Obama's Words Were Beautiful, but He's Wrong About Miami

Categories: El Jefe

Logan Fazio
Barack Obama speaks at Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami back when he was a presidential candidate.
"The city of Miami is only 200 miles or so from Havana. Countless thousands of Cubans have come to Miami -- on planes and makeshift rafts, some with little but the shirt on their back and hope in their hearts. Today, Miami is often referred to as the capital of Latin America. But it is also a profoundly American city -- a place that reminds us that ideals matter more than the color of our skin, or the circumstances of our birth, a demonstration of what the Cuban people can achieve, and the openness of the United States to our family to the South. Todos somos Americanos."

This passage from Barack Obama's Thursday speech defined both Miami and this president. In some ways, Obama fundamentally misunderstands the city and is naive, bordering on reckless. In others, he's optimistic, decent, and more aware of the importance of diversity than any president since LBJ.

Modern Miami really began in 1959. That's when Fidel Castro conquered Cuba and thousands of exiles poured into this sleepy city. They worked hard. They began transforming it into an international metropolis and a bellwether for the rest of America.

It wasn't easy. There was a boatload of corruption, social mayhem, and, well, cocaine, on the road here.

More »

White House: "It Is Clear That Decades of U.S. Isolation of Cuba Have Failed" (Updated)

Categories: El Jefe

Photo by jon crel via Flickr cc
Here is the full White House news release on Cuba. It is stunning. Updated at the end with Vatican news release on the matter.

See also: TV Crews Outnumber Protestors at Versailles As Obama and Castro Normalize Relations

Charting a New Course on Cuba

Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people. We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba.

More »

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."

More »

Miami Shores Gay Marriage Controversy: Mayor's Ball Canceled, New Vote Likely UPDATED

Categories: El Jefe

Kevin Goebel Flickr
Tiny-but-tranquil Miami Shores isn't often rocked by controversy, but a vote last month that failed to endorse gay marriage has turned neighbor against neighbor.

After the North Dade town's mayor, Herta Holly, and two others killed a resolution in July that would have supported marriage equality, which is bubbling its way through Florida courts, pressure came to bear on the one-story Village Hall on Northeast Second Avenue. Now the long-running Mayor's Ball has been canceled over the brouhaha, and a new vote on a pro-LBGT measure has been scheduled for next week.

See also: Miami Shores Council Rejects Gay Marriage Equality Resolution

More »

Steven Sotloff's Mother Pleas to ISIS for His Release

Categories: El Jefe

The mom of Steven Sotloff, the 31-year-old American journalist and Pinecrest native whom ISIS has threatened to kill, has issued a moving video begging for her son's release. In the minute-long video, Shirley Sotloff says: "He is a loyal and generous son and grandson. We have not seen Steven for over a year and we miss him very much."

See also: ISIS Beheads Journalist, Threatens to Kill Miami Reporter if Obama Continues Attacks

More »

Gawker Admits Plagiarizing Miami New Times, Suspends Writer

Categories: El Jefe

Village Voice
Everything I have ever said about Gawker is false. Everything.

The gossip/news (or is it news/gossip?) website this morning admitted inadvertently stealing copy from Miami New Times. We didn't bring it to their attention.

The plagiarism related to a post last week by Miami New Times news blogger Kyle Munzenrieder, who had written about arrests in a group that had filmed underage porn. The Gawker article carried the byline of Jay Hathaway.

More »

Peacocks: Most Miami Reason for a Traffic Jam

Categories: El Jefe

Peacocks stop what?
For half an hour this morning, North Miami Avenue -- one of the city's most crowded arteries -- was shut down.

By peacocks.

For most of the show, it was funny, but not to the honking buses, swerving drivers, and cops who didn't show up.

More »

Drivers Booted at Coconut Grove Charity Race Are Still Waiting for Refunds

Categories: El Jefe

Randy Katz is a stand-up guy. An emergency room doc at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, he recently raised $35,000 for a buddy, Jeff Fogel, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — Lou Gehrig's disease. The money helped Fogel buy a high-tech wheelchair to deal with the malady that is stealing his ability to move even a finger.

This past May 10, Katz woke up before dawn with his sons, 10-year-old Jaden and 9-year-old Gabe, to run in the ALS Recovery Fund 5K/10K race in Coconut Grove. Though Katz contributed $200 to participate — all to help ALS victims — he was running a little late for the 7:30 a.m. start. So after cops directed him to a lot on the corner of Mary Street and Tigertail Avenue, the trio jumped out of the car and hoofed it down to the race start on South Bayshore Drive.

"There was no attendant, and I knew I might get a ticket," he says. "But I never expected what came next."

See also: Paradise Parking, Premier Booting Services Scam Hundreds of Dollars From Contributors to Charity, Then Fess Up

More »

Hadley Park Community Center Finally to Be Built

Categories: El Jefe

City of Miami
After 13 years of stalling, bureaucratic ineptitude, and political gamesmanship, Liberty City's Hadley Park will finally get a $6.5 million community center.

This historic 28-acre spot at NW 50th Street and 14th Avenue is one of the most infamous in Miami history. Thirty-five black families were ejected from the area to make way for a school and park for white folks during segregation.

It has become a mecca for youth football -- a dozen past and present NFLers have played there -- and an Olympic-size pool was built in the park several years ago. But the new center will offer much more, including basketball courts, classrooms, and a fitness center.

See also: It's Time to Save Charles Hadley Park.

More »

Five Reasons Marco Rubio Isn't Ready to Be President

Categories: El Jefe, Politicks

Florida Senator Marco Rubio said yesterday in New Hampshire that he was ready to be president. Problem is the 43-year-old man who would be the first Hispanic big cheese doesn't have the goods. Here are five reasons why:

See also: Marco Rubio To Decide on Possible Presidential Run Next Year

More »

Now Trending