The South Florida Times is seeking part-time drivers to deliver newspapers and manage routes. Positions are available in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Interested parties must have their own vehicles. For additional information, call Robert Beatty II at 954-356-9360.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney was recently released from George Washington University Hospital after his fifth heart attack. He has also had numerous other medical procedures over the years. Cheney has been in government since 1969, when he began working for Republican Congressman William A. Steiger of Wisconsin. Cheney is one of many conservatives who claims to oppose President Barack Obama’s health care reform plans, or at least until it benefits him. Cheney and his family have received government-paid or subsidized health care for the past 41 years, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Cheney deserves good medical care, but so do every-day Americans. Cheney should either repay every dime of taxpayers’ money, or keep quiet and stop the hypocrisy.
Already showing losses of $7 billion this year, the U.S. Postal Service is in trouble. U.S. Postmaster General John Potter says some post office locations may be closed, and there may be hikes in postage fees. Saturday mail delivery may cease, also. The demise of the Postal Service comes amid the increased use of smart phones, the Internet and email. The Postal Service has been slow to adapt.
Last week at a café in Sunrise, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is a U.S. Senate candidate, met with local supporters. He was hoping to rekindle the grassroots energy, particularly among blacks, that he enjoyed during his 2006 gubernatorial campaign. In the face of dwindling poll numbers and surging opponent Marco Rubio, Crist’s campaign for the Republican Senate nomination is in trouble. Crist is denying speculation [likely generated by the Rubio camp] that he will drop out of the race and run as an independent, but Internet fodder about the possibility is rampant.
HOMESTEAD CHARTER SCHOOL
Charter Schools USA Inc. is seeking to build a charter high school on city-owned land in Homestead. Councilman Jimmie L. Williams is against the idea, but Councilwoman Judy Waldman supports it. Residents such as retired educator Jim Tranthem oppose it. The proposed, privately owned school would be built at the Homestead Sports Complex site, which would be leased to the company for $1 over several decades. It will enroll 1,800 students from around Miami-Dade County, and Tranthem says other locations are more suitable. Williams says it is a bad deal, and that the city would get nothing in return. Supporters insist that it will bring quality education to the city, and ease overcrowding. City Council members will make the final decision, but the issue has been tabled several times. Yet, this fight is heating up.
COLD CASE ARREST
Ismael McCall, 24, was arrested Friday, Feb. 26 in connection with the 2004 slaying of 38-year-old Renalto Obas. Broward Sheriff’s Office investigators say that a masked McCall opened a car door and shot Obas in the chest before fleeing the scene in November 2004 in Pompano Beach. Obas died from the gunshot. An unidentified inmate who is currently serving time in a South Carolina prison provided the tip, which broke open the case. McCall is being held in the Broward County Jail with no bond.
Last week, a civil service board voted to overturn Acting City Manager Burgess Hanson’s firing of Clifton Coach and Michael Hunter, who were injured on the job, and were not given other work for the city. Coach alleges that he was actually fired in retaliation for giving a statement in an ongoing sexual harassment case pending against one of his bosses. Coach provided eyewitness substantiation of one allegation made by a female employee who alleges in an EEOC complaint that the supervisor reached under her blouse and massaged her breast. During a meeting about his statement with Parks Director George Edmunds and two other city administrators, Coach says he was directed to reach under the shirt of Edmunds and demonstrate the breast-rubbing on Edmunds, which he did. Coach says he was humiliated, but performed the act anyway, out of fear of losing his job if he did not follow Edmunds’ directive.
CITY MANAGER SCANDAL
According to court documents filed in the federal corruption case of former Miramar City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman, City Manager Robert Payton is named as one of the people who awarded contracts to undercover FBI agents who posed as shady contractors seeking city business. In 2006, Payton met with Salesman and one agent while Salesman was suspended from office, and reportedly told the agent that he would not get city business unless he “knew” someone. Payton went on to award the company several contracts for amounts less than his $50,000 discretionary limit. Payton is not charged in the case, but even if he isn’t, at the very least he knowingly participated in cronyism, which should not be tolerated. There are also questions of why he met with a commissioner who was suspended from office. Payton is not talking, which is his right, but commissioners have a duty and public responsibility to demand an explanation, or relieve him from duty until he does.
Palm Beach County
ALLEGED RAPIST SOUGHT
Police are searching for Bruce Martin of Lake Worth, who was out on bail and potentially facing life in prison in the alleged June 2008 rape case of an aspiring model. Martin’s trial was scheduled to start Monday, March 1, but he failed to appear. When police visited his home Monday, it was discovered that he had cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and had fled while out on $150,000 bail. Martin is accused of posing as a photographer who was to take photos of a woman he met through Craig’s List. He then allegedly impersonated a police officer and flashed a fake badge when he saw her at their scheduled meeting place. She was asked to sit in his car, where he allegedly raped her at gunpoint.