|Letters December 2016|
|Written by BT Readers|
Kathy Glasgow’s story on identity theft (“Nest Egg Heist,” November 2016) sent a chill up my spine. Just days before I read it, I received an e-mail from my bank about my password change.
Too late -- someone had gained access to my savings account, linked it to their PayPal account, and moved out the money.
I’m sure Richard Zimmelman will recover his $86,000, either through the bank or the title company’s insurance. It’s just too bad he may have to wait until they finish duking it out.
In our story “Nest Egg Heist: A Cautionary Tale” (November 2016), we stated that Richard Zimmelman was following e-mailed instructions from his title attorney regarding the wire transfer of $86,000 intended for the purchase of a condo. The story should have made clear that the instructions actually came from criminal hackers, who directed him to send the money to an account belonging to them.
Also in the story, we incorrectly reported that Zimmelman showed up at his title attorney’s office three days after wiring the money, and that the $86,000 “had been gone for three days without anyone in [title attorney Abbie] Salt’s office noticing.” In fact the interval was two days.
The story also stated: “On the way to the police station, Zimmelman recounts, Salt suggested possible arrangements in order to keep the closing on track. ‘She offered to give me half of the amount that was missing, in exchange for a 50 percent interest in the condo.’” The story should have explained that Salt offered half of the amount that was missing and a loan for the other half.
Zimmelman reported the crime to his bank before his visit to the North Miami Police Department, not afterward as reported.
Finally, Zimmelman asserts that, following a Channel 7 Help Me Howard segment, strangers did recognize him from the broadcast, but they did not “advise him it was his fault,” as the story stated.
We regret the errors.
Jim Mullin, publisher / editor
Thank you for your in-depth cover story “Boom, Bust, Boom” (November 2016). It was fascinating to finally know the history of “Edgewater East,” and Erik Bojnansky was thorough weaving the past to coordinate with Silvia Ros’ excellent new photos.
For years Biscayne Times has kept us on the cutting edge of what’s happening in Miami, and we’re fortunate to read you in an era when so much has gone online and gets missed if you don’t look at ten different websites. Many of us still enjoy reading a print paper.
A few omissions that need to be recognized, respectfully: Mr. Martin Bravo of Metro 1 Properties neglects to mention that Biscayne Boulevard as well as NE 2nd Avenue have excellent bus transportation (3 lines Biscayne, 2 lines 2nd Avenue) with only five minutes to the Omni Station connecting to Metromover and Metrorail.
As well, urban planner Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk’s comments about Edgewater’s limited open spaces omits mention of the City of Miami’s new Icon Bay Park at 28th Street and Biscayne Bay, a sizable waterfront park with entrances on 27th and 28th streets that people and animals (also a dog park) have been enjoying for a year and a half now.
Both those things are really enjoyed by residents here.
If Edgewater is doomed, [Morningside activist] Elvis Cruz played a part. When the state’s plan to re-landscape Biscayne Boulevard called for an equal mix of shade and palm trees for the area (supporting what the main Edgewater neighborhood association then wanted), Elvis fought it.
He, along with Commissioner Marc Sarnoff’s office, called for a meeting. Elvis didn’t live even near Edgewater, yet he presided. He explained that there was a vet group that had declared Royal Palms commemorative for Biscayne Boulevard, so it would be unpatriotic to have anything else.
Developers wanted the palms since shade trees might block retail signs’ visibility from passing cars. Cruz insisted shade trees were unnecessary since no one did or ever would walk in Edgewater.
He supported this argument by asking for a show of hands as to how many Edgewater residents had walked to the meeting at American Legion (which Edgewater residents didn’t even know was scheduled until a day before the meeting). Of course, no one had walked the miles to that meeting, which was far from Edgewater.
With the help of Sarnoff, he got what he (and, we can guess, Sarnoff) wanted. Cruz was instrumental in getting the state to trade out the plan for Biscayne Boulevard to have half shade, half palms, from 14th to 36th streets. So much for activists from residential areas supporting the same quality-of-life issues they’re so strident about for their neighbohoods.
I am writing in response to a series of Biscayne Times articles about our planned project next to Legion Park. It is apparent that some important project details have been misunderstood -- and even mischaracterized in some cases -- and it is important that our community be fully and correctly informed about our vision for the property.
My company leases the land owned by American Legion Post 29 near Legion Park and owns the adjacent property to the west. Since May, we have been engaged with the community regarding our two-phased development plans: (1) a 237-unit, five-story apartment building to feature a new waterfront American Legion facility, which is as-of-right under existing zoning; and (2) a 476-unit residential development, ranging from 10 to 15 stories, next to Legion Park.
The proposed second phase, filed with the City of Miami in September, requests upzoning a portion of our property, which we would like to implement through a provision in the zoning code known as a special area plan (SAP).
In order to meet the SAP’s guidelines, which requires an application is made by owners of property totaling at least nine acres, we’ve asked the city to join the application with a two-acre portion of Legion Park to help us meet this provision. Even if the city were to join as co-applicant, the park will remain public property, with no change in the community’s rights to use and enjoy every square inch.
To inform the community regarding our proposed entitlement change for the second phase, we’ve participated in several neighbor meetings, including with key members of the associations of Bayside, Elmira, Nirvana, Palm Bay, Morningside, and MiMo Biscayne.
We are actively seeking more public meetings to properly communicate our proposed plans and the public benefits we are offering. Our goal is to ensure that these discussions allow neighbors to share feedback once they fully understand the facts of this initiative.
In return for support of the proposed entitlement change allowing us to increase the number of units we can build from 512 to 713, we’re offering public benefits that would positively contribute to the neighborhood, including:
• Funds to improve Legion Park; use of funds will not be decided by us, but by the public and its representatives.
• Veteran preference for jobs for that will exceed $90 million in wages and create more than 1000 positions.
• Covered public parking spaces for local businesses and park visitors.
• A new street on the north of the project’s second phase to separate the development from Legion Park and reduce shadows that would otherwise fall on mature, beautiful canopy trees.
For those neighbors who have told us to keep our “hands off Legion Park,” I am reiterating that the park can never be touched by us. Only the city and its constituents can approve and implement park improvements, with or without the SAP.
We’re asking for the opportunity to provide money and other benefits that can be used by the community. For the veterans, we’ve already paid $4 million into a veteran-controlled trust, and have committed to building a new facility for American Legion Post 29 to provide a place for the rehabilitation and counseling services needed for our greatest heroes.
We would like to provide even more benefits to the veterans and expand our efforts to even more of the community. With proper information and reasonable discussion, I have faith that we can arrive at a solution that can benefit everyone.
Brian Pearl, COO
Thank you, Jack King, for your journalism. You are 100 percent right about that idiot Donald Trump.
Volume 15, Issue 2, April 2017
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