305 Photo of the Day: Strange Fruit

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Miami's Median Income Is Second Lowest in America; Poverty Is Second Highest

Categories: Recessionomics

Photo by James Livingston | MNT Flickr Pool
As Miami's real estate market has boomed to glittering new heights of luxury since 2010, the area's median household income remains the second lowest of any major metro area while poverty has continued to increase. It's embarrassing, if not depressing.

See also: Miamians Can't Afford to Buy Condos in Miami

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Design District Garage Will Include Five Different Facades and "Tube Slide"

Categories: Unreal Estate

We imagine an entry from a history book 1,000 years in the future will read like this:

"Though automobiles were present across the globe, few countries worshipped their cars quite like the United States. In the suburbs, Americans tended to build rooms for their cars in their homes as if they were a member of the family. Though, in urban areas residents tended to rely on public transportation, and any cars were kept in utilitarian structures or on the street. The city-state of Miami however was a notable exception.

The city's elite, enriched through the odd practice of selling housing units to people who never intended to live there, set out on building grand temples to house their cars. The world's leading architectural talents were commissioned to design ostentatious garages with no expenses spared. One of the finest is in an area once called the Design District. Five separate architects collaborated on the project to give the building five separate facades. In fact, the garage is still a popular diving location for tourists visiting the nearby floating resorts."

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Community Gardens Uprooted For New Parking Lot, Development

Categories: Environmental

Photo via R.Y.P.E's Facebook page
Next Saturday the R.Y.P.E. Community Garden in Buena Vista will host en event. It's a goodbye party -- the garden will soon be demolished so a parking lot can be built in its place. "Pave paradise to put up a parking lot. Sooo sorry," wrote Atiya Guianese on the event's Facebook page.

R.Y.P.E. isn't the only local green space getting the boot by developers. Sam Van Leer, the founder of a nonprofit called the Urban Paradise Guild, tells Riptide that one of two community gardens that his organization runs is also in need of a new home.

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Shaq Flouts Doral's Smoking Ban, Gets Cop Job Despite Hookah Habit

Categories: News

Photo by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
The last time Shaq signed up to be South Florida cop, his application was a memorable catastrophe. In addition to claiming one of the greatest skill sets in law enforcement -- "Laptop computer, binnochulars [sic], master of surveillance" -- Shaq papered over his involvement in a violent Disney World altercation and his history of lawsuits. He was hired anyway.

Well, Shaq is at it again, this time with Doral PD, and New Times has obtained his latest application, filed two weeks ago. This time, Shaq is flouting Doral's strict rule against hiring anyone who smokes tobacco. It seems Shaq Fu enjoys a hookah now and again -- and the city says it will let him join the force anyway.

See also: Shaquille O'Neal's Miami Beach Police Application Is Full of Hilarity, Lies

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WTF Florida Friday: Refrigerator Emergencies, Shoplifting Toddlers and Yoga Crimes

Categories: WTF Florida

Illustration by Alvaro Diaz-Rubio
A lot of weird things happen in Florida. We're here every Friday morning to give you the week's weirdest. This week: Refrigerator emergencies, shoplifting toddlers, and sex crimes at a yoga class.

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Medical Examiner: Ultra Festival-Goer Died From Bath Salts, Second Such Death in Two Years

Categories: News

Thumbnail image for Adonis_Escoto_Ultra_death_facebook.jpg
via Facebook
Adonis Peña Escoto died during Ultra this year.
Twenty-one-year-old Ultra-goer Adonis Peña Escoto died March 30 after attending the second night of the three-day EDM fest, but the cause of his death had been a mystery until now. A Miami-Dade Medical Examiner report obtained Thursday by New Times at last sheds some light on what killed him.

The report shows that the young mechanic passed away due to "acute alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP) toxicity." Alpha-PVP is a type of synthetic bath salt sometimes sold as "gravel." Escoto's death marks the second straight year that an Ultra attendee has died due to such synthetic stimulants.

See also: 2013 Ultra Music Festival Death Caused by Bath Salts Overdose, Medical Examiner Says

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Coast Guard Unloading $23 Million of Seized Cocaine in Miami Beach

Categories: Drugs

via USCG
The U.S. Coast Guard will be unloading 719 kilograms of cocaine today at its station in Miami Beach. That comes with an estimated street value of about $23 million.

The coke was intercepted in the Caribbean on September 8 by Coast Guard Cutter Bear.

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Miami Renews Push for Streetcar System in Urban Core

Categories: Road Rage

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory
Miami may be looking to the past for its public transportation future. In the '20s and '30s, streetcars zoomed through the city of Miami, and now city commissioners have renewed a push to bring them back.

According to Miami Today, the plan had gained steam back in 2006 but lost priority after the real estate crash. Now, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff is leading a push to find funding for the idea.

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Miami's Toxic Parks: City Closes Fields at Colonial Drive Park For High Arsenic Levels

Categories: Environmental

Illustration by Jeremy Enecio
Yet another park in Miami-Dade has been fenced off today after officials found high levels of arsenic in the soil. This time, it's the athletic fields at Colonial Drive Park that have been closed.

"The closure has been implemented out of an abundance of caution and as a proactive measure," the county announced this morning. "Park users can expect to see signage announcing restricted, closed areas, as well as fencing closing off those areas to the public."

See also: Miami's Toxic Parks

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Tanya Gonzalez Case: Medical Examiners Confirm Body Was Missing Woman

Categories: Crime

via Facebook
Family members say a body found yesterday has been ID'd as Tanya Gonzalez, left. Her ex-boyfriend Roy Blanco killed himself yesterday as police closed in.
One day after police found a badly decayed body in the trunk of a missing Miami woman's car, her family says that the medical examiner has confirmed their worst fears: Dental records from the corpse matched 28-year-old Tanya Gonzalez.

The news comes a day after a wild chase in the Florida Keys that ended with her allegedly abusive boyfriend stabbing himself to death with a steak knife as police closed in.

See also: Miami Man Commits Suicide After Body Found In Missing Girlfriend's Car

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NOAA Warns of "Rapid Deterioration" of Endangered Corals Due to Deep Dredge Sludge

Categories: Environmental

Thumbnail image for DEP_deadstuff.jpg
Courtesy of FDEP
Coral killed by sediment from the Deep Dredge
A month ago, state regulators raised the alarm over silt from the Deep Dredge killing Miami corals. Now the feds are stepping in as well.

According to documents obtained by New Times, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a scathing set of recommendations for saving endangered coral threatened by the dredge project.

"There is clearly sediment impact affecting coral colonies, including [endangered species] Acropora cervicornis and possibly newly-listed corals, in the project area," the report says. "There is also evidence of additional background warm temperature stress in the region. Both these factors are contributing to rapid deterioration in colony condition in the project area."

See also: Deep Dredge Silt Is Killing Our Coral After All, Admit State Inspectors

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Jameis Winston Suspended for Having Worst Taste in Memes

Categories: Sports

Star quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended for half a game this week for shouting "Fuck her right in the pussy" around FSU's campus. There are probably think pieces or at least pointed tweets to write about how Winston caught more punishment for this than some of his other alleged misdeeds. Those have, will, and should be made, but instead we're just going to talk about memes.

Because Winston chose the worst meme from this summer to get suspended for.

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Woman Sexually Battered While Walking Down Sands of South Beach at 3 a.m.

Categories: Crime

Photo by Daderot | WikiCommons
A 24-year-old tourist who took a late-night stroll down the sands off of South Beach ended up running away after fighting off a man who tried to rape her.

The woman and her boyfriend were walking in the area of 200 block of Ocean Drive at about 3 a.m. last night when they got into an argument. The woman had wanted to take a walk along the beach, but the boyfriend refused so she decided to go on her own.

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305 Photo of the Day: Hooping

Today's photo comes from Mig Rodz' Flickr. If you'd like to see your photo here join our Flickr group.

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Florida City Wants to Ban Smoking Medical Marijuana Before It's Even Legalized

Categories: Politicks

Photo by Laurie Avacado via Wikimedia Commons | CC2.0
Floridians may be set to head to the polls in November to legalize medical marijuana, but could individual cities still ban smoking medical pot anyway? Bonita Springs, Florida, is going to try and is already drafting an ordinance banning smoking in public.

Which is slightly funny because Bonita Springs' most famous store is a fishing shop called Master Bait and Tackle (get it?), and its tourist stores sell a lot of "Bonita Springs: a drinking town with a fishing problem" shirts, but apparently medical pot is a bridge too far.

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Who Is exMiami? PR Firm Denies It's Behind Mysterious Real Estate News Site

Who is behind exMiami, a curious blog that details development around town? Well, no one seems to know, and, of course, any mystery in Miami must have some nefarious explanation. Right? Well, maybe, maybe not.

Yesterday, blogger Al Crespo alleged, with little evidence, that PR maven Tadd Schwartz of Schwartz Media Strategies, a company hired by many big-time developers, was behind the blog. But today, Schwartz was quick to issue a denial.

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Miami Wants to Kick Overtown's Legendary Youth Football Team Off Its Home Field

Categories: El Jefe

Photo by Chuck Strouse
The Rattlers have practiced in Overtown for more than 20 years.
After football practice at Overtown's Williams Park each day, 13-year-old wide receiver Gerald Johnson walks off the grassy field with sweat sluicing down his forehead. "Bye, Fat Albert," his buddies call. That's Gerald's nickname, even though he's skinny as a twig. He tucks soggy shoulder pads into a bag and saunters home through Town Park Village -- a smattering of tightly packed public housing that borders the field. Folks on door stoops nod. A few whistle. He's a hero.

"This is where I grew up," the Jose De Diego Middle Schooler says with a crooked smile. "People in the neighborhood know me. They take care of me."

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Miami Man Commits Suicide After Body Found In Missing Girlfriend's Car

Categories: Crime

via Facebook
After police found a body in Tanya Gonzalez's car, her boyfriend, Roy Blanco, stabbed himself to death.
A missing persons case took a turn for the gruesome yesterday when police found a badly decayed body in the disappeared woman's car. That's when the case got truly bizarre. Hours later, Miami Police got wind that the woman's boyfriend had fled to the Florida Keys on a boat with his mom and a Siberian husky.

Local cops tracked him to Big Coppitt Key, where they chased him into the woods. But as they approached, the man -- 33-year-old Roy Ruiz Blanco -- buried a steak knife in his stomach and his mother gulped down a bottle of pills. Blanco later died.

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Six Reasons Nobody Goes to Miami Hurricanes Games at Sun Life

Categories: Sports

When the Hurricanes announced their "Go to Fewer Games!" campaign before the season began, this is not what they meant. This past Saturday, the paid crowd of 41,519 for the Hurricanes' 41-20 win over Arkansas State looked like half that number in cavernous Sun Life Stadium, and it was a smaller crowd than that at any home game all last year. It's a disappointing trend for a team that once held arguably the greatest home-field advantage in college football.

OK, so Arkansas State isn't exactly a marquee matchup, but this week's game just emphasized a larger trend. The lack of support is puzzling on the surface. How could a fan base that was so in-your-face-vocal only a few years ago be so nonexistent today?

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