Category Archives: Miami

Traffic Simulator

Check out the Traffic Simulator.

Being from Miami, first thing I did is set the slider to simulate less-polite drivers under “lane-changing behavior”. Chaos ensues.

Next up, traffic cones everywhere.  Pretty soon it will look just like local roads!

Posted in Internet, Miami | 1 Comment

Let’s Hope They’re Not On the Move

‘Thousands’ of poisonous Bufo toads are ‘besieging’ Palm Beach gardens, a neighborhood a bit over two hours drive north of me. CBS 5 has the details (warning: audio pops up immediately).

Bufo toads secrete a ‘milky substance’ from their heads that is highly toxic to people — and especially likely to get into your pets. (No word yet if these are the type whose poison has psychoactive properties. I just imagine spring breakers rubbing toads on their bodies and getting run over…)

We’ve had floods, tornadoes, now frogs. Biblical plagues anyone?

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Thoughts on the Upcoming 2019 Coral Gables Elections

On April 9 Coral Gables will have an election for Mayor and for one of the Commission seats. Coral Gables uses a City Manager system, so the Mayor is only a bit more than first-among-equals, with a substantial ceremonial role. Oddly, Commissioners get a four-year term, but the Mayor only gets a two-year term.

Coral Gables Mayor

The Mayoral race pits incumbent Raul Valdes-Fauli against challenger and former Commissioner Jeannett Slesnick. Slesnick lost by 187 votes the last time they went head-to-head.

I think this is a pretty easy call.

Continue reading

Posted in Coral Gables | 4 Comments

Apparently I Didn’t Vote Often Enough

While outcomes were good very locally–Donna Shalala is going to Congress, Javier Enrique Fernandez beat Javier Enriquez for the state House, state outcomes were bad, but with redeeming features.

Gillum lost a squeaker.  Nelson is a hair behind —  21,899 votes or .26 percent of 8.2 million ballots cast — with recount in the offing. Lots of provisional ballots to be counted, could maybe make the difference.  All the downballot state Dems lost except maybe the Agriculture Commissioner, where the margin is tiny.

Looks like another roller coaster post-election period for Florida.

All the state Constitutional amendments, good and bad, passed except for Amendment 1.  The best news is that 1.2 million Floridians got re-enfranchised by Amendment 4 — although whether implementation will be smooth remains to be seen.

The worst news is that Amendment 5 passed, requiring a supermajority to raise taxes and to close loopholes.  This may make Florida ungovernable, worse even then the fiscal straitjacket that hamstrung California after Proposition 13 and other anti-tax measures.

Equally bad is that DeSantis’s first act will be to name three Justices to the state Supreme Court, doubtlessly cementing a conservative-to-reactionary majority for a generation.

Florida really is a sanity-stressing jurisdiction sometimes.

Posted in 2018 Election, Law: Everything Else, Miami | Leave a comment

I Voted (At Least Once)

As of this morning, the Miami-Dade Elections Dept. online ballot checker showed no sign that the Elections Dept. had received my mail ballot — even though I posted it at a local Post Office eight days ago.

So, trepidatiously, I went off to vote.  I imagined officious claims that I was trying to vote twice, ending in a provisional ballot. In the event, however, it was all a a happy anti-climax.  The official called over someone to explain what to do, which involved punching some buttons, and voilà! I am issued a nice new giant ballot.

Apparently even if they had my by-mail ballot, they would allow me to vote in person as the system is programmed to erase the earlier ballot in that case.  Which sort of makes me wonder how that works.  As I understand it, the state releases the early vote totals pretty quickly after polls close.  That leaves just two possibilities: either (1) they have my name attached to my ballot up until the polls close, and can pull it before they count it; or (2) they have my name attached to my vote even after an initial count, and can deduct my vote from the total before releasing it.  Neither possibility suggests that ballot anonymity is preserved very well, does it?  Although in case (1) I guess it could be anonymous once it’s counted.

Posted in 2018 Election, Law: Elections, Miami | Leave a comment

Hey Dude, Where’s My Ballot?

I voted by mail this year, thinking that with such a long ballot the lines might be very long. I posted my ballot at the Post Office on Monday, well before the 1pm pickup scheduled for weekdays. As of this writing, the Miami-Dade elections officials have not received my ballot, at least according to the online lookup tool.

Does it really take five days to deliver a letter from the post office in Coral Gables to downtown Miami?

And, more worryingly, if by Tuesday afternoon, they still won’t admit to having my ballot, how do I cast a ballot that is likely to count? All I’ve been able to find so far is this, from the Florida division of elections:

If the voter decides to go to the polls to vote instead, the voter should bring the vote-by-mail ballot (whether it has been marked or not). Even if the voter comes to the polls without the vote-by-mail ballot, the voter will still be able to vote a regular ballot if the supervisor of elections’ office is able to confirm that it has not received the voter’s vote-by-mail ballot. However, if it is confirmed that the voter have already voted a vote-by-mail ballot, the voter cannot vote again at the polls. If the voter believes or insists that the supervisor of elections’ office is wrong about receiving the vote-by-mail ballot or if the supervisor of elections’ office cannot confirm that the voter has already voted an vote-by-mail ballot, the voter is allowed to vote a provisional ballot.

I guess I better block out some time for Tuesday afternoon.

Posted in Law: Elections, Miami | Leave a comment