By Michael E. Miller
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Munzenrieder
By Sabrina Rodriguez
By Michael E. Miller
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Luther Campbell
By Kyle Munzenrieder
When the Miami City Commission met this past week to discuss waterfront zoning, the exchanges went from surly to surreal. Fortunately Riptide was there to chronicle the, er, "conversation."
Pedro Martin's lawyers and supporters came calling first, asking for a zoning change to allow high-rise condos on the Miami Herald property north of downtown.
In that morning's editions, the paper had insisted it wasn't about to jump ship. When Commissioner Tomás Regalado pointed this out, City Attorney Jorge Fernandez responded, "The newspaper is hearsay of the worst kind."
Ignoring the tittering in the press row, Regalado countered, "I should not believe what the publisher wrote in today's paper? Jesus Diaz said they don't have a plan or a wish to sell. The minute [the] zoning changes and they use the land, not the building, to appraise, taxes will go up 1000 percent. Why would the Herald go against its economic interest?" Indeed even the developer's lawyer, Lucia Dougherty, admitted the Herald would probably not survive the tax increase.
"How many jobs will be lost if the Miami Herald leaves?" wondered Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones.
After some murmuring, someone said, "Ask the reporters!" Everybody turned and looked at a hapless young reporter from El Nuevo Herald in the front row. "I don't know," the reporter demurred.
The next debate centered on a waterfront parcel off the Venetian Causeway. When one opponent took the stand and ventured that "even Latin Americans have waterfront access they have the Malecón," a reference to the coastline in Havana, she faced the full wrath of Commissioner Angel Gonzalez, who launched into a heated speech, saying Miami would soon have "no more easy money.
"Miami residents should take development where we can get it," he lectured. "It's basically our last chance." He added that the poor would suffer from opposition to development. "A lot of people go to the Malecón in Latin America because they don't have a job. They have a lot of benches and a lot of malecones where they can sit, but they don't have jobs."
He finished with a nostalgic evocation of pre-1959 Cuba, apparently insinuating that proponents of public access to the waterfront over high-rise development were lobbying for storming Moncada.
The final motion, which passed, approves the building of a mall directly across from the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts. Opponents were despondent. "Suppose they put Citisquare outside of Lincoln Center!" lamented local activist Judy Sandoval.
She took out a picture of a new performing arts center in Valencia, Spain. "Look," she pointed. "It's surrounded by acres and acres of reflecting pools. Our performing arts center looks like an overturned bathtub."
An overturned bathtub with a Bed, Bath & Beyond only a block away. Emily Witt
And You Thought the Mosquitoes Were Bad
Filed under: Culture
Miami might seem like a rather sunny place for more than 1000 vampires to call home.
Apparently Howard Chaykin and David Tischman don't think so.
Their graphic novel Bite Club details the mobsterlike shenanigans of the Del Toro vampire crime cartel all vampires, incidentally, including the head of the household, Father Leto, the world's first ordained Hispanic Catholic vampire priest. But life for South Florida's undead is not all satin-lined coffins and bloody marys either; these suckers are an ethnic minority who experience racial profiling and discrimination. Okay, we know it might smack of seedy TV drama a cross between The Sopranos and CSI: Miami and, well, it is. But it also makes for an entertaining read: Think The Godfather with lots more sex, a dash of incest, and, of course, fangs.
Illustrated by David Hahn, the 32-page book was released by Vertigo/DC Comics in April. A sequel to the 2004 five-issue miniseries with the same moniker, Bite Club picks up with some of the same characters but a new plot. Clunky dialogue and embarrassing clichés aside, it's typical Chaykin fare, loaded with violent, sexual, and bloody themes and unabashed hedonism. Sounds like Miami minus the sunshine. Joanne Green
Filed under: Flotsam
The very scary Kimbo Slice is on MySpace.com. Homeboy has earned an entry on Wikipedia, and Rolling Stone recently dubbed him the "King of the Web Brawlers." Google his name and you turn up many links to videos of his infamous underground bare-knuckle fights, including his most recent bout but we must warn you, it's pretty gruesome.
Yet Miami's overhyped street fighter doesn't do media interviews. At least that's what "Mike," Kimbo's incognito handler/manager, recently relayed to Riptide. "There is no benefit in doing a story," Mike said, deftly swimming away from this sea current's malevolent pull.
Mike probably sensed it was not a good idea allowing us to delve deeper into Kimbo's psyche and background. But delve we did: According to bios posted on the Internet, Kimbo's real name is Kevin Ferguson. He is 32 years old. He moonlights as a bodyguard for the fine entrepreneurs behind porn sites www.inthevip.com and www.milfhunter.com. He stands six feet two inches tall and weighs 245 pounds, all of it chiseled muscle. Plus his hands and arms are essentially meat pulverizers more than enough reason for Riptide to reconsider our Kimbo coverage.