Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Circulation figures released for Florida newspapers

From the Tampa Bay Times:
      DAILY (CHANGE*)             SUNDAY (CHANGE)

Tampa Bay Times     340,260 (+14%) 402,422 (-7%)

Tampa Tribune          191,477 (+33%) 281,086 (+7%)**

Orlando Sentinel      161,070 (-7%)    268,257 (-7%)

S. Fla. Sun-Sentinel  163,728 (-1%)    228,906 (-7%)

Miami Herald           147,130 (-9%)  190,751 (-10%)

Meanwhile, the Miami Herald posted this on its Facebook page today...

Get 52 weeks of the Sunday Miami Herald for just 9 bucks!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

George Jones | 1931-2013

“If we could all sound like we wanted to, we’d sound like George Jones.” -Waylon Jennings   [via]

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Miami Herald's move to new building is delayed by one week

Here's an email the Miami Herald's Senior VP of Circulation & Operations, Craig Woischwill, sent to Herald staffers on Tuesday.


We have decided to delay the start of our office staff move to Doral by one week. This affects all three phases of the move.

Timing for receiving the necessary permitting and inspections to move into the Office Building has become too tight to guarantee adequate notice to those of you who were to start moving this Friday. We are still on target to complete all phases of the move before the end of May.

Work won’t slow down at either building. We are pushing hard on detail work, clean up, installation of fixtures and system preliminaries. The result will be a very nearly finished work environment when people arrive.

The move schedule has changed for a small number of work groups, driven by month-end closing and operational needs. Divisional move coordinators will receive an updated schedule tomorrow.

On the production building side, we anticipate approval to begin printing newspapers and operating by the weekend. In all likelihood, we will print our last papers in this building next week.

Lots going on, so thank you for being patient and flexible. We will continue to keep you updated.


Craig Woischwill | Sr VP Circulation & Operations
Miami Herald Media Company

Your lunch hour time waster

A dog, a duckling, and a cat on a Roomba.

via viralviralvideos.com:
The web has seen plenty of cats riding on Roombas before, but nothing like this. A cat, dressed as a Halloween shark, rides the robotic floor cleaner as a giddy baby duckling runs along. Finally, a witch dog appears just as the Roomba runs out of juice.

.....“The disappointment as the Roomba shuts off is palpable.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Federal judge rips Miami Police Department's 'culture of corruption'

“It seems the City of Miami Police Department has a culture of corruption that exceeds all other police departments. You threw away your career for chump change — $800.
-From remarks made today by U.S District Judge Robert Scola before sentencing Miami police officer Harold James to 15 months in prison for extortion.

From the story by the  Miami Herald's Jay Weaver:
Scola, a former state prosecutor and circuit judge, reminded the eight-year veteran that some people in the community have a hard time believing police officers because of the wrongdoing of cops like James and others in his embattled department.


Click here to enlarge.

Feds charge Miami police officer with extortion in gambling-protection case

4 cops, 1 fitness trainer and the glowstick that sparked an Ultra Fest beatdown

Miami police lieutenant relieved of duty in fallout from FBI corruption investigation

Miami officer pleads guilty to extortion for protecting gambling ring

Ex-police sergeant featured in “The First 48” arrested in Miami hit-and-run

Guilty plea: Miami police officer wore wire against fellow cop who took dirty cash

Miami police officer pleads guilty to extortion in betting-protection racket

DNA linked Miami officer to sexual battery in patrol car, authorities say

Miami Police Department, torn by scandal, steps up scrutiny of its own

Veteran Miami police sergeant convicted of stealing drugs and money from dealers

FBI investigating Miami cops in bookmaking case


The bodies of three men believed to be drug dealers are pulled from the
Miami River on July 29, 1985. (Tim Chapman/Miami Herald)


Wednesday, July 31, 1985

Herald Staff Writer

Three men whose bodies were found floating in the Miami River died from drowning, but they may have been the victims of a cocaine rip-off, robbed by a gang of men masquerading as police, Metro-Dade detectives said Tuesday.

"We don't know exactly what caused them to drown, whether they fell into the water or they were pushed in or purposedly jumped in," said Homicide Detective Alex Alvarez.

The three were identified as Pedro Martinez, 40, of 6800 SW 14th St.; Adolfo Lopez-Yanes, 37, of 5271 NW Second Ter.; and Juan A. Garcia, address unknown.

Garcia owned a restaurant, Lopez was a self-employed painter and Martinez was a handyman who did ceiling work, police said.

They were dressed in sports clothes when their bodies were fished out of the water Monday afternoon by employees of a salvage firm. Each of the victims had between $800 and $1,000 in large bills in their pockets, and still wore jewelry. Garcia and Martinez also carried pistols in their waistbands, police said. Only Garcia had an arrest record, but the charges were misdemeanors, police said.

Your lunch hour time waster

CNN's Deborah Feyerick gets her wish

Last week, we reported here EXCLUSIVELY that CNN reporter Deborah Feyerick had sent The Daily Show's Jon Stewart an email begging to be included on his show this week.

Well, would you look at this? (2:40 on the video)

Monday, April 22, 2013

FBI agent jumps fence...but why?

Congratulations to all the law enforcement professionals in Boston on a job well done. You'll have some great stories to tell the grand kids years from now.

Well, most of you will.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross comes out of hiding and talks to Michael Putney

Yesterday, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was the only guest on Michael Putney's This Week In South Florida.

From Putney's intro: "[Stephen] Ross makes his case for using tax dollars to modernize Sun Life Stadium. He says it's a perfect public-private partnership. Others call it corporate welfare for a billionaire."

Watch as Putney tries, without much luck, to get Ross to answer the basic question, "Why not pay for the renovation yourself?"

[Via Local 10]

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Your Random Pixels 'Miami Moment'®

Photographed Sunday in Coconut Grove by retired Miami Herald arts/entertainment editor Margaria Fichtner.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Night Blues

Muddy Waters - Got My Mojo Working. Recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival 1960.

Muddy Waters - Deep Down in Florida

Muddy Waters - Mannish Boy (Live) - Featuring Johnny Winter

Friday, April 19, 2013

CNN reporter Deborah Feyerick cuts an audition tape for The Daily Show

FROM: Deborah Feyerick, CNN

TO: Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

Dear Jon:

I really, really want to be on your show next week. After all, I'm just as funny as those fake reporters you always have.



Via Mediaite.com:
“We smell smoke, people running to the center, cars going straight, cars turning to the right. Whether they cordoned off this block, we can see a helicopter that is up in the air. Something has just happened. Police officers are running, we have a dog, a dog that’s on its way. Interesting, that dog is barking. Whether that’s a canine, we don’t know.” -Deborah Feyerick, CNN.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fear-mongering at the Miami Herald

"That's why a bomb can't beat us. That's why we don't hunker down. That's why we don't cower in fear. We carry on. We race. We strive. We build, and we work, and we love." - President Obama, speaking today in Boston.

Meanwhile, at the Miami Herald...

'This is why you turn to CNN in a crisis...' - Jon Stewart

The Most Busted Name in News - CNN's exclusive report on an arrest in the Boston Marathon bombing was exclusive because it was completely f**king wrong.

jon stewart, john king cnn, john king the daily show

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Congratulations to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Congratulations to the staff at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on winning its first ever Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

The Citation:
Awarded to the Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, FL, for its well documented investigation of off-duty police officers who recklessly speed and endanger the lives of citizens, leading to disciplinary action and other steps to curtail a deadly hazard.
Click to enlarge.

From the Sun-Sentinel:
The Sun Sentinel was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for public service journalism on Monday for its investigation of off-duty police officers endangering the lives of citizens by speeding.

The newspaper launched its three-month investigation after ... off-duty Miami police officer [Fausto Lopez] was pulled over by a Florida state trooper for driving 120 mph in the fall of 2011.

The resulting series, Above the Law: Speeding Cops, broke new ground in database journalism and had an immediate and lasting impact on the community.

Sun Sentinel investigative reporter Sally Kestin and database specialist John Maines, working with investigative team editor John Dahlburg, used data collected from SunPass toll booths to calculate the officers' speed.

The three-part series was published in February, revealing the shocking behavior of law enforcement officers behind the wheel. The reporters found nearly 800 officers who reached speeds of 90-130 mph, many of them while off duty. The accidents caused by officers driving at high speeds had caused at least 320 crashes since 2004, killing or maiming 21 people.
The project was led overall by Metro Editor Dana Banker, Associate Editor Willie Fernandez, and Sun Sentinel Editor Howard Saltz.

"This is such an exciting moment for our newsroom and it's a reflection of the kind of work that we want to be known for," Fernandez said.

The Sun Sentinel newsroom erupted in cheers Monday and toasted the Pulitzer-winning team with champagne.

"I'm just so proud of this team," Banker said. "It was a huge commitment: These reporters analyzed more than a million database records and drove more than 2,500 miles to accurately determine the speeds and distances involved. Their work made a difference — and that's what good local journalism is all about."

Their efforts were coupled with essential contributions from graphic artist Cindy Jones-Hulfachor, video reporter Ihosvani "Geo" Rodriguez, photographer Mike Stocker, database specialist Dana Williams, and copy editors Jeremy Lang and Kathy Laskowski.

"Before the series ran, cops around South Florida were notorious for speeding,'' said Maines. "We had all seen them zip by at breakneck speeds. After the Miami incident made headlines, Sally came up with the idea of using SunPass data."

The series - Above the Law: Speeding Cops

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Here are a couple of items you'll never read in the Miami Herald

Here's an email Miami Herald publisher David Landsberg sent to newsroom staffers last January.

He'll also be sending out another similarly worded email sometime in July. And in January 2014....

From: From: Landsberg, David
Date: Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Subject: Furlough Announcement
To: MIA All Herald Users

To all Herald staff:

Today we are announcing a furlough program for the first half of 2013. Most full-time employees who work a regularly scheduled 40-hour week, including executives and managers, will be required to take one week of unpaid furlough by June 30, 2013.

Nationwide as well as in our business, recovery from the recession continues to be choppy, so we must strive to manage our expenses accordingly.

Furlough information and scheduling forms can be accessed by clicking on this link to HR Forms on HeraldHub. Each division will communicate specifics regarding this program and manage its own process for sign-up and scheduling.

Please know that we are seeing some positive results in our new revenue initiatives despite the uneven economic environment. Your contributions have been key to the accomplishments we’ve achieved in moving toward a successful future.

Thank you for your talent, hard work and dedication.


A few days later, Herald TV critic Glen Garvin tweeted this response to Landsberg's email.

However, that part in Landsberg's email about "managing our expenses accordingly," apparently doesn't apply to the big shots at the Herald's parent company, McClatchy.

Yesterday, the following item was posted on JimRomenesko.com:
McClatchy spends $164,643 to move Kansas City Star publisher to Sacramento

Mark Zieman
Kansas City Star publisher Mark Zieman is named McClatchy operations veep “With his move to the Sacramento metropolitan area from Kansas City to take the position of Vice President, Operations, the Company provided Mr. Zieman with relocation benefits. For 2012, these benefits included shipping household goods, temporary housing and assistance with the sale of his prior home. These benefits totaled $164,643.” – from McClatchy’s SEC filing

McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt resigns to become Associated Press president paintings“Upon his retirement from the Company after nearly 28 years of service, 16 of those years as CEO, Mr. Pruitt was presented with two paintings that had hung in his office. These were valued at approximately $25,000, and after being grossed up for taxes the value of the total gift was $35,848.” – also from the SEC filing

Patrick Talamantes, who replaced Pruitt as McClatchy CEO, made $1.6 million in 2012 and gets a 10% raise in 2013, bringing his base salary from $750,000 to $825,000. In 2012, he got a $270,000 bonus because “under Mr. Talamantes’ leadership, the Company continued to make significant progress in meeting the challenges faced by newspaper companies,” says the filing. [The next time you run into a Miami Herald staffer, ask them when they last got a bonus or pay raise.]

  • Ex-McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt made $3.6 million in 2012 (mediakc.wordpress.com)

  • January 2013: McClatchy paper tells employees to take a week of unpaid furlough (jimromenesko.com)

  • Friday, April 12, 2013

    Who says dogs can't smile?

    Anther great pooch portrait by the incredible Suzy Mast Lee!

    She shot this today on her morning dog walk.

    By the way, the dog's name is Charlie Parker.

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

    Battling with the Miami Herald

    "The Internet didn't kill newspapers. Newspapers killed newspapers"*:  Retired Miami Herald photographer Battle Vaughan tries unsuccessfully for three days to get someone to answer the phone at the Herald's circulation department "help-line."

    He finally gets action after posting about his experience on Facebook.

    Click to enlarge.

    [* via]

    Tuesday, April 09, 2013

    Anatomy of a Miami murder and its aftermath

    A young man was shot and killed in Miami yesterday.

    In broad daylight.

    In front of witnesses.

    No one disputes the basic facts: Brandon Walker, 25, was shot multiple times while riding his bicycle in the area of NW 3rd Ave and 22nd Street.

    Police arrived minutes later, covering Walker's body with a yellow tarp and cordoning off the scene with yellow tape. Crime scene technicians started processing and preserving the evidence.

    Before long, a TV chopper was hovering over the scene and anyone with a TV set tuned to the 5 o'clock news Monday saw the aftermath unfold.

    Minutes later, distraught family members started showing up.

    Here's what happened next according to the Miami Herald:
    The [helicopter] camera captures Walker’s [younger] brother [Antwan Carl Walker] first rush past the police tape to the body on the sidewalk, which is surrounded by evidence markers pinpointing spent bullet casings.

    Several Miami police officers grab him and try to lead him away.

    Then Walker’s [older] brother [Anthony Ezel Carl Walker], wearing a white tank top and turquoise shorts, pushes through the yellow police tape and joins the melee, trying to help his older brother now scuffling with up to six officers and detectives.

    [Homicide detective Feranando] Bosch, in a white shirt, tie and slacks, grabs and pushes the second Walker brother back to the other side of the yellow police tape.

    As he does, Bosch throws three fast punches at the man’s face, briefly chokes him [at 1:51 on the tape below] and then punches him [at 1:57] a fourth time. The final punch is so powerful that it knocks the man to the ground. He's then handcuffed and arrested by a uniformed officer.

    As that incident ends, Walker’s mother is seen running to her dead son and trying to lift the tarp to make sure it’s him. She, too, is grabbed by an officer and led away, handcuffed and detained.
    At 6pm every station in town leads their newscast with the story and the dramatic footage.

    At Local 10, veteran reporter Jeff Weinsier anchors his station's coverage from the newsroom, narrating the footage shot from the helicopter.

    Several times, Weinsier mentions that the family members disobeyed police orders while trampling over evidence trying to get to the body of their deceased relative. Weinsier didn't report anything that other Miami stations didn't report.

    video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
    Video via Local 10

    Last night, Fraternal Order Police president and Miami Police Sgt. Javier Ortiz sent out a press release [embedded below] defending the actions of Detective Bosch. And then, in one unusual paragraph, Ortiz unloaded on Weinsier...misspelling his name in the process:

    Click to enlarge.

    Late last night, the two men who ran past the police tape were booked into jail.

    "Anthony Walker, 28, was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence. Antwan Walker, 27, was charged with resisting an officer without violence," Local 10 reported.

    This morning, the Herald reported.....
    ....Monday night, a tearful [Patricia] Lammos stood over the spot where Walker had died. There were a dozen bullet holes on the bloodstained pavement.

    “They told me the shooter stood over him and shot him several times as he lay on the ground,” Lammos said.
    If you believe Lammos, quite a few people saw Walker's murder. Let's see if any of them come forward and share what they saw with police.

    Your lunch hour time waster

    Photographer Charlie Bird meets some baby elephant seals in Antarctica.

    Monday, April 08, 2013

    You won't see this in the Miami Herald

    I'm not sure if this is real or if it's Photoshop...but who cares? It's genius!

    Play ball!!

    miami marlins vanity tag, marlins vanity license tag mierda, marlins mierda

    The Random Pixels feel-good video of the day

    Jack Hoffman, 7 year-old boy battling brain cancer, makes a 69-yard touchdown run in 2013 Nebraska Spring Game.

    Friday, April 05, 2013

    Opa-Locka PD: 'Hiring standards? We don't need no stinkin' hiring standards.'

    Click here to enlarge.

    It appears that when all the facts surrounding Wednesday's tragic wrong-way crash on I-95 become known, we may learn that more than one person in the dysfunctional town of Opa-Locka will be shown to have the blood of four innocent people on their hands.

    The Opa-Locka PD, it appears, has no discernible hiring standards for its officers, and no supervision of those officers once they hit the streets.

    Or put another way, the Opa-Locka PD's professional standards are roughly akin to those of the Haitian National Police; if that.

    According to the Miami Herald, Sergio Perez, the Opa-Locka police corporal who initiated the chase that led up to the deadly crash, "began his law enforcement career as a police explorer in Miami Beach. He twice failed the police entrance exam before being hired by Miami Shores in October 2006 as a recruit."
    But just two months into his training, he crashed his car into another vehicle on I-95 while drag-racing at speeds in excess of 110 miles per hour, according to the FHP report. A city of Miami police detective witnessed the race, the report said. Perez, who was off duty, was taken into custody on reckless driving charges. It’s not clear from the report whether he was driving a patrol car or his personal vehicle.

    But he was fired the following day and kicked out of the police academy.

    He applied to Opa-locka a month later, noting on his application that the reason for leaving Miami Shores was because he “received a criminal traffic citation.’’

    Opa-locka hired him a year later, in March 2008. There is no indication in his personnel file that the city conducted a background check or investigated why he left Miami Shores.

    A month later, he was given a “post-accident substance control test,’’ which he passed. It’s not clear why the test was administered, since there is no accident report in his file.

    video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

    Wednesday's chase and deadly crash just adds another sad chapter to Opa-Locka's sordid history.

    In December of 2011, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported this about then Opa-Locka Police Sgt. German Bosque:
    German Bosque's personnel file looks more like a rap sheet than a résumé.

    In two decades, the Opa-Locka Police Department opened 40 internal affairs cases on Bosque. Sixteen of them were for battery or excessive force.

    Fired five times and arrested three, he was charged with stealing a car, trying to board an airplane with a loaded gun and driving with a suspended license.

    Internal Affairs investigations found that Bosque split a man's lip with a head butt. He opened another man's head with a leg sweep and takedown. He spit in the face of a drunken, stumbling arrestee. One time, he smacked a juvenile so hard the boy's face was red and swollen the next day.

    Bosque has been caught defying direct orders, lying to supervisors and falsifying police reports. Off duty, he was accused by women of domestic violence and stalking. During inspections, the agency found a counterfeit $20 bill, cocaine and crack pipes in his patrol car.

    Still, Bosque has kept his badge.
    Bosque is surprised he still wears a badge. He knows he is lucky to have gotten one in the first place.

    He was kicked out of two police academies, the first for sleeping in class and the second after he was arrested on charges he stole a car, had a gun and impersonated an officer. He was later acquitted.
    But wait! There's more!

    From the Dec. 2011 Herald-Tribune piece:
    To most Florida law enforcement agencies, Bosque would be toxic. In Opa-Locka, he has been promoted to sergeant.

    The city and its 62-person police force have been waylaid by years of incompetence, corruption and instability.

    Bosque and other former officers guessed the department has had at least a dozen chiefs over the last 20 years. The interim city manager, Bryan Finnie, could not offer a definitive count.

    The current chief, Cheryl Cason, was suspended earlier this year and investigated for allegedly covering up her role in a traffic crash. In 1995, when she was an Opa-Locka officer, Cason's certification was put on probation after she tested positive for cocaine.

    Local news outlets have reported at least four city officials have been indicted on charges including tax fraud, taking bribes from a contractor and even using a city credit card to woo a paramour at P.F. Chang's.

    The current mayor, Myra Taylor, took a plea deal in a federal tax case in 2004, left office and was re-elected in 2010. She did not return calls for comment.

    Opa-Locka made headlines again last month when federal agents stormed City Hall to seize records on a police captain charged with protecting a drug ring and acting as a lookout during a bank robbery.

    State law enforcement officials have investigated the police department but change has been slow. In 2002, the FDLE did a full review of the department and found it lacked enough squad cars, computers and weapons. FDLE agents also discovered untagged evidence in storage lockers, emergency calls put on hold and staffing shortages.

    Former officers told the Herald-Tribune they once had to buy their own guns and bulletproof vests because the budget was so lean. And while there has been a recent push to replace aging weapons and patrol cars, Opa-Locka remains one of the worst-paying jobs in Florida. Rookie officers make $32,000, among the lowest entry wage for law enforcement officers in all of South Florida.

    [Bosque was again fired by Opa-Locka last October...the sixth time in two decades.]

    And just last February, Opa-Locka police captain Arthur Balom was sentenced in federal court to "87 months’ imprisonment for his participation in the distribution of cocaine, ecstasy, and oxycodone in Opa-Locka."


    Miami Herald, Sept. 9, 2012: Tarnished badges: Opa-locka’s troubled police force

    Speaking of the Herald ...

    Good news for those of you who love reading about the Miami Herald and all the drama at One Herald Plaza.

    There's a massive and detailed 6,000 plus word story on the paper  by Erik Bojnansky in the April issue of Biscayne Times.

    The piece titled "Farewell, My Lovely Miami Herald," contains some fascinating information on the paper that many in South Florida love to hate.

    It's must reading for anyone who wants to know more about the Herald and its future. But what sets it apart is that it's the kind of business story on the paper and the problems it faces that you'll never see in the Herald.

    There's a ton of information in Bojnansky's piece....along with some telling quotes from current and former Herald staffers and South Florida business types.

    Here are some of the best:
    “The people who are here are still doing very good journalism. There are fewer of them and it’s a challenge. But I think, especially when compared to other papers, they’re still doing some serious journalism.” -John Dorschner, retired Herald business writer

    “If I wanted to do a story on the Herald, it would be how corporate in Sacramento has set up what I call the death spiral. It’s inexorably leading to the Herald’s demise.” -Anonymous Herald staffer

    “They overpaid for Knight Ridder, and now [McClatchy] is too far in debt. The Herald is a profitable newspaper in and of itself. The problem is that it’s not profitable enough to meet the company’s needs.” -Jim DeFede, former Herald columnist and CBS4 Investigative reporter

    “It’s still a terrific newspaper. There’s no news organization that comes close to it in Miami.” -Joseph Treaster, retired New York Times reporter

    “They’re an important institution and they are the major newspaper of the community. They wield a lot of influence in the community and they have the ability of causing a lot of things to happen.” -Norman Braman

    “Any newspaper in this nation would be delighted to have those people and others like them who still work in the Herald newsroom.” -Martin Merzer, retired Herald senior writer

    “What’s left of the staff seems heavily weighted toward interns, and much of the daily report seems thinly reported and/or misplayed. Also, the Herald has been getting badly beaten on some sports scandals and other stories lately.” -Martin Merzer

    “The paper’s technical quality has diminished, with frequent typos, grammatical and punctuation errors, erroneous geographical references.” -Martin Merzer

    “Every time there’s cost-cutting, I think maybe they’re dressing it up to be sold.” -Seth Gordon, Miami media consultant

    “Something called the Miami Herald will be here in five years and probably in ten years, though no one can say what form it will take. Twenty years? I’m not so sure.” -Martin Merzer

    “I hope they have fun. The only fun I’ll have is when they bulldoze the son of a bitch.” -Tim Chapman, retired Herald photographer on his decision not attend a recent reunion of current and former staffers

    Thursday, April 04, 2013

    Your lunch hour time waster

    Border collie mix does 20 stunts in one minute!

    Welcome to Opa-Locka, where the line between the criminals and cops is sometimes blurred

    Opa-Locka police officer Sergio Perez, left, working an
    "off-duty" job on South Beach in March, 2013.

    UPDATE: The Opa-Locka PD is looking for a few good men!


    It all started because of an "improper right turn."

    Wednesday's wrong-way crash on I-95 that killed 4 innocent people was the culmination of a police chase that should never have happened, initiated by an Opa-Locka officer who should never have been hired.

    Several sources are telling Random Pixels that the officer, Corporal Sergio Perez was kicked out of the police academy in 2006 after he was caught impersonating a police officer.

    Perez was to be hired by the Miami Shores PD upon his graduation, but that never happened. Shortly after his expulsion from the academy, he was "picked up by Opa-Locka," a source tells me.

    On his Facebook page, Perez says he graduated from Miami Beach High in 2005 and started work as a police officer in 2007.

    Perez and the Opa-Locka PD are a perfect fit. This is the department, after all, that until recently, employed Sgt. German Bosque, "Florida's Dirtiest Cop." Bosque, who had been fired five times in 20 years, was fired a sixth time last October.

    Opa-Locka Police Corporal Sergio Perez.

    Tiny Opa-Locka - it's 4.1 sq. miles in size - is run in such a manner as to make some South American banana republics look absolutely functional by comparison.

    The town has had 13 police chiefs in 20 years. One of those, recently retired Chief Cheryl Cason, hired in 1984, had two failed drug tests and more than 22 disciplinary charges before becoming chief.

    Now, her successor, Chief Jeffrey Key, has some explaining to do after just a week on the job.

    Opa-Locka's Assistant City Manager David Chiverton said that Perez broke off the chase at the exit ramp of Ives Dairy Road and I-95, but Local 10's Janine Stanwood reports...
    ...a recording of police communications during the pursuit showed an officer may have still been pursing Dumel when he entered I-95 going the wrong way.

    "This guy is all over the road. Now he's going against traffic on I-95. We're going northbound in the southbound lanes," said an officer, according to the recording.
    (NOTE: There are gaps in the audio below where nothing is being transmitted.)


    video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

    Today's classic Don Wright cartoon

    Miami News, June 14, 1983.

    Wednesday, April 03, 2013

    Jerry Libbin is making Miami Beach 'safer for our children' ... and he's got the pictures to prove it!

    "Here I am with some of the dangerous response [sic] we took off
    our streets today!"- @JerryLibbin

    Miami Beach is a safer place this week than it was last week. At least that's what Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin would have you believe.

    The city held a gun buyback event last Saturday and ended up collecting 25 "dangerous" firearms.

    On his Facebook page and on Twitter, Libbin posted a picture of some of the weapons and wrote, "Great success today taking 25 dangerous weapons off the street and making MB safer for our children!"

    In another post, Libbin wrote that he sponsored the buyback initiative "over the objections of some of my fellow commissioners."

    I responded to his post, asking, "Who objected to the buyback and why?"

    Libbin, who's running for mayor, didn't answer me.

    So I contacted Miami Beach Vice Mayor Michael Góngora in search of some answers.

    Tuesday morning, Góngora - who is also running for mayor in November - told me by phone that there weren't any objections to Libbin's proposal, rather he - and other commissioners - simply wanted to know if the money spent buying back the guns could be better spent paying overtime for a cop to walk a beat or other more effective crime-fighting measures. Góngora also wanted to know if there was a way to determine that only Miami Beach residents would be turning in guns.

    "I also wanted to be sure that this wasn't some kind of sound good, feel good thing," Góngora told me, adding, "would this buyback have an actual impact on preventing crime?"

    Yesterday, one veteran Miami Beach cop seemed to mirror Góngora's concerns, telling me, "You have a better chance of being run down and killed by a drunk bartender leaving Nikki Beach at five in the morning than you do of being hit by a stray bullet from from a gun that's sitting in someone's closet."

    But Libbin is sticking to his guns, telling a TV reporter Saturday, "Anything we can do to take a weapon off the street is one less potential disaster."

    And that's probably something he'll be repeating often between now and the November election, because on Miami Beach, when it comes to political rhetoric, you can never set the bar too low.

    Remember, Miami Beach is the place where Matti Bower was elected mayor, not once, not twice, but three times.

    Monday, April 01, 2013

    Your lunch hour time waster

    Cat walks dog on a leash.

    Jeffrey Loria's Opening Night Surprise

    You think you got problems?

    How would you like to be in Jeffrey Loria's shoes?

    From Sunday's Miami Herald:
    The financial mess at Marlins Park: inside the numbers

    By Douglas Hanks and Barry Jackson

    A new baseball stadium was supposed to fix South Florida’s lukewarm embrace of professional baseball. But the Marlins’ first season in their new ballpark may have made things even worse for the team.

    Splurging on payroll last year gave owner Jeffrey Loria a $100 million lineup that he couldn’t afford without a windfall from a winning season. The trades that followed last year’s 93-loss debacle sent payroll down 60 percent to the second-lowest in baseball, leaving fans more furious at the Marlins than at any time in the franchise’s 20 year-history.

    And while cutting payroll used to produce profits, the added debt and operating costs of a new $634 million stadium have left team executives predicting another loss on top of last year’s team record $47 million operating loss.
    Also in Sunday's Herald was this full page ad with for Marlins Opening Night. Looks like Loria has had enough and plans to go out in a blaze of glory. Why is no one talking about this?

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