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3 posts from February 16, 2014

February 16, 2014

Miami-Dade panel proposed to oversee $830 million in Jackson hospital bonds


An emergency medical professional, an engineer, a real estate developer, a lawyer, an architect, an accountant and a financier.

Those are the types of people a Miami-Dade commissioner is proposing for a citizens’ panel to watch over $830 million in public money approved by voters last year to upgrade Jackson Health System.

The oversight committee proposed by Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson will be made up of nine volunteers with a variety of professional experience, according to a draft ordinance scheduled for a first reading by the full County Commission Feb. 19.

Creating the watchdog committee fulfills a campaign promise made by Edmonson and others during the run-up to November’s referendum on public financing for renovations, equipment upgrades and new construction that Jackson’s leaders believe will attract more insured patients to the county’s public hospital network. Insured patients help pay for the uninsured and indigent patients whom the hospital serves.

More here.

Beckham and the world's busiest cruise port


In Sunday's story on how David Beckham's soccer plans conflict with PortMiami's business plans, internal county documents reveal an open secret: Miami's cruise ship companies aren't thrilled with bringing a sports stadium to their home port. 

Norwegian's Colin Murphy wrote in an e-mail to PortMiami's Juan Kuryla on Dec. 19:

Hi Juan

I was reading that some members of the MD Commission were in favor of the soccer stadium in PortMiami! What are they thinking??

Can I assume we have nothing to worry about with this? Or could it happen?



The email, uncovered in a Herald public-records request, does not record a written response from Kuryla. He probably called. 

Continue reading "Beckham and the world's busiest cruise port" »

The dark side of Florida's greyhound racing: a death every three days

GreyhoundsPenrose Jake, a fawn-colored greyhound, was known for being “tight on the rail” with an “explosive finish.” But after starting strong in the 550-yard race at the Orange Park Kennel Club last August, the dog faded, slammed into another dog, and finished last.

Within hours, 3-year-old Penrose Jake was pronounced dead. He had run a career 127 races, 42 of them in his last year.

The official death report said he died “after the eighth race” of the Jacksonville track’s evening lineup on Aug. 21, 2013. A race video recorded his final competition. No other information was provided. 

The death of a greyhound like Penrose Jake would have normally gone unreported in Florida. But track operators are now required to notify the state within 18 hours of a greyhound’s death at a track or racing kennel in Florida. Approved by lawmakers in 2010, the rules didn’t take effect until last spring — more than 80 years after dog racing became legal in Florida — a testament to the greyhound racing industry’s power and influence in Tallahassee.

According to death reports reviewed by the Herald/Times, 74 dogs died on race track property between May 31 and December 31, 2013 — one every three days.

Unlike other states, Florida’s greyhound industry does not have to report injuries. And, although some death reports provide detailed information, many do not. Among the deaths: Story here. 

Here is the list of greyhound deaths:

Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room (Daytona Beach)  12

Derby Lane (St. Petersburg)  12

Ebro Greyhound Park (Ebro)  7

Flagler Greyhound Track (Miami)  7

Mardi Gras Gaming (Hallandale) none reporting in reporting period

Melbourne Greyhound Park (Melbourne)  none reported in reporting period

Naples-Ft. Myers Greyhound Track (Bonita Springs) 2

Orange Park Kennel Club (Orange Park)  7

Palm Beach Kennel Club (W. Palm Beach) 5

Pensacola Greyhound Track (Pensacola)  4

Sanford-Orlando Kennel Club (Longwood)  8

Sarasota Kennel Club (Sarasota) 4