What’s News In This Story?
–Cafe Rosa Luna in Delray Beach has faced criticism after one of its owners refused service to a family of a type 1 diabetic woman who tried to bring in her service dog.
-Upon refusing service, the owner said that while he wouldn’t allow their trained service dog inside, he would allow it if it was working with a blind person.
-That has set off a debate about the future of service animals and whether more rules are needed to prevent these type of incidents.
-The family at the center of the viral video have called for a national registry to help standardize the service dog industry.
—Here’s another cool story: —
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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According to mulitple eye witnesses on social media, someone hanged a plush monkey from a tree from a student off campus housing development in Columbia, SC.
The stuffed animal was found with a belt around its neck hanging from a small tree in a parking lot at The Village at Columbia development.
— – Aalaiyah ..♡ (@IStandAlone_03) July 9, 2016
The Village at Columbia is an apartment complex designed for use by University of South Carolina student according to the complex’s website.
The incident comes on the heels of another similar situation at Clemson University last week where two students there admitted to hanging bananas from a pole next to a banner honoring African-Americans.
Those two students claimed that their actions were not racially motivated.
Bananas hanging from post at #Clemson, now Monkeys hanging from trees at college housing for the #UniversityofSouthCarolina ?? We take 3 steps forward and all it takes is for one ignorant soul with an improper upbringing to take us 5 steps back. I hope whoever found the time to go buy a brand stuffed animal, remove their belt & tie the Monkey got whatever kicks & giggles out of this they were looking for. Crazy how people can find joy in someone else’s pain. South Carolina we’re better than this. @VillageUSC #BLM #USC #BlackLivesMatter #PhilandoCastile #AltonSterling #AlvaBraziel #Gamecocks #GamecockNation #PrayForSC #PrayForColumbia #PrayForUs #PrayForTheIgnorant
A video posted by Ramón “Krush” Bombay (@ramonbombay) on
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Broward School Board Candidate Posts Video Of Moldy Classrooms And Wet Floors At Hallandale Beach Elementary School
What’s New With This Story:
-Broward County School Board candidate Elijah Manley posted a video to his campaign Facebook page which purports to show mold and severe water damage inside multiple Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach classrooms.
-Manley claims that the video was taken by a Gulfstream Academy teacher on November 21, 2017.
-The teacher did not want to be publicly identified for fear of retaliation.
-Broward County Public Schools have been in the headlines in recent months due to allegations of widespread mold problems at various county schools.
Elijah Manley, an 18 year old candidate for Broward County School Board made waves on social media today after he published a video that he said was taken by a teacher at Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach.
The video shows a woman going from room to room narrating issues she finds along the way.
Some of the things seen in the video?
A broken window, wet floors, wet electrical boxes and water stains on roof tiles.
The woman in the video also says that she smells mold and thinks that mold in growing under the wet floors.
Manley said that the video was taken on November 21 by a teacher at the school. He then said that the teacher posted the video to a group chat that Manley is part of, on Sunday.
Manley then posted the video to Facebook.
He said that he spoke to the teacher who recorded the video today but said that she did not want to go publicly on the record.
Manley, who is running for an at-large seat on the School Board said he posted the video because he wanted to draw attention to the problem.
“A lot of the other candidates aren’t talking about it at all,” Manley said. “Now, they can’t deny it.”
Broward County schools have been the subject of recent international headlines after allegations of widespread mold issues caused hundreds to get sick.
In a statement, Broward County Schools said that the video shows a part of the school that is not used to educate children and that it is several weeks old.
Here is the full statement:
“Broward County Public Schools takes all matters concerning the upkeep, maintenance and repair of school facilities seriously, and is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of students and staff. Per the District’s Facilities & Construction Management Department, the video does not reflect repair and restoration work that has already been completed – with many of the images taken prior to the now completed work. Furthermore, the video includes images from some areas that are currently unoccupied (not being used by students or staff) due to ongoing repair work. The building has also undergone roof restoration work within the last 60 days. Additional interior and exterior restoration and repair work is ongoing and scheduled for completion by the end of the upcoming winter break. Once again, the District is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all students and staff.”
RISE NEWS has reached out to a spokesperson for the Broward County Teacher’s Association but we could not get an official statement before the time of publication. The principal of Gulfstream Academy could not be reached before publication time.
We will update this story as it develops.
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By Mark Kaire
The I-95 Express lanes are literally deadly. Ineffective “delineators” — those flimsy orange plastic poles you see falling down like so many pins on a bowling lane — invite collision and abuse. They are obstructive more than instructive, and they do little to divide high-speed traffic from cars driving at more normal speeds.
As a result, Miami now faces a new phenomenon known as lane diving, in which drivers weave between express lanes and regular lanes as though there isn’t any difference in them at all.
It’s a dangerous habit, but one that has become commonplace — all on Miami leaders’ watch. Real people are suffering real injuries. I’ve seen it first-hand. My firm has represented some of these people. These are your neighbors. They could be your family members. They could be you. And all because Miami-Dade County rushed into an Interstate “improvement” project it wasn’t ready for.
The intentions were undoubtedly noble. The state needs revenue. Drivers want to get where they’re going quickly. One might reasonably argue that the fast traffic ought to be divided from the slow and assessed a fee for the privilege of efficiency. But when priorities are ranked, money and speed should never surpass safety. And moreover, if the goal is to divide traffic, division ought to be a keyword.
The I-95 Express lanes in Miami do not provide adequate division, nor have they advanced safety. On the contrary, they’ve introduced a new danger in our community, and our commuters’ lives are at stake.
It’s time to admit that, however, worthwhile the original aspirations might have been, the project hasn’t worked. And now it’s time to fix it.
It’s time for Miami and the State of Florida to own up to its error. It’s time to admit that, however, worthwhile the original aspirations might have been, the project hasn’t worked. And now it’s time to fix it.
I’d like to demonstrate just how dangerous the problem has become by looking at actual numbers. Consider the following, keeping in mind that these all pertain to just a short stretch of road right here in Miami (about 13 miles):
- In 2014 alone, state troopers made more than 150 arrests for lane diving. That is an especially compelling number when you consider that, by their own admission, officers are increasingly reluctant to enforce the laws on I-95 because the traffic conditions are so dangerous there. They fear for their own lives. It is likely, then, that these 150 arrests represent only a very small portion of the amount of lane diving that actually occurs.
- There have been more than 17,500 crashes on this specific stretch of I-95 between 2005 and 2014. That is an astounding total. No 13 miles of asphalt should be that dangerous.
- The total number of crashes that have occurred on this section of I-95 has increased over 50% in the past eight years.
- At least four people have died as a result of lane diving in Miami during just the last few years. Even more have been injured.
- Crashes are most likely to occur during peak traffic periods (i.e. southbound in the morning rush hours and northbound in the evening rush hours).
- Fatal crashes are most likely to occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and are more common when traveling southbound.
- Serious injuries happen at all times of the day, with incapacitating injuries evenly distributed across the 24-hour driving period.
- Road crews replace 11% to 15% of the plastic delineators on I-95 every single week. That’s how often cars hit them.
- Each delineator is replaced between 6 and 8 times per year, on average.
- When the Express lanes were installed, the average shoulder width shrank by 40%. As WLRN reports, the shoulder along I-95 in Miami is now 7 feet, 11 inches on average (about the size of a single parking space).
Why the I-95 Express Lanes Are Dangerous
Before going further, it’s important to understand exactly why these lanes are dangerous. It isn’t just that they’re fast. Speed is indeed dangerous, but it isn’t the sole source of the problem.
The Express Lane situation is more complicated than that. A number of factors converge to create the danger here, and we can begin with the delineators themselves.
Lightweight as they are, the delineators still stand as obstructions to traffic. Every time a car hits one of these in-the-way wobblers, there is an increased likelihood that the driver will be distracted by the collision and/or lose control of his or her car, thus raising the risk for subsequent or multi-vehicle collision.
The simple fact is that the delineators make it more difficult to drive down I-95. Difficult driving isn’t anyone’s objective, so why did we pursue it?
Drivers have historically shown little patience for obstacles, and many simply ignore them. Figuring that they can easily zip between the delineators with little risk of real damage to their own vehicles, many of Miami’s drivers — already known for an occasional proclivity toward recklessness — now pick the lane that suits their interests best in the moment.
“If I see a line at a grocery station that’s faster than the one I’m in, I’m liable to jump over there,” expert traffic analyst Scott Cooner recently told Miami’s WLRN. That same instinct kicks in on I-95.
To be clear: the standard and Express lanes are not intended to be interchangeable. Drivers aren’t supposed to hop between them. But with very little to prevent them from doing so, drivers do it anyway.
The problem with such “lane diving” is that higher-speed traffic is suddenly entering into slower-speed traffic without warning, and vice-versa. Different speeds don’t mix well, and sudden changes in acceleration often lead to unexpected impacts.
Without a Shoulder, Drivers Can’t Shrug Off Their Mistakes
Adding insult to injury (or, as the case may well be here, adding injury to injury), the diminished shoulder width on the Express Lanes leaves little room for error. So not only is driver error more likely on these roads but there is also a small margin for correcting those errors before they cause a crash.
The shoulder size poses other dangers too. Police officers say the small shoulder is the biggest reason they avoid enforcing the laws on I-95. They simply don’t have a safe space for pulling people over anymore.
Pedestrians are vulnerable too.
On March 5, 2011, five people were killed on the shoulder of an I-95 Express lane. They were standing on the side of the road after a series of accidents had forced them out of their cars. Then another vehicle — this one with a drunk driver behind the wheel — entered the Express lane and veered off course, killing all five. It was Miami-Dade County’s deadliest I-95 accident in a decade. And while the drunk driver is to blame, those bystanders might not have been in such peril had the Interstate not been so poorly redesigned.
The Proof Is in the Price Tag
The delineators aren’t just dangerous. They’re expensive too. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) spends more than $1 million on replacing delineators that have been damaged or destroyed by vehicle impact every year.
If you need a sign that something isn’t working, a million-dollar annual repair budget is it. And again, we’re talking about a cumulative total of 13 miles here. That comes to about $77,000 in annual delineator repair-and-replace costs for every mile.
It’s Time for Change
It is not permissible for our leaders to recognize a dangerous condition and then simply do nothing about it.
We here at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC hold irresponsible parties to a basic duty of care every single day — hospitals, storeowners, insurance companies, vehicle and drug manufacturers, and more. We expect the same kind of care from the people who have a responsibility to keep our roads safe.
Our firm has called on county and state leaders to take immediate action to rectify the dangerous situation on Miami’s I-95 Express Lanes. We only hope that more people won’t have to lose their lives before we see real change.
Take a minute to sign our petition for Florida representatives to step up and fix the failed, deadly, and costly I-95 Express Lane.
Mark Kaire is a personal injury lawyer in Miami and a cofounder of Kaire & Heffernan, LLC.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for you us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place.
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