FYI Miami: February 14, 2019
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SHOTSPOTTERS EXPANSION TARGETED: Less than two months after approving an expansion of its Shotspotters program, Miami-Dade commissioners may order Mayor Carlos Giménez to provide a report on enhancing its existing systems with license plate readers and surveillance cameras to address gun violence. Commissioners in 2012 adopted Shotspotters, an acoustic sensors system that detects gunfire and transmits locational data to police within 45 seconds of a shooting, but discontinued it a year later. They revived the program in 2016. As of April 2018, the system had led to just 14 suspect identifications and 18 arrests. Commissioners in committee Tuesday forwarded to a full vote an item calling for the report, sponsored by Barbara Jordan, which states that “layering the technology and using the systems together would significantly boost their effectiveness and [county police] efforts to reduce crime.”
“SLUDGE LAGOON” OOZES ON: Miami-Dade will build a new water and sewer “Sludge Lagoon” to replace the existing facility nearing retirement, as county commissioners Feb. 5 OK’d an item sponsored by Jose “Pepe” Diaz approving its construction. The lagoon, Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt wrote, is “necessary to continue the disposal of calcium carbonate residuals and… continued production of potable water from the Hialeah-Preston Water Treatment Plant.” The new facility, which will be built by 2020 about 1,040 feet west of the Florida Turnpike just south of the existing facility, is anticipated to provide Miami-Dade with over 100 years of calcium carbonate disposal capacity. No information was in the item as to whether the county will charge admission, what rides will be featured and if seasonal passes will be provided.
SCREENING SUNSCREENS: Certain sunscreen products in the Sunshine State would require prescriptions, under a measure proposed in the Florida Senate. Sen. Linda Stewart of Orlando filed a bill that would require prescriptions to buy sunscreen that contains oxybenzone or octinoxate. The bill says the chemicals “cause mortality in developing coral” and “degrade corals’ resiliency and ability to adjust to climate change factors.” The Florida Society for Dermatology opposed a similar proposal that moved forward in Key West.
MUSICAL GRANTS: The Dr. M. Lee Pearce Foundation has given a series of more than $500,000 cash grants that include $100,000 to the Cleveland Orchestra Miami Residency program, a fellowship of $50,000 at the New World Symphony and five University of Miami Frost School of Music Chopin Academy scholarships of $10,000 each. When he died last year, Dr. Pearce left in place a foundation to support classical music and improve medical care, especially to the aging.