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Thursday June 21, 2012

Marando Farms

marando farms

Marando Farms is an intimate little farmer’s market and garden in Ft. Lauderdale with an extra hardcore homesteading edge. I was first told about it a few months ago when I was on the hunt for raw milk (for home cheesemaking, more later on that), and sure enough, they’ve got it, both in cow and goat varieties, along with homemade yogurt and other milk products. But there’s a lot more — Marando is equal parts grocery store, farm, community center, food activism project, and attraction. And there are farm animals.

See the whole article and 13 photos


Wednesday March 19, 2008


Haha.. someone stole Trump’s ‘T’. (Tagged ‘activism’?)


Wednesday February 13, 2008

Is the Florida sugar industry suppressing documentaries about its labor practices? It would appear so. The Women’s Film Festival canceled a screening of Sugar Babies it “would create controversy and endanger [their] funding” and the Miami Film Festival has dropped the movie as well. See an older documentary here.


Monday February 4, 2008

Saturday’s Bal Harbor beach access protest: story, video, photos. Whadya know — the beach access walkway is to be re-opened “within a few days.”


Wednesday January 30, 2008

Of the four proposals for Miami Circle, only one would allow visitors to actually see anything — the other three involve re-burying the circle and creating “ghost-images” and replicas with educational materials. Boo, hiss. What’s more, the Let Us See It proposal is the most expensive, so least likely. We have until February 22nd to make public comments, which you can do at an online form. First you’ll need to look over the Special Resource Study (click on the bottom of the page to download a PDF). Update: Actually here is the better story, with links to graphical representations of the four proposals.


Tuesday November 20, 2007

Orlando school sues critical parent

The New School Preparatory in Orlando is suing a parent for publishing a blog critical of the school. This is just exactly the heartwarming story of censorship and corporations pushing around anyone who dares to say anything critical about them that warms my heart.

Basically, Sonjia McSween’s daughter attended this school (doesn’t anymore). She had some unpleasant experiences, and her mom started a blog about the school’s alleged practices. Yadda yadda, the school SLAPPs her with a lawsuit. Which is to say something like “We don’t like what you’re saying. We may not be right, but we can make your life so difficult that you will be forced to stop.” Of course this works like a charm, and the Sonjia McSween’s blog, here and here is long gone, unretrievable by Wayback Machine or Google Cache.

But the internet, the court system, the media . . . these things sometimes have a peculiar poetic justice sometimes. See, the court documents the school filed, by necessity, need to substantiate their claims, and so must reproduce the blog’s content. Read the entire pdf of the complaint blog lawsuit complaint.pdf, or just click the images below to see the blog’s content, as captured and reproduced by the school. And if what McSween says isn’t enough to convince you about New School, ask yourself whether you really want your child to attend a school that uses the courts to silence its critics. Judge for yourself whether her statements rise to the level of “slander” against the school. You may also note that it appears from the lawyer’s letters intermingled with the below that McSween complied with every obnoxious takedown request the school’s henchmen threw at her.

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

New School Orlando blogger lawsuit complaint

Update: from the Orlando Sentinel story:

David Simmons, an Orlando attorney representing New School, said the lawsuit, filed in late October, was prompted by McSween’s postings suggesting a possible kickback scheme between a psychologist and the school. Simmons described that allegation as “ludicrous” and “damaging.”

“We’ve only asked that she tell the truth if she’s going to make any kind of statements,” Simmons said. “No one should be able to hide under the cloak of freedom of speech by making false statements.”

This is pretty transparent bullshit. The wording on McSween’s website makes it extremely clear that the “kickback scheme” is a suspicion, not an allegation. What’s more, she provides some pretty convincing evidence for her suspicion, based on her conversations with other parents and the school’s administration (see second page of the above documents).

To boot, contrast “we’ve only asked that she tell the truth,” the line David Simmons gave the press, with “in order to avoid incurring and additional damages in the future, we hereby demand that you and/or your representatives cease and desist,” from his letter to McSween. “You or your representatives”? What a mocking asshole.


Monday November 19, 2007

The Herald’s Nicholas Spangler reports on the on the Fisher Island invasion. No pictures, unfortunately, but go read it, it’s a great article.

[In fact, here’s an Archived text version].


Monday November 12, 2007

Fisher Island beach invasion!

SEIU Boat protest

On November 17th, over a dozen boats will leave Jimbo’s on Virginia Key, packed with volunteers. They’ll approach the shores of Fisher Island (wealthiest zip code in America!) and the volunteers will swim the rest of the way, and then proceed to enjoy the “public” beach. You can download a registration form [.doc] if you’d like to participate.

It’s organized by SEIU Local 11 as a protest to the treatment of workers on the island. More information at One Miami Now. Whatever your feelings about that, this seems like a completely reasonable action, and possibly lots of fun to participate in (although the water will be cold!). Free buses will be available to transport folks down to Jimbos — those not swimming are encouraged to come and cheer the swimmers on.


Friday October 5, 2007

The City of Miami will pay $160,000 and the county $300,000, in a settlement with 20 victims of police brutality/abuse during the 2003 FTAA protests. Our pal Tamara even throws in a few choice Chief Timoney quotes from back then, like calling protesters “pussies.”


Tuesday September 18, 2007

Student tasered for asking John Kerry questions at UF

More, um, very nice police officers acting very nice in this story and video from a John Kerry speech at U/F yesterday. Student Andrew Meyer gets on the microphone and accosts Kerry for not contesting the 2004 elections, asks if he’s a member of Skull and Bones, and generally tries to get all loud and protesty. At this point campus police try to arrest him, and he sort of waves them off and continues his questioning. More police arrive and try to arrest him, and Meyer questions them, yelling “what did I do, what did I do?”

Eventually they get him down, and the, um, six of them have trouble getting his hands behind his back, and I guess they’re pissed that he still hasn’t shut the fuck up, because another cop calmly walks over with a taser. “Don’t tase me, bro!” we hear Meyer yelling, as he’s held down by a bunch of the cops, but bro goes ahead and gives him a good jolt anyway, and we hear Meyer howling in pain.

OK, so a few things.

  1. What’s most remarkable about this is that somehow Meyer is on the microphone during the whole thing — we hear him clearly, and so does the whole room. Without that this whole incident would have looked very different.
  2. Is it a crime to “disturb” public events (where “disturb” = not shutting the fuck up when told to do so)? I guess, but this is at best a marginal case.
  3. We’re pretty numb to seeing absurd police cruelty and violence directed at anyone getting uppity, but campus police? You’d think they’d see this stuff all the time, and shrug it off. Nope.
  4. What’s up with the rest of the students? They sit there like a bunch of obedient little sheep. Why aren’t they all standing and yelling at the cops?
  5. And what’s up with dude Kerry? Clearly he sees what’s going on, and he tries to act like nothing’s happing, telling the crowd to calm down, that it’s a good question and . . . WTF, he’s got people’s attention, how about “LET THAT GUY GO, HE’S ASKING IMPORTANT QUESTIONS QUESTIONS!” How about getting off the stage and intervening in the situation (maybe he’s afraid they’ll taser him, too)? What a coward; thank god we didn’t elect this guy president. Geez.

(thanks, Gabriel)

Update: A different video of the same incident.

Much more at EKBTV: 1, 2, including the following:

Please call to express your concerns about this horrific incident:

University of Florida Police Department: (352) 329-1111

University of Florida main switchboard: (352) 392-3261

Update: Andrew Meyer’s website (via Bob, who is exactly right)

Update: I’ve no idea why the moron editors at the Gainesville Sun took down the story at the original link, but their reporters have been all over this, issuing several stories a day on various angles of the story. They’re pretty easy to find on the website (search “Andrew Meyer taser”), but here’s an overall follow-up.


Wednesday August 8, 2007

Demonstration to save the coral house

Coral house

Margaret sent this along (here is her photo set of the coral house):

Location: 900 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139

On Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 6:00PM, historic preservationists and residents of Miami Beach will demonstrate and picket to urge the City of Miami Beach to save the historic Coral Rock House and Mediterranean Revival Apartment Building in the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District from demolition.

This was the same 1916 historic coral rock house that was partially demolished last month in spite of the June 15, 2007 Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board order to make a good faith effort to restore the historic building.

Next week, on Tuesday, August 14, the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board will consider a petition for rehearing concerning the demolition and the request of a neighboring preservationist to penalize the property owner for acting in bad faith and causing the demolition to occur because of the owner’s own neglect of the historic coral rock structure. The petition is additionally seeking the reversal of the order allowing the demolition of a historic Mediterranean Revival Apartment Building also on the site.

An April 6, 2006, a letter from the City Manager documented the refusal of the coral rock house owner to allow city inspections that would have unearthed the cause of the sudden deterioration of the structure which had led to a court order allowing the demolition. With the demolition, possible evidence of “demolition by neglect” was destroyed which could lead to an inference that the premature demolition covered up the owner’s contributory negligence leading to the demolition of the coral rock house.

Update: Coverage in the Herald, along with some of the politics behind the house. The historic preservation board will vote next Tuesday on an appeal to the demolition order.


Wednesday July 11, 2007

Flagler Memorial Island cleanup

Flagler Memorial Island

WHL visited Flagler Memorial Island Monday, and found it a mess. “Sadly it is in poor condition and the beach had piles of trash and overflowing garbage cans.”

Sounds like sanitation needs to do a better job of maintaining the island, but first it needs to be brought back to some semblance of normalcy. To that end, ECOMB is having a Flagler Monument Island Clean-up volunteer event on the morning of Saturday, July 21. Volunteers needed! Help your city! Meet people and have fun while doing a good deed! All that; please register ahead of time so they know how many people to expect.


Tuesday July 10, 2007

The Wallflower Gallery is in trouble and needs help.


Monday July 2, 2007

Margaret stopped by Lincoln Road on Friday and photographed the Sicko protest and iPhone line.


Thursday January 11, 2007

Bennet on the recent developments at Umoja Village, a shantytown at 62nd St. and NW 17th Ave. More here, here, and on the Village’s blog.


Thursday January 4, 2007

South Florida Radical Activist Conference

I saw the page about the SFRAC on Indymedia, but unfortounately it doesn’t give too much information or a schedule. I e-mailed them, and here’s what I got back; still not much information, but better then nothing. I’d imagine you can google some of those names and figure out what you need to go to:

If you haven’t heard yet…the South Florida Radical Activist Conference will be this week starting with NoiseNOTBOmbs friday @ the Wallflower Gallery in downtown Miami

7:00-7:45 — Lars Din
7:50-8:10 — Carol, Critical Resistance, prisoners’ art
8:20-9:00 — I Want Whiskey
9:10-9:40 — SOFUQT (radical cheerleaders)
9:50-10:30 — The Free Chris
10:40-11:20 — Under No Order
11:30-12:30 — The Lepracy – This show will be $7 at the door and all the money will go to benefit foodNOTbombs!

The conference will be held Saturday and Sunday starting at 11am with bagels and doughnuts for those who arrive early!

Wallflower Gallery
10 NE 3rd St., Miami, FL 33132

Update: Indymedia appears to be temporarily down. Here’s the cached page. More info.


Thursday April 6, 2006

Yellow arrow

It’s taken a long-ass time, but Yellow Arrow [made me download a new version of Flash] finally has some traction in Miami, with 128 arrows (this one is on the sidewalk on Lenox Ave on the Beach). Yellow Arrow started in NYC years ago.

The basic idea is that you use the arrows to tag stuff in the real world (can’t be private property) with arrows you get from the site, and link the unique code on the arrow to your comment about the thing. Others who come across the arrow can get your comment by SMS from their cell. I can’t link to the specific pages on the site (drat that flash!) but poke around.

Tracking these down can’t possibly be worth the effort, but they’re definitely something to be on the lookout for. Better yet, plant some of your own – you order the arrows for 50 cents a piece, and you can do the whole thing from a cell, out in the real world.


Thursday June 30, 2005

Miami Circle

View of Biscayne Bay, Miami Circle in foreground

Ladies and gentlemen, it has been seven long years since Miami Circle was uncovered. Coinciding with the original boom of the internet, the controversy around the site was something old experienced in a new way. Everybody got to freak out when a reputable archeologist dared to point out that there was a possibility that the site was a septic tank. The BBC made a documentary.

And then . . . nothing. Here we are, years later, and the site is just as it was then. What has Miami Circle done for us lately? Granted, it is a nice green patch of primo turf that the developers can’t touch; something tasty about that. But it sits there, behind two layers of chain-link, very very innanimate. Apparently there is no way to open it to the public — we would destroy the treasure.

Well, ok, one nice thing happened — the Circle’s influence is spreading. In addition to making its own site undevelopable, it is now effecting development on adjacent sites:

Circle acolytes are . . . pressing its developer, the Related Group of Florida, to make design changes to lessen the project’s impact on the 2,000-year-old circle, including moving a proposed 50-story waterfront tower that would loom over the site and partially block views of Biscayne Bay. Archaeologists believe the water views were important to the site’s builders, the extinct Tequesta Indians.

Miami Cricle shrine, today For now, the developers are at least paying lip service to said “acolytes,” but the real issue is the ultimate fate of the Circle. There are vague plans to open the site to the public, but if it hasn’t happened in all this time, when will it happen? We’re voting for never. For Bicentennial Park to sit useless and empty for decades was a tragedy; it’s a huge site with huge potential. Here’s a little site, with serious historical import. Maybe it deserves to sit in limbo, a monument to bureaucracy’s inability to confront its own past injustices.