Honda Motor Company is recalling more than 960,000 Fit subcompacts and other models to repair defective power windows. The recall comes at a time when Honda has seen a whopping 24 percent decrease in sales and stiff competition from Hyundai, Kia and other manufacturers.
The U.S. Postal Service may shut down during the winter months unless Congress takes emergency action to avoid the USPS from defaulting on a $5.5 billion payment due next week. The Postal Service, which is broke and has already closed more than 3,000 post offices and laid off more than 120,000 workers, is still $8.5 billion in the red. Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) is leading the charge to save the Postal Service but getting help from the Republican-led House of Representatives won’t be easy.
Even before President Barack Obama was sworn into office, U.S. Rep. John Boehner, now Speaker of the House, and the other Republicans vowed to do anything they could to make his presidency a failure. They pledged to “make him a one-term president.” Having differences with a president of the opposite party is normal and playing the role of the loyal opposition is acceptable but these are not your Ronald Reagan Republicans. Instead, fringe groups of nutcases have infiltrated the party, to its detriment. These whackos are bent on seeing their vendetta against the president through, even if it means destroying the country as we know it. While they engage in this foolishness, the suffering and misery of millions of Americans continue. It’s a disgraceful tactic and it should stop. Now. This current group of Republican basket cases has wiped out all the progress the GOP had made with blacks, Hispanics and middle-class workers over the past decade. The demographics of America are changing at a more rapid pace than anyone could have seen and if the Republicans continue on this path they will be out of power and a marginal party, at best.
Palm Beach County
CITYPLACE IN FORECLOSURE
Times are tough all over. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’ company, Related Companies LLC, has been hit with a $150 million foreclosure on the famed CityPlace development in West Palm Beach. CityPlace is a high-end mixed-use retail, eating and nightclub hub frequented by the rich and famous.
After being served with a restraining order from his ex-wife, Juan Martinez killed her. Martha C. Aguilar, 55, was found behind a Lake Worth business dead from a shotgun wound. A short time later, Martinez was found dead in his car from gunshots fired by his 22-year-old stepson, Julian Lopez. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s officials say Lopez acted in self-defense after Martinez shot his mother and then pointed a shotgun at him and an unidentified witness. Lopez will not face any charges.
A DIFFERENT ANNIVERSARY
Sept. 11 will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. but it will also mark the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of public schools in Palm Beach County. On Sept. 11, 1961, Theresa Jakes and Johnnie Green walked into Lake Worth High and initiated the desegregation of the School District of Palm Beach County.
RAPE, KIDNAPPING CHARGES
Pascual Marroquin-Perechu, 22, and Maximo Waldemar Perez, 23, are charged with kidnapping and raping a 22-year-old woman near Perez’ Jupiter home. According to the police report, the woman knocked on Perez’s door and asked for a beer. After she was given the beer, she was dragged to a field behind a dumpster and raped. Police said when officers arrived, Perez was drunk and confessed. Marroquin-Perechu was picked up at his home a short distance away and also confessed, police said. They are being held without bond.
Legal Aid attorney Sharon Bourassa is seeking help from Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, in a fight with the city of Fort Lauderdale over redevelopment in predominantly black neighborhoods. Legal Aid has a pending lawsuit against Fort Lauderdale and one of the claims involves more than 600 properties the city has acquired for affordable housing. Bourassa contends the city engaged in “land banking” and will hand those properties over to private developers, instead of building affordable homes.
Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman is proposing a number of creative methods to make up for a $36.4 million budget deficit. What is not being explored is moving city pensions to the state retirement system or eliminating take-home cars and rolling back the inflated salaries of managers.
The city of Homestead election season is underway. Civic activist Jim Tranthem has filed to run for a council seat. He will challenge incumbent Jon Burgess. Other incumbents can also expect to have challengers and it will be a lively election down south.
South Miami has settled an Internal Revenue Service investigation into tax-exempt municipal bonds the city sold. South Miami will pay $6.6 million to investors and $276,000 to the IRS. The city is accused of entering 50-year bond agreements even though IRS rules restrict public entities from doing so. The bonds were used to pay for a parking garage and retail development. The city contracted with a private company to run the development, which also violated IRS rules.
Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito has requested whistleblower protection. The move came amid rumors that Exposito will be fired. Exposito claims Mayor Tomas Regalado has targeted him for years and he is seeking protection after accusing Regalado of interfering in a police operation that targeted illegal video gambling in the city.
Miami-Dade Police arrested Andrew Gibbs, 31, of West Kendall in the death of a male prostitute. Gibbs is charged with first-degree murder. Police say Gibbs picked up the prostitute and drove him back to his home. They argued over payment and Gibbs fatally shot the unidentified victim with a rifle, police say.
Photo: Elgin Jones