If shelling out 26.7 million taxpayer dollars to buy the tiny spit of land on which the Miami Circle sits doesn't quite qualify as a boondoggle, maybe this does: The ancient site has been reburied. Discovered in 1998 and dubbed Miami's Stonehenge, the mysterious Indian artifact ignited the public imagination and attracted international attention. Six years after its purchase, however, an alphabet-soup of local, state, and federal agencies has accomplished virtually nothing. Experts warned that the exposed Circle was being threatened by erosion, so last fall it was quietly covered with gravel, sand, and promises that a few more years of paperwork would result in the park everyone was promised. Hey, the site lay there unnoticed for at least 1000 years, so what's the rush, right?

If shelling out 26.7 million taxpayer dollars to buy the tiny spit of land on which the Miami Circle sits doesn't quite qualify as a boondoggle, maybe this does: The ancient site has been reburied. Discovered in 1998 and dubbed Miami's Stonehenge, the mysterious Indian artifact ignited the public imagination and attracted international attention. Six years after its purchase, however, an alphabet-soup of local, state, and federal agencies has accomplished virtually nothing. Experts warned that the exposed Circle was being threatened by erosion, so last fall it was quietly covered with gravel, sand, and promises that a few more years of paperwork would result in the park everyone was promised. Hey, the site lay there unnoticed for at least 1000 years, so what's the rush, right?

Tucked between the disorderly conducts on various afternoon Spanish-language courtroom programs, Telemundo has been airing a remarkable set of antifungal medication advertisements. Yes, remarkable antifungal medication advertisements. The first one, for Hongosan (hongo is Spanish for fungus or mushroom), ran a few months ago. The subtle charms were difficult to discern at first, but slowly one could feel the pain of the man-on-the-street who suffered from "un mal olor, una picazón excesiva." Certainly the plaintive cries of the pretty spokeswoman begging the viewer to no longer suffer the torment of hongos demanded further attention. Oh yeah, there's also an angry battalion of mushrooms and a cartoon superhero in red tights in the spot. Then Hongomex began running antifungal medication ads. A Mexican cartoon character suffers from hongos all over the place. His hongos resemble Scrubbing Bubbles. They grow even angrier than the aforementioned mushrooms. As the fungus fighters compete, viewers are treated to an infectiously catchy song and a fiesta during which a cured man dances with and leers at a tall redhead. Freedom from fungus turns into sexist stereotyping. Where's the cure for that?

On a recent afternoon, a Miami-Dade County bureaucrat spotted Mario Artecona having lunch and said, "Well, if it isn't the revolutionary." Artecona responded with a chuckle: "That's what people start calling you when you take on the county commission." Not many ordinary citizens would have the opportunity (or the guts) to appear before the thirteen commissioners who lord over county government and tell them they are doing a piss-poor job of managing the area's primary economic engine, Miami International Airport. Artecona did just that. For years MIA has been the fiefdom of commissioners and their lobbyists, who've gorged themselves on fat airport contracts. The resulting business climate has become so noxious that even a company like Disney can't get in without knowing a friend of a friend of a commissioner. Earlier this year, when the commission refused to let voters decide whether to create an independent airport authority that would oversee MIA, Artecona, executive director of the Miami Business Forum, threw down the gauntlet: He vowed to circumvent the politicians and launch a petition drive that would place the issue on this November's ballot. That made him Public Enemy #1 in the eyes of the county commission. In our eyes, it made him Miami-Dade's best citizen.

On a recent afternoon, a Miami-Dade County bureaucrat spotted Mario Artecona having lunch and said, "Well, if it isn't the revolutionary." Artecona responded with a chuckle: "That's what people start calling you when you take on the county commission." Not many ordinary citizens would have the opportunity (or the guts) to appear before the thirteen commissioners who lord over county government and tell them they are doing a piss-poor job of managing the area's primary economic engine, Miami International Airport. Artecona did just that. For years MIA has been the fiefdom of commissioners and their lobbyists, who've gorged themselves on fat airport contracts. The resulting business climate has become so noxious that even a company like Disney can't get in without knowing a friend of a friend of a commissioner. Earlier this year, when the commission refused to let voters decide whether to create an independent airport authority that would oversee MIA, Artecona, executive director of the Miami Business Forum, threw down the gauntlet: He vowed to circumvent the politicians and launch a petition drive that would place the issue on this November's ballot. That made him Public Enemy #1 in the eyes of the county commission. In our eyes, it made him Miami-Dade's best citizen.

You and your pals just completed your own version of Amsterdam's famous Cannabis Cup reefer contest by filling up bong bowls with White Widow and Northern Lights and maybe some Haze. Packing a couple of green leaf, Dutch Master blunts filled with Afghani. Rolling up some Summer Breeze, Bubblegum, and other hydro hybrids that leave all involved seriously stoned but lively upped thanks to North American pot's high quality. (Crappy weed tends to make you tired.) But you aren't smoking crap, and ripification has been achieved. Now what? Since 1971 Richard Bradwell has owned and operated the Neighborhood Fish Farm. Open from 10:00 to 6:00, his back yard features 137 concrete ponds filled with more than 200 species of tropical fish that wait to mesmerize red-eyed stankers like you. Fish from Africa, Indonesia, China, and Japan can be bought or fed or simply stared at for way too long. It's outdoors, it's free, there are always a couple of lawn chairs for a sit. Rock music blares. Sushi jokes are slurred. You can buy a 79-cent guppy or blow $500 on an exotic species that enjoys eating fruit monkeys and birds. You might want to ponder that sort of investment after the buzz wears off.

The caustic Miami Herald columnist (and New Times alumnus) has been relentless in his pursuit of adults responsible for the injustices suffered by South Florida's discarded children. When authorities at all levels were ducking for cover following the pitiful and needless death of juvenile jail inmate Omar Paisley (who slowly, painfully succumbed to a ruptured appendix), DeFede wrote column after column demanding that someone pay for the boy's untimely demise. Finally the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office convened a grand jury that eventually indicted two nurses. More heads have rolled since then. DeFede also assailed the U.S. government's cavalier attitude toward Haitian children, telling individual stories of Haitian kids stuck in immigration limbo, detained in hotel rooms, separated from family, and with little hope of receiving political asylum.

The caustic Miami Herald columnist (and New Times alumnus) has been relentless in his pursuit of adults responsible for the injustices suffered by South Florida's discarded children. When authorities at all levels were ducking for cover following the pitiful and needless death of juvenile jail inmate Omar Paisley (who slowly, painfully succumbed to a ruptured appendix), DeFede wrote column after column demanding that someone pay for the boy's untimely demise. Finally the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office convened a grand jury that eventually indicted two nurses. More heads have rolled since then. DeFede also assailed the U.S. government's cavalier attitude toward Haitian children, telling individual stories of Haitian kids stuck in immigration limbo, detained in hotel rooms, separated from family, and with little hope of receiving political asylum.

Filling the oxfords of late local broadcast legend Ann Bishop of WPLG-TV was a challenge accepted by Kristi Krueger, who has proved herself up to the job at 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 p.m. Maybe her eleven-year tenure as a health reporter helped her become sufficiently inured to calmly deal with Miami's demoralizing daily news cycle, which brims with shootings, child-abuse cases, and bloody hit-and-run tales. Maybe her good humor and refusal to take herself too seriously have allowed her to endure smug Dwight Lauderdale's condescending remarks aimed at her (on the air) all these years. Maybe her class and composure have prevented her from falling apart even as she was allegedly being stalked by a soccer mom. Whatever the special combination of qualities that Miami's best anchor needs, Krueger has. For that we say, "Brava!"

When the preacher begins laying his hands on foreheads, the energy in this storefront church surges. Thursday night is divine drama, eons beyond must-see TV. From below the pulpit a drummer keeps a lively beat and an organist accents the preacher's righteous words from an old Casio. The pews are full of women who, with gusto, shout the devil down. Soon you're shouting with them, clapping and dancing as the spirit takes hold. Now the preacher is moving about, laying hands on worshippers and speaking in tongues. High blood sugar is neutralized, a bloody nose is fixed, a path to the Lord is cleared, and ladies tumble to the ground. Everyone is welcome, no velvet ropes, no social hierarchy whatsoever. It's strictly come as you are. The spirit is infectious and the thrill ride goes on till late. Plus there's never a cover charge, though a modest donation is always welcome. The only real cost is that of not saving your sorry soul.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®