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The only place for Coconut Grove, FL News, Views & Opinions - Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cider & Mead Festival is back for year two

Last year's inaugural event.

Kush Hospitality is having their 2nd Annual Cider & Mead Festival at Spillover on Saturday June 9, from 3 to 7 pm. You may remember the event last year at the Mayfair Promenade. If I remember right, it was a rainy day, yet hundreds of people came out to enjoy the event. Its the only one of its kind in South Florida.

Admission is free and the cider and meads from local brewers are free.

"In-Cider-Fest is our annual event celebrating Spillover’s anniversary and focuses on craft cider, mead and seafood. Brands will have tent space and be pouring free tastings to all," says Cristy Cernuda, marketing director of Spillover.

The free event is open to the public and friendly to dogs and kids. They’ll have craft cocktails, fresh shucked oysters, oyster shooters and fresh caught seafood available for purchase, also live music will be provided by Shake 108 a.k.a. 107.9 FM. 

Who’s pouring: 
Accomplice  
Barcode Meadery 
Broski Ciderworks 
Cigar City Cider & Mead
Garagiste
Green Bench Ciders & Meads 
Odd Elixir Meadworks
Slim Pickens 

"And we may have more distributors join in to represent and pour other cider and mead brands. The list above is confirmed to be in attendance," says Cristy.

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Home by Gigi coming to Main Highway

Chef Sebastian Fernandez with Gigi Alibhai, owner of Home by Gigi.

Home by Gigi is a new restaurant opening above Smooshies candy store at 3413 Main Highway. I met with Sebastian Fernandez, the chef of the new place. You may remember Sebastian from 33 Kitchen a couple of years ago on Commodore Plaza. The Gigi in the name is Gigi Alibhai, owner of Smooshies and the restaurant. Jean Carlos Tejada is the manager of the restaurant.

Sebastian is busy man, opening restaurants in Little Havana, part of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival and just announced he'll reincarnate 33 Kitchen at Time Out Market, South Beach's new food hall. And here we have him back in the Grove.


Home by Gigi has a sandwich shop downstairs and a sit down restaurant upstairs. They are working toward a June 4 opening day, where you can start out  with breakfast, and get lunch, too. No dinner currently, but they will rent the upstairs for private dinner events. They will be open from 8 am to 5 pm daily.

The place is bright and airy with large semi-circle windows looking out onto Main Highway, there are tables upstairs, downstairs and outside - lots of seating.  The place is eclectic, I don't know why, but it reminds me of the islands for some reason, you know, like maybe Guadeloupe or St. Johns. Maybe it's the wicker, maybe the hot air balloons hanging from the ceiling.

The breakfast menu consists of eggs, granola, oatmeal, avocado toast, french toast, fresh pancakes and more. Prices start at $6 for the oatmeal and go up to $13 for the French toast. Pancakes are $12, Granola is $7, Two eggs any style are $11.



Salads include shrimp, salmon, chicken and beef. There is a Watermelon Salad ($9), Kale and Quinoa ($14), Burrata ($16) and more.

Pastas include Tigliatelle al vongole ($17) and Rigatoni and meat balls ($18).

Main dishes include salmon, pan roasted branzino, steak and frites, roasted half chicken, mini sliders and there are lots of slides including mac and cheese and veggies.

Sandwiches, all served with a side salad start at $8 for country grilled cheese and go up to prosciutto for $13. There is tuna or chicken salad, ham and cheese, a steak sandwich and more.

They will offer a soup of the day and there are plenty more great things on the menu.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Bringing back our old fashioned 4th of July

In 2009, 2010, 2011, around that time, we had a Coconut Hunt here in Coconut Grove. For a few weeks maybe months before, we would meet on Friday nights at the Windisch-Hunt Gallery and we would paint the Coconuts. We had pizza and wine and it was a big thing. People would come out and participate each week, it was fun and well thought out and planned.

The big thing at first was getting the coconuts. I believe we painted 400 more or less. The City was a big help, when their trees were being trimmed around City Hall and South Bayshore Drive, they would save us the coconuts and we would get them and bring them over to gallery.


Kids came, parents came, a few of the local news reporters came on various Friday nights and we painted coconuts. Some were too nice to use in the hunt, they were real works of art, so we held them back.

Anyway, I usually went out early on the 4th of July and spread them around town. I would go with a friend or two and we would try to disguise them so people didn't know what was going on. We would put them in piles of trash and wheel them from place to place making believe were were going to the dump or something. People would want to know why we were wheeling trash around the village so early in the morning.


The hunt fit in around the CocoWalk hot dog eating contest after the Barnacle picnic but before the fireworks. We even had Lucie and Desi one year, too. We had Cirque du Grove on our streets for a couple of years.  It was a full day in the Grove then. We had lots of great prizes, too - hotel stays, bicycles, Grove Bucks and so many more great things.

I was thinking we should bring it back this 4th of July, with all the new construction going on in the Grove we would have so many new hiding places. In the past it was just stores and restaurants, now we can go up 20 or 30 stories and hide coconuts in penthouses or in the round windows of the new hotel going up or in the many construction cranes up all over the village. We can tuck some behind the boots on car tires or maybe on the chains between the tow trucks and the cars they are towing.

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Are we being scammed by the city over parking?

I received this anonymously from a "John Smith."

Good Afternoon Tom,

The corruption in the City of Miami profits from parking whether people pay or not and some of these money grab tactics are illegal. 

The city of Miami has woven themselves into the private parking industry and parking enforcement industry via booting and towing for over a decade.  The city has their hands into all 3 of these industries to ensure that they profit from citizens parking in the city on private property no matter what happens to them.  Through the private parking operators, the City profits 15% of the gross revenue from every private parking facility located within the city.  This has significantly increased rates on citizens and tourist parking a vehicle within the City. The purpose of the Miami Parking surcharge tax is to lower the ad valorem real estate tax which obviously it has not done. Instead it is simply a money grab by the City and just raised the parking rates on our citizens and visitors.

If a citizen fails to pay for parking the city makes a greater profit off the enforcement of private parking. The City makes about 15-20 times more off a violation than if the patron was to actually pay to park and this fee is more than a parking ticket in the city of Miami.   If a violator of a private facility is booted, the city says it is entitled to $25 of the $89 boot contractors fee.  The city of Miami is currently trying to change this to limit the amount of booting in the city under the guise that this is better for the residents and guest of our city. Unfortunately, these changes will virtually eliminate this industry and force private operators to use towing to remove the violators.    If a vehicle is towed from private property, the City receives a $30 administration fee on top of the $101 initial towing rate.  In addition to being more expensive to the violator, you will have to take a cab/uber to a not so nice area of town to retrieve your car.  Obviously the city has more to gain financially if a car does not pay and is towed than any other means of enforcement.  

In addition to the corruption outlined above, the city has created for themselves a huge legal liability as they had a $25 "boot administration fee" being paid to them for over a decade.  Administration fees to a city can only cover the cost of administration of that particular program or industry.  In recent public commission meetings over the last several months, the city has stated that they don't know what the cost of administering this industry is and they had no administrative costs previously. They are currently trying to put together a program and decide on the cost to administer this program/industry.  In many case law studies throughout the United States, when an administrative fee is not used for its intended purposes, it has been deemed by the courts and illegal tax.  We know the city has had no costs associated with this fee because they admittedly had no administration.  They have said that the revenue from the fee has gone to the City of Miami general fund which automatically deems it an illegal tax.


The booting industry is asking for an immediate refund of their illegally taxed revenue from the city or they are going to file suite.   

If you have any other questions regarding this we will be happy to be an anonymous source through this email.

I would highly recommend reaching out to the booting companies regarding this.

AR Booting -  305-333-1812
Advanced Booting Services - 770-650-0659
Elite Booting -  888-578-2668

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Season finale for MKTPlace

The last MKTPlace of the season is Saturday, May 19 from 11 am to 6 pm.

You know, that's the little market at the corner of Grand and Douglas, that has all the local favs you desire, prepared foods like Ribs, fruit, veggies,drinks, smoothies and lots of neighbors to mix and mingle with.


There is live music, too.


It's at the Goombay Plaza, 3685 Grand Avenue.


They will be back for phase 2 in the fall, so stop by this Saturday to get the best before they close for the season.


For info: info@mktplacemiami.com


Photos courtesy MKTPlace

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Clarifying my comments on the BID

Nicole Singletary
I wanted to clarify yesterday's article on the BID.

What I was trying to say is that I felt that Nicole Singletary, the current BID director, was probably the only one I have ever heard from the BID inviting neighbors and residents to be a part of the conversation.

I guess I let the past years and my own personal experiences get the best of me and it got in the way of the message.

Basically, Nicole is being inclusive; in the past it was a closed old boys network, it wasn't supposed to be, but that's what it was.

I like everyone who is associated with the BID now and I was encouraged by Nicole's invitation to residents.

Nicole told me, "Please note residents can be part of the BID Board and Committees. Per our bylaws, the Commissioner has the ability to appoint anyone who lives, works and owns property in Miami-Dade County to the board and committees. In fact, we have residents on both our board and committees."

So that's that.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

New Hotel for Commodore Plaza

From the Metronomic website

The parking lot next to Greenstreet Cafe is slated to become a hotel. But nothing has been finalized yet and the announcement may be premature.

The Arts & Minds school property has also been sold. Talk is that an office building is going in there.

The hotel is called Commodore Place, located at 3102 Commodore Plaza.

From their website:


"Commodore Place is a new mixed-use edifice planned for completion in late 2019, located in heart of Coconut Grove, Miami, FL within the Commodore Plaza retail, shopping and entertainment corridor. Commodore Place will offer a  Class “A” retail venue boutique B&B hotel residences. Commodore Place is uniquely positioned, as it will be the only building providing hotel lodging within the Commodore Plaza shopping and entertainment corridor. Commodore Place is conveniently located walking distance to the iconic CocoWalk Shopping Plaza, Theatres, Downtown Coconut Grove, Miami City Hall, parks, marina, and all that Coconut Grove, Miami has to offer. The Brickell Financial and Entertainment District and Downtown Miami are within a 10-minute drive. "

The owner is Metronomic, the same people behind the GroveBeautiful group. Again, nothing has been finalized. 


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Bidding Adieu to the BID?

Tuesday's meeting at the Sailing Club

Grove 2030 had a forum Tuesday night, regarding the Coconut Grove BID called, "Bidding Adieu?: The Once and Future Coconut Grove Business Improvement District."

The BID is up for renewal, after having a 10 year run. Members of the BID were present to answer questions along with some folks from the city and also our district Commissioner Ken Russell, who is chairman of the BID.


The main gist of the meeting seemed to be residents wanting to take part in the BID, but alas, it's a business group - the Business Improvement District and the property owners in the Center Grove assess themselves to support the BID. Residents do not pay into it and the BID covers basically 18 blocks in the Central Business District. But residents feel that the small group and small area, affects the much larger area, meaning the residential areas.


Nicole Singletary, current BID director, admitted that they don't engage the community and most people are not even sure of what they do. I have tried over the years to engage with them but they always seemed to be a closed secret society. 


There was a time when people were thrown off boards and committees for speaking their minds. They were just gone in the middle of the night. Sort of a hit job. I think things have changed now that we have a new commissioner and new administration at the BID and those dark, slimy days are over.

I was removed from their email list years ago and to this day am not a part of that. I was told once by a lady who worked there, "Tom, you are not a merchant, you are not getting back on the mailing list." One day I'll tell you the story of how evil they were. Maybe I can have people send in their "me too" stories of how they were mistreated and shunned.


I bring this up because at the Tuesday meeting, Nicole said that anyone can come to the meetings and speak. That is how residents can get their issues heard according to Nicole. Residents may not be a part of the committees and pay into the BID, but they can be heard and they can sit in on meetings. The BID is a government organization that operates under the Sunshine Law. I have not found that to be the case over the years. In the past it was a small circle of bullies who controlled everything, Boss Tweed style, if you spoke up, you were banished, but hopefully these days things are different.

I'm happy to say that after all these years I am still standing (cue the Elton John song) and those bullies who felt they were all that, are long gone and forgotten.

Please note: I believe Nicole about the residents being able to participate in the BID, I am not questioning her sincerity, and I believe that the current BID crew and our commissioner are excellent people, I am just saying that it was not like this in the past.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

You can't win

I received this from a reader, I told him I would keep him anonymous, although he didn't ask me to. Now they are booting scooters. I didn't even know they made boots that small!




Tom,

Was reading yesterday's article on towing on The Vine and wanted to send you this photo.

My scooter was booted last Friday night after happy hour at the Sandbar. Parked in the dirt at the old Fudruckers parking lot. Got booted. Been parking there for 7 years just about every Friday. I drive scooter to save gas, be energy efficient, easy to park, doesn't take up a parking space, but my scooter gets treated like a car anyway. 

Travel all over Europe and scooters are everywhere, by necessity, but in Miami? Go screw yourself and your scooter.

Courtesy of Advanced Booting Systems: Notice the threat (see warning image below) that I was 'under surveillance' how friendly, charming and Grove-like. If I was a business owner I'd be furious that this is what customers can now expect when coming to the Grove. With the rents they pay I don't know why they would bother with this place. Rows of empty storefronts, valets taking up spaces, constant construction and now booting and towing. Jeez!

Long time Grover who is totally disgusted. As for your article, keep up the great work. These are real quality of life issues.



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'Turning the Tables for Paws' raises $55,000

Ann Rubino, Teresa Giudice, Kathy Cowan, Rita Schwartz

Paws4You, a Miami-based, non-profit animal rescue organization whose mission is to save dogs from euthanasia at Miami-Dade Animal Services, raised $55,000 at its first casino-themed charity event, “Turning the Tables for Paws,” held on May 12, at The Cruz Building in the Grove. 

The fundraiser, presented by Swiss luxury watch and jewelry manufacturer Chopard, featured special guest Teresa Giudice one of the The Real Housewives of New Jersey, who is also a New York Times best-selling cookbook author. Teresa greeted guests and signed special copies of her latest book, “Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again." No tables were flipped at this event, and there were plenty on hand - gaming tables that is.



Ann and Frank Rubino

Guests were also greeted by the organization’s rescue pooches upon arrival. Once inside the venue, along the red carpet and step and repeat, attendees enjoyed a “Doggie Bar” sponsored by Chopard with doggie treats, a silent auction with dozens of items, casino games and libations. Live entertainment took place throughout the evening including a Phantom of the Opera-inspired performance. As guests made their way up the majestic marble staircase to the second floor, they tried their luck in other casino games, including blackjack and roulette.


The auction
Carlos and Ed Baez
The gaming tables.
Ed Baez, Tracy Beyer, Dr. Erik Beyer, Carlos Baez, Teresa Giudice
Jacey Birch, Norma Jean Abraham, Pietro Bonacossa, Carol Caridad, Alexandra Ramos
Norma Jean Abraham and guests
The affair continued on the third floor, where Emmy Award-winning journalist, Cynthia Demos, emceed a riveting live auction where guests bid on prizes such as a limited-edition, rose gold Chopard timepiece and original artwork from French B’s never-before-seen collection. Guests further bid in the name of charity by participating in a silent auction for a chance to win exclusive prizes including a private Porsche driving experience, a 7-day Caribbean cruise for two on Norwegian Cruise Line and shopping certificate from Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as entered a grand prize raffle to win a flat-screen TV.

To kick back and relax after the high-stakes games and auctions, there was an upscale cigar lounge and complimentary shoe shine services. Guests were also treated to complimentary cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and tunes throughout the night.

Proud sponsors of Paws4You’s “Turning the Tables for Paws” fundraiser included: Chopard, BB&T, Paul M. Cowan & Associates, French B, C. Parker Family Charitable Trust of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, and Miami philanthropist, Norma Jean Abraham.

Funds raised at “Turning the Tables for Paws” will directly benefit Paws4You Rescue’s efforts.

Rudy Kranys, Teresa Giudice, Lois Russell

Photos by Gabriel Bancora


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Discussing the Grove BID at town forum

There is a Grove 2030 Forum tonight, Tuesday, May 15 at the Sailing Club. It's called, "Bidding Adieu?: The Once and Future Coconut Grove Business Improvement District."
From parks to parking to promoting special events, the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District – the “BID” – influences village life in myriad ways for residents and visitors alike. City leaders are now discussing how, if at all, the BID’s structure and governance should change under a new charter, in 2019. 

Grove 2030 and the Coconut Grove Village Council invite you and your neighbors to a community forum to learn what, exactly, the BID does, who funds it, how it operates, and how residents may have a say in the BID policies and programs that impact their community. 

Audience feedback will be encouraged to help officials shape the outcome of the BID’s re-charter application.

The Coconut Grove sailing club is at 2990 South Bayshore Drive. The meeting is at 6 pm.

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A visit with friends at Florentine Plaza

As I was writing about the Bookstore and their Kitchen/restaurant's move to Florentine Plaza last week, I got to thinking of all the businesses that were and are at the plaza and I realized that they are all mom and pop stores. Through all the changes and businesses that have been in and out, things seemed to have finally settled down.

I do miss Blue Moon Studio of Art, Brenda's Boutique and Silverado and The Olfactory and the Sale Rack - all great businesses that were a big part of our community, but right now, we have some really great places at Florentine Plaza, which is at the corner of Main Highway and Fuller Street.

Above is probably the oldest resident, or one of the oldest - that's Danny Lovett with Haydee at Revolution Bicycle Services.  I think Celestial Treasures is probably there just as long. Everyone passes through the plaza to get to Danny to buy bicycles or have them repaired. With all the parking and towing and booting turmoil going on around town, he has the best advice, he always tells me that Grovites should be riding their bikes to and from the Center Grove and never driving cars.



Here is Alicia Kossick at the Polished Coconut, where you can probably find anything gift and home related. That's her friend Patrick with Alicia, he provides coconuts for the fresh cold coconut water which tourists love.


Wally and Katherine Milham are with Cherry, the poodle and Miles. They own the Coconut Grove Store, which is loved by tourists, but also locals, who love the Coconut Grove branded goodies from hats to t-shirts and so much more. Stop in, check them out, they are on the Main Highway side, right next to the Polished Coconut.
The Plaza is a bit quiet now, but the Bookstore will be adding tables and before you know it, there will be people hanging out night and day. Consider this for your new hang out spot.


Florentine Plaza is slated for renovation, there is no start date on that yet but it seems to be a bit off into the future, so the quaintness of the place is still here.
Cherry and Miles have play dates with Danny and Haydee. It's one big happy family.

I walked around and think I got most if not all of the businesses that are there now from the Fuller Street side, across from Barracuda Bar & Grille, to the plaza side:

Revolution Bicycle Service
Polished Coconut
The Coconut Grove Store
M Hair Salon
Celestial Treasures
Lovely Pets Boutique
Golden Bar Boutique
Buddha Shack

Grove Fine Art
Azul clothing
Isabel Riera clothing
Ramona La Rue clothing
Terry Jacobs Make-up Studio

The Bookstore&Kitchen

Did I leave anyone out?

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Village Council meets Friday

The next meeting of the Coconut Grove Village Council will is Friday, May 18, 6:30 pm, at Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive, the public is invited.

Discussion Items:
Public Comment limited to 2 minutes
a. Proposed changes to the NCD
b. Recap of 5/15/18 BID Meetin

Coconut Grove annexation of the OMNI CRA Resolution – Next Steps
Follow up on Colzie Co-name.

New Business
City interim budget amendment meeting.

The meeting will also be live-streamed from their Facebook page.




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Monday, May 14, 2018

Tweets you might have missed

Some tweets you might have missed this weekend.



I thought the flowers were free. But it was a Mother's Day Mattress sale instead. Even better.


Did they bother to even look out the window? #FalseNews

Fun event, sure to be more.

Looks delish.

The tweet that started it all.

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Is better public transportation the answer?

Someone left a comment on the Call to Action post. It was anonymous, unfortunately, so I cannot give them credit, but I do like what they had to say.
Walking, biking, and ride-share are the future of the Grove NOT additional parking spaces. Like protests against residential and retail development and rejuvenation in the Grove, bemoaning the lack of and disappearing parking seems to be an outdated "older generation" view of how things should be in the Grove. The truth is that with Uber and Lyft so cheap and convenient, there really is no need for anyone to drive a few miles to the Grove from wherever they are coming. In fact, taking a ride-share will in most cases be even cheaper than paying for parking. The younger generations realize that and are ditching driving their own cars into the Grove for these ride-share programs or even biking it. Increased residential density, particularly along Grand Avenue, will also help create a captive body of residents/consumers that help keep our Village Center thriving. I bet if you asked most people under the age of 40, they would prefer to see most parking spaces filled in and replaced with curbside dining and retail. Coral Gables got it and built the incredible Giralda Plaza. Why can't we do the same? Maybe we can even build a pedestrian plaza on Fuller Street? Arguing about maintaining and adding parking is a thing of the past. Let's embrace a more walkable less driver-centric Village Center. 
It is true, that cities are seeing less car ownership and more bicycle riders and public transportation like Uber, trolleys, and trains/subways. I don't agree with turning parking spaces into curbside dining as we still do need parking even if a majority of people give up their cars.

We have the Freebee service, but it doesn't cover the whole Grove so it really is not servicing everyone and the free trolley service gets worse by the day. It started out so great, but it's slow and the wait times are horrendous. Perhaps if they improved the service it would help tremendously with the lack of parking because more people might take the trolley.

Maybe all that money collected over the years from the parking waiver program can go to more and better public transportation including adding another trolley, which would improve wait times. To me sometimes the trolley and the Freebee service seem like an afterthought and not really planned or thought out; sort of like throwing a bone to the public. But if the parking and traffic and booting and towing problems are all going to be solved, maybe it all begins with proper public transportation.

I find it interesting that when I interviewed Art Noriega, head of the Miami Parking Authority, in 2013, he said, "The property owners in the program are required to pay in for waivers because they cannot provide the parking as required for zoning purposes."  BUT HE IS THE ONE WHO SOLD OFF THE PARKING GARAGE TO A DEVELOPER, who looked me in the eye and told me he would keep his newly acquired parking garage open because he would use it for "cash flow," which of course was a lie.

Read that quote again: "They are required [to pay the waiver fees] because they cannot provide parking required for zoning purposes."  Talk about taxation without representation. Wasn't there a revolt over that 200 or so years ago? 

How are the businesses supposed to provide parking in today's hostile environment, isn't that the city's job? And zoning is all screwed up because it allows buildings to be built with little or no parking as part of their structure. So how can he say current zoning requires that businesses pay for non-existent parking? The garage was sold, a parking lot is now three huge structures at the bank lot, sidewalks have widened, taking valuable parking spaces away and valet services and loading zones have also eliminated many street parking spaces. In the meantime, structures are going up all over the village without any parking requirements attached to them.

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

A couple of hours of pop-art at a pop-up

Terry and Terry - Terry Ferrer, left, with Glenn Terry.

The GlassHaus condo is holding a pop-up art event featuring artist Terry Ferrer in a one man, two hour show, on Thursday, May 17 from 5 to 7 pm.

Stop by and meet Terry and enjoy lite bites and wine. Free valet parking.


Terry's work ranges from tongue-in-cheek and pure unadulterated fun to stylish and satirical. His art prompts the viewer to examine their own perspectives. 

"Pop art is cheerful, dealing with bold colors, fun subjects and wild design. Pop art is typically an uplifting experience that might just bring a smile to your face," says Terry.

The GlassHaus showroom is at 3156 SW 27 Avenue.

Please RSVP to sales@glasshauscondo.com 

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A call to action regarding our parking problems

Sylvano Bignon, sent out a Call to Action on Friday. What he says here is quite interesting and I think it finally had to be said by one of the business owners. Sylvano owns Greenstreet Cafe and Lulu.

I write from the residents' and visitors' perspectives all the time when it comes to parking issues. I see it from a person who needs to find parking. But what about the people who run businesses who depend on people finding parking so that they can visit their businesses?

I found it interesting that at a bike tour last week, one of the owners of the new hotel going up on McFarlane Road told guests of the bike tour, that Uber was the answer to their lack of parking spaces at the hotel. I think that is wishful thinking and I think that the hotel should have been required to have enough parking as part of their project.

Here is Sylvano's Call to Action:

Today, Friday May 11, 2018 at 1 pm, there was,

No parking spaces available at The Grove Playhouse Parking lot, it is full.
No parking spaces available in front of valet stations.
No parking spaces available parking lot next to Greenstreet.
No parking spaces available at the Knife/Florentine Plaza parking lot.
No monthly passes available for workers in the Center Grove!

and we have guests who had made reservations making U turns because they cannot find parking spaces.

We lost at least 600 parking spaces during the last 24 months:
Engle building parking: 60 spaces
Coconut Grove Bank parking lot: 160 spaces
Car wash storage on Grand avenue: 40 spaces
Mary street parking/Oak Street garage: 388 spaces.

We are going to lose much more in the very near future:
Most of the Knife parking lot.
The parking next lot to Greenstreet.

More development coming is on the way:

- The School [Arts and Minds] on Commodore Plaza is to become an office building.
- Don Quixote/Chicago restaurant space is under renovation to open a 6000 square ft restaurant.
- Mr. Moe's under renovation will be a new retail and restaurant.
- The new building behind Greenstreet will have a 6000 square feet restaurant, a 4000 square feet restaurant and a 5 story Office building with ONLY 24 parking spaces provided on site.
- The Addition to the Engle building will have a 125 room hotel with a roof top bar restaurant with almost no parking.
- An office building is being planned on the parking lot next to Greenstreet 
- Retail stores are planned to be built on the Knife/Florentine Plaza parking lot.
- Retail stores are being converted into restaurants, bringing more traffic.

- As we are losing parking spaces by the hundreds, we need new parking spaces by the hundreds!
- The real problem is that new buildings do not have to provide parking that cost $40,000.00 each and can buy parking waivers at $5000.00; at the same time developers are currently asking to reduce the cost of the waivers.

The BID and previously the BIC and the parking committee were created to resolve the parking issues and use the money collected by the Parking funds to built three parking garages on Mary Street, at the post office and the Playhouse.  After 20 years of collecting millions of dollars in funds, the only parking garage that was built was sold to be transformed into offices [the Oak Street Garage]

This is a call to action and a petition to address an urgent issue as there is easy solutions to reverse this unsustainable trend: 
* freeze future projects unless there is parking on site or
* raise the price of the waivers to  $45,000.00, same as the design district.

UNTIL 2 or 3 strategically located Parking Structures with a capacity of 1200 parking spaces are built.

Sylvano Bignon
Coconut Grove merchant since 1984

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PARKING WARS

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

He earned a perfect score on AP Physics exam

John Mistele
It is very rare for a student to achieve a perfect score on an Advanced Placement exam but John Mistele, a senior at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, has gotten two perfect scores in his high school career. Last year, he received a perfect score on the AP Calculus BC exam, and this year he earned a perfect score on the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam.  

In May 2017, 55,041 students took the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam. John not only received the top score of five, but was one of only three students (amounting to 0.006% of AP Physics C: Mechanics Exam takers) to earn every point possible on this difficult assessment. This makes John one of only four students to achieve the extraordinary feat of earning a perfect score on an AP Exam in both 2016 and 2017. 

John credits his physics teacher, Paul Natland for acing the exam. “He was rigorous and he really cared about his students,” says John. He says the teacher pushed all the students in his class to do difficult problems because he wanted them to really think and be prepared. “I’ve had some challenging classes, but I felt I couldn’t have been more prepared,” says John about his AP Physics C: Mechanics course. John has taken 14 AP exams during his high school career.  

John will be attending Stanford University in the fall, with the hopes of studying mathematics or computer science. His dream is to become an inventor or create software.  

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