Our Top Story Tonight

TopStoryTonightThe big news out of Davie, Florida is that the giant snail infestation appears to be stopped!

The Sun-Sentinel reported yesterday that “The snails are on the run.”

One week to the day that I moved here from North Miami Beach, an infestation of giant African land snails was discovered in western Davie.  On September 9, 2014, the Sun-Sentinal had reported that the Florida Department of Agriculture rounded up about a dozen of these dangerous mollusks, which were spotted for the first time ever  in Broward County.

The article reported, “First discovered in South Florida in 2011 near Douglas Park in Miami, they had spread over an area running from Princeton, in southern Miami-Dade County, to the Broward County line, until they extended their reach north by establishing a colony in Davie.”

Department of Agriculture spokesman Mark Fagan told the Sentinel, “Nobody thinks they crawled to Davie on their own. Most likely someone inadvertently carried them there in landscape debris or in the soil of plants being moved or something like that.”

It wasn’t me!  Honest!  I have no green thumb.  I don’t do plants.

Giant African land snails are “are considered a threat to both agriculture and human health. They carry a parasite that can cause meningitis. They attack houses, consuming plaster and stucco to replenish their calcium shells,” according to the article.

Photo: Sun-Sentinel

Photo: Sun-Sentinel

A couple of days after that story broke, I saw three giant snails in my back yard and totally freaked out!  I posted a picture of them on Facebook and asked the social media “experts” if these were African snails.

Oh, and I also dashed off a letter to the Department of Agriculture with this picture in case anyone over there could put my fears to rest.

African SnailsThe Facebook “experts” were stymied, but the Department of Agriculture took my concerns seriously because less than 45 minutes later I received a response from Public Information Specialist II, Kathryn Shepard.

Department of Agriculture letterI was grateful for her answer, but still not quite convinced.  So I decided to take a picture from another angle to give her a better idea of the actual size of my snails.

I then sent her this photo:

Are these African snailsKatie wrote back, “Nicely done.  It does look like the one snail is tackling the other.”

Scouts from the Miami Dolphins camp were immediately dispatched to monitor their progress for consideration in next month’s draft.

In any event, as reported yesterday, 530 snails have been removed “from the Davie area — 252 alive, 278 dead.”  Mark Fagan told the Sentinel, “The department is not quite ready to declare victory. A formal finding of eradication requires two years without finding any, but the signs so far look very good.”

WHEW!  That’s a relief!

And in other news…

North Miami Beach Councilwoman Phyllis Smith is up to her old campaign tricks, one of which is to plant signs on the lawns of unsuspecting homeowners without permission.

Everywhere you turn in North Miami Beach, you’ll see her campaign signs in front of practically every house on every street throughout the city, and beyond.  In the darkness of night when no one’s looking, Phyllis has her worker bees creeping around and “spreading the wealth.”  Each morning when the sun comes up, her signs magically appear.

Needless to say, residents are less than thrilled.

A week ago Saturday, for example, Team Phyllis put twelve of her butt ugly, screaming yellow signs along NE 171st Street between 15th and 19th Avenues.  By the next morning, seven of them were taken down.

Smith GarbageAt least one was disposed of properly.

I’m told by that Sunday night, Smith’s husband and daughter were out putting signs back up when no one was looking.  The next morning, there were 22 signs on this same street.  Some were taken down, but more of them mysteriously popped up like weeds the following day.

Eradication is futile.

Weary homeowners gave up trying to permanently remove the pests.  Some of the residents are actually considering moving to Davie, claiming they’d rather take their chances with giant African land snails.

Speaking of pests, over in North Miami…

Serial candidate Jean Marcellus is running for Mayor.


Jean threw his hat in the ring last week, actually believing that he’s got a real shot at the prize this time.

He’s letting Jesus take the wheel.

MarcellusThe Miami Herald’s Lance Dixon reported that “Marcellus said he learned from his previous campaigns and thinks he is in a better position than [Mayor Smith] Joseph to lead the city.”

Marcellus told the Herald, “I think we need someone who has the experience and who has the record that speaks for itself.  When I was there I did a great job and I was team player and I know how to work with my colleagues very well.”

In case anyone needs reminding, when Marcellus was in office, his teammates included Andre, Marie and the now infamous Stephen Johnson.

Just saying.

Is there anyone in North Miami who thinks Jean Marcellus actually has a chance to beat incumbent Smith Joseph?  In 2012, Jean came in fifth out of seven candidates, and last August he came in third out of three.  If anyone is the King of Loserville, it’s Jean Marcellus.

I have a theory about why Jean Marcellus entered the race, but I’ll keep it to myself for now.

In the meantime, as campaign season gets under way in North Miami and North Miami Beach, I’ll be keeping tabs on all the races and bringing you all the top stories.

Reporting from snail-free Davie, Florida.

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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  1. NMB Lady says:

    My yard man took the sign down, but it mysteriously popped back up. An Easter miracle?


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      No doubt.


  2. Phyllis says:

    HEY WAIT A MINUTE HERE!!!! Someone took 2 dozen signs from the back of my husbands truck and stuck them all over people’s yards. I already received a dozen calls on it and I’m going to get to the bottom of whoever is doing that. In addition to taking the signs they spray painted “Go Back To Minnesota” on his tailgate. How mean is that? I just want to say “thank-you” to all the people out there who are supporting me and letting me bring a little yellow into their lives, or at least their yard.


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Phyllis, the Secretary of Defense called. He wanted to know if you have anything to do with your husband’s hummers. What should I tell him when he calls back?


  3. anon says:

    Unfortunately, these residents are afraid to report these transgressions by calling code enforcement on Phyllis. At the last Code Enforcement Board Meeting, Candido, the Code Enforcement Director stated he will go after anyone who violates the law and they will be fined.


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Residents should not be afraid to report unlawful sign abuse. Phyllis can’t do a damn thing to them. Plus, she needs to be taught a lesson! It’s ridiculous how she takes advantage of residents who don’t know the law.


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