Floater Alert!

Floater Alert!
Many of you have e-mailed us with your concerns about C. "Boss" Poop swimming and/or floating in our water. This is quite normal considering more than half of the sewage from Miami-Dade County is disposed of through ocean outfalls.

When asked where he swims, Poop exhaled cigar smoke, paused, and assured us in a deep, gaseous voice that the only swimming he does is far out in the Atlantic Ocean, unless, of course, the seas are rough and he is pushed toward shore by the wind and waves. Still, dear readers, your anxiety was so palatable [sic] on whether or not to go to the beach that MVB decided to help make your life a whole lot easier. As a public service, we are proud to bring you the one-click MVB FLOATER ALERT. Finally, no more fretting over free-range floaters when planning a day at the beach.

From Miami Vision Blogarama! (miamivisionblogarama.blogspot.com)

Family Speaks Out on DJJ Abuse
Filed Under:News
Mark Caldwell spoke to New Times about his son Justin's claim that staff at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna beat him unconscious. The incident prompted Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Walt McNeil this past Friday to fire the acting superintendent and an officer at Dozier, a high-risk, secure residential facility for 162 boys ages fourteen to 21. The incident was caught on videotape.

Caldwell relayed from his son the following account of the February 11 incident, which Justin said occurred because he briefly hesitated after being ordered to sit down.

"[Staff member Alvin] Speights kicks Justin's feet out from under him, taking him to the floor on his back," Caldwell said. "Speights then puts his hands around Justin's neck and begins beating his head into the floor. Justin starts to fight back, so Speights tells other staff to turn Justin over on his stomach. When they get Justin on his stomach, Speights again begins beating Justin's forehead into the floor. They stand Justin up and walk him towards a steel table. Justin tells them he feels dizzy and then collapses into the table and onto the floor. He was unconscious."

Justin was transported to Jackson County Hospital and treated for lacerations to his forehead.

DJJ spokeswoman Kim Griffin said Speights and his supervisor, acting superintendent John Tallon, were fired for violating standards of conduct. "Let's put it this way," she said, "when you see the tape you'll understand." The video is scheduled for release this week. — Joanne Green

That's a Rap?
Filed Under: Culture
The Marlins beat Philadelphia 8-5 on their first home stand of the season two Saturdays ago, and the crowd was plenty euphoric. But around the seventh inning, when the CBS 4 promo for Jim Berry's Sports Wrap came on the jumbotron, it got downright giddy. We know it's on television as well, but in case you haven't seen the ridiculous ad, it appears its creators were inspired by the Andy Samberg school of rap (you know, "Dick in a Box"). The video shows Berry walking through the halls of the station's office, giving shout outs to his coworkers while boasting about his show's sports coverage. On his network bio Berry describes his hidden talent as "dancing ballroom-style," but we think he could be the next Rick Ross. — Emily Witt

Time for an Oil Change
Filed Under: Flotsam
The stuff in the tanks at Sol Atlantic Biodiesel looks, smells, and tastes like cooking oil. It is not too greasy and, if bottled right, the golden liquid could be mistaken for a pricey face serum.

While you probably could eat it or slather it on your skin with few ill effects (it's actually palm oil), the substance is really meant as an alternative fuel that can be pumped into any diesel engine.

Sol Biodiesel, one of only a few biodiesel distributors in Florida, opened in March. It's run by two 23-year-olds, Chris Miranda and Lisa Bowman, who met at the University of Florida. They deliver the fuel to customers (their first client is the Keys Electric Co-op, which uses the biodiesel in its trucks) and sell it out of their Hialeah warehouse (for a 50-gallon minimum). This past Tuesday, the stuff was selling for $2.93 a gallon — around what regular diesel costs at most gas stations.

Miranda and Bowman, along with countless biofuel experts, say that biodiesel is the alternative fuel of the future: It is made from renewable crops, is biodegradable, and produces fewer harmful emissions than regular diesel fuel. It can also be blended with traditional diesel oil. The substance that Sol Atlantic uses is 99 percent palm oil from Ecuador.

But Miranda and Bowman know that they face an uphill battle to get Florida consumers to switch to biodiesel. "To increase popularity, we think that it would take a combination of education and tax incentives," Miranda says in an e-mail. "We feel the majority of people in the U.S. have not realized the benefits associated with the diesel engine — mainly reliability, efficiency, and durability. For people in the know, these benefits are not a mystery, but even they may not be aware of the benefits of biodiesel."

Biodiesel is popular on the West Coast, where many gas stations offer it alongslide traditional diesel and gasoline. There are no such pumps here, however, and Miranda and Bowman are trying to change that: They are looking for an independent gas station that will allow them to deliver their alternative fuel to a pump, so individual vehicles can gas up in a green way.

Any takers? — Tamara Lush