, across hip-high grass, smashing through a chain link fence and finally crashing into railroad tracks. He survived, no one ever died out there-- just like the ghosts of all those bright, sunshine filled memories.

You can visit the track's website here.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cut the crap!

I can't do this anymore. No more "Poopy Head Hats." Seeing Commissioner Sorenson wearing one of the hats was too much for me. She's much more worthy than that. That's why I deleted the last posting. Besides, it was too difficult to keep up with who was wearing how many hats what with the mojito consumption during office hours. Hopefully the new strong mayor will bring some stability to a commission generally rife with pettiness and lack of vision. As for MVB, we are out of the "Poopy Head Hat" business. Whether or not we revive "Club Poop" depends on if anyone in local government gets caught at the public trough. Hopefully that won't happen, that our elected officials and bureaucrats will take note of the strong mayor results at the polls and will make more of an effort to serve us instead of themselves. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we will strive to be more positive instead of negative. I know it sounds boring and all but the boys and I have basically lost our stomach for this kinda thing. V.S.E.

The Architecture God Has Spoken: COR is CUTE!

It's not everyday I see a building I want to stick my finger into and say "Cootchie-cootchie-cootchie-coo" to, but I must say Chad Oppenheim's design for a new building called COR in Miami's Design District is one of them. In fact, it may be the only one. Here's a building that doesn't have to be fun like that Disney stuff up in Orlando, but it is. Plus, it will be one of Miami's first green buildings. The mixed-use commercial/residential tower will get power from wind turbines and photovoltaic panels. Hot water will come from solar panels. Oppenheim is one of a slew of exciting architects who call Miami home. Although this city may never see the tallest skyscrapers on the planet, it may come to be known as the host city of some of the world's best architectural firms and some of the most important paradigm expanding buildings of this new era. You can see more of Mr. Oppenheim's work here. AG for MVB.

Other postings by A.G: It's Okay To Play In The Street, Touzet Is Fun!, Gehry Sucks Big Time!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Architecture God Has Spoken: Gehry's Design for Miami Beach's New World Symphony Sucks Big Time!

Within moments of publishing our take on Frank Gehry's design for Miami Beach's New World Symphony, MVB received a very loud knock at the door interrupting our mojito break. Bobby Enzyte, tripping over his pants, stumbled to the door and opened it wide. Bobby was knocked backwards as a giant hand poked through very much like King Kong's hand did in Fay Wray's bedroom in the original and still best titular film and slapped a giant Post-It Note aside of publisher Verticus S. Erectus' head. Stunned, the MVB staff stared in awe and trembled in unison as a deep reverberating voice sounding a lot like James Earl Jones' announced that we were in the presence of A.G the ARCHITECTURE GOD and he was not happy. It seems he had high hopes for Gehry and, like us, was just as disappointed. Let us rephrase that: He was COSMICALLY disappointed and wanted us to blog cyberspace ASAP or else suffer His wrath. Father Al immediately fell to his knees and started genuflecting and crying. A.G told him to stop his sniveling and get up and post the blog which, of course, we are happy to do.

UpDate (1-hour later): A.G is cool. We introduced him to the mojito and we are like, best buds. In fact, he has agreed to write for MVB!

UpDate (3-years later): Even gods can be...fallible. In retrospect as the Gehry building is about to open, I can see where I was...a little hasty in my pronouncement. It's not destination architecture, but it does have some merit. The more I learn about its functionality-- something Michael Tilson Thomas insisted upon-- I can see where and why Mr. Gehry lost his love of curves and free-flowing lines in favor of the boring boxiness of utilitarianism. I, in fact, look forward to its opening in January 2011 and hope to be sitting on the lawn outside listening to the music inside and watching huge video images cast on the outside projection wall. With a mojito in hand, of course.

Gehry Light: Miami Beach's New World Symphony Design

As much as we love the work of Frank Gehry, we are disappointed with his concept for Miami Beach's New World Symphony. Where is the spirit lifting, gravity defying, middle-finger raising architectural hubris to cosmic laws about physics that say it can't be done? Talk about "big box" retail architecture, even most Best Buy stores exhibit more courage per dollar spent on their designs.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Prayer for Kevin

Verticus (V): Dear Lord, Strong Mayor of the Universe, we ask you to enlighten Kevin and all the other Kevins by coming into their hidden hearts in their hidden cities in this great county to vote for a strong mayor on Tuesday, January 23rd. Say "Amen."

Harem Girls (HG): Say amen!

V: No, just amen.

HG: No, just amen.

V: Oy vey.

HG: Oy vey.

V: Stop! Don't say a thing or you're out of the harem-- and no volunteering.

(The girls look at each other but remain silent. Verticus begins praying again)

V: So, as I was saying dear Lord, make them come around-- especially that guy Kevin who is threatening to negate my vote-- to the thinking of the general public who are basically fed up to here with all the bullshit-- (pauses, crosses self) I'm sorry, dear Lord, please forgive me. All the scheming, stealing, lying, and waste down at city hall. Remind him that, besides my humble blog-- which was first and continued to press the issue here, here, here, here, and here in advocating voting yes for the proposal-- that the strong mayor referendum is also endorsed by the likes of the Miami Herald, the Sun Post, Senator Alex Villalobos, Michael Putney, and Jim Defede who presents a convincing reason why Kevin and all the other Kevins should vote yes on his weekly report on WCBS-4. Finally, Lord, I beseech thee to make Tuesday night a night of celebration so that all of us can throw open wide our doors and dance in the streets with our harem girls knowing that things are going to be better down at city hall. Now you can say "Amen."

HG: Now you can say amen.

V: No, just "Amen."

HG: No, just amen.

V: Oy vey.

HG: Oy vey.

(15-minutes later)

V: Oh, Lord, please forgive me for my slothfulness, but that evil Kevin has already voted! (see comments) Pre-negating me in the process! Oh, dear Lord, please have mercy on his soul and lift him from his jaded, dyspeptic, negative outlook on life by the back of his collar until his eyes bulge out and his tongue sticks out and he turns red in the face!

(V starts hyperventilating and perspiring profusely)

HG: Mr. Erectus, are you okay?

V: I'm fine. Don't interrupt me while I'm praying. As I was saying, dear Lord, for this grievance to me and the wonderful people of Dade County, please, I implore You to muster up four score and ten fold of "Yes!" voters to join me at the polls January 23rd to serve as a sort of cosmic bitch slap across all the Kevins' faces who are happy with the status quo, i.e., living with corruption and waste of public resources-- to name just a few. Let it be a clarion call from the righteous, the worthy, the smart, and the truly cool who are mad as hell-- forgive me, oh Lord, for bringing up where the evil Kevin dwells-- and aren't going to take it anymore! Amen.

HG: Amen.

V: Now you got it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Second MVB "Worthy Award" Goes To Detective Nicky Echezabal

The MVB Worthy Award was inspired by "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," a 1963 movie starring Phil Silvers, Spencer Tracy, and Jonathan Winters among others. The parallels between the film and life in Miami-Dade County were eerily similar starting with the title of the picture which resonated with local relevance. In the movie, the characters will stop at nothing to get rich, just like many of our public "servants." When Jonathan Winters yells, "It's the Big 'W,' I tell ya, the Big 'W'!", they are led to believe that four palm trees resembling a "Big W" mark the spot where a recently deceased old guy's (Jimmy Durante) riches are buried. MVB liked the idea of taking a negative symbol that served as a beacon for cutthroat opportunists and transforming it into a positive one used in an award that recognizes the efforts of those men and women fighting corruption in a public sector palm covered world gone mad by greed and bone-headed stupidity.

With that in mind, our second MVB "Worthy Award" was given to schools Detective Nicky Echezabal for just doing her job-- and getting heat from those above her for doing it. As it turned out, Detective Echezabal got transferred and her pay slashed when it was discovered by Northwestern High administrators that a report she had given to the Miami police department showed the school had failed to report to police-- more than six weeks after it happened-- the alleged sexual encounter in a school bathroom between a 14-year-old girl and the school's 19-year-old star football player Antwain Easterling. The report shows that most of the top administrators at the school-- including principal Dwight Bernard-- knew of the allegations midway through their championship season. The police finally found out when the mother of the 14-year-old girl cornered a surprised cop assigned to the school at the local (we're not making this up) Dunkin' Donuts and told him she was "tired of the runaround." This was the first time he had heard anything about the alleged crime. He filed his own reports and two days later on December 7th, the police sent in its special victims unit and arrested Easterling on charges of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor, a crime that took place way back on September 16th. Now, at most schools, getting arrested and thrown into jail would mean at least a ten-day suspension and no play time and, at most, expulsion. Not at Northwestern. They needed Easterling to play in the state championship game. Within days of bonding out of jail, Easterling rushed for 157 yards and scored a touchdown in leading Northwestern to the state title. Now that the shit is hitting the fan as more and more information becomes available to the public, Detective Echezabal was "abruptly transferred" last week and her pay slashed for only doing her job. Officially, the school district's draconian reaction is because Detective Echezabal "didn't follow proper protocol"-- she shouldn't have given a copy of her report to Miami police detectives before her report was reviewed and approved by her superiors.

Whoe, it looks like the school district relegates tougher and swifter punishment for their school cops than for a star student athlete arrested and thrown into jail for a sex crime. Afterall, the kid got to play anyway after doing jail time and is back attending regular classes while Detective Echezabal got the shaft.

We think this stinks to high heaven and believe C. "Boss" Poop will have a whole slew of new members joining Club Poop from Northwestern. We think there was a conspiracy at the highest levels at the school to keep this alleged sex crime under wraps at least until the end of the football season. That they thought they could actually get away with this "cover up" is truly amazing. Haven't they ever heard of something called "Watergate"? According to the last two days of Miami Herald reporting, there are way too many players in this sordid little drama called denial to keep it from unraveling. Right now, no one at the school knows nothing and the blame game is starting. All for what? A winning football season? A chance at the state championship? Talk about a misguided set a values from a group of adults impressionable kids look up to for guidance.

So, because we think this is so outrageous and unfair, it was a no-brainer for us to give the MVB "Worthy Award" to Detective Nicky Echezabal. Hopefully she will consider bitch slapping the school district with a well-deserved law suit.

UpDate (1/19): Sex charges may be dropped against Easterling if he completes a special program for youthful offenders. If he completes the program, he will not have a conviction on his record that "could hamper his football career" as reported in the Herald. The Miami Dade Schools police union has filed grievances on behalf of Detective Echezabal. New allegations by the union include Echezabal being denied a scheduled promotion.

UpDate (2/8): Easterling signs with Ol' Miss.

UpDate (March): Easterling is busted and later fined for marijuana possession.

UpDate (6/4): Because of a grand jury investigation, principal Dwight Bernard is booked into Miami-Dade county jail on two third-degree felony counts of official misconduct. The Miami Herald also notes that Echezabal was promoted to sergeant after the police union complained of retaliation. To see an amazing video of Bernard getting arrested and led to jail plus a look at the state attorney's palatable discuss with school administrators, click here.

UpDate (7/11): Superintendent Rudy Crew fires the head coach and the entire football staff.

UpDate (9/14): Miami Northwestern becomes national champions by beating Texas high school football team Southlake Carroll in front of a national TV audience at SMU's Ford Stadium.

UpDate (2/24/08): Southern Miss suspends Easterling for violation of team rules. It is the second punishment for Easterling who was placed on indefinite suspension for a violation of team rules in November.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Miami Herald Endorses Strong Mayor Vote!

If you would like to volunteer to insure the outcome of the vote or would like more information, click here.

Monocle Man On: Barak Obama

WARNING: First off, anyone wearing a monocle today should be viewed with suspicion. This gentleman, who wishes to remain anonymous as is a bloggers wont, is not the kind of guy you'd invite to a party. If his 1,000 yard stare doesn't quickly put your shindig into an irreversible slide toward downersville, his jaded, dyspeptic personality soon will. So, dear reader, read his words with caution and a mojito, MVB's drink of choice, in hand.
  • Just finished watching Senator Barak Obama on "Face the Nation." Very disappointing. He's being touted as a bright light in the Democratic Party, someone many are hoping will run for president. From watching him defend his stepped Iraqi withdrawal proposal which is much like the one recommended in the recent "official" bi-partisan proposal-- which he reminded us more than once came months after his own-- he's at best a "flickering light." At worst, he's nothing more than another politician. When pressed more than once by Bob Schieffer to answer whether or not he would vote to cut off funding for the war, he wavered-- like the "flickering light bulb" he is. How refreshing it would have been to have seen him say exactly what he would do instead of dancing around the question like so many politicians are wont to do.
  • Now don't get me wrong, I was hoping he was the guy who would lead us out of Iraq, the next Kennedy of a different color-- but that doesn't mean I'm a liberal. Senator John McCain was on to. At one point I hoped he would run for president. Not anymore. As much as I admire him, I'm against supporting his notion that Iraq needs more troops. So where do my politics lie? In a dark and scary place few will fear to go especially at 8:30am on a Sunday morning. In fact, it even scares me that I worship at the Church of the Politically Incorrect early service.
  • Elita Loresca.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Flower Grows In Umoja Village

Out of the vacant lot where Miami's shantytown Umoja Village has taken root, a feisty dandelion, scourge to many, loved by few, despite all obstacles has sprouted. Head held high, it symbolizes the indomitable spirit of the downtrodden, luckless bastards who trusted their government with providing affordable housing and found themselves homeless. Yesterday, the City of Miami backtracked on throwing the Villagers from their village. Buried deep within the Miami Herald, we're told the commission thought it best to "kill" the proposal and instead focus on finding long-term housing solutions rather than shutting the Village down.

Which begs the question: Why didn't they take this rational, humane approach from the beginning instead of a reactionary one usually associated with jackboot fascist dictatorships? What made them see the light? Could it have been seeing one of their fellow commissioners, Tomas Regalado, joining the Villagers in protest and getting arrested should the commission follow through on their threat to shut it down? MVB thinks so because inevitably the media microphone and lens would be pointed their way asking for an explanation, something we're sure they wouldn't be able to give...reasonably.

Now the wind has caught the dandelion and its seeds are traveling beyond Umoja Village.

Update (4/26/07): After six months, Umoja Village burns to the ground. An unattended candle brings the shanty town of nearly 50 people to an ignominious end. Miami police arrest those who refuse to leave and within hours the place is bulldozed and hauled away. Still, its founder Max Rameau vows to fight on.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Who's Behind Barreiro's Door?

Watergate began with a knock on the door to make sure no one was inside the Democratic Party's office. This story begins when the cleaning lady can't open county commission chairman Bruno Barreiro's door.

Cleaning Lady (CL): Is anybody there?
(The door shakes)
CL: Now I know someone's there. Open the door.
(She tries to open the door again but it won't budge. She covers her eyes and peers through the frosted glass)
CL: Is that you commissioner Barreiro?
Voice Behind The Door (VBD): No.
CL: For crying out loud, commissioner, I can see your shadow.
(A moment passes)
VBD: Who's there?
CL: The Cleaning lady.
VBD: The cleaning lady who?
CL: Don't fvck with me, commissioner Barreiro. You know perfectly well who this is?
VBD: Geraldine?
CL: That's right, now open the door. I've got work to do.
(Muffled voices behind door)
CL: Do you have somebody else in there with you?
VBD: No!
CL: It sounds like you have somebody else in there? My God, it sounds like you got that bitch commissioner Seijas in there with you! And you're a married man! You should be ashamed!
VBD: It's not what you think! We're having a meeting.
CL: Oh, my God! You got sistas Jordan and Edmonson in there too! I can hear 'em! It sounds more like an orgy to me. And Dorrin Rolle and Martinez, too? Who-wee! I've seen a lot cleaning up city hall all these years, but I ain't never seen anything like this. You are one kinky bunch of fruit cakes.
VBD: I tell you it's not what you think!
CL: If you say so. Now are you going to open the door so I can clean up or not?
VBD: Not!
CL: Why not?
VBD: We're having a meeting.
CL: So you said but I got a job to do--. Wait a minute. We got laws against this kinda thing. You can't conduct business behind closed doors.
(A moment passes before someone sounding like Seijas begins to moan and groan as if she were making love)
CL: Aha! Just as I thought. You all havin' group sex in city hall!
VBD: There's no law against that!
(Suddenly the door starts to shake and everyone behind Barreiro's door starts to moaning and groaning)
CL: Well, I guess that's okay as long as you don't start discussin' business. Try not to soil the carpet. It's my ass if I can't get the stains out.

As it turned out, they were discussing how to defeat Mayor Carlos Alverez' strong mayor initiative at the polls. Now although this was okayed by County Attorney Murray Greenberg, it still reeks with the appearance of behind closed doors impropriety because, afterall, isn't the referendum the business of government? We suppose a good lawyer could argue otherwise, but for the man in the street, the meeting behind Barreiro's door looks suspect.

UpDate (3/14): Barreiro's at it again.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Well said...

For 12 long years Roberto Espejo served as the project manager for the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Espejo moved from New Haven, CT-based Cesar Pelli Associates to Miami to oversee design and construction on a project that would take over TWELVE LONG YEARS. It's hard to believe it took that long to build this magnificent structure. During that time he also taught architecture at the University of Miami. He considers this a "BC-AD" kind of moment in Miami's cultural arts. In a December 28th interview in Miami Today he is quoted as saying:

"It's almost like Miami is going to be responsible for hosting the planet to come."

He goes on to say that the "world of architecture and architects are all starting to associate quality with Miami when it comes to these types of buildings."

If only developers are encouraged to push the envelope and are allowed to set new heights in downtown Miami. Government should take the initiative to encourage developers to deliver architecture that will set Miami apart from the rest of the world-- and settle for nothing less. Both mayors and commissions should make it their sacred duty to all of us to insure Miami has a permanent place on the world map for the world's tallest buildings and those with the most exciting, spirit-lifting, hope-inducing designs. They can do this by creating less bureaucracy by becoming an enabler to the permitting process, including petitioning the FAA en masse to cut us some slack regarding height restrictions. MVB would like to see Biscayne Boulevard become known as the "Boulevard of the Giants."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

C. "Boss" Poop Denies New York Stink

"Sure, I may have been visiting family in New Jersey when the shit hit the fan, but that doesn't mean it was mine," C. "Boss" Poop, a Miami insider, said at a hastily organized news conference in New Jersey across from Manhattan. "In fact, I take umbrage at the fact that someone would even think it was my stink! Am I not without feelings? Am I not begotten of man? Don't I bleed like the rest of you? Okay, maybe 'bleed' isn't quite the right word. Don't I ooze like the rest of you?"

With that "visual" floating through the media heads, Poop cut one, summarily ending the news conference in a paroxysm of public group projectile vomiting not seen since audiences hurled in unison during the 2004 release of Steven Segal's Polish made flick, "Out of Reach," aka "Poza zasiegiem" which, loosely translated means "What A Stinker!"

Monocle Man On: The Baseball Stadium, Umoja Village...

WARNING: First off, anyone wearing a monocle today should be viewed with suspicion. This gentleman, who wishes to remain anonymous as is a bloggers wont, is not the kind of guy you'd invite to a party. If his 1,000 yard stare doesn't quickly put your shindig into an irreversible slide toward downersville, his jaded, dyspeptic personality soon will. So, dear reader, read his words with caution and a mojito, MVB's drink of choice, in hand.

  • MLB wants a downtown Miami stadium. So do I. But at what price? Part of the financing may include using millions of dollars designated by law to improve blighted neighborhoods. These funds would come from the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). Right now, the proposed site is outside the boundaries of the CRA. But there is talk about expanding the boundaries to include the proposed site to tap the funds for the new stadium near I95 and the Government Center. To me, it looks like this plan will rob from the poor to give to the rich. I think MVB's proposed site is much better-- and it doesn't need to get built at the expense of building affordable housing for the poor to make it a reality-- plus, it's built over a MetroRail station making it unnecessary to walk through the heat, humidity, and the rain to get to the stadium. Miami mayor Manny Diaz supports using CRA funds to help build the stadium. Unfortunately for the poor, Michelle Spence-Jones is the Chairwoman for the CRA, the same one who, as a commissioner, proposed re-writing the ordinance to legally shut down Umoja Village, Miami's upstart shantytown.
  • Regarding Umoja Village, today's Herald notes that the new ordinance Ms. Spence-Jones wants to introduce, has been pulled from this week's commission agenda. Maybe she realized how much it made her look like a first rate schmuck. Naw, they're probably just making sure all the legalese is drum tight and protects them from looking like heartless bastards.
  • Meanwhile, Max Rameau, founder of Umoja Village, is organizing protests for Super Bowl week. Stay tuned.
  • Elita Loresca

Monday, January 08, 2007

Way to Go, Gators! Two National Championships in One Year! Ye-Hawicvs!

This victory is especially sweet since the publisher has two kids currently enrolled at UF but this is something the whole state can be proud of. National championships in football and basketball in one year. No college has ever done it nor looked so good doing it.

Strong Mayor Early Voting Starts TODAY!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Introducing Monocle Man

A note from the publisher:

First off, anyone wearing a monocle today should be viewed with suspicion. This gentleman, who wishes to remain anonymous as is a bloggers wont, is not the kind of guy you'd invite to a party. If his 1,000 yard stare doesn't quickly put your shindig into an irreversible slide toward downersville, his jaded, dyspeptic personality soon will. So, dear reader, read his words with caution and a mojito, MVB's drink of choice, in hand.


Really, I'm not as bad as Mr. Erectus made me out to be. Sure, I might wear a monocle, but does that mean I don't eat, sleep, and shit like the rest of you? Perhaps you'd be more forgiving if you knew I was born and raised in Miami and have been living here for over half a century. I've basically seen it all and it has taken its toll on me. My shrink calls me Eeyore, my girlfriend calls me shallow, and my hero Verticus Erectus calls me dyspeptic, but despite those sentiments, I still get up every morning in Miami thinking that today is going to be an improvement on yesterday. That should count for something. Right?

Anyway, my first "observations" for MVB are:
  • Since no one else seems to be doing it on a scale that will make an impact, Baptist Health South Florida, the region's largest private employer, and the University of Miami are going to provide affordable housing to attract and retain workers. They will build units on land they own. When the average house price in Dade County is $372,400 and the median family income for a family of four is $55,900, who will build affordable housing for the teachers? The cops? The firefighters? For you and me?
  • What's with underwear? When I was at UM in the early 70's, hardly anyone wore them. Trust me, I've seen my fair share of cracks over the years-- some good (the one I saw on March 7, 2006 was a standout), most bad-- but now a days, they've changed what once was something utilitarian into a fashion statement. I know this because I can see people's underwear almost every place I go. I find myself not knowing whether to look or turn away. Maybe some day if I live long enough, I will be comfortable seeing other people's underwear in public.
  • Speaking of underwear, until I started dating a sensuous, worldly Brazilian named Luciana, I didn't know that after all of these years I had been placing "it" inside my underwear in the wrong position. According to her, it is supposed to go "up." I ran this by Esquire magazine's Answer Guy and he said, after calling me a "pussy," that this is America and I can put it any where I want to. Thanks to Luciana, however, I discovered colorful "athletic briefs" and stopped buying those old man white cotton briefs and will never go back. Now, God forbid, if I should ever get into an accident, I can rest assured that at least I'll be looking good on the gurney, well, at least as far as the underwear goes.
  • What's with the county trying to dig a $1.2 billion tunnel between the Port of Miami and Watson Island? Recent reports show that the port has lost money while other ports-- including its chief competitor, Ft. Lauderdale's Port Everglades-- made profits. Part of the plan to pay for the tunnel includes charging trucking companies and shippers tolls. Won't this raise the cost of doing business at the port? Won't it drive business away? As MVB has suggested, why haven't they considered bringing the existing, unused rail line on line during the dead of night to relieve port congestion while downtown is asleep? It's gotta be a lot cheaper than digging a billion dollar freaking tunnel.
  • When I was growing up in the westside of North Miami, no one got murdered by a gun. Burglaries were unheard of. Then, during the seventies and eighties, people moved away and the color and the language changed from white and English to black, brown, Spanish, Creole and something resembling English. Murders went up along with burglaries. When I went to North Miami High, no one got killed and it stayed that way up until the last 10 years when at least two kids have been killed there. One crawled under a car in the school parking lot to get away from a guy with a gun-- to no avail; the killer got on all fours, looked under the car and fired away. Some even pee in the hallway. What happened?
  • Elita Loresca.

  • UpDate (12/13/08): Christmas comes early with the announcement that the tunnel project succumbs to a well-deserved death when the state and Bouygues Travaux Publics can't agree on terms. Hurray!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A MVB Tip O' the Kangol to Miami Commissioner Tomas Regalado!

Our first ever "Tip O' the Kangol" award goes to Miami City Commissioner Tomas Regalado. He's one of the few stand-up guys in local politics. In early 2005 he took on the city's pugnacious loudmouth city manager Joe Arriola (now gone) when he lobbied his fellow commissioners for a vote of no confidence. He stood alone then and he stands alone again in 2007 with his audacious statement that if the commission votes January 11th to approve an ordinance that will be used to roust the homeless from their shantytown-- christened Umoja Village and built on a city owned empty lot-- he will walk off the dais and go to the camp and wait to be arrested.

We LOVE this guy! It's like watching Jimmy Stewart in a Frank Capra movie. With an accent. Except we're in it with him-- especially if we decide to join him. Let's hope the commission gets it right this time so Mr. Regalado doesn't have to take that long walk down to shantytown.

UpDate (1/11): The commission backs down. Our hero won't have to take that long, lonely walk down to shantytown.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Miami Dade County Launches New Live WebCasting of Commission Meetings!

Miami Dade County is Beta Testing its new live webcasting of commission meetings on Comedy Central.

We're sorry. That was a lie. The live webcast is on the county's official web site. Now, you can help commissioner Javier Souto keep any eye on our elected officials. If they know we're watching along with Mr. Souto, it might just keep them on the straight and narrow.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

20 Days Left Till Strong Mayor Vote

There are many reasons to reel in a city or county commission's power when they become corrupted by it, but this may be the most important: to keep them honest.

As we predicted, in the most recent example of in-your-face callous indifference to what we think, the city of Miami commission, led by Michelle Spence-Jones, promises to "change the rules in the middle of the game" to get what they want-- the ouster of the homeless from their shantytown called Omoja Village. The Village, built on land owned by the city of Miami-- a lot made vacant when the city tore down an apartment building in the traditionally segregated part of Miami known as Liberty City and forgot to rebuild it ten years later-- embarrasses the commissioners and, we're sure, the Mayor, and the bureaucrats down at City Hall.

"By God, we've got a Super Bowl coming up! We can't have the world's media covering a story like this! It'll make us look like psychopathic assholes! Worst yet-- it'll make us look like a third world country!"

No! Not a "third world country"! We're bigger and better than that-- so we keep telling ourselves. So, in that effort to make it go away, Ms. Spence-Jones, an African-American who represents that part of town, has introduced an ordinance that passed 3-2 to make it more difficult for you and me, and especially those without a voice or a roof over their heads, to assemble on city owned land. With a change in the law, Miami will have a legal right to remove the shantytown and everything it stands for before the Super Bowl hits town. It doesn't sound very American does it? And we wonder where our critics come up with that "third world" moniker?

The final vote comes January 11th. Will Miami commissioners rise to the occasion and surprise us by voting against this ordinance? Don't hold your breath. Although there are many characters on the commission, there is a dearth of character individually. Still, there is a ray of sunshine. If the ordinance passes, Commissioner Tomas Regalado has threatened to walk off the dais and join the poor and homeless at the Village where he expects to be arrested along with 40 other "squatters".

If he does, you and me, we should too, join him that is, down at the Village. In the words of Kathie Klarreich in an opinion piece that appeared in today's Miami Herald, "For those who believe in our responsibility for the least among us, the demolition of Umoja Village would diminish us all."

Too bad the Strong Mayor county commission vote doesn't come before this City of Miami vote. That vote is expected to win. Overwhelmingly. Just the eye-opener the city commissioners need to remind them they have been "commissioned by the people" to serve them and not their own self-interests.

If you would like to volunteer to insure the outcome of the vote or would like more information, click here.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year Post Mortem

Following is a WSVN-FOX transcript from last night’s New Year’s Eve performance by the MVB Standup Comic at the MVB Lounge in Little H. As you will see, it didn’t go too well and we apologize to all of those who were offended and want their money back. However, if you had read the fine print on your ticket stub you would have discovered, refunds are prohibited due to the incendiary nature of the act, which will invariably offend those living in a hypersensitive community such as Miami anyway. Plus, you were also notified via the fine print that MVB couldn’t be held responsible for any bodily injury or mental anguish as a result of the act, caveat emptor, yada, yada, yada.

MVB Standup Comic (leaning on mic stand with a mojito in his hand): Hello! Hola! Happy New Year! Thanks for supporting my habit. (Sips mojito).

(Applause, whistles. The Comic shields his eyes to look at audience)

MVB SUC: Pardon me, but are there any Cubans out there?

(Shouts, whistles, applause, and lots of Spanish)

MVB SUC: Well, welcome to Miami!

HECKLER: 'Welcome to Miami'? We OWN the place, gringo!

(Lots of laughter, applause)

MVB SUC: Then you must be American.

HECKLER: Yeah, Cuban American!

(More laughter, whistles, and applause)

MVB SUC: Like the Irish own Boston. I can dig it. What would Miami be without its mojitos, cafe cubano, and big butt Latinas?

(Unrestrained applause, laughter, pounding on the tables, accompanied with shouts of joy as some big butt Latinas stand up to shake it all around)

MVB SUC: Yeah, baby, shake it this way! Anyway, a while back before they strung up this chain link fence between you and me and began offering a complimentary free mojito with every performance--.

HECKLER: Hey, without the mojito, man, no one would come!


MVB SUC: Ain’t that the truth. It’s like the drink is the second half of a comedy team, Mojito and Me. Hell, it even gets top billing.

HECKLER: It deserves it!

(Laughter, applause)

MVB SUC: Yeah, maybe I can get Bacardi to sponsor a tour.

HECKLER: There you go, gringo!


MVB SUC: Anyway, before the fence and the mojitos, I was pretending to interview this affordable-housing-Cuban-guy-developer who was in trouble for not developing which is to say he had taken millions of taxpayer dollars for everything but—including building himself a 14,000 square foot house—which he revealed was really a “Country Club for the Homeless.” Anyway, the interview begins with him picking up his cell phone and responding to my first question with “Si.”

(Abrupt silence, butts cease to shake. The Comic, surprised, looks around)

MVB SUC: What? I can’t use it? That’s exactly the kind of reaction I got the first time I used it in my act. Do I have to get written permission from somebody’s mother first? What gives?

HECKLER: Do you speak Spanish?


HECKLER: Then you can’t use it. It offends us.

MVB SUC: It “offends” you?


MVB SUC: I don’t get it. Why?

HECKLER: It implies that there is an anti-Hispanic undercurrent to your joke.

MVB SUC: Are you kidding me? The guy is Cuban, for crise sakes. You can bet if he was Italian, I would have thrown in a few “fagedabouits.” Hey, wait a minute. That sounds exactly like the message I found on my blog criticizing me for using “Si” in my act. You must be—

HECKLER: That’s right, I’m Anonymous!

MVB SUC (looking him over): Hell, man, I’d thought you’d be taller.

HECKLER: And I thought you’d be funnier.

(Heckler throws the first bottle of the evening at the fence)

MVB SUC: Whoe, dude, relax. Can’t you take a joke?

(The heckler, screaming, spittle flowing from the corner of his mouth, throws himself against the protective fencing but he can’t get at the MVB Standup Comic)

MVB SUC: I guess not.

(The MVB Standup Comic walked up to the protective barrier and hit the heckler’s hand with his microphone, which got the guy cussing in Spanish, the sound system screaming, and everyone grabbing their ears. As he fell back from the fencing, his big butt wife caught him and, swinging her big caboose, cleared the mojitos from the tables around her as she tried to calm him down. When he pushed her away and went for something under his coat, MVB’s B.S. Detector moved in, grabbed his arm and wrenched it behind his back before shoving him up against the chain link and chrome doming him. When he fell limp, the Detector grabbed him by his jacket’s collar and dragged him unceremoniously across the slippery mojito strewn floor toward an exit door with his fishtailing big butt wife clearing a path of destruction through the club that would have made General Sherman envious.)

MVB SUC: Watch out for that ass, buddy—Oh, man! Sorry about that. Poor bastard. At least he went out with a smile on his face.

(This brought on a chorus of boos, shouted Spanish epithets, and a smattering of applause and laughter)

MVB SUC: I see I got a mixed group here tonight. Love me or hate me, you still paid good money to ring in the New Year with me.

(Someone threw his or her Cobb salad at him and it stuck in the chain link)

MVB SUC: Hey, why doesn’t someone toss me a mojito, man? I could use one.

(Someone tossed his mojito and the souvenir New Year’s Eve glass with the MVB logo exploded against the fence, scattering MVB’s drink of choice and slivers of glass over the Comic. After flinching, the Comic wiped his palm across his forehead and licked his fingers. Blood ran from beneath his backward Kangol and down his face)

MVB SUC: Thanks. Like I said before: mojitos, cafe cubano, and big butt Latinas; what more could you want?

HECKLER 2: How ‘bout a good joke?

MVB SUC: How ‘bout an audience with a sense of humor?

HECKLER 2: Fvck you!

(The Comic shaded his eyes to look out into the audience)

MVB SUC: Whoe, now it looks like I pissed off the Americanos.

HECKLER 2: I’m Cuban, you mamapinga!

MVB SUC: You’re “Cuban”? Does that mean you’re working for...FIDEL?

HECKLER 2: ¡ResiƱate!

(At that point, the biggest, meanest, fattest bastard you ever saw stuffed into a guayabera rushed out of the shadows and threw himself at the protective fencing. The Comic stepped back just in time as it came down in front of him)

HECKLER 3 (running toward the stage): ¡Mate a comico! ¡Mate a comico!

When the Comic saw the fat bastard in the guayabera getting up and what looked like the whole audience charging the stage, he ran like hell for the nearest exit screaming “Castro’s dead! Castro’s dead!” as if that would save his raggedy ass. Where the angry mob got their torches and Cuban flags is still a mystery. Perhaps, as the Comic has suggested in earlier routines, they never leave home without them. In any event, the Comic escaped further injury thanks in part to his conditioning and the fact that he is one giant chocha.

(End WVSN-Fox transcript)

What Fox didn't know was the mob caught up to the Comic a block down Calle Ocho when he tripped over one of those giant chicken sculptures and promptly beat and kicked him to a pulp. He is now recuperating at Jackson with broken bones, cuts, and bruises. Also, he keeps asking for his mommy in a voice that makes you want to cry.