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Volunteers have been sorting and "palletizing" supplies for Puerto Rico every day in a warehouse in Wynwood.
Ariel Zirulnick / The New Tropic

Hay que echar pa’lante...

While politicians were arguing back and forth via Twitter and television news this weekend about whether the US government is doing enough to help Puerto Rico, Boricuas and other Miamians showed UP.

The Puerto Rican diaspora in South Florida keeps it pretty chill – you don’t hear too much about them. But “people have come out of the woodwork,” says Eleazar Meléndez, a Puerto Rican raised here in Miami and one of the leaders of the local relief efforts.

Volunteers have taken over two Wynwood warehouses, one at Mana and one at 547 NW 24th Street. Dozens are showing up daily to sort and prepare supplies to be flown to hard-hit parts of the island on everything from commercial airlines with spare cargo space to a private jet owned by one of the Real Housewives of Miami. And they’re increasingly bypassing San Juan, where cargo containers filled with supplies are stuck.

“It’s that Miami spirit of not following the rules” that’s letting them work faster than any other Boricua diaspora community, Eleazar says. “If people keep listening to the rules, it’s going to hurt people.” (Since we talked, the government is no longer requiring everyone to go through Washington and San Juan.)

We’re down with that kind of rule breaking.

Want to pitch in? We’ve got a list of ways to help the Caribbean – including deets on this operation – that we’re updating.

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Access granted. Gov. Rick Scott has asked state colleges and universities to consider offering in-state tuition rates to the droves of Puerto Rican college students expected to arrive in the coming weeks. (WLRN)

TOUCHDOWN. Miami Beach signed a deal with Art Basel to keep bringing the art extravaganza to the city through 2024. Mayor Philip Levine said it was like “locking in the Super Bowl.” The annual event comes with a whole bunch of related art shows all over the city and parties, parties, and more parties. (CBS Local)

Separate and unequal. According to a new study from FSU, Florida public schools are becoming more and more segregated even as the state becomes more diverse – and the problem is the worst in Miami. Twenty percent of schools statewide are “intensely segregated,” meaning 90 percent or more of the student body is Black or Latino. It was just over 10 percent in the mid-1990s. (Miami Herald)

Scoping things out. If you are worried about folks in Puerto Rico and know your way around, NOAA is building street by street aerial maps of the island so people can survey the damage from afar. (Miami Herald)

Lessons learned. The county commission debriefed on Hurricane Irma last week. Although Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the county did a “fantastic” job, he admitted that next time a storm comes, we need more ice, more staff for shelters, more shelters that will take pets, and more help for public housing projects and other low income communities to prepare. (Miami Herald)

Made in Dade. The most dangerous road in all of Florida is right here. The stretch of the I-95 Express lane that crosses through Little River, less than four miles long, has 7.01 fatalities per mile. Yikes. (Miami Herald)

Head downtown to Art Days for three days of cultural experiences, special programming, and free events from Oct. 13-15! Learn More ».
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