Monday, January 26, 2015

The way we were...Elvis sings the praises of Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce

"Any male in Fort Lauderdale who is not pursuing a cute female will automatically land in jail. That's the law in Fort Lauderdale." - From "Girl Happy" - 1965.

h/t: Curbed Miami

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I need your help

If you like what I do here, and you'd like to see it continue, then I could really use your help. I hope you'll consider making a donation to help keep this blog going.

Just click on the Paypal "donate" button at the top of the right-hand column and follow the instructions.

Thank you for your support and continued readership.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The way we were....The 1920 Bathing Suit Parade at Miami Beach

Click images to enlarge. 
Miami Daily Metropolis, Dec. 10, 1920.

In its Dec. 10, 1920 afternoon editions, the Miami Daily Metropolis breathlessly reported that the city of Miami had been "practically depopulated."

The draw was "the most exciting event of the year," as the Metropolis termed it; a bathing suit parade on Miami Beach featuring "stunningly, if thinly-clad beauties."

The Metropolis noted that more than 1,000 cars had parked near 22nd and 23rd Streets. Cars from Palm Beach, Orlando, Ft. Pierce and Kissimmee "were present in great numbers."

And there was this tidbit: "Among the features of the bathing suit parade was 'The Evolution of the Bathing Suit,' portrayed by four women" with one lady wearing an 1890s bathing suit with "full puff sleeves and long bloomers showing beneath the ankle-length 17-pound skirt. A straw hat with ribbons beneath the chin completed the costume, which brought many a laugh."

ORIGINAL CAPTION: The Bathing Suit Parade of Miami Beach. (1920)
Photograph by William Fishbaugh via Library of Congress. 
Click here to enlarge. 

Detail from above photograph.
(Click image to enlarge)


We now rejoin the year 2015, already in progress....

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Miami Herald political writer Marc Caputo is leaving the paper to join


Marc Caputo
In October 2012, after seeing a video of Miami Herald political reporter Marc Caputo trying to question Sen. Marco Rubio, I wrote, "After watching Marc Caputo question [...] Rubio, I'm convinced Rubio is guilty of something."

Caputo was trying to ask Rubio about the ongoing criminal investigation of his pal, Rep. Ravid Rivera.

But as Caputo wrote at the time, "Rubio preferred to get rained on Monday than answer questions about a criminal investigation into his long-time friend and ally, Congressman David Rivera."

The entire thing was caught on Caputo's handi-cam. But the video, and a dozen or so other Caputo cinematic mini-masterpieces disappeared when the Herald began hosting their videos on YouTube.

And that's a shame, because one of Caputo's talents - in addition to writing about politics - was shooting incredibly revealing videos that featured some of the Sunshine State's shadier politicians in starring roles.

Some of Caputo's videos have survived, including this classic (below) from 2011 when Caputo tried to get then "presidential candidate" Herman Cain to explain the so-called "wet-foot, dry foot" policy.

However, most true aficionados of Caputo's work consider 2014's "Email me" video (embedded at the top of this post) to be his magnum opus.

Tim Elfrink of Miami New Times calls the video "beautifully awkward," writing, "Caputo hounding Rivera about the ongoing federal probe he'd broken and Rivera repeatedly muttering, "Email me" -- is a perfect example of the tenacity, humor, and shoe-leather reporting the political writer has brought to the Miami Herald for the past 12 years."

But if you're a fan of Caputo's work, you'll soon have to look elsewhere.

Shortly after 7 this morning, Caputo announced on Twitter that he was leaving the Herald and taking his talents to the website,

Here's the email Miami Herald executive editor Mindy Marqués sent to the newsroom.

We're sad to announce that Marc Caputo is leaving the Miami Herald to join Politico as a Florida-based political writer.

Marc first joined the Herald in 2003 to work in the Tallahassee Bureau. Before the Herald, he had worked at newspapers in Key West, Naples, Arizona and West Palm Beach (Palm Beach Post).

He stayed in Tallahassee until 2011 when he was named the Herald’s political writer and columnist.

Marc is both a talented writer and a relentless reporter. And his passion for politics turned him into a brand name in Florida. Whether it was writing for the Herald’s front-page (hard to recall a Caputo story that didn’t deserve a look-at for 1A), the Herald’s popular Naked Politics blog or his 12,000-plus followers on Twitter, Caputo is the go-to reporter to know what’s happening in the zany world of Florida politics.

As a Herald reporter, he’s covered major stories -- from the special session on Jeb Bush’s Scripps Florida giveaway to the Terri Schiavo case to 8 hurricanes that slammed the state over a 14-month period. He’s also been a key part of the Herald’s coverage of every major election since 2004 and put people into federal prison with his award-winning investigative reporting of former Republican U.S. Rep. David Rivera. His work, alongside Manny Garcia and Sergio Bustos, earned the Miami Herald a McClatchy President’s Award for journalism excellence in 2012.

Please wish him the best in his new job at Politico.

With Marc's departure, we have an opening for a Florida politics writer. We are looking for a versatile reporter who loves politics and can cultivate good sources. We need someone who can write a quick feed to the blog just as easily as a meaty Sunday story. Interested? Contact Sergio Bustos or Jay Ducassi.


Aminda Marqués Gonzalez
Executive Editor & Vice President/Miami Herald
3511 NW 91 Avenue, Miami, FL 33172
twitter: @MindyMarques

The Random Pixels Losers Corner welcomes....

....Carlos Leiva, Bryan Alexander Catin, and Alberto Valdes Mora.

Carlos Leiva
It's been a while since we've welcomed any new inductees into the world famous Random Pixels Losers Corner.

Bryan Catin
So this morning we're making up for that lapse by welcoming, not one, not two, but three new losers.

Alberto Mora
These criminal masterminds were picked up Wednesday by Miami Beach Police detectives Juan Sampedro and Steven Feldman.


Now we're not in any way minimizing the fine police work by Detectives Sampedro and Feldman, but it appears that these late-blooming geniuses did everything in their power to make sure the cops found them without too much trouble.

Everything except drive themselves to the police station and turn themselves in.

Our story begins at 4:40 a.m. last Sunday when Leiva, Catin and Mora were cruising South Beach in Leiva's BMW looking for someone to rob.

At 11th Street and Jefferson Court they spotted a guy walking home.

According to Leiva's arrest report....

....without provocation the defendant struck the victim on the head with his fist while wearing a set of brass knuckles. The victim fell to the ground and the defendant and co-defendant continued to strike the victim (with the brass knuckles and fists) about his face and head. The defendant removed the victims wallet and keys from the victims pants pocket. The defendant and co-defendant then ran to an awaiting vehicle (2007,BMW, 328i, 4 door with FL plate l32vv). 
The vehicle was driven by yet an additional unidentified co-defendant. the vehicle sped off southbound on Jefferson court and then lost control while turning on to 9 street from Jefferson court. The vehicle collided into a stationary unoccupied vehicle at which time the airbags on the vehicle deployed thus shutting the engine off. Unable to restart the vehicle, the subjects abandoned it and fled on foot. 
Miami Beach police responded to the scene but were unable to locate any of the defendants. The vehicle was later reported stolen by the defendant (registered owner) to the City of Miami Police Department.

So, congratulations, Carlos Leiva, Bryan Alexander Catin, and Alberto Valdes Mora.

We've been saving seats for you in the Losers Corner. You deserve them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The way we were...Cassius Clay buys a gun

Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) spars with kids in the backyard 
of house in Miami where he stayed as he prepared for 
the Sonny Liston fight in 1964. 
Photograph by Charles Trainor (1964)


Miami News, Oct. 1, 1964.
(Click to enlarge.)


In October 1964 the Miami News learned that heavyweight boxing champ Cassius Clay had bought a gun, a 50-year-old, gold-plated Colt derringer.

"[He] bought it at Lenny's Pawn Shop, 901 NW 2nd Ave. two weeks ago, police revealed....

"He wanted 15 bucks for it," Cassius recalled. "I knocked him down to $5."

Clay told the shop owner he needed the gun for "home protection." (Newspaper writers of the day continued to use the name Cassius Clay despite the fact that the boxing champ had changed his name to Muhammad Ali after beating Sonny Liston in Feb. 1964 in Miami Beach.)

"I'm a great celebrity and people try now and again to break into my house." (Reporter Ian Glass thoughtfully included Clay's address in his story.)

"Heck, Elizabeth is only the Queen of England, Lyndon Johnson is only the President of the United States, but I'm king of the world," the News quoted Clay as saying.


March 25, 1965: Cassius Clay - the humble man