Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Bike Miami Addendum

These are just a couple of things I forgot to mention when I wrote my report of Bike Miami 3.

  • Kudos to whoever thought of putting up a Bike Miami Info Kiosk/water station at Gibb Park, at the start of the Venetian Causeway bike lane. The volunteers there were asking cyclists if they were heading to/coming back from Bike Miami and handing out water bottles. Considering the centrality of this route for Miami Beach cyclists, this was a fantastic way to raise awareness of Bike Miami. I’d love to see more inter-city cooperation like this in the future.
  • Local mainstream media, in general, once again failed to support a great event that helps build up a sense of community and spotlights the efforts to make Miami a more livable city for the new millennium. Shame on you NBC 6, WSVN Channel 7, Channel 10 and SunPost.
  • That said, some local media did actually feature Bike Miami new coverage! Here’s what I found:
  • CBS4.com had a 30-second video of their mention of Bike Miami on their morning news show the day of the event. Maybe next time they’ll mention it in advance on their prime time news show?
  • The Miami Herald had an article entitled “It’ll be a free-wheelin’ Sunday in downtown Miami” that ran the Friday before Bike Miami (1/16/09), providing a small report on the event and a guide to the day’s activities. Very nice.
  • Miami NewTimes had a rep at the event snapping pics left and right that they compiled into a Bike Miami Days Slideshow on their website (my wife and I even made it into the slideshow!).

Bike Miami Days 2.0 Report

At Bike Miami DaysOn Sunday, Dec. 14, we had the second instance of Bike Miami Days, the City of Miami’s now-monthly event turning part of Downtown Miami into a car-free zone for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians to run around and enjoy. Mayor Manny Diaz and his office have been working hard to build this up as Miami’s own cyclovia, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.

This sophomore effort, however, had a smaller turnout than the brand-spanking-new one in November. Considering the time of year, the at-home Dolphins game and that fact that this lacked the novelty of the previous one, I found it understandable. There were, however, quite a few participants, even at 1:30 pm when I finally arrived, so it wasn’t a wash-out by any stretch of the imagination. 

The Green Mobility Network once again offered free bike valet services at both Bayfront Park and Mary Brickell Village (the two bookends of the route), and as before, there was a small army of volunteers riding around ready to answer any questions. The Everglades Bicyle Club held a toy drive in conjunction with the event, which was very cool. There were also a few changes from the previous event, all of them for the better: the route was extended along the waterfront towards the AA Arena (though I was never able to find this extension), the entire route was marked with sandwich board signs with arrows marking the directions to follow, and possibly the best addition, water stations were setup along the route for participants to freshen up. Bonus points go to Kirk Jewelers for handing out water during the day as well.

After the event, TransitMiami hosted a party at Tobacco Road. A bunch of the volunteers gathered there and I had a great time just chillin out after a fantastic day of bike riding around Downtown Miami. You can read my personal report over at Slow Bike Miami Beach.

The one complain I have about this event has nothing to do with Bike Miami Days, the City or the Mayor, it has to do with the local mainstream media:

Where the heck were you?

I never saw representatives of any of the local mainstream media outlets, televised or print, covering the event; if (IF) they were there towards the start of the day, they quickly took off afterwards. No local newspaper promoted the event leading up to it, and I have yet to see any mention of it pop up on the website of any local news show, let alone on the air. I mean, not even Deco Drive!

What’s the matter with you, Miami mainstream media? You’ll cover any gory event no matter how stupid it is as long as there is enough blood and/or scandal, but an event that actually builds up community pride, highlights the city in a positive light, can be a boost for local tourism and the local economy, and shows the commitment of Mayor Manny Diaz towards making Miami an improved city doesn’t get anything? Not even a micro-post on Twitter? Shame on you.

Bike Miami Days will return in January (date still to be determined). I plan to be there with my wife, and I hope everyone else joins us as well, including you, local mainstream media.

Off to Seattle

I’m leaving today for a 10-day trip to Seattle, WA. Far from this time being a hiatus from Miami blogging, I’ll be exploring a couple of Miami-Seattle connections and sharing those with you. Not to mention the Miami vs. Seattle Metblogs-off bound to stir up between myself and my friend, Seattle Metblogger Patricia Eddy!

In the meantime, I leave you with this short and funny comparison between our two cities.

Normandy Isle Laundry Cleaned Up

I went to do my laundry at Express Laundry of South Florida and as I walk in, I see the picture above. When I go to get my quarters, one of the employees has to count them by hand because the automatic change machine is not working. Turns out, I overhear as I’m adding detergent to the washers, that the laundry was burglarized just last night, sometime between closing at 10:30 pm and opening at 8:00 am.

The thieves made a hole low on a wall leading into a back office that doubles as storage, moving a hell of a lot of really heavy equipment piled up back there, from what one of the owners told me, to get into the main area. There, they proceeded to break the locks on all the dryers and to take out the change machine, emptying them all of their precious jingling contents. They also stole cash from the back room (including the payroll) and who knows what else.

This is just sad and a big shame. The people who run the laundry are very nice and have improved that place a lot from how they got it from the previous owners. Here’s hoping the police catches the thieves and that the laundry owners not have any more troubles.

Hello Miami

Hey, everyone, my name is Daniel M. Perez and I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. I just joined Miami Metblogs as a contributor and I’m very excited about it. Though I’ve been living in Miami for thirteen and a half years and I keep a blog, I’ve never really done so about the city. Which isn’t to say I haven’t had opinions to share about this magnificent mess we call home, I just never wrote them down; that’s about to change.

A few factoids about me: I live in Miami Beach, I’m Puerto Rican and I’m Jewish. I love to write (I have a small publishing company and keep five different blogs on various topics), play games (pen & paper roleplaying games, plus card and board games, and Wii), travel wherever and whenever I can, and ride my bicycle with a mindset of style over speed. Everything else you’ll just have to find out as we go along.

I have a love-hate relationship with Miami, and though in the past I expressed it by not caring about my hometown, I now make a concerted effort to address it by looking for what’s good despite the not-so-great parts.

Thanks to the Metblogs team for this opportunity. I look forward to sharing my view of Miami with all of you, and to your feedback letting me know how you, in turn, see Miami as well.

Come Blog With Us

moar.gifWriting for Metblogs has the potential to be the most rewarding experience in your entire life. It’ll make you rich, famous, good looking, will help you lose weight, make your clothes fit better, and get you a super good deal on a new car. It will make you the most well known person on the entire planet. Yes, each and every one of you. Really.

OK maybe not. Actually those are all lies, but it’s fun at least. The truth is Metblogs is the largest network of locally focused blogs on the web, covering almost 60 cities around the world and we’re looking to add a few new bloggers/writters/authors to this fine site. If you wanna know more about us check out this wikipedia entry but it’s kinda boring so I won’t waste time repeating it all here again. If you wanna write for us, here’s the scoop:

  • All author positions are volunteer. That means you don’t get paid.
  • You must live in (or very near) the city you plan to write about.
  • Anything you post must relate to the city somehow. That means you shouldn’t post a movie review, but talking about going to see a movie at a local theater is fine.
  • There’s no requirement for how much you can or should write, but we ask that if we set you up as an author you make about 3 posts a week.
  • You can post about things you love, you can post about things you hate. It’s entirely up to you

Additionally, because of our global network, there’s plenty of options for things you write to be read by people all over the world. Interested? Want more details? Post a comment and we’ll be in touch!

Man Hunt !

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As many of you have heard by now , a cop-shooter is on the loose, after gunning down four officers ,killing one , in Cutler Ridge,early this afternoon. He was last spotted in Central Broward heading north, accompanied by a woman and two children. Read The Herald for continual updates.

Business as usual?

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On Monday of this week, 108 low-wage janitors, groundskeepers, and maintenance workers at Nova Southeastern University were thrown out of their jobs. This turn of events comes after the workers fought a year-long campaign for a decent paycheck, affordable health insurance, and the democratic right to form a union.

The some 350 workers at Nova have been living in fear that they would lose their jobs for speaking up in search of respect in the workplace since they voted and won a union last October. It was clear from that very day that Nova had no intention of improving the lives of those cleaning and maintaining its campuses, and instead announced they would cancel their decade long contract with UNICCO Services Company. Nova instead brought in multiple companies in a “divide and conquer” strategy to defeat the workers’ spirit.
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Three Cheers for Good Ole’ Jaws Chestnut!

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According to Weird News, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut gobbled 21 pretzels in 10 minutes to win the 2007 Pretzel Twister World Pretzel-Eating Championship in Miami,” this past Sunday What the article fails to mention, but you can find out by checking out the IFOCE website (International Federation of Competitive Eating) is that homeboy didn’t just win, he broke the dang world record of pretzel consummation. In our very own city! Now let me ask you honestly, with this kind of entertainment available, do you really care how strong the mayor is?

I do wish I had known about the event ahead of time, I feel like I would have given Joey a run for his money, or at the very least had the privilege of being part of history in the making. I’d love to hear from anyone who actually went.

Quick Peek Into 2007 (and it ain’t pretty)

Just in case you were wondering what the future holds for us this year in Florida, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is here to tell youthat the slowdown in the housing market is going to create “headwinds” and “mixed prospects”, notably via a “reality check” in the housing market. For those of us who are renters, I guess this is good news. Maybe I’ll finally be able to buy Paulina Rubio’s house on Star Island for $5.00 just like I’ve been telling Eira all along.

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