Wednesday, April 23, 2014

This is what now passes for news at Local 10

WPLG used to set the gold standard for television journalism in South Florida.

Sadly, that's no longer the case.

The station now employs two former NFL cheerleaders who have magically morphed into "journalists."

And, it gets worse.

They're now airing "news stories" that wouldn't be "news stories" were it not for 20 or 30 seconds of surveillance video.

The story below aired at mid-day Wednesday.

Reporter Ben Kennedy, who usually does his stand-ups while frantically flapping his arms, seems subdued and embarrassed that he's being forced to report this crap.

(Note to Constance Jones: Someone casually shoplifting two six packs of beer doesn't even come close to the definition of a "brazen robbery.")

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And then, shortly after 8pm Wednesday evening, the station posted this "story" on its website....which, once again, wouldn't be a "story" except that one idiot whipped out his cell phone shot 15 seconds of video of moviegoers milling about outside the theater.

The station then posted a story before getting all the facts.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Police are investigating what caused a smoke alarm to go off at a Miami Beach movie theater.

Moviegoers rushed outside after the alarm sounded at the Regal Cinema on Lincoln Road.

Miami Beach Fire officials said one fire engine was sent to the theater, but no fire was discovered.

Firefighters believe a fire inside a popcorn machine is to blame.

The theater was still evacuated around 9 p.m. Wednesday.

No other details were provided.

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Your early afternoon time waster

Dogs playing catch by themselves.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Attention Miami Beach residents: You're invited to Mayor Philip Levine's first ever, Second Amendment Appreciation Day event!

Exactly one week ago I broke the news that a City of Miami Beach employee carried a concealed weapon into a highly sensitive, restricted area of the Miami Beach Police Department.

On the same day I broke the news, I began attempting, through a series of emails and phone calls to the city's spokesperson, to learn why the City Manager and Mayor ignored the fact that an employee was carrying a concealed weapon on city property in direct violation of not only federal and state laws, but also city policy.

A full week later, there's been no response.

As I reported here last month, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales believes that when it comes to the media and their pesky questions, it's best to say as little as possible.

And while I can't get anyone to go on the record, it appears that Mayor Levine has no problems with city employees carrying firearms on city property.

And that attitude may explain this flyer that Levine has been quietly emailing to City Hall employees and Miami Beach residents.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't miss this for anything!

Is Dan Oates in line to become Miami Beach's next police chief? [UPDATE x2]


UPDATE x2 - CBS4 in Miami reports: A police chief from Colorado has been named Miami Beach Police Chief following Raymond Martinez’s resignation last week after he was appointed chief of security for Ultra Music Festival.

Dan Oates, the police chief in Aurora, Colorado, was first reported by Random Pixels to have been at the top of the list of veteran cops to possibly acquire the role as Miami Beach’s next police chief.

CBS4’s Jim DeFede confirmed with Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine Tuesday night that Oates, who is also an attorney, was chosen by city manager Jimmy Morales.


UPDATE x1 - CBS4 in Denver reports:  Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates has advised his bosses that he has applied for a job as a police chief in South Florida.

“I can confirm that he applied,” Aurora City Manager Skip Noe told CBS4 Tuesday afternoon.

Noe said Oates was being considered for a Chief’s job in the Miami area but he wasn’t sure what department.


Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine makes no secret of his dislike for the way his city's police department is run.

In an interview with WLRN shortly after his election last November, Levine said: "Clearly the residents are very concerned about the police. The internal issue we have is a cultural one within the police department. We’ve had too many incidents and of course the New York Times and CNN have reported on them, and frankly that’s not good for business and it’s not good for residents."

Last March, after Police Chief Ray Martinez announced his decision to retire effective this month, Levine was finally given a chance to remake Miami Beach's police department by selecting what he likes to call "a world-class police chief."

Sources at City Hall are telling Random Pixels that Levine, and City Manager Jimmy Morales, may be close to picking a new chief.

Several city hall insiders tell me that Dan Oates, the current police chief in Aurora, Colorado, is at the top of the list of veteran cops who are vying to become Miami Beach's next police chief.

Oates was thrust into the national spotlight in July 2012 after a heavily armed gunman went on a bloody shooting rampage inside a movie theater in Aurora, killing 12 people, and injuring 59.

Oates' first job after graduating from Bucknell University with an English degree was as a newspaper reporter in Atlantic City, N.J.

Oates began his law enforcement career with the New York City Police Department, joining in 1980 after hearing an ad on the radio.

According to a July 20, 2012 New York Daily News story, Oates graduated from New York Law School and "also holds a master of science degree from New York University — finish[ing] his 21-year career with the NYPD in 2001 as the commanding officer of the department’s Intelligence Division. He is licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey and Colorado."

The Daily News story quoted a retired NYPD official as describing Oates as a “very cerebral guy, an academic.”

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Your lunch hour time waster

A music video from Uganda.

Artist: Eddy Kenzo.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Save Our Libraries

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” ― Walter Cronkite

“I don't believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don't have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.” ― Ray Bradbury


An invitation from former Miami New Times staff writer, Rebecca Wakefield:
Are you available Wednesday? I'm on a save the libraries kick (for why, click on links below). There's a finance committee meeting on Wednesday @ 9:30 a.m. we are trying to get a few people to show up to support full funding of the library system. Time commitment of an hour or less. The budget will come out in July and the millage ceiling will be set, so this is important to set the table.

If you are able to make it, we can meet down there early and I'll buy you coffee. Just email me at if you're coming.

If not, please consider making a call to a Commissioner and sending the flyer (embedded below) around to anyone you think would be interested in getting involved.



Without more tax dollars, Miami-Dade library system would fire more than half its full-time staff

Suarez endorses library-tax hike for Miami-Dade libraries

Library cuts are forcing tough decisions on children’s books in Miami-Dade