Thursday, August 30, 2012

Republicans convene in Florida in 2012...what a difference 40 years makes

Tampa police, Aug. 27, 2012.
Photograph by Tamara Lush.

When the Republicans convened in Miami Beach in 1972 to nominate Richard Nixon, police arrested more than 1,000 protestors.

Fast forward to the 2012 Republican convention in Tampa.

From the Tampa Bay Times:
TAMPA — To prepare for an expected 1,000 protester arrests during the Republican National Convention, the Hillsborough sheriff's office paid $140,349 for software that would alert deputies if an inmate had been sitting in one place for too long.

To treat the injured, they paid $240,000 for medical staff. They bought a new fence, food and electrical updates, and got a green light to spend $1.5 million in overtime pay.

Then this week, on a dry-erase board in their flat-screen-filled command center, they began to tally the arrests. The grand total, by mid-day Thursday:


That's right. At the Republican convention four years ago in St. Paul, 800 were arrested. Eight years ago in New York, 1,800. But Thursday, Hillsborough Col. Jim Previtera could rattle off his booking list in one breath:

The guy with the machete. And the kid with the bandana.
"Bandana Boy" was arrested because he refused a police order to remove his face covering. The Associated Press sent out a dispatch reporting that he was arrested "when he refused to take off a banana covering his face."

The Times story goes on to say that some $50 million in federal grant money has been spent on security for the Republican confab.

Fifty million dollars. Two arrests. Do the math.

The Tampa cops, it appears, are going out of their way not to arrest anyone.

And the protestors, according an on-the-scene source, aren't exactly trying to get busted.

Yesterday, they held a "F**k the police" march.

The cops followed them.

As the march ended, some of the protestors decided they wanted to hook up with a group of union members who were organizing a protest at another location. But the marchers soon realized they had no idea how to get to there. They had to ask the cops for directions.

It was a different story in Miami Beach in 1972.

Photojournalist, Miami Beach, Aug. 1972.

From the Tampa Bay Times:
Photo by Andy Kay.
(Click to enlarge)
San Diego was originally scheduled to host the Republicans, but the GOP abandoned California after the embarrassing revelation that technology company ITT would give $400,000 to the convention in return for favorable treatment in a pending antitrust investigation.

Instead, Miami Beach, a garish strip of oceanfront hotels, 7 miles long and a mile wide, was the center of the political universe that summer.

Hippies and yippies, neo-Nazis and "women's libbers," Jane Fonda and Jerry Rubin, Strom Thurmond and Dr. Spock, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman — they all descended on the retirement haven of 87,000.
Democrats nominated McGovern in mid July, and Republicans renominated Nixon ("Now More than Ever") in late August at a Republican event that became a magnet for protesters, officially known as "non-delegates."

They pitched tents at Flamingo Park, five blocks from Miami Beach Convention Hall, and some of them burned the American flag, smoked pot in public and skinny-dipped in a city swimming pool.
Covering the convention for the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times), Eugene Patterson described the contrast of "bra-less SDS girls in blue jeans denouncing capitalism and Nixonettes in trim blue and red uniforms."

Photograph by Anne Dockery.

The Miami News, Aug. 24, 1972.

The Miami News, Aug. 24, 1972. (Click to enlarge)

Miami News cartoon by Don Wright, Aug. 24, 1972. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Louisiana Father-Son Team Rescues 120 From Flooding


-via ABC News:
Jesse Shaffer, 25, and his father, also named Jesse Shaffer, 53, both of Braithwaite, La., stayed behind in their town to rescue their friends.

While police and the fire department were unable to reach some stranded people using their vehicles, the Shaffers were able to save lives using boats.

"We rescued a lot of people, saw a lot of things you never thought you'd see," the older Shaffer told ABC News, beginning to cry.

Each Shaffer controlled a boat, in which the pair saved a combined 120 people in 12 hours, as well as animals.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Satellite images of of Isaac making landfall in Louisiana

-via NOAA:
Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Louisiana in the evening of August 28, 2012. During the day, NOAA's GOES-14 satellite took images of the storm at 1 minute intervals, showing the development of Isaac from a tropical storm to a hurricane in great temporal detail. The imagery is from the visible channel and runs from August 28 at 1008Z through August 29 at 0055Z.
H/T: Marty Merzer via Facebook.

The Daily Show invades Tampa

John Oliver on Tampa:
Isaac has passed, returning this city back to its normal atmospheric conditions ... somewhere between  (a) steam room and a subway platform in Haiti.

[Tampa] is the land that time forgot. This is the Republican National Convention in Tampa Florida at the end of August.

Tampa is a perfect symbol of what Obama has done to America. In just three and half years, this once bustling metropolis is now a wind and rain-soaked foreclosed shell of itself.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Aug. 28, 1982: The day two Miami Herald columnists almost turned out the lights on Miami's film industry

Miami News, Aug. 30, 1982. (Click to enlarge)

Thirty years ago this week, on Monday, Aug. 30, 1982, the Miami News reported that "Scarface" producer Martin Bregman was threatening to pull his production out of Miami because of two weekend Miami Herald columns that he said were "highly inflammatory."

From the Miami News:
One column, written by Miami Herald columnist Roberto Fabricio, labeled Bregman "an idiot" and "the chief culprit." The other column by Herald staffer Guillermo Martinez, stated, "We do not need money at the expense of our image."

Bregman said, "Apparently from these (columns) we're not wanted in Miami and I've never believed in staying where you're not wanted.

"I mean, for God's sake, no one down there has even seen the script and yet they all seem to know what the movie is about. It's not not anti-Cuban. It's not anti-Mariel refugee. It's not anti-anything."
A few days later, on Sept. 2nd, Miami News cartoonist Don Wright had his say:

Miami News, Sept. 2, 1982. (Click to enlarge)

Tampa Bay Times: Memories vivid of threats that forced 'Scarface' from Miami The Making of Scarface and the “Lost” Images

Monday, August 27, 2012

The way we were...Fidel Castro says, 'Come on down'

Less than three weeks after Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista was chased out of Havana on New Year's Eve 1958 by Fidel Castro and his rebels, an ad for Meyer Lansky's Havana Riviera, signed by Castro appeared in the entertainment section of the Miami News on Jan. 18, 1959.

In the ad, Castro invites American tourists and businessmen back to Cuba and adds, "We are back to normal in Cuba, a Cuba where there is liberty, peace and order; a beautiful land of happy people."

Ironically, those quotes by Castro appeared five days earlier, also in the Miami News, in an AP dispatch that reported Castro's execution of 145 Batista supporters.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac brought out the ass in everyone

Well, we survived.

Not Tropical Storm Isaac. That was a non-event, really. We live in South Florida. It's summer, it rains.

But the people who run Miami's TV news operations never pass up an opportunity to hype any kind of event if it will give their ratings a boost.

And their non-stop coverage afforded some of their reporters the perfect opportunity to make complete asses of themselves.

Here now, the winners.

Third place goes to Mike DiPasquale of WSVN: Explaining to viewers why he was standing out in the wind and the rain, he actually said this: "We have to be out here to encourage you not to be out here."

Second place goes Donovan Campbell, also of WSVN. Standing in front of a fallen palm tree in Hollywood, Campbell breathlessly told viewers, "I'm going to interview the guy who actually saw the tree fall down!"

But....First place goes, not to a TV reporter, but to the guy who dropped trou as a hapless Channel 23 reporter was in the midst of her live shot in Key West.

But, when you come right down to it, that jerk's performance was only slightly less mortifying than some of the TV types who got paid this weekend to make complete asses of themselves.

mooned key west, tv reporter mooned key west, isaac tv reporter, mooned florida key west

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong - Aug. 5, 1930 - Aug. 25, 2012

LIFE Magazine photograph by Ralph Morse, March, 1969.

The Right Stuff.....
In 1944, Neil took a 40-cents-an-hour job sweeping out and hoisting cartons at Rhine and Brading's pharmacy before and after school. Every now and again he would ask his boss Dick Brading for a couple of hours off. This didn't happen often, because what he yearned for cost $9 an hour, and it took a while to accumulate that sum. Brading always gave him the time, and Neil rode off on his bicycle three miles out on what is still called "the old brewery road" to the Wapak Flying Service. There he would hand over his fistful of money to Charles Finkenbine, and then all but sprint to one of the light planes Finkenbine used for flying instruction.

On his 16th birthday, Aug. 5th, 1946, Neil Alden Armstrong got his pilot's license. He looked about 12 years old and didn't yet have an automobile driver's license. -Dora Jane Hamblin, LIFE magazine, Aug. 11, 1969

New York Times: Neil Alden Armstrong, 1930-2012 - Inspired Mankind With One Small Step

The way we were...Hurricane Wilma hits Miami Beach in 2005

Mike Theiss of captured Hurricane Wilma's strong Category 2 force winds on Miami Beach, Florida on October 24th, 2005.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The guy in this video is not a celebrity...

...but that didn't prevent a whole bunch of idiots in New York City's Times Square from treating Brett Cohen like one.

The Washington Post's Jen Chaney calls Cohen's stunt, "a semi-disturbing display of how easy it is to become famous in America in 2012."

August 24, 1992

Miami Herald, Aug. 25, 1992.

They awakened before dawn and trudged through the desolation and found their way to the military field kitchens. Smoke rose from cooking fires and the people gathered and soon they sat on the ground, huddled over plastic dishes of charity, and they didn't say very much.

Alter a few details and it looked like Ethiopia or Somalia. But it was South Dade on Saturday -- the first weekend of a new existence in an utterly transformed place.

Priscilla Gatrell of Homestead, now essentially homeless, still wearing a designer T-shirt, gratefully accepted eggs and sausage prepared by cooks wearing the olive drab uniforms of the U.S. Army.

"I'm standing in line and I'm thinking, 'I can't believe I'm doing this. I'm above this,' " said Gatrell, 43. "But I'm not above it because I'm no different than anyone else.

"Our whole life is up in the air. Can anyone tell us what to do? Can someone tell me what is happening to this life we had?"

What is happening to this life we had?
-Martin Merzer, Miami Herald, Aug 30, 1992

No one who lived through it will ever forget it.

The destruction was incomprehensible. The pain inflicted, unimaginable.

Everyone's got a's mine:

I was one of the lucky ones. My apartment building in Kendall was virtually undamaged.

A Baptist church just three blocks away sustained major damage. I protected my car by parking it in a garage at Dadeland.

On the afternoon of the 24th, I drove down to Country Walk to check on my mother who had opted to ride out the storm with friends.

I had my cameras with me but I never shot one frame as I drove past one destroyed building after another.

Looking back at it now, I'm pretty sure I was suffering from some kind of shock.

My mother was fine. Her home about a mile away was totally destroyed.

She picked through the rubble, gathered some clothing and personal papers, got in my car and never looked back.

My building was without power, of course, and there was no way of telling when the it would be restored.

So, on Wednesday, I traveled to northern reaches of Broward County ending up in Delray Beach. I found a motel on A1A with a vacancy and booked a room for a week.

The next day, I turned on my answering machine and then my mother and I drove up to our temporary home.

Mom spent most of her time watching TV coverage of Andrew's aftermath. 

I called my answering machine every day. And every day the phone just rang and rang.  On Sunday, August 30, the answering machine kicked in. I had power once again.

My mother decided she'd had enough of South Florida and drove north to Ocala to stay with friends and start life anew.

I drove back home and started documenting the aftermath for various clients.

Town homes at 8140 SW 208th Terrace.

Saga Bay.

Saga Bay.

I haven't thought much about the storm in the years since.

All I know is that no one should have to endure anything like Andrew more than once in their life.

But I also know that most of us don't have much say in the matter.

Miami New Times: Hurricane Andrew at 20: Miami Herald Reporters Remember

Al Diaz Photo: Hurricane Andrew - 20 Years

Newspaper Alum: 20-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew: A Q & A with former Miami Herald executive editor Doug Clifton

Jim Morin, Miami Herald, 8-25-1992.

Video by Chuck Fadely

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Whatever you do, DON'T PANIC!!

A great big Random Pixels shout out to all of Miami's news anchors: Eliott, Shannon, Craig, Belkys, Calvin and Laurie.

I'm one viewer who appreciates the professional, calm, restrained, and measured way you guys are covering Tropical Storm Isaac as it relentlessly tracks its way towards South Florida and its helpless residents.

I'm awestruck at how all of you are able to keep your emotions in check as you report with painstaking accuracy, the facts surrounding the first potentially deadly weather event of the 2012 hurricane season. And all while resisting the temptation to hype the storm into something bigger.

Hats off to all of you for a job well done. You guys make me proud to be a Miamian!

Oh, I almost forgot.

There is one tiny thing that's bothering me.

Do you suppose that some of you could get word to the art department and ask them to tone down the on-screen graphics just a tad? Thanks in advance.

Click image to enlarge.

Texas judge warns of civil war if Obama is re-elected

In most places in this country, a local debate on whether or not to increase property taxes, would pretty much remain local.

But look what happened in Lubbock, Texas the other night. You know...the same Texas that gave us Rick Perry and George W. Bush.

From LubbockOnline:
What began as a proposed property tax increase to expand the Sheriff’s Office and raise prosecutors’ pay turned into a political melee after Lubbock County Judge Tom Head’s remarks that the county must be prepared to deal with a civil uprising if President Barack Obama is re-elected.

Lubbock’s County Commissioners’ Court recently proposed a property tax increase of 1.7 percent from the current rate, on which the court will vote Sept. 10.

Head and County Commissioner Mark Heinrich appeared Tuesday night on a local television news broadcast to promote the tax increase, when the judge expressed concerns civil unrest of the worst proportions would break out if Obama wins a second term.

“He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens?” Head asked.

“I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.

“Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops. I don’t want ’em in Lubbock County. OK. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here’."

By now, you're probably thinking, sure, this judge is bat-sh*t crazy.

But surely, no one else in their right mind would make such zany, lunatic-fringe, off-the-wall predictions...right?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Best back-to-school Facebook photo, ever

A lot of my Facebook friends are posting pics this morning of their kids as they head off for the first day of school.

Here's one that immediately caught my eye. It just might be, the best back-to-school picture, ever!

It was posted on the Facebook page of Jacquie Sosa.

If that name sounds familiar it's because Jacquie was a popular anchor/reporter at WPLG from 1999 to 2004.

Jacquie - who now lives in Orlando - posted the photo of her daughters, with this caption: "It's my emancipation day -- the girls are back in school!!"

Jacquie's husband Al took the shot with his iPhone. He tells me that Jacquie left TV news last year and now works in real estate.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Remembering Hurricane Andrew: 20 Years Later

"Toys R Us has become Toys Was Us." -CBS News anchor Dan Rather

Looks like CBS4 is first out of the gate with the first of many local specials and programs marking the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew's strike on South Florida.

From CBS4:
This Sunday 6:30 PM, CBS4 anchor Eliott Rodriguez will host a half-hour special, Remembering Hurricane Andrew: 20 years, marking the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew’s strike on South Florida on August 24, 1992. The special - produced by Cari Hernandez and Howard Bernstein - will provide a first-hand account of how this storm forever changed the physical and social landscape of South Florida.

The program includes:

* The big story: CBS4 reporter Gary Nelson brings viewers some of the most unforgettable moments of August 24, 1992 and images of the aftermath.

* One meteorologist’s experience: CBS4 chief meteorologist David Bernard speaks with NOAA scientist Stan Goldenberg, who witnessed his home crumble to pieces around him and his three children, while his wife was in labor at the hospital.

* Zoo Miami: Miami’s MetroZoo was severely impacted by Hurricane Andrew. The zoo’s longtime communications director Ron McGill describes how the zoo became a symbol of survival after the storm and how it rebuilt from the rubble.

* Children of Hurricane Andrew: Hurricane Andrew was particularly traumatizing for children who were forced to hide in closets and bath tubs throughout the storm. For some however, Andrew had a profound effect on who they would later become in life. CBS4 meteorologist Lissette Gonzalez speaks with several young adults, including one chose to become a fellow meteorologist, another who became a journalist, and yet another who is now a community activist.

* South Dade recovery -- Is it better or worse 20 years later: It has now been 20 years since Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida, and since then, millions of dollars have been invested in reconstruction and rebuilding. CBS4 reporter David Sutta goes to South Dade to speak with community leaders and business owners. He also talks to a Miami historian and others who offers insights on whether the area today has become better or worse as a result of the reconstruction.

* Escape to Broward: The natural disaster spurred a location and population shift in Miami-Dade, causing thousands of residents to move to Broward County. CBS4 anchor Eliott Rodriguez explores the move north, and looks at what it meant for the economy and overall morale of our communities.

* Miami Herald photographers: In their own words: Six Miami Herald photographers take CBS4 viewers back to the day Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida and the days that followed via their coverage of the storm. They share their stories and some unforgettable photographs.


The show's host, Eliott Rodriguez, worked at WPLG Channel 10 in 1992. He told me by phone last night, "In the days following the storm, I vividly remember being stopped by National Guardsmen in Coconut Grove and seeing boats that had drifted in the storm surge from Biscayne Bay all the way across South Bayshore Drive."
When the storm hit, I worked non-stop for what seemed an eternity. I slept, ate and bathed at the station. I was sent out with photographer Al Rodriguez and we hit the street looking for stories. They were not hard to find. Human misery and suffering was everywhere.

Alrod and I did not even edit our stories. We shot everything in real time and since we were on the air 24 hours a day, we had no time limit. I remember that as we drove South the destruction was greater and the devastation more mind-boggling. By the time we got to Homestead and Florida City—about two days after the storm hit, it looked like an atomic bomb had hit.

I remember that on the first night off after the storm, I drove to Broward County to avoid the curfew in Dade.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The way we were...Elvis - Aug. 16, 1977

Miami News, Aug. 17, 1977.

The August 17 early editions of the Miami News carried an obituary written by Molly Ivins of the New York Times:
Elvis Presley Dies; Rock Singer Was 42


Elvis Presley, the first and greatest American rock-and-roll star, died yesterday at the age of 42. Mr. Presley, whose throaty baritone and blatant sexuality redefined popular music, was found unconscious in the bedroom of his home, called Graceland, in Memphis yesterday at 2:30 P.M.

He was pronounced dead an hour later at Baptist Memorial Hospital, after doctors failed to revive him.

Dr. Jerry Francisco, the Shelby County coroner, who conducted a two-hour examination of the body, said "preliminary autopsy findings" indicated that the cause of death was "cardiac arrhythmia," which a hospital spokesman defined as "an irregular and ineffective heart beat." The coroner was not immediately able to determine the cause of the "cardiac arrhythmia."

Mr. Presley was once the object of such adulation that teen-age girls screamed and fainted at the sight of him. He was also denounced for what was considered sexually suggestive conduct on stage. Preachers inveighed against him in sermons and parents forbade their children to watch him on television. In his first television appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, his act, which might be thought of as tame by today's standards, was considered by the broadcasters to be so scandalous that the cameras showed him only from the waist up, lest his wiggling hips show.

Mr. Presley's early hit songs are an indelible part of the memories of anyone who grew up in the 50's. "Hound Dog," "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Blue Suede Shoes" were teen-age anthems. Like Frank Sinatra in the decade before and the Beatles a decade later, Mr. Presley was more than a singer--he was a phenomenon, with 45 gold records that sold more than one million copies each.

Mr. Presley was a show-business legend before he was 25 years old. At the age of 30 he was the highest-paid performer in the history of the business. He made 28 films, virtually every one of them frivolous personality vehicles and nearly all of them second-rated at best, but they gross millions.

In recent years, Mr. Presley, who used to carry about 175 pounds on a 6-foot frame, had been plagued with overweight.

Elvis Presley's Miami Connection

The Elvis-Kiss Mystery—Solved!

Fans, 'ghosts' mark 35th anniversary of Elvis' death in Memphis

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Miami Beach cop is target of second lawsuit

UPDATED @ 10:00am, Aug. 22, 2012:
Updated with Miami Beach Police arrest affidavit for Miguel Lawson which is embedded at bottom of this post. Or read the affidavit by clicking here.


Three Miami Beach police officers are being sued by a Sao Paulo attorney according to papers filed in United States District Court in Miami last June.

Miguel Lawson, an American attorney who practices in Brazil, is suing Miami Beach officers Philippe Archer, Neill Fagan and Mishart Torres. Lawson's suit says cops deprived him of his civil rights when they arrested him on June 18, 2008.

Also named in the lawsuit are the City of Miami Beach and David Wallack's Mango's Tropical Cafe.

(Archer has also been named in a separate lawsuit for his part in the arrest of a French-speaking tourist in Aug. 2008.)

In the suit, Lawson alleges that after spending an evening at Mango's on Ocean Drive on June 18, 2008, a manager followed him outside and accused him of trespassing.

Lawson says that the Mango's manager flagged down Miami beach cops and told them Lawson "was not wanted on the premises."

Lawson says the manager told cops he wanted to "initiate a criminal complaint for trespassing against Lawson."

In his suit Lawson accuses the cops of grabbing him so forcefully that his shirt ripped.

Here's what happened next according to Lawson's lawsuit:
Lawson requested that the officers provide him with a reasonable articulable suspicion for his detention on public property.

Lawson advised the officers he was a Harvard educated attorney and had studied with Barack Obama.

One of the officers replied, "F**k Obama, see if he can help you now."

Although no criminal act was committed in their presence, the officers handcuffed Lawson, arrested him, and threw him in the back of a police vehicle which took him to jail.

The suit alleges that the cops violated Lawson's "right to be free from an unreasonable seizure and unlawful arrest as guaranteed by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments."

Lawson also claims that his arrest was retaliation by cops because he asked why he was being detained. Lawson claims because of that, his free speech rights were violated.

The charges against Lawson were dismissed when he made his first appearance before a judge on the morning following his arrest.

Click to enlarge.

Lawson is asking for compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $15,000.

Lawson's lawsuit is embedded below.



Race car driver Jeremy Foley plunges off cliff in Colorado

-via NY Daily
A race car driver and his co-driver are lucky to be alive after their car plunged off a cliff and flipped more than a dozen times down the side of a mountain during a race in Colorado Sunday.

The hair-raising crash came during the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, a treacherous race to the summit of Pikes Peak, a 14,000-foot mountain in the Rockies near Colorado Springs.

Driver Jeremy Foley and his co-driver, Yuri Kouznetsov, where tearing into a turn at mile 16 when their Mitsubishi Evolution 8 spun out of control and careened off the side of the mountain.

Miami Herald Deathwatch (cont.)

Sometime between now and the end of the year, the Miami Herald is going to charge readers to access stories on its website. Note to Herald executives: Good luck with that.

Screenshot from as it appeared at
11:30am, Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Monday, August 13, 2012

For the love of a dog

Photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson took this photo of her friend
John Unger and his 19-year-old rescue dog, Shoep, taking
a swim in
Lake Superior. She posted it on Facebook and it went viral.
(Hannah Stonehouse Hudson/
Click image to enlarge.

Video WCCO, Minnesota

One man, one dog, one Facebook photo that has touched thousands of hearts

john unger, dog in lake Superior, Shoep, photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson Facebook

SoBe's Chris Paciello beats DUI rap

South Beach bad boy Chris Paciello won a victory of sorts in a Miami-Dade County courtroom Monday.

Paciello was arrested last February in Miami Beach for driving under the influence. Today, Paciello's attorney Michael Grieco managed to get the DUI charge reduced to reckless driving. According to Grieco, Paciello pleaded no contest to the reckless driving charge. Paciello will serve six months probation in addition to performing 50 hours of community service and attending DUI school, Grieco said.

Grieco tells me by email:
DUI charge [was] reduced to reckless driving. The other 2 charges (reckless driving and refusal to give breath sample) dismissed.

I provided the State Attorney with video [embedded below] of my client during booking inside the police station showing his sobriety. I also provided them with X-rays of his lower extremities showing evidence of surgical implants, making his performance (or lack thereof) on the roadside exercises questionable.

Chris Paciello arrives at Miami Beach Police Pepartment, 2-17-2012.

Chris Paciello in booking area of Miami Beach Police Department, 2-17-2012.

Paciello's legal problems, however, are far from over.

Last May, Jose Lambiet reported that a businessman had filed suit in Miami-Dade court claiming he loaned Paciello $150,000 in July 1999 and that Paciello had paid nothing back.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ask a stupid question...

It's Saturday night and it looks like all the adults in the Miami Herald's fifth floor newsroom departed early to attend Jim DeFede's 50th birthday party; but not before leaving a 20 year-old intern in charge of the paper's social media sites.


chad johnson miami dolphins, chad johnson arrested, headbutt wife chad johnson, chad ochocinco, davie police arrest chad johnson domestic violence

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday afternoon chuckle....No dog, no dog...

This has to be the best Miami TV news promo, ever.

Okay...maybe the second best, after this....

Jeff Weinsier dirty dining, rick sanchez crime check WSVN, miami

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Three Hialeah cops and a Miami Beach cop are target of police brutality lawsuit [UPDATE x2]

Jose Lambiet at has new information including the fact that three of the officers named in the lawsuit are Hialeah police officers. Lambiet also reports that after cops arrested Moulin and his older son, "they sent his 11-year-old on his way – alone, with no money, in a foreign city he’d never been and where he couldn’t make himself understood!"

Read Lambiet's report by clicking here.


UPDATE x1: Criminal defense attorney Michael Grieco - who is not involved in this case - has posted some additional info in the comments section below this post. He also adds this by email: "The State Attorney filed 4 felony charges including 2 counts of battery on a Leo and 1 count of attempt to deprive an officer of means protecting (weapon). He took PTI [pre-trial intervention] and case was dismissed after he finished the program."


A French tourist who was arrested and charged with four felonies in 2008 by Hialeah and Miami Beach cops has filed a lawsuit "alleging false arrest, battery and civil rights violations."

From Courthouse News Service:
Miami Beach police beat up two French tourists, a father and son, then threw the father in jail for six days, say the two men in court.

The tourists say the plainclothes officers never identified themselves as police until they had thoroughly beaten the bewildered Frenchmen.

Guy Sabine Moulin and his son Mayeul Moulin sued the cities of Miami Beach and Hialeah and four police officers, alleging false arrest, battery and civil rights violations.

"On or about August 8, 2008, plaintiff Guy Sabine Moulin and his two sons Mayeul Moulin (17) and Joris Moulin (13) were in the City of Miami, Florida on a family vacation when they went to Miami Beach for dinner at a restaurant on South Beach," according to the complaint.

"In the area of Collins Avenue and 12 Street on Miami Beach, Guy parked his rental car in an empty parking space and along with his two sons, exited the vehicle. As Guy attempted to insert money into the parking meter or machine he noticed that same was not working. So Guy and his two sons walked from the location of the parked his car to another meter where Guy obtained a parking ticket to place on the vehicle dashboard. At that point, Guy walked back to his car while Mayeul Moulin and Joris remained sitting on a bench next to Collins Avenue.

"During this time, detectives [Philippe] Archer, [Ricardo] Fernandez, [Elton] Dorsey, and [Gordon] Spitler were patrolling the South Beach area undercover and in plain clothes some distance away from where Mayeul and Joris were sitting when they claim that an unknown, unidentifiable passerby told then two or three males were acting suspicious and might be involved in drug-related activity.

"None of the detectives knew the individual who gave them this information nor does anyone recall this individual giving them this type of information before. Additionally, detectives were not dressed in a way in which a passerby from the street could just walk up and know that they were police detectives.

"None of the detectives observed the individual in question identify Mayuel and Joris as the individuals he claimed were acting suspiciously.

"Based on this scant information from an unknown passerby and without observing any suspicious behavior from Mayeul or Joris, defendants Archer, Fernandez, Dorsey and Spitler attacked and accosted Mayeul without identifying themselves as police officers and without any probable cause whatsoever that Mayeul had committed or was in the process of committing any crime whatsoever.

Read the complete story at Courthouse News by clicking here.
None of the detectives mentioned in the story show up in any recent news stories.

Detective Archer however, has been identified as one of the officers who took part in last year's deadly Memorial Day shooting of Raymond Herisse.

Archer, who has been a cop since 1995, also shows up on LinkedIn where he describes himself as Gang detective and someone who is "definitely into the Health and Wellness Industry."

"Work on South Beach (Miami Beach, Fl.) as a Gang Detective. Trust me when I tell you, it definitely gets crazy down here!!!," Archer boasts on his profile.

Courthouse News says "the Moulins are represented by Raul Lopez, of Miami Lakes."

police brutality miami beach

'Burn Notice' producers remind Marc Sarnoff that TV explosions are fake

Exactly 30 years ago this month - in August of 1982 - a Miami City Commissioner told the producers of the movie "Scarface" to rewrite the film's script. If they refused, he would ask his fellow commission members to ban the production from filming on Miami streets and city-owned property.


Miami Herald Staff Writer
August 21, 1982

If it was up to Miami City Commissioner Demetrio Perez Jr., Al Pacino would play a Castro spy rather than a Mariel refugee turned dope-smuggler in the remake of "Scarface."

Perez, concerned that the film will hurt the image of Cuban exiles, wants Pacino to play not just any Mariel refugee, but a Communist agent, infiltrated into the United States by the Fidel Castro government.

If producer Martin Bregman...doesn't go along, Perez said Friday that he may ask the City Commission to prohibit the filming of Scarface on city property and city streets.

Bregman called the proposal "preposterous."

"That's not what the picture is," the producer said from his New York City office Friday night. "If Perez wants to write a screenplay about an evil, Communist gangster, let him write it and submit it to me."

In the end, "Scarface" producers settled for filming a few scenes in South Florida before moving the rest of the production - and their money - to California.

But one current Miami commissioner apparently doesn't remember the "Scarface" debacle, or is choosing ignore what happens when government officials decide to get involved in re-writing screenplays.

Commissioner Marc Sarnoff wants to tear down the Coconut Grove Convention Center, where the TV show "Burn Notice" has been filmed for 6 years.

"Burn Notice" producers want to stay put.

According to the Miami Herald, Sarnoff made this offer to the show's producers:
The show can stay at the convention center through October 2013 rent free — but only if it demolishes the building at the end of the season and carts away the trash. The demolition, which will cost around $500,000, would have otherwise eaten into the $1.8 million budgeted for the park, Sarnoff said.

Sarnoff said the proposal was “well received.” He envisions the explosion being written into the show.

“How cool would it be for them to blow up the convention center in the last episode?” he said.
[emphasis mine.]

Sarnoff's proposal was met with, what can best be described as polite bemusement, from a spokesperson for the show's parent company, Fox Television.

According to Miami Today, Fox studio spokesperson Leslie Oren said this: "While the special effects on "Burn Notice' are great, the production does not actually blow up buildings. [emphasis mine.] I am sure the City of Miami knows that we wouldn't, under any circumstances, blow up the Coconut Grove Convention Center."

The negotiations between the city and the show's producers continue.

In an August 2 press release, Sarnoff reiterated his desire for "Burn Notice " producers to foot the cost of demolishing the convention center:
City of Miami Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff met with Burn Notice executive producer Terry Miller today and tentatively agreed to concessions that would extend the hit television show’s lease at the Coconut Grove EXPO Center for an additional year.

Pending approval from Burn Notice’s production company, TVM Productions Inc., the company will substantially cover the cost of the demolition of the EXPO Center once filming of the upcoming season is complete. The new lease agreement must also be approved by a simple majority of the City of Miami Commission.

“The concessions were well received, and they balanced our stated desire to keep Burn Notice filming in Miami while also advancing the plans to build the park that has long been promised to the citizens of Miami,”Commissioner Sarnoff said.
But Miami Today reports:
"Mr. Sarnoff did offer terms under which production could remain at Coconut Grove," Bob Lemchen, Fox senior vice president of production, said Friday. "These terms are under review, but at this juncture we are not even close to terms that [Fox subsidiary] TVM Productions can accept. Negotiations will continue, but the studio concurrently is exploring alternative production locations, including within Florida as well as outside the state."

Huffington Post: Why Is Miami Trying to Burn "Burn Notice?"

Miami Today: No "Burn Notice" deal yet

Miami New Times: The World according to Demetrio Perez

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The way we were...Getting tough on speeders in 1912

One hundred years ago this week:

Miami's police chief proposed a 12 mile an hour speed limit on city streets.

"No more speeding on the highways in the city of Miami," said the chief.

According to a story in the Aug. 10, 1912 issue of the Miami Daily Metropolis,  the police chief told his officers to arrest any violator "whether white or black, rich or poor.

"Further," the paper reported, "it will make no difference whether the person afflicted with the speed mania rides a second hand bicycle or whether he propels a 40-horsepower $5,000 touring car..."

Miami Daily Metropolis, Aug. 10, 1912.

Hiding in plain sight

UPDATED x1 below

Miami Herald front page -
Aug. 7, 2012.
It was right there on the front page of Tuesday's Miami Herald ... a story with a headline so big and bold it was impossible to miss: $14 million in prescription drugs had been stolen from the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center over a three-year period.

The Herald's John Dorschner reported: "Pharmacy technician Manuel Gerardo Pacheco — who seemed to be “living beyond his means,” investigators said later — was charged with four counts of grand theft, two counts of trafficking in contraband prescription drugs and one count of dealing in stolen property."

Another Miami story of greed and dishonesty.

Along with Dorschner's report, the Herald posted video surveillance footage that showed Pacheco allegedly stealing the drugs...guaranteeing that local TV news outlets would cover the story on their evening newscasts.

And sure enough, the story made the top of the 5 and 6pm newscasts at every station in town.

But here's what every TV reporter covering the story missed: Dorschner reported the news of Pacheco's 2011 arrest more than a week earlier as part of an exhaustive 3,400 word piece on the troubles besetting UM's Miller School of Medicine. Dorschner's story took up two full inside pages of the Herald's Sunday, July 29th issue.

But he didn't mention the news of Pacheco's 2011 arrest until somewhere around the 50th paragraph of his detailed story...thus assuring that no one in Miami's ADD-afflicted TV "journalism" community would pick up on it.

(TV reporters' eyes will almost always glaze over if they're handed any kind document containing more than 5 or 6 paragraphs.)

Miami Herald, page 23A, July 29, 2012.

Footnote: CBS4, NBC Miami and WSVN, all credited the Herald with breaking the story.

Only Local 10's Sasha Andrade failed to mention where she got her story.


UPDATE: CBS4 news director Liz Roldan admits TV news can't do an important story unless there are pictures to go with it. Or put another way, TV news is all about style and not much substance.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012're on dash cam!

The Ultimate Russian Dash Cam Supercut!

Question: What's the difference between the United States and Russia?

Answer: In the U.S. we put surveillance cameras in convenience stores. In Russia, they mount them on car dashboards.

If you spend any amount of time on YouTube you've probably seen a Russian dash cam video or two.

And there's a reason why there are so many of them.

-via AnimalNewYork:
Psychopaths are abundant on Russian roads. You best not cut anyone off or undertake some other type of maneuver that might inconvenience the 200-pound, six-foot-five brawling children you see on YouTube hopping out of their SUVs with their dukes up. They will go ballistic in a snap, drive in front of you, brake suddenly, block you off, jump out and run towards your vehicle. Next thing you start getting punches in your face because your didn’t roll up your windows, or getting pulled out of the car and beaten because you didn’t lock the doors.

These fights happen all the time and you can’t really press charges. Point to your broken nose or smashed windows all you want. The Russian courts don’t like verbal claims. They do, however, like to send people to jail for battery and property destruction if there’s definite video proof. That is why there’s a new, growing crop of dash-cam videos featuring would-be face-beaters backing away to the shouts of “You’re on camera, fucker! I’m calling the cops!”

Dash-cam footage is the only real way to substantiate your claims in the court of law.

Read the entire story by clicking here.
Now, I'm not sure why this dash cam fad hasn't caught on South Florida.

Russia has nothing on So Fla when it comes to the ratio of psychopaths to normal folks. Hell, we might even have them beat.

And, there are so many possibilities.

Mount one of these bad boys on the dashboard of your car and drive up and down the Palmetto during rush hour or around South Beach for 3 or 4 hours on any weekend and you've got a hit reality show: "Coming This Winter from rakontur! SoBe Dash Cam...the Shocking, Un-edited Footage."

And if dash cams do become popular in South know this can't be very far behind. (Scroll down.)

Click to enlarge.

Miami Herald Deathwatch (cont.)

Further proof today at Miami, that a once powerful South Florida media giant is in the final throes of death.

Here's what was posted this morning in the "Breaking News" section of the paper's website. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Nude food: Sushi restaurant serves it upon 'tasteful' models

Apparently some at the Herald truly believe that a tacky publicity stunt qualifies as "breaking news."

Breaking news, by the way, that one TV station had five days ago.

And, don't forget, before the year is out you're going to be asked to pay to read quality journalism like this.

The Herald is slated to move to its new Doral headquarters in less than a year.

Before that happens, I predict that incompetent management will destroy what's left of the Herald.... but not before the paper's few remaining, dedicated professional journalists die of extreme embarrassment.

Stay tuned.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Miami Herald Deathwatch

There's no way to sugarcoat this: The Miami Herald is dying.

Let's check the vitals:

  • McClatchy, the Herald's parent company, in its latest quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission listed its debt at $1.6 billion.

  • One Herald executive apparently hopes to make a dent in that massive debt with some deceptive billing practices. Last Friday,  Herald subscribers learned that the paper planned to bill them an extra $1.25 for an upcoming "exciting" 2012 Football Preview...whether they want it or not.

  • Outraged Herald reader Christopher Jahn left this comment on Jim Romenesko's blog:
    I was on the verge of re-subscribing to The Herald; I canceled my subscription when they ripped the heart out of the Sunday paper by canceling TROPIC. Jim Defede nearly lured me back, but then the clueless moron running the paper fired him for patently false reasons. And now this. The Herald will never see a dime from me now, unless they retract this and publicly terminate the moron who approved this. And it has to be both; as long as the sleazy weasel who concocted this fraud is at the paper, I'm not buying it.

  • By the end of this year, all McClatchy papers - including the Herald - will start charging to read their content online. One of this blog's readers reacted to the announcement by writing: "Now that they have virtually nothing worth buying, they're gonna try to sell it."

  • That reader's observation was borne out yesterday when a weekend editor at the paper allowed two inexperienced interns to cover a major news story. The Herald no longer employs a full-time police reporter and on weekends there are no experienced staff reporters available to cover breaking news. (The Herald does have a full-time dance critic, however.)

  • Meanwhile, rumors of more lay-offs continue to circulate in the paper's fifth floor newsroom, which at times, resembles a ghost town. The Herald eliminated a dozen positions in Aug. 2011. "We're overdue," says one staffer. (Last month, two McClatchy papers - The Lexington Herald-Leader and Fort Worth Star-Telegram - laid off staffers.)

  • I've been reading the Herald for more than 50 years. The reasons for the paper's decline are many and complex. But, as I compare the Herald that's produced today with that of years past, I can only come to one conclusion: Like the lion in the video below, the Herald is dying a painful, slow death. And it's not pleasant to watch.