Attention Floridians: VOTE NO on Amendment 1

We live in the Sunshine State (actually the fifth sunniest in the Nation), but we only rank 20th in harnessing solar power per capita. Not flattering. But if "big power" has anything to say, they'll keep it that way...or worse.

The Miami Herald and dozens of other media outlets have shed sunlight on the deviously crafted language around Amendment 1 on our ballot this election to find that a vote NO on the Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative, also known as Amendment 1, is actually PRO-SOLAR and PRO-CONSUMER!

And while "big power" has spent $22M of consumers' money to put out slick TV ads and mailings telling you to vote yes on the deceptive Constitutional Amendment they slipped past the Florida Supreme Court, the smart ones will prevail here.

On Wed, Oct 26, 2016, I attended an interesting meeting put on by Cutler Bay Solar Solutions and Palmetto Bay artist and environmental activist Xavier Cortada. It was a joint meeting involving Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay. Each of the Mayors were on hand, and while the government cannot endorse a particular vote, it was clear each mayor (as a voting individual) was firmly in support of a NO VOTE ON AMENDMENT 1.

[L to R] Artist Xavier Cortada, Raul Vergara (owner, Cutler Bay Solar Solutions), Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner,

[L to R] Artist Xavier Cortada, Raul Vergara (owner, Cutler Bay Solar Solutions), Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner,

"The Amendment looks to stifle competition and sets up mechanisms that dis-incentivize rooftop energy. Utilities would rather have change on their own terms. They’re not accustomed to having competition and will do anything to stop potential competitors,"explained Cortada. "I'm angry that the utilities are deceiving citizens and tricking them to vote against their own interests so that they can line their own pockets and increase the rate of our planet’s destruction."

Teamed with Cutler Bay Solar Solutions, Cortada painted three solar panels with suns, each named Let The Sunshine In. The idea is to raise awareness by temporarily putting these panels in public spaces within Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.

The "friendly competition" that has been set up will pit the Villages against each other to see which populous will have the highest percentage of NO VOTES on Amendment 1. The "winner" will get first choice of the art. Xavier Cortada will then permanently award each of the art pieces for permanent placement, renaming them Let The Sunshine In Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay and Pinecrest.

So get out there and VOTE NO on Amendment 1!

Citizens-Led Candidates’ Forum/Town Hall for a Better Palmetto Bay

On October 18, the Board of Citizens, consisting of Hal Feldman, David Greenwell, Jaquelyn Prussing, Brett Trembly and Marcell Hetenyi put on three back-to-back meetings to help residents of Palmetto Bay become more informed about the issues that affect them and the upcoming election candidates that may help resolve them. Nearly 200 people attended.

Mayor Eugene Flinn, Vice Mayor John DuBois, District 1 Councilmember Karyn Cunningham, District 2 Councilmember Tim Schaffer, District 3 Councilmember Larissa Siegel-Lara, Erica Watts (running for Vice Mayor), David Zisman (running for Vice Mayor), David Singer (running for District 2 Councilmember), Village Manager Ed Silva, Village Attorney Dexter Lehtinen and Village Police Commander Major Gady Serralta all took part.

Board Chairman Hal ‘MiamiHal’ Feldman explained, “I was tired of confusing information, mass email campaigns, Facebook threads and anonymous website monologues about the important issues in Palmetto Bay. Instead, I just wanted to hear directly from our Village leaders and candidates face-to-face where we could break through the clutter and hear directly about the matters that affect us as Palmetto Bay residents as a two-way conversation.”

Feedback proved the evening to be a rousing success.


Pinecrest Community Center Expansion Groundbreaking

On October 21st, the Pinecrest Council, staff and builders gathered outside the existing Pinecrest Community Center next to Pinecrest Gardens on SW 112th Street to pitch a shovel towards the groundbreaking of an expansion project.

The 7100-SF expansion will be added to the existing 14,600-SF to provide a new fitness center with locker rooms and restrooms, more classrooms, a spinning class room, movement room, café with indoor and outdoor seating and indoor playground.

Where the new 7100 SF building will be placed.

Where the new 7100 SF building will be placed.

The $5-million project will be done in two phases. The new building, located at the north end of the existing site, is slated to be completed in approximately six months. Then existing activities will move there while they renovate the existing building, including a new outdoor playground, special landscaping and a gazebo.

Mayor Cindy Lerner was excited to say, “We’ll have more of everything for our community. The whole project is scheduled for completion in April of 2018.”