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The weekend of Sept. 14, Miami-Dade had swim advisories in effect for EIGHT local beaches after finding unsafe levels of Enterococcus bacteria in the water – a bacteria often associated with poop. Swim advisories aren’t exactly uncommon here, but they happened A LOT this summer, and locals are rightfully wondering “what the heck?”
Rachel Silverstein is the executive director of Miami Waterkeeper, which fights for drinkable, swimmable, fishable water for everyone. It’s been a busy summer for them, and she broke down for us what’s been going on:
WHAT’S CAUSING THE BEACH CLOSURES: A high concentration of Enterococcus bacteria in the water.
OK, SO HOW BAD IS THAT? It depends on what kind of Enterococcus bacteria. It’s a bacteria often associated with poop, Rachel writes, but it can also be the result of decaying vegetation – like all that seaweed that’s been lining our beaches this summer and slowly rotting. If the seaweed is the source of the bacteria, it’s a lot less harmful to humans.
COOL. SO WHICH ONE IS IT? We don’t know, because it would require sampling the water and analyzing the DNA, and no government agencies are doing that. Plus, there are a lot of other things mucking up our waterways other than Enterococcus bacteria, like runoff from our streets and farmland that’s filled with chemicals and leaks from overflowing septic tanks.
Safe water may be our right, but as we learned this summer, we definitely don’t have it.
How does this keep happening? You would think that this summer’s backlash against a a Spanish-language play featuring blackface might have sent a message to the theater community, but nope. Another play almost premiered in Little Havana last weekend with a character in blackface, until someone saw the promotional material ahead of time and blew the whole thing up. The producer quickly changed plans, but said that the controversy was a surprise to him. A PSA that’s somehow still necessary: blackface is never OK. (WLRN)
What will Little Haiti look like? There have been warnings for years now: development is happening so fast in Little Haiti that it’s pushing out many longtime residents and businesses. But now, the big one is landing: The Magic City Innovation District. The mixed-use development at 6001 NE 2nd Avenue will span seven city blocks and include a 25-story building, thousands of new residential units and a pop-up theme park. The developers say they want to “enhance the culture” of the neighborhood but locals say that development has already pushed that culture out to other parts of Miami. Miami commissioners will take an initial vote on the key approvals for the project this Thursday. (Miami Herald, Vice)
Monkey business is booming. Miami is home to all kinds of influencers who collect thousands of likes and push diet tea on to their followers, but it turns out humans aren’t the only ones who can get in the game. Diddy Kong, named after the video game character, has more than 1 million followers on Instagram and that coveted blue checkmark. His owners adopted him a few years ago and nursed him back to health, and now he’s repped by an official animal modeling agency (yep, it’s a real thing). (Miami New Times)
Taking a deeper look. After learning via a CBS 4 investigation that Gov. Rick Scott opted for pricier last-minute contracts for debris pickup after Hurricane Irma, instead of honoring existing contracts, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is launching its own investigation. By opting for the emergency contracts Scott could end up costing taxpayers about $30 million when the work could have been done for about $13 million. (CBS 4)
If the FBI is knocking… The FBI has been knocking on Cuban activists’ doors all over Miami and New York City, scoping out folks with connections to the Cuban Mission to the United Nations. The exact reason isn’t clear but at least one official described it as “routine outreach.” The increased activity also comes ahead of Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel’s visit to the United Nations. Activists in Miami haven’t talked much about what FBI agents want from them, but some analysts think the FBI is on the lookout for Cuban spies. (Miami Herald)
Not so average after all. Last week CNN featured aired a segment featuring a group of five South Florida women speaking in support of Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee facing multiple sexual assault allegations, and it went viral. In the segment the women were presented only as everyday Republican voters, but at least two of them are recent political candidates. The others have been active in local political circles – and one woman in the clip, Lourdes Castillo de la Peña, has worked in Miami-Dade for gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis. (Miami New Times, Miami Herald)
☕Today – Friday: Grab your work fam and snag BOGO coffee every morning this week (Allapattah)
🚘Wednesday: Eat Italian, set #apartmentgoals, and test drive a Tesla at this BoConcept after-hours event (Brickell)
🌇Wednesday: Enjoy a sunset prix-fixe dinner at CHARCOAL at the Yard (Wynwood)
🎶Thursday – Sunday: Immerse yourself in RAW POP UP / LAB’s multisensory experiment of art, music, technology, and performance art. – 20 percent off if you use this link (Brickell)
🎥Thursday – Sunday: Catch works from the Caribbean’s most cutting-edge filmmakers at the Third Horizon Film Festival (Wynwood)
🎵Friday, Oct. 5: Groove with electronic music artist Omar Souleyman at the Bandshell (North Beach)
🎨Friday, Oct. 5: Arts & Drafts is back with artist Brian Butler (Miami Beach)
🌱Saturday, Oct. 6: Head to South Florida’s first-ever plant based party (Coconut Grove)
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💱Talk blockchain with Ripple (Allapattah)
👑Learn how to sew from Queef Latina (South Beach)
👊Punch it out at a boxing class, then down some brews (South Beach)
📚Reflect on the importance of serving others with Dave Lawrence’s book launch (Coral Gables)
🎶Celebrate local DJs with Terrestrial Funk (Wynwood)
🌳Talk public space in Latin America (Downtown)
🎮Get interactive and make your own video game characters (Wynwood)
🕺Play some disco frisbee (South Beach)
🍺Join other brew-loving ladies at Girls Pint Out (Westchester)
😱Get spooked at House of Horror – through Nov. 3 (Doral)
🎸Strike country music gold – every Thursday (Downtown)
📘Meet author Gary Shteyngart (Coral Gables)
🌿Celebrate the launch of hydroponic farming (Wynwood)
👠Celebrate four years of Double Stubble (Wynwood)
🎷 Jam with the Spam All Stars (South Beach)
🎞️Catch a flick at Russian Film Week – through Oct. 4 (North Beach)
🕹️Learn about Magic Leap and try out their tech – limited space! (Wynwood)
☕Talk “chaos” at Creative Mornings with visual artist Azeez Bakare (Little Havana)
👠Get weird at the Rocky Horror Picture Show (Design District)
🎵Experience 12 hours of DJ jams, croquetas, and cortaditos (Downtown)
🎸Get down with some funk and soul at Las Rosas (Allapattah)
🎵Browse the largest selection of records in Miami (Wynwood)
🧘Join an epic sunrise yoga and dancing sesh (Surprise location – RSVP to find out!)
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag @thenewtropic on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with a New Tropic membership.