Miami Times Editorial Department

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Lifestyle Happenings

The Miami-Dade National Pan Hellenic Council (NPHC) holds a Miami Greek Picnic on Saturday, April 30 from 12 to 5 p.m. at the Historic Virginia Key Beach. Visit MiamiGreekPicnic.EventBrite.com. Miami Northwester Class of 1966 will have their 50th reunion dance on Saturday, May 7 from 8 to 1 at Miami Firefighters Benevolent Hall. Call 305-338539. Lincoln Memorial Cemetery and Evergreen Cemetery will be open for Mother’s Day. Call 786-520-0552 or 305-758-2292.

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Youth lives not a punch on ballot

New Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said it takes a village to raise children, as he discussed a new initiative in which police will mentor youth, even in the youth homes. Miami-Dade County has rolled out a program in which 25 at-risk youth will be matched with 25 police officers who will provide mentoring in an attempt to steer them away from a life of crime and further depth into the criminal justice system. On the surface it may seem intrusive to some, especially those who have had negative experiences with police. Besides, there is plenty of room for abuse of power if the wrong officer is paired with a maladjusted youth. The hope is that the officers are well-trained in dealing with the wiles of youth. In a perfect world, every youth in the program will be saved from a life of criminal behavior. But if a few of them find a path to job training and furthering educational opportunities it will be successful.

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Opa-locka saga needs closure

As federal agents swooped in with dozens of boxes to collect evidence in Opa-locka March 10, some residents heckled asking that their leaders be also taken away. Signs of the times. What the residents of Opa-locka deserve and need is a government who can manage the day-to-day operations, provide services and pay the city’s bills. Right now Opa-locka has proven once again it cannot handle the tasks at hand. Miami-Dade County, which is owed millions of dollars by Opa-locka, rightfully recommended that Tallahassee step in. But with the FBI barking at the gates, it is unclear what will become of the current leadership of Opa-locka.

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Obama right on Cuba

The saying goes: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Cuba is an enemy that is already close, so close that just last week a group of Cubans were found floating 130 miles from the Florida coastline. In the scenario with Cuba and the United States, it is probably best not to have an enemy this close, about 90 miles from Miami. It makes us too vulnerable if Cuba were to harbor an enemy, such as it happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The Cold War has long been over but U.S. relations with Russia still remains unstable at best. History could repeat itself.

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Faith Calendar

AFLAME Ministry School classes began on Jan 30th at 10 a.m. Call 954 919-9757. True Faith invites the community to noonday Bible study every Monday. Call 786-262-6841. St. Mary First Missionary Baptist Church invites you to the 26th Pastoral Anniversary Celebration services for Rev. Zachary Royal at 7:30 p.m. on March 17th , 20th, 23rd and 30th. Call 305-775-5750.

Get it together, North Miami

It’s seems the lack of governmental experience on the North Miami City Council has come home to roost. In its second attempt to fill a high profile position – this time the city manager post– it was clear some council members did not get their first choice. We have reported about the fledgling leadership in North Miami and no time was it more evident than with the hiring of Valria Screen, when an offer for the city attorney job was extended and then rescinded. In addition to the city manager’s job, North Miami still needs to fill the city attorney’s job and now has to fill the executive director post at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), after its leader was dismissed for sexual harassment and other allegations.

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Black vote matters

South Carolina Black voters resoundingly showed support for former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton when she showed up in the state with Black mothers whose children died tragically. After Bernie Sanders won handedly in New Hampshire he went to Harlem to meet with Reverend Al Sharpton in hopes to align himself with Black voters. The importance of the Black vote is not lost on the Democratic candidates and they are pulling out all the stops to get it. The importance of your vote shouldn’t be lost on you. You are an important part of the political fabric of the nation and your vote matters.

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Liberty Square process breached

On Feb. 18, a selection committee gave the most votes to redevelop Liberty Square to Related Urban. It was a reversal of a previous vote that had put Atlantic Pacific Communities in the lead. The new vote results have been forwarded to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. He in turn will make a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners, who can accept or reject his choice for developer. The mayor has said his recommendation could come as early as the end of February. That has not happened. And the limbo continues again for the residents of Liberty Square and the developers.

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Request for new bids doesn’t pass smell test

Instead of being a salve for community leaders and Liberty Square residents who have been anxious of the future of the housing project, the announcement that the mayor wanted the best and final offers from the two top-ranked firms created yet another wound. In the move, County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has alienated almost all if not all the stakeholders. But the biggest slap in the face goes to Sara Smith, president of the Liberty Square Resident Council. Smith served on a nine-member selection committee, tasked with scoring the developers’ proposals to rehab Liberty Square and recommending a company for the job. Smith over-scored on a developer, skewing results and causing the process to get legal review. It is not clear if the legal review recommended that the mayor whittle down the developers to those with the top two scores. No matter. By asking the top two vote-getters to resubmit their best and final offers, the

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Water crisis in Flint government’s fault

The handling by all levels of government of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has been nothing short of abominable. The residents of the mostly poor, Black suburb received little to no attention for more than a year and a half as they tried to tell city leaders and the nation that their water was tainted and their children were getting sick. Flint sunk into poverty when the automotive industry that supported its residents collapsed, leaving a trail of unemployment and neglect. So, that another poverty stricken town calls on government to hear the troubles that plague it, and getting no response was par for the course.

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