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December 2007

Business Launch: Valarie A. McKenzie - Leadership and Professional Development Coach

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A Special Message From Valarie A. McKenzie...
Valarie A. McKenzie 
Leadership and Professional Development Coach

Dear Family & Friends,

You are one of the first people to hear about my new business practice---Leadership and Professional Development Coaching. Coaching is an effective process to support individuals in creating extraordinary personal or professional results that compliment the life they want to create. Coaches provide new perspectives, support, energy, ideas and accountability in the partnership.

I am passionate about helping people develop and would like to perfect my gift. So, I¡¦m working toward completing a 22 week coach certification. By the end of the certification program I will need to have completed 20 sample coaching sessions. I would like to offer you a gift of a 30 minute SAMPLE COACHING SESSION. There is nothing like coaching. To understand the value of it, experience it for yourself!

Today, coaching is no longer limited to the sports arena. It is a valuable process for:

-Individuals who are committed to growth and change and
a willingness to move in their life from good to great.
-Designing your ideal personal and business life.
-Helping you identify and remove barriers blocking your success.
-Freeing up energy, reducing stress and attracting what you really want for your life, now!

Like continuing education, Coaching is an investment, building a bridge for success today for your future tomorrow! Thank you for your support and I will be contacting you soon. I appreciate referrals, so please keep me in mind when you are talking with friends and business associates.            

Be Blessed,

Valarie A. McKenzie- Bus 281-714-7773 or 954-559-1701
E-Mail Address: [email protected]
Building a bridge for success today for your future tomorrow!

JEBA logo JEBA Media Group, Inc.

[email protected]

email: [email protected] phone: (877) 9-GROUPS web:

Spence-Jones Controversy Heats Up but Who’s Telling the Truth?

"First of all I'd like to say that this is an absolute lie," said Spence-Jones.

Michelle Spence-Jones Marc Sarnoff

The Miami New Times and some folks in the media think that Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones is soon headed the way of many corrupt officials in the area. Not so fast. Don't rush to judgment says State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle.

Spence-Jones' colleague, Marc Sarnoff is being called a liar by not only her but by former Miami city manager Joe Arriola. Sarnoff released the memo detailing the meeting where Spence-Jones' alleged demands for pay-offs were discussed. This is going to get interesting folks. There was a community meeting today regarding this issue. Stay tuned.


Related Links:

Miami Commissioner Outraged At Payoff Allegations

Commissioner Denies Being Paid Off For Vote

More Dirt on Commissioner Spence-Jones

Holiday Tips from Lisa Rogers-Cherry

Have you finished your Christmas shopping? I haven't. I've picked up a couple of token items but for the most part, there are no outwardly signs of the holiday season at my home. With six days left, I'm not about to stress about it either.

For starters, the best gift I could get is to have my mom at home for Christmas. She's improved tremendously but her health also puts all of the shopping madness in perspective. We haven't put up a tree or anything.

I just realized that I'll likely be responsible for Christmas dinner! Wow, I'd better get busy making those dinner reservations. No, I'm not cooking nothing, and I mean that ebonically.

Anyhoo, if your holiday shopping status is the same as mine, do check out my friend Lisa's holiday tips to save you cash and stress. Oh yeah, remember that HE is the reason for the season.

Lisa's 2007 Holiday Tips

  • Consider not buying any gifts for family and friends this year. Let everyone know in advance that you are striving toward a goal and you need every dime to achieve that goal.
  • If you still feel the need to buy gifts, create a holiday budget immediately and keep track of every dime that you spend.
  • Buy or make only what you can afford to pay for with cash this year. Do not use any credit cards.
  • Make a list of everyone who you are purchasing for. Tell family and close friends with whom you are exchanging gifts that you are working with a smaller budget. Consider pulling names if you have a large family and purchase one gift instead of multiples.
  • Start early on your shopping list to avoid the last minute overspending.
  • Shred the convenience checks that have come in the mail ASAP.
  • If you have children in your family, limit the number of gifts for each child.
  • Pick up a seasonal job to pay for your holiday purchases, that way you can use your regular income to pay for your normal living expenses and your seasonal job can cover all of your holiday expenses.
  • Select gifts that people need (i.e. gas cards, gift certificates to the grocery store, or a coupon for a free night of babysitting.)
  • Take some time out for yourself. Instead of fighting the crowds at the mall, turn on some holiday music, enjoy a nice evening at home and remember the reason for the season.


Lisa Rogers-Cherry is a motivational speaker and the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt: A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track, ISBN # 0-9774296-0-1 (2005; $14.95). If you have a question or would like more information about the book go to, e-mail her at [email protected], or write to Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.



The Miami Dolphins have won...ONE!

By now, surely you've heard that the Dolphins are no longer winless this football season as they defeated the Baltimore Ravens 22-16 on Sunday. It's a pleasure to see those guys smile for a change.

This community has really been down on the Fins. There were a couple of close games during the season but the team just couldn't pull it off. Watching the guys' confidence diminish and the fans become hostile has been the saddest of all that has occured this season.

Congratulations, Dolphins. No matter what, always bring your "A" game.

Spotlight on JEBA Media Group

Company Profile
February 2007
in this issue
:: Company Profile
Public Relations - JEBA is responsible for developing key messages and designing external communications programs for a variety of clients to gain positive media coverage. We offer services for internal and external media key message development, press conferences, training/speakers bureau services, media relationship building, and crisis management...Specializing in audience development for theatre and entertainment industry and business development and companystructuring.

Media Buys - JEBA's motto is "Nobody Does These Markets Better". This is especially true when it comes to creating the maximum impact! Our years of positive relationships with the media will assure you the best deal in town for television, radio, street teams and Internet Marketing.

Consulting - JEBA has "been there and done that", so let us save you time and money. Our professionals know exactly what is needed to be successful in the markets we serve. Let us serve you with insights on timing and positioning, press kits, news release, newswire distribution, media contact list development, media pitching/story angle development, media placement and grassroots.

Ticket Sales - JEBA's "Full Access" program is designed to provide the community with access to any and all events across the USA for theatre, sporting events, concerts and much, much more.

Event Production, & Management - The JEBA production and management team will produce, manage and provide catering for your special event for awards dinners, conferences, seminars, receptions, gospel plays, meetings and security services provided by Hollywood Style Security & Investigations, Bound to Be Found Security & Investigations and First Class Star Protection Security and Investigation. Be it small or large JEBA does them all.

Event Promotions - JEBA promotes all kinds of event from full Gospel concerts and conferences to reggae, hip hop parties, theater productions, gospel plays (Marvelous Entertainment), concerts (Rockers Island, X/O Management, J Dub Management, and Serious Promotions), and Community Workshops & Events (Community Capacity Builders, Inc.) .
Mr. Ed Haynes, President
Ms. Julia E. Brown, Founder / CEO
JEBA Enterprises, Inc.
About Julia E. Brown
Founder and CEO
After a successful career as Accounting Supervisor and Developing Manager of MHI-NPES Federal Credit Union at Miami Heart Institute, Julia E. Brown left and sought a career in the Entertainment Business. Julia E. Brown, a visionary, created and promoted the theater to African-Americans in Florida targeting her hometown area. The genre of Urban Theatre and Gospel plays earned her this distinction.


Miami, FL


Miami Northwestern Sr. High
Miami Dade Community College
Florida International University
Batten, Batten, Hudson and Swab, Inc.
Institute for Human Resources Development (1993)
Significant Accomplishments and Awards:

Developed audiences in the most distinguished theaters and venues in Florida such as: Miami- Dade County- Coconut Grove Playhouse, Gusman Theatre for the Performing Arts, Jackie Gleason Theatre, James L. Knight Center, Joseph Caleb Auditorium, Lyric Theater*,Miami Shores Theater, NFL Events, North Miami Beach Theater* (implemented ticketing systems through Ticketmasters) ; Broward County- Broward Performing Arts Center, Sunrise Musical Theatre;Palm Beach County-Kravis Theatre; Other Areas in the State of Florida- Barbara B. Mann Theatre (Ft. Myers), Ft. Pierce Civic Center (Ft. Pierce), Florida Performing Arts Theatre (Tampa), Lakeland Civic Center (Lakeland).

Principle founder of Urban T.V. (1985-1994) Radio News Magazine, published in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach for 8 years.

Held the position of Vice-President for Southern Sound Records with her late son, Thomas Brown III (producer, writer, arranger and trumpet player extraordinaire) .

Held position as a Cultural Arts Ticket facilitator for the Miami-Dade County Public School.

Cultural Arts Facilitator for the Cultural Adventures Program under the direction of Ms. Lilia Garcia- Director of Life Skills for the Miami- Dade County Public School System.

A Dade PARTNER (a program designed to work with area schools and make available discounted tickets to cultural events for socially economically disadvantaged students.

ARTEC Advisory Board Member. (Film and Entertainment).

Earned the Outstanding Women in Media Award in April 24,1993 given by the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. Epsilon Nu Chapter.

Received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the International Black Student Union at FIU.

Honored as the first “Unsung Hero” award in the new city of Miami Gardens, Florida, and August 17, 2003.

Inducted into the Black Economic Development Hall of Fame (Dec. 1999), under the direction of Elaine H. Black- Executive Director Tools for Change.

Outstanding Service Award-January 2005- West Perrine CDC.

Outstanding Woman of the Year Award - March, 2006- Florida Memorial University.

Marketing and consulting services for Actors and National Productions. Worked with the following artists from stage, film, and television. Collaborated and made decisions in the production of shows: Managed promotional advertising and marketing: Scheduled radio interviews and bought advertising on radio; Arranged lodging and transportation for shows and sponsorship solicitation.

Marvelous Entertainment- Leading Producer of Urban Theater Stage Plays , Marvin Webster, CEO and President.

Edward (Ed) Bullins A pioneer of the Black Arts Movement. He is currently playwright in residence and a lecturer of African-American Studies.

Malik Yoba National Theatre Company- (MYNTC) Actor in TV Series “New York Undercover” and Producer, Writer of Urban Theater Stage Plays.

Bishop TD Jakes- Founder and Senior Pastor of the Potter House in Dallas Texas

Satin Doll Entertainment, Elite Entertainment- Valerie Benning, President and Presenter of Urban Stage Play “Tall Dark and Handsome”.

John Amos Actor in TV Series “ Good Times” and his one man show “Haley’s Comet”.

Bernadette Stanis (Thelma) Actress in TV Series “ Good Times” , Urban Theatre Debut “What ever Happened to Black Love “.

Ernest Thomas- Actor a.k.a Raj starring role in TV series “What’s Happening!!”, Urban Theatre Debut “What ever Happened to Black Love”.

Kirk Franklin and the family Contemporary Gospel singer known for the "Reason why we sing" and “Stomp".

Donnie McClurkin- Gospel Vocalist

Tyler Perry- Producer, Actor, Director, Writer best known for the play series featuring the character "Ma Dea“.

character , he is a renaissance man of Urban Theatre.

Shemar Moore Actor in film “The Brothers” and portrayed “ Malcolm Winters” on the “Young and the Restless”.

Boys Choir of Harlem- Dr. Walter J. Turnbull, Founder.

Girls Choir of Harlem- Dr. Walter J. Turnbull, Founder.

Danny Glover- Actor in movie “The Color Purple” , Lead role in Lethal Weapon 1,2,3, and 4.

Michael Matthews- “Godfather of Urban Gospel Plays”, wrote more gospel plays than any other theatre urban playwright.

South Florida Boys Choir- Horace Turnbull Founder and Artistic Director.

Josephine Baker Production– autobiography about Josephine Baker.

Vivian Reid a.k.a. “ Ms. Bubblin Brown Sugar” Broadway Actress and Singer.

Vinnette Carroll- Writer/Actress in Broadway Musical Stage Play “ Arms Too Short to Box With God”.
M Ensemble Theatre  Company, Miami, Florida
Mahalia, Seven Guitars - 2006
PAVAC (Performing Arts and Visual Arts Center) Miami Northwestern, Miami, Florida "Scrumpy" roll out. Ms. Charlette Seward, Drama Director
Marion J. Caffey- Writer, Director, Performer, staged and conceived “Street Corner Symphony”.

Ernestine Jackson performed in Original Musical Comedy “Hello Dolly”, "Revival" Musical Comedy (all Black cast) and "Guys and Dolls".

Kenny Lattimore- R& B Singer hit “Never Too Busy”.

Lenny Williams Lead singer in group “Tower of Power”.

Chante Moore R &B Singer “Ole School lovin”.

Dottie Peoples- A Gospel singer who played in numerous Urban Theatrical Productions.

Shirley Caesar- A Gospel Singer known as “The First Lady of Gospel “.

Stephanie Mills- Actress in Broadway Stage Play “ The Wiz” and R& B Singer most notable for “I have learned to Respect the Power of Love” stage play, "Arms Too Short To Box With God".

R. Kelly –Urban R&B producer/vocalist/multi- instrumentalist/ songwriter won Grammy Awards with single “I Believe I Can Fly”.

Maya Angelo –Writer, Poet, Actress best known for her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”.

Melba Moore- Actress who earned Tony Award for Purlie and best known for her song “Love’s Comin” at Ya”. Teddy Pendergrass- Songster with many love ballads, most noted “Love TKO”.

Patti LaBelle- Soul Diva Contemporary Songstress, Labelle turned to acting co-starring in 1982 Broadway revival of “Your Arms to Short to Box with God”.
NHBCUSF (National Historical Black Colleges and Universities)...Consultant and co produced the 2nd Annual Classic Weekend Gala Fundraiser
Shirley Caesar
November 17-18, 2006.  Drs. Florence and Stanley Alexander
Urban Theatre and Entertainment Festival/Awards
Lou Rawls Center for the Performing Arts
Quant Productions
"Go and Get Your Life Back"
Lyric Theater-
Black Spectrum Theatre "Kingfish, Amos and Andy"..Carl Clay, Artistic Director
Harris Life Enrichment Center-
David Paladino's'"CHAMPION"
David E. Talbert and Morris Chestnut-"BET and David E. Talbert presents Love in the Nick of Tyme starring Morris Chestnut".
Ultimate Super Bowl Weekend XLI-Miami, Florida
XO Management-"Ultimate Super Bowl Weekend" held at Bongos featuring Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Cash Money Records, Rick Ross, Jamie Foxx and more.
Concerned African Women, Inc. (CAW) "2007 Super Soul Bowl Celebrity Cruise featuring Chaka Khan", and hosted by Betty Wright, Mercury Morris, Larry Little, and Hank Stewart.   
X/O Management Ultimate Super Bowl Weekend" held at Bongos featuring Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Cash Money Records, Rick Ross, Jamie Foxx and more.

Most notable clients are:
(NHBCUSF) National Historical Black Colleges and Universities Scholarship Foundation, Inc.
Marvelous Entertainment, Inc. (Marvin Webster Gray)
TECO Theatre Company
North America Entertainment Group, Inc.
Tyler Perry
Quant Productions
Ricky Derae's Gospel World
Florida Memorial University
Fantasma Productions- one of the largest entertainment presenters, Rufus Thomas (authentic cowboy), Arise By VNP and Associates- Valerie Parker Author, Speakers Bureau, Dr. Mary Banks of Bible Teachers International (producer of urban stage plays “The Potters House “and “Amazing Grace”), West Perrine Community Development Center (WPCDC); Ed Hanna President Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida *, Mollie Stevenson (Cowboy Hall of Fame), Nato Gato Dance Ensemble (Brazil), Silk – Kem and Javier (Love Calls Tour-2004), Board of County Commissioners in Miami Dade County, Florida Memorial University and the “Lou Rawls Performing Arts Center”, PAVAC Students and Drama Director Charlette Seward from Miami Northwestern who assisted on the Scrumpy Project, * Black Archives has original copies of the Urban TV and Radio New Magazine, the first Black TV guide authenticated by NBC, ABC and CBS.
Miami Blues Festival
Revelation S.E.E.D
Laterras Whitfield ISSUES
Angela Barrow-Dunlap Gossip, Lies and Secrets
The Best of the Best-X/O Management
2007 Sensationnel HIAR IDOL
UniverSOUL Circus
REFUGEE -Carnival Center
Funk Fest 2007
Ella Joyce "Rose Among Thorns"
More JEBA...
About Edward L. Haynes
When Ed Haynes speaks to groups around the world he says, “You can impact the world from where you are Right Now”! He has served as a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Executive Protection Profession, Commissioner, Police Instructor, Community Activist, Public Speaker, Author, Publisher, Entertainment Industry Executive and the list goes on. Most of all, this husband, father, brother, and son has carved out a place for himself and his family in the world.

If you’re interested in a speaker who will move your audience to action by entertainment, education and empowerment, you will not believe the complex things that are made simple in his workshops and seminars. His proven methods have been used to establish or expand such networks and companies as, X/O Management, Community Capacity Builders, World Literacy Crusade, Concerned African Women and presently the JEBA Companies.


Miami, FL


Aug. 1981 - April 1983 Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, FL. Business Courses.

Sep. 1976 - June 1981 Lincoln High School, Tallahassee, FL. Diploma

Specialized Training:

Oct. 12-14 2004 CMS Defensive Tactics Instructor Transition Course. Miami Dade College

June 1-2, 2004 CMS Firearms Instructor Transition Course. Miami Dade College

March 3-4, 2004 CMS General Facilitator Instructor Transition Course. Miami Dade College

July 23-27, 2001 Professional Growth Facilitators. Professional Assault Response Training, Training-for-Trainers Workshop. Los Angeles, CA. Trainer Certification.

Feb. 1995- Oct. 2000 Miami Org , Miami, FL. (Life Improvement Courses): The Technology of Study Course, The Dynamics of Existence Course, The Components of Understanding Course, The Communications Course, How to Resolve Conflicts Course, Integrity and Honesty Course, Ethics and Conditions Course, The cause of Suppression Course, Tools for the Workplace Course, The Basics of Understanding Course, The Targets and Goals Course, The Investigations Course, The Fundamentals of Public Relations Course, The Dynamics of Life Course, The Dynamics of Money Course.

Resume I

March - 1994 Miami Dade Community College, School of Justice and Safety Administration. Human Diversity Instuctor - 40 hour Course. Certificate of Completion.

Sep. 27 - Oct. 1, 1993 Institute of Police Technology and Management, University of North Florida DWI Instructor - 40 hour Course. Certificate of Completion.

Apr. 31 - May 5, 1993 Miami Dade Community College, School of Justice and Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Training Center. Defensive Driver Instructor Workshop - 48 hours.

Mar. 23-26, 1993 Miami Dade Community College, School of Justice and Safety Administration. Side Handle Baton Instructor Course - 24 hours.

Feb. 8-19, 1993 Broward Community College. Firearms Instructor Course - 44 hours. Certificate of Completion.

Mar. 18 - May 23, 1993 ASP Tactical Baton Instructor Course, Miami Dade Community College.

Apr. 21 - May 8, 1992 Miami Dade Community College, School of Justice and Safety Administration. Defensive Tactics Instructors Workshop; Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint - 80 hours Course.

Sep. 6-20, 1991 Miami Dade Community College, School of Justice and Safety Administration. Instructor Techniques Workshop - 80 hour Course.

June 16-21, 1991 University of Louisville, National Crime Prevention Institute, Carrollton, GA. Seminar on Basic Crime Prevention. Certificate of Completion.

Feb. 10-15, 1991 Miami Dade Community College, Southeast Florida Institute of Criminal Justice. Breath Alcohol Testing Intoxilyzer 5000R & Standard Field Sobriety - 40 hours Course.

Sep. - Oct. 1990 Law Enforcement Officers Training School, Miami Shores, FL. Firearms - Sig-Sauer P-226 Pistol Certification. Certificate of Attendance.

Mar - Apr. 1987 Marine Corp. Recruiting School, Xerox Advanced Professional Selling Skills Training Course. Certificate of Accomplishment. Orlando, FL

Aug. - Oct. 1985 Marine Corp. Recruiting School, Xerox Professional Selling Skills Level III Training Course. Certificate of Accomplishment. San Diego, CA.

Resume II

Sep. 1991 - Present Miami-Dade Community College: School of Justice and Safety. Miami-Dade, FL. Instructor. Primary Instructor in the area of Human Diversity.

Oct. 1985 - Present Community Capacity Builders, Inc.; Miami, FL / Compton, CA. CEO & Educational Consultant. Facilitate workshops & seminars geared toward the education of community groups and residents in the areas of public and private services, empowerment and government/law enforcement structure.

April. 1998 - Present X/O Management.; Miami, FL President & Strategic Planner for concerts and high profile parties, and acts as security consultant. Provide sound advice concerning event planning.

Nov. 2004- Present JEBA Companies; President & Chief Operating Officer of all JEBA companies. These companies include JEBA Enterprises, JEBA Media Group, JEBA Entertainment Group, Urban Theatre & Entertainment Magazine and The Julia E. Brown Theatrical Association.

July 2001 - Sep. 2003 Basic Life Institute dba Boys 2 Men Group Home: 750 Pine Street, Compton, CA 90221. Professional Assault Response Trainer. Training Group Home/Foster Home Staff on restraint techniques and human behavior modification procedures licensed by the State of California Department of Children & Family Services.

April 2001 - Sep. 2003 Basic Life Institute dba Boys 2 Men Group Home: 750 E. Pine Street, Compton, CA 90221. Consultant. Staff Training, Policy and Procedure Development.

Aug. 2000- Los Angeles Children’s Planning Council. African American

April 2002 Representative. Served at the pleasure of Supervisor Yvonne Braithwaite-Burke representing Los Angeles County. Also served on the SPA 6 Council.

May 1997 - April 2001 World Literacy Crusade: 3209 N. Alameda Street; Suite B, Compton, CA 90220. Vice President. Training, Development and Maintenance of Literacy Programs World-Wide.

Oct. 1990 - Feb. 1993 Miami Shores Police Department: Miami Shores, FL. Police Officer. Patrol, Crime Prevention Officer, DUI Officer & Undercover Sting Operations & Training Officer at Miami Dade Community College.


Ofc. Shawnee Fross, School of Justice DT Coordinator, Miami Dade College (305) 237- 1400

Ofc. Valerie Wooten, County Correction Officer Coordinator, Miami Dade College (305) 237- 1400

Rev. Alfreddie Johnson Jr., World Literacy Crusade (310) 537-2273

Mrs. Jewel Bowen, Basic Life Institute (310) 608- 1007

Mrs. Yolie Flores-Aguilar, Los Angeles Children’s Planning Council (213) 893-0421

Professor Clark Zen, Human Diversity Professor, Miami Dade College (305) 237-1400

Joseph Louis, CEO X/O Management (305) 438-9488
  For Bookings, please contact JEBA Media Group, Inc.
  1-877-947-6877 or E Mail [email protected]
Photo: 2006 UTEM Awards
JoMarie Payton and Ed Haynes
2nd Annual
Thanks for your support over the years...It is our continued aim to keep you informed in a timely fashion. Feedback and commentaries are welcomed. Blessings!
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JEBA Enterprises, Inc.

Miami Herald: Panel approves Crosswinds project for Overtown

Posted on Fri, Dec. 14, 2007

Miami city commissioners Thursday reaffirmed their support of the controversial 1,050-unit, $200 million-plus Crosswinds project -- voting 4-1 to approve its development in the city's historic but struggling Overtown neighborhood.

City commissioners had approved the project once already last year, but that approval ended up being invalidated after a group of Overtown activists successfully challenged it in court.

Opponents again packed commission chambers to speak out against the project, but again failed to sway commissioners. Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, who represents Overtown, held steadfast in her support of the project. Commissioner Tomás Regalado cast the lone ''no'' vote.



Government fails in case against Liberty City Seven

Jurors failed to agree on the verdicts for the "Liberty City Seven." One of the men, Lyglenson Lemorin, was acquitted and a mistrial declared for the other six. The Bush Administration must be embarrassed by the outcome of the verdict in a case that clearly should never have occurred.

What is even more amazing is that the government may continue to press charges against the remaining men. What a ridiculous misuse of taxpayer dollars.

New Times details commissioner’s possible indictment

Spence-Jones Faces Indictment

State attorney investigates ethically challenged Miami commissioner.

By Tamara Lush 

Published: December 13, 2007

  • Spence-Jones: V is for venal.

    On Monday, November 26, Miami city Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones stood before a few hundred constituents in the auditorium of Booker T. Washington High School in Overtown. Before she spoke, a slick video touted her successful first year in office, the school's marching band played a gospel number, and staffers handed out glossy flyers outlining her agenda.

    Spence-Jones's speech was long on metaphor and short on detail. She talked about her grandmother's bread pudding, the need for affordable housing, and crime reduction. There were tired phrases such as "quality of life," "essential building blocks of the future," and the clunky "tangible, achievable, measurable, community-driven." The catch phrase for the evening, which she had printed on buttons handed out to everyone in the room, was "Wake Up!"

    "It's time, Miami, to wake up!" she told the cheering audience.

    Indeed it's time for Miami to wake up and check out Spence-Jones. She is poised to join the ranks of city commissioners — Art Teele, Miller Dawkins, Humberto Hernandez — who have been charged with corruption. The reasons: ethical lapses and potentially shady deals. [Continue reading…]

City commissioners give go ahead for Marlins stadium and Port tunnel


Vote could change face of Miami

Miami commissioners voted for a historic multibillion-dollar deal to transform downtown, including a Marlins stadium and a Port of Miami tunnel.

Posted on Fri, Dec. 14, 2007


[email protected]


The Orange Bowl site could be reborn as a new stadium for the Florida Marlins.

Moving with dispatch and sidestepping voters, Miami commissioners on Thursday approved a historic public works package that would build a new Florida Marlins stadium and spur a downtown revival.

The 4-1 vote, adopted after hours of debate, embraced Mayor Manny Diaz's vision of a new Miami glittered with billions of dollars' worth of projects.

The package includes money for a $914 million tunnel to the Port of Miami, a Museum Park downtown and a $525 million baseball stadium on the site where the Orange Bowl now sits -- all tied together in one basket through a plan to expand city Community Redevelopment Agency districts. [Continue reading…]


NOTE: Read the South Florida Business Journal's coverage of that same meeting. Ask yourself where blacks fit in in the future plans of Miami? How many blacks will benefit from the jobs to be generated?

FAMU leads initiative to address black infant mortality in Tallahassee area

President James H. Ammons announced today that Florida A&M University will form an alliance with campus health care experts, researchers, and local, state and national organizations to address the Infant Mortality Crisis in Leon County. He is calling the group the FAMU Black Infant Health Alliance.

During the press conference, the State Surgeon General of the Florida Department of Health Ana M. Viamonte Ros pledged her support of the initiative.

"We are pleased that Dr. Ammons has step forward to address this matter," said Viamonte Ros. "We are committed to being a partner."

Ammons says the high infant mortality rate among African Americans threatens the stability and future of African Americans. He wants to bring campus health care professionals and others on campus together to strengthen FAMU's impact and efforts to address this crisis. He would be relying heavily on the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the School of Allied Health Sciences and the School of Nursing as resources.

"In as much as this crisis is in the shadows of the Florida A&M University community, we feel that it is our duty to engage all relative departments at the university and others with great interest in addressing this crisis," said Ammons. "We will join forces with state, national and local organizations and coalitions to develop strategies that will address this crisis. Infant mortality is a crucial issue that the university must embrace. We want to take the lead and have impact."

Ammons has asked Cynthia Hughes-Harris, dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences, and Dr. Joseph Webster, of the Webster Surgical Center in Tallahassee, to co-chair the alliance that would convene a think tank in January. The think tank on "Health Care: Infant Mortality Crisis in Leon County" will bring members of the alliance together to identify resources and develop goals and objectives. Dr. Ammons believes this alliance will be able to develop a plan that will be effective in addressing the crisis.

"Community leaders, healthcare professionals and county leaders have expressed there is indeed a crisis and a solution to this problem is imperative," said Ammons. "Although there are no immediate answers to the high rate of infant mortality in Leon County, this alliance will be used to address and obtain viable measures to decrease the number of infant deaths in the county. If we do not assemble scholars to review a life and death issue affecting the future of our communities, then we would reduce the meaning and impact that an institution of higher learning should have in its community and state."

Several organizations have agreed to support this alliance, including the Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee Health Equity Alliance Team, the Institute of African American Health, the Gunn Society, and Bond Community Health Center. Commissioner Bill Proctor has agreed to work closely with the alliance, as well as, Charles Evans, who will represent the State Chapter of the NAACP; Eunice Cofie, Miss Black Florida USA; and Dr. Nelson L. Adams, M.D., president of the National Medical Association.

"FAMU has a right and obligation to take a stand," said Dr. Joseph Webster. "I commend Dr. Ammons for taking that stand and thank him for his vision. Today, we stand ready to lead this alliance."

"There is a need to develop programs and coordinate resources," said Proctor. "The educational entities must become involved to improve health care access. The university will empower this initiative and find practical solutions to decrease the number of infant deaths in Leon County."

PHOTO CAPTION: FAMU President James H. Ammons announces the alliance to address the infant mortality crisis. Supporters of the alliance include (from left to right) Charles Evans, president of the Tallahassee Branch of the NAACP; Yolanda Bogan, director of FAMU's Counseling Center; Fran Close, assistant professor of behavioral science and health education; Jean Kline, representative from the Florida Department of Health; Ed Dixon, county commissioner for Gadsden County; and State Surgeon General of the Florida Department of Health Ana M. Viamonte Ros.


Related Link: Killing black babies before they have a chance at life