YSF – 2019 South Florida Headlines

YSF – 2019 South Florida Headlines


AS WE BEGIN THIS NEW YEAR,
MANY OF THE ISSUES WE CONTINUE TO DEAL WITH HERE IN SOUTH
FLORIDA ARE GETTING A FRESH APPROACH AND IN SOME CASES A NEW
DOSE OF FUNDING. PROBLEMS SUCH AS HOUSING
AFFORDABILITY, HOMELESSNESS, TRANSPORTATION AND THE
ENVIRONMENT WILL CERTAINLY MAKE HEADLINES. AND JUST THIS WEEK WITH THE
ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRAGEDY A LITTLE MORE THAN A MONTH AWAY
THE MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL SAFETY
COMMISSION FINALIZED ITS REPORT ON THE SHOOTING IN PARKLAND, THE
REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION WHICH WITH IS MADE UP OF LAW
ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, PUBLIC OFFICIALS, MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS
AND PARENTS OF THE STUDENTS KILLED DETAILS WHAT FAILURES LED
TO THE TRAGEDY AND HOW TO MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN. HERE WITH THE LATEST ON THE
COMMISSION’S FINDINGS AND MORE TOPICS EXPECTED TO MAKE
HEADLINES IN 2019 IS BRITNEY WOLMAN SENIOR REPORTER FOR
SUN-SENTINEL AND CHUCK STRAUSS, EDITOR OF THE MIAMI NEW TIMES. THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR BEING
HERE. THANK YOU. THANKS FOR HAVING US. Pam: SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT. BRITNEY, LET’S START WITH YOU
AND TALK ABOUT THE COMMISSION, THE REPORT, HIGHLIGHT AND
OUTLINE FOR US SOME OF THE BIG FINDINGS WERE, BECAUSE THEY MADE
RECOMMENDATIONS WHICH ARE NOW GOING TO TALLAHASSEE AND TO THE
GOVERNOR AND EVENTUALLY TO THE LEGISLATURE TO ENACT SOME NEW
LAWS; IS THAT CORRECT? THAT’S RIGHT A LOT OF WHAT IS
IN THE FINAL REPORT HAD ALREADY BEEN SORT OF HINTED AT OVER
MONTHS BUT IT LEAVES OUT AND, IN IT LAYS OUT IN EXCRUCIATING
DETAIL OF ALL OF THE BREAKDOWNS, THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT
WENT WRONG THAT LED UP TO THE SHOOTING, AND SO ONE OF THE
RECOMMENDATIONS IS TO ARM TEACHERS, WHICH IS GOING TO BE
VERY CONTROVERSIAL, OBVIOUSLY. Pam: YES. THEY — YOU KNOW, THERE ARE
IS GOING TO BE A CALL FOR ACCOUNTABILITY FOR EVERYBODY
WHO, YOU KNOW, THE DEPUTIES WHO DIDN’T GO IN WHEN THEY HEARD
SHOTS, THEY DID NOT CALL FOR THE OUSTER OF THE SHERIFF BUT AS YOU
KNOW, THERE IS, YOU KNOW, SOME THAT WANT THE GOVERNOR ELECT TO
DO THAT WHEN HE GETS INTO OFFICE. THERE IS RECOMMENDATIONS ABOUT
MAKING CLASSROOMS SAFER. YOU
KNOW, SOME PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED THAT EVEN STILL THERE IS NOT A
PLACE IN EACH CLASSROOM FOR CHILDREN TO HIDE FROM BULLETS. Pam: YES. LIKE HARD CORNERS THEY CALL
IT OR HARDEN AREAS WHERE IF A SHOOTER IS ABLE TO SEE THROUGH A
WINDOW IT IS AN AREA THAT HE OR SHE WON’T BE ABLE TO SEE, SO
THAT THEY WOULD BE PROTECTED, RIGHT? THAT’S RIGHT. Pam: YES.
AND, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE VICTIMS WAS NUDGED OUT OF A HARD
CORNER AND SHOT AND KILLED, AND SOME OF THE TESTIMONY I WAS
READING THE OTHER DAY, A GIRL WAS IN A CORNER THAT WASN’T
HIDDEN AND SHE WAS BEHIND ONE OF THE SHOOTING VICTIMS AND THAT’S
WHY SHE LIVED, SO THERE IS A LOT OF — THERE IS GOING TO BE A LOT
OF DEBATE THAT WILL BE THE BASIS FOR LOTS OF DEBATE, BOTH AT THE
LEGISLATURE AND HERE IN BROWARD COUNTY. Pam: AND ALSO FOR MENTAL
HEALTH. I KNOW ONE OF THE THINGS I READ
WAS HE CALL IT INFORMATION SILOS SO I GUESS IF THE STUDENT IS
GOING THROUGH SOME SORT OF MENTAL HEALTH — THEY ARE
WORKING WITH A PSYCHOLOGIST, OR HAVING SOME BEHAVIOR ISSUES THEY
CAN’T STAY WITH THAT PSYCHOLOGIST OR WITH THAT SCHOOL
IF THE STUDENT MOVES ON TO A SCHOOL, THAT INFORMATION NEEDS
TO BE SHARED ACROSS THE BOARD IN THE DISTRICT WITH ALL SCHOOLS,
CORRECT, CHUCK? OH, YES. THE SHOOTER, THERE WERE SO MANY
SIGNS, I MEAN, ALMOST MORE — WE NEED MORE THAN HARDENING THE
SCHOOL OR LIMITING ACCESS IS DEALING WITH KIDS AS KIDS AND
FIND KIDS THAT ARE IN TROUBLE AND SEPARATE THEM AND TREAT
THEM. THE REPORT DEALS A LOT LESS WITH
THAT THAN IT DOES WITH THESE EXIST GENERAL SITUATES, BUT WE
NEED TO DEAL WITH THE KIDS .. AND IMPROVE WEEDING OUT THE ONES
THAT ARE REALLY DANGEROUS AND GETTING THEM THE TREATMENT THEY
NEED. Pam: AND START THERE. WE KNOW THIS COMMISSION WILL
STAY TOGETHER I THINK UNTIL 20203 SO WE WILL SEE WHAT
HAPPENS THIS YEAR AS THE GOVERNOR AS THE LEGISLATURE GET
THIS INFORMATION .. CHUCK, LET’S MOVE ON TO ANOTHER HEADLINE
TOPIC, TRANSPORTATION HERE IN SOUTH FLORIDA, ALWAYS A BIGGY,
ALWAYS DIFFICULT, IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PARTICULARLY WE KNOW AND
I HAVE INTERVIEWED SEVERAL PEOPLE RELATED TO THE SMART
PLAN, WE KNOW THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY FOR RAIL, AND THAT
MAYOR JIMENEZ WAS LOOKING AT PUTTING IN, IT IS A BUS SYSTEM
FOR RAPID TRANSIT BUS SYSTEM WHICH IS MUCH LESS COSTLY, SO
TALK ABOUT THAT. LET’S TALK ABOUT TRANSPORTATION
GOING INTO THE NEW YEAR FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY. LET’S LOOK BACK. I MEAN, IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
THEY PASSED A TAX THAT WE WITH HAVE ALL BEEN PAYING FOR YEARS
TO BUILD A METRO RAIL AND THE WHOLE IDEA WAS WITH WE WERE WITH
GOING TO BUILD METRO RAIL DOWN U.S. 1, UP 27TH AVENUE, THAT
PEOPLE WHO WANT WITHED TO GET TO WORK WERE GOING TO DO IT, WERE
GOING TO GET THAT SERVICE. Pam: YES.
AND MIAMI-DADE IN DECADES NOT JUST UNDER JIMENEZ BUT FOR YEARS
BEFORE THAT HASN’T FULFILLED ITS PROMISE TO THE PEOPLE AND MIAMI
HAS AMONG THE BOSTON TRAFFIC IN THE COUNTRY, WASHINGTON IS A
LITTLE WORSE, NEW YORK IS A LITTLE WORK BUT WE ARE RIGHT IN
THE TOP FIVE OF THE WORSE TRAFFIC IN THE UNITED STATES
BECAUSE COUNTY GOVERNMENT FAILED TO FULFILL ITS PROMISE TO ITS
CITIZENS. Pam: AND IN TALKING ABOUT
TRANSPORTATION IN BROWARD THAT WAS ONE OF THE MAYOR’S BIG
ISSUES WHEN HE BECAME ISSUE TO WORK ON SO THE VOTERS PASSED
THIS RAISING THE SALES TAX IN ORDER TO RAISE MONEY FOR
TRANSPORTATION, $16 BILLION OVER 30 YEARS. YES. Pam: SO WHAT DOES CAN THAT
LOOK LIKE IN BROWARD COUNTY CAN? WELL, I MEAN AT LEAST YOU
HAVE RAIL IN MIAMI-DADE, WE DON’T EVEN HAVE THAT. WE DON’T EVEN HAVE A VERY GOOD
BUS SYSTEM. SO THEY ARE NOT MAKING ANY
PROMISES ABOUT RAIL, BUT THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR RAIL. THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR SOME
BUS RAPID TRANSIT, BUT I THINK IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE, WHAT WE
WHETHER SEE IS JUST RESTORING THE BUS SERVICE, THAT IS
UNDERFUNDED ESPECIALLY DURING THE RECESSION. THERE IS A GREAT DEMAND BY
PEOPLE THAT DON’T WANT TO DRIVE OR THEY DON’T HAVE CARS, YOU
KNOW, TO GET TO WORK ON TIME, AND SO THERE WILL BE — AND THEN
ANOTHER ISSUE THAT HAS BEEN, EVER SINCE I LIVED HERE, 20
YEARS PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR TRAFFIC SIGNALS TO BE TIMED. Pam: RIGHT. SO YOU ARE NOT STUCK AT A RED
LIGHT FOR NO REASON. FRUSTRATING THINGS, ABSOLUTELY. SO SUPPOSEDLY WE WILL FINALLY,
YOU KNOW, GET — Pam: IT IS A DOABLE THING,
HOPEFULLY. IS IT? I DON’T KNOW. Pam: WE WILL SEE. WE HAVE TO GET THE ENGINEERS
INVOLVED WITH THAT ONE. WHAT IS INTERESTING,
TRANSPORTATION IS ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS
HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IS THAT THE BRIGHT LINE TRAIN HAS BECOME
VIRGIN TRAIN AND THAT IS A CHANGE, YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE
THAT RUN — IT IS GOING TO CHANGE, IT COULD CHANGE THE WAY
PEOPLE GET AROUND SOUTH FLORIDA, UNFORTUNATELY, IT IS A PRIVATE
SERVICE AND UNFORTUNATELY IT HAS TWO STOPS OR THREE STOPS IN
SOUTH FLORIDA. IN MIAMI, FT. LAUDERDALE AND
WEST PALM AND THAT IS RIDICULOUS BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY TRAIN
TRACK THAT REALLY RUNS THROUGH THE URBAN CORE. IF THE PUBLIC HAD MADE OR COULD
NEGOTIATE A PIECE OF THAT, SO THAT THERE WERE STOPS ALONG,
MORE STOPS ALONG THE WAY, I MEAN, THAT WOULD CHANGE
EVERYTHING. Pam: WHERE WOULD THOSE
STOPS BE? WHERE DO YOU THINK
WOULD BE SOME BETTER STOPS. FROM
MIAMI TO DASH MIAMI. YES. HOLLYWOOD, MAYBE. AVENTURA, MAYBE FOR MIAMI, IF
WHO YOU HAVE A BUT THE REGULAR STOPS ALONG THE WAY A LOT OF
PEOPLE WOULD USE IT. RIGHT NOW THE BRIGHT LINE TRAINS
FOR VIRGIN TRAINS, I LOVE THAT NAME, IS EMPTY, IS EMPTY, I HAVE
TAKEN ATE FEW TIMES AND LIKE AN ADVENTURE. IT WAS COOL, THOUGH. IT IS WONDERFUL, BUT IT IS
NOT USEFUL, I THINK, TO COMMUTERS AT ALL. Pam: WE NEED MORE, YES. SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE DREAM —
THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS YOU AND I TALKED ABOUT. AND THAT KIND OF LEADS US INTO
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES WHICH IS A BIG DEAL. SO TALK ABOUT IT IS SUPPOSED TO
BE A DESTINATION MALL BECAUSE YOU GET TO SKI THERE AND
ICE-SKATE AND FROLIK IN THE LIKE A WATER AREA. WHAT DO THEY CALL —
I WANT TO READ IT. Pam: OKAY, GO AHEAD. 2000 HOTEL ROOMS, THE
MULTIPLE INDOOR ROLLER COASTERS, ARTIFICIAL SKI SCOPE, FISHING
HOLE, YOU GO FISHING. PERFORMANCE ART CENTER AND THIS
IS MY FAVORITE, A LAGOON WITH SUBMARINE LINE. WOW. THAT’S WHAT WE HAVE BEEN
MISSING. EXACTLY. YOU CAN’T GO IN, YOU CAN GO IN A
SUBINDOORS IN THE EVERGLADES, THAT’S WHAT WE REALLY NEED TO
DO. THIS HAS BEEN APPROVED, WHAT
DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN? DOES IT HAVE TO GO THROUGH
PERMIT SOMETHING. THERE ARE STILL A BUNCH OF
APPROVALS THAT HAVE TO HAPPEN. THE BIGGEST APPROVAL CAME IN
2018 WHICH PUSHED IT AHEAD. IF THEY BREAK GROUND IN 2019 I
WILL BE SURPRISED BUT IT IS POSSIBLE AND THEY ARE SAYING
THEY WILL. Pam: TALK ABOUT THE
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. OH, MY GOSH. Pam: IT IS OUT THERE IN THE
GLADES. YES, THE BIGGEST MALIN
AMERICA, THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT 30 MILLION VISITORS A YEAR IN A
PLACE THAT IS JUST FARMLAND RIGHT NOW AND A PLACE THAT IS
NOT ACCESSIBLE BY ANY REALLY GOOD HIGHWAY. IT IS GOING TO COMPLETELY CHANGE
THE NATURE — I MEAN THE GOOD NEWS I GUESS IF YOU LIVE IN THE
EAST MAYBE IT WILL SWITCH SOME OF THAT TRAFFIC OUT WEST. RIGHT. WHICH IS ALREADY BAD. WHICH IS ALREADY BAD, IT IS
TERRIBLE. THE DOLPHIN MALL IS OUT THERE —
WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS WITH THAT. THE OTHER BIG ISSUE IS
HOMELESSNESS AND WE KNOW THAT IN FORT LAUDERDALE THAT CAMP THAT
WAS THERE, BRITNEY, THAT ENCAMPMENT THAT WAS THERE FOR
ABOUT THREE YEARS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE LIBRARY WAS FINALLY MOVED
OUT AND DISMANTLED AND ALL OF THOSE FOLKS WERE GIVEN PLACES TO
GO, SO TALK ABOUT THIS KIND OF NEW APPROACH TO HELPING SOLVE
THE HOMELESS ISSUE. WELL, FORT LAUDERDALE HAS
TRIED A LOT OF THINGS THAT JUST RESULTED IN NEGATIVE PUBLICITY
INTERNATIONALLY, CRACKING DOWN ON PEOPLE THAT GO OUT AND FEED
THE HOMELESS PEOPLE, AND THEY HAD TRIED TO DISMANTLE THIS
CAMP. AND NOW NATIONALLY THE MODEL IS
CALLED HOUSING FIRST, AND IT IS THIS IDEA, YOU KNOW, IF YOU HAVE
A HOME, YOU ARE NOT HOMELESS. Pam: YES. SO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY WAS
SO SET UP, FED UP WITH HAVING HOMELESS CAMP IN THE CENTER OF
DOWNTOWN AND THE OPTICS OF THAT. Pam: YES. SO THEY HAVE PUT PEOPLE INTO
EITHER APARTMENTS — A LOT OF THEM ARE STILL IN HOTEL ROOMS. A FRACTION OF THEM, MAYBE 75 OF
THEM, SOME OF THEM ARE GOING TO NEED TO BE PUT UP FOREVER
BECAUSE OF — THEY HAVE ISSUES, BUT SOME OF THEM WILL BE ABLE TO
GET ON THEIR FEET. SOME PEOPLE JUST DIDN’T — THEY
NEEDED HELP GETTING THEIR BIRTH CERTIFICATE OR ID SO THAT THEY
CAN MAKE THE FIRST AND THE LAST, THE DEPOSIT. Pam: SURE THEY HAD JOBS,
SOME OF THEM. YES. Pam: UNITED WAY, SWAY PART
OF THIS, THIS IS A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP WITH
BROWARD COUNTY AND FORT LAUDERDALE AND THE UNITED WAY
AND AUTO NATION AND PEOPLE ALL COMING TOGETHER AND PUTTING
MONEY TOWARDS THIS. AND I WAS SURPRISED TO HEAR SOME
OF THESE FOLKS HAVE JOBS, THEY JUST DON’T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY,
LIKE YOU SAID TO PUT A DEPOSIT DOWN ON GETTING A PLACE TO LIVE. THEY WERE LIVING IN TENTS. Pam: YES.
AND WHEN I WENT THERE, I MEAN THERE WAS A TENT THERE THAT HAD
A GENERATOR. THEY HAD ROW YOU TV SOMETHING. YES, I SAW THAT, ROKU. Pam: THAT WAS AMAZING. QUITE LAVISH AND PEOPLE I
INTERVIEWED THERE .. THEY WERE CLEARED, THEY HAD JOBS, YOU
WOULD NEVER KNOW THAT THEY WERE LIVING — THAT THEY WERE
HOMELESS LIVING IN A TENT. SO I THINK PEOPLE HAVE THIS IDEA
OF THE PERSON THAT IS ASKING FOR MONEY AT THE INTERSECTION AS THE
HOME — THAT’S THE CHRONIC HOMELESS PERSON THAT WILL NEVER
HAVE A HOME, BUT A LOT OF THEM JUST CAN’T — THE COST OF
HOUSING IS ENORMOUS. Pam: LET’S TALK ABOUT IT. THAT’S ANOTHER BIG ISSUE. WE TALKED ABOUT THAT BEFORE,
HOUSING AFFORDABLABILITY, LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT, IN BOTH
COUNTIES IT IS A PROBLEM. IN MIAMI, IT IS A FAR BIGGER
PROBLEM. LET ME JUST — I WANT TO ADDRESS
THE HOMELESS ISSUE IN MIAMI VERSUS BROWARD BECAUSE THE
BEAUTY OF BEING MIAMI YOU ACTUALLY LOOK GOOD BECAUSE YOU
ARE CLOSE TO BROWARD BECAUSE BROWARD IS EVEN MORE SCREWED UP
THAN MIAMI IS. [LAUGHTER.] WELL —
IN SOME CATEGORIES. I LOOKED, I LIVED IN BOTH BUT
MIAMI THEY PASSED A TAX, THEY CREATED WHAT THEY CALLED THE
CONTINUUM OF CARE ABOUT THE POT JERRY CASE WAS DECIDED IN WHICH
A FEDERAL COURT SAID HOMELESS PEOPLE HAVE RIGHTS. SO THEY — MIAMI PASSED A TAX
AND THAT TAX IS BUILT, SETTLE BUILT SHELTERS ACROSS THE
COUNTRY, AND FIRST SHELTERS, THEN APARTMENTS IN PLACES PEOPLE
CAN GO. STILL, THIS YEAR THEY WENT BACK
AND SORT OF HAD TO NUDGE THE COUNTY INTO TAKING ACTION,
POTINGER, THEY CREATED A CONTINUUM OF CARE CAN AND THAT
HAS BEEN SHOWN TO CARE. BROWARD HAS BEEN STUBBORN IN
BOTH ITS ENFORCING THE LAWS THAT IT HAS TO HELP PEOPLE OUT,
RATHER THAN KICK THEIR BUTZ, AND IN BUILDING THE — THE
INFRASTRUCTURE THAT IS NEEDED FOR THIS. SO GETTING BACK TO HOUSING
PRICES, I MEAN, RENTALS IN MIAMI ARE UNGODLY HIGH, YOU KNOW, IT
IS HARDER TO LIVE IN MIAMI THAN IT IS TO LIVE IN WASHINGTON,
D.C. Pam: YES. IT IS HARDER IN MIAMI, IT IS
MUCH HARDER THAN IT IS IN NEW YORK. AND I KNOW THIS HAS BEEN AN
ISSUE AND OFFICIALS KNOW THIS, IN FACT I KNOW THE CITY OF MIAMI
TENTATIVELY APPROVED RULES FORCING DEVELOPERS TO DEVELOP
WHAT IS CALLED WORKFORCE HOUSING SO THEY ARE TRIED TO TACK UNTIL
A LITTLE BIT AND YOU TALK ABOUT MICROUNITS. IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA THEY
CREATED A REQUIREMENT, IT IS AN EXPERIMENTAL PROJECT WHERE THEY
ARE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING. Pam: YES. IN NEW PROJECTS THAT THEY
BUILD AND IT IS A VERY SMALL AREA AND IT IS A VERY TINY
BEGINNING AND IT IS WAY TOO SLOW BUT IT IS THE RIGHT IDEA. Pam: IT IS A BEGINNING,
YES. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO TALK
ABOUT BUT WE RAN OUT OF TIME SO YOU WILL HAVE TO COME BACK. THANK YOU SO MUCH, IT IS GREAT
HAVING BOTH OF YOU. THANKS FOR HAVING US. WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL MAKE
HEADLINES IN 2019 WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU, SEND US YOUR
TAKE ON ANY TOPIC THAT NEERTS YOU, YOU CAN ALSO REACHED US BY
E-MAIL OR VIA TWITTER OR FACEBOOK PAGE @YOURSOUTHFLORIDA. WE WITH MIGHT SHARE YOUR
COMMENTS ON THE AIR AS ALWAYS WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM
YOU.

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