• Sally B. Philips

Challenges Everywhere

Vol. 3, No. 16 19 July 2022


I am very enthused about a fun and generous project that Dr. Tina Carroll-Scott is leading. Dr. Scott is the Director of the South Miami Children's Clinic. The clinic offers free and low cost care for children. Lately, on her own time, Dr. Scott has been organizing a gallop/trot 5K marathon that is scheduled for August 27. I am writing about this fund raiser here, because Dr. Scott is looking for help or in-kind donations. For instance, one of the items needed is a sound stage.

A Gallop/Trot is the British term for a Run/Walk. Jamaica is celebrating its 60th anniversary of becoming independent of Brittan on August 6. The August 27th gallop-trot-stroll, aka run-jog-walk, is intended to honor Jamaica's Diamond Jubilee.

Dr. Scott wrote to me: "I wanted to reach out about a 5K fundraising event that I’m organizing ... to raise funds for schools in Jamaica severely affected by loss of in-person learning and vital resources. Many Jamaicans in the diaspora were educated at these schools or have family members who were, including my own. The event will also commemorate the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence from Britain.

I would love your help in advertising the event and encouraging people to register for $30 which will include free Zoo admission. I want to introduce the Zoo to a different [group of people who don't usually go to the Zoo], and promote physical as well as mental health with this family fun day. The pandemic has really taken a toll the last two and half years, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for families to spend some quality time.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava will attend and present a proclamation in honor of the 60th and the contributions of Jamaicans in the diaspora to our community. CBS4 Miami will also cover the event. My uncle Ernie Smith is coming from Jamaica to perform along with another artist from Merritone. So what I need now are registrations and runners!!! ..."

Registration entitles a person to free zoo entry whether the person stands around listening to music and eating tasty food or walks, jogs or runs 3.1 miles. Or arrives at 10:00 am when the Zoo opens.

The website for this event has lots more information. I learned that "likkle pickney" means "small child." Click here to discover more and to register or/and donate.

So the real challenge is to get up, dress in exercise clothes, and get to the Zoo before 7:30 am on a Saturday. Of course, we can do it!


This is rather nice news about Miami-Dade's Public Schools:

"The Florida Department of Education released the Preliminary 2021-2022 School Performance Grades for all schools, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is again an “A” rated district.

Below are key findings from the Preliminary 2021-2022 School Performance Grades:

- The percentage of “A” schools increased by 8 percentage points from 46% in 2018-2019 (pre-pandemic) to 54% in 2021-2022

- 99.5% of all M-DCPS schools earned “A,” “B,” or “C” school grades.

- 77% of all M-DCPS schools earned “A” or “B” school grades, as compared to 58% statewide.

- The percentage of M-DCPS schools earning “A” school grades outpaced other large districts, including Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, and Palm Beach. ...

The Preliminary 2021-2022 School Performance Grades will be available on the Assessment, Research, and Data Analysis website at"


1. A group of people are working toward making Sunset Drive safer for bicyclists. Here is a copy of their proposal.

2. Several cities have mandated* that some new construction have "cool roofs." Cool roofs are light colored and help to reduce energy consumption by reflecting heat and, thus, reducing air conditioning costs. They, along with cool pavements, help to decrease the temperature of heat islands. There are several scientific measurements that help to define "cool roofs."

*Here and here are two pieces of legislation as examples.


Pelican Harbor Seabird Station (PHSS) is raising funds to finance its new facilities. When it moves to the Little River location, it will be renamed Pelican Harbor Wildlife Sanctuary. They write: "In recent years we have grown to accept most native wildlife, with an emphasis on native birds. 2,129 patients spanning more than 135 native species were treated in 2021. Since our inception [1980], over 39,000 patients and 300 species of birds have been treated." The new hospital area will be thirteen times as large as the current hospital space.

More information about the new facilities and location is on PHSS website. If possible, please donate to help PHSS expand.


Looking even further forward: "FIFA – the governing body of international soccer – announced Miami-Dade as one of the U.S. hosts for FIFA World Cup 2026™ matches. Local matches will take place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. ... Hard Rock Stadium was built to FIFA specifications, and has hosted several high-profile matches ...."



"The Air Quality Index (AQI) for Miami-Dade County is currently in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” range. The level of particulate matter concentration in ambient air indicates the presence of Saharan dust in the county.

The Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, Division of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) and the Health Department are advising citizens – especially children, the elderly and pregnant women – to take precautionary steps*, stay indoors, and to continue monitoring the AQI during the coming days. ... DERM offers a free service that allows subscribers to receive a daily air quality forecast for Miami-Dade County. Residents can subscribe online. Additionally, residents can also view the latest Air Quality Index (AQI) for Miami-Dade County online, or call 305-372-6925 for more information."

*Precautionary steps are listed here.


July 18, DOH advisory: "The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County (DOH-Miami-Dade) is under a mosquito-borne illness advisory following the confirmation of an identified case of dengue in a Miami-Dade resident. This is the first local case of dengue infection in 2022.

Dengue is a virus spread through mosquito bites by Aedes mosquitoes which also spread the chikungunya and Zika virus. Most people infected with dengue have mild or no symptoms. Those that do develop symptoms typically recover after about one week.

DOH-Miami-Dade encourages the following mosquito protection efforts* to stop mosquitoes from multiplying and to protect your skin by remembering to “Drain and Cover.”

*Protection efforts are here.


Experts estimate that as much as 50 percent of landscape water use goes to waste due to evaporation, wind, or runoff caused by overwatering.

In Miami-Dade County, there are permanent watering restrictions. Homeowners with odd numbered addresses may water their lawns before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays while residents with even numbered addresses may water on Thursdays and Sundays during the same time period.

WASD offers single-family homeowners and large property owners’ free evaluations of their in-ground irrigation systems as a part of the county’s Landscape Irrigation Rebate Program. The evaluation will provide recommendations on how to make the property’s irrigation system more water efficient. Homeowners who implement the recommendations will qualify for up to $500 in rebates per year for up to five years, while large property owners (i.e. homeowner associations, hotels, commercial properties, etc.) can receive up to $2,850 per property.

For more information on this and other water conservation programs, visit It is the priority of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department to provide safe, reliable service to its customers. For additional information about Department services and programs, visit the WASD website.



Marcus Lightfoot* and I sat on the County's Rapid Transit Development Impact Committee (DIC) on July 13. The DIC considered whether or not the proposal to add more stories and more student apartments would have a negative impact. Despite hearing negative comments from two South Miami residents and us, and despite the smooth presenter's not being able to answer several of my pointed questions, the DIC voted 5 - 2 to recommend the requested changes.

* Marcus is Senior Planning and Zoning Administrator


That afternoon, I spoke in front of the County Chairman's Council of Policy in opposition to recommending the RZT Ordinance at this time. My points were:

- The county needs a sound and adequate (county- wide) sewer system.

- Adequate drinking water needs to be guaranteed.

- Adequate green/park space needs to be provided for any population increase.

I have no way of knowing if my comments had any impact. The Council postponed a decision until the sponsor, Council member Gilbert, could be available. [Luckily, a quorum of the South Miami Commission can act on its agenda even after a Commissioner walks out.] Maybe, it will be September 1. If public comments are allowed, I will try to be there again.

Please act helpfully to as many of these challenges as is possible.

Stay healthy, keep safe.

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