With 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline to protect, it's nice to know the United States Coast Guard has more than 200 years' experience doing its job, especially considering that the Turkey Point nuclear plant and the sprawling, wide-open Port of Miami offer tempting targets to terrorists. Since 9/11 the Guard has mobilized reserves, mounting its largest defense since World War II. Miami is receiving extra attention, and not just because historically we've been a swinging door for smugglers and migrants. The main reason Miami gets bonus protection -- more cutters, more Port Security Units, more helicopters -- is that so many desperate souls try to sneak into South Florida from their native lands of Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere. With all that going on over the years, the Guard has had ample opportunity to practice the tricky business of monitoring the open ocean and the nearly infinite approaches to the mainland. Local Coasties were ready to take on terrorists even before the jihad began in force. No wonder the Department of Homeland Security celebrated its first anniversary at Bayfront Park.

The tight end finished second in receiving for UM this past season, but first in catching hell for his explosive verbal slants. One somehow morphed into a long bomb. The game in question: a humiliating 10-6 loss to Tennessee. Winslow, son of NFL Hall of Famer turned TV commentator Kellen Winslow, Sr., was peeved by the cheap shots Volunteers took at his knees. Then, while tackling Winslow after a 22-yard reception, Vols tore the helmet off his head. Other witnesses said Winslow spiked the ball too hard, and refs flagged him for unsportsmanlike conduct. After the game, in which the junior caught 7 passes for 88 yards, quoth he: "It's war. They're out there to kill you, so I'm out there to kill them.... They're going after my legs. I'm going to come right back at them. I'm a fucking soldier." Now that's the fighting spirit UM pays its professional student-athletes to whip up. But Commander Coker (Larry's a coach, not an English professor) issued orders for an apology, in case Winslow's military metaphor had offended any U.S. soldiers fighting real wars. "A-N-A-L-O-G-Y! What's that spell? ANALOGY! What's that spell? ANALOGY!" Winslow blamed the refs for squelching freedom of expression. "I can't even get hyped up after a play," he told reporters. "I can't even get my crowd hyped up." But you can bet he'll get many millions of dollars when he moves to the NFL, which he's been ready to do since he was a freshman. And which he will in fact do this year.

Early last year political novices Vanessa Bravo, Cindy Miel, and Adriana Narvaez announced that they intended to oust three incumbent Hialeah city councilmen. The incumbents were toadies of Mayor for Life Raul Martinez, and so political pundits warned that the ladies would be obliterated by the well-oiled Martinez machine. But after campaigning in every nook and cranny of the county's second-largest city, the newcomers shocked nearly everyone: They trounced the Martinez acolytes at the polls by overwhelming margins. Absentee ballots, however, were another matter. The incumbents somehow managed to attract far more of those than the Hialeah Three. Bravo and Miel ended up winning anyway, but Narvaez lost as a result of the absentee count. (In a lawsuit she is claiming vote fraud; law-enforcement agencies are now investigating.) The ladies' success must have humiliated Martinez, judging from his subsequent behavior. Not a city council meeting now adjourns without him having publicly insulted Bravo and Miel.

Early last year political novices Vanessa Bravo, Cindy Miel, and Adriana Narvaez announced that they intended to oust three incumbent Hialeah city councilmen. The incumbents were toadies of Mayor for Life Raul Martinez, and so political pundits warned that the ladies would be obliterated by the well-oiled Martinez machine. But after campaigning in every nook and cranny of the county's second-largest city, the newcomers shocked nearly everyone: They trounced the Martinez acolytes at the polls by overwhelming margins. Absentee ballots, however, were another matter. The incumbents somehow managed to attract far more of those than the Hialeah Three. Bravo and Miel ended up winning anyway, but Narvaez lost as a result of the absentee count. (In a lawsuit she is claiming vote fraud; law-enforcement agencies are now investigating.) The ladies' success must have humiliated Martinez, judging from his subsequent behavior. Not a city council meeting now adjourns without him having publicly insulted Bravo and Miel.

It was a slow year for trades involving South Florida's major sports teams, but one that was executed with little fanfare turned out to be instrumental in a championship run. That was the trade for Jeff Conine by the Florida Marlins. One of the franchise's original players, Conine returned to his old club this past July, smack in the middle of a playoff chase. After years of consistently trading away good players, the Marlins finally revived trust and support among fans by acquiring a batter who was both productive and, more crucial, productive in the clutch. They had to give up nothing more than a couple of minor-league prospects. When there was a need for a timely hit at the end of close games, Conine was often the man. He played a major (league) role in the Marlins winning the World Series.

Could the architectural wasteland at Biscayne Boulevard and 79th Street have seemed like progress when it was built in 1954? These days Biscayne Plaza is about as feo as a strip mall can be. Developer Ed Easton and a partner bought it for three million dollars in 1983 with hopes of attracting shoppers from all around town. Today the yellowish two-story structure sprawls over a dreary asphalt landscape where Pier One, Starbucks, even Walgreens dare not tread because robbers frequently do. But this intersection could be a sleek northern gateway to the Magic City, or so savvy urban designers tell us. Instead it says: "Welcome to Miami: Home of Payless Shoes, Dollar Stores, and Ugly Strip Malls." A big part of the problem, by today's standards, is that whoever designed the plaza had his head on backward. "They were applying suburban design principles to an urban condition, which is what Miami's zoning code still does," sighs Maria Nardi, former chief of urban design for the City of Miami. Instead of the current layout -- a 73,000-square-foot parking lot between the street and the storefronts -- the cool thing would have been to place the storefronts adjacent to the street and the parking behind the structures or in a beautifully concealed garage. Shops abutting the sidewalks, trees providing some shade. Above, as many floors of offices (or lofts) as developers desire. See the area bustle with happy pedestrians. Watch residential property values rise in Shorecrest to the east and Little Haiti to the west. So what's the holdup? Maybe the holdups. But also this: Today the rent even from lower-class tenants is all gravy. Easton has little incentive to sell. "It's a cash cow," says one knowledgeable developer. "They're making a killing."

Could the architectural wasteland at Biscayne Boulevard and 79th Street have seemed like progress when it was built in 1954? These days Biscayne Plaza is about as feo as a strip mall can be. Developer Ed Easton and a partner bought it for three million dollars in 1983 with hopes of attracting shoppers from all around town. Today the yellowish two-story structure sprawls over a dreary asphalt landscape where Pier One, Starbucks, even Walgreens dare not tread because robbers frequently do. But this intersection could be a sleek northern gateway to the Magic City, or so savvy urban designers tell us. Instead it says: "Welcome to Miami: Home of Payless Shoes, Dollar Stores, and Ugly Strip Malls." A big part of the problem, by today's standards, is that whoever designed the plaza had his head on backward. "They were applying suburban design principles to an urban condition, which is what Miami's zoning code still does," sighs Maria Nardi, former chief of urban design for the City of Miami. Instead of the current layout -- a 73,000-square-foot parking lot between the street and the storefronts -- the cool thing would have been to place the storefronts adjacent to the street and the parking behind the structures or in a beautifully concealed garage. Shops abutting the sidewalks, trees providing some shade. Above, as many floors of offices (or lofts) as developers desire. See the area bustle with happy pedestrians. Watch residential property values rise in Shorecrest to the east and Little Haiti to the west. So what's the holdup? Maybe the holdups. But also this: Today the rent even from lower-class tenants is all gravy. Easton has little incentive to sell. "It's a cash cow," says one knowledgeable developer. "They're making a killing."

Who needs a seven-foot center? Not the Miami Heat. They've found competitiveness without some towering freak taller than most trees. A small, fast approach can work when a team rosters a number of versatile weapons, the best of whom is this 6-foot 4-inch rookie guard who can play the point, shoot the nets out, pass with precision, and launch himself above the big freaks to slam home a highlight-reel dunk. Wade's NBA arrival is like one of his ferocious slams, hinting at (dare we say) "Michael potential." The young man also happens to have helped the Heat reshape itself into a potential championship team. Off the court, Wade is a quiet, sleepy-looking, 22-year-old family man. But on the hardwood his cross-over move could break an opponent's ankle and his gravity-belying acrobatics can make a Heat fan out of a New Yorker. Can a kid turn around a team quickly and thoroughly? If his name's Dwyane Wade, bet it all he can.

"If It's Tourist Season,Why Can't We Go Ahead and Shoot 'Em?"

"If It's Tourist Season,Why Can't We Go Ahead and Shoot 'Em?"

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®