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Monday October 15, 2007

Opa-locka bans exposed underwear

Consistently ranked among the highest violent crime rates in the United States, the government of Opa-locka is understandably always on the hunt for practical solutions, but boy have they put their foot in it this time. How about a law that bans baggy pants and exposed boxer shorts. Yeah, the crime rate should be plummeting any second now.

Commissioner Timothy Holmes, the law’s sponsor: “Instead of getting their education, these kids are picking up a style that came from prisons . . . And if they keep it up, although I’d hope not, two-thirds of these people with the pants below their butt will end up in prison.”

This doesn’t even pass the laugh test. I mean, so, the height of your pants determines where you end up in life? I guess Mr. Holmes has his pants up way high, over his belly button, with some tight suspenders. (Not sure, the picture on his official bio page is broken. But note that the bio describes him as “powerful, gifted, and compassionate.”)

Now, I’m glad we have a government that’s not afraid to think outside the box when it comes to keeping our kids out of prison, but I think this law is really just the first step. Next they need a law to ban oversize t-shirts, cornrows, and extravagant jewelry, no? But that’s still a half-measure. I think the only way to guarantee these young people a successful future is city-ordained uniforms and crew cuts.

What’s particularly disturbing is that the law’s framers have practically admitted that it does no good — the only enforcement if a cop tells you to pull up your pants and you refuse is that they can remove you from public property. Yeah, that shouldn’t lead to anyone getting unduly harassed by police.

Civil liberties, Mr. Holmes. Look it up. If you can’t come up with any real solutions for the citizens of your city, do them a favor and resign. Laying down idiot laws to criminalize something that doesn’t hurt anyone is deeply, profoundly wrong. It’s worse then attacking the symptom rather then the root of a problem — it’s an attack that’s sometimes near the problem. And I’d note that this is another law that would only stand a chance in Bush’s Fascist America 2.0 (“When you’ve surrendered the big rights, you hardly notice the little ones”).

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Wednesday March 26, 2008

Rag Trade is for sale. I agree with Lizza — hopefully somebody will come up with the money, because this is too good a thing to not continue.

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Monday December 3, 2007

Hey everybody it’s art fair week. Local galleries in Basel: Emmanuel Perrotin, Kevin Bruk (in Nova), Gavlak (West Palm Beach, in Positions). Snitzer is autoselected since he’s the selection committee’s resident Florida expert.

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Friday July 13, 2007

“Other metropolitan areas of Florida are light-years ahead of South Florida on recycling. While communities elsewhere reuse 90 percent to 100 percent of their water, Broward reuses 5 percent to 7 percent of its water; and Miami-Dade recycles 5 percent.” The Herald calls for year-round wanter-use limits.

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Thursday January 11, 2007

Bob Norman breaks down the recent changes at the Sun-Sentinel: 1, 2.

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Friday May 20, 2005

The Last Picture Show

Charles Ray, Plank Piece Those who have not seen The Last Picture Show at the MAC have a pretty good chance tonight. At 7:30 pm, Christopher Phillips (a curator at the International Center of Photography) will talk about “Why Artists Love (and Hate) Photography.”

Their guest speakers are usually pretty good, and the show is a must-see.

Update: It’s 8 hours before the event, so it must be time for the MAC’s PR department to issue a press release about it. Sharp:

In recent decades, photography has seemed inescapable in the world of contemporary art. However, the enthusiasm of artists for photography has often been accompanied by a definite wariness and skepticism regarding this medium. This talk will explore the ways that artists such as Joseph Beuys, Robert Smithson, and Dennis Oppenheim, among others, have both utilized photography and sought to distance themselves from it.

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Monday February 12, 2007

Charlie Crist wants to get rid of all the electronic voting machines in Florida. I say great. But just before we do, I want someone to add up exactly how much they all cost (in equipment, training time, and fixing time, putting aside the priceless lost votes), and I want to sock someone in the jaw. Seriously. Find me the idiot who actually made the decision to spend that money and let me hit them just once.

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Wednesday November 22, 2006

Conspicuous Consumption

Conspicuous consumption on Palm Island. Parked perpendicular to the shore for extra conspicuousness. Not sure the exact address, but around here. Seriously, though, it’s a nice boat. Anyone have a make or model on this thing?

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Thursday June 22, 2006

Right before launching into a discussion of zoning that made my eyes glaze right over, Rebecca Wakefield reveals why the Heat won. “Props go out to the lithesome gold-diggers at the Forge (you know who you are) who did their hometown proud last week by keeping several members of the Dallas Mavericks, ah, occupied, well into the night before a critical game 4. ... The Heat’s championship is due to the dissipating forces of South Beach at least as much as Dwyane Wade’s bank shot.”

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Monday June 11, 2007

Badware

It has been brought to my attention that Critical Miami has been flagged by StopBadware and by Google. All I can say at this point is that I’m operating on good faith, and nothing malicious that may be happening is a result of anything I’ve deliberately done. I’ve appealed to the respective authorities for help in tracking down and eradicating whatever problems exist, but I also need your help — if anyone’s noticed any peculiar behavior out of this site lately please use the comments. Hopefully this is all a misunderstanding; watch this space for updates. (Thanks to everyone who pointed this problem out.)

Update [6/11/07, 10 pm]: Requests for help have been filed at StopBadware, the Textpattern forum, and Dreamhost tech support.

Update [6/12/07 8:11 am]: Aha! The answers are coming in. It appears that CM was, in fact, hacked! Along with 3,500 other Dreamhost customers (curse Dreamhost — maybe time to switch?). Information at Dreamhost’s blog and numerous other sources. I’ve removed the offending code, and will keep an eye on the situation, so CM is now once again safe for your computer. Watch this space for information as it develops. In the meantime — alternate hosting suggestions?

Update [6/12/07 8:45 am]: I’ve gone through all the various domains and sites I host, and sure enough, the offending “iframe” code was in every single index.php and index.html file. I’ve variously fixed or yanked down all the sites. The first sign of this was when Steve’s blog disappeared last week (so no, Steve, it wasn’t your fault (for once) — sorry), because it seems that in some cases the script that’s doing the hacking replaced the files rather then appending (which of course makes it much easier to spot). I’ve also changed my ftp password. The good news is that Steve’s files were not re-infected over the last week, so hopefully this was a one-time thing. Stay tuned.

Update [6/13/07]: The coast is clear. The malicious links have all been removed, and StopBadware has been notified, so the block that Google has placed on CM should be lifted whenever they get around to reviewing the case. Thousands of sites were hit with the same code, this one coincidentally was crawled by Google in the week or so the the code was there. Meanwhile, this code (essentially, it loaded hidden versions of other web pages, which may have included malicious javascript) has been all over the place, so everyone is encouraged to update their anti-virus definitions and do a thorough scan.

Update [6/15/07]: Yay! The warning has been removed from Google. It’s still listed at StopBadware, which is odd since I the appeal was submitted through them.

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Monday October 29, 2007

Miami from the Venetian Causeway.

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Saturday July 2, 2005

Seatbelts and Wine

When the mandatory seatbelt law was passed back in the 90s, part of the deal was that you couldn’t be pulled over for not wearing a belt; the penalty could only be applied if you were pulled over for another valid reason. No more; As of July 1, “police can stop a vehicle if drivers or occupants who look to be under the age of 18 are seen not wearing seat belts.” Fine, whatever. We think everyone should wear seatbelts anyway. But we don’t think it’s the government’s business to make us do so. Boring old libertarian and slippery slope arguments…

More new stuff: We previously reported that you don’t have to signal lane changes. Sadly, this has now been changed. Not only is Critical Miami going to have turn signals installed on its fleet of cars, but we just lost some good rant material. On the plus side, the Florida legislature has granted us the right to bring half-finished bottles of wine home from a restaurant.

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Tuesday November 6, 2007

Ikea

Ikea visit

Don’t go to Ikea! It’s waaaay too crowded on the weekends, at least for now. Like overflow parking lot, trolly, Disneyesque line for parking crowded. I thought it’d calm down a couple of weeks after opening, but not yet. Here’s the obligatory shot of the outside. Now let’s walk through.
 
Ikea visit

Drop your kids at the play station and head up the escalator to the showroom.
 
Ikea visit

So, now you’re in a maze of little cubicle-rooms, each looking quite homey and stylish. Everything’s for sale; you jot down product names and “aisle numbers” of stuff you’re interested (more on that later) with little Ikea golf pencils. A few central open areas break up the rhythm, with like a sofa section, a desk section, etc.
 
Ikea visit

A bachelor pad sort of thing. I’ll say it again — it was packed.
 
Ikea visit

This kitchen was pretty impressive. By the way, there are several different price points at work here. You can get the $9 chairs, but you can also get very very nice stuff if you’re willing to pay something like a normal price.
 
Ikea visit

The table strategy: mix and match table surfaces (steel!) with various leg designs (not pictured: sawhorses). For extra credit, just get the legs and attach them to an unfinished door from Home Depot.
 
Ikea visit

Recycling garbage cans. Remind me again why we can’t have these everywhere?
 
Ikea visit

Back downstairs, you’ll find linens, rugs, kitchen stuff, and about a million other things, some clever designs on familiar themes, others quite unexpected.
 
Ikea visit

The lighting area is always one of my favorites. I got one of these.
 
Ikea visit

Finally, a walk through the warehouse to the registers. Remember those aisle numbers? You find your stuff here (or helpful folks will find it for you) and grab as many as you want. You also get to see the thing in context with all it’s variations. For example, a dresser you saw upstairs might turn out to come in three colors and two different sizes.
 
Ikea visit

At check-out, a $.05 charge for plastic bags. You can also buy a huge re-usable and super-useful tote bag for a couple of bucks.

The line for the restaurant upstairs was like about a city block, so the meatballs will have to wait for next time.

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Tuesday February 26, 2008

Holy crap: The whole area is without power. People are trapped in elevators, traffic is at a standstill, and there are crazy thunderstorms all over the place. Turkey Point is down. I’m pleased to report that power has been restored on the Beach, though, and never lost it here in Hollywood. Anyone have anything interesting to report? Update: Early reports have the problem stemming from the main power lines leaving TP. Update: Problem solved: a fire at a substation.

Update (2/27): So, yeah, the official story is that the substation fire somehow shut down the two nuclear reactors at Turkey Point. 2 million people were without power, mostly in Miami but including areas as far north as Tampa and Orlando.

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Friday October 7, 2005

Great big weekend

You wouldn’t know it by checking the recently redesigned website, but dorsch gallery is having an opening this saturday. MAC continues it’s apparently neverending series of series of events with a movie tonight and a band tomorrow (they’ve assured us that they’re working on making the web site a little easier to use).

Most of all, though, we have the beginning of the Miami World Theater Festival, with a selection of free and paid ($25-$75). Miami Beach 411 says ” . . .the most prestigious theater companies of the world will make Miami their meeting place. They are: Rafael Amargo of Spain, Les Deux Mondes of Canada, Theatre Tattoo and Groupe F of France, Strange Fruit of Australia . . .,” while the Herald is concerned that nobody will come.

More: Maximum Dance Company’s season begins; at Books and Books, a talk about Jack Kerouac in Florida; Global Lens, a festival of films from developing nations; this Tiki thing , which looks great, but has a site which is, like, totaly down as of this writing.

Update: An Italian Film Festival (thanks Maggie!).

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Wednesday December 26, 2007

Carlos gives us the story Miami Lakes Vice Mayor Nancy Simon and the Miami Laker, which has now resulted in the Laker’s decision to stop covering politics in the town. The pertinent Herald articles are here and here. Petty small-town political coverup at its finest.

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Thursday September 21, 2006

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez will pitch his vision for a countywide wireless Internet system (!!!) at a town hall meeting tonight at Miami Senior High. 7 pm, 2450 SW First St. Who’s going?

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Monday July 31, 2006

Feds to help fund affordable housing. Hmm, let’s see: ”$82.9 million . . . part of $11.5 billion in [Community Development Block Grant] assistance [Secretary Alphonso] Jackson allocated to Florida and four other Gulf Coast states in January to support the region’s long-term recovery.” So . . . am I missing something, or are they graciously planning to give us less then 1 percent of the allocated amount??

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Wednesday July 20, 2005

Freedom Tower Fate, Tonight!

Freedom tower, previously discussed here and here, is being voted on tonight, at 7 pm. This would be a public hearing, where citizen input will be heard and taken into consideration. If you’re not sure you want to go and speak, consider the developer’s recent attitude.

Update: The Dade Heritage Trust is fighting this permit. They suggest you contact your commissioners (the site has contact information) and let ‘em know how you feel.

Update (7/21): When the board is split evenly, the issue is unresolved, and goes to the City Commission.

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Friday February 29, 2008

Quilt Weekend

quilt weekend

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Saturday October 1, 2005

Carnival sucks

Carnival Cruise Lines is starting to wear out its fucking welcome in this town. When we first heard that Carnival was sending 3 ships to house Katrina evacuees, we were pleasantly surprised. There was a lot of talk in the air about the nation coming together, public, private, and government alike, giving ‘till it hurt and fixing the mess. The government definitively screwed up its side, but people were giving piles of money ($1.125 billion to the Red Cross at last count), and with the Carnival boats it looked like private businesses were chipping in, too (if only in-kind).

But it appears that our impressions were a bit off: Carnival is charging us (that would be U.S. taxpayers) $192 million for the use of its 3 ships. You might want to sit down before you hear how much this works out to: $2,550 per person per week.

We’re not sure how this compares to the cost of housing those people in a land-based temporary shelter (since there’s obviously nothing permanent about living on a ship), or, say, a 4-star hotel. We do know, however, that it’s roughly four times the cost of a 7-day cruise on the same boat. From a Carnival press release:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of New Orleans and all of the Gulf Coast who have been so terribly devastated by this catastrophic event,” said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc’s chairman and CEO. “We know that all of our loyal guests, shareholders and employees are very pleased that we were able to join forces with the federal government to participate in the extensive relief efforts that have been launched.”

You know what, Micky? Blow it out your ass. We hope jaws around the country are dropping like ours are, and that people think of any other way to spend their vacation then one of your lame cruises. According to the latest information we could find, Carnival is making around a billion dollars per quarter in clean profits, and we hope the pr from this fiasco takes a chunk out of that that makes them wish they’d given a couple of hundred million, plus the ships to the effort.

By the way, there’s a good reason cruise lines rake in crazy money: these ships operate in a U.S. tourism economy, while employing workers from third world nations in semi-sweatshop conditions. They pay minimal U.S. taxes by registering the ships in foreign ports, and take advantage of maritime law to deprive employees, and, when convenient, passangers of rights they would ordinarily have on shore. Read all about it, and find something else to do for your vacation.

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Wednesday June 27, 2007

Night tennis. Somewhere downtown?

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Tuesday August 2, 2005

Find Cheap Gas Prices

Yikes! If you were holding out hope that gas was going back below $1 a gallon (or even below $2 a gallon) anytime soon, it’s about time to let it go. There’s a clean, beautiful Hess station on Biscayne at 114th Street (yes, in the middle of yearlong construction) that serves up regular for $2.25; that’s as good a deal as you’re going to get with pay-at-pump. Not great, but cheaper then most. If it’s out of your way, Miami Gas Prices might be able to help you out. While you’re at it, isn’t it time to downgrade your Hummer?

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Sunday May 28, 2006

Yep: a guy threw his two sons off a 15th floor balcony and then jumped after them. All I can say think of is that this shows how delicate a ballance our sense of reality is. You want to be shocked? Be shocked shit like this doesn’t happen 20 times a day. Rick says that the chandelier in the room under the roof they fell to was shattered by the impact.

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Monday August 15, 2005

Miami Wiki

Yesterday’s post, in particular the bit about Awesome New Republic, got us thinking . . . even today, in this age of hip-hop and electronica, there are so many actual bands living and breathing in Miami (mostly at Churchill’s, but still); shouldn’t there be some sort of account of them? Actually, shouldn’t there be some sort of account of everything??

Well, ok, whatever. This is an experiment which, frankly, is likely to go nowhere. But in the interest of doing right by folks who deserve to be known, we hereby launch Miami Wiki.

If this is to be anything, it will be a user-created source of information. For the time being, anything goes. You should be able to log in and create and edit whatever entries you want. As valuable content is created, structures will fall in to place to protect it. This is the way wiki works all over the place. Eventually, we hope to integrate this wiki with Wikipedia, who’s current Miami page, while useful and interesting, leaves much to be desired.

By way of seeding, we have copied a few Critical posts to the Wiki, although without pictures, links, or much grace. Frankly, we’re not sure what the proper relationship between a blog and a wiki is; both are somewhat embryonic WWW structures. We leave it up to our readers and users to forge the way (MiamiWiki is really great for sharing your thoughts . . . much better, say, then comments on the blog).

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Thursday June 14, 2007

Damian Fernandez was enjoying his summer vacation, taking a nap, when two guys broke into his parents’ house. He woke up, grabbed his Samurai sword, and fought them off. One was arrested.

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Wednesday July 12, 2006

At arcuRADIO, a slam of the SunPost Best-of 2006. And really, it did come across as very corporate and pro-business and a lame waste of time. All the annoying qualities of the New Times version (and more), with none of the redeeming charms (which not that they’re that charming anyway). It was just disappointing. (via ignore, w/r/t which, read the whole post; they get all cute and pissed off at “most white, middle-class bloggers” (wait a sec… that’s me!) for linking to their dis of “Vice” but not to their A-Trak interview. But get real, guys; A-Trak is cool, but that doesn’t make your stoned conversation with him any more worth reading.)

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Tuesday July 17, 2007

Biscayne blvd renovation

Diagram of the Biscayne Blvd. streetscaping currently underway south of I-395. Gabriel has an overview of everything planned for this stretch, full of links and images. I still don’t see, though, how getting rid of the median parking (only “useless” if you’re not looking for a place to park, btw) around Bayside makes the road less daunting for pedestrians — the number of lanes isn’t changing. Also: a Metromover overhaul (replete with more heinous Photoshopping).

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Monday July 18, 2005

Two Cuban Films

Cuba: Beyond the Pearl of the Antilles will be screened this Thursday at Tower Theater. We bring this up because you need to RSVP for a free ticket, and it sounds like they might go fast. The movie focuses on the Jewish Community in Cuba, and from the photos it looks like much of it was shot there. One wonders why there isn’t as much of a stink about it as the now infamous Love & Suicide, but there you have it. Beyond the Pearl was a part of the Miami Jewish Film Festival in March but, confusingly, it’s not part of their mini-fest, which begins Sunday.

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Thursday April 10, 2008

Turmoil at the Herald, as the newspaper offers buyouts to selected employees, with a goal of a 2% reduction in staff. Sayeth the e-mail from the Herald’s executive editor to staff: “The buyouts will be available to three areas of the newsroom where the least attrition has come the past year or so. They include a portion of the photography staff, a group of veteran writers from several departments, and members of the administration staff, including news assistants, executive assistants and wire room staff.”

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