Miami Dredge Project Turns Up 18th Century Cannon Near Port

Categories: Flotsam

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Miami is a city with a short history, so historical objects don't exactly turn up here everyday. So when a dredge team was relocating seagrass to an area near the Julia Tuttle Causeway and came across an old cannon, they were surprised to say the least.

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The Most Florida Christmas Traditions

Categories: Flotsam

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Photo by Nick Bastian's Flickr | CC2.0
Christmastime is all about roasting chestnuts on an open fire, building snowmen, and taking your sled for the first ride of the year -- unless you live in Florida, where it hardly ever snows and you can comfortably wear shorts in December. It's actually a bit odd watching holiday specials full of snowflakes and earmuffs when you're sitting there in flip-flops. That's why Floridians have tried their best to make their own tropical Christmas traditions.

Some of them are beloved. Others are a bit odd.

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How to Talk About Art During Basel When You Know Nothing About Art

Categories: Flotsam

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George Martinez/gmartnx.com
As Art Basel Miami Beach descends upon our city, Miamians will be forced to make small talk about art while waiting in line for free booze. For many, even those who are casual fans of art, talking about art can seem intimidating with all of these incredibly well-dressed out-of-towners throwing around words like "Abramovic" and "Gagosian" with such ease.

But as any politician can tell you, it's easy to sound like you know what's up when in fact you have no idea what you're talking about. It's not that different in the art world. Follow these tips and you'll be able to bullshit your way through almost any art conversation.

See also: New Times' Guide to Miami Art Week 2014

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Carnival Cruise Ship's Bacteria-Filled Hot Tub Sickened Passenger, Lawsuit Claims

Categories: Flotsam

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Photo by Stan Shebs via Wikimedia Commons
Last November, Maryland resident Charles Atwell boarded Pride, a 1,000-foot, 12-deck Carnival cruise ship that sails from Baltimore and Tampa to the Caribbean and carries more than 2,000 passengers. The ship features a nightclub, piano bar, and water slide, and Atwell was also likely attracted by the great reputation of its outgoing, friendly crew.

"There must be something in the water on this ship," one customer wrote in a review on the website Cruise Critic.

According to a recent lawsuit filed by Atwell, there was, in fact, something in the water: a colony of incredibly dangerous bacteria floating in at least one of the ship's five hot tubs, just waiting to ruin the lives of unsuspecting vacationers like Atwell.

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Lincoln Road Cosmetics Stores Sue City of Miami Beach for the Right to Annoy You

Categories: Flotsam

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Mark Poutenis
It's happened to all of us. One minute you're minding your own business on Lincoln Road, slaloming among septuagenarians with sugar babies on their wrinkly arms, or awkwardly grimacing at the toxically tan hostesses imploring you to look at monstrously large menus. The next you're caught in the tractor beam of a pretty young woman who just won't stop talking. She compliments your hair, your skin, your anything. And before you know it, you're inside a glitzy cosmetics store spending your month's salary.

Businessmen call it "a hard sell." But the City of Miami Beach calls it a code violation. And in the past three years, inspectors have slapped a trio of cosmetics companies with thousands of dollars in fines for the questionable practice.

The companies, however, insist they are simply exercising their constitutional right to free speech. Now they've turned the tables on the city by suing in federal court.


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Should Biscayne National Park Limit Fishing To Save Coral Reefs?

Categories: Flotsam

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Photo from nps.gov

Biscayne National Park isn't just one of South Florida's crown natural jewels, its pristine waters are also a favorite of fisherman around the world. But decades of pollution and overfishing have wreaked havoc on the park's reef fish and coral habitats.

Now the park is proposing a drastic change to fix the problem -- banning all fishing in one section of the park. It's an idea that's stirred fervent opposition from fishing groups, but park officials say it's still on the table.


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New Task Force to Crack Down on Drunk Boating in Miami-Dade

Categories: Flotsam

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Photo by Kristin Bjornsen
On the night of July 4, a 32-foot Contender (left) struck a 36-foot Carrera (right) and then another boat, killing four.
After a summer that has seen the area's deadliest spate of boating accidents in recent memory -- and just a few days ahead of the upcoming Labor Day weekend -- numerous county agencies announced at a press conference yesterday that they were forming a new task force aimed at cracking down on drunk boating in South Florida.

"It's a way to tighten up enforcement, ensuring that folks are not boating under the influence," Mike Hernandez, chief spokesperson for county mayor Carlos Gimenez, told Riptide.

See also: DJ Laz and the Dinner Key Boating Disaster: Too Many Watery Deaths

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Crocodile Bites Two in Coral Gables Canal, Makes History

Categories: Flotsam

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Courtesy of National Park Service via Wikimedia Commons
Two local residents are recovering after a crocodile bit them early Sunday morning in Coral Gables.

And now they're famous: "This is the first time that we've ever had a crocodile bite a human being in the United States," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) spokesman Jorge Pino told the Miami Herald.

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Dinner Key Tragedy Hero: "I Didn't Even Realize There Were Two Bodies On Board"

Categories: Flotsam

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Photo by Kristin Bjornsen
Four were killed and several seriously injured in the Fourth of July Dinner Key boating tragedy, when a 32-foot Contender powerboat slammed into the side of a 36-foot Carrera. But the carnage might actually have been worse if not for the heroic response of a marine tow crew, which was among the first on the crash scene and brought the circling, unmanned Contender under control in the dark water.

Now Vincent Morenza, a crew member on the Atlantis Marine Towing and Salvage boat, tells Riptide -- in his first interview about that night -- that he and the boat's captain, Burt Korpela, had watched the fireworks from the water; they were relaxing and waiting for the usual rush back to shore to end when they heard chaotic calls about the crash over the VHF radio. When they arrived on the scene less than five minutes later, Morenza glimpsed through the darkness a boat going in circles around 25 or 30 mph, barely lit, and with its stereo on full blast.

"Man, it was eerie," Morenza says.

See also: DJ Laz and the Dinner Key Boating Disaster: Too Many Watery Deaths

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Pelican Harbor Wreck Leads To Sixth Boating Death in Biscayne Bay This Summer

Categories: Flotsam

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This weekend saw yet another death in a summer of tragedy on Biscayne Bay.

Around 4:45 p.m. yesterday 39-year-old Jose Daniel Napoles was killed after the boat he was driving crashed into a pier at a small island across from Pelican Harbor then catapulted into a seawall, Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jorge Pino tells Riptide.

"We don't know why, but he ended up colliding with the dock on the island side, which caused him to go unconscious," Pino says.

See also: DJ Laz and the Dinner Key Boating Disaster: Too Many Watery Deaths

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