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November 2009

Central to meet South Dade in region finals

Somebody lost money big time over the weekend as favored high school football teams were eliminated from playoff contention on Friday. Miami Central defeated Miami Northwestern 29-16 and South Dade squesked by Southridge 25-23.

Central meets South Dade in the Region 4-6A finals this Friday, Dec. 4 at a site to be announced.

Financial upheaval on the horizon for City of Miami?

This is a long but interesting read....

The following from 'Miami Today News'

Miami's city hall turmoil a prelude to financial upheavals

By Michael Lewis

   Love or hate the new team at Miami City Hall, you've got to pray for them.    Plus, you need to cut them extensive slack as they fight through testing issues, of which largest by far is the city's financial instability.
   Normally, a new mayor and commission majority arrive with grand expectations. Given Miami's perils, prayers are more appropriate.  That's not to denigrate the recently or soon-to-be elected or appointed. The United Nations would more than have hands full in Miami.
   And lest you think that because you don't live in the city the peccadillos and scandals for which it has been known over past decades don't hurt you, remember this: Miami is the global nametag for this region — all the luster and all the grime.

   How do you sell tourism or investment or real estate globally under the shame of the city? The stigma extends beyond municipal or county limits — if you're in South Florida, the reputation rubs off, good or bad.
   In case you've been on a desert island, review just November's events.
   First, a mayor far better regarded outside his city than in is replaced by a mere mortal, Tom·s Regalado. In the same election, the commission gets two newcomers with family ties to past mayors who were tarred, fairly or not, with japes about mental stability.
   Ah, but those sea changes barely scratch the surface. Post-election, two of the remaining three commissioners were hit with unrelated criminal charges. One resigned, one was removed.
   Then the city couldn't figure out how to fill the vacancies. The commission couldn't even meet — it didn't have a three-member quorum, because one new commissioner was still being elected via runoff.
   At last count — and like everything in Miami, this is a moving target — the resigned commissioner's seat will be filled by commission appointment and the removed commissioner's seat by election. (Are you following all of this?)

   But wait: the removed commissioner, Michelle Spence-Jones, vows to run again now. Moreover, she's likely to win.
   What then? Would the governor let her sit while awaiting trial? And, if he removed her, would a replacement be appointed, or would she run and win yet again? Stay tuned.
   But that's not all the turmoil.
   Mayor Regalado, who had strong union election support in a city where slimming bloated union contracts is key to financial survival, forced out Police Chief John Timoney, who also has national repute but the union's ire, and replaced him with a department lifer who wasn't even among top underlings. So Mr. Timoney's top aide then resigned.
   Still more turmoil is coming.

   Finance chief Larry Spring is a candidate for North Miami city manager (he already had lost the race for Coral Gables manager). If he loses, Mayor Regalado may not keep him anyhow.
   Whether or not Mr. Spring is good at his job, his role is pivotal in a city whose main problem is money. As in, how will Miami pay its bills as pension liabilities soar out of sight? And, how will the city make up for a roughly 15% further decline in countywide property tax receipts next year, far more than double this year's massive tumble?
   Don't forget, new condo towers aplenty on the tax roll mitigated this year's assessment cuts as property values fell. Next year will bring no new towers to offset continued assessment declines based on property prices that fell in 2009.

   And prices of recently built units have fallen nowhere more than in Miami, epicenter of both the condo craze and now the condo meltdown.
   Don't forget, also, that federal stimulus aid that arrived this year isn't likely to be repeated though national economic decline has swelled unemployment in Miami.
   Is all that scary enough?
   Ok, then, factor in potential frictions among a new flock of elected officials, compounded by family ties of two to mayors linked to the 1990s disaster that led Florida to place an oversight board over a city on the brink of bankruptcy.
   Another wild card: City Manager Pete Hernandez's future is murky. Mayor Regalado clearly believes he hasn't had past cooperation from either Mr. Hernandez or Mr. Spring. And he controls their future.
   All of that puts stability in the hands of Marc Sarnoff, sole commission holdover and new chairman. Like Mr. Regalado as a commissioner, Mr. Sarnoff often voted in the minority. A role as anchor of stability would be new indeed.
   Amusing as all these changes are to watch — and difficult as they are to track — Miami needs no added turmoil. We got enough for a decade this month.
   Given the perils of finance and the pitfalls to thoughtful governance in a city where scandal trumps sanity, don't expect overnight miracles from the new city leaders. They're under more than enough pressure already.
   The entire region's business environment, in fact, may hinge on whether the new team can function calmly under the economic firestorm that's yet to come.
   Start praying.

h/t = Jerry Lewis

Almost at my Twitter goal! Thank you! [VIDEO]

Woo-hoo! It's almost December and I'm just a few followers away from my goal of 2,000 by the end of the year. Thank you to everyone who has made this accomplishment possible. I've still set my sight on Top Twitterer Ashton Kutcher who's now at 4,028,795! Aarrgh!

I'm projected to be act over 2,100 but I'm fine with my own projection. I'd really appreciate your helping me increase my Twitter followers and make Mr. Kutcher nervous, okay?



30Rock's Grizz and Dot Com [VIDEO]

I’m a recent viewer of NBC’s 30Rock. Even after all of the awards the show won and the amazing Sarah Palin impersonation by Tina Fey, I still probably only watched a portion of one episode last year. OK, I have a lot to catch up on. I don’t know all of the characters and you have to pay attention to get the punchlines.

I started watching the show after my friend Rose told me her cousin (Kevin Brown) was on the show. He is Dotcom, one of Tracy Morgan’s entourage. His counterpart is another huge guy, Grizz (Grizz Chapman). Rose started fan pages for them on Facebook and written highly rated blog posts on Open Salon.

While I haven’t met these two gentlemen yet; I do hope to meet them soon.  Grizz's facebook page    Dot Com's facebook page Ollie's Daughter on Open Salon

© 2009, Blogging Black Miami,

Follow Blogging Black Miami on Twitter.

Become a fan of Vanessa Woodard Byers for Miami-Dade County School Board, District 2 for change in public education!

“Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn.” ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Thanksgiving: More than a day [POEM]

More Than A Day

As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we're poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.

We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.

So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you've got;
Realize it's a lot,
And you'll make all your cares go away.

By Karl Fuchs

The Miami Herald Gridiron Football Report [VIDEO]

Manny Navarro and Andre Fernandez cover Round 2 of the high school state football playoffs. The biggest draw will probably be Central and Northwestern. They repeat their match-up, 7:30 pm, Friday at FIU Stadium South. This football rivalry has really intensified over the years. 


Region 4-6A semifinal at FIU: Central vs. Northwestern, 7:30

Region 4-6A semifinal at Harris: South Dade vs. Southridge, 7:30

Region 3-6A semifinal at Traz: Krop vs. Carol City, 7:30

Region 4-3A semifinal at N. Miami: Booker T. vs. Belen, 7:30

FAMU volleyball team takes on FIU!

The FAMU Lady Rattlers volleyball team will be in town to take on the FIU Golden Panthers, 1 pm, Saturday, November 28 at FIU South Campus. The FIU team is awesome and FAMU’s team is current MEAC champs.

Come out and support women’s sports. Tickets are only $5 for adults and $3 for children.

FAMU Volleyball Team

FIU Volleyball

© 2009, Blogging Black Miami,

Follow us on Twitter. Become a fan of Vanessa Woodard Byers for change in public education!

“Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn.” ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Worth the Read - Here Be Monsters: Michelle Spence-Jones: Bleeding her community?

Here Be Monsters!

Biting commentary from Gwendolyn H. Barry's blog, Here Be Monsters, is definitely worth reading. (You have to read the blog to find out why she's given it that interesting title.) Barry pulls no punches in her assessment and opinion on the City of Miami District 5 political controversy. Check it out at Here's an excerpt:

The inner city political career of Michelle Spence-Jones has enjoyed a short ride of profiteering plenty.  Mud clings to her skirts throughout it, repeatedly investigated for years.   She cultivates the 'community' with the help of a considerable politic machine as the protege of past Mayor Manny Diaz (whom has not outwardly denounced her, yet is distancing himself abjectly).  As an account from Spence-Jones' point of view reads over at New Times, the main witness against her will recant: [Barbara Carey-Shuler is apparently backing off her sworn statements against her protege.]  New Times - 11-16-09   This certainly does not read...since Ms. Carey-Schuler has agreed to testify after charges against her have been dropped under the provision of her testimony.   Spence-Jones' attorney claims that Ms. Carey-Schuler contacted him saying 'her testimony was taken out of context'...does anyone think that this is out of context: [``Did you in any way intend for Karym Ventures to get the money from Timbuktu and Osun Village?'' prosecutor Richard Scruggs asked her, in a transcript of her sworn interview released Friday.

``Absolutely not,'' Carey-Shuler replied. ``I intended for it to go to groups that I allocated it to at the budget hearings.''] - Miami Herald
What remains in light of this fact is really, what does the evidence say and who's zoomin' who?   In the New Tiimes piece a neighborhood supporter of Spence-Jones, Leroy Jones, decries KDI (Woodard and Styles) as angry for not receiving the funds (ah, yeah, well, dude...obviously you've gotten YOURS) ... [Jones says his organization Neighbors and Neighbors Association had partnered with KDI Architecture, a company owned by Woodard and Styles, on a $500,000 project to renovate building facades along NW Seventh Avenue with Afrocentric designs. "KDI has been paid $71,000 by the city but they have never submitted any drawings," Jones says. "Michelle took the position that they needed to turn in the plans before the city gave them any more money."]  but if you check the city planners office you will find the submissions from KDI presented over a year ago.  You feel me?!  GAD!

Word on the Street with Bunquisha Keylolo Brown

J0432989 Happy Birthday to one of the treasures of Coconut Grove, Frankie Shannon Rolle. She’s celebrating 85 wonderful years of love and appreciation by her family and friends. Meanwhile friends and family are praying for the recovery of Rosalyn Jeter Bethel who fell ill on the way to the Florida Classic game in Orlando. Love to both of these ladies.

Speaking of football, the city is abuzz with several high school football games taking place this week. Some teams season will end and others will advance in the State championship bid. By far the most anticipated game is Central vs. Northwestern at FIU South Campus on Friday night. The trash-talking is real thick and the Bulls are favored to win by two points but you never know. The Rockets are confident they will be the spoilers this time so let’s just see how this turns out.

Rumor has it that a new group of community movers and shakers has formed and they are  developing long-range and short-range plans for major, sweeping change in Miami's black community. Some folks are tired of the lack of community progress, inadequate economic development, ineffective educational system and public corruption. Hmmm….Keep your eyes and ears open for more on that!

Words of wisdom for the week: Life is too short, fragile and fleeting to waste time and energy hating someone else. Enjoy each day as if it’s your last because it very well could be.

Don't eat too much, sleep too much or spend too much. Until next time..Happy Thanksgiving!

Career Opportunities

Childcare Center Director
The YWCA seeks a center director to be responsible for the development and operation of the child care center. The director supervises all staff and trainees, including substitutes; ensures the program meets licensing and compliance standards; follows YWCA child care curriculum and program standards; maintains proper teacher/student ratios; attendance and program related reporting; manages and ensures expenditures are within budget, etc. Florida Directors Credential and an AA/BA degree in Early Childhood Education or related field preferred. Experience in ECE programs, prior supervisory experience, knowledge of the budget process and fiscal responsibilities required. Fax resumes to (305) 416-4618 or email to  [email protected]

Census Bureau Jobs - Thousands Available 
The U.S. Census Bureau is currently recruiting applicants, primarily for part-time field positions with some office positions. There are thousands of jobs available, ranging in pay from $11.25 to $16.50/hour. Call (866) 861-2010 to register for a testing session. Applicants must be 18 or older, males must be selective service registered or have a waiver of selective service. For more information or o access a practice test from the Web site, click here. For an application, click here. Para informacion en espanol, haga clic en este enlace.

Resource Development Coordinator-AmeriCorps/Vista Intern
The PanZOu Project is seeking a resource development coordinator whose responsibilities include assisting with grant writing and program strategies. The coordinator will also provide excellent customer service, clerical/administrative support, and maintaining office operations. This is an AmeriCorps/Vista position, which includes an educational stipend. Please email a cover letter and resume to Nathalie Antenor at [email protected].

Part-Time Therapist
Family Counseling Services seeks a part-time therapist to provide individual, family and group therapy at its Sunset office and other locations. Candidate should be a bilingual mental health practitioner. Experience with children and adolescents and working with survivors of sexual abuse preferred. For information, call (305)-740-8998 Ext 107 or email [email protected].
Health Connect in Our Schools Nurse and Medical Assistant
The Institute for Child and Family Health currently seeking a registered nurse and certified medical assistant for its HealthConnect in Our Schools (HCiOS) Program. Pediatric experience and English/Spanish preferred. Please forward all resumes to [email protected]
or fax to (305) 685-4208.

Inclusion Specialist
CCDH, Inc., the county agency providing supports for children with special needs, has an opening for an inclusion specialist who will work with children's services providers to increase their capacity to include children with disabilities. Candidate will be a strong advocate for fully including children with disabilities into our community, have a B.A. in education, social work, or a related field, three years experience working with children in an inclusive setting and be be bilingual (English/Spanish or English/Creole. Beginning salary is $37,599 with generous benefits that include 100 percent employer paid medical, dental, life and disability. Qualified candidates please submit resume and cover letter to [email protected]. learn more about CCDH and its ACT Project, visit