Most of our hopes and dreams bit the dust with the county's ratification of the "Global Agreement." We feel like that fallen warrior from ancient Greece. We didn't put that smile on his face, but I'm sure he would have appreciated what we did to his middle finger. This is our last gesture to local politics and our first step in acknowledging what unchecked hubris can bring: lots of sound and fury signifying nothing. It's a bittersweet ending for us but we exit the blogosphere with a song.* Good luck to us all.
UpDate (9/26/09): Friends of the Marine Stadium get Jimmy Buffett to endorse their (and our) cause:
UpDate (1/12/08): Before we threw in the towel, Verticus wrote an article regarding the fate of the Miami Marine Stadium for Propeller magazine, the official publication of the 5,000 member American Power Boat Association. It's in the January issue and urges its readers to petition Miami Mayor Manny Diaz to fulfill his unmet 6-year-old promise of saving the venerable, architectural wonder. If you feel the same way we do, you can contact him at: 305-250-5300, or Fax: 305-854-4001, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UpDate (10/7/08): The City of Miami historic preservation board finally saw the light: by a vote of 8-0, it agreed to designate the Miami Marine Stadium worthy of preservation as an historic site. Let's see the visionless try to knock it down now!
UpDate (4/27/09): The Miami Marine Stadium becomes one of eleven buildings on the National Trust for Historic Preservation thanks in part to the efforts of Miami architect Jorge Hernandez and Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium. Let's see our visionless bureaucrats try to touch the old lady now.
UpDate (3/24): Today Philip Levine, a wealthy Democrat , announced he's scoping out the scene for a potential run against County Mayor Carlos Alvarez. According to experts in the Miami Herald story, he doesn't stand a chance because he isn't Hispanic. We say he does. We believe there are enough people out there from both sides of the language camp who will vote for him simply because they're fed up with local government's big spending and its disconnect from the effects of the rising cost of living on their lives. Earlier, we contacted Tomas Regalado in hopes that he would run against Alvarez but he declined because he couldn't mount a war chest large enough to take on the mayor's well-funded campaign (estimated by Michael Putney to be around $2 million). Perhaps Levine will do it on his own, as the newspaper article implied, Bloomberg style. What with the county commission's last ray of hope, Katy Sorenson, moving to the Dark Side with her vote for the "Global Agreement," we can only hope. As we continue to do that Norman Braman's legal action against the "Global Agreement" will bear fruit. Even if Braman is successful, we hope Levine will enter the race. As we have suggested to Regalado and Levine, we would be happy to offer our support, including re-starting this sad little blog. In that regard, we offer up this campaign slogan for the cause: "Stop the Madness!" (UpDate 6/17): Philip Levine gets cold feet. Only one person will oppose Alvarez for county mayor-- Helen B. Williams, a retired school teacher with probably the world's smallest campaign fund.
UpDate (3/29): Hope springs eternal. Buried in the back of the Miami Herald, it was reassuring to read that "Government lawyers failed to strike down significant parts of auto dealer Norman Braman's legal challenge to the $3 billion megaplan." This ruling by Miami-Dade Judge Pedro Echarte Jr. is a legal blessing on the merits of Braman's case and strengthens his legal challenge for the May hearing. Way to go, Norman!
UpDate (4/1): Tomas Regalado announces his run for Mayor of Miami. That's a good thing. Another sign that things might be looking up: A recent poll shows Miami-Dade county voters are basically fed up with county Mayor Alvarez's "global agreement" by a whopping 59%. Now if only someone will step up to the plate with enough bucks to kick him and his insane plan out of office.
UpDate (5/8): Although Circuit Judge Pedro Echarte did not find government leaders "illegally secretive" when they came up with the "global agreement," he allowed Braman's lawsuit to proceed. We think a more correct term for what the visionless did down at city hall would have been "excessively secretive." Of course, we do have a state law called "government in the sunshine," and we expect it may come into play later on irregardless of the abuse of the public trust Braman's team uses to win its case.
UpDate (8/27/08): Carlos Alvarez and all incumbents on the Miami-Dade County commission are re-elected. How embarrassing.
More embarrassment: The "experts," AKA city planners/consultants, came back with the latest designs for Virginia Key. Despite an earlier charette where the public overwhelmingly agreed that the Marine Stadium should be saved, it is glaringly absent from this latest iteration. In its place: Two 5-story parking garages, a "dry-stack" boat storage for 700 boats, 41,000sf of "small scale retail," and Olympic-sized swimming pools among other sundry items. The city and its experts have effectively destroyed one of the few things that makes Miami unique in the world and replaced it with the pedestrian. The Marine Stadium was the only one of its kind on the planet. Now, because it might be "cost prohibitive" to fix-up, we have become a lesser city, less unique, and a people less worthy of being taken seriously, at being looked upon by others as blessed, lucky, special and cool.
UpDate (9/11/08): Braman loses on lawsuit. Judge says what the county put together "serves the public good." Braman says he will appeal.
UpDate (9/19/08): Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium pulled off a major coup: they got the World Monuments Fund to endorse saving the Marine Stadium. This couldn't have happened at a better time because The City of Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board will discuss and possibly make a determination of the final historic designation of the Miami Marine Stadium at their meeting on Tuesday, October 7, at 3:00 PM, City of Miami Commission Chambers. Failure to do so should make them look like idiots-- or at least suspiciously on the take. If you got the time, try to stop by to make your voice heard.
UpDate (2/27/09): We predict the Miami Herald will join other major dailies such as the San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle P-I, Rocky Mountain News, Baltimore Examiner, Cincinnati Post, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Journal Register who have or will go out of business or, at best, file for bankruptcy by the end of 2009. The fact that it has hung on as long as it has in this market is amazing. What with more than half of the population speaking Spanish as its first language, its downward spiral of subscriptions has pretty much been going on for the good part of the last decade. Only recently has it accelerated its demise due in part to a younger demographic not accustomed to getting its news "off the sidewalk"-- as Veronica Mars describes that archaic practice-- significant lost advertising revenue-- a phenomena felt by dailies across the country-- and the most recent last ditch attempt to increase profits by hiking subscription prices by 40%. We predict McClatchy will sell the building on the bay and become a digital purveyor of the goods-- for a price. No more stinkin' free websites for you! Which makes sense. It'll be cheaper in the long run and much more ecological-- think of the trees that will be saved! Hopefully the company will retain its investigative reporters. Without them, Miami-- and all US cities-- are up for grabs with the most corrupt and sociopathic elected officials getting carte blanche at the feeding trough of taxpayer dollars. Subscribing to that business model becomes a patriotic duty. If it instead emerges on the Net as a dumbed-down version of its former self-- like it's already doing with added focus on youth, media personalities, and a decidedly less than AP style to writing that emphasizes the vernacular and, at times, callous rudeness, we'll pass.
You can keep track of the death throes of the American newspaper at www.newspaperdeathwatch.com/. For those who wonder what it will be like to start their day without getting up and going through the morning ritual of picking up the news "off the sidewalk," MVB will be sponsoring a 12-Step Program for those addicted to newspapers. The first affirmation is this: I WANT to get up in the morning even if the newspaper is no longer there.
UpDate (3/17/09): The Seattle Post-Intilligencer, once one of America's oldest newspapers, publishes its last newsprint edition before becoming the first major US daily to go digital.