AUGUST 2 , 2013



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First, before I get to this story I have to start by saying that the Cubans who’ve taken over control of the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald are as big a group of racists as the red-neck crackers from the bad old days of Southern White supremacy.

The Miami Herald DOES NOT have a reporter covering Overtown, Liberty City or even the West Grove.  It’s a catch-as-catch-can deal when it comes to stories about these parts of Miami, and often it’s only when someone gets killed or wounded in a drive-by that the Miami Herald send someone out to get the gory details.

If a coconut falls in the White section of Coconut Grove and hit’s somebody’s foot, the Herald is all over it.

On the other hand when a 90 year old toxic dump located in the West Grove next to an elementary school of predominantly minority kids where the City of Miami Fire Department now has its Training Facility remains a toxic dump site for all of those years, the Miami Herald did nothing about reporting on that problem or making people aware of the site’s existence.

It wasn’t until 3 University of Miami professors took on the task of writing an editorial about this problem that the Herald decided  perhaps they could fulfill their civic duty by running it on it’s pages.

Now I’m sure the Herald will point to the editorial as proof of their commitment to reporting on what happens to Black people in the City of Miami, but that would be absolute bullshit. 

An editorial by 3 college professors doesn’t excuse the YEARS that this toxic dump has been allowed to sit untouched by anyone, and especially without the Herald ever doing a NEWS STORY about it.

Moreover, where was the followup editorial chastising the City of Miami, and District 2 Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, the County and the State of Florida for allowing this problem to fester.

You can bet that if a toxic dump was discovered next to St. Stephens School, or Ransom Everglades School where the little kiddies of wealth a privilege go, the Miami Herald would not have waited a hot fucking second to send reporters blanketing White Coconut Grove and City Hall demanding documents and answer of why this was allowed to go on!

But since that editorial, the Herald hasn’t done squat.

Nor have they ever bothered to really write about what goes on inside of Overtown and Liberty City except as it relates in one way or another to people getting killed either in Black on Black violence or when cops do the shooting.

Name the last serious story that the Miami Herald wrote about  about economic conditions in Overtown, or especially about the going’s on with the SEOPW CRA.

So, having gotten that out of the way, let’s get on to the story of the day that deals with the SEOPW CRA and the remaining days of Michelle Spence-Jones’ term as a City Commissioner.

The SEOPW CRA currently has as much as $80 million dollars sitting in the bank just waiting to get divvied up before she leaves, and by then that money along with as many as 6 or more prime downtown city blocks will all be gone.

Here are notices of the “public meetings” that will be occurring this morning regarding the give away of the first of those City Blocks.

I’m not sure where Block 55 is, but Blocks 45 & 56, are located on NW 2nd Avenue, between 6th and 8th Street.  Here is a photo of those two city blocks which are currently owned by the SEOPW CRA, and managed by the Miami Parking Authority.

I first wrote about these city blocks in July 2011, when then City Commissioner Richard Dunn, along with Commissioner Sarnoff, and Peter Bockweg were doing a little dance with Mathew Greer of the Carlisle Group over how they were going to divvy this property up.

I’m pleased that my stories killed that deal.

Yes, that’s the same Mathew Greer currently under investigation by the FBI for padding construction expenses on some of his projects.

But that was then, and this is now, and by the time Spence-Jones leaves office in a little over 4 months, the odds are that the only thing left in the CRA bank account will be the lingering whiff of the ink used to print out the payment vouchers.

Just for those who might be dense, or new to this website, Commissioner Michelle “Date Rape” Spence-Jones is not Little Bo Peep watching over her sheep.

As I believe I documented pretty thoroughly in my 8 Part Series about her antics in giving away public money to movie business related enterprises, she will look you in the face and with indignation while proclaiming that everything she does is done right because she will not let it be done any other way, and then screw the pooch so bad that it’ll need an asshole transplant by the time she’s done with it.

So in order to try and get some idea of just what might be transpiring with this latest deal - I was told that part of the deal this time for Blocks 45 & 56 might include a parking garage with as many as 2000 spaces - I submitted a public records request to Clarence Woods, the SEOPW CRA Executive Director for two items.

First I wanted a list of the people on the Selection Committee., and secondly I wanted a copy of the proposals.

Here is the response I got back from Jessica Pacheco, the SEOPW CRA’s outside counsel, who used to work for the City before she got fired and escorted out the door by Luis Cabrera.

I highlighted the portion of the letter that I think warrants real attention.

If Ms. Pacheco is to be believed, than an agency of the City of Miami with $80 million dollars in the bank, and with the intention of giving away 3 city blocks of property under its ownership has decided to have a Selection Committee meet this morning, to give away that property and not a single piece of paper exists within that agency as to the identity of these individuals entrusted with such an important responsibility.

Now you would think that some effort would go into the process of selecting folks to be on a Selection Committee entrusted in giving away 3 downtown City Blocks to lucky recipients, wouldn’t you?

Maybe resumes, maybe a preliminary list of folks to choose from?  Something, right?  Even if you wrote names on slips of paper, folded them up and pulled them out of a hat, those slips of paper would be public documents, and they would have had to be provided.

But, Ms. Pacheco says that the CRA “is not in possession of a document with that information.”

How could that be? 

Did the names come to someone in a dream, along with their phone number, because if they were notified by email, that too would have constituted a “document” for purposes of my request.

And who exactly was the person who chose those individuals?

Does anyone actually think that the Commissioner didn’t hand pick the people on the selection Committee?  And if she did, then just exactly how much trust can be placed in their independent judgement?

So, that’s the first thing that folks should be paying attention to: Who chose these individuals, and how did they get chosen.

The second thing is Pacheco’s claim that, “Additionally, the names of  such individuals are not typically disclosed prior to the committee meeting in order to avoid any particular proposer from contacting a committee member for an improper purpose.”

Well, we can certainly agree that given that we all live in The Banana Republic of Miami, no one wants to see “improper purpose” come into play when it comes to giving away 3 downtown City Blocks.

But unfortunately for Ms. Pacheco, her claim that “the names of such individuals are not typically disclosed prior to the committee meeting” does not constitute a proper legal basis for denying me the information.

“Not typically” is not a legal term that has any meaning when applied to complying to Florida’s Public Records Law. 

In fact, in all of my years doing this kind of stuff, this is the first time anyone has attempted to deny me records on the basis that it is “Not typically” how we do things.

As Rhett Butler might have said under the circumstances, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn how you typically do things. “

And so, as you read this, think about those unknown individuals who were selected by no one knows who, or how, who are sitting in a room somewhere - somewhere unknown because the location of this meeting was also not identified - and they are deciding on who the lucky winners will be for the 3 City Blocks of downtown property that are being given away today.

Can somebody say, “Thank you Jesus,” and pass the collection plate?  The pooch is definitely going to need a new asshole before Sister Spence-Jones gets through giving away that $80 million dollars, and all that City property.

It’s Miami, Bitches!