Plea for Formal Remediation of Unreasonable Noise and Maladministration
Dear Commission Grieco:
I have posted this letter on the Web for your easy reference. You have said that my letters are too long for your cell phone, so I am hoping that you have access to a desktop or laptop computer. I am also hoping that your colleagues have the equipment and power of continuous concentration to consider this document and act upon it. If I do receive a response, I shall provide voluminous factual information to support my thesis upon request
This is my petition for legislative and administrative action to mitigate unreasonable noise, vibrations, exhaust fumes, and other pollution in construction projects in the City of Miami Beach by requiring contractors to include statements of probable pollution impact and their remediation program in their bidding documents, and by requiring owners and developers to provide temporary housing to residents whose lives are unreasonably impacted by construction pollution in all events, and especially when the city waives the charter provision of a civil right against such disturbances.
The need for such legislation was made evident to your neighbors during the horizontal drilling of a 2/3 mile long redundant sewer line. The noise, vibrations, and fumes around the entry and exit holes can only be described as torturous, of the nature that terrorists and other criminals are subjected to by the police power in other parts of the world in order to drive them out of their buildings or to confess to their crimes.
The only expression of concern was that the customers of Joe’s Restaurant, frequented by the affluent and vested interests, not be disturbed.
The charter protection was waived by the city because the drilling contractor had contracted to be present on the North Dakota pipeline. A responsible city official for that reason declared that the project was “time sensitive,” but implied that the city was in imminent danger of being inundated by sewage, which if expressly stated would have been a bald-faced lie. There was no emergency. In fact, an engineering report stated that there was a very small chance of a break in the existing sewer main, and that there was no imminent danger of it failing. The drilling team left town a year ago and the redundant project is just now winding up.
Many complaints and pleas were submitted by victims to the mayor, commissioners, and administrative officials. Responsibility for the outrageous disturbance on weekends and evenings was shamefully shirked by administrative officials, with the exception of Eric Carpenter. The mayor was too important to receive the victims at city hall; the commissioners, who were notified time and again of the issue, were unresponsive.
The rule of thumb when only a small number of people are disturbed is not to provide for their general welfare but to ignore them the best one can. This usually works politically because of the local culture: with some remarkable exceptions, people not only do not love their neighbors but they do not even want to know them unless there is something in it for them. Further, traumatized people tend to be concerned with their own predicaments to the exclusion of others.
The duty to address the complaints was delegated to the general contractor and his public relations employee. Shutting down the project until adequate sound protection could be obtained was out of the question due to the drilling team’s scheduling needs. The general contractor slapped together a wooden box for the gigantic engine to reduce the decibels. That project created more noise in the evenings and took all too long for a minimal result. In fine, it was too little too late, including too late to file for an injunction in circuit court, and the racket dragged on for months. The public relations sophist did what she could, which was to simply shine people on with specious rhetoric.
A meeting was held by your powerful neighborhood association. A public works official finally publicly addressed the ongoing nuisance. As an engineer he had no sympathy with the people suffering the unreasonable pollution due to a drilling process that is usually employed out in the boondocks and not in the residential neighborhoods of small cities such as ours. I have an account of that meeting if you have a personal computer and the time to consider it.
That account includes the tearful complaint of a woman who was being tortured by unreasonable vibrations and noise at 419 Michigan Avenue, near your home. She apparently thought David Mancini was the city’s official contractor, and that the 419 Michigan Avenue project was his responsibility, which he has nothing to do with.
As you know, the groundwork at that site for a small hotel, across Michigan from the healthy Vibe studio, seemed almost interminable due to water conditions. I estimated that the entire declared valuation of the hotel construction was absorbed by the groundwork, although a superintendent told me the extent of the groundwork was expected. Still, I have asked the building department to collect affidavits and documents upon completion to make sure that a correct value is declared and all permit fees are paid, which has not always been done in the past under the city’s Rob Peter to Paul to Breakeven Policy.
I hope that woman has recovered. I shall never forget her tearful plea for relief from the awful noise and vibrations. But manly engineers and city officials are deaf to such pleas from small minorities. There is always collateral damage in the fog of war against nature. The fact that there are so many complaints in our city creates a din that tends to deafen city officials unless, again, there is something in it for them if they respond to it.
There were so-called activists around town who could have raised enough hell to get some relief. Unfortunately, they either had their noses in the wrong place, or they were afraid to speak up because they had their own needs. After all, His Honor the Mayor said after the last election that people who complained about things would have to wait until the next election to be heard.
Therefore, I hope you will at least respond with your position on what you can do to make sure that city officials in instances such as this provide for the welfare for all stakeholders, not just the welfare of those represented by the power elite’s political bureau on the commission.
MIAMI HERALD BAKES A FAREWELL CAKE FOR MAYOR PHILIP LEVINE
The report of a decline in bribery is fake news
By David Arthur Walters
AS THE PRESS SPINS
March 31, 2017
“MIAMI BEACH Bribery attempts drop, but they still happen,” declaimed the headline at the top of the front page yesterday.
That was followed by the subheading: “A survey reveals that 22 percent of Miami Beach public employees say they’ve been offered a bribe at some point in their career.” The employees were not asked if they accepted bribes. Pray tell.
That percentage does not jibe with a subsequent statement about the December 2016 survey that of “218 employees in departments most likely to be targets of bribery… 100 reported having been offered a bribe as some time in their career.”
Well, 100 divided by 218 is 45.9 percent, not 22 percent, but never mind that because the timing of “sometime” makes meaningful comparison impossible, and so does the rest of an incomplete hodgepodge of statistics from several years of surveys instead of a straightforward table of side-by-side statistics for all categories.
The employees were not asked if they accepted bribes, and the report does not say whether employees who said they received offers were asked to identify the persons who offered the bribes so an attempt could be made to corroborate their statements or law enforcement alerted to keep an eye on them.
Of course there is a difference between a free lunch and a cash donation, and lunch will probably be declined.
What is clear is that the report takes the cake, that it is a liberal propaganda piece bidding Mayor Philip Levine—a wealthy media mogul who was himself disgraced for soliciting campaign contributions from developers of city properties—farewell forever because his political career has been washed up with the defeat of his great friend Hillary Clinton.
The “Get It Done” mayor’s vainglorious demeanor and censorious conduct alienated honest reporters to begin with. What followed turned many of his followers against him, although he certainly is not to blame for everything that has gone wrong.
Haste makes waste: “King” Levine’s “prime minister,” city manager Jimmy Morales, is partly to blame for bad planning and thuggish rush to completions resulting in massive public disturbances, costly overruns and stalled projects.
Exposure of public corruption is improbable because the parties to it are unlikely to confess to it unless someone rats them out or law enforcement gets something else on them and offers them a deal.
The administration has made that more difficult, for example, with its software upgrades, making it inconvenient for delators to confidentially access online building permit and inspection records, requiring them to identify themselves and obtain permission from the owners. And that is not all to show that the often advertised “increased transparency” is a canard in respect to some crucial records.
The administration has also replaced municipal magistrates or “special masters” who hear code violation cases with virtual stooges who provide no meaningful review for the discriminatory policymakers who are their masters.
The city has in the past refused to adopt a county whistleblower ordinance to encourage informers to come forward.
The county ethics commission, a retirement farm for prosecutors, is a joke on Miami Beach taxpayers despite its randomly correct findings. Just prior to the last wave of arrests, its director, Joe Centorino aka “Sleeping Joe” declared at a meeting with bloggers that Miami Beach had cleaned itself up, and when a reporter noted that, bullied him by email. The Miami Herald has ignored numerous reports of inadequacy of that commission as well as allegations of Miami Beach corruption, not to mention the commission’s egregious violation of public disclosure law when its commissioners were filmed whispering behind folders at a meeting.
The result of the ethics commission’s recent “investigation” into allegations made by one Antonio Halabi damned the commission to infamy for its lack of due process: the commission forwarded his allegations, including evidence that the city manager had raised himself above the law, to city officials. The accused naturally responded in the negative; the commission took their word for it and dismissed the case without offering Mr. Halabi an opportunity for rebuttal.
That is not all that demonstrates the incompetence and selective enforcement of the ethics commission and the bullying attitude of its director when his investigations are criticized.
Now here we have another condignly unbalanced report from the Miami Herald, representing the so-called fourth branch of government that is in actually part of the real fourth branch, the bureaucracy, posing as news in a way that suits the very definition of “fake news,” false inferences from survey facts that do not really indicate facts at all.
The city is congratulated for taking an expensive ethics course run by the county ethics commission, a notion that was scoffed at by the likes of Commissioner Ed Tobin, because even a moron knows what corruption is. Or maybe not, because when wrong is done long enough, wrong seems right.
Mayor Levine and the majority of commissioners he sponsored waived the city’s ethics requirements so that Commissioner Tobin could apply for the police job while sitting on the commission. Levine lauded Tobin, and said he would like to similarly waive the ethics code for himself. But when the commissioner crossed him, he accused him of being unethical, leaving us to wonder why the commissioner failed to pass the ethics test given under the purview of the mayor’s new police chief, forcing him to get at police officer job on the mainland with the City of Miami,
Mr. Levine may be one of the most ethically challenged mayors to sit on the dais since the notorious Mayor Alex Daoud. Just for example, millions were paid by the city for the air rights above the Sunset Harbour shopping center owned beneficially by him and his great friend and partner Scott Robins, and then, while mayor, he attempted to push through zoning to his advantage; the ludicrous premise handed down by the state ethics commission was that the advantage to him would not be immediate. This time, however, the county ethics commission did not put its nose where there is no sunshine.
The city also is applauded for the allegedly improved morale of its employees, who “felt” they have better whistleblower protection. The mayor naturally “thinks” there has been “a tremendous change in culture” under his tenure.
Please “think” and “feel” again, because thinking in itself is not knowing, neither are self-congratulatory feelings.
Critical thinking is indeed useful, so think again about what deposed Mayor Matti Bower said after Mr. Levine was crowned a strong mayor over his court of faux reformers as his prime minister bragged about the number of people fired, leaving key people around in honey pots such as the problematic Building and Code Enforcement departments for years, yet now saying key staffers were replaced.
City workers, averred Madame Bower, a grandmotherly politician who was friendly with scores of employees, reported they said they had been cowed by the new regime. That is, fear and intimidation was the rule.
We all know the corporate drill: you had better have a good attitude and be positive about us or you had better find another job.
Here is something else to “think” about: The “indicative” statistics quoted by the Miami Herald are meaningless in terms of “indicating” facts. South Florida is by virtue of its Third World influences perhaps the most corrupt region in the United States. Federal law enforcement is charged with curbing corruption of the local, county and state police power in all departments, but with a deliberately limited staff. Economists have even declared that a certain degree of corruption is good for business. Republicans led by President Trump may desire to cut the FBI staff in half. Miami Beach is a drop in the bucket. Arrests there come in intermittent waves as a handful of investigators work priorities from place to place. When Miami Beach is hit, corruption may decline for awhile, and lessons are learned as to how to avoid detection.
Now the Miami Herald also reports that the $3.5 million recently plundered from city coffers, an event that led to the departure of finance department staff, “remains unsolved and under investigation.”
The mayor’s wealth sidekick on the dais, Commission Rick Arriola, told the Huffington Post that the matter is under investigation, that the city will get back every penny. and that “audits are the responsibility of the city’s outside auditors and the city’s CFO.”
What a ridiculous statement that is, for the problem is that the finance department and auditors did not bother for ages to reconcile cash balance on books to cash in bank, a routine bookkeeping procedure.
Mr. Arriola would surely fire his controller and bookkeepers for failing to detect the imbalance in a month if not in a day given the modern software relations between banks and their clients. Since he is so sure of recovery, he should personally guarantee it, as the amount is rather miniscule for him given his good fortune.
By the way, the attack pieces of the Huffington Post were so imbalanced that I was tempted to rebut them and give the mayor some little credit for the hundreds of millions allocated for the war against global warming. At least we are not wading around in knee-deep water in South Beach.
Yet it is high time that a major media outlet took the mayor and his ilk to task despite more threats of SLAPP libel suits. It is safer to do so now that his great friend Hillary Clinton has gone down in flames.
But the Miami Herald must “feel” sorry for the mayor, and “think” that it has a duty to boost from time to time the official sources needed bolster its sales. Therefore we have this astonishing farewell cake baked for Mayor Philip Levine
CITY OF MIAMI BEACH SHUTS DOWN ONLINE BUILDING PERMIT SEARCH FOR GENERAL PUBLIC AND HINDERS ACCESS TO RECORDS BY REQUIRING PUBLIC RECORD REQUESTS AND FEES AS A RESULT OF EMBARASSING DISCOVERIES BY PUBLIC INFORMERS
“CAN I VIEW PERMIT HISTORY ONLINE?Permits issued for any property in the City of Miami Beach from 1990 to 04/26/2016 are available through Velocity Hall Online Permitting.
Note: If you are not either the owner, contractor, engineer, architect or owner representative, you will not be able to register at the Citizen Access Portal and therefore; may submit a public records request to the Building Department’s Records Management Section. Click here to download the Records Request Form
“Floatopia will NOT be tolerated!” screamed Philip “King” Levine on his Vanity Timeline @mayorphiliplevine aka @mayorego. “STOP!” yelled the King, and he screamed again, “NEVER AGAIN!”
Yelling and Screaming has been banned by the King because almost all Yelling and Screaming, like everything else that happens in the realm, is about HRM. Of course an Exception must be made for His Exceptional Self.
Thousands of commoners descended upon the Royal Beach from the poorest precincts of the Realm with floatation devices on the Sabbath. The flash mob snarled traffic and littered the Beach, and many carefree participants relieved themselves in the ocean. They brought their own food and beverage. Only one sale was made on the King’s Beach, an inflatable plastic inner tube, purchased at Walgreens.
The main complaint was the traffic, for only the King is allowed to snarl traffic, with his Get It Done capital improvement programs in order to line the pockets of developers, contractors, and event promoters bearing Letters of Patent, to boost money laundering and tourism, and to ostensibly save the Realm from Global Warming and Sewage.
His Majesty commanded his Chief Horseman, Jimmy Morales, Esquire, to announce a scheme to His Majesty’s Court to violate his subjects’ common law right to float in such a way that the new law would avoid the Appearance of Impropriety abhorred by The Kings Inn.
That the King is above the Law as the Source of the Law is beyond the shadow of a doubt, wherefore the Court, which, according to Chamberlain Michael Grieco, a Barrister specializing in criminal cases, “almost always” approves Recommendations that His Majesty commands Sir Morales to make to the Court, will compose a Pragma, upon which shall be placed the Royal Seal, that there shalt NEVER AGAIN be a Floatation Day without a Floatation Tax of 2,822 Norman shillings (US$200) levied on each Floatation Device and duly remitted to the Royal Treasury. Only the floatation devices of Cuban refugees shall be exempt from the Floatation Tax.
That absolutely legal device is expected to STOP Floatation Day because only the most loyal of subjects, few in number, will pay the Tax or go to Gaol, for he who pays the King shillings or takes his shillings is the King’s man.
“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.
Editorial by David Arthur Walters
Mayor Philip ‘King’ Levine’s ‘Get it Done’ rush to construction blitzkrieg in South Beach has cost local businesses yet untold millions of dollars, and he could care less about the damages the haste and negligence has done.
Yes, negligence, due to the utter neglect of the clamor raised by outraged victims despite the known vindictiveness of the wealthy mayor, and the mendacity of his henchman, Jimmy ‘Nice Guy’ Morales, the city manager, whom people are learning the hard way to distrust. But do not blame Jimmy. He is not his own man. He is probably just following orders.
Philip has his finger in the dike, sincerely believing he is saving Miami Beach from the Great Flood, beginning with his own Sunset Harbour shopping center, impounding money from other areas to give himself priority, forgetting what the torah reveals about the ultimate reason for such cleansings.
It is his arrogant manner, his way of doing things, carried out by his stooges, that is at issue here. It has been a classic case of “my way or the highway” with this tyrant and his majority court, and, of course, his chancellor. Mr. Morales, a lawyer who breaks his promises, places himself above the law, and hides behind the skirts of his troubleshooters, is ready to pave over the resistance or immure it in concrete. Sometimes they do not even bother to “just say no to naysayers.” They say nothing at all when confronted with sound reasoning.
Mr. Levine associated 35% of the electorate that voted for his opponent in November with a “tiny minority” of “screamers and yellers,” consigning them to more hell until the next election, that being his interpretation of “democracy,” one that reminds us of General Hindenberg’s remark that “democracy” means people vote for their leaders and then get out of their way, as they soon did or were exterminated by Adolf Hitler.
Not that Mr. Levine is a Der Fuehrer. His public works propaganda and control over committees reminds us more of an Il Duce. The difference is in the followers. Capitalists liked them both in the beginning. Fascism, which does not abhor the profit principle as long as it favors the power elite, is the perfection of capitalism in the ultimate incorporation of competition.
Tamerlane (Timur) would approve of Mr. Levine’s tactics. Tamerlane’s propaganda was effective: mounds of his opponents’ skulls were erected at the gates. He abducted architects to design his capital. Anyone who objected to the renovations of his shopping center at Samarkand was beheaded as an infidel. However, he would advise Mr. Levine to listen to negative criticism from at least one small, easily conquerable sect, as he did, instead of shutting everyone up for good.
Again, we are concerned more with the process here than the end. The end may be worthy yet it may no longer be worth having given extreme means. No less than Hume elaborated on its degrees, in ‘On Qualities Useful To Ourselves.’
“No quality, it is allowed, is absolutely either blameworthy or praiseworthy. It is all according to its degree. A due medium, say the Peripatetics, is the characteristic of virtue. But this medium is chiefly determined by utility. A proper celerity, for instance, and dispatch in business, is commendable. When defective, no progress is every made in the execution of any purpose. When excessive, it engages us in precipitate and ill-concerted measures and enterprises: By such reasonings, we fix the proper and commendable mediocrity in all moral and prudential dispositions; and never lose view of the advantages, which result from any character or habit.”
We should have been careful what we wished for when we wished for a strong manager, weak city manager, instead of the weak mayor, strong city manager specified by our city charter. Now we have a de facto strong mayor and his lackey for a city manager.
That he was reelected should give the egotist no cause to gloat, for people worship powerful leaders even against their own best interests. Indeed, studies show that 65% of the populace are “F-Type” (fascistic).
Philip Levine offered no olive branch to his opponents after the election, said nothing about reconciliation, willingness to work with the opposition he associated with “screamers and yellers.” Wherefore this editorial in that vein, resting assured that he will suffer the fate of his fellow tyrants if he does not change his ways.
Mayor Levine Sends his Fire Department to extinguish Kristen Gonzales
10 November 2015
By David Arthur Walters MIAMI MIRROR
City of Miami Beach Mayor Levine’s fire department turned out in red T-shirt regalia at this morning’s Tuesday Breakfast Meeting at Manolo’s in South Beach to extinguish a fire expected to be kindled by Kristen Gonzalez.
Kristen is said to be Hell on Wheels on the right track, someone who would definitely be a thorn in Mayor Levine’s side if she wins the runoff for city commission against Betsy Perez, his favorite horse in the race.
Sage of South Beach Frank Del Vecchio called Kristen as she was in transit to the meeting. She had been delayed by one of the mayor’s notorious traffic jams. He warned her that an ambush had been staged, and that it would be inadvisable for her to submit to the outrageous demonstration.
She did not attend, and was probably wise not to. That is, unless the millionaire mayor has his media machine make much of it.
If she had been there, she might have responded to barbed questioning as to where she actually lived on the beach, whether south, mid, or north beach, by asking the fireman if they lived on the beach at all, and if they had taken personal time off to promote the mayor’s favorite.
Several people left in disgust, some saying they would never attend another Tuesday Breakfast meeting, well known for its outspoken criticism of local government.
According to a report in The King’s Press, the mayor was quite himself after winning 65 percent of the 24 percent turnout, thus retaining his seat for another two years at a cost of over $800,000 out of pocket for the $10,000 job, far less than he paid for it in the first place.
There was no conciliatory olive branch offered by him, as gentlemen politicians are wont to do, to embrace the opposition and work things out, at least until dissension is rekindled, as it usually is unless intimidated.
No, Mayor Levine identified the 35 percent who did not vote for him as a tiny minority of screamers and yellers who would have to wait for the next election because that is what democracy means. Until then, fascistic business as usual: his way or the highway.
His notion of democracy reminds me of a statement made by General Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg, President of Weimar Republic; that democracy means people elect someone and then get out of their way. He appointed Adolph Hitler, whom he despised, as Chancellor.
The City of Miami Beach Police Department has recently responded almost every night to complaints about the loud music, shouting, and fighting behind 633 Meridian Avenue, a building located in the old crackhood known as Seventh Heaven below 7th Street, the butt end of the Flamingo Park Neighborhood and only three blocks off South Beach’s famed Ocean Drive.
The apartment building and 7,000 sq. ft. lot on which it sets, appraised together at $1,225,000 by the county assessor, was purchased in 1998 by Candace Partnership LLC, a front for prominent Miami Beach slumlord David Muhlrad and his wife Candace. Mr. Muhlrad, who happens to have been the city’s first code compliance chief, owns numerous white with red-trim apartment buildings on South Beach that house the tourist resort’s Hispanic proletariat, on the fringes of which are the Lumpen Proletariat, living sometimes within the structures and sometimes without.
The police department, especially the gang suppression unit and narcotics unit, together with the economic downturn dubbed the Great Recession, rid the neighborhood of most of the issues aka problems in the crime-ridden neighborhood, including the noisy all night drinking parties mistakenly associated with ethnicity instead of vulgarity.
The hardened vestiges of those hellish nights along with new arrivals from Central American countries with high crime rates squat in one place or another and roam the alleys on foot and on bicycles probably stolen. Living on the margin, they survive by means of odd jobs and misdemeanors, and numerous pints of Old Milwaukee and Busch beer.
Now they have found a hospitable place to carouse to their hearts content just outside the alley apartment of 633 Meridian Avenue, a building long associated by the city’s code enforcement department with noise, over-flowing garbage bins, cockroaches, vermin and bedbugs.
Mind you that the majority of the residents are decent, law-abiding, mostly undocumented immigrants who do not have the means or the credentials to live in a better place, people highly unlikely to complain to the authorities and risk being deported despite President Obama’s facially lenient immigration policy.
As residents know all too well, one tenant can create hell for everyone in and around a building. The tenant in this case is not a bad guy at all. Indeed, he is well known as a nice guy, a fellow with a job, a wife, and a child. He excels in hospitality, wherefore the virtual nightclub near his back door, in the common area where women wash their clothes.
Now they dare not wash in the evenings. Indeed, most of the women and many of the men who live on the block take care not enter the alley. Lingerers even as late as 8:30 A.M. were seen last week on a big couch intended as rubbish; three men were “entertaining” a woman on the couch in broad daylight. Others may from time to time be seen sleeping, drinking, and urinating under their host’s window even later in the mornings.
Major Mark Causey deployed a special squad last week to roust the revelers when the party got going at 6 PM, but they were back in full force that evening. La misma mierda each night thereafter. Police came and went each night. Rumor has it that some partiers were taken to the airport on occasion. It is difficult obtain reliable information from the illegals because they are afraid of hence extremely hostile towards (expletive deleted) Americanos who do not speak their language.
People in the neighborhood go to work tired and irritable from being awakened by the public nuisance. Some wish that the cops were not so nice, that they were as mean as the ones the Hondurans and Guatemalans are running away from for good reason. One fellow wanted by the police back home actually stabbed his wife several time a couple of years ago as his friend looked on. She survived.
Those days were really bad. People today pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe that the rapes, thefts, robberies, and murders not return along with the noise. Wherever noise and other quality of life offenses are tolerated, serious crimes are encouraged. You see, it is a matter of respect.
Absent a police state, it is a landlord’s business to keep the peace on his property with the help of the police if necessary. Neither David Muhlrad nor his son Mark Muhlrad have returned calls made and messages left at their headquarters, the Starlight Hotel on Ocean Drive. Whether the police department has had a word with them is unknown at this time.
The city’s code compliance department is responsible for responding to noise complaints during its working hours. Those complaints are handled by police officers after hours. It has been the custom for all complaints to be recorded for public view on the city’s web site.
Only six noise complaints currently appear on the city’s site, beginning March 2003 and ending November 2012. That figure is absurd considering the number of complaints made to code compliance and the police department during that period, not to mention the nearly night calls recently made. A formerly problematic property across the alley, owned by the father of a county attorney, used to generate numerous calls to the 911 operator, yet the police department neighborhood coordinator said only two calls were made.
The code compliance department has not responded by press time to an inquiry asking whether many complaints may have been unrecorded, or tampered with, or perhaps inadvertently dumped. The city recently alleged that it had created a system whereby only supervisors could make changes to the records, and that those changes were tracked. A previous request, however, for a tracking record, and an inquiry as to whether such a system really existed, was not answered.
The traditional absence of accountability and transparency has led to suspicions of corruption including favoritism. It just so happens in this instance that Mr. Muhlrad is a close relative and business associate of Russell Galbut, one of the most influential real estate developers in the city. They are indeed so-called Old Cronies of Miami Beach, as is the new reform city manager, Jimmy Morales, who answers to Mayor Philip Levine, a de facto strong mayor because he controls a commission majority.
The mayor’s right-hand commissioner, Michael Grieco, has said that the commission almost always takes the city manager’s recommendations for granted. Many of the city’s activists, tired of corruption, desired to have a city manager from out of town instead of an Old Crony, but Mr. Morales was shooed in despite the formal recommendations made by a profession recruiting firm.
Daniel Oates, a chief from out of state, was chosen for the police department to replace Chief Raymond Martinez, who had resolved many issues resulting from a clamor over the latest wave of F.B.I. busts of code enforcement officers.
There have been complaints about the new chief’s apparent leniency towards the Lumpen Proletariat except for the beating of a model and a man who came to her defense. Otherwise the police department appears to be up to snuff. Its response to calls is efficient and effective although a more right-wing approach would be appreciated by some stake holders.
A suggested resolution to the disturbances created by alley life has been floated. Mayor Levine plans on converting a huge parking lot behind the convention center into a park. That would be an ideal sanctuary for the city’s destitute; the ragamuffins; unemployed or underemployed aliens; vagrants; homeless; or anyone else, for that matter, who cannot afford to drink in the clubs and needs a community center to socialize. The self-policed park could be named Lumpen Proletariat Sanctuary.
Now it is said that every story needs some balance. Not everyone minds the noisome alleys of South Beach. An elegantly dressed lady at the senior center had this to say:
“Isn’t it wonderful at night to hear the young people celebrating their lives in the alleys?”
“You mean the sound of music, shouting, breaking bottles, that kind of thing?”