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February 2013

January 2013

Shoe Repair Shop Owner Goes on Talk Radio and Blasts County Government Over Eviction


Owners of Greene Dreams Shoe Repair and their attorney Roderick Vereen on Hot Talk with Chief Jimmie Brown
Owners of Greene Dreams Shoe Repair and their attorney on Hot Talk with Chief Jimmie Brown. From left: Vernon Greene; Paulette Greene; Tyrone Greene; Chief Jimmie Brown and Attorney Roderick Vereen.

On last night's Hot Talk with Chief Jimmie Brown on WHQT Hot 105, Tyrone Greene, owner of Greene Dreams Shoe Repair, spoke of the humiliation he and his family are enduring at the hands of local government, in particular, Miami-Dade County. Greene, accompanied by his wife Paulette, brother Vernon and Attorney Roderick Vereen, went into more detail on the business's eviction, demolishing of the business space, and what it means to the community. Greene's version of actions also disputes published reports and public comment by officials about this situation. 

Greene has a lease that is valid until May 2014 for the now demolished building. He has taken his case to court twice and won. The City of Miami declared the building housing Greene Dreams Shoe Repair an unsafe structure. Greene asserts the County bought the building in 2009, allowed it to fall into disrepair to get his business and others out of the space so the County can begin construction on the 7th Avenue Transit Village in Liberty City. The Transit Village is a planned mixed-use site housing a bus depot, businesses and apartments. There is a lot of money involved in the project and the Greenes were definitely holding up progress for the County and the Carlisle Group, the developers of this project. 

Here are some interesting points that were shared:

  • The County asserted it would cost $500,000 - $600,000 to repair the roof. Vereen said a judge said it would cost about $5,000 to repair the roof over the shoe repair shop.
  • Greene said while County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson was on Tuesday Talk on 1490 WMBM, she stated that he had not paid rent for the space in a year. Greene said he has never been behind in paying the rent.
  • Greene said he was forced to purchase a million dollar insurance policy for the space.
  • According to Greene, other businesses that were tenants in the building vacated earlier because they did not have a lease as he did. The Greene family had been in the same location for 50 years.

Chief Brown invited Commissioner Audrey Edmonson or someone from her staff to call in to discuss the situation. No one called by the end show and Chief Brown left the offer open. Blogging Black Miami will reach out to the Commissioner for comment also. 

Attorney Vereen indicated that the business has agreed to the relocation option and will move directly across the street. Their new address will be 645 NW 62 Street. They should be open for business in the new space by Wednesday. Vereen also indicated his clients might seek an injunction to delay construction of the 7th Avenue Transit Village Project until their lease has expired in 2014.

A caller inquired about financial assistance for the Greenes while they continue their fight. Contributions can be made to The Law Offices of Roderick Vereen* and mailed to:

        The Law Offices of Roderick Vereen
        PO Box 680967
        Miami, FL 33168

* Include Greene Dreams Shoe Repair in memo section.

The issue of the lack of black owned businesses also was also discussed on the show. It was pointed out that there are very few businesses in the area of seventh avenue and MLK Boulevard actually owned by blacks. Other ethnic groups recognize the current and future value of property in our community and have become the business owners, property owners and landlords. If you don't own property or businesses in the community then you are left with tenancy and are at the mercy of your landlord. It's time to wake up, pay attention to what's going on locally, nationally and globally and take action. 


Haiti Earthquake Three Years Later

Three years ago today at 4:53 p.m., the most awful devastation to the island of Haiti occurred. It is estimated that 200,000 to 300,000 people lost their lives. Others survived. Some missing limbs or even eyesight. Some separated from family. Forever.

The recovery of Haiti has been slow and not without controversy. The people still suffer but they remain strong. God Bless Haiti and her children wherever they are.

Never forget.

Photo: The Solefull Lounge


Demoted fire captain Brian Beckmann appeals decision at hearing Mon. 1/14

Do you remember the case of Metro-Dade Fire Captain Brian Beckmann and the racist remarks he posted on his Facebook page in April 2012 regarding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin? Well, he is appealing his demotion to firefighter at a hearing 9 AM, Monday, January 14, 2013, Stephen P. Clark Building, 111 NW 1st Street, Suite 183, Miami, FL 33128.

Here's a reminder of what Beckmann posted:

“Listening to Prosecutor Corey blow herself and her staff for five minutes before pre-passing judgment on George Zimmerman. The state seeks reelection again, truth aside. I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs. Corey, we speak only the truth. They’re just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn’t have anything to do with why people wonder if they’re about to get jacked by a thug.”

If Beckmann is returned to his previous rank, it will signal the level of disrespect of blacks by the fire department in Miami-Dade County. Racial incidents within that department have been reported in the past. At some point the black community must stop conveniently developing amnesia regarding civil rights violations.

This upcoming hearing has been relatively quiet, another issue we need to deal with - communication - and the ability to galvanize and mobilize quickly regarding issues of civil rights and racism. 

Do you feel Beckmann will treat blacks fairly? Should he be rewarded by being returned to fire captain rank, left at his current rank or fired? What say YOU? 



SHAMELESS REQUEST: Help my nephew-son win Viewers Choice Contest

Dear Blogging Black Miami Readers,

Please go to the web address below and vote for my nephew-son, Adrian Jules, in the Viewers Choice Contest for America’s Next Top Model Cycle 20. AJ is an actor, model, director, author and personal trainer. Most of all, he's a really nice young man. Voting ends Monday, 1/14, so there's no time to waste! Please vote now and get your family and friends to vote for him also.

Thank you!



Go, AJ!


Mom & Pop Grants Available for Small Businesses in District 2

Applications for Small Business Grants Available from Jan. 7 – 22, 2013


Small businesses in District 2 can begin the New Year with a financial boost thanks to the District 2 Mom & Pop Grant Program. Through this program, small business owners can receive up to $7,500 to support their businesses located in District 2.

Commissioner Jean Monestime announced that applications for the District 2 Mom & Pop Grant Program will be available beginning January 7 through January 22, 2013 on the District 2 website and at the following two locations:

• Commission District 2, District Office, 900 N.E. 125 Street, Suite 200, North Miami, Fl.

• Neighbors & Neighbors Association, Inc., 180 N.W. 62nd Street, Miami, Fl.

Completed applications will be accepted from January 23 through January 28, 2013. Applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on January 28th. Completed applications will only be accepted at the following locations:

• Commission District 2, District Office, 900 N.E. 125 Street, Suite 200, North Miami, Fl.

• Neighbors & Neighbors Association, Inc., 180 N.W. 62nd Street, Miami, Fl.

There will be an informational workshop explaining the application and requirements on January 22, 2013, at Shalom Community Church, 900 N.E. 132 Street. The workshop will begin promptly at 6 p.m. For additional information contact Neighbors and Neighbors Association at 305-756-0605.


County tears down Greene Dreams Shoe Repair

In a move that likely surprised no one, early in the morning on Friday, January 4, 2013, City of Miami police broke into Greene Dreams Shoe Repair Shop. Miami-Dade County (and developers) had enough. Business owner Tyrone Greene would no longer delay construction of the Liberty City Transit Village project. The project will provide retail shops, apartments and a bus depot on the south corners of 62nd Street and Seventh Avenue.

For more than five years, Greene has fought to keep his business on 62nd street, just east of northwest Seventh Avenue. It is a family business for 50 years and a landmark in the community. The shop has probably become better known for their t-shirts and other items than shoe repair which is unfortunate because they do excellent shoe repair work.

The shop was deemed an unsafe structure. Utilities were disconnected but a defiant Greene remained. He had already fought the government in court and won. He maintains he has a legally-binding lease until 2014. He brought in his own makeshift utilities and continued to operate until last Friday morning. County officials had the contents of the shop packed up and transported to a warehouse for storage.

Greene's attachment to the building is understandable. Both of his parents are deceased. His father started the business. It's his family's legacy and he probably feels he's let his parents down. It's very sad.

County officials said they offered Greene a temporary location and rent in the new retail shop space at the current lease rate. Greene and his family feel wronged; the County feels it was patient had no other option but to evict the shop.

The Miami Worker Center, also former tenants of the building, joined the owners of Greene Dreams Shoe Repair and concerned community members in a candlelight vigil last night mourning the loss of the business.

Tyrone Greene is not going away quietly. The building that housed his family's business has been demolished but his fight continues. Stay tuned.


The Links, Inc. Team Up with Hispanic Coalition to Sponsor Health Fair and Children's Cook-Off Competition Sat. 1/12


 Community Health Fair and Children's “Iron Chef” Cook-Off Competition
Links Health Fair
The Miami Cluster of the Links, Incorporated joins the Hispanic Coalition in presenting a community health fair and children's cook-off competition on Saturday, January 12, 2013 in Opa-Locka.
The Miami Cluster of The Links, Incorporated, is comprised of three local chapters of Dade County; Greater Miami; and Miami-Biscayne Bay. They have joined with the Hispanic Coalition to provide health screening for adults and engage children in practices for living a healthy lifestyle at a community health fair and cook-off competition targeting students and families in the Opa-Locka area. 
The Links received funding via an “Awareness and Advocacy for Our Children” grant to implement a Florida Pilot Project aimed at combating childhood obesity in Opa-Locka. Students from three area schools: Dr. Robert Ingram Elementary; Nathan B. Young Elementary and Rainbow Park Elementary will go head-to-head in a highly anticipated cook-off competition to engage the students in healthy food choices and easy meal preparation for their families.
Childhood obesity poses one of the most urgent and critical threats to the health and well-being of minority children and their families. Obesity rates have reached epic proportions among African American children; particularly among African American girls. Overweight and obese children are at a higher risk for a host of serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, asthma, Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. The Links, Incorporated National Childhood Obesity Initiative through its Commission on Childhood Obesity, continues to be a trail blazer and model for addressing obesity and nutrition education worldwide.  
Several additional activities are planned for children and adults including learning to make healthy food choices; line dancing and Zumba fitness dance.

If You go:
Saturday, January 12, 2013
10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Nathan B. Young Elementary School
14120 NW 24th Avenue
Opa-Locka, FL 33054
About The Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated is a premier international volunteer service organization of women with more than 12,000 members in 276 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The Links, Incorporated, celebrates more than 65 years of enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. The key programming initiatives of The Links, Incorporated are organized into five facets: Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Services.
About Hispanic Coalition
The Hispanic Coalition is a non-profit association founded on February 4, 1988 in Miami, Florida with the objective of providing South Florida citizens with a broad range of social services related to immigration, employment, legal assistance, and at-risk youth and family intervention programs.  Its social services are available to the entire community, regardless of ethnic background.

PHILANTHRO-PUB: The Hoxton Hosts Networking Happy Hour For Young Professionals In Support of Communities In Schools of Miami

An affiliate of the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, Communities in Schools of Miami (CIS) is celebrating the launch of their Young Professionals Network (YPN) with a complimentary happy hour mixer atThe Hoxton from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16th

The mission of the YPN is to bring together young professionals who want to make a difference in their community by helping at-risk students stay in school and graduate. The YPN will help support various CIS initiatives including mentoring, tutoring, fundraising, marketing and community service.

Playing “PhilanthroPub” for the evening, The Hoxton is downtown Miami’s new Hamptons style beach house serving up “Mad Men” cocktail culture alongside New England clam bakes and lobster rolls.

Guests will enjoy masterfully mixed cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres over casual camaraderie and conversation.

To register please visit, YPN at The Hoxton.   

WHERE:      The Hoxton, 111 S.W. 1st Ave., Miami, FL 33130, 305-677-8466

DATE:        Wednesday, Jan. 16th from 6p.m. to 8p.m.


Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime and more than twenty other elected officials from across South Florida will come together Friday, January 11, 2013 at 12:00 noon, at North Miami City Hall, to urge the U.S. to remember its commitment to Haiti, as the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake approaches. Saturday, January 12, 2013, will mark three years since the massive earthquake leveled Haiti, killing more than three hundred thousand people, injuring another three hundred thousand and leaving one million people homeless.

“The people of Haiti are hurting. Still, hundreds of thousands of people live in tent cities, and progress has been slow in rebuilding homes, roads, schools, hospitals and businesses. As the most powerful democracy in the world, the U.S. has a duty and moral obligation to provide leadership and continued support to the people of Haiti. I also urge the international community to continue its support, to help rebuild the struggling Island Nation,” says Congresswoman Wilson.

Following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, that killed hundreds of thousands of people and left more than one million homeless, Congresswoman Wilson, who represents one of the largest Haitian-American populations in the country, put in a request to the White House for an extension and re-designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals living in the United States. She also hand-delivered a letter to President Obama, signed by 50 members of Congress, with this dual request.


WHO:    Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and Miami Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime

WHAT:   South Florida Elected Officials Urge U.S. To Remember Its Commitment to Haiti

WHEN:    Friday, January 11, 2013, 12:00 noon

WHERE:  North Miami City Hall, second floor, 776 NE 125 Street, North Miami, FL 33161


Senator Oscar Braynon II, State Rep. Daphne Campbell, State Rep. Barbara Watson, State Rep. Shevrin Jones, State Rep. Cynthia Stafford, State Rep. Sharon Pritchett, North Miami Vice-Mayor Marie Erlande Steril, North Miami Councilman Jean Marcellus, North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin, North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo, North Miami Beach  Councilman Frantz Pierre, North Miami Beach Councilman Philippe Derose, Miami Dade  School Board Member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, City of Miramar Vice Mayor Troy Samuels, El Portal Mayor Daisy Black, El Portal Councilman Adam Old,  Miami Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, Opa-Locka Mayor Myra Taylor, Opa-Locka Vice Mayor Joseph L. Kelley, Opa-Locka Commissioner Timothy Holmes, Pembroke Park Mayor Ashira Mohammed, West Park Commissioner Thomas Dorsett and West Park Commissioner Rita Mack.

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson Sworn in to the 113th Congress

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica Wilson was sworn in to office for her second term in the U.S. House of Representatives. “I am honored and humbled to serve Florida’s 24thCongressional District, and I will continue to fight for good jobs, quality education, and justice for all people,” said Rep. Wilson.

Committed to providing greater economic opportunities to her constituents, in her first term in Congress Rep. Wilson helped bring over a billion dollars in federal investment to the district. Rep. Wilson also sponsored a hugely successful jobs fair attended by 9,000 people and 150 employers. The fair resulted in job offers for hundreds of South Floridians.

Dedicated to being the voice for the voiceless, Rep. Wilson worked to successfully pass the “Uninterrupted Scholars Act” in her first term in Congress. This bill ensures that foster youth receive credit for the school work they have completed, making it easier for these youth to achieve academic success. Rep. Wilson also introduced the “Rilya Wilson Act,” named for a child who went missing from foster care and was not reported missing until 15 months after her disappearance. This legislation seeks to ensure that such a tragedy never occurs again by requiring each state to develop a plan for the prompt reporting of missing foster children.

Rep. Wilson has worked hard in her first term to promote the rights of Haitian and Haitian-American communities. She introduced a resolution advocating for the United States to work with the Government of Haiti to address gender-based violence against women and children. Rep. Wilson also successfully advocated for the Obama Administration to extend Temporary Protected Status for Haitian nationals, allowing tens of thousands of families to remain united.

As part of her work to end violence and racial profiling, the Congresswoman successfully served as an outspoken voice for justice for Trayvon Martin.

In the 113th Congress, Rep. Wilson will continue to build on her record of outstanding public service. Rep. Wilson will serve on the powerful Education and the Workforce Committee. “As a former teacher, principal, school board member, and state legislator with expertise in education policy, I look forward to advocating for education and economic policies that give all children and adults the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Rep. Wilson.

“I am proud of my work in the 112th Congress and I will continue to champion the needs of my constituents in the 113th Congress.”