Pugs in Public

According to city spokeswoman Nanette Rodriguez, Miami Beach's rules regarding dogs are pretty basic: "They need to be leashed, and if they poop, you must scoop. As far as the rules of individual private businesses, the city does not regulate. It's the same as dress code. Some places you have to wear a shirt or a coat and tie, some places you don't. I know that certain hotels and restaurants are fine with dogs."

Rodriguez adds, "As a city government, we're pretty pet-friendly. We have two dog parks."

Miami-Dade County ordinances prohibit dogs in city parks and on beaches unless specifically authorized, but aside from leash laws and pit bull regulations, the county allows individual establishments to regulate the presence of pets with the notable exceptions of Seeing Eye dogs, which must be allowed in all places.

As an avid Metrobus and Metrorail rider, The Bitch was dismayed to learn the county doesn't allow animals on mass transit unless they are "boxed or caged for transport."

Frank Calderon, spokesman for the county, says if there are laws designating where dogs can and cannot go outside of these regulations, they would probably be found at the Florida Department of Health.

Turns out, according to the Food and Drug Administration, a federal agency, "live animals may not be allowed on the premises of a food establishment." The exception is not lobsters but "service animals" who are allowed in the dining area but not the kitchen.

The Bitch also ran across some down-and-out dalmatians aiding and abetting some human scofflaws. Seems the latest trend for hookers on Biscayne Boulevard is to pretend they are out being walked by exercise-conscious canines instead of simply straight-up streetwalking, so as to confuse the cops. The furry beards don't seem to curb the Johns, and it's hard not to wonder what sort of sexual trauma these bitches (the dogs, not the hoes) are being exposed to. (Please note the VIP room at Goldrush did not make the list of canine-friendly places.)

Who's Fighting Now

This past Saturday Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, city manager Joe Arriola, and various other city functionaries led a town hall meeting regarding Miami 21, the massive growth plan for Miami scheduled for completion about the same time as the growth itself. Expanding and improving Miami's bus service, providing affordable housing through innovative methods, and retaining aesthetic standards were among the topics discussed at the roughly eight-hour forum.

The Bitch, sitting in on a public-transportation Q&A session, nearly missed the most (and maybe the only) exciting part of the day when Arriola, known around city hall for his temper tantrums, blew up at a citizen. It didn't take canine auditory abilities to hear the yelling that erupted next door at the session on economic development attended by Arriola, Diaz, and others. In fact the word asshole reverberated through the wall. Always on the lookout for temper tantrum tips, The Bitch took off running, just in time to see Diaz, dapper economic development advisor Otto Boudet-Murias, and a couple of shaken planning department flunkies walking Arriola out of the room like the Indiana Pacers walking Ron Artestout of the arena after he attacked fans during a basketball melee at Detroit's Palace arena. Arriola had the same look of dazed fury on his face.

No witnesses wanted their names in the paper, being either scared bystanders or activists who have to deal with the city, but The Bitch pieces it together like this: Folks were milling around talking after the Q&A when an older gentleman said something nasty about Arriola, who happened to be standing a few feet away. Never one to back down from a chance to berate, Arriola let the poor guy have it, jabbing a finger in his face and screaming until the city manager's pals whisked Arriola away. The Bitch tried to get more out of city spokeswoman Kelly Penton, but she wasn't talking. "Well, I know you weren't in the room when it happened," Penton said. "And I'mso sorry you missed it."

The Bitch heard another account of the fracas involving Arriola, in which the recipient of his ire was Ricardo Gonzalez, director of the city's Neighborhood Enhancement Teams. Still another observer reported new urbanist Andres Duany was a peripheral participant. Arriola explains the situation thusly: "A guy I don't know started telling everyone that Miami 21 was a bunch of bullshit, that it was for the rich. Then he points at me and says, 'See that rich guy, he's the one that's helping out all the other rich guys in Miami.' I said, 'Wait a minute!' I mean, he's entitled to his opinion and to say it whenever he wants, but when he accuses me of being a rich guy stealing from the poor ... I mean, I do this job for free. So I said öfuck you' and I called him an asshole."

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