Vol.1, No. 27 May 27, 2020
Memorial Day weekend was one rainy, soggy mess! It is almost as if the weather was mourning our fallen and wounded service people, and all those people in the past and present who have risked their lives to protect us and our democracy.
Yes, many people were flooded. I mourn that, too. My wish is that they get help in fixing what got damaged and in preparing so that they are not flooded, again.
Hurricane season is fast approaching. Rumors are, that because of the climate changes, this is going to be a rough summer. Miami-Dade has already sent out it's annual Readiness Guide: Are you Ready? If you have not received it yet, you can read good preparation advice at: http://www.miamidade.gov/global/emergency/hurricane/home.page. Besides checking my grocery and medicine supplies, I was reminded that I should get more pet carriers in case I need to evacuate with my cats. While my solar system will help me if the grid goes down, I urge all who have generators to make sure they start and work.
In an emergency, everyone knows to call 911. But, if it is not an emergency, please call the South Miami emergency dispatch number: (305) 663-6301. Calling 911, when it is not absolutely urgent, pulls energy away from potential emergency situations. Non-emergency calls to 911 are a waste of time and attention. Why not put the Emergency Dispatch number for the Police in your phone?
Congresswoman Shalala has written about the prevalence of fraud at this time:
"While most of us are focused on staying safe during this crisis, we need to be wary of bad actors who are using this pandemic for their own financial gain. [Be] alert to the danger of coronavirus-related scams. [Here is] some information for keeping your information secure.
Scams in the age of COVID-19 can take a variety of forms. Here are a few examples:
Advanced fee schemes, through which scammers ask for money up front for goods (masks, protective equipment, hand sanitizer) or services (COVID-19 tests);
Counterfeit products, like knock-off N-95 masks that don’t actually work;
Impersonation of government officials demanding payment;
Investment schemes that falsely promise you the chance to profit off the pandemic;
Solicitations for private information, such as your Social Security Number, bank account number, or Medicare/Medicaid number;
In-person marketers offering free COVID-19 testing; and
Fake phone calls from the IRS offering to help you get a stimulus payment."
She goes on the say how you can protect yourself, and what agencies are there to help you. Click here for the rest of her article.
CSM* BOARDS & COMMITTEES
One of the better reasons for living in South Miami is that its residents can be active in how it is governed. There are twelve boards and committees that are composed of volunteer resident members. At the moment, some of these boards are not functioning. However, some of them are and are in need of members. For instance, people are needed for the Green Task Force, the Historic Preservation Board, the Parks and Recreation Board, etc. Most of these boards meet in the evenings, some once a month, some once every three months, and some more often. Volunteering to help is a way to act on one's gratitude for living here. More details can be found on the City's web site: https://www.southmiamifl.gov/103/Boards-Committees. Please let me - or a commissioner - know if you have an interest in volunteering.
* CSM = City of South Miami
AARP Tax-Aide Service
"Tax-Aide is continuing its exploration and implementation of alternative tax prep service. Tax-Aide is providing access to selected tax preparation software so taxpayers can prepare and file their own tax returns at no cost; view web page here. And, Tax-Aide will soon launch options to provide volunteer-assisted coaching for those taxpayers who need help with self-filing. As of May 21, over 233 volunteers from 20 states have already signed up to participate in the volunteer-assisted service. Further, a group comprised of volunteers and staff continues to look at options to provide some version of in-person service again in some areas."
EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION
Here is a graph from Miami-Dade County Statistics as of May 25:
It does look like the line is flattening for Miami-Dade County. BUT, let us continue to be careful, please.
Stay healthy, be safe!
P. S. Did you notice that No. 27 was assembled on May 27 - only 107 days since I became mayor?