Miami Shores

INSIDE: The Shocking Conditions That Condemned The Miami Shores Motel

What’s New With This Story: 

-The Motel Shores at Biscayne was condemned a few weeks after a man was injured by a ceiling that collapsed on him while he slept in his room.

-The motel also had other issues, illustrated by photos taken inside of it by Miami Shores Building inspectors.

-The two buildings that make up the motel won’t be allowed to open until it meets a large number of requirements.

-Miami Shores Village had been looking into conditions at the motel since at least early 2016.

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The Motel Shores at Biscayne (10500 Biscayne Blvd) has long been considered a blight in Miami Shores by many locals.

A man was shot dead at the motel in 2016.

And a brutal rape that allegedly took place in the motel’s laundry room featured prominently in a 2014 Local 10 report about how the Miami Shores Police had failed to report certain crimes in official crime records.

So when the motel was shuttered by the Miami Shores Building Department in September, few were sad to see it go.

But after a public records request, we can see what the conditions of the motel were like when it was closed.

Read More: Massive 45 Story Luxury Tower Given Go Ahead Just North Of Miami Shores

The property failed an inspection on September 15, 2017 and was deemed unsafe.

Miami Shores’ Building Director Ismael Naranjo said in an email to a North Miami Beach architect named George S Tseng that the case into the motel’s condition had been open since early 2016.

“… the property owners had ample time to correct the deficiencies and illegalities,” Naranjo said in the email.

The two buildings that make up the motel won’t be allowed to reopen until the property owner hires a Florida licensed architect or engineer who can produce a set of plans showing how they intend to get the motel back up to code.

The buildings will also have to have an asbestos survey and mold assessment conducted.

The last straw seems to have come on August 27 when a large chunk of ceiling collapsed on a sleeping man in room 43 of the motel.

A Miami Shores Police photo from inside room 43 of the motel after the ceiling fell on a 53 year old man as he slept.

He called the police and was transported to Jackson North Hospital after suffering chest pain and a minor laceration to his leg.

Read More: New Book Claims That Miami Shores Floods With Poop During Every King Tide

The victim, Alphonso William Wallace, 53, listed the room as his address in the police report.

PHOTOS FROM INSIDE THE CONDEMNED MOTEL: (Some are graphic in nature) 

Taken by Miami Shores Village Building Department.

Taken by Miami Shores Village Building Department.

Taken by Miami Shores Village Building Department.

Taken by Miami Shores Village Building Department.

Read More: This Barry University Professor And His Martial Artist Friend Want You To Die

Photo Credit: RISE NEWS

Photo Credit: RISE NEWS

Photo Credit: RISE NEWS

Photo Credit: RISE NEWS

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

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This Barry University Professor And His Martial Artist Friend Want You To Die

Death is not a calming thought for most people.

But these guys aren’t most people.

They want you to die. But only after you listen to their podcast.

Brian Lemmerman and Cory Hardaker are interesting figures in the growing South Florida Mindfulness firmament.

Both are young and deeply believe in the power of living in the moment.

Hardaker is a meditation teacher at Innergy Meditation in Miami Beach and a skilled martial artist.

He also teaches self defense to adults and anti-bullying prevention to children.

Lemmerman is a professor of Mindfulness at Barry University in Miami Shores who previously ran an advertising agency.

Together they make up Mindfulness of Doom, a recently launched weekly podcast about “life, peaceful living, and existential dread.”

The episodes are funny and light in tone but they tackle some pretty meaty topics.

Along the way, the hosts remind their listeners that we are all going to die at some point, so we might as well be happy with the time we have.

We recently interviewed sent Lemmerman some questions via email (because we are busy and are GOING TO DIE!). Here’s what he had to say:

RISE NEWS: Tell us about your background and how you got involved in Mindfulness.

Brian Lemmerman: I was born in Miami and grew up in Broward County. I studied Architecture at the University of Miami and graduated at the height of the last recession when there were no jobs available in my field. In response, I started an advertising agency with some friends and taught myself web design and marketing to support myself. It was a fun occupation, but learned it wasn’t my passion. I sold my shares in 2012 and got back into the world of architecture and urban planning for 2 years until one evening in May 2015, I was struck by a vehicle and sustained a brain injury that put me out of designing for almost a year. In the meantime, I continued my 5-year mindfulness practice, and I found daily meditation to be the most effective tool on my healing journey. I decided to teach mindfulness to help others who have their own healing including removing internal barriers that keep us from pursuing our passions. For a while I did some marketing consulting while getting my teaching career started, and as of August, I made the big leap to mindfulness full-time. We’re now working on a business to teach mindfulness and meditation online at a deeper level than our podcast offers. I’m also currently teaching as a Mindfulness Professor at Barry University.

Cory Hardaker (L) and Brian Lemmerman (R) are the hosts of Mindfulness of Doom.

RISE NEWS: How do you explain mindfulness to someone who has never been exposed to the concept before?

I describe mindfulness as an art of paying attention on purpose and without judgement. Many people have this idea that mindfulness and meditation are interchangeable terms, and that meditation should somehow be relaxing and peaceful. In practice, one is mindful as long as they are aware that they are paying attention. And for a first-timer, staying aware and consistently paying attention are difficult tasks. The process is anything but relaxing and peaceful. The mind spouts off all sorts of distracting thoughts and daydreams that pull at our attention every moment. Meditation is one expression of mindfulness, and there are endless meditations one can add to their practice. One of the most common and basic meditations is a breath meditation where one sits cross-legged on the floor and simply watches their breath for a period of time. From the outside, it looks peaceful. Almost certainly however; the practitioner’s mind will be thinking hundreds of noisy thoughts during the session. The point of the meditation is not to stop the thinking. It’s to stay focused on the breath despite the thinking. The mind is designed to think. Why stop it? The heart is designed to beat. It too can be distracting in silence. But why stop the heart? This kind of practice strengthens the mind’s focus and attention, just like weight-lifting strengthens our muscles. Inner peace and unexplainable feelings of joy happen to be fortunate by-products of the work-out.

RISE NEWS: Where did the idea for the podcast come from?

For us, the podcast is a passion project that allows us to share our knowledge and experience with a larger audience. Cory and I began meeting over the summer to concept a larger business idea, of which Mindfulness of Doom is one component. Ultimately, we’re committed to creating a global university or retreat center that serves to educate people in real life skills such as mindfulness, interpersonal communication, physical well-being, financial literacy, and many of the other important skills our mandatory childhood education system doesn’t teach. This school will be made available online first, and the podcast is our first step.

As our first foray into podcasting, we’ve gotten some feedback on roughness in terms of sound quality and editing. We’re improving with quantum leaps each week.

RISE NEWS: Miami is a stressed out place. How do you think mindfulness could help make things better?

I hear people say Miami is a stressed-out place. I hear them say things like “people here are rude and impatient” or “Miami is a shallow party city”. That may be true for some people. One important distinction I learned while practicing mindfulness is that my attention creates my reality. If I choose to focus on my automatic judgements of other people and believe the automatic generalizations my mind invents about places, then some of these phrases might become true for me. Instead, I’ve learned to manage my attention and remain aware of what I choose to believe. As a result, I tend to be surrounded by people who do the same and live in a different story about their surroundings. Miami is a story, and we get to tell it. I choose that Miami is a peaceful and community-oriented place. I live as though this is true, and it becomes real for me. If I’m the minority in this mindset, some might say I’m crazy. If enough of us make the choice to believe and live differently, the collective story about Miami will eventually shift. To change the world, we must first start within.

RISE NEWS: What are you ambitious for the podcast? Where do you see it going? 

We recently launched our Patreon Page and are actively seeking regular monthly contributors to help support us in our transition as entrepreneurs sharing mindfulness in this unique way. We plan to continue producing the show weekly, and as our listening community funds us, we will hire staff, seek high-profile guests, and continue to improve production quality. Cory and I have a book idea, and dreams of traveling to do live events. As we grow, we plan to connect with masters and practitioners all over the world who are making a difference one mindful breath at a time.

Fans can become funders for as little as $1/month. Every contribution helps! http://patreon.com/mindfulnessofdoom/

RISE NEWS:  The name, Mindfulness of Doom is obviously pretty unique. But how do you keep the podcast from becoming dark and depressing though? 

Given its name, we acknowledge that Mindfulness of Doom can be an odd first choice for someone getting into mindfulness, but we’ve learned from experience that putting mindfulness in the context of our own mortality creates a sense of urgency to live the most fulfilling lives we can right now while we’re still on earth. The name has a dark yet geeky sound to it, and on first impression, listeners find the podcast light-hearted and humorous. We joke about the end of the world in every episode, but the Doom we’re talking about isn’t apocalyptic. We’re simply acknowledging that this life of ours has an end-point sometime in the future. Getting past the fear of our inevitable demise and honoring our mortality brings a sense of inner contentment and clarity on who we are and what we must do next.

You can subscribe to the Mindfulness of Doom podcast on iTunes, iHeartRadio, TuneIn or Stitcher.

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

Watch More: Miami’s Secret Tequesta Burial Mound 

Massive 45 Story Luxury Tower Given Go Ahead Just North Of Miami Shores

Updated: (The original version of this story said that Apeiron at The Jockey Club would be only 40 stories high. In fact, it will be 45 stories high. 

Apeiron at The Jockey Club, a planned 45 story luxury tower has just been given an important go ahead, paving the way for the long awaited development to be built.

According to Curbed Miami, the Biscayne Shores Community Council voted 5-0 to approve the project.

While coming in at an impressive 45 stories, it will include 120 residences, a 90-room boutique hotel, a five-acre health and wellness facility, a deep-water marina, and several upgrades to the preexisting Jockey Club site according to Curbed Miami.

The official address for the site is 11111 Biscayne Boulevard.

It is being designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rafael Moneo.

Apeiron at the Jockey Club is Moneo’s first South Florida project.

It will still need additional approvals before construction can begin.

Sales are expected to open in 2018.

According to The Real Deal Miami, the project has been bogged down in litigation over the past few years because of disagreements over whether the developers of Apeiron at the Jockey Club had the right to build on the land.

The Jockey Club currently consists of three buildings built between 1971 and 1982.

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

Watch: Greenpeace has invaded Miami

New Book Claims That Miami Shores Floods With Poop During Every King Tide

Climate change is real.

Most people in South Florida understand that things are changing in the local environment as the king tides seem to be getting worse, and as Hurricane Irma showed, we are at serious threat for more dangerous storm surge due to sea level rise.

Again, most people in this town believe that climate change is real.

Sadly, a glaring falsehood about what happens to certain Miami neighborhoods during king tides will only muddy the waters and give climate change deniers more ammunition in their fight to ignore reality.

Rolling Stone excerpted a few thousand word section of a freshly released book by one of its writers, Jeff Goodell.

The book, The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World seems like an interesting and important read.

Full disclosure: I have not had the chance to read it.

Goodell seems to be a top notch reporter who has spent a great deal of time on the ground researching the book.

But, how can he explain this, from the excerpt?:

“In Miami Beach, streets are being elevated and LEED-certified condo towers are rising, but in low-income neighborhoods like Miami Shores, you have to walk through shit-filled water every time a big tide arrives.

A few points here.

One: to anyone who has even spent a few hours traveling around South Florida would realize, Miami Shores is not a “low-income neighborhood”.

VIDEO: storm surge caused by Hurricane Irma in Miami Shores: 

Miami Shores is geographically close to some of the poorest areas of Miami-Dade County, but the village itself is considered a wealthy one.

Census data shows that the median value of owner-occupied housing units in Miami Shores is $397,800.

The county average?

Just $203,300.

Miami Beach?

$383,800.

When looking at various Census data points, Miami Shores (on a per capita basis) could be considered wealthier than Miami Beach.

Look at median household income.

Miami Shores- $97,500.

Miami Beach- $44,342.

Miami-Dade County- $43,129.

Sorry to be a stickler, but when dealing with such an important crisis, all the facts matter.

Now, on to the second and far more important point.

Just to recap:

“…in low-income neighborhoods like Miami Shores, you have to walk through shit-filled water every time a big tide arrives.

That is just not true.

I grew up in Miami Shores and my family has lived in the community for nearly 40 years.

None of us have ever heard of raw sewage flooding the streets during king tides.

A king tide just happened last week.

There were no reports of “shit filled water” flooding the area.

This is not to say that Miami Shores doesn’t have a shit problem.

It does.

In the village council election that took place in April, candidate Eddie Lewis made the potential for climate change induced septic issues, a centerpiece of his campaign. (The point was largely ignored by local voters.)

But he wasn’t talking about it as a current issue.

Lewis was projecting into the future and arguing for a proactive solution to tackle climate change issues before they arise.

Miami Shores, like many old South Florida neighborhoods, doesn’t have a municipal sewer system for the over 3,000 homes in the community.

Instead, it relies on an expensive and fragile septic tank and drain field systems.

This can be extremely problematic if the ground around the tank becomes overly saturated with water.

As Quartz explained in a poop primer piece published prior to the pummeling from Hurricane Irma:

“Backed up toilets are also becoming a more common occurrence. The waste produced by about a third of the people going to the bathroom any given day in Florida (that includes tourists) goes into a septic tank. In order for a tank to do its job, there needs to be room for the liquid portion of the waste to slowly filter down into the ground. When groundwater levels go up, though, they push the waste back up, sometimes resulting in a poop flood.”

Again, Miami Shores probably does have a real long-term problem here.

Florida had a raw sewage crisis unfold after Hurricane Irma.

And the Biscayne Waterkeeper recently discovered a pipe in Biscayne Bay that is spewing raw sewage into the water at a potential rate of millions of gallons a day.

And its been spewing for over a year.

So we’ve got real problems down here man.

We know it.

If we don’t get the world to make serious changes, there is a good chance that the place that we love will become Atlantis.

But, that’s why we need to stick to facts and not get sucked into hyperbole.

I’m sure that Goodell just made a mistake, and we’ll give him the chance to clear it up.

But climate change deniers take every mistake and twist them to undermine the overall reality.

We can’t let that happen.

Otherwise, we’ll end up drowning in the shit.

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

Your Eyes Aren’t Deceiving You. Yes, That Miami Shores Street Is Painted With Pineapples

What’s New With This Story: 

-The Street 98 project needs volunteers to help finish the street mural all day Friday. You can sign up online to help.

-Over 30 volunteers helped paint 10 intersecting pineapples between Miami Shores Auto Repair on the South side of NE 98th St. to Miami Theater Center on the North.

-There will be a kickoff party on November 11 from 5 PM to 9 PM.

-Some think that Plaza 98 could be a key element in the development of NE 2nd Ave as a viable downtown area for Miami Shores.

 


Miami Shores is not exactly known as a center for artistic expression in Miami-Dade County.

But some residents would like to see that change, as the Village’s downtown on NE 2nd Ave continues to develop.

That’s the spirit behind the Plaza 98 project, an ambitious but simple idea to turn a small section of NE 98th St into a “pedestrian friendly” gathering place for the community.

The project will prepare Miami Shores Village to turn the street into a programmable space that will host periodic community events, and a new destination for Downtown Miami Shores Village.

Throughout the day on Thursday, volunteers from the community could be seen painting a large mural on the street.

That mural is of 10 multi-colored intersecting pineapple’s that stretch across the road from Miami Shores Auto Repair on the South side of NE 98th St to Miami Theater Center on the North.

The project has been in the works for months and has backing from a core group of committed Miami Shores residents.

Among that group is Joe Clark.

An architect who has lived a few houses down from the Plaza 98 project, Clark came up with the street painting design.

Clark worked closely with the rest of the team to get a design approved with Miami-Dade County.

It was not the easiest feat in the world.

Read More: First Weekly Miami Shores Farmers Market Proves To Be A Hit With Community

Clark said that he had to submit numerous versions of the design to the county before they accepted one.

The original design was to be a large yellow pineapple in the middle of the street.

But Tony Garcia, the principal of the urban design firm Street Plans said that the county rejected it because it would be “too distracting” to people on the road.

Seriously.

Officially, Plaza 98 is a collaboration between Miami Shores Village, the Greater Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce, Miami REALTORS, and Street Plans.

Garcia and his small team at Street Plans have helped to usher in a new urbanism across the county.

Working through Miami-Dade’s Quick-Build Transportation Program, Street Plans has been given the go ahead to create 18 “short-term, low-cost” transportation improvements to neighborhoods across the county.

Over 60 different projects were considered and Plaza 98 made the final cut.

“The Village was proactive about it,” Garcia told RISE NEWS while he surveyed progress on the project with a paintbrush in his hand. “This is about getting the county to understand that doing something like this doesn’t cost very much or take very long.

Other projects being taken on by Street Plans include bike lanes, bus lanes, murals and crosswalks.

Dana Wall is the project manager for Street Plans.

She said that the goal of Plaza 98 is to become Downtown Miami Shores’ main, central pedestrian space.

They see the mural as the first step in a process that will lead to period when traffic will be closed down on the street for food and art events.

“It is an effort to reimagine how the streets in Miami Shores can be used for more than just moving cars,” Wall said.

Ines Hegedus-Garcia is a local realtor who has been very active in the Plaza 98 project.

“This is a project by the community for the community,” Hegedus-Garcia said. “This is one of those true community building projects where everyone that wants to help is welcomed and encouraged.”

You can help finish painting the Plaza 98 mural on Friday between 8 AM and 6 PM.

You can sign up for a shift online.

RISE NEWS is Miami Shores’ hometown news-source… and South Florida’s digital magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Watch More: Greenpeace has invaded Downtown Miami 

First Weekly Miami Shores Farmers Market Proves To Be A Hit With Community

What’s New With This Story: 

-The first weekly Miami Shores Farmers Market was deemed a success by the organizer.

-Over 1,000 people attended the four-hour event.

-Over 20 booths were filled with local vendors and businesses.

-The event organizer hopes to extend the hours of the market by three hours starting next week, although no official announcement has been made.

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The Miami Shores Farmers Market opened Sunday to strong community support, a sign that the village may be able to maintain a successful weekly open-air market for the long haul.

According to Claire Tomlin, the organizer of the market, the event drew more than 1,000 people to Optimist Park (NE 94th Street & NE 2nd Avenue) in Miami Shores.

Tomlin runs The Market Company, a South Florida based organization that runs 15 markets across South Florida.

Tomlin has had her eye on Miami Shores for over a decade.

Claire Tomlin, owner of The Market Company, the organization that runs the Miami Shores Farmers Market. Photo: RISE NEWS

She said at one point in the mid 2000s, she approached the Miami Shores Village Council for approval to start a market on NE 2nd Ave, but was turned down.

But she said that the new Village Council has been much more welcoming towards her ambitions.

“The town manager and the council are aware that the Village has changed and that young families want a place to come together,” Tomlin said. “The reception has been phenomenal. It’s been such a successful day.”

Over 20 different vendors had booths set up around Optimist Park, including those selling fresh fruits, vegetables, hot foods, soaps, jams, plants and flowers.

The Miami Shores Farmers Market will run each Sunday at the Miami Shores Optimist Park (at the corner of NE 94th St and NE 2nd Ave).

While the market is officially set to be open between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM, Tomlin told RISE NEWS that she hopes to extend the hours to 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM for next week.

She also said that there would be live music next week.

Photos: Scenes from the first weekly Miami Shores Farmers Market. (Credit: The Market Company)

Have a news tip about this story or others? Send us an email to editor@risenews.net

Throwback: Miami Shores Celebrates Easter In A Truly “Miami” Way

Some things just have to be experienced to be believed.

And the way Miami Shores celebrates Easter surely fits into that category.

While it has become common for local municipalities around the country to drop marshmallows from helicopters so that children can run and collect them, the Miami Shores version has historically been the largest.

In 2005, the village was featured in a “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” book for its massive marshmallow drop.

Over 14,000 were dropped in total this year.

Hundreds of local children raced to scoop them up.

Check it out:

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LGBT In SoFlo? You Want To Live In Wilton Manors, Not Hollywood

The Human Rights Campaign released its fifth annual Municipal Equality Index, which measures the state of LGBT equality in 506 cities across the country.

The Index also measured 18 Florida cities on a series of 44 criteria that fall into five general categories.

1) Non-discrimination laws
2)Municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors
3)Inclusiveness of city services
4)Law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting
5)Municipal leadership on matters of equality

“This year, dozens of cities across the nation showed they are willing to stand up for LGBTQ people in their communities even when some state governments are not,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “This builds on a trend we have long observed: that local governments are at the forefront of our fight for equality.”

Here is how the 18 Florida cities fared on the list. South Florida cities are bolded.

  1. Orlando- 100%
  2. St. Petersburg- 100%
  3. Wilton Manors– 100%
  4. Gainesville- 98%
  5. Tallahassee-92%
  6. Miami Shores– 91%
  7. Oakland Park- 86%
  8. Tampa- 86%
  9. Fort Lauderdale- 80%
  10. Pembroke Pines- 78%
  11. Coral Gables- 61%
  12. Hialeah- 49%
  13. Jacksonville- 49%
  14. Miami- 49%
  15. Daytona Beach- 48%
  16. Hollywood- 43%
  17. Port Saint Lucie- 30%
  18. Cape Coral- 25%

Cover Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Has Toxic Algae Made It To Miami?

Miami Shores residents are concerned that toxic blue-green algae that has brought ecological disaster to parts of Florida, has come to town.

According to NBC Miami, multiple residents of the quiet Miami suburb have expressed concerns that the algae has come to a canal in the area.

“In the late afternoon, there was some type of green algae that was floating on top of the water,” Miami Shores resident Michael Schock told NBC Miami. “Unlike anything I have seen before. I was concerned about the algae.”

Residents told the TV station that algae was seen floating everywhere in the canal over the weekend, but it had dissipated some by Monday.

According to NBC Miami, state officials will be coming out to the area to conduct tests on the water.

The toxic blue-green algae found in other parts of the state has been known to cause rashes and hay fever like symptoms in people that it has come in contact with, and nausea and vomiting in people who ingest it.

WATCH: NBC Miami report on algae found in Miami Shores canal 

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Brian Goodwin/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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