Coconut Grove

Old West Grove ACE Theater Named Historic Site

Jul 11, 2014
Erick Johnson / The Miami Times

For decades, the ACE Theater on Grand Avenue has stood as a historic monument for blacks in Coconut Grove. During a time of segregation in the 1950s and '60s, the theater provided blacks with a place to gather, watch popular movies and cartoons and offered employment opportunities. 

Wilson Sayre

Surrounded by a backhoe and excavators, more than 250 people celebrated the groundbreaking of a new housing development project in Miami’s West Grove neighborhood Monday morning.

Gibson Plaza is designed to be a mixed-use, mixed-income housing development offering affordable housing to the elderly. This development is the first project of its kind in over 50 years.

The project is a product of a public-private partnership between Miami-Dade County, two development groups, a private foundation, and Miami-Dade College.

What Everyone Is Reading March 30- April 5

Apr 8, 2014
Kenny Malone

Our most read stories this week include sea-level rise, anti-road rage landscaping and a city trolley system being eyed by the Federal Transit Authority (see those below).

Arianna Prothero/WLRN

Local leaders want to brainstorm with the public about the future of the historic Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami. The long-shuttered theater’s fortunes have turned 180 degrees in the past months, as an effort to revitalize the playhouse has solidified. Nick Madigan wrote for the Miami Herald that Grove residents will have three chances to share their ideas with members of the village council and the playhouse’s advisory committee: 

www.igotsprung.com

03/06/14 - 1:30 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview interview Buns and Buns Chef Reuven Sugarman and Tony Albelo organizer of Sprung Coconut Grove Craft Beer Festival.  It's all about beer-friendly food and craft beer but how do we pairing food with beer?  Find out on Topical Currents and Food and Dining Thursday at 1:30pm. 

Miami Herald

The city of Coral Gables has a short-term solution to the battle over a trolley garage it has built in West Coconut Grove. The solution is to move the garage to Coral Gables, the community the trolleys serve. The only problem is that the new facility won't be ready for another two to three years. 

Residents in the West Grove aren't too pleased with the solution. 

Williams Armbrister is a community activist fighting against the garage since the project was first announced.

Can The Curtain Rise Again At Coconut Grove Playhouse?

Feb 7, 2014
Miami Herald

You didn’t even have to live in South Florida to know about the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

It began life as a movie theater – the Player’s State Theater.

And when it opened its doors on Jan. 3, 1927, it was part of the Paramount chain.

Designed by architect Richard Kiehnel of Kiehnel and Elliott, it came back in a time when theaters were meant to be as grand as the productions they would show.

Local realtors Irving J. Thomas and Fin L. Pierce were the builders. And another well known Grove name was the contractor – Albert Peacock.

Common Core Town Halls Bring Out 'Obama-Ed' Critics

Oct 18, 2013

In public forums on Common Core this week, the education standards were labeled things like “Obama-Ed” and “Communist Core.” We’ll dissect the biggest misconceptions and look at why the standards are prompting such vitriol.

Sunrise police bring an end to their strategy of luring cocaine dealers to the city and then busting them after a Sun-Sentinel newspaper investigation. But there have been only a few reprimands from city leaders. 

And a poisonous park in Coconut Grove exposes Miami’s neglect of other contaminated parks.

Coconut Grove Black Heritage Music Series

Aug 30, 2013
http://www.greaterstpaulame.com/

Due to the live press conference at 1pm this segment did not air live on South Florida Arts Beat.  Hear it now: 

 The Coconut Grove Cultural Arts Program presents:  “A Labor of Love Concert” – WHOLESOME, FAMILY-­FRIENDLY RHYTHM & BLUES, AND SOUL MUSIC sung by Soul Man Bobby Stringer, with The Special Touch Band; along with friends, The Ladies of Soul performing a Motown Review, and Mr. Jazz Pizzazz – Mel Dancy performing on the baby grand piano. Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., “with the support of the Miami-­Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-­Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.”

Arianna Prothero/WLRN

One of Miami's leading theaters was shuttered in 2006, but an effort to revive the Coconut Grove Playhouse has now cleared an important hurdle with the state.

On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott and his cabinet approved a plan from Miami-Dade County and Florida International University to rebuild and reopen the historic Miami theater pending resolution of some outstanding financial debts and claims on the property.

The county's Cultural Affairs Director Michael Spring addressed the Cabinet during a meeting at Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus.

In 1955, a 21-year-old Swiss woman, Margrith Lübke, traveled to North America to satisfy a childhood fantasy of living and working in New York City. She loved the glamor and enjoyed every moment. After a few months in the Big Apple, however, a fateful turn of events led her to Nassau. Fantasy became a new life in the tropics.

 

The Blog Roundup is a weekly look at noteworthy South Florida blogs and posts:

Rubio's Immigration Reform Amendment Flops

Sen. Marco Rubio's amendment  to the immigration reform bill, which mandates English proficiency for those seeking citizenship, is getting attacked from all sides, even his conservative base.

Javier Manjarro at The Shark Tank has more.

One particular evening will always stick with me. I was commuting home from work and at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Southwest 27th Avenue, which is a pretty intense during evening rush hour.

As I crossed the intersection, I was cut off by a driver who was clearly unaware of my presence, despite the bike lane. The car came within inches of my bike. Being familiar with this intersection, I know when and where I need to be watching. Had I not known where to look, I would not have been able to break in time.

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The well-regarded Helen Bentley Family Health Center, a fixture in Coconut Grove, will be losing almost to $2 million in federal funding next year.  

The Miami Herald says the funding represents approximately 17 percent of the center’s operating budget.  The center will continue to provide services but laid off several support staff due to the reduction.     

Coconut Grove Playhouse Set For State Takeover

Oct 4, 2012
ImageMD / flickriver.com

The nonprofit board of the Coconut Grove Playhouse has decided not to try to block the state from coming in and taking back the historic 1926 theater. 

That means the state could be in charge of the facility by next week. 

The theater has been closed for six years because of financial problems and there are still unresolved claims against it.

However, Miami-Dade County has set aside $20 million designated for the theater and there is a strong possibility the Playhouse could be deeded to the county by the state.