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October 2008

Soca T says “Obama for President!”

Tatyana Heyliger AKA Soca T performed this wonderful song in tribute to Barack Obama. It's great to see the kids involved in politics.



© 2008, Blogging Black Miami,

Vote for this blog for Best Pop Culture Blog and Best Blog About Stuff in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.




Early voting hours extended in Florida



~~ ~Ensures maximum number of Floridians can exercise right to vote~ ~~

October 28, 2008

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today signed Executive Order 08-217, extending the hours for early voting during the current General Election. Effective immediately, early voting sites will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., through Friday, October 31, 2008, and for a total of 12 hours between 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 1, and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 2, 2008.

"I have spoken with the Secretary of State and members of the Florida Legislature and have concluded that it is always the right thing to do to give voters every opportunity to cast a ballot," Governor Crist said. "I have a responsibility to the voters of our state to ensure that the maximum number of citizens can participate in the electoral process, and that every person can exercise the right to vote."

Prior to the 2008 General Election, Florida has seen historic numbers of Floridians registering to vote for the first time. In addition, record numbers of voters have chosen to cast a ballot during early voting.

Early voting began on October 20 and runs through November 2. Current Florida law allows for early voting to be conducted eight hours per day on each weekday, and for a total of eight hours during both weekends during the early voting period. Floridians can contact their county's Supervisor of Elections for dates, times and locations of early voting.

Florida voters can also request absentee ballots to be mailed to them until October 29.

Continue reading "Early voting hours extended in Florida" »

Central Sr., Edison Sr., Holmes Elementary and Liberty City Elementary may close at end of school year

5 failing South Florida schools face closure

Five troubled South Florida schools have been told to turn things around -- or they might be closed at the end of the year.



Failing Dade and Broward schools may be forced to close

They have new principals, new technology and new game plans.

All of that still might not be enough.

Five long-struggling schools into which Miami-Dade and Broward counties have already poured money and energy have just one more chance.

If they don't earn at least a C grade from the state and improve students' FCAT scores in math and reading, they face being closed at the end of the year.

''This is like making a 45-degree turn on the Titanic when the iceberg is ahead,'' Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said, but he believes the schools can make that turn.

Four of the schools are in Miami-Dade: Miami Central Senior High, Miami Edison Senior High, Holmes Elementary and Liberty City Elementary. The fifth, Larkdale Elementary, is in Broward. [More…]



© 2008, Blogging Black Miami,

Vote for this blog for Best Pop Culture Blog and Best Blog About Stuff in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.




Three bodies found in SUV at Dadeland Metrorail station

The bodies of a man, woman and baby were found in an SUV by a security guard at the Dadeland Metrorail station in Kendall. Of course an investigation is underway but since the station is a public place, it's likely they were victims of a murder-suicide. Gunshots were heard shortly before the bodies were found. Our prayers go up for the innocent victims of this crime.



© 2008, Blogging Black Miami,

Vote for this blog for Best Pop Culture Blog and Best Blog About Stuff in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.




Barack Obama Campaign for Change 10/21/2008

Senator Barack Obama and wife, Michelle, and the Obama-Biden Campaign for Change Team infused excitement into South Florida that has not been witnessed since the Miami Heat won the NBA championship in 2006. Folks of all ages, shapes, sizes and colors crowded into Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami to get a glimpse of the man who is likely to be voted the next POTUS.

The usual politicians graced the staged with an extra special mention of City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, U.S. Representatives Kendrick Meek and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Democratic congressional candidates: Raul Martinez, Joe Garcia and Annette Taddeo.

The reality is that we tend to co-exist in an environment of ethnic and economic polarization more than unification in Miami. Senator Obama and his campaign for change and message of change from the bottom up has changed the atmosphere at least somewhat. Let's keep that vibe going because we sink or swim together.

Here is video of Senator Obama's speech followed by photos from my friend Natacha Payen and a photographer whose name I didn't get. While many people were overjoyed by seeing the Obamas, many folks are still wondering why the City of Miami leaders could only come up with two, count 'em two, metal detectors for a crowd that numbered more than 30,000. The result of that decision was many supporters who never got into the area to see the Obamas. I won't even go into the massive traffic logjam.

Senator Obama surprised some folks in Broward County by visiting a few businesses in the community. Westside Gazette publisher, Bobby Henry, had the opportunity to escort the Senator during his stop and some of the young people, especially Chayla Cherry, were able to take photos and get Senator Obama's autograph.





© 2008, Blogging Black Miami,




Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee to Visit Central and South Florida



Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Joe Biden will return to Florida Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for a bus tour to urge voters to early vote for the change we need. Senator Biden will be holding Early Vote for Change rallies in New Port Richey, Ocala, Melbourne and the West Palm Beach area.


Early voting in Florida has begun. Registered voters can cast their ballots at any early voting location in their county until November 1st (November 2nd in a few counties). To find your nearest early voting location, call 1-877-2FL-OBAMA (1-877-235-6226) or visit


Details on the West Palm Beach area event will be announced soon.





Sims Park

Corner of Grand Boulevard & Bank Street

New Port Richey, FL


Public Entrance: Eastern entrance to Sims Park, off Bank Street (just past the Hacienda building)


Gates Open: 5:30 PM


The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are NOT required. Members of the public are encouraged to RSVP at


Parking is limited. Carpooling is strongly encouraged.


***For security reasons, do not bring bags.  Please limit personal items.  No signs or banners allowed.***




Dancing Horses Farm

8711 W Highway 40

Ocala, FL


Gates Open: 9:00 AM

Program begins: 11:00 AM


The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are NOT required. Members of the public are encouraged to RSVP at


Free parking is available on-site.


***For security reasons, do not bring bags.  Please limit personal items.  No signs or banners allowed.***




Wickman Park

2500 Parkway Drive

Melbourne, FL 32935


Gates Open: 4:30 PM


The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are NOT required. Members of the public are encouraged to RSVP at Space is available on a first come, first serve basis.


Free parking is available and will be directed on-site.


***For security reasons, do not bring bags.  Please limit personal items.  No signs or banners allowed.***






West Palm Beach area, FL

Details TBD


MUST READ: Important Voting tips from Yes Magazine!

12 Ways You Can Safeguard the Vote

YES! Graphic: Checklist for a Fair Election :: Voter Hands

Are you worried that we will wake up November 5th to find that, once again, election results in key races are in question? Here's what you can do.

These recommendations from the staff at YES! Magazine are simple ways you can protect your own vote—and the fairness of the system, based on the recommendations of leading voting integrity advocates.

Please forward this checklist to others to help make our election system work.

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1. Check your registration. Even if you think you're registered, you may not be. Check online at

2. Vote now. Check if early voting is possible in your state. If you’re voting by mail, check carefully where you need to sign, how to seal the envelope, and how to mark the ballot. And note: Some ballots require extra postage.

3. Practice your vote. Electronic voting machines can be difficult to use. is preparing links to video demos of how to vote on the machine you will find at your polling station. If you'll be using a paper ballot, check out the sample included in your voter pamphlet.

4. Find out who’s in charge. Make a phone list of your county and state election officials—it may save valuable time on Election Day if you need to get registration verification or other information.

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5. Vote early. Avoid the frustration of long lines. Also, if you encounter problems, you'll have time to sort them out and may be able to help others.

6. Take your government-issued ID and your cell phone, if you have one. If you have problems, or see problems, call a hotline immediately (see point #9). You may not need ID to vote, but it's best to have it. If you have trouble with your registration, ask for a provisional ballot.

7. Avoid Straight Party Voting, if it's an option in your state. Vote for each race individually, even if it takes a little longer. 

8. Verify your vote. If you’re voting on an electronic voting machine, check the review screen to make sure it reflects your vote. If the machine produces a paper record, check as you go along that everything is working correctly. If not, speak to a polling attendant—don’t leave until you’re sure your vote has been properly recorded.

9. Document and report. If you encounter difficulties, or see others experiencing difficulties (excessive lines, voter harassment, malfunctioning machines, etc.), make a detailed record. Get all the facts you can—location, names, specific problem.

The best way to report problems is to call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683), which has volunteer lawyers in 15 locations standing by to provide rapid-response assistance. You can also contact your party of choice. We have more suggestions here.

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10. Call your candidate. If there are questions about an election result, urge your candidate to ask for an audit. Ask how you can help.

11. Call your election officials. If you have concerns, let your county and state election officials know, and monitor their response. Ask them not to certify the election before all challenges and recounts are finished. And send a copy of your message to your local newspaper editor. If you're confident about the election result, thank the officials for a difficult job well done.

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12. Work for fair, transparent elections. 66% of Americans don't trust the electronic voting machines many of us will be voting on this November. Join the movement for election reform in between elections. Use our YES! Tools to find out how.

Yours for democracy,
Fran Korten signature
Fran Korten
Publisher, YES! Magazine

Read more about the key issues we'll be voting on in the Purple America issue of YES! Magazine.

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Phone: 800-937-4451 :: 206-842-0216 ::

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CBS 4 Your Money

For more than a year, South Florida has endured economic blows that foretold the current turmoil gripping the entire nation. With construction cranes disappearing from the city skyline, foreclosures reaching record highs and home prices plummeting, WFOR-TV/CBS4 has already gathered some experience in covering tough times.

With venerable financial institutions folding and stock exchanges plunging over the past few weeks, CBS4 has moved quickly to expand the scope of its economic news and how it affects its viewers. CBS4 has billed its coverage as "4 Your Money" and set up a broad-based team under that umbrella.

The turmoil in the economy - and the barrage of bad news on the national level - has terrified and bewildered people throughout the Miami area. "We brainstormed ideas not only on covering the economic story, but on covering it in such a way that helps people get through this," commneted CBS News Director Adrienne Roark. "That's the whole idea behind the 4 Your Money team approach."             

Antonio MoraWFOR appointed anchor Antonio Mora to lead the charge and placed seven specific beats under the 4 Your Money umbrella.  Roark drew upon the station's wealth of experience in lining up the economic team.

Consumer-Investigative reporter Al Sunshine, in charge of the markets beat, has worked at CBS4 for two decades.  
Michael Williams, handling the political aspects of the economic story, joined CBS4 in January but has covered South Florida stories for 23 years.
Although a relative newcomer to the South Florida area, David Sutta has reported on housing stories in the market for the past year and a half.

To broaden the scope of its economic coverage and make it as relevant as possible, the other beats under the 4 Your Money banner include "Cutting Corners" (which Roark describes as "not simply a few mundane tips but things that will really make a difference"), "Cheap But Chic" (ways to look good, eat well, etc., on less money), and "Your Stories."
4 your money team

On the station's Web site,, Sunshine described the reasoning behind such a concerted local effort: "The most important thing for us is to try to put the South Florida perspective on it. What does it mean to people in Little Havana? What does it mean to people in Broward County? What does it mean to people in the Keys? It's hurting all of our neighborhoods and we're going to be the main source to tell you how you're going to survive and how we're going to come out of this even stronger than ever."

The station's economic coverage team, Roark said, doesn't end with those reporters. "The way we look at it, the station is the team," she said. "Every day, and for every newscast, we lay out a clear plan and get everyone in the loop on how we're going to own the story."

WFOR has even reached out to experts in the community to bolster its expertise. "We're working closely with a financial advisory group with 12 members out of Coral Gables. We've had one or two of them on the air in the past, but now we can turn to any and all of them at a moment's notice," Roark said. "This group has been used recently by Forbes, Fortune and others, so we're proud to have them as regular advisory contributors."

The station's reporters and panel of experts have also manned phone banks and appeared in a special Monday segment on air to answer viewers' questions on a range of topics, including how to find free financial counseling, protecting your credit, job hunting, dealing with stress and so on. TH e phone bank operates from 5 - 6:30 PM during the station's early news block.

CBS 4's 4 Your Money also has a strong online presence, with a prominent position on the home page and special section that includes a range of headlines, video, informational resources and a job center.
WFOR-TV/CBS4 and WBFS/My 33 are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation.
CBS4 is "always on." For local news, sports scores, weather updates, traffic reports, entertainment news and the best video experience available on the web 24 hours a day, go to

Kids 4 Obama Family Festival







Women for Obama Miami and Mayor Manny Diaz present Kids 4 Obama- A Family Festival for Change. The event will feature a special performance by Nestor Torres. Activities include: YES WE CAN Children's Arts & Crafts Village, Change Obstacle Course and bounce house, Video for Change tent, Obama Boutique, Speaking Hands, YE Unlimited Expressions, Soca T, Smokey the Clown, steel pan lessons for kids featuring Samuel Johnston, The Big Blue & You Foundation featuring kids TV show host "Danni," artist demonstrations for the kids by Reality and Phil Fung, food and arts & craft vendors and more! Kids 4 Obama is an event that showcases the enthusiastic support of children for Democratic Presidential nominee, Senator Barack Obama and will feature a "Get Out The Vote" drive early voting. The festival will also highlight the Senator's proposed policy on the arts, children, education and healthcare.       



Noon to 6 p.m.



2820 McFarlane Road

Coconut Grove, FL 33133




 For information, contact Suzan McDowell, 305-576-3790- or Jennifer Frehling, 305- 582-6396- Michelle Swaby, 786-287-9823-


Miami-Dade County Early voting wait times

The waiting time at early voting sites has been horrendous. More machines were provided and various systems have been implemented to make the wait less stressful. Before heading out to vote, check this link for the estimated wait time at each site.

Early Voting Dates
Monday, October 20 - Sunday, November 2, 2008

Early Voting Hours

Monday, October 20 - Friday, October 24, 2008 - 7am-3pm
Saturday, October 25, 2008 - 9am-1pm
Sunday, October 26, 2008 - 1pm-5pm
Monday, October 27 - Friday, October 31, 2008 - 11am-7pm
Saturday, November 1, 2008 - 9am-1pm
Sunday, November 2, 2008 - 1pm-5pm




© 2008, Blogging Black Miami,

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