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.
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
The BTW Alumni Association will meet Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. in the BTW cafeteria. Call 305-213--0188. Booker T. Washington Class of 1956 will meet Friday, Jan. 22 at 11 a.m. at Michael’s Restaurant. Call 786-351-6558. The Hadley Park Homeowners and Tenants Association will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. at Carrie P. Meek Senior Center. Call 305-758-5966. The African American Cultural Arts Center presents “Simply Simone-The Music of Nina Simone” Wednesday February 17 thru March 13. Call 305-638-6771 or visit www.ahcacmiami.org.
With two weeks left before the first votes in Iowa, it is time for Democrats to try and steal the spotlight from the Republicans – if that is even possible. The Democratic candidates for the highest office in the nation have been overshadowed by noise and poorly scheduled debates. In a large field, it is understandable why the Republicans are unsure who they want as a nominee. But for the Democrats with a field of only three candidates, it is unsettling that it is unclear who Democratic voters want to be the nominee. Young white people are listening to and taking affinity with Sen. Bernie Sanders, a plain spoken, likable man. Sanders wants to take on establishment politics and Wall Street. It is unclear how that will benefit Black people. Hillary Clinton, while she has tried to warm up her personality and engage voters, still has work to do. If you followed mainstream media, you would think she is unelectable. But the truth is, she is electable, experienced in several areas such as foreign and domestic policies, and she is the other half of a former U.S. president.
The Martin Luther King holiday generally is a time for reflection, reverence and revelry for the life of this nation’s greatest civil rights leader. How ironic it is that this year’s local holiday celebrations for a Black man who stood for peace took on a much more somber tone because of the deadly gun violence that is stealing away our Black children? But this is where we are. The deaths of Black teenagers and children – by some estimates there have been 30 to die in the last year – has affected much of Black Miami. All of our neighborhoods are impacted. The images of grieving mothers, siblings and other relatives that come with each deadly shooting should give everyone cause for concern. But the comment by Umi Selah of the Dream Defenders at the Carol City High Youth Symposium that Miami is attempting to rival Chicago for deadly gun violence shows that people outside South Florida are taking notice.
How commendable it is that Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie is committed to offering 15 percent of the district’s contracts from its voter-approved $800 million general obligation bond to Black businesses. After receiving data from a five-year disparity study, Runcie and his staff decided to implement the recommended solution. This sounds familiar. Miami-Dade County Public Schools also conducted a disparity study after it got approval for its $1.2 billion bond in 2012. The problem for Miami-Dade schools is that the disparity study was flawed and it took dogged challenges to the study by community leaders to affect change. And while Miami-Dade did agree to changes to more level the contracting playing field, a definitive percentage of how many contracts should go to Black, minority and women-owned business was not decided on. To be fair, Miami-Dade implemented new policies that makes it easier for Black businesses to do business with the system.
A 7-year-old boy lost his life Dec. 27. He was a boy with a bright future, played for the Palmetto Bay Broncos and made his family happy. His mother said she sent him to visit his cousin in Richmond Heights because it was safer than her hometown of Goulds. Or was it? It is even more disturbing that Amiere’s parents didn’t feel safe in their part of town. That Sunday evening, a group of young men drove by the house. A 19-year-old fired shots from a high-powered rifle; a bullet hit Amiere Castro in the head, killing him. Police say the shooting was retaliation because of a dispute earlier in the day. Adults have the responsibility to keep their homes safe. If not children like Amiere will get caught in the crosshairs. In this state of Stand Your Ground and the potential for loosened gun laws, it is ever so important to limit confrontation and deescalate arguments.
The turnaround of the Belafonte TACOLCY Center is notable and remarkable. The institution that has served Liberty City since 1966 was in serious trouble in 2014 and still isn’t out of the woods. It is still carrying enormous debt -- $180,000, though it has gone down from a high of $200,000. The new CEO Horace Roberts has a daunting task and will need the entire community’s support to take the TACOLCY Center out of the financial woods. It is unclear who is responsible for growing the debt so high at Tacolcy. Clearly there was mismanagement of funds and a lack of oversight. An investigation by the Miami-Dade Office of the Inspector General did not reveal wide-scale wrongdoing.
The 2015 Haiti elections started as if democracy would take center stage. There were 54 candidates vying for president alone. And other offices of the government were set for elections as well. International agencies flooded the island to keep a watchful eye on the elections process. The elections took place in October and Jovenel Moïse took top votes, followed by Jude Célestin. A run-off was scheduled for Dec. 27. It did not happen. Instead, violence and protests erupted in Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital. The Haitian people have been questioning whether the October elections results were tainted because Moïse is outgoing President Michel Martelly’s preferred candidate. Right now the country barely has leadership. Parliament was disbanded in January when terms for the members ended. Since then, Martelly has been ruling by decree. He is set to leave office Feb. 7.
Compiled by The Miami Times staff
David Beckham’s search for a site for a Major League Soccer stadium may be over. He is assembling parcels of land in Overtown on which to build a venue that could host up to 30,000 people. He joins a long list of developers with their sights on Overtown. With prime locations in the county almost completely built out, the inner-city historic neighborhood, which is directly adjacent to downtown Miami with easy access to the Interstate, is very attractive. Overtown has been a political football, kicked around for far too long. Ever since I-95 sliced the community to bare bones there have been promises of restoration and recovery. The latest round of builders have all promised to be good citizens, providing jobs, building affordable housing. All Aboard Florida even moved its headquarters to Overtown. All this could be a perfect storm of growth and economic stimulation if, once and for all, the developers and operators of the businesses in Overtown indeed act as corporate citizens.
Compiled by The Miami Times staff
It was heart wrenching to hear on local TV that there isn’t any leadership in the Black community when it comes to address the rising and disturbing violence — especially among young people. Drawn to the fore by the death of a fourth student at Northwestern Senior High School in recent months, the violence has been spiraling all year, some incidents culminating in death, others in serious injuries. Of the four youth at Northwestern who were killed, there has been one arrest.
Black students all over the nation at more than 20 universities have stepped out of the shadows to speak about blatant racism that they face every day. Some may wonder why so many students now are raising concerns about how they are treated on campuses across America. The students feel empowered after seeing how the students at the University of Missouri’s Columbia campus pushed back against racist elements who tried to thwart them by ignoring them. Their push didn’t come without consequences. More racist statements and threats on the lives of Black students were issued after the forced resignation of the president and the chancellor of the university. Professors caught in the crosshairs resigned amid missteps. Then Ithaca College and Yale University students spoke out about racial tensions on their campuses. Soon, student voices everywhere were saying no to racism, segregation and divisions.
No one should have to live with anxiety every day as what their home will look like, when will they have to move and where they will be going unless they impose the situation on themselves. But when the anxiety is brought on because of county officials, it is egregious and insensitive. It has been almost a year since Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced his grand redevelopment plan he dubbed Liberty Square Rising. The plan is to build public housing units at Lincoln Gardens in Brownsville, level the current homes at Liberty Square a section at a time, move residents to Lincoln Gardens while their homes are rebuilt at Liberty Square and then move them back after their homes are developed.
Last Friday, at Clark Atlanta University, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton attempted to deliver a speech as part of the kickoff of her Hillary for African Americans campaign. For more than 12 minutes, protestors with AUCShutItDown, an Atlanta-based group affiliated with Black Lives Matter, chanted while Clinton tried to deliver her speech. This was not the first time that the Black Lives Matter movement would faceoff with Clinton. Back in August she met with the group, who demanded that she develop a plan to address the numerous inequalities against Blacks in America. And this was not the first time that the Black Lives Matter group interrupted a Democratic nominee candidate’s speech. Activist Marissa Johnson on Aug. 8 shut down a Bernie Sanders event in Seattle. That confrontation happened just weeks after the movement interrupted Sanders at a Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix. Since both incidents, Sanders and representatives of the movement have met.
Corey Jones was shot and killed by a police officer as he awaited a tow truck for his broken down car in Palm Beach Gardens. Some media accounts have focused on the fact that Jones was arrested in 2007 for having concealed weapons in Miami-Dade County in 2007. In that incident, according to WPLG-Channel 10, Jones pleaded and entered a Deferred Prosecution program in lieu of prosecution. However, there is nothing to indicate that Jones was a troublemaker. It’s clear that he expected to get home the night he was fatally shot. The latest revelation that he used his Riviera Beach-issued phone to call for roadside assistance and Florida Highway Patrol at least four times that fateful night, shows he was not out to make trouble.
A law to liberate the way how the 1.4 million people in Florida who have a concealed weapons license carry their firearms cleared the Senate Criminal Justice committee, 3 to 2. At the same time a law to allow guns on colleges and universities have cleared the Senate. Both laws, one called Campus Carry and the other, Open Carry, will allow South Floridians to openly carry guns for which they have permits. The gun lobby has plenty of ammunition in support of this open carry legislation since Florida is one of only five states that ban open carry guns in public places. Most recently, Texas passed a licensed open carry bill this past June, which goes into effect in January. Florida is not what is considered an open carry state. Hunters, target shooters and campers are allowed by Florida law to carry weapons when going to or from these types of activities.
The Democratic candidates debate on CNN last Tuesday showed the nation that Black lives really don’t matter. Don Lemon selected a question to ask the four presidential nominee candidates that has been debated for months, but has produced no real, definitive answer: “Do Black lives matter or do all lives matter?” It was the only time a pointed question was asked about race relations in the United States. It seems since the majority of Blacks vote for the Democratic Party, there should have been a broader discussion about race, criminal justice reform, high Black unemployment, incarceration disparities, the almost-civil war in Chicago and other urban neighborhoods and the shrinking of the fledgling Black middle class.
It looks like all the Miami Dolphins needed was some new leadership. After losing three games in a row this season, the Dolphins beat the Tennessee Titans 38-10 in Dan Campbell’s debut as interim coach on Sunday. Former head coach Joe Philbin was fired Oct. 5 as a result of the three-game loss. With only one win under his belt so far this season, the losing streak didn’t show Philbin in a good light as a leader. Add to that the fact that in three years as head coach, Philbin never did lead the Dolphins to the playoffs, let alone a national championship.
Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church will hold a food and clothing distribution 4 p.m. every Wednesday. Call 786-541-3687. New Resurrection Community Church invites the community to the annual 2015 Arise Women’s Conference. It starts Wednesday, October 21, through Friday, October 23, at 7:30 p.m. and ends October 25 at 11 a.m. for the Sunday morning service. First Haitian Church of God hosts a food drive every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 7140 North Miami Ave. Call 786-362-1804. 59th Street Pentecostal Church of God will present an Outdoor Food and Fellowship Festival on October 24 at 12 p.m. The Hospitality Ministry invites you to its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Program on Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church in Coconut Grove. Call 305-775-5750.
So many big events come to the Greater Miami area and they end up on Miami Beach or Brickell Avenue. Revolt Music Conference was one of them. Its first year, the majority of the events happened on the beach. This year, its second in Miami, Revolt is holding a film festival in what the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau calls one of Miami’s Heritage neighborhoods, Overtown. Too often, the cameras come to town and they roll and send out images of Miami that gives an almost one-dimensional look: palm trees, flat abs and tiny bikinis – though nothing is wrong with that.
The arbitrary way Miami-Dade County qualifies development projects for no-bid approval is confounding and confusing. Comes Miami Yacht Harbor with a $250 million project proposal to develop an area in PortMiami. Without serious reason, other than they are looking for iconic projects to which to award no-bid, Miami Yacht Harbor was shut out of the no-bid process. The same day, three other projects, including one for Bongos, the restaurant owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan, proceeded with no bids.
It is time to declare War on Mass Shootings. But there will be no declaration. Because the mass killings land smack on the shoulders of white Americans, who thrive in their suburbs, in their small towns and remote villages. Historically, whenever there is national call for a war, whether be it drugs, crime or poverty, it was code word for let’s invade minority, urban communities and make them as uncomfortable as possible. To carry out these wars, civil rights must be violated, the presumed enemy must be jailed or, as in the case of the war on poverty, entitlement programs were replaced by low-pay, work-based initiatives, leaving mothers to work several jobs to provide for their children.
City leaders take note of a bold move by Miami Gardens. It had been warning companies with which it does business to add diversity to their teams. Wells Fargo and Florida Municipal Insurance Trust (FMIT) failed to heed their customer, Miami Gardens,’ request. And they were summarily fired. And rightfully so. Wells Fargo held most of Miami Gardens’ $60-million bond fund but it did not show any sensitivity or business acumen. Miami Gardens is the largest city in Florida with a majority of Black residents. The mayor, Oliver Gilbert III, is Black and the council is diverse. Wells Fargo and FMIT got complacent since they were not listening to the council’s requests when they put in their bids and the council was complicit. But not anymore.
Opa-locka for the third year in a row will end the fiscal year with a deficit. A city manager who tried to preach reason about the city’s spending habits has resigned. A new city manager, with a questionable past, especially in the area of managing public money, has taken the reigns. Many residents are outraged. And, rightly so.
Missteps and mistakes have been the hallmark of county leaders these days. In recent weeks, short-sidedness about fairness and ignorance about diversity have plagued County Hall. On Sept. 1, some county leaders decided to name a street in West Miami-Dade after a developer whose companies had faced three housing discrimination law suits, one whose
Inner City Children’s Touring Dance will have free Introductory Classical Ballet Workshops for girls ages 6-8 and 9-12 on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Call 305-758-1577 or visit www.childrendance.net. BTW Alumni Association, Inc. will meet Thursday, Sept. 17 in the cafeteria at 6 p.m. Call 305-213-0188. Sisters Empowerment Circle invites ladies 45 and over with an interest in laughter, learning, developing new friendships, social networking, traveling, and sharing life’s experiences in a comfortable atmosphere. Call 786-759-2597.
The Black press has and continues to be an important voice in the media landscape. In September 1923 when The Miami Times printed its first issue, the world was as troubling a place as it is today. The Ku Klux Klan was running rampant in the United States and Adolf Hitler was disrupting Europe. Fast-forward to 2013, 90 years later. America’s first Black president starts his second term. At the same time the Black nation mourned the 50th anniversary of the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where four children died. Wedged between those years were Jim Crow laws in the South; the War on Drugs and the War on Crime, all policies that diluted and decimated the Black family. As the paper embarks on its 93rd year of publishing, the state of the Black community is
Inner City Children’s Touring Dance will have free Introductory Classical Ballet Workshops for girls ages 6-8 and 9-12 on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Call 305-758-1577 or visit www.childrendance.net. BTW Alumni Association, Inc. will meet on Thursday, August 20 at 6 p.m. in the BTW Cafeteria. Call 305-213-0188. TSU Miami Alumni Chapter is hosting a fish fry on August 21 at The Omega Activity Center. Call 305-336-4287.
Another industry is under threat by advancement in technology and inguenity. The business model up for discussion is that of taxis or cars for hire. Taxi service started after the first cars started showing up on American roads, somewhere in the 1890s.
New Life Ministry invites the community to The Healing and Deliverance Revival featuring Prophet Markell McKoy and The Prophetic Team, July 15-17, 7:30 p.m. 305-681-0208. Bethany SDA Church educational series for the Brownsville community, Part 2 – Parenting on Thursday, July16th at 6:30 p.m. Call 305-634-2993 or email www.bethanymiami.org.
Worldcenter developers are getting mixed messages from the community. The $2 billion, colossal development slated for the former Miami Arena site has been given the green light on zoning and other issues to move the project forward by city of Miami and Miami-Dade County almost all times it appears before them. On July 7, more than 500 people attended a job fair for Worldcenter’s project, which
More than 50 years after the 16th Street Baptist Church in Alabama Church was bombed, killing four little girls, America woke up the morning of June 18 to learn that some things never change.
Members of the Grand Old Party heaved a collective sigh of relief Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down rulings on the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage. GOP members in Florida who are running for election or reelection, especially those who were anti-Obamacare, thanked whomever god they worship.
Kurtis Cook, a former volunteer who had belonged to the Mabank Fire Department in Texas, said last Thursday on a newspaper website that Dylann Roof “needs to be praised for the good deed he has done.” Roof is accused of gunning down nine people in the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina last week. By Friday, the MaBank Fire Department had fired Cook for his post. A Miami-Dade high school principal writes comments on a newspaper website sympathizing with a Texas police officer who is seen in a video with his gun drawn on Black teenagers at a pool party North Miami High School former principal Alberto Iber said of the police officer, who resigned: “He did
A recent meeting of Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime’s Council for Prosperity Initiatives reiterated what everyone already knew: wages are too low in the county for many. Monestime identified through the American Community Survey that Miami-Dade ranked dead last on income relative to the cost of living. A University of Miami researcher concluded that meeting the cost of housing in the county required an hourly wage of $17.50 per hour, about $37,000 annually for a full-time worker.
In 2012 a Cleveland police officer jumped on the hood of a car and fired 15 shots at an occupied car, after other officers on the scene had stopped shooting. In all, 137 shots were fired into the vehicle, whose occupants, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were unarmed. They died. Police shot Russell and Williams after a 22-mile
There is a catch 22 for those who live in slums in Miami. Because of their limited income, credit issues and perhaps criminal history, residents may have no choice but to live in housing that is sub-standard. Landlords have little incentive to make improvements since they can’t pass the cost of improvements on to their tenants.
Inner City Children’s Touring Dance will have free Introductory Classical Ballet Workshops for girls ages 6-8 and 9-12 on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Call 305-758-1577 or visit www.childrendance.net. Miami Northwestern Senior High School, Alumni Picture Day will be May 23rd at 8 am. Contact 305-755-2558 to schedule your appointment times. Alpha Pi Chi Sorority, Inc., Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Miami will host a spring luncheon on May 23, from 11a.m. - 3 p.m. at Quality Inn South. Call 305-992-3332. FAMU Alumni Gold Coast Chapter will celebrate alumni from the class of 1940
The undesirable and despicable racist and sexist e-mails exchanged between Miami Beach police officers and exposed at a press conference last Thursday by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates still convey shock but they only amplify what Blacks have been saying all along about their encounters with police. Blacks have said, and it has been documented on cameras, police show them little, if any respect, and most times profile and harass them.
A civil war is defined as a war between groups in the same country. Apply that definition to what is happening between some citizens and law enforcement and it seems the United States is heading for a civil war, if not already in one. As specious reasons for stopping, apprehending and causing the death of Black men in America by law enforcement continue to get exposure, the more reasons appear that eventually the oppressed group will react negatively. The discovery is an indictment on the entire justice system in America, from the federal level down.
Sistah to Sistah Connection, Inc. Outreach Women’s Ministry invites evangelists, ministers and teachers to register for Ministerial Training Academy. Call 786-246-7578. New Day N Christ Deliverance Ministry invites the community to free Mind, Body and Soul Enhancements self-improvement class and Zumba Fitness. Call 305-691-0018. St. Mary’s Wesleyan Methodist Church will hold spring revival April 28 – 30 at 7:30 p.m. Call 305-758-1601.
Nelson Jenkins, treasurer for the King Of Clubs of Greater Miami, made his final report at the last meeting before the membership. Furthermore, it was a masterpiece based on his technique of bookkeeping from his New Jersey hometown and former businesses he raised his children on. The format included a unique style that demonstrates writing of checks and deposits, unlike Profit & Loss Statement I was taught back in the days. More importantly, they were above reach, especially closures of views, writing of checks deposits and accurate total to summarize amounts. Reading it back to the membership gave the membership more pride as a member and could not wait to release their gut feeling when the balance exceeded the current ones. Mr. Jenkins continued his report by laying out the need for a larger gathering than last year, while Dr. Mack looked for his bag of invitations to be disseminated to their guests. Some one indicated to say, “look under the seat.” A broad grin covered his face as he realized an old Army joke was played on him. Therefore, he laughed with the gang and everyone laughed it off.
It can be a perilously slippery slope when lawmakers try to limit public information. Sen. Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale) may have had good intentions when he crafted the Senate Bill 248 but creating loopholes for police departments who choose to adopt body worn cameras could undermine the intent of the use of the cameras. In essence, the bill limits what type of footage captured by the body cameras can be released. The bill, as written, would limit police cam videos captured inside
Now that President Barack Obama plans to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the U.S. is another step closer to normalized relations with the island nation, just 330 miles from Miami’s shores. The announcement came last week after Obama met with Cuban President , Raúl Castro during a summit in Panama. Before that, in December, both leaders agreed to some normalizing of relations.
Creeping through the 2015 Florida Legislative session is the idea of putting guns on college and high school campuses. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee passed a bill on Monday 3-2 to allow school district superintendents and principals to appoint teachers and school employees to carry guns on public school campuses. Last week, the Senate Higher Education Committee passed 6-3 legislation that
New 79th Street World Church Int’l invites you to experience “His Blood, Their Words” on Friday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. Call 305-778-3213. Women in Transition of South FL will hold it’s eighth annual “Women’s History Month” Spring Tea Party on Saturday, March 28, at 3 p.m. Call 786-477-8548. St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church, Coconut Grove hosts Friends and Family Day April 19 at 11 a.m. Call 305-443-8166.
One police officer in Ferguson, Missouri sent an email with a photo depicting President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee. Here, a Black man in the same city lost his job after a police officer accused him of being a pedophile as he was resting after a game of basketball. In the same city, a poor Black woman who parked her car illegally was forced to pay $550 in fines and still owes hundreds more from new fines and fees.