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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Celebrating Merrie Christmas Park

Saturday's Merrie Christmas Park picnic ended up being a very fun event. The weather was perfect and a lot of the neighbors came out from Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, across LeJeune Road. After a year and a half, the toxins are gone. I joked and asked if I could lick the dirt, I was assured that I could. But I didn't.
Commission 2 candidate Ken Russell, threw the party and he invited the other seven candidates out to enjoy the picnic. When we arrived, including Ken, there were four candidates enjoying the day. At left is Ken and Seth Sklarey, upper right is Grace Solares and bottom right, Javier Gonzalez. Each one is hoping for your vote. The Sarnoffs had stopped by earlier for a bit.

Grove artist Lisa Remeny and Grove PR man Seth Gordon enjoyed the great food that was brought, all pot luck-style. There were two cakes, this one large one to celebrate the clean-up of the park and a smaller one for Eva, Ken's daughter, who was one year old on Saturday.

This is only a fraction of the people present, all lined up for a group shot.

I asked the four candidates present the same questions - if they didn't think that eight people would be dividing the vote too much. They all felt that it will bring more voters out, with each one bringing their own fans to vote. But every one of them did lament the fact that in the last election, only a small group of people actually went out and voted, so that could be a problem.

The candidates I spoke with, are for slow growth in Coconut Grove, and they don't like what they are seeing. They don't feel that the non-stop building is good for the neighborhood. There will be more of these events I'm sure and we'll bring them to you when they happen.

When we left, Ken was with his family celebrating Eva's birthday, Seth was on his bike, Javier was throwing the football around with the neighborhood kids and Grace was chatting at a picnic table. It was a nice event and these are all decent, likable people. 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already miss the old Christmas tree park lol

April 05, 2015 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've met Javier and Ken also looks cool. After 10 years as an "activist" living in the Grove, I might vote for the first time, as much as I am allergic to "politics"..

Many votes will be easily decided: whomever looks the most anti-system, anti-Sarnoff, just for kicks. We know the City Hall System and politics as usual will prevail, huge Economic intere$t$, as always, but a good thing or 2 may come out of it.

April 05, 2015 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever looks the most anti Sarnoff will win the Grove vote; and lose the election. Bashing Sarnoff in this race is about as pathetic as a Republican running for dog catcher in some small town in North Florida and bashing Obama.

How do they plan to slow growth when most of the growth is private? Tell someone they can't build on property they purchased? How are they going to sell that to the business community in the Grove that is set to prosper when the new condos are completed. Such myopic comments are evidence that there is still room for one or two more candidates who have a true vision for the district.

April 05, 2015 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:17 The law should apply to developers, businesses, politicians and individuals equally. Why should Miami21 be applied selectively? Is this a city of laws or otherwise?

April 05, 2015 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For many of us in the Grove the issue is not WHAT gets built. It's the secretive, dirty money-driven process that fuels it. I have nothing against a developer who plays by the rules and builds what makes economic sense for them. I may not like the project but understand that I have chosen to life in a growth-oriented city and that growth accompanies all the good things I like....such as arts facilities, etc. Plus I am a former banker and totally understand economics and property rights. Efforts to portray all these other candidates as "anti-growth" is just a lie and another Sarnoff ploy to deflect attention away from his miserable track record of acting against the public interest in secret purely to advance the interests of his lobbyist friends. And this is all relevant because no one...absolutely NO ONE - thinks for an instant that Mrs. Sarnoff would be anything but false front for Sarnoff's 3rd term...and preparation for the 4th...

April 05, 2015 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want to run? Why so many candidates? If not for $$, as a lucrative job (plus "incentives"..) and for that power/fame trip many seem to crave?

One would think all these new / old candidates know what the City Hall system is, and what their enormous limitations would be if elected.. $pecial interest$, bureaucracy and politics-as-usual Rule. We all know that, here or in Washington.

Most qualified, honest, true Grovites wouldn't sacrifice themselves for such a murky job.. if they didn't want the $$$ or fame/power trip. Ask people like Michele Niemeyer why: who in all honesty and with the best altruistic intentions would want all that crap when their hands are mostly tied anyway. Nah,, thanks. Most of us would rather be poor and happily unknown.

April 05, 2015 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you have any evidence of Sarnoff's "miserable track record of acting against the public interest..."?

And most of these candidates have portrayed themselves as "anti growth," with little help from others. Just read some of their open letters to Tom.

Some of commenters make him out to Nixonian proportions which makes it REAL hard for me, and others, to believe any of the over the top accusations against him.

April 05, 2015 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:40pm Don't fool yourself, there are loads and loads of the "miserable track record of acting against the public interest..." Only one example is the 5am 3am bar closing which led to closing of scores of businesses and hundreds of jobs only because of a stupid pissing fight between two or three grown ups and in the end a concession of some sort to guarantee the result of last election. And he likes to say "this is a land of opportunities not a land of guarantees"

April 05, 2015 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Really? Hundreds of jobs? Scores of businesses? Your hyperbole aside, as a resident of the Grove I support the 3am bar closing. I also support his no vote on Marlin stadium, an important vote that the anti Sarnoff crowd loves to ignore.

So that was it? The 3am bar closing is worthy of the over the top and hysterical "miserable track record of acting against the public interest...?

You've proven my point. I'm done.

April 05, 2015 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What 3am? Mr. Moe's was given the 5am back to drop campaigning in the last election, the ONLY 5am to be given back. What Marlin vote? He voted for it, are you talking about the first vote or the second vote, it is the second one that counts and you're trying to hide.
You have no case baby that's why you're done.

April 05, 2015 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarnoff's "NO" vote on the Marlin's stadium was a complete fraud. He voted "no" only when his vote wasn't needed to approve the item on a 3-2 vote. But when it came back for another vote that required a super-majority...and all he had to do to show he wasn't just posing with the first vote was vote "no" again. That would have killed the ballpark. But he didn't. He voted "YES" and it was HIS vote that gave the green light to the disastrous ballpark deal.

April 05, 2015 9:22 PM  
Anonymous al crespo said...

I've reposted my August 5, 2013 story of how Sarnoff really voted on the Marlin's Stadium deal, including the transcripts of the Special City Commission meetings. He was against it, until he voted for it, and no matter how many times and how many ways he tries to deny that he was responsible for that stadium being built, his was the critical vote that DID allow that project to go forward.

April 06, 2015 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



April 06, 2015 11:03 PM  

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