The year is almost a month old, and it's nearly five weeks since I sent out my last news message. I hope everyone has been getting the very elegant SoMi INSIDER. If not, go to this web page:
https://www.southmiamifl.gov/95/SoMi-INSIDER-Newsletter, and click on the orange sentence that invites you to subscribe.
Today was the Grand Opening of the Dollar Store in the Madison Square complex. Commissioner Gil and I were able to manipulate South Miami's ceremonial scissors well enough to cut a lovely yellow ribbon stretched across the store's front steps. The store is the first piece of this complex project to be finished. In the middle of February some of the twenty families selected to live in the building above the store will be moving in. By March 1st, all should have taken up residence. I have heard that 14 of the 20 families who will be moving in are either current residents of the Marshall Williamson area or past residents who want to move back.
As we talked while waiting for everyone to arrive, I learned that the idea for Madison Square started to germinate some time around 1985. So today marked a major step toward fulfilling a long-held desire to revitalize this community.
The Dollar Store was stocked. Just before our little ceremony, milk was being delivered. The store looked full to me, but I was told there were items yet to come. They didn't have the cylinder of gas to fill the mylar balloons, yet. The ATM is yet to be installed. I looked for vinegar and settled for tiny fruit-flavored marshmallows. Someone else bought a mat for her front entry way.
As with past distributions, this, too, is first come, first served. Drive through with car trunks open. Plans are to have a distribution every Saturday for the foreseeable future.
The Market has been up and running every Saturday from 10 am till 2 pm. I like going for several reasons. (1) Invariably, I meet several people I know and we chat. (2) Often, there are some really interesting items for sale - like hand made leather items or flowering plants or balsamic onion spread or fresh smoked fish spread. (3) Now, I am greeted by the vendors as if I am a friend. Last time, there was a vendor with the most gorgeous clumps of oyster mushrooms. I've seen mushrooms at the Market that I never knew existed, or that I didn't know could grow so large. Although you can easily find a place to park, you can also walk, bike or take FreeBee to join the fun.
POTENTIAL JOB TRAINING
George T. Baker Aviation Technical College Partners
with iAero Group to Close Workforce Gap
"George T. Baker Aviation Technical College, one of the leading aviation technical colleges in Florida, and iAero Group, the leading aviation investment platform business, announced a new partnership designed to enhance aviation maintenance technician/ mechanic training. The initiative will provide students with more career awareness opportunities and will support more pathways to job opportunities for graduates in the industry."
To read more about what this partnership is planning, click here.
CALLING ALL IDEAS
I would like ideas - even if they seem like wild ideas - about how to entice more people to walk through our downtown. Of course, the hope is that those who are strolling down our tree-lined Sunset Drive will stop to buy something or have a bite to eat. Please send me an email or text me with your idea(s). The more imaginations can be stimulated, the more likely that something positive will develop. Thank you!
AARP is going to be offering to prepare taxes for people. This year it will be necessary for the taxpayer to make an appointment. No longer will people come to the library and sit for hours waiting their turns. Now, a system has been devised where any waiting will not be more than about 20 minutes and will be contact-free. If you want AARP to prepare taxes for you, you need to call a special line and leave a message. Within the same or next day, you will be called back and an appointment will be scheduled. The line to call be open for messages on February 8: 786-565-2285. If you call before Monday, February 8, your call will not be returned.
I'm hoping that more things go right this year than last. I'm hoping that all will be careful of their own health and that of those around them (wear a mask). Even after getting the vaccine, one can still be a carrier and spreader of the virus.