"Florida residents do not just have to worry about sink holes and pythons...they are also currently being invaded by a growing population giant African land snails.
The monstrous mollusk can grow to be as large as a rat, and has the ability to damage buildings by eating through thick plaster walls. They specifically like stucco because the material gives them calcium to build up their shells.
They also flourish in the area because they do not have any natural enemies to fend off. One of these slimy giants can lay 1,200 eggs a year.
The snails are not just a problem for the area's vegetation, but they are for the areas human population as well. These little buggers carry a parasitic lungworm that can cause meningitis in people."
The sixth installment in our series mapping the class divides in America's cities and metros.
The map above shows the class divides for the city of Miami proper. The creative class lives in the areas that are shaded in purple, the red areas are primarily service class, and the blue are working class.
This class divide is overlaid by a long-standing racial divide and also by the cleavage between über-affluent part-time residents, wealthy tourists and far less advantaged locals who overwhelmingly work in the service industry. As a global city, Miami also bears the stamp of two distinct immigrations — the influx of wealthy Latin Americans, Europeans, Russians, and others who are part of the global one percent, and the much larger group of low-wage, low-skill immigrants from across Latin America who toil in low-wage service and blue-collar jobs far field from its more privileged enclaves.
Overall, Miami lags on the creative class compared to other large metros covered in this series. Only 12 percent of the tracts in greater Miami have more than half of their residents employed in the creative class, less than any of the 10 largest metros. Compare this to New York, Chicago, and Boston where roughly one in five tracts have 50 percent or more creative class residents, or greater Washington, D.C., where nearly half of all tracts do.
Sorry recent University of Miami Alums, The Onion really doesn't understand why even though you owe the school at least five figures in student debt, you still love it so much....
According to sources, the man who is no better off today than when he first graduated owns a wide variety of University of Miami apparel, including hats, sweatshirts, sports jerseys, and running shorts, as well as a number of posters and school pennants, which line the walls of his studio apartment. Additionally, Felder enthusiastically showed reporters the Miami Hurricanes decal on the back window of his dented 2001 Honda Civic, which he drives to the entry-level administrative assistant job he was forced to take after failing to find any significant work related to his degree.
Reports also confirmed that the man who acquired no marketable job skills as an undergraduate regularly spends his weekends watching Hurricanes football games with several of his friends from college, who are collectively over a quarter million dollars in debt.
"When you do a business deal [here], you need to grab a jar of Vaseline, rub some on, and back up, because you're about to get screwed."
Out in the East Everglades along the Tamiami Trail, on the thin strip of asphalt that runs between Miccosukee Resort & Gaming and Naples, plenty of dangers await the unsuspecting visitor.
But to Gary Matthews, nothing is more treacherous than airboat captains — those wizened, weathered men who pilot tons of metal backed by a ten-foot propeller over a few feet of water and miles of sawgrass. Threats, intimidation, theft, and underhanded tactics are as abundant in the Everglades as lilies and gators, he says.
"It's very cutthroat. It's a bloodbath," says the 61-year-old Matthews, who is tall and bald, with a face tanned from decades under the sun in the swamp. He runs private tours in Everglades National Park for Airboat USA, a company he purchased about a decade ago. Since then, he says, the other companies along the Tamiami Trail — namely Coopertown Airboats and Everglades Safari Park — have made his life a living hell.
South Florida's wading bird population suffered during 2012, with nesting on the decline due to the return of too much water too fast for herons, Wood Storks, ibises and egrets.The 2012 wading bird nest total was a 39%.
Back to back years of drought followed by a rainy 2012 resulted in yo-yoing water levels that caught many wading birds off guard. Also, the small prey fish that wading birds rely on to survive have yet to recover from previous droughts.
When the water is too high and prey fish aren't plentiful enough, wading birds either can't nest or they abandon their nests and leave the young to starve.
2012 was another stellar year for Florida. Let's take a look and remember the good times
Some highlights: 40. Some dude robbed a store with a pair of shorts on his head. 39. Millionaire Polo club founder adopted his adult girlfriend in an attempt to shield assests after being charged with DUI manslaughter. 38. Busch Gardens allowed visitors to play tug-a-war with a tiger. 37. Two guys stole and killed their neighbor's pet turkey for Thanksgiving meal 32. This giant mysterious eyeball washed up on a beach. (it belonged to a swordfish) 31. A Fox News-obsessed man stabbed his wife because she didn't like Fox News. 29. Man arrested in DUI case also had a squirrel inside his shirt. 27. A restaurant thought it was okay to have an item on its menu called the "Wetback Willie." 24. Deputies: Drunk woman calls 911 to say she was lost in the woods, did not know where to urinate. 23. Trend of young people drinking hand sanitizer to get drunk hits Florida. 22. A man got a DUI on his lawnmower. 18. A 47-year-old man has been accused of posing as a dentist, treating a woman for a toothache and kissing her buttocks while administering an injection. 17. A mother and daughter became porn moguls. 11. A man attacked 3 women with a sword and a sandwich. 7. Puppeteer wanted to 'cook' and 'eat' children. 5. Wild raccoons invade school, pee on student. 4. A ninja robber terrorized the state. 3. Zombie impersonator ate another guy's arm. 2. Real naked zombie ate another guy's face. 1. Butthole Tattoo: Woman gets ink on her anus.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hosted a news conference Thursday in Pompano Beach to discuss the importance of following speed restrictions in manatee protection zones. As November is Manatee Awareness Month, the wildlife commission says that when water temperatures drop, manatees move to warmer refuges such as canals, outflows from power plants, and freshwater springs.
There's a pair of metal telescopic nunchucks, a silver Rambo knife sharp enough to plunge straight through an adult torso, plenty of box cutters, and a lead hammer that could crack a human skull like an egg, a sword disguised as a cane, a fueled-up chainsaw, and the "explosively viable" shell of an 18th-century cannonball, according to reports from the Transportation Security Administration.
That's just a week's worth of confiscations at MIA.
What possesses South Florida's weaponized wingnuts to try to bring this stuff onboard? Perhaps "absentmindedness [or] a failure to peruse a bag that was last used for a road trip," says Sari Koshetz, a pragmatic straw-blond TSA spokeswoman. "As more time has passed and 9/11 is not as vivid a memory, the trend is escalating."
Key West is considering using sterile mutant mosquitoes to help fight dengue fever - and this has some people concerned. (Mutant Mosquitoes Recruited to Fight Dengue Fever in Florida. Maybe something to consider for Malaria?
EVERGLADES CITY - Wooten's Airboat Tours has uncovered a massive gator nest in Everglades City.
"(It's) a good size nest average two or three feet tall…inside the center of the nest is a tiny cubby hole she's dug out and deposited 30 or 40 eggs," said "Gator" John of Wooten's Everglade Airboat Tours.
While the nest is impressive on its own, it's the mother gator that's catching their attention...
Either you're too busy staining your sheets with sweat and other bodily fluids to read this right now, or your secret suspicions that everyone else in town is constantly getting laid are about to be confirmed. According to a Trojan Condoms survey, Miami is America's sex capital. We rate first not only in sexual satisfaction but also in the number of times we get busy each year.
Seventy-three percent of Miamians say they're sexually satisfied, and on average we have sex 177 times a year. That means we're having sex just about every other day. Granted, if we're all shagging that much, it follows that we're all pretty damn satisfied about it.
Miamians also rank second for number of lifetime sexual partners, with 24 apiece, only one behind New Yorkers and Atlantans, who boast 25 bedroom buddies. Miamians also think about sex ten times a day, behind only Los Angelinos, who have dirty thoughts 13 times daily. Sixty-eight percent of Miamians also say they're sexually adventuresome, behind only Atlanta, with 71 percent...
The state and federal governments' efforts to restore the wetlands have been stymied for years by funding shortfalls, legal challenges and political bickering...
The Everglades are a key water source for millions of South Florida residents, but the Everglades have been damaged for decades by the intrusion of farms and development. Dikes, dams and canals have been cut, effectively draining much of the swamp and polluting it with fertilizers and urban runoff.
"It wraps up almost a decade of arguing over what the best thing to do is," said Julie Hill-Gabriel, director of Everglades policy.
The project will construct stormwater treatment areas and issue permits for the operation of tens of thousands of acres of already built ones. It will also create new water storage areas. All of it is an effort to filter phosphorous, which comes from fertilizer and promotes the growth of unhealthy vegetation that chokes native plants.
"A healthy Everglades is vital to the well-being of Florida and contributes jobs and billions of dollars to Florida's economy," Keyes Fleming said.
"Newspaper people are an interesting lot. We’re driven by forces that even we don’t fully comprehend--photographers trying to get that best shot that explains more than words ever could, or scooping the competition with a news item they didn’t see coming, or creating an investigative piece that can evoke strong enough emotions to change laws, and more.
On a mostly sun drenched South Florida day, about 900 former Miami Herald employees—myself included-- joined the current staff to reminisce, cry, and mourn the loss of the once proud building by the bay that will soon become a hotel/condo and possible mega casino now planned for the old property.
The Miami Herald isn’t going away. The newspaper operations, along with news partner WLRN, will move out to Doral in April."
One of the two suspects who was the subject of an intense manhunt following a shootout with detectives at a West Kendall home has been found dead in an apparent suicide, police said Wednesday.
Miami-Dade Police confirmed that the body of Dell Peter DiGiovanni was found in the area of Southwest 48th Terrace and Southwest 147th Place, as officers conducted a massive manhunt following the Tuesday night shootout.
The discovery came just hours after a burned body was found inside the home in the 15400 block of Southwest 57th Street where the incident began. The body found in the home hasn't been identified.
Police had been searching for Digiovanni, 50, and relative Michael Steven DiGiovanni, 28, following the shooting that happened around 7:15 p.m. when detectives approached the home and came under fire from the suspects.
As detectives returned fire, the house caught fire, police said. None of the officers were injured.
A third suspect, Brian Kelly Howell, 29, was taken into custody after officers set up a perimeter from Miller Drive to 64th Avenue and from SW 142nd Avenue to SW 157th Avenue, Miami-Dade Police said...
"The haul from Florida’s much-ballyhooed Python Challenge, which wrapped up at midnight Sunday, may not sound impressive. After all, nearly 1,600 people signed up for a month-long hunt to win cash for catching an invasive species that has gobbled up everything from egrets to alligators in the Everglades.
In reality, the effort bagged pretty much what many scientists, reptile experts and Florida wildlife managers expected — lots of publicity, also known as public awareness, and lots of data for researchers. It also produced what may wind up ranking as a record monthly count of Burmese python skins, though the bounty hunt was never envisioned as a way to eradicate them.
Ultimately, the challenge wound up underlining the difficulty of controlling — even just seeing — an all-terrain predator whose camouflage-pattern skin and canny habits make it virtually invisible in the wild. Hunting pythons proved far more difficult than neophyte hunters and hype-happy out-of-town TV crews expected.
Vultures have never had a particularly good reputation, despite providing an important ecological service.
According to NBC Miami, vultures are increasingly chewing at the rubber found around sunroofs and windows and on wiper blades in cars. Why? Just for fun and practice.
Rubber has the same texture as animal skin, and by ripping away at your automobile's rubber they're perfecting the technique of ripping away skin.
"These vultures are learning from other vultures. I think some vultures kind of learned it," ZooMiami's Ron Magill tells the station. "In the beginning they go 'hey, look at this, this is fun, hey,' and other vultures, 'hey, this is fun.'"
The problem has gone on for years, but is apparently increasing as more and more wayward vulture youth also decide "hey, this is fun."
As we cross into 2013, it’s a good time to recap the major neighborhood issues of 2012 and what to expect in 2013. In 2012, we survived the trauma of Venetian Causeway construction, frequent flooding along West Ave and Alton Road, sidewalks lost to construction work on new parking garages and a new bikeway along Collins.
Here is what we have to look forward to in 2013:
- Alton Road Construction: The city of Miami Beach will take on a major road improvement and drainage project, starting in April, along Alton Road. The work will extend from Fifth Street to Michigan Avenue, working from south to north, and it’s expected to last 2.5 years....
- Sunpass on the Venetian: By May 2013, the Venetian Causeway toll system is supposed to switch to Sunpass, though the county is far behind schedule...Many worry the change will encourage more traffic on the Venetian. We’ll keep you posted on the timeline for this change.
- West Avenue development: There are a number of important development proposals on the table for 2013 on West Avenue: a renovation of Southgate Towers, including a 200-seat restaurant; replacing the old South Shore Hospital with a rental project with street-level retail, and a Marriott Residence Inn north 17th Street off Alton Road.
- The Sunset Harbour boom: We’ve only seen two stores open in Sunset Harbour shops, but in the first quarter of 2013, we’ll see more stores and restaurants and the area turning into an even more attractive destination. How will it accommodate the traffic? And what happens when the streets flood. It’s great to see all the activity, but a little worrisome at the same time.
There's a new state-wide food code that will go into effect January 1, 2013. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspects all Florida restaurants for cleanliness and safety... The state of Florida is currently working under the 2001 FDA Food Code and the updates will bring it up to speed, reflecting the 2009 FDA Food Code. One of the updates includes changing the descriptions of violations from critical and non-critical to three more comprehensive categories: high priority, intermediate, and basic. There will also be more training and awareness for food allergens and no raw or undercooked foods allowed on kids menus, among other provisions.
Books & Books, one of the most successful independent bookstores in the country, celebrated its 30th anniversary last Saturday and owner Mitchell Kaplan says he is ready for more changes to his industry.
“Let’s not say it’s not a struggle. We’re not coasting,” Kaplan said. “We are successful because the community of readers and writers in South Florida supports us. If there wasn’t the amount and intensity of readers and writers down here that demand a bookstore, we wouldn’t be able to survive.”
A party is certainly warranted because it’s not easy for an independent bookstore to survive in this environment.Book selling has been undergoing waves of changes with the rise of online retailers and e-books. Borders has gone out of business and Barnes & Noble is closing and downsizing locations. Independent booksellers across the country are having a tough time as well, but Books & Books remains a big draw for literary aficionados.
These are the places where hipsters have everything they need to flourish.
Merriam-Webster somewhat vaguely defines a “hipster” as “a person who is unusually aware of and interested in new and unconventional patterns.”
Wynwood is known these days for two things: its arts district and its fashion district. In the mid-2000s artists began taking up residence in the area's abandoned warehouses. Today more than 70 galleries occupy the area and the hood hosts an ArtWalk every second Saturday of each month. The area also boasts one of the largest permanent outdoor mural exhibits in the world, called Wynwood Walls.
In August 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck Florida with 145 MPH winds. It was the last category five hurricane to hit the US. The second highest land wind speeds (135 MPH) were at the Indianola hurricane of 1886.
By contrast, the highest land wind speeds from Katrina were 110 MPH
NOAA reports it has been seven years since a major hurricane hit the US, the longest such period in US history.
Last month, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross mentioned that he is interested in changing the team’s logo and uniforms, perhaps as soon as the 2013 season.
As it turns out, the Dolphins are already well into discussions with the league about a fresh new look for next season. A source at league headquarters told the Post that the Dolphins and NFL have been trading emails for several weeks, with various mock-ups of a new Dolphins logo being designed and tweaked by the two sides.
Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said Thursday night that “it’s not 100 percent that we’re going to make a change,” but that the team has gotten feedback from the fans and is looking to “freshen up” the logo, which has been in its current form since 1997...
MiamiHerald.comProgress in the Florida Everglades, but more needed, report saysMiamiHerald.comIn a progress report ordered by Congress, a team of independent scientists finds restoration is finally moving forward but more needs to be done faster.and...