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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

He wants Blanche Park reopened

This is an open letter sent in from a reader:

To our City of Miami/ Banana Republic of Coconut Grove officials:

Please update us on what is going on with our Blanche Park that sits closed without any obvious effort of getting it cleaned up.

The children of our neighborhood were locked out of their Blanche Park nearly a month ago so that a remediation can take place to address the contaminated soil concerns. This is prime time for beautiful late Winter/ Spring weather without all of the bugs and dizzying humidity, but of course we can all agree that our children’s health is of utmost importance. We live across the street from the park and scratch our heads with our neighbors who are trying to figure out why there has been no visible progress since the closure. We have seen workers at the park on two occasions over the course of a month; on one occasion we witnessed ONE (1) worker with a shovel....digging for his friends and co-workers perhaps, or awaiting some instruction on how/ where to begin??

When the toxic park issue was finally uncovered after decades of being buried, the City of Miami proclaimed Blanche Park was safe due to the AstroTurf which is why the park stayed open while all the other Miami toxic parks were closed. Then there were reports that the park would close to lay an extra layer of gravel below the AstroTurf in January. That time passed, the park remained open and then all of the sudden a notice appeared on the park gate notifying the neighborhood that the park would close the very next day for a period of at least 3 months for a proper park cleanup. No doubt because those on the Sarnoff Friends & Family plan figured out how to put some profit in their pockets from a proper remediation. Now we are starting to wonder if at least 3 months is code for eternity. This park remodel is said to cost in excess of $400,000. Let's hope the project is not being paid with our tax dollars at a daily or hourly rate, because that excess portion will no doubt be quite significant! As a parent, I support making the park safe by any means necessary! However, I would expect that such a park project would be attended to in a diligent manner since Blanche Park is highly depended on by the neighborhood families. Dozens of kids visit this park every single day.

Though it feels silly to expect diligence from the City and those it employs, we still remain hopeful for some progress. It's begs the question of whether the park would sit closed in this fashion with no action if it were the dog park side(?). It is very obvious that the children’s park takes the back seat to the beloved stinky dog park.

I call on my frustrated and cheated tax-paying neighbors to join together and call on our District Commissioner Sarnoff’s office to get the wheels of progress in motion.
Truly Yours,
Blanche Park Parent/ Banana Republic of Coconut Grove Resident

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a sad world we live in when dogs have a park to run around in but kids do not.

April 08, 2014 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Al Crespo said...

Dear Parent,

I would suggest that you contact Mark Spanioli, the Director of Capital Improvements:

I would ask him for the Project Number, Award Number,Award Name and the budget for the Blanche Park reclamation.

This information - if it available - should give you some idea of what is happening.

April 08, 2014 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo letter writer. bravo.

This remediation if done properly, by a diligent contractor would have taken 2 weeks max. But instead, you've probably got an insider no-bid contract from a Sarnoff campaign contributor, who will sit on the project for 2 months, before doing a half-ass job for a few weeks, and collect a pile of money.

April 08, 2014 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peacock Park has been torn apart for well over a year now. It appears that the contractor there is using the park as his or her own storage yard for equipment. It's really sad what has happened all over the Grove. It's a mess and an embarrassment.

April 08, 2014 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al, why don't you consider doing a good deed, minus your usual vulgar rants, make the call & report the results in the Grape.
I mean, you are the self appointed expert about these matters.

Secondly, to the parent(s) who wrote the letter, there are numerous other parks very close to Blanche. Remember in most urban centers many folks have no playgrounds at all, not to mention the rest of the world.

Third, You concerned parents should take some form of action; file a legal complaint for $350.00, and have you day in court. Or make you way into Blanche with appropriate tools to dismantle the playground equipment, wheel barrows to remove 2' ft. of contaminated soil placed appropriately for pick up by the City and call a sand/gravel company to fill in the void - - - - the police will respond, call Mark outside to confront him in front of FOX News, do something, anything but sit behind a keyboard and type out a few words that will get you absolutely no where!

April 08, 2014 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarnoff has a dog, not a kid.

How about we take care of all the other closed parks before we fix Sarnoff's front yard?

How about we make the parks that have more than fifty people using it a day a priority.

Peacock Park had a third of its entire length given to a private, non-taxable church. Another third closed to construction since last summer and the boardwalk at the water is locked half the time I'm down there AND I have to pay $1.50 an hour for the privilege of using what's left of the park.

Meanwhile it looks like the wealthy N. Grovites have finally felt what it's like to lose their free and open spaces. It's only been a couple months for them and they ate crying because a park that is used exclusivly for their dogs and kids only has been shut for just a couple months.

Hard times.

April 08, 2014 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except maybe bring to light the issues to a wider audience and be able to discuss courses of action among like minded individuals.

By the way, exactly what parks are nearby Blanche?

April 08, 2014 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point of writing and posting this letter is obviously to bring light to an issue that is not only important to the poster but important to neighborhood locals with the hope that people will come together and join forces to make the City of Miami accountable.

I don’t understand the reason behind nonsensical and obnoxious comments.

Anonymous poster that is angry about Peacock Park, feel free to write a similar letter and get people involved. Not sure why you are making assumptions about and have so much anger towards what you define as N. Grovites.

Anonymous poster that suggests parents remove the equipment and get arrested to get on the news. Seriously?

April 08, 2014 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To those whiz-bang Anonymous suggestions...

The rest of the world that lacks playgrounds is not the topic here…this discussion is about a park that exists thanks to my/our property tax dollars that are higher than they should be for a street that has an abandoned lot instead of a playground.

Spending $ to file a legal complaint to perhaps get a court date some months or years from now sounds like a phenomenal idea; only to be outdone by the idea of getting arrested at a kiddie park so as to have the opportunity to rant like a crazy hand-cuffed loser for the local news cameras.

Sarnoff owning a dog, and not a kid, is no doubt a prime reason the kiddie park takes a backseat to the dog park. To note however; Sarnoff prefers to let his dog roam without leash in the early morning hours around the grassy area surrounding the kiddie park (vs. inside the dog park), and he does not pick up after his dog - it is a disgusting despicable act on his part, but what else should we expect.

The Blanche park for kids is home to many dozens of kids every single day and cannot be compared to Peacock park which serves a completely different purpose, seemingly to help generate tremendous revenue for the city at an astounding rate of $1.50/hour.

The comment about “wealthy N. Grovites” is really ignorant and sad, a comment that no doubt comes from a jealous childless reader who is incapable of imagining that some people work very hard so they may afford to live on streets where their children have a fun safe place to play with the neighbors’ kids. Blame us for having a wealth of happiness & love for our kids and pride for the streets we live on, and leave it at that.

April 08, 2014 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"By the way, exactly what parks are nearby Blanche?"

None. That anonymous is just being a troll.

Be glad Peacock Park still has a boardwalk. The high school kids who smoke weed out there in the morning before class starts just love hanging out there.

April 08, 2014 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this Sarnoff guy really this hated? If so why don't you people vote him out?

There should be a park for children, even though I don't have any, just like there should be a park for dogs, even though I don't have any. Why make it sound like the dog parks take away from children's parks? And what about all of us taxpayers who don't have children or pets and want to enjoy the parks, should we have parks for adult recreation? I thought all parks are for all people.

And BTW, dog parks are a good thing, because no one want dogs to be off leash at the parks.

April 08, 2014 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN! The world is an adult theme park, and Miami is Disneyland for adults :)

And yes, Sarnoff is THAT hated (by those who know better), but he has far too many brainwashed cronies that vote for him unfortunately.

April 08, 2014 2:39 PM  
Anonymous GroveGirl said...

Use your back yards, if you have one. There's Lincoln Park (tiny) and another one on Matilda. So you have to walk a little. Isn't that part of being outdoors? Peacock and Kennedy are bike ride away. Plus, weren't you all complaining about the astro turf just last year. That should be removed. It's terrible and unnatural.

April 08, 2014 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, 2:25, Sarnoff is that hated. There is no there there with that man.

The problem is that we don't vote around here and we are too fragmented to launch a candidate against him. Last coronation, we had three fragmented candidates try to oppose him. One a competent woman who didn't lift a finger for her campaign, another who I think is an arm wrestler and still another who was someone, I guess. Even with all these credible candidates absolutely nobody voted.

I am glad has a dog and not a kid. With rumors that his wife will seek his seat when he is term-limited and pensioned, I am glad that the dynasty may end.

But Commissioner Sarnoff is well disliked.
Bob C.

April 08, 2014 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look @ a map of the Grove, open your eyes & see all the parks throughout the Grove. Previously I wrote the concerned parents should contact FOX News,get a few tools, call the police on themselves, make sure Mr. Sarnoff is home and call him outside to discuss their concerns about the parks closing. Stage the entire event, create a crowd that APPEARS to besiege the park with tools illegally, but not in fact and point the cameras @ Marks home. The fact is he may have no more control over this park or the circle than U & I have overturning the U.S. Tax Code. I've had less important issues brought before the courts in less than 4 weeks - - - - if handled properly. Do something other than sit behind a keyboard and file a comment. The reason this park is "remaining" closed is because people generally don't understand how to intelligently approach a municipalities rules & regulations that do no usurp county, state & federal law. And it's not complicated as I have won 12 out of 13 cases on my own without assist from lawyers.

April 08, 2014 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Again, not sure what Sarnoff has to do with any of this. Some of the people posting on the blog are beginning to sound like crack pots, which is making the Grapevine, and the Grove, look like an unreasonable
asylum full of conspiracy theorists.

April 08, 2014 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People voted. I did. I voted for Sarnoff.

April 08, 2014 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The repeated references to FOX "news" is really funny in itself, not to mention the suggestion that we call the police on ourselves in effort to lure Sarnoff outside for an open conversation on camera because that is definitely something that a sly & despised politician would fall for.

To the blind writer -- Sarnoff has at least 1 finger in anything & everything that is 33133, but you cannot take the fight directly to him. Neighbors and I have found that the power in numbers puts enough fear into him to do the right thing; NOT filing some b.s. complaint with the courts. All it takes is enough people banding together around one common cause that gives his office enough gerd to where they finally choose to do the right thing.

April 08, 2014 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except maybe bring to light the issues to a wider audience and be able to discuss courses of action among like minded individuals.

By the way, exactly what parks are nearby Blanche?

I'm not sure what you're looking for. But...
4 blocks away is Kirk Munroe - with tennis courts and a play
around for toddlers.
Also 4 blocks away is Peacock. It's a bit of a mess but is open and available.
9 blocks away is Virrick. With basketball and also play area.
10 blocks away is Marjory Stoneman Douglas Mini Park (by my house). Small and quaint for toddlers.
16 blocks away Armbrister. Large grassy field as well as play area for toddlers.

I have 3 kids and use them all.

April 08, 2014 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A reference to FOX news is "funny". That's funny, I called FOX News just once and they covered 3 stories for me resulting in the firing of a Miami City Attorney and 2 code enforcement officers. Additionally, I refrain from words like "Lure" him outside. Lure is more towards luring children in with candy, or lure in the U.N. Soldiers and then attack them with 1-M Chinese. I'd prefer some honest straight forward questions such as "how long is this going to take". And it's only your opinion that Mr. Sarnoff has his finger in everything 33133, crap bo, no one can do that! And if you've found out that there's power in numbers then where are your numbers? Finally it is little wonder you park folks are incapable/inept at resolving this rather simple problem when you call a U.S. Court B.S.. Courts are acutely aware of the individual and the U.S.. population could never have arrived at this point in our collective history without our unique system of Courts & the armed military to carry out the will of the people. So sit there & bitch, bitch and bitch some more, crap in one hand and pray in the other & see which one fills up 1st.

April 08, 2014 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, was the original poster at the last Village Council Meeting? This issue was specifically discussed there. Feel free to reach out to Lara de Souza, Deputy Director @

I have since corresponded with her a few times and she has been helpful.


April 08, 2014 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to politicize this, but this comment (if true) is funny and sad at the same time.

"Sarnoff prefers to let his dog roam without leash in the early morning hours around the grassy area surrounding the kiddie park (vs. inside the dog park), and he does not pick up after his dog - it is a disgusting despicable act on his part"

This is in fact a violation of county code. You should record him with your phone. Then send it in to the TV stations. I'm sure they'd have fun with it.


April 08, 2014 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops typo on the spelling of "Miami". Supposed to be


April 08, 2014 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why "I THINK" the Grape is a great venue for us Grovites.
When you read enough of this stuff, & Tom is very good @ what he "LURES" "BAITS" us with you get to view a full range of the Good, Bad & Ugly, who's full of it, themselves and if they understand their options as U.S. Citizens. This park issue may or may not rest with Mr. Sarnoff, but if so who cares. Every citizen has the right & the power of the most powerful in the U.S., if that individual only has the willpower & wherewithal to look at, precisely identify the issue and explain to their court of choice how said problem affects them as individuals or as a group. Those who are offended/harmed by this closure obviously do not posses the ability to create change, to move matters along or to exercise their rights - - - - it's after all just a park issue.

April 08, 2014 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, why did you infer the writer was a "He"?

April 08, 2014 6:13 PM  
Blogger Grapevine said...

I don't write here to "bait" and "lure" comments, moderating comments honestly drives me out of my skull.

I know who the writer is, he emailed me. He's a friend.

April 08, 2014 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stand corrected about the bait & lure comment, it was sincerely intended as a compliment. Much like a pro fisherman who uses the correct bait to lure the targeted fish to win the jackpot or consume the catch.

April 08, 2014 6:20 PM  
Blogger Jrl said...

Congratulations w/ongoing respect and kudos to Al Crespo. He was the only person w/ cojones sufficient enough to put his name to his response in this lengthy blogger comment section. Tom, please take note of what gets your readers most interested and involved.

Best Regards,


April 08, 2014 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW, Good morning Vietnam!

No idea my letter would receive so much attention, though the issue certainly deserves it. Despite all of the angry kooks with unusual off-topic rants....Mission Accomplished.

April 09, 2014 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame on those that propose additional tax dollars be tied up in this stupid park debacle by dragging it into the courts or causing a scene that requires a police response. My neighbors and I have achieved success in getting countless neighborhood issues like this resolved exactly this way – by taking it to social media, getting enough people riled up, and ultimately greasing the squeaky wheels of local government by simply becoming a thorn in their side. I also know the person who wrote the original post, and know that he also contacts all local offices behind the scenes as well in an effort to get these neighborhood issues resolved without dragging lawyers & courts & cops into it. Posting on FB, Grapevine, etc. is a means to get others on the band wagon because there is strength in numbers. It is ridiculous to attack the idea that posting this in an open forum is somehow wimpy or lazy, it is exactly the way with which these ticky-tack things should be addressed & it is in fact wimpy or lazy to just ignore it or dump into the lap of our very flawed justice system. Oh yeah…..the exceedingly high level of love & trust for the local government and court system is also quite alarming, but better off just leaving that confused Anonymous writer alone with their bowls of poop and tears.

April 09, 2014 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would rally for our parks publicly, but don't for two reasons. First, every inspector in town would be at my home sent by the powers I would be fighting against. Second, I have to spend a lot of time working in order to pay my bills, which includes a huge property tax bill, which helps pay for these parks! Third, I did complain earlier about Peacock Park, but I was not the one to complain about "wealthy" North Grove residents. I really don't consider those residents, or center Grove residents to be wealthy. I think we are all the same, struggling people trying to pay our bills. We should have a right to complain about how our taxes are being misspent without persecution by our politicians and their cronies. It is because of that strong-armed tactics that these people have been deemed the "Coconut Grove Mafia".

April 09, 2014 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point about the fallout from inspectors should one go against the powers that be in this town. If you attach your name to anything that creates waves you can be sure to attract the kind of attention and trolls that have been making personal attacks towards Mr Crespo who backs up every every claim. Aparently Mr Falco has gotten on someone's nerves as well for providing a place for us to see what's going on in the Grove and comment on those events. Not only the recent influx of a couple trolls who add nothing but insults and irrelevancies to the comment but last night there was a character assassination piece posted in reddit's r/Miami page condemning both Mr Falco and all who comment on this blog.

Keep it up Tom! Your pissing off the right people when they start going after your reputation.

April 09, 2014 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 7:30 AM "My neighbors & I have resolved "COUNTLESS" neighborhood issues by using social media(s)". Really, countless is a very, very large number; the trees still got cut down, the circles are still standing, the sidewalks are torn up a lot, etc., etc., & etc.,, how about just name 5 issues that U & your neighbors have resolved by using social media! I bet you $100.00, we don't hear from you again. Do you understand why Mr. Sarnoff never, never, never responds to this stupidity?

April 09, 2014 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I believe quite firmly that The Hon. Mr. Sarnoff and his minions respond quite a bit to "this stupidity".

Bob C.

April 09, 2014 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob C., same bet $100.00, provide "PROOF" that Mr. Sarnoff & his minions respond to all the stupid remarks made by you or your minions. The park will open when it's safe and the only way to quicken the pace is to get a pick & shovel & get to work!

April 10, 2014 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took the time to prove most comments herein about Mr. Sarnoff are from dim witted misanthropes! To save money the City of Miami has deferred to Dade County & DERM who have the experts and technology to begin the research in June to determine the exact types of contaminates in this park in order to fix the problem. These experts will not be charging for these services, which is a very, very large savings to the taxpayers, so quit bitching about the cost. Wherefore, Mr. Sarnoff, nor anyone he knows has their finger in the pot, nor do they have anything to do with who does what in the way of a contract. The 2 people I talked with at Mr. Sarnoff's office knew nothing about U folks being so silly about this issue. When I read some of the comments herein on their speaker box everyone burst out in laughter.

April 10, 2014 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So......what have all the angry haters proven here exactly? That the sarnoff camp enjoys a good laugh at their neighbors' expense? Great.

April 11, 2014 2:16 PM  
Anonymous al crespo said...

What you're seeing is the Sarnoff machine deciding that they have to start fighting back to provide cover for "The Beard" to run for office.

You'll see a lot of defense of Sarnoff and his actions from now until the election next year.

I'm sure those of you who live in the grove will be able to figure out who are the ones tasked with this effort.

April 11, 2014 8:07 PM  

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