The Wooden Government of Miami Beach

THE WOODEN GOVERNMENT OF MIAMI BEACH

 
BY
DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS
 

“The noise is too loud!” “What?” “THE NOISE IS TOO LOUD!” “WHAT?” THE NOISE IS TOO DAMN LOUD! IT’S DRIVING US CRAZY!” “OH, NOISE. NO, THE NOISE IS ACCEPTIBLE BECAUSE WE HAVE PERMITTED IT!”

Noise from the trenchless drilling of the Miami Beach redundant sewer in densely populated South Beach has nearly driven people anywhere near the engines crazy.

 

The main fault is laid upon the government and not the contractors, from which we have already received illuminating comments from John English of Horizontal Technologies, an industry spokesman and consulting subcontractor to general contractor David Mancini & Sons and drillers Spartan Directional, and Hard Rock Directional:

 

“You are starting to embarrass yourself now. I have read better stuff in middle school papers. Not even sure what the article is about. I doubt they are interested in my opinion that the article is poorly written. Continue your tantrum until someone notices. I saw a young girl doing the same in a grocery store this weekend, just as annoying…”

 

Mr. English, an avid fan of Ayn Rand who quotes Atlas Shrugged on his company’s website, has compared the protection of human beings from excessive and unnecessary noise in densely populated Miami Beach to unwarranted governmental protection of birds and snails in their natural environment.


Atlas Shrugged is a novel that rationalizes selfishness. Sales of the book soared after the Enron Scandal because businessmen felt they were being unfairly prosecuted for saving the nation.

 

Mr. English said that anyone who associates noise with civil rights is an “idiot.” Since that category would include hundreds of legislators throughout the country, they are being apprised of his opinion even though he does not think it would matter to them.

 

On the other hand, he said there was room for improvement in horizontal directional drilling. Even so, he said, benefits at present far outweigh its costs.

 

Human beings may listen to recordings of the noise taken before and after the city’s wooden attempt at noise reduction:


BEFORE THE WOODEN RESPONSE


Channel 10 edited the video tape to make it appear that the city had taken “reasonable” steps. The gentleman who made that statement was himself trying to be reasonable, and was disappointed in the editing, especially after hell-on-earth continued.


The longstanding unnecessary and excessive noise was actually permitted by the city against its own ordinance, on the excuse that the construction had to be performed on an emergency basis to save the city from an imminent disaster, of being flooded with sewage. There was no imminent danger of the old sewer main bursting, as can be seen by documents offered to the city commission. This was simply another rush-to-construction project performed in accord with the Mayor Philip Levine’s “Get It Done” mission. Mayor Levine is a wealthy developer and public relations mogul. His public relations program represents him as a sort of messiah come to save the city from global warming.



AFTER THE WOODEN RESPONSE


Decibel levels were decreased by the wooden response to the complaints, but levels were still unacceptable. Imaging that you had to listen to this racket every day of the week for weeks on end.


 



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Miami Beach Officials Violate Civil Right to Freedom from Noise

http://miamimirror.blogspot.com/2016/04/miami-beach-officials-violate-right-to.html

South Beach Horizontal Drilling Noise Makes Mortal Enemies

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The Phenomenal South Beach Sewer Pullback

http://miamimirror.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-phenomenal-south-beach-sewer-pipe.html

The Licensed Marriage of Two South Beach Sewer Pipes

http://miamimirror.blogspot.com/2016/03/welding-interlude-amazing-south-beach.html

Blame the Mud Man

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Reaming and Swabbing the Amazing South Beach Redundant Sewer Tunnel

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Interview With Horizontal Drilling Expert John English

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Interview With Miami Construction Kingpin David Mancini

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The Amazing Drilling of the South Beach Redundant Sewer

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The City of Miami Beach Can Do No Wrong

 

The City of Miami Beach HEADER
Mayor Philip ‘King’ Levine

 

UNDERLYING SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY IN MIAMI BEACH

Two Section 1983 Cases Dismissed

7 April 2015

By David Arthur Walters

Section 1983 of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 provides civil redress for persons who are deprived of their civil rights by persons acting under the color of law, namely government officials and their governments or anyone else acting by their authority. Section 1985 specifically provides for the award of damages to persons deprived of the equal protection of the laws by two or more conspirators.

The history of complaints brought under the acts forged by the 42nd Congress at the close of the Civil War demonstrates that courts would rather not hold any governmental authority liable. Government officials, especially legislators, prosecutors and judges, have a natural prejudice in favor of sovereign immunity, the ancient principle of tyranny that the king is above the law and that he and his ministers can do no wrong unless they specifically waive immunity. Although sovereign immunity may not be mentioned explicitly, the prejudice underlies or is “subconscious” in Section 1983 litigation.

Even though the people are theoretically sovereign in the United States of America, and even though their representatives have waived sovereign immunity for the tortious conduct of governments, it is difficult if not impossible enjoin such conduct or to collect damages. One may argue, for example, that the violation of civil rights is a constitutional tort and not a regular civil tort, so the waiver does not apply.

As for the gross negligence of officials, consider the notorious precedent set by the Supreme Court of Florida in Trianon Park Condominiums v. The City of Hialeah in 1985: a decision that has ever since cultivated negligence in the florid state by sanctioning negligence as within the sovereign discretion of public officials.

The court held that “The discretionary power to enforce compliance with the building code flows from the police power of the state. In that regard, this power is no different from the discretionary power exercised by the police officer on the street in enforcing a criminal statute, the discretionary power exercised by a prosecutor in deciding whether to prosecute, or the discretionary power exercised by a judge in making the determination as to whether to incarcerate a defendant or place him on probation.”

Further, “we find that no statutory duty for the benefit of individual citizens was created by the city’s adoption of the building code, and, therefore, there is no tort liability on the part of the city to the condominium owners for the allegedly negligent exercise of the police power function of enforcing compliance with the building code.

The court thus stripped government officials of their duty, leaving them subject to their whims and prejudices. Discretion is tyranny in the absence of a beneficent will.

As long as courts hew to the public duty principle of no duty to anyone, which they must adhere to once it is mouthed by the high court, their hands are tied by a logically absurd fiction. The Florida decision on sovereign immunity was definitely political; politics distributes hierarchically the absolute power worshiped by patriarchic religion. Still, three justices out of seven dissented in Trianon, with Justices and Ehrlich and Shaw writing dissenting opinions pointing out the inconsistencies in their colleagues’ specious reasoning, which upon careful analysis was really not pretty enough to be called specious. Chief Justice Joseph A. Boyd, Jr., had been the City Attorney of Hialeah, and he had represented, as a County Commissioner, the area that included Hialeah. If he had recused himself, the outcome would have been a 3-3 decision, the tie favoring Trianon instead of Hialeah.

There would have been no dissent if that case had been brought in federal court under Section 1983 for the deprivation of the property rights of the condominium owners whose homes were damaged because the building inspectors in the exercise of the police power did not provide them with equal protection of the laws. Most likely the federal judge would summarily dismiss the case upon the argument of the city attorney that the city was not obliged to protect everyone equally and there was no solid evidence of deliberate discrimination, so the case should never be considered by a jury.

In a humiliating defeat for Rod Eisenberg, who sued the City of Miami Beach in federal court for shutting down his historic Sadigo Court Apartment Hotel in South Beach’s Collins Park area, throwing his guests onto to the street and arresting him in alleged retaliation for his complaints about the corruption and negligence of city officials, U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga, in an Order dated 16 December 2014, summarily dismissed his complaint on a technicality using what appears to be erroneous reasoning just as his attorneys were preparing to go to trial in January after surviving the city’s previous motion for summary dismissal.

The lack of an automatic fire sprinkler system in the three-story building situated in a commercial district near the beach was the apparent pretext for the closure and prosecution of Eisenberg. It appeared to him, trained as a lawyer but not licensed to practice, that either sprinklers were not required or that a safety “equivalent” compromise was provided by prevailing firesafety standards. The Sadigo was licensed as a transient apartment building by the state, and the city had been accepting resort taxes for that use from him. When he resisted, an alternative channel was allegedly offered to satisfy the officials; impliedly, a bribe, which was a rather common practice if the long history of corruption was any indication. He fought city hall and city hall won. His potential exposure for refusing to install $70,000 of sprinklers to the detriment of the historical characteristics of his building now stands at $4 million.

Judge Altonaga has exhibited the usual prejudices in favor of governmental authority. Florida’s dominating Cuban-American community wanted to see her sitting on the United States Supreme Court. She was reportedly on President George W. Bush’s short list for the nomination, but retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat went to Samuel Alito instead. She made short shrift of Eisenberg’s complaint that he was not afforded the equal protection of the laws, for lack of comparatives showing that others were treated better than he, a showing that is not really necessary when a single case of official abuse of power suffices under some circumstances. The comparatives would have been there if extensive and intelligent research had been made. As every Miami Beach old-timer well knows, the one thing that is consistent in Miami Beach government is the arbitrary and selective enforcement of codes, and that the selection is often made according to the primitive law of retaliation.

But every possible count was rendered moot by Altonaga when she ruled that, according to the so-called common law rigged in previous cases, the city itself did not make the policy he complained of because he could have appealed it to a county fire appeals board that has heard only five cases over five years and has ruled against the petitioner in all but one. Never mind that the county would not be liable under the same principle inasmuch as it is a subsidiary of the state and is governed by state statute, and the state would not be liable because it is afforded sovereign immunity by the U.S. Supreme Court’s misinterpretation of the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution.

The City of Miami Beach, its fire chief, fire marshal, city magistrate and city commission clearly had ample discretion under state law to set policy and did so, and enforced it much to the detriment of Rod Eisenberg. It should matter not that he would not grease hands, or had a longstanding grudge against the same city attorneys, had sued it before and had otherwise been an official pain in the bureaucratic ass.

Tellingly, the common law that a city is not responsible for doing its duty because it can blame some higher power, a tactic not available to non-governmental entities, was also taken by Altonaga in a 2009 case, Florida Carpenters Regional Council v. City of Miami Beach.

“Municipalities may not be held liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on a respondeat superior theory, but they may be held liable for the execution of a governmental policy or custom. As a result, municipal liability under § 1983 is incurred only where a deliberate choice to follow a course of action is made from among various alternatives by the official or officials responsible for establishing final policy with respect to the subject matter in question.” (Citations omitted)

The Carpenters union made a claim under Section 1983 that its members had been deprived of their First Amendment rights when they demonstrated against hotel policies on the beach and then were harassed and prosecuted for violation of the city’s subjective noise ordinances. Section 1983, as misinterpreted by federal judges, asserts that the municipality being sued set the policy complained of, and not some high power. However, because the Carpenters had failed to clearly and expressly allege any facts that the municipality itself was the policymaker, at least according to Altonaga’s intuition, the claim was held invalid by her as to the form purportedly required by the rules of procedure:

“Here, the Council does not allege action by a City official who has final policymaking authority. Although the Council alleges the City has no authority to revoke a citation after it is issued by a code enforcement officer, the Council also alleges: (1) a special master reviews citationsand rules whether fines should be paid; (2) the special master conducts an evidentiary hearing at which a party may be represented by counsel; and (3) the Council has appealed four of the fivecitations for review by a special master. Based on these allegations, the code enforcement officers are not final policymakers because the citations are subject to meaningful administrative review.”

People who are actually intimate with the City of Miami Beach’s quasi-judicial magistrate or special master agency know very well that it is in fact a policymaking agency of the city government. It is definitely not an independent branch of city government inasmuch as the city’s strong manager/weak mayor charter or council-manager system has no branches, a form that was condemned as “fascistic” by opponents a century ago. Indeed, strong arguments can be made that the city with its special master agency is unconstitutional hence un-American because it does not accord with the political wisdom of the nation’s founders.

According to City Attorney Jose Smith, who was city attorney at the time of the Carpenters suit against the city, the special master is a creature of the city commission and can be abolished by the commission. In other words, the special masters had better do what they are told to do. That city agency has long been a honey pot for case-fixing attorneys. Fines for noise complaints for commercial noise that would put the union megaphones to shame have been routinely reduced or dismissed.

A controversy erupted during the summer of 2012 between the city attorneys and a special master by the name of Babak Movahedi because he refused to go along with the write-down of fines and case dismissals. City Attorney Smith sought his dismissal along with the dismissal of Chief Special Master Abe Laeser, who supported Movahedi, and the installation of Smith’sCuban-American colleague as the new chief. Smith, in response to my objection that his office had dismissed a particular case decided by Movahedi, observed that “Despite what a Special Master might rule, the City ALWAYS retains the inherent, sovereign right, in its discretion, to settle, compromise, or dismiss a case where it is deemed to be in the city’s best interest.”After Jimmy Morales, formerly city attorney for Doral, took over as city manager for the City of Miami Beach, he dismissed the special masters and installed new ones because, he said, he wanted to take the special masters in a “new direction.” Jose Smith resigned as city attorney, and upon his recommendation, Raul Aguila was appointed.

So, yes, city policies are subject to “meaningful review,” meaning that the city reviews it own policies hence remains the policymaker. This sort of absurd question begging is not even specious in the sense of being pretty yet it is part of the gallimaufry common to judge-made common law when authority needs to be absolved of responsibility for doing its duty.

Another distinction Altonaga was careful to take up on cue in the Carpenters case was between “facial” and “as applied.” A particular law may be obviously or on its face unconstitutional, or it may be unconstitutionally applied. Courts are generally reluctant to declare laws unconstitutional as written because to do so may require a great deal of speculation as to the consequences of their application to unknown cases.

The Carpenters alleged that the city’s noise ordinance depended upon subjective assessments of noise levels by code officers as to what was unreasonably loud inasmuch as they took no decibel readings, and, when it was pointed out to an officer that the sound emitted from the union’s megaphone was no louder than music coming from the hotel, the officer said the hotel had a permit for the music, but the union had no permit for its noise.

“The Council also alleges in Count II the City’s enforcement is both arbitrary, because theCouncil must guess at when and how it may use megaphones, and subjective, because the citations describe the noise from the Council’s megaphones as ‘unreasonably loud’ and ‘unnecessary.’ Thus, the Council argues, the City’s ‘enforcement is perhaps better characterized as utterly arbitrary and subjective enforcement.’”

That might be true, but it cannot be allowed by the mind-boggled judge because of some defect in the way it was pled; to wit, that it was seemingly pled as if the noise ordinance were facially unconstitutional instead of unconstitutionally applied, which is the substance of the pleading that the court is not blind to, so on and so forth, anything to dismiss the case and prevent it from going to trial.

“The Council also alleges in Count II the City’s enforcement is both arbitrary, because the Council must guess at when and how it may use megaphones, and subjective, because the citations describe the noise from the Council’s megaphones as “unreasonably loud” and “unnecessary”…..The Council cites no authority for the proposition that it may raise an as-applied challenge for arbitrary and subjective enforcement. All the cases it cites found ordinances facially unconstitutional because they were capable of arbitrary and subjective enforcement…. The Council also argues in its Response, in support of Count II, the ordinance is capable of arbitrary and subjective enforcement. But Count II is an as-applied challenge, not a facialchallenge. The Council has not explained how allegations of arbitrary and subjective enforcement—other than those thatwould be sufficient under Olech–state a claim for an as-applied challenge. In sum, Count II fails to state a claim for arbitrary and subjective enforcement.”

“Olech” was parenthetically mentioned because: “To state a claim for arbitrary enforcement under the equal protection clause, which the Supreme Court has described as a ‘class of one’claim, a plaintiff must allege ‘that she has been intentionally treated differently from others similarly situated and that there is no rational basis for the difference in treatment.’ Village of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564 (2000). As already discussed, the Council has not alleged that the City treated it differently from a similarly situated individual. Count II fails to state a claim for arbitrary enforcement under Olech.”

A class is needed because it is impossible for government to enforce every law equally, so enforcement often appears to be random, as a warning to violators. And the police power may prioritize enforcement for good reason. Although the members of the Carpenters union are not a class of persons protected by laws against discrimination against race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, citizenship, genetics, and so on, they may be at least a “class of one” created by judicial fiat. Therefore, according to the judge, the demonstrators must show that they were discriminated against in comparison to other demonstrators. Perhaps others were allowed to demonstrate and raise a racket with megaphones at a hotel elsewhere on the beach. Never mind that non-union noisemakers are seldom cited, and, when they are, there cases are dismissed or fines radically reduced as a matter of city policy.

No doubt a clever lawyer could reasonably counter every reason given by Altonaga for dismissing the Carpenters case, but still she would not allow it to go to trial.

As for the Eisenberg case, Altonaga tossed his equal protection argument, in her first round of dismissals in the Summary Judgement Game, for lack of comparatives. Careful research would probably discover that his case is a case of one, andsimilarly situated persons, except for their amicable relations with the city, were allowed to go Scott Free.

On the other hand, the city government is as notorious for its bungling as its corruption. Laymen might wonder how a jury would decide Eisenberg’s case if officials were not intentionally retaliating against Eisenberg for being a troublemaker or for not paying bribes.

In any case, no doubt Altonaga and her ilk clearly do their level best to make certain his and like cases are not heard by juries no matter what facts and laws are asserted. That is not to say that the majority of jurors selected, given their experience as travelers in need of a safe and relaxing vacation, would not believe that government has an overriding interest in ensuring that vacationers are not disturbed by noisy demonstrators and do not perish in fires due to a lack of fire sprinklers.

Has anything changed other than rampant real estate development in the City of Miami Beach? The jury is still out on that question. However, nothing will deprive it and its officials of sovereign immunity, so they have little to worry about on that score.

 

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Silver Sneakers Snubs South Beach Seniors

 

CRUNCH Moi

 

SILVER SNEAKERS SNUBS SOUTH BEACH SENIORS

Crunch Fitness Members Left in Lurch

Thanksgiving Day 2015

By David Arthur Walters

THE SOUTH BEACH HERALD

Shareholders can thank Healthways Silver Sneakers for dropping Crunch Fitness, the only affordable, full-service health club on South Beach, from its list of gyms available to Medicare Advantage insureds, and for attempting to deceive the hapless seniors into believing a comparable benefit would be conveniently provided.

Crunch Fitness South Beach participants were notified of the change by an undated propaganda letter shortly before Thanksgiving Day, less than two weeks before the end of the annual Medicare Advantage enrollment period.

The propaganda implied that Crunch is at fault for “no longer participating in the program,” and invited dumped seniors to enroll somewhere else “as we seek another location that will be convenient to you.” Crunch Fitness did not respond by deadline to requests for an explanation.

For seniors, many of whom are economically challenged, and who may not have a car, “somewhere else” means transportation expenses of about $5 a day, more than an hour’s drive or two hours a day on the county’s pathetic bus system.

And there will be no comparable, convenient location in South Beach as long as the tradition of pushing seniors and the working poor off the beach continues, to make way for luxury developments in accord with the political-economic program that Mayor Philip Levine, a wealthy developer, rightly called “relentless for progress” when soliciting funds from developers for a political action committee lauding him.

Crunch Fitness South Beach is the low-priced gym in South Miami Beach, at $87 per month after raising its fee this year by $3. A confidential source within the organization said it would probably gladly accept $40 from Silver Sneakers for seniors as a public service.

The only alternative full service gym on South Beach, Equinox Fitness, charges more than double Crunch’s monthly fee. Given the nature of its business, it is high improbable that Equinox would reach out with affordable fees to economically challenged persons.

David Barton’s upscale club folded on the second bankruptcy. Gold’s became South Beach Active, then folded. The problem is exorbitant real estate values fueled by surplus capital relentlessly seeking profits, cheap and often laundered money, and morally if not criminally corrupt politicians. The result has been to push working class people and retired seniors on low fixed incomes off the beach.

A Healthways propagandist refused to disclose the nature of the disagreement with Crunch because that sort of information is “proprietary.”

The proprietors certainly are not its Silver Sneakers members, who have no rights whatsoever, and must accept whatever intermediary their insurance company selects for them.

Indeed, Healthways, calling itself a “well being” management company, serves the interest of insurance companies, employers, and governments, an interest obviously superior to the well being of the ultimate consumers: the insureds, employees, and taxpayers who are not even referred to as customers in the corporate literature posted on the Internet.

And the main interest of the organization appears to be superior even to the interests of shareholders; that is, the interests of its highly paid executives. The firm, with $742 million in revenue in fiscal 2014, laid out $4.4 million dollars in the third quarter this year to get rid of its former president and CEO, and then laid 68,531 shares, today valued at $872,000, of restricted stock (HWAY) on its new president and CEO as a supposed incentive. Hedrick Smith’s national bestseller (Who Stole the American Dream?) contradicts the notion that stock incentives actually produce stellar results, except to executives. It is more than likely that public relations propaganda about expectations for the company under new management as well as the general market hype will at one time or another elevate the successor’s stock holdings regardless of his personal performance.

This badly managed health care management company has lost tens of millions of dollars, and expects twenty-five more millions to be lost in the fourth quarter for restructuring charges intended to align the interests of management with the shareholders’ interests in profits. Operations will be “decentralized” despite its current blindness to local consumer needs. Costs will be “rationalized” in order to “lower health related costs,” which probably explains why Silver Sneaker “members” with Crunch Fitness are getting the shaft on South Beach.

The total loss will exceed its retained earnings, as it gives away shares to officers pursuant to the fallacy that, by tying their interest to that of shareholders, they will have an incentive to improve performance. Will they ever learn? Well, executives have learned to line their pockets at shareholder expense despite earnings performance. Share values rise and fall with expectations. The herd has a short memory.

By the way, the third quarter loss did not include a $20 million investment loss in a joint venture with Gallup, with which Healthways partnered for 25 years in an endeavor to track and manipulate human behavior. They created the so-called Well-Being Index in 2012. The public is randomly polled with 10 questions appertaining to 5 elements, physical health being the last element on the list published on the Internet.

Physical health is the main reason people join fitness centers. Regular exercise in full-service fitness clubs reduces health care expenses. Badly managed health care management is bound to add to the cost of health care. It very well may be that private health care management intermediaries like Healthways, whose interests are aligned more with executives and shareholders than with the health of the ultimate beneficiaries, actually cost more than they are expected to save.

The choice of a convenient fitness center should be left to the consumer. The consumer should be issued the insurance company’s electronic voucher for a flat amount, determined by the average rate charged in the locality for that type of facility, to be applied to the chosen club’s monthly charge. The difference, if any, would be paid by the fitness center member. Fitness centers would be certified by an independent nonprofit entity.

In the interim, Crunch Fitness, a brand that harkens back to the good old days, would profit in several ways by offering a special senior rate to locals. The potential local market for that service is about $160,000 per month in additional revenue at $40 per senior. Seniors generally attend during off hours.

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Atma Beauty’s Spectacular South Beach Opening

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ATMA BEAUTY’S SPECTACULAR SOUTH BEACH OPENING

21 November 2015

By David Arthur Walters

THE SOUTH BEACH HERALD

“Know that all beautiful, glorious and mighty creations spring from but a spark of my splendor.” 10.41 Bhagavad Gita

I had no idea of the beauty I would behold when a Manhattan brand manager emailed me an invitation to Atma Beauty’s grand opening in Sunset Harbour, with his note that it would be fun for me to attend.

Music, vodka, hors d’oeuvres, beauty, models, photography, and atma were the key words. And what a unique combination they are at Atma Beauty, situated in Sunset Harbour at 1875 West Avenue.

OM west avenue

As for the vodka, the brand was Sobieski, introduced in Poland in 1864, and it was as smooth as can be, so smooth that Russian tasters get blind drunk and extol its spiritual virtues. It took me a full day to recover.

I was greeted by the owner, Ana Lessa, a Brazilian American beauty entrepreneur and cosmetologist with her very own magic formula.

OM magic formula

The space is cavernous, with lofty ceilings, several big rooms to accommodate the spa and the beauty and hair wash stations, a loft for the photographer, and a balcony where I was told a barber shop for men will be situated.

OM be situated

Ana’s husband was standing by with watchful eye as their twins gallivanted around the rooms. I observed that remodeling the space had taken a lot of hard work. She agreed, and said her toe had been hurt when a box fell on it.

OM fell on it

I felt a little self-conscious since only a dozen people were around when I showed up. You guessed it: I did not wait the mandatory thirty minutes after the opening hour to show up.

OM to show up

Ana’s colleague, Fabiola Trujillo of Sobe Tan adopted me for a few minutes. She told me she went into the airbrush tan business after being diagnosed with skin cancer. I explained that I was a stranger to fashion, and thought the young ladies arriving were lovely, yet I wondered if they dressed so oddly everywhere. She explained that South Beach has its own look.

OM its own look

The place was soon packed with beautiful women. I imagined for a moment that I was Krishna with his Gopis. Dream on! Not a chance. I took the Gita so ascetically when I was a kid that I even gave up flute playing, so I have little to offer except a relatively naked atma and a passionate article.

OM passionate article

If I were a mirror on the wall, I would admire all ladies equally. A classic Russian beauty was oft admired by the few men present. An equally admirable, dark-haired woman was rather ignored, so I captured her image for future reference.

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Well, gurus have said that the Atma of atmas created the wonders of the cosmos, and that every one of us has a piece of the Atma within. That and only that is the source of the beauty without.

OM beauty without

So it must be okay to be beautiful, sexy, and even rich. Maybe I shall switch gurus, from Swami Prabhupada to Swami Rajneesh, who had his beautiful staff drive him around his West Coast compound in fifty different Rolls Royces after he took whiffs of nitrous oxide, because, he said, when criticized for the display, Atma on high is opulent in person.

Maybe lazy too, since Rajneesh only allowed females to run his business before he was deported after taking over an Oregon town. A sociological study found that his gals excelled in all material respects in comparison to Prab’s women, who were kept under the gun.

OM under the gun

I buttonholed a handsome young fellow and asked him what he thought of the rampant development. “City officials are giving permits to people to destroy the city. They must start thinking about the people who actually live here, about the parents and the kids.”

OM the kids

I thought about that as I walked home, reflecting on how beautiful South Beach is when you see its beautiful people.

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A Girl Named John Appears on South Beach West Side

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A GIRL NAMED JOHN APPEARS ON SOUTH BEACH WEST SIDE

Watch out for a boy named Sue

1 October 2015

By David Arthur Walters PRESS INDEPENDENT

John Elizabeth Alemán, candidate for City Commission Group 6, appeared at a function for that occasion sponsored by the West Avenue Neighborhood Association at the swank Mondrian Hotel on West Avenue.

The gathering was small and intimate. Access to the event was hindered by longstanding road construction on West Avenue and Alton Road associated with repaving and installation of stormwater pumps and road raising that has cost many millions of dollars to businesses in the area over the last two years not to mention the general burden on taxpayers.

ALEMAN pedestrian walkway 20151001_174608~21

John Elizabeth Alemán is a “girl named John” in keeping with the tradition in her family of naming children after her paternal grandfather’s World War II buddy and fellow Army medic.

Mrs. Alemán, who holds a degree in finance, was accompanied by her husband, technology executive Jose Braulio Alemán, a personable gentleman who was obviously very proud of his wife.

He said they met in the information technology business. She eventually retired from Ryder System, where she managed supply chain and transportation software projects, to attend to their children’s upbringing while he advanced his career. She was, however, approached by Mastec and offered a job as its CIO, which was her dream job because she had only been number two in information management at Ryder. She reluctantly agreed to serve as CIO on an interim consultant basis. When pressed to take the job permanently after nine months, she declined inasmuch as she desired to keep her commitment to raising her children.

She is well known in the education community for assisting PTA organizations, winning several county awards including “PTA President of the Year” in 2013. According to her LinkedIn.com page, she currently chairs the Quality Education Committee for the City of Miami Beach.

So education is her strongest suit. Her reputation in that field purportedly won her the endorsement of Commissioners Michael Grieco, a former prosecutor and now a criminal defense lawyer, who was present with his beautiful companion at the function, and Joy Malakoff, a banker, both of whom ardently support education and children’s programs.

Michael Grieco, in fact, has recently formed a nonprofit program entitled Miami Beach Kids First. Mrs. Alemán’s opponent, Mark Samuelian, a businessman and chess master who teaches chess to children and who claims to be much beloved by them, displayed the Miami Beach Kids First logo in a political email blast stating that he supported the program and intended to attend its first fundraiser. Mr. Grieco responded with a blast of his own, charging him with trying to hijack his kids program for political purposes.

Mrs. Alemán also enjoys the endorsement of Mayor Philip Levine, a wealthy developer and propagandist who has become increasingly under fire for his egoistic management style and exaggeration of his accomplishments.

Any specific wrongs done, however, can always be blamed on his city manager except for his association with Commissioner Jonah Wolfson in what appeared to be a shakedown of vendors and developers for hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to Mr. Wolfson’s political action committee, Relentless for Progress, the progress advertised being that purportedly advanced by the mayor.

The mayor, in response to the big stink raised by noted political reporter Michael Putney on television, said that the PAC was legal and that he was self-financing his re-election campaign anyway.

He has plenty of money for that, and is said to have purchased the majority on the commission that he now leads as a de factor strong mayor in city with a weak mayor charter, going so far as to say during the last election cycle that whosoever receives the king’s shilling is the king’s man.  A king never has enough money, nonetheless, and one way to have more of it is to use other people’s money instead of one’s own.

Mrs. Alemán insisted that she is not a bought politician. She is independent, she insisted, and is committed to voting her conscience; that is, she will vote for proposals she believes are good for the community, and against the rest.

The reason she said she decided to run for commissioner is that she believes the city is being taken in the right direction. She cited the free trolley along the west side of South Beach, and the success around the new pumps of the stormwater program initiated by the previous regime, except for the road raising aspect, and also the transparency of the current regime in respect to budgeting.

Traffic, of course, is a problem that she will work on, she said. Ironically, increased traffic is created by the overdevelopment that funds political campaigns, and now traffic resolution is a main plank in almost every politician’s platform. Her experience at Ryder would be of advantage to the community in that regard. She mentioned that multi-modal transportation, a system of interlinked vehicles that would take passengers to their destinations, might be part of a good solution.

ALEMAN sunset good 20151001_190218~21

John Elizabeth Alemán rushed off to a debate on North Beach, so voters are urged to examine it for details.

Most of the neighbors who lingered behind with WAVNA president Gayle Durham thought Mrs. Alemán looked good. Win or lose, she is a good person to know. The view of the sunset was spectacular. The Cuban and Japanese snacks were delicious. The red sangria was better i.e. sweeter than the white, or at least that was the consensus.

ALEMAN night scene 20151001_202405~21

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