I’m not quite sure why I feel compelled to ring out an old year by reliving it in print. But for some odd reason it feels obligatory, even if it’s just to remind myself not to repeat the same mistakes while ringing in the new one.
Sometimes that actually works. Sometimes not.
But, either way, a recap is usually entertaining.
On a personal note, I started out 2014 the same way I usually do by not making New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t believe in them. The one time I attempted to make a Resolution, it lasted for about six hours before I was back doing whatever it was I resolved never to do again. That epic fail only further convinced me that (a) January 1st is just another day on the calendar, (b) I can’t fix my problems by wishing them away, and (c) even if there were such a thing as glass slippers, carriages really don’t turn into pumpkins at the stroke of midnight.
Despite ourselves, however, sometimes things change when we least expect it. For example, on the first day of 2014, I expressed a desire to move to Broward County by the end of the year. Since I once expressed a desire for a starring role on Broadway – an aspiration that obviously never came to fruition – I figured that getting the hell out of Dodge was just one more goal that I’d probably never realize. Imagine my surprise when I accidentally sold my home in North Miami Beach and found a new one in Davie all within a matter of a couple of months.
But one that will have to wait until I get to the month of August.
In an annual end of year review published each December, Dave Barry hilariously recaps the highlights month by month. I’m no Dave Barry, but I thought I’d give that formula a spin to see where it leads.
Also, not being Dave Barry, I can’t hold my readers’ interest for too long at one sitting. So, I’ll just blog my recap of 2014 a quarter of a year at a time. Here goes.
I annoyed a few people at City Hall when I mentioned that a burgled car in Eastern Shores got more attention than the murder. Three days after the shooting, a press release was finally issued, and on January 10, 2014, a suspect was arrested.
January was also the month that North Miami Beach EX-Mayor/FELONY Defendant Myron Rosner’s lawyer Ben Kuehne had yet another trial date continued.
And even though no one seemed to care but me, the trials of the Three Racketeers of Opa-locka – Dante Edward Starks, Terence Kenneth Pinder and Faustin Denis, Jr. – stemming from arrests made on November 25, 2009, were STILL ongoing. As expected, Ben Kuehne played a role in the continuing saga as the lawyer for former Opa-locka Commissioner Pinder.
In mid-January, I wrote a scathing commentary on the surging popularity of charter schools, pissing off Republicans everywhere, who in turn demanded the revocation of my GOP membership card. I said “hell no,” tucking it safely back in my wallet right behind my Florida Department of Agriculture issued Concealed Weapons License, while muttering something about cold, dead fingers.
Realizing that in North Miami Beach this could be taken as a challenge, I quickly retracted that last statement.
Just sixteen days into the year, another drama unfolded in the fair City of North Miami Beach when a resident was kidnapped from the parking lot of a local restaurant, driven “to various locations” while being sexually assaulted, before being dropped off near her home.
In an updated press release, the NMBPD public information office claimed that their “detectives had no reason to believe it was connected to any similar cases,” despite the fact that right next door in North Miami a similar incident had occurred a week earlier.
Channel 7’s Rosh Lowe reported that “Detectives from both Departments have been in discussions about the possibility that both cases might be related.” That news story got NMBPD Public Information Officer Major Kathy Katerman really pissed off at the media.
Especially Rosh Lowe.
She wasn’t too happy with me, either.
C’est la vie.
On January 25, 2014, the rape suspects were arrested “thanks to the the combined efforts of the North Miami Beach, North Miami and Miami-Dade County Police Departments,” according to the updated press release, without any acknowledgement that the earlier press release was incorrect.
And without any apologies to Rosh Lowe for implying that he made shit up.
I, of course, was completely ignored.
Major Katerman issued another updated press release two days later, finally admitting that the department’s detectives “are working with several law enforcement agencies to solve other possible cases.”
She did not, however, issue an apology to Rosh Lowe.
Yet another updated press release was issued the following day announcing the arrest of a second suspect, who on January 30, 2013 was also charged with “armed robbery, armed kidnapping and false imprisonment over a separate November incident that happened at the Oak Grove apartment complex at 15455 Northeast 6th Ave. in Miami-Dade,” about which I wrote:
That’s sounds eerily like the very same crime that North Miami Beach Police Department denied was even remotely related to its city’s rape case from January 16, 2014.
Rosh is still waiting for his apology.
Meanwhile, on January 31, 2013 the North Miami Police Department issued a Press Release announcing the arrest of a suspect for armed robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment.
Rosh, I guess hell still hasn’t frozen over.
January ended with the news that North Miami Beach EX-Mayor/FELONY Defendant Myron Rosner’s wife, CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE SARAH ZABEL was famously handed the “same-sex marriage” case to adjudicate.
Everyone on both sides of the aisle uttered a simultaneous “Oy Vey!”
…started out as a bust (for me anyway) with a Broncos’ loss in Super Bowl in XLVII. The Three Racketeers of Opa-locka fared better when they received probation instead of prison time, proving for once and for all that crime sometimes really does pay.
North Miami Beach had its first shooting of February exactly one month after its first murder of the year.
Right in front of the police station.
I gave up asking for press releases.
Besides, the bigger story that month was the trouble brewing at the North Miami Police Department when Chief Marc Elias resigned…
…and then didn’t.
And then, by gosh, he did.
The rumors were swirling that the then Mayor (now convicted felon) Lucie Tondreau made him her scapegoat when she was under the proverbial gun for forcing him to “provide security” for her when she traveled to Haiti, and thereby ending his career in law enforcement.
Marc Elias can take comfort in the fact that as karmic retribution, when Lucie left the federal courthouse yesterday, she finally got the police escort she desperately wanted.
In North Miami Beach, February also ushered in an alley bomb (kind of), a citizen demonstration against crime, another shooting, a third arrest in the infamous kidnapping/rape case, and the shocking firing of the City Attorney, Darcee Siegel.
And of course, February ended with another shooting in North Miami Beach.
Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
…ushered in (big shock) another shooting in North Miami Beach, while over in North Miami, Mayor Lucie Tondreau was getting a preview of things to come.
Lucie’s office had already been raided the previous November for suspected absentee-ballot fraud, for which she denied any involvement. She quickly pointed a finger at her mayoral opponent, Kevin “It Wasn’t Me” Burns, who told the Herald that “he heard rumblings about wrongdoing,” but that he “had nothing to do with the investigation.”
Because Kevin never, ever tips off anyone.
By March, the state attorney’s office claimed to have new details in the case. In a Don’t-Hold-Your-Breath-Moment, Kathy Rundle has yet to make an arrest, while Ben Kuehne has been standing guard to make sure his client and her alleged co-conspirator/serial ballot broker, Nacivre “Charlie” Charles stay out of jail.
As we all know by now, Ben’s luck with that has run out.
Rundle’s luck, however, continues by virtue of the “fact” that there is absolutely no absentee-ballot fraud in Miami-Dade County whatsoever.
Just ask Al Lorenzo.
Also in March: Darcee’s lawyer made demands for a settlement, L’il Frantzie P (a/k/a NMB Councilcritter Frantz Pierre) had us in stitches when he claimed he could afford a $4 million home, and North Miami Councilwoman Marie Steril continued to do battle with the Miami-Dade County School Board for the right to build a charter school …
In breach of her City’s own agreement with the School Board.
Oh, and North Miami Beach “had some drive-by shootings.” But nothing out of the ordinary, of course.
Unless you count the night that I opened my bedroom window only to be greeted by the sight of police officers and search dogs running through my yard, and serenaded by the sound of a helicopter circling my house. It turns out they were searching for two burglary suspects who were attempting to get away.
By jumping my fence.
The dumbasses were eventually caught, but not before I posted a quick blog and presciently mused that “Davie’s looking awfully good right about now.”
In a Stop-The-Presses Moment, the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust found probable cause of an ethics violation against a public official.
The Herald reported that “Let ‘Em Go” Joe Centorino’s COE decided to investigate Councilwoman Marie Steril’s alleged abuse of power by obtaining free upgrades to the house she previously arranged for her mother to buy on the Friends & Family Plan of North Miami. The article stated that if the Commission found that she “violated the Miami-Dade County Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics Ordinance, she could face fines and a public reprimand.” (She was eventually fined.)
Meanwhile, Marie’s mom gets to keep the house.
Courtesy of North Miami taxpayers.
Back in North Miami Beach, L’il Frantzie P started gearing up for the 2015 City Council election by recruiting random Haitians to run for office, while the rest of his colleagues were actually attempting to focus on the job they were elected to do, i.e., legislate. While Frantzie was slithering around town in shadows (and not showing up for meetings), the quest for development began in earnest.
Or, at least, that was the game plan.
NMB residents are still holding their collective breath.
March also afforded me the opportunity to prove, once again, that L’il Frantzie P is a liar.
Of course, we already knew that, but I came up with irrefutable proof in the form of actual documentation. As usual, I filed a Complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics, which was dismissed four months later, because it’s an unwritten rule in Florida that, unlike ordinary citizens (see George Brown), elected officials get to break the law with impunity.
As further proof of that unwritten rule, Big Ben got Myron yet another continuance in his STILL ongoing trial.
As a matter of course, March ended with another shooting in North Miami Beach, which would have flown completely under the radar had it not been for the dudes on LeoAffairs, to whom I expressed my gratitude for keeping us all informed.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the VotersOpinion 2014 Year In Review.