Flawed But Fabulous

Law Enforcement
2:58 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

What $57M In Federal Asset Seizures Might Say About South Florida

via Wikipedia

In the last year, over $57 million in illegal assets relating to federal cases in South Florida have been seized by the United States government, according to data provided by the U.S. Attorney’s office in South Florida.

$57,321,390.40 to be exact.

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Flawed But Fabulous
7:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Why The Arrest Of 3 South Florida Mayors Is Our Fault

Disgraced Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman in court.
Credit CBS4

Three South Florida mayors were accused of corruption in August, offering up a salient, cautionary tale for anyone who puts their faith in Miami's elected officials. The mayors from Sweetwater, Miami Lakes, and Homestead represent a triumvirate of questionable behavior, a triple threat of public office tomfoolery and a real world trifecta of tropical sleaze.

I ran an informal poll of friends and acquaintances and the major takeaway and dominant response is that nobody is shocked. This is where we are in Miami politics:

"I'm not surprised."

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The Florida Roundup
7:00 am
Tue September 3, 2013

How Drugs May Be Helping Miami’s Real Estate Rebound

Credit Jeff Hester / Creative Commons/Flickr

For 18 months straight South Florida home prices have been rising. One reason is cash. For every 10 homes sold in July in our region, seven were bought with cash: no mortgage, no credit check.  

Moreover, 90 percent of the cash buyers of Miami condos are foreign, which often means less financial oversight is involved in the purchase.

RELATED: What Kind Of Money Fuels The Miami Real Estate Market?

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Income Mobility
11:56 am
Thu August 22, 2013

If You're Poor In Florida, You're Better Off Working In Miami

Above is a map from the study by a team of top economists. Lighter colors represent areas where low-income children are more likely to rise up to a higher income level.
Credit Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez / http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/

Children from low income families in Florida have the best chance of achieving a higher income level if they grow up in Miami.

Surprised?

I was.  Based on my layman's understanding, I thought we would have low rates of income mobility.

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Technology
3:32 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

How Miami-Based Sktchy App Turns Everybody Into An Artist

What does an app born from the spirit of Miami look like?

It looks like Sktchy, a start up mobile app motivated by Sketchy Miami, a blog and series of parties spotted around town two years ago where the goal was to create a portrait of every person in Miami.

Sketchy Miami comes from a time when “a burgeoning artist community in Miami and the average Miami resident had very little interaction with that community,” said co-founder Jordan Melnick. He wondered, “how can we come up with a way to bridge that gap?”

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Athletics
8:59 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Miami, Synchronized Swimming And The Beautiful Ladies Of Verso

If you ever had his ear, you could ask basketball star Dwyane Wade how he makes a party classier.

But since you probably don't, you should know that when he celebrated his birthday the day after the Miami Heat won its second championship ring, he invited the ladies of Verso Performance, a local synchronized swimming troupe to perform for his exclusive guests.

It was a super VIP occasion, with no pictures allowed, on the roof of a building in downtown Miami. Each girl in the troupe wore a hat with his name and the number 3 emblazoned on it.

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Business
8:23 am
Mon August 5, 2013

A High-End Pawnshop For Miami's Rich And Entrepreneurial

These Versace plates have a retail price of $2,600. At Midtown Pawn Boutique they are $1,650.

On Northwest 36th Street, between Wynwood and the Design District, there’s a wall mural depicting a highly stylized Queen Isabella, the Spanish monarch responsible for fostering Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World.

The mural is a fitting metaphor for Miami for a few reasons; it’s a city which houses the wealthiest of the world, back-dropped with the mystique of frontier land.

The mural was painted by local artist Diana Contreres and is found on the newly constructed Midtown Pawn Boutique, a high-end pawnshop that hopes to serve the rich and entrepreneurial.

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Trivia
12:09 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Join WLRN For A Night Of South Florida Trivia

Key West once supplied the bulk of the U.S. market for sponges.
Credit State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/8820

We want to see who is the most knowledgeable local out there! The questions will be about South Florida history and pop culture. Here are some examples (for the answers, please scroll to the bottom):

1.  What TV show set in Miami was a break-out hit for actor Edward James Olmos? 

2. Name the last Category 5 hurricane to hit the continental United States. HINT: This is trivia about South Florida.

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Opinion
6:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Why Closing Half Of Miami-Dade's Libraries Is Dumb

Credit mdpls.org

“Who says that we get to kill all the books,” asked District 10 City Commissioner Javier Soto.

Miami, apparently, does. 

The decision yesterday was made to theoretically close 22 libraries (10 storefronts and 12 branches) as well as lay off 251 employees. This number is presented as the worst-case scenario. While it could be less, the closings are nearly half of the libraries in Miami-Dade.

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Diversity
11:41 am
Thu July 11, 2013

What The Lack Of Asian-Americans Says About Miami

Before Elaine Chen moved to Miami, she'd heard it was a diverse place. But when she got here, she wondered where all the other Asians were.

“Miami is the face of America's future” is a refrain I’ve heard often.  It seems a point of pride that Miami is leading the rest of the country in our racial diversity.

But this statement is only true if you disregard people like me, Asian-Americans.

The U.S. population is about six percent Asian-American. Chicago has a slightly higher share, and Boston and New York have about 10 percent and 14 percent, respectively.   

 Miami-Dade County has less than two percent. That’s lower than the percentage of Asian-Americans for the entire state of Florida. 

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Technology
6:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

How In The World Could Florida Ban Cell Phones?

Credit illmaterial.com

Your computer or cell phone, most likely whatever you’re reading this article on right now, could technically be illegal in the State of Florida. Which is great because I’m sick of my cell phone anyway, and often think that going back to the days of just using a pager would streamline my life.

Though I would be out of a job. And theoretically, so would everyone who uses a computer at work.  And all of my personal relationships would be put in serious jeopardy. My mother, bless her, would be very angry. 

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Weird Florida
6:00 am
Tue July 2, 2013

New Blog To Cover Florida's Ironic (But Hilarious) Shortcomings All Month Long

The Mosely Flag: The flag was hoisted by Governor William D. Moseley on March 3, 1845 when Florida became the 27th state. It never became an official state flag because of controversy about the motto "Let us alone".
Credit http://dhr.dos.state.fl.us/

Did you know that the first flag to fly over Florida's capitol after admission into the Union read "Let Us Alone?"

Yes. That's right. Neither did we.

But thanks to a blog that Slate is starting with the help of Tampa Bay Times Reporter Craig Pittman, there will be plenty more where that came from.

All this month Pittman will be running a Florida blog for the website, highlighting all the strange and spectacular things that make this the best place to be a journalist.

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Literature
8:34 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Has South Florida Displaced Los Angeles In The World Of American Crime Fiction?

Credit newyorker.com

Everyone knows that South Florida has a seedy underbelly. The American fascination with crime-sex-and-violence-laden stories about South Florida has been going strong for quite some time, particularly on the silver screen.

Miami Vice, paved the way for today’s Magic City, CSI: Miami, The Glades, and Burn Notice. You don’t have to dig deep into contemporary pop cultural output to see that people are intrigued by South Florida’s lure. We’re a rap star mecca, and there’s a party-banging mention of the 305 in a lot of catchy club tracks.

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NBA Finals
7:44 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Heat Swarm Like Piranhas To Beat Spurs In Game Two

Credit Sports Illustrated.

Poor Tiago Splitter. He tried so hard to make a teeny dunk. When the Spurs starting center went up to throw one down on Lebron James with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Brazilian got waxed.

Two plays later Lebron slammed a two-handed dunk off a steal, and it was at that moment you knew the Heat were relentlessly swarming, like a school of frenzied piranhas, and they would not be defeated. Not there and not then.

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Flawed But Fabulous
8:18 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Why Miami Heat Fans Must Find Solace In First Loss

Tony Parker's miraculous game-winning shot during Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
Credit Big Lead Sports

The opening sequence of last night’s NBA finals game against the San Antonio Spurs summed up the Miami Heat’s 2013 season under the big three of Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.

An electrifying dunk by Dwyane Wade followed by nine unanswered points and then a grinding hustle to get back in the game. We, as fans, must live and die with the unremitting arc of sports narrative and the sorrowful nosedives of emotion. The 2013 Miami Heat are like Agony and Ecstasy coming over for a dinner party to your apartment. 

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