State of Urgency

(Originally published 6/19/11)

Chicken Little reporting here.  Or, that would be the name I’m called by certain past and present members of the North Miami Beach City Council.  For the past couple of years I’ve been nagging the council to cut the budget and start spending our tax dollars responsibility.  The response I got was, “Oh, there goes that Crazy, Tea Party Going, Evil Republican again!”  Well, okay, they didn’t exactly use those words.  But, the truth is, they didn’t use any words.  They simply ignored me.  They also ignored every single one of the other residents, Evil Republican or otherwise, who was telling the council the exact same thing, which is “It’s the economy, STUPID!”

I guess the ostriches on the council had no choice but to pull their collective heads out of the sand because on the Agenda for the upcoming council meeting this Tuesday, June 21, 2011, are two resolutions for the council to declare a State of Urgency – one for the fiscal year 2011 and one for the fiscal year 2012. Continue reading

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OMIGOD I MADE THE LIST!

(Originally published 6/15/11)

I just found out that I made the “Best Of” list in the Miami New Times.  WOW!  How cool is that?  Your little ol’ worm digger won the “Best Gadfly – 2011″ Award.  The article is published here http://www.miaminewtimes.com/bestof/2011/award/best-gadfly-2827049/:

Best Gadfly – 2011

Stephanie Kienzle

How can you tell when your relentlessly pesky attacks on your small town’s leadership are hitting their mark? Here’s one surefire sign: When the mayor personally sends building inspectors to try to shut you up. That’s exactly what happened to Stephanie Kienzle, a furiously grouchy online critic of North Miami Beach Mayor Myron Rosner. Continue reading

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Shooting the Messenger (and rather ineffectively, I might add)

(Originally published 6/14/11)

Most of my faithful readers know that I’m a stickler for grammar.  When my children asked me to review their English essays, the first thing I did was red pencil poor grammar, spelling and punctuation.  Content was secondary until those corrections were made.  I literally mourn the days when spelling counted on homework.

By the same token, I have no problem if someone wants to criticize me or take issue with my opinion.  But, when a person tells me that my writing is “filled with grammatical errors,” it’s hard for me to get past whatever point that person is trying to make. Continue reading

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The Numbers Game

(Originally published 6/12/11)

Believe it or not, I started out in life as a numbers person and not a wordsmith.  Growing up, my real passions were football, math and science.  In that order.  My original career choice (and, no, you’re not gonna believe this) was neurosurgery.  My game plan was to become a very famous, very successful brain surgeon.  Two events derailed that ambition:  (a) The first time I fainted at the sight of blood, and (b) the day I entered Mrs. Rasmussen’s tenth grade chemistry class.  I finally overcame my propensity to swoon from a paper cut, but I never did get over my fear of the Periodic Table of Elements.  Needless to say, I did not go to medical school, possibly sparing the lives of any number of patients I never treated, all of whom should be eternally grateful to Mrs. Rasmussen even if they don’t know it.

Having barely escaped chemistry with a still passable GPA, I quickly dropped eleventh grade physics for Jay Jensen’s drama class, and added a typing class for job insurance.  Being the yenta that I am, I love to tell people that Mr. Jenson also taught Mickey Rourke and Andy Garcia at my alma mater, who both went on to be famous actors.  I, on the other hand, embarked on a career as a frustrated stage actress slash legal secretary slash bookkeeper.  You have yet to see me star on Broadway, but the one thing I took away from yet another derailed career choice was a passion for words.  The rest is history.  I now write this blog.  If this is as close to fame as I’ll ever get, it’ll have to do.  The moral of this story is:  When you write the script for your life story in advance, be prepared to have it heavily edited.  Or scrapped altogether.

But, enough about me.  Even though I am really my favorite topic, the point I started out making was about numbers, which continue to fascinate me. Continue reading

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You squawkin’ to me?

(Originally published 6/11/11)

As I reported to you last week in “Phyllis Smith, Her Majesty the Baby” (http://votersopinion.com/archives/2847), North Miami Beach councilwoman Phyllis Smith is in the process of lobbying for council votes AGAINST the brand new Mayor, George Vallejo.  Right out of the box!  If this is any indication of how much a thorn in George’s side she’s going to be for the next four years, the Mayor should probably consider buying a really good set of ear plugs.  May I suggest 3M Combat Arms Ear Plugs (http://www.ustacticaloutpost.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=46024)?  If they’re good enough for the gun range or the battlefield, they should do a serviceable job of blocking out Phyllis’ incessant squawking.

As you can see by this photo I dug up, The Great Phyllis Suck Up has already begun. Continue reading

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HATE MAIL! YIPPEE!

(Originally published 6/9/11)

A pretty well known blogger recently told me, “If you’re pissing someone off, you’re doing something right.”  Since I started this blog last August, I’ve actually only received one negative comment, but I just got my second one.  Guess I must be doing something right.  WOO HOO!

Someone who attempted to post a comment on my last blog about North Miami Beach EX-mayor Myron Rosner, “More fun with our favorite Canadian! Eh?” (http://votersopinion.com/archives/2860), using the tag LOL NMB, wrote:

“How are you so different from Myron? He files complaints, you blog about it. He is trying to get back at people who he doesn’t like, and your write nasty and ignorant things on your blog about the people you dislike. You would think that you learned a little about politics when your husband lost the race a few years ago.  Shame on you for making nasty inappropriate comments about the people you bash, instead of sounding a little more educated by focusing on facts and letting people prove themselves stupid.”

Rather than “approve” it as a comment for the blog and responding there, seeing how it’s a slow news day I decided to write an entire column about and to this, ahem, person.  Stop me if I start having too much fun! Continue reading

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More fun with our favorite Canadian! Eh?

(Originally published 6/8/11)

As promised, this blog is all about the second complaint filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics by North Miami Beach ex-mayor Myron Rosner filed against his predecessor, former Mayor Ray Marin.  In this complaint, Myron claims that “business owner Lorenzo Brothers [requested] to allow for the sale of Beer and Wine outside of an approved City Ordinance,” and that Ray “unilaterally authorized” this request.  As proof of such “crime,” Myron provided a fax sent from David Laurenzo of Laurenzo Brothers, Inc. to former Mayor Marin, requesting an extension of the hours to sell beer and wine “during our holiday business hours from store openings til closings…approx 8 AM or 9 AM opening til early closings of 2 PM-3 PM or 6 PM.”  Mr. Laurenzo goes on to list the specific Sundays/holidays during which he would like to sell beer and wine before 1:00 p.m.  According to the photocopy of said fax, it appears that someone hand wrote, “OK RM” at the bottom.

As further proof of Mayor Marin’s “crime,” Myron provided to the Commission a copy of the City’s Ordinance No. 2001-12, which deals with extending Sunday hours of the sale of alcoholic beverages by package stores from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., and adult entertainment establishments from 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.

The plot thickens, eh? Continue reading

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Phyllis Smith, Her Majesty the Baby

(Originally published 6/7/11)

Tonight’s North Miami Beach pre-council meeting, a/k/a Council Conference meeting, was barely called to order when the new Mayor George Vallejo announced that the seating arrangement on the dais had to be discussed.  WTF?  This issue is one that your little ol’ dirt digger has known about for several weeks now, but since the folks involved were hoping it would just be dealt with privately and quietly (and preferably, just go away), I decided not to blog about it unless it became public knowledge.  It is now.  And you can thank none other than councilwoman Phyllis “I Can’t Shut Up” Smith. Continue reading

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Some sobering statistics

(Originally published 6/2/11)

As if we didn’t already know how horrible the economy is, I came across this website (http://www.areavibes.com/north+miami+beach-fl/employment/) showing the employment statistics here in North Miami Beach.  Or, should I say UNemployment statistics?  For example, the income per capita in NMB is $18,080.00, well below pretty much anyone’s minimum standard of living.  Of course, “per capita” is the average of all income, including kids too young to work and other people who can’t for whatever reason, but it’s still a fair amount below the income per capita in all of Florida, which is $27,496.00.  However, even the median household income in North Miami Beach of $38,594.00 is less than that in Florida of $49,795.00, and way below the national median household income of $54,595.00. Continue reading

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Inauguration Wrap Up

(Originally published 5/25/11)
I finally watched last night’s North Miami Beach City Mayor and Council Inauguration on the city’s website.  I was unable to hear all the speeches last night in person because of the crowd, so I bring you my report tonight. 

First I want to extend my sincere thanks to outgoing Councilman McKenzie Fleurimond for his gracious, generous and truly genuine speech.  He was so sincere as he expressed his gratitude to everyone in the city, including his colleagues, the residents and city staff for everything they have done to help him during his service.  When McKenzie asked the audience to give his opponent, who won the race, a round of applause I was incredibly moved.  It was truly stunning.  He also congratulated and welcomed our new Mayor, George Vallejo, and spoke very highly of him.  No one ever said McKenzie didn’t give good speech!  Now if I can just shake some of that liberal thing out of him, I might encourage him to run again in a future election.

Okay, okay, kidding about the liberal thing.  (Sort of.) Continue reading

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