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 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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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

Categories: El Jefe

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Shame on you, Paradise Parking and Premier Booting Services. And shame on the Related Group and Terra Group too. Consider this column a bill for $2400 that you owe to charity.

On Saturday morning, at a lot where Miami police directed dozens of joggers to park, 27 people had their cars booted. Each paid $89 to have the boot removed from the car.

This wasn't just your average Coconut Grove parking scam, though. The people parking were running, jogging and walking to raise money to fight a lethal disease in the ALS Lou Gehrig's 5K/10K Race in Coconut Grove.

"This is wrong," said Alexandra Castilla, a young woman who was booted after walking several miles. "It's evil." Castilla, by the way, paid a $15 charge to park in the lot before getting booted.

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New Times Gets a Threefer in Livingstons, Nominations Galore in Sunshine State Awards

Categories: El Jefe

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The Livingston Award for Young Journalists is kind of a Pulitzer Prize for the under-35 set. It honors good writing by those who have yet to grow thick around the middle and thin on top.

New Times has often done well in these awards. Bob Norman, our columnist in Broward for years, was a winner in the national category, and we have had more finalists that even an old editor can count on both hands -- yes, he needs his fingers to count.

This year, the Livingstons will be handed out June 12 at a New York City luncheon. Miami managing editor Tim Elfrink is a finalist for his work on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball -- which has also been tapped by Harvard University and Long Island University's Polk Awards.

And he's not alone.

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