Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Roundup? still working on it

Business isn't what it used to be
In this Miami Herald article, the Herald explains how Miami-Dade County will be appealing the state to allow Miami International Airport to install slot machines in the terminal to combat "its skyrocketing operational costs, which recently reached $600 million a year and are expected to swell to $1.1 billion by 2015."
The slot machines, which are expected to raise as much as $17 million a year, will obviously very little to curb the deficit.

As usual the Herald does not explain WHY there is a deficit (such a large one at that) nor if there are any other options being explored by the County.

Personally I'm confused as to why the County is running this airport in the first place. If my understanding from this article is correct, the County is maintaining this airport as a subsidy to the Airline companies. The libertarian in my is turning in its grave.

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This puff piece in the Herald explains a new program in Opa-locka where the city will be spending at least $50,000 to hire city residents to perform maintenance on foreclosed/blighted houses.
Residents can ear as much as $1000 per property, and are limited to working on three properties. There are currently 50 houses chosen for the program, but as unnamed Officials point the numbers are expected to "increase dramatically over the next 12 month."
There is no indication as to the average amount of work expected to be done per house, and as such there can be no estimate of what kind of impact this program can have on the community.

What also comes to mind is that as this is a "first come, first served" program, what efforts is the city of Opa-locka making to inform residents of the program? Of course the Herald doesn't bother addressing this issue. But if it's business as usual, I imagine no one will know about it other than friends of City officials.

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They needed a study for this?
The South Florida Biz Journal writes loosely about a study showing something I don't think we needed a study to show: high school drop outs makes less money than high school graduates.
Seriously? someone got paid to write about this.

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I'm still figuring this blog out, and it's obvious that a roundup type presentation will be necessary because doing individual write-ups for every article will encourage me to write too much about nothing special. But as such it's not a very sophisticated or impressive method, so we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why we need the internet

As I've believed for a while, everyone knows, and the Miami Herald reports, Newspapers are failing, and with them comes large amounts of accountability to politicians.

They can get away with much more today than they could before the advent of the internet. What's up with that?
I'll tell you what's up: citizen journalism has yet to truly flourish--yet it is the only viable alternative to Big Media because unlike BM, citizen journalism doesn't depend on sponsorship and special interests. What it does depend on, and the biggest barrier to its proper advent, is effort. We have to make the news ourselves.

I haven't got to that point yet on this blog because it's still so young, and my posting is rather inconsistent, but hopefully this year I can make it a point to push my own limits, and demonstrate in some manner what an individual can do to bring relevant, honest news to others, which in and of itself would be a glimpse of what's possible with a whole citizen journalist network. This is certainly something I should look in to because there are already many example of citizen journalism at work on the internet, but I don't know if anything has been developed to allow communities to better watch themselves.