What’s News In This Story?
–Located right in the middle of a neighborhood, The Open Awareness Buddhist Center has been open and aware for about 15 years.
-Run by Lama Karma Chotso, the center is located in a house in El Portal.
-For dozens of members, it is a place of real refuge.
-It is located right on the banks of The Little River.
-The center started in 1996, when it was located in a Hollywood bungalow.
-A patron gave the group money to purchase the property from a fellow member in 2003.
-According to Lama Chotso, there was some controversy at the time about having a Buddhist Songha in the middle of a residential street- but she was able to win over the neighbors.
-The center offers yoga sessions as well as other Buddhist related activities- including Sunday services.
What Do You Think?
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.
You Might also like
Rise News has learned that there is an ongoing investigation into allegations that members of the supervisory board of a Miami area charter school may have criminally violated Florida Sunshine Laws.
One of the members of the board at the time of the alleged law violations was the current Mayor of Miami Shores, Alice Burch.
At least two members of the Doctors Charter School (DCS) Board of Directors and a high-ranking school official have been subpoenaed and interviewed by an Assistant State Attorney and an investigator with the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission.
Sources close to the investigation indicate that the inquiry is focused around the events of the controversial non-renewal of contract of DCS Executive Director Nick Dorn.
DCS is a highly rated charter school with 600 students nestled in the sleepy neighborhood of Miami Shores.
Rise Miami News, the predecessor website to Rise News first broke the story of the scandal in June of 2015 and showed that Burch had improperly coordinated with a few other members of the unpaid DCS board to remove Dorn in a secret meeting.
“Rise Miami News has learned that Burch supplied DCS board members meeting in the ‘shade’ a dossier of information that she had been collecting for over eight months, meant to act as justification for the non-renewal of the school director’s contract.
Burch has also admitted to violating state Sunshine Laws by continuing to volunteer as the de-facto secretary of the DCS board of directors while serving as the acting mayor of the Village.
Burch apologized to the Miami Shores community at a Village Council meeting on June 2 but did not discuss her level of involvement in the dismissal of Nick Dorn, the director of DCS.”
Due to the public outrage, Dorn was eventually offered a contract and a raise. Dorn accepted the contract extension but did not agree to a raise. He is currently leading the school.
While Burch did not vote in the secret meeting, she openly discussed the idea of not renewing Dorn’s contract with members of the board both before and immediately after the “shade” meeting.
Additional public records including text messages show the extent of communications between Burch and other board members. It also showed how important Burch was to the lifeblood of the board and therefore potentially to the Sunshine Law violations she later admitted to.
According to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter, the inquiry is being headed up by Assistant State Attorney Luis Perez-Medina and Miami-Dade Ethics Commission investigator Larry Lebowitz.
Perez-Medina works out of the Public Corruption Unit under Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle while Lebowitz, a former Miami Herald reporter works under Joseph Centorino, the longtime former head of the Public Corruption Unit and current director of the county Ethics Commission.
Neither the State Attorney’s office or Ethics Commission would confirm or deny that there is an ongoing investigation.
Paul Calli, an attorney and current member of the DCS board first blew the whistle on the “shade” meeting in a series of Facebook posts last spring.
The Commission referred the complaint to the State Attorney as it said that it does not have jurisdiction over Sunshine Laws.
“The rules should not and cannot be different for elected officials and Village administrators in Miami Shores,” Calli said in an interview with Rise News. “The residents of Miami Shores do not deserve to be excluded from the political process and government administration by elected or appointed officials who hold the trust of residents and voters. The Shores is not a fiefdom, with its residents vassals.”
Mayor Burch did not respond to a request for comment.
Vice Mayor Steven Zelkowitz said that he was not aware of any investigation ongoing in Miami Shores but said that public officials should be careful of Sunshine Law violations.
“I live and breathe the Sunshine Law,” Zelkowitz, a lawyer who deals with many local municipalities in his practice said in a phone interview. “I’m very cognizant and I’m very careful with it. Maybe elected officials should read the laws and understand them before acting.”
Another member of the Village council had a similar view.
“What is important is what[ever] the investigation reveals, it will help bring closure and restore confidence in our leaders,” Councilwoman Ivonne Ledesma said in an email statement.
READ: The 14 page dossier of information Miami Shores Mayor Alice Burch presented to DCS board members before secret, “shade” meeting
Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- email@example.com.
Cover Photo Credit: Rise News/ Rich RobinsonPost Views: 115
What Do You Think?
By Staff Report
Read Original Story:
The group that represents sororities at Florida International University has decided to blacklist a fraternity at FIU due to the discovery of an explosive email that allegedly contained a series of inappropriate screenshots from a group chat between members of Tau Kappa Epsilon.
The FIU Panhellenic Council made the claims in a letter released Friday.
The letter, which was first reported by HerCampus claims that a “disgusting and obscene email” containing screenshots of a group chat from members of FIU’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity was sent on September 28, to FIU administrators and Greek life leaders.
From Her Campus:
“The email contained over 20 attachments of a Tau Kappa Epsilon group chat in which members shared images of nude women, mocked a deceased member of the Panhellenic community, sent photos of hazing, messages about sexual assault, pedophilia and drug distribution.”
Tau Kappa Epsilon is the second oldest fraternity on the FIU campus and boasts over 90 active members.
In response to the allegations made in the email, five of the seven Panhellenic Council sororities decided to blacklist TKE.
They say that they will not interact with TKE in any way through the end of Fall 2018.
“Although we normally encourage members to become involved in philanthropy, we will not allow for members of TKE to assume roles in our philanthropic programming, to congregate at such events, nor will they be allowed to attend in TKE paraphernalia”, The letter from the Panhellenic Council said. “Our organizations refuse to support any event hosted by the chapter.”
Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Phi Epsilon, Phi Mu and Sigma Kappa all signed the letter.
FIU did not respond to RISE NEWS when asked for comment, however the official university Facebook page did comment on the HerCampus story.
“FIU is aware of the images described in the story and has no tolerance for this type of behavior,” the official FIU Facebook page wrote in the comments of the HerCampus article. “We are unable to comment further pending the conclusion of an investigation.”
RISE NEWS also has reached out to the leadership of the Panhellenic Council. We will update this story with additional information.
UPDATE: Tau Kappa Epsilon has responded to our request for comment:
“Tau Kappa Epsilon and our Sigma-Alpha chapter at FIU are fully cooperating with university officials on their investigation.”
READ: The full letter sent from the FIU Panhellenic Council regarding their blacklisting of Tau Kappa Epsilon
Please enjoy our “free days” until Monday, November 6th. Starting on that day, our website will only be available to RISE NEWS members. You are not going to want to miss out on our pathbreaking local journalism and valuable member deals! Become a member today!
Have a news tip about this story or others? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.Post Views: 297
What Do You Think?
Brutally Bullied As A Kid, She Never Thought She Could Be A Beauty Queen. But Now Miss Hollywood Has A Chance To Win It All
As a little girl Isabella Logins would have never dreamed of being Miss Florida.
She was just hoping that the pain would stop.
Viciously bullied as a child, Logins grew up fighting back self-doubt.
Over time, she learned to love herself and not pay attention to the opinions of others.
But it took time.
And it was painful.
“When I was little I was picked on all the time,” Logins said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “Kids were mean to me and would make fun of me for being ugly, annoying, or just because they felt like it.”
She said that the bullying had a traumatic impact on her.
“It made me feel really sad and it made me feel really bad about myself,” Logins said. “It took me a long time to get myself to not think about what they would tell me.”
A Miami native, Logins graduated from Alonzo and Tracy Morning High School in North Miami.
She’s now a 22-year-old senior at FIU and the reigning Miss Hollywood USA.
Quite a long way from that insecure girl who bullies loved to pick on.
Logins will be competing in the Miss Florida 2018 pageant December 14-17 in Tampa.
She took an interest in pageantry about two years ago for the career networking aspect, but found that competing has helped her grow in other ways.
Reflecting on her experiences through elementary and middle school, she did not expect to ever be involved in pageantry
“I thought [pageants] were only for extremely beautiful women and when I was younger I didn’t feel extremely beautiful,” Logins said. “But I’ve had to grow into a more confident person.”
Her pageantry career has been successful.
Logins’ first pageant was for the crown of Miss Florida Keys 2017, where she ended up winning the title.
That victory made her eligible to compete in the Miss Florida 2017 pageant, where she finished in the top 16.
In the Miss Florida pageant this year, Logins will be representing the Global Children’s Rescue as her cause
A non-profit, Global Children’s Rescue works to educate the public on human trafficking, as well as helping in actively rescuing missing children and human trafficking victims.
The group is made up of a team of former federal, state, local, and military investigators.
“[Logins] took it upon herself to find us,” John Rode, founder of the Global Children’s Rescue said in an interview with RISE NEWS.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, out of 18,500 endangered runaways reported in 2016, one out of every six of those children were suspected of being entered into sex trafficking.
Logins believes that child sex trafficking is an important issue because it is occurring in most communities, yet much of the public is totally unaware.
Logins uses her social media platforms to share statistics and information about how common of an issue human trafficking is.
In a recent post on her Instagram, Logins encouraged people to send their family members a picture of themselves occasionally.
This is to give police a more accurate photo to use in case a person goes missing.
“It’s something that’s always interested me,” Logins said. “Sometimes girls go missing and we don’t have a real photo [of them].”
On average, a missing child’s case costs $25,000 and solving a human trafficking case can cost up to $100,000 according to Global Children’s Rescue.
Logins uses her platforms to promote Global Children’s Rescue fundraisers and events.
Her aim is to also reach younger people who might not be paying attention to how common human trafficking is and hopefully prevent future tragedies.
A broadcast journalism major at FIU, Logins one day wants to be a successful anchor for a news channel.
“I would love to win [Miss Florida 2018] not just for personal growth, but for the cause,” Logins said.
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 email@example.com.
WATCH ANOTHER STORY:
“Did this South Florida Entrepreneur Just Invent The Next Tofu?”Post Views: 37
What Do You Think?