government

Screengrab Miami new financial website

The City of Miami is making it much easier for you to see how it spends your tax dollars.

Miami debuted a website today that will allow you to dive into the fine details of every department's spending.

For example, you can see  how much commissioners spend on traveling, how much the city spends on public safety and how much each department spends on salaries.

Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso said this a valuable tool for the public that also promotes government transparency.

taxcredits.net / Flickr Creative Commons

The next time you open your cellphone bill and feel it's overpriced, don’t blame your carrier alone.

Florida ranks fourth in the nation with the highest state-local taxes imposed on cellphones at 16.55 percent, according to a recent study.

The Tax Foundation tracked tax rates across different states to see how much customers were paying on their phone bills.

I AM WIldlife / Instagram

 

Hundreds of college students flocked to a North Miami residential neighborhood to party at a gym normally used by elementary and middle school kids.

DJ Thunder, who was celebrating his birthday, tweeted to his followers that the indoor gym can easily fit 1,000 people, “so thats what we aimin for.”

College students from as far as Boca Raton streamed into Cagni Gym, 700 NE 137 St., for what some were calling “the all you can drink” party.

The much-anticipated bash with free liquor and a $15 to $20 cover charge was not authorized.

ssalonso / Flickr Creative Commons

A two-year-old incident involving photos of people hanging by nooses could cost the City of West Palm Beach $100,000. 

The city commission will consider paying the settlement to three employees who say they were harassed in the workplace.

In 2012, David Fowler, Raymond Johnson and Alden Wilder found photos depicting people with ropes around their necks and people getting beaten.

The photos were found in an envelope on a city truck they used.

Creative Commons / Flickr user nzhamstar

Chaz Stevens is a South Florida activist who passionately disagrees with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. In a five-to-four split, the high court ruled that opening a town board meeting with prayer was constitutional.

So to poke fun at the decision, Stevens has asked Deerfield Beach to allow him to read a Satanic prayer to open a commission meeting.

The prayer goes like this:

Bar Jack/Flickr

On Monday, Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan released a series of letters between him, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, in which he questions the logic of a state law preventing municipalities from implementing their own gun controls.

Library of Congress

The U.S. House of Representative voted Wednesday to approve a new farm bill after a two-year standoff. It cuts $8 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, but the brunt of those cuts won’t be felt in South Florida.

The food stamp program accounts for almost 80 percent of the current farm bill. With pressure to reduce spending, it was inevitable that the program would be scaled back.

Florida Loses Out On Bid For Drone Testing

Jan 2, 2014
Don McCullough / Flickr CC

  Florida wasn't among six states selected Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration for drone development testing. A law approved in 2012 gave the FAA three years to develop a way drones can share airspace and Florida was among those competing for the research work.

Space Florida, the quasi-government agency, made a $1.4 million proposal to use the shuttle landing facility at Kennedy Space Center for the testing, with the goal of establishing corridors for drones to safely fly between Sunshine State cities.

http://www.reclaimingourdemocracy.com/

    

10/14/13 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with “social entrepreneur” Sam Daley-Harris. A Miami native, he founded the public interest group RESULTS, in 1980, and was instrumental in the microcredit movement.  His book, RECLAIMING OUR DEMOCRACY:  Healing the Break Between People and Government has been updated and reprinted for a 20th Anniversary Edition. 

How Hailing A Cab In Miami-Dade May Be About To Change

Sep 20, 2013
John Davey/Flickr

Miami-Dade commissioners want to make some big changes to the county’s taxi industry.

A slew of reforms are on the table, and county leaders are going to be taking a hard look at them on Tuesday.

Here’s the rundown on what might change:

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