What’s News In This Story?
–Eileen Higgins has a good chance to win an open seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission Tuesday.
–Higgins is a Democrat. If she wins the election, then Democrats would have 7 of the 13 seats on the Commission.
-Despite being technically non-partisan, the race has become politicized by both the local Democratic and Republican parties.
-Bruno Barreiro represented the 5th district (which stretches from Miami Beach to Little Havana and includes much of Downtown Miami) for 20 years. He was forced to step down in order to run for Congress due to a new state “resign to run” law.
-Barreiro’s wife, Zoraida is running to succeed him in the seat. She was born in Cuba and helps run her family’s home healthcare business in Miami.
-Higgins was born in Ohio and raised in New Mexico. She also spent time in Latin America running Peace Corps operations and in Washington, D.C. where she worked for the State Department. She now runs a marketing company.
-A white woman (hence the “la gringa” nickname) probably wouldn’t have stood a chance in this district in recent decades. But Higgins has run a smart campaign that has motivated Democrats to get off the sidelines and commit resources to getting her elected.
-Higgins also speaks close to fluent Spanish, which has helped her while campaigning in the nearly 63% Hispanic district.
-If Higgins can win, experts think that Democrats will copy her campaign and make other local races like the upcoming 2020 Mayor race a partisan affair.
***”Why Does Any Of This Matter?”***: Because local elections in Miami have historically been non-partisan and that is about to change, probably to the benefit of Democrats.
——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——
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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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By Nick Hickman
It is both exhilarating and intimidating; the fuel of the youth and the burden of the curmudgeon; the moment when overwhelming hysteria meets eager anticipation, uniting in triumphant beauty. Court storming.
Some have experienced the sensation but many more have watched the familiar scene unfold on the T.V. in front of them.
And thanks to Arizona head coach Sean Miller, we now have a reason to dispute and debate the prospect of court storming until, once more, we lose interest after a lack of action.
After his team’s 75-72 loss, Miller spoke out saying, “eventually what’s going to happen in the Pac-12 is this: An Arizona player is going to punch a fan… out of self defense.” Miller continued on to voice a specific frustration over a lack of concern for player safety.
And the hard truth is that he’s not wrong. The decent of hundreds of college students down onto the same floor as the visiting players is nothing but an unruly, chaotic mess, and has long been a nightmare for coaches. As a fan, you want nothing else. It is the unspoken marketing pitch for every big game; if we beat the unbeatable, we storm the court and we go berserk.
However, more than that is another hard reality; court storming is near impossible to stop. The S.E.C. is the only conference with a formal penalty in place, an incremental fine that extends up to $250,000.
While it has reduced the frequency of occurrences, it has far from stopped them. In the waning seconds of a 2014 South Carolina upset win over 17th-ranked Kentucky, the public address announcer warned Gamecock fans not to storm the court for risk of fine. The school ended up coughing up $25,000, something the students—most of which pay between $26,000 – $45,000 to attend—didn’t seem to mind.
What we can do, however, is be smart. In the face of a crisis we must not blink, but instead learn from our past blunders.
This is, perhaps, the kind of situation that would benefit from a sort of last resort, instructive list of principles. Allow me to digress.
Rule #1, always protect the players. Security for the players and coaches alike is no longer debatable. While coaches receive an escort, it must be customary for players to receive the same protection while leaving the court. It is far easier to protect twelve players than it is to prevent hundreds of students from storming the court. What’s more is that it allows security personnel to act with justified authority in the event that a student posse a threat to a visiting player.
After Kansas St.’s upset win over rival Kansas last season, campus police issued a student a disorderly conduct citation for forcefully bumping Kansas forward Jamari Taylor in the midst of a court storming celebration. The current policy states that it’s the responsibility of individual conferences and schools to provide appropriate security, which only leaves 351 different Division One schools each with their own protocols. There is no excuse, with several designated officers in charge of immediately securing the players the chances of a violent altercation decrease exponentially.
Rule #2, the game must be over. It is unrealistic to think that security ought to restrain students for 2-3 minuets following the game to give players enough time to escape the scene, not to mention, it essentially defeats the purpose behind court storming. But there is, however, a remaining responsibility that must be assumed by the students; do not storm if the game is not yet over.
In a 2009 matchup between Washington St. and Oregon, fans began storming the court after a late Washington St. basket… with .3 seconds still left on the clock. The team was issued a technical, allowing Oregon the opportunity to send the game to overtime where they eventually won. Waiting is hard, but what’s even harder is earning a loss for a team that you don’t even play for.
Rule #3, do not go over, under or through game staff and officials. It’s a pretty straightforward and encompassing rule. There are numerous reporters, analysts, cameramen and officials all surrounding the court. There are also numerous points of entrance to the court. Above all, there are hundreds of students all eager to share and take part in the celebration. The individuals who are being paid for their services at the game do not share the same feeling.
Rule #4, protect the players! I need not touch on the dynamics of college sports revenue and how it’s allocated, but the priority of player safety is unparalleled.
Even the prohibition of court storming, which would initiate outrage from fans, would likely have a greater financial impact than hiring a few extra security guards.
Rule #5, remember that you don’t want to fight a player. The evolving technology that we’ve all gotten used to can be deceiving, let me assure you, you do not want to engage in a fight with the 215lb, six-foot-eight forward that you’ve been mocking all night. Those are, already, not great odds and when you combine them with the raw emotion following a heartbreaking loss you are perfecting the ingredients for a recipe that you do not want to taste.
Rule #6, do not enter the court if you cannot also exit it. Yes, this is a necessary rule. In 2013, following their win over Duke, North Carolina St. forward C.J. Leslie assisted a student who had fallen from his wheelchair in the midst of storming the court. The student later admitted it was, the “dumbest thing” to do. If you are not readily able to fend for yourself amongst a heard of wild and crazed fanatics, please do not even attempt the exercise.
Rule #7, don’t forget that we’re all on the same team. Before the game it was a mass migration with everyone heading for the arena. During the game and as the camera pans over the student section a roar erupts in unison, a collective and exultant battle cry. It’s a sad tale when group members are hurt by their own, but it’s a story that has been told before.
In 1993, what became known as the “Camp Randall Crush” left 70 Wisconsin fans injured after storming the court in their team’s win over Michigan. It’s undoubtedly a moment to cherish and celebrate, but in doing so, you must also look out for the kid that sits three rows ahead of you in class.
Report on the Camp Randall Crush:
RULE #8, ALWAYS PROTECT THE PLAYERS!!
Rule #9, remember what you’re celebrating. Just like the Cup Noodles that sits ominously at the back of your pantry, court storming can get old real quickly. It is a rare gem that must be kept scarce in order to preserve its value. Storming the court in light of any circumstances beyond a notable win is a disservice to every basketball fan in the country.
In December of 2014, University of Alabama-Birmingham students stormed the court after a marginal twelve-point victory in order to protest the school’s cut of the football program. But fear not, it’s not too late to save the name of court storming for future generations.
Rule #10, don’t look stupid. This is your chance. Many schools never grace the highlight tapes of ESPN, but you can guarantee that a court-storming win will earn you a spot. Don’t blow it. You don’t want to be the person that hurdles sideline reporters and falls on their face on national T.V. You don’t want to run on the floor with .3 seconds left and cost your team a win. You don’t want to be the headline, you want to save that for the big win.
Cover Photo Credit: John Smith/Flickr (CC by-SA 2.0).Post Views: 53
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By Alex Austin
On Friday night, an NFL preseason game that would not have otherwise been of any great consequence played home to a silent political protest which has got the whole nation a-flutter.
San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand during the playing of the national anthem before the game.
In explanation, Kaepernick said,”I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
The last sentence is of course in reference to the numerous cases concerning the alleged use of excessive force by police officers in dealing with citizens of racial or ethnic minorities.
The 49ers made their stance quite clear in the immediate media wake of the event, releasing a statement which read, “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pregame ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
Quite frankly, that should be the end of the story.
Kaepernick expressed his constitutional right of free speech to silently protest for a stance that he believes in.
Unfortunately, as with most statements made in the name of racial or other hot-button questions, this was thrown out the window in the eyes of many who fell back on the out-dated notions of “national pride” and “patriotism”.
In just the last two days, there has been a mountain of criticism thrown onto the gesture.
The three arguments that have most often been made against Kaepernick’s actions are: un-American, disrespectful, and negative.
First, the use of ones constitutional rights is about as American as it gets.
The founding principle of this country is that every citizen has certain rights and freedoms which are universal (“unalienable rights”).
Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression, both covered by the First Amendment to the Constitution, are the exact rights Kaepernick is taking full advantage of here.
If a fan in the stadium for the same football game chose not to stand, nothing would be made of it. A figure in the public light has the exact same freedoms.
Secondly, a national flag or national anthem should not be respected by default. A country is nothing more than artificially-drawn lines built and altered as it suits the needs of people or environment.
A flag is nothing more than a piece of cloth which is marked with certain colors and patterns which are recognized as “representing” a particular country or region.
Respect for these ideas are not earned, but instead demanded and coerced by tradition and peer pressure.
It is not disrespectful, as there is no inherent respect which comes with the flag or anthem.
Furthermore, declining to stand for the anthem, or declining to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school, is not disrespectful to the service men and women who fought and died for this country.
Those soldiers and civilians gave their lives not to protect the rights of the many, or powerful, but to protect the rights of all citizens.
The disrespect here is insinuating that these sacrifices were made to promote your personal way of life.
Lastly, this idea that what Kaepernick did was “publicity stunt” or shines a poor light on those who Kaepernick is supporting (read: minorities) is dripping in white privilege.
It is easy for current and former players to deride Kaepernick’s actions when they are not personally affected by the circumstances which the man is protesting.
I have also heard someone say that Kaepernick “should be doing positive things”, in other words, that he should be working in his community to bring about positive change.
While this is a good thought, it does not take into account that this is not a problem restricted to a single community.
It is a national issue and deserves national attention.
This man is choosing to put his public persona and, perhaps, money on the line to defend his beliefs.
That is not “negativity”.
That is making a choice and living with the consequences of that choice.
Question: was it negative when NBA star Dwyane Wade appeared on a panel for ESPN’s The Undefeated to talk about gun violence in Chicago one day before his cousin was shot and killed by a stray bullet only a few blocks away?
Of course not.
Just as Wade witnessed first-hand the violence of the inner city growing up, so too has every person in this country borne witness to the very thing that Kaepernick was protesting.
In fact, it is imperative that people in the limelight, celebrities and the like, do their part in showing solidarity with those whose voices have so long and often have been shouted down.
They should do just as Kaepernick has done, use a gesture, whether in silent protest or in grandiose discourse to bring these issues to the forefront.
Personally, I hope that Kaepernick continues to observe his constitutional rights.
More than that, I hope that people come to understand that gestures like this are not made to get the media talking about the person who made the gesture, but instead about what that gesture represents.
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By Staff Report
What’s New With This Story:
–A large shark was spotted close to swimmers off Miami Beach this past weekend.
-According to the Miami Herald, it was probably a tiger shark, but Vince Conosa, the chief of Miami Beach’s Ocean Rescue wasn’t 100% sure.
-The video was taken by professional drone photographer Kenny Melendez.
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