Flawed But Fabulous

In the last year, over $57 million in illegal assets relating to federal cases in South Florida have been seized by the United States government, according to data provided by the U.S. Attorney’s office in South Florida.

$57,321,390.40 to be exact.


Three South Florida mayors were accused of corruption in August, offering up a salient, cautionary tale for anyone who puts their faith in Miami's elected officials. The mayors from Sweetwater, Miami Lakes, and Homestead represent a triumvirate of questionable behavior, a triple threat of public office tomfoolery and a real world trifecta of tropical sleaze.

I ran an informal poll of friends and acquaintances and the major takeaway and dominant response is that nobody is shocked. This is where we are in Miami politics:

"I'm not surprised."

Jeff Hester / Creative Commons/Flickr

For 18 months straight South Florida home prices have been rising. One reason is cash. For every 10 homes sold in July in our region, seven were bought with cash: no mortgage, no credit check.  

Moreover, 90 percent of the cash buyers of Miami condos are foreign, which often means less financial oversight is involved in the purchase.

RELATED: What Kind Of Money Fuels The Miami Real Estate Market?

Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez / http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/

Children from low income families in Florida have the best chance of achieving a higher income level if they grow up in Miami.


I was.  Based on my layman's understanding, I thought we would have low rates of income mobility.

What does an app born from the spirit of Miami look like?

It looks like Sktchy, a start up mobile app motivated by Sketchy Miami, a blog and series of parties spotted around town two years ago where the goal was to create a portrait of every person in Miami.

Sketchy Miami comes from a time when “a burgeoning artist community in Miami and the average Miami resident had very little interaction with that community,” said co-founder Jordan Melnick. He wondered, “how can we come up with a way to bridge that gap?”

If you ever had his ear, you could ask basketball star Dwyane Wade how he makes a party classier.

But since you probably don't, you should know that when he celebrated his birthday the day after the Miami Heat won its second championship ring, he invited the ladies of Verso Performance, a local synchronized swimming troupe to perform for his exclusive guests.

It was a super VIP occasion, with no pictures allowed, on the roof of a building in downtown Miami. Each girl in the troupe wore a hat with his name and the number 3 emblazoned on it.

On Northwest 36th Street, between Wynwood and the Design District, there’s a wall mural depicting a highly stylized Queen Isabella, the Spanish monarch responsible for fostering Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World.

The mural is a fitting metaphor for Miami for a few reasons; it’s a city which houses the wealthiest of the world, back-dropped with the mystique of frontier land.

The mural was painted by local artist Diana Contreres and is found on the newly constructed Midtown Pawn Boutique, a high-end pawnshop that hopes to serve the rich and entrepreneurial.

Join WLRN For A Night Of South Florida Trivia

Jul 31, 2013
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/8820

We want to see who is the most knowledgeable local out there! The questions will be about South Florida history and pop culture. Here are some examples (for the answers, please scroll to the bottom):

1.  What TV show set in Miami was a break-out hit for actor Edward James Olmos? 

2. Name the last Category 5 hurricane to hit the continental United States. HINT: This is trivia about South Florida.


“Who says that we get to kill all the books,” asked District 10 City Commissioner Javier Soto.

Miami, apparently, does. 

The decision yesterday was made to theoretically close 22 libraries (10 storefronts and 12 branches) as well as lay off 251 employees. This number is presented as the worst-case scenario. While it could be less, the closings are nearly half of the libraries in Miami-Dade.

What The Lack Of Asian-Americans Says About Miami

Jul 11, 2013

“Miami is the face of America's future” is a refrain I’ve heard often.  It seems a point of pride that Miami is leading the rest of the country in our racial diversity.

But this statement is only true if you disregard people like me, Asian-Americans.

The U.S. population is about six percent Asian-American. Chicago has a slightly higher share, and Boston and New York have about 10 percent and 14 percent, respectively.   

 Miami-Dade County has less than two percent. That’s lower than the percentage of Asian-Americans for the entire state of Florida.