A veritable who’s who of right-wing con artists, alt-right media hounds, and outright racists apparently plan to hold some sort of Art Basel for Grifters conference in Miami this month. Saturday, September 28, an avalanche of some of the worst pundits online — including at least one fascist — say they’ll hold a “Demand Free Speech” rally on an undisclosed yacht somewhere in the Magic City.
The event’s top billing? Serial con artist Jacob Wohl, who is charged in California with a felony for unlawfully selling investments in a company called Montgomery Assets, will apparently debate Nick Fuentes, a self-described “American nationalist” who has appeared on white-nationalist programs and was at one point taped going on an anti-Semitic rant about a fellow conservative blogger by calling him a “race traitor” and saying he “worked for Jews.” It’s unclear what Wohl and Fuentes might actually debate, but the event seems designed more to generate protests and controversy than to conduct intellectual discussions.
Screenshot via @DemandFreeSpeech / Instagram
The grifters have yet to announce a location for the event, likely to avoid protests before the so-called debate occurs. So far, the event pages simply states it will happen “on a four-decker yacht in the legendary Miami Harbor” and will include “heated debates, a stimulating panel, based and red pilled entertainment, food, drinks and much, much more.”
But tickets are being sold on the website 1776.shop, which is run by Enrique Tarrio, a Miami native who leads the neofascist Proud Boys group. “Early-bird” VIP tickets cost $150 for whatever reason. Among the other guests, the group says Zoe Sozo, an ambassador for the campus conservative group Turning Point USA, will also attend. This would be far from the first time TPUSA operatives have brushed elbows with far-right nationalists such as Fuentes: In 2018, New Times caught students in the Florida International University TPUSA chapter making rape jokes, sharing racist Pepe the Frog memes about Syrian refugees, and referencing “Jew hating” and neo-Nazi Richard Spencer in leaked WhatsApp chats.
The event’s webpage also appears to include artwork seemingly stolen from Elizabeth Kolbert’s 2015 New Yorker article “Miami Is Flooding.” Spokespeople for the New Yorker did not immediately respond to a message from New Times today.
Published at Mon, 16 Sep 2019 18:27:00 +0000Meet KX2: Ruth Avra & Dana Kleinman, Artists And Sisters Who Create Striking Wall And Freestanding Sculpture Together
Published at Sat, 31 Aug 2019 20:04:29 +0000Coral Contemporary Gallery Opens In Midtown Miami With Collective Exhibition
Coral Contemporary is an art gallery based in Miami, Florida. Founded by Isabel Tassara in 2018, the gallery specializes in the exhibition and sale of contemporary art and consulting services. Collectors and art aficionados are cordially invited to the Grand Opening of Coral Contemporary Gallery on Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 6 – 11pm, located at 30 NW 34th Street in Midtown Miami.
The gallery opens with a Collective Exhibition featuring artists Lucas Pertile, Andres Paredes, Harumi Abe, Truong Tran, Romina Salem Taborda, Micaela Suide, Miguel D’Arienzo, Eduardo Hoffmann, Leon Blanco, Denise Laws, Francisca Oyhanarte and Lules Fiorenza.
The gallery program aims to nurture and develop the relationship between art and the viewer. It will include exhibitions, Artist Talks, discussion panels and gallery lectures all free and open to the public.
By providing a space to immerse into various forms of art, the gallery works as a place to contemplate, acquire, connect while expanding the boundaries between art and the public.
Coral Contemporary Gallery is pleased to invite guests to the Grand Opening Day on Thursday, October 24th at 6pm. The Collective Exhibition will be on view through December 12, 2019. The event is FREE and Open to the Public, RSVP here.
For more information about the gallery, opening day or the gallery’s represented artists, please send an email to: email@example.com.
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday, 11am – 5pm
Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Published at Tue, 10 Sep 2019 16:28:23 +0000You’re Invited!
WHO: Surterra Wellness and moi
WHAT: A light lunch and intimate conversation on medical cannabis with Dr. Weiner, a leader in the Florida medical cannabis community.
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 20 at 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Surterra, 1523 Alton Road, Miami Beach
WHY: Dr. Weiner will be sharing her extensive knowledge in the benefits of plant medicine and current regulations in our state. Guests who qualify for a medical cannabis license will have the opportunity to be certified on site with Dr. Weiner at the discounted rate of $150 per patient and receive a $75 credit toward their first purchase at Surterra.
RSVP: RSVP is mandatory and space is limited. Email me [email protected] to save your spot.
Published at Tue, 10 Sep 2019 20:19:06 +0000Homestead Camp Kids Don’t Have Adequate Mental Health Care or Abuse Protections, Nonprofit Says
Reports about the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children outside Miami tend to fall into two categories: The federal government likes to claim the place is a clean, happy temporary dorm for immigrant kids waiting to enter the United States. The kids themselves, however, consistently tell lawyers and advocates the place sucks, makes them depressed, and leaves some of them with lasting trauma.
A new report about conditions inside the camp lays bare that dichotomy once again. For the past few months, the nonprofit Disability Rights Florida has been visiting Homestead and monitoring the conditions inside. In a 17-page report issued today, the group said accounts from detention center officials in some cases greatly clashed with those of the young detainees. Kids, for example, reported having far less time to eat lunch than officials claimed. The children said they had no access to recreational activities or the kinds of therapy the government claimed they were being offered and, most worrying, in some cases were afraid to report abuse out of fear of retaliation.
“It is widely acknowledged that many of the immigrant children detained by the federal government at Homestead Shelter have experienced significant trauma and need appropriate mental health care,” Peter Sleasman, director of investigations at Disability Rights Florida, said today in a media release. “Homestead, with a population of over 2000 children at the time of our visit, was not staffed or designed to meet the needs of these children.”
Even though the government rapidly emptied the Homestead shelter during the height of hurricane season for safety reasons, the Miami Herald has reported that children are likely to be returned there as early as next month.
In a statement to New Times this afternoon, HHS spokespeople said that the government “has no current plans to resume operations at the Homestead temporary emergency influx facility” and otherwise is in the process of reviewing the claims in DRF’s report. HHS did not, however, rule out the possibility that children may be sent back to the detention center in the fall.
“Historically during the fall months we can see an increase in referrals,” HHS told New Times. “Our job is to be prepared. Having Homestead and Carrizo Springs Influx Care Facilities available when and if there is a need is a result of our aggressive bed management strategy that allows us to expand and contract capacity as needed. It always remains our preference to place minors in our permanent network of state-licensed beds and we are working on strategies to minimize the use of Emergency Influx Care Facilities in the future.”
The new report meshes with previous statements from Homestead kids. In a long-form feature this past June, New Times detailed the conditions children described inside the camp: kids crying themselves to sleep, minors languishing in the detention center despite having sponsors willing and ready to pick them up, bathrooms covered in mildew, fans so loud in some rooms that kids had to sleep with blankets over their heads, and, in the worst cases, girls cutting themselves.
The Disability Rights Florida (DRF) report mentions similar allegations. A DRF investigator toured the compound in May, when 2,300 children were being held there. The nonprofit listed seven major issues at the compound, including that most children wind up getting stuck at the facility for months despite the fact that, legally, they are not supposed to be detained more than 20 days. Immigrant children reported being given instructions that contradicted statements officials have reported to the public and to aid workers: For example, the facility said kids are given 30-minute lunch breaks, but children uniformly told a DRF investigator they received only ten minutes to eat and often could not finish their meals in time.
In addition, kids reported to DRF that they felt confused and often uninformed about their own medical records. For mental health care, Homestead children are sent to Larkin Behavioral Health, a nearby provider, but kids reported they often were prescribed medications without being told what they were.
“Most of the children we spoke with who were taking psychotropic medications did not know what medications they were being prescribed, the purpose of the medication, or the symptoms the medication was intended to address,” DRF’s report states. “This was the case even for older children who otherwise appeared more than capable of understanding such matters.”
Likewise, kids said they were given inconsistent information about internal mental health and therapy sessions. Camp operators told DRF that Homestead operators ran 50-minute group counseling sessions with a licensed therapist once a week. But the advocacy group found that the number of licensed clinicians at the facility appeared to be too low to treat the number of traumatized kids and that counseling sessions were not occurring as frequently as advertised.
“[The] children we interviewed who had received mental health services gave us conflicting reports on the frequency of the counseling services,” the report states. “One child reported receiving no group therapy sessions.”
Most troubling, DRF said procedures for sexual and physical abuse reporting appear to be inadequate. The nonprofit says children are instructed to report claims of abuse to internal case managers rather than an outside agency — a policy the nonprofit says might scare kids away from coming forward with the truth. In fact, DRF says it isn’t even clear if local police departments have jurisdiction to investigate serious claims on federal land.
“We also learned from media reports after our monitoring that there is serious doubt as to whether local law enforcement or DCF’s child protective services investigators have jurisdiction to investigate allegations of abuse or sexual assault at Homestead because it is a federal facility located on federal property,” the report says. “Therefore, referrals to state and local law enforcement or child protective services may be ineffective. It is unacceptable that there should be any doubt as to which governmental entity is responsible for receiving reports of abuse or sexual assault and conducting timely and appropriate investigations into those reports.”
Sleasman, the DRF investigator who visited Homestead, is now pushing for the federal government to keep kids out of the camp.
“Homestead is currently closed, and we strongly urge the government to not reopen it,” he said today.
Published at Tue, 10 Sep 2019 19:52:00 +0000Report: Jerry Falwell Jr. Freaked Out About Photo of Himself Partying in South Beach
For the past two years, reporters have slowing been dismantling the public persona of Baptist evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr., a “family values”-style Trump supporter with major political sway among evangelical voters.
Oddly, many of the stories about Falwell take place in Miami Beach, a full 900 miles south of Lynchburg, Virginia, where he heads the ultra-conservative Liberty University. First, there was news in August 2017 that Falwell had helped his son Jerry “Trey” Falwell III purchase a “flophouse”-like hostel in South Beach. Then, in late 2018, it was revealed Falwell and his wife had, curiously, loaned $1.8 million to a hunky pool boy they’d met at the Fontainebleau. Earlier this year, the plot thickened when photos were leaked of Falwell and the pool boy at a resort in Islamorada. Additional photos, which have so far gone unpublished, apparently show Falwell’s wife Becki “in various stages of undress.”
Today Politico published another detailed takedown of Falwell, written by reporter Brandon Ambrosino, an alumnus of Liberty University. Among other revelations is yet another embarrassing story from Falwell’s time in Miami Beach. Ambrosino says he came across photos by World Red Eye showing Falwell partying at Wall, the nightclub inside the W South Beach, with his son and daughter-in-law. But when Ambrosino asked Falwell about the pictures, he straight-up denied the photographic evidence and suggested the images were Photoshopped:
In a statement on August 21, Jerry Falwell denied the existence of any photo of him at the club. “There was no picture snapped of me at WALL nightclub or any other nightclub,” Falwell wrote. “I’m sure you already knew that though.”
When told that I had obtained a photo of him for this article, Falwell said I was “terribly mistaken.” “If you show me the picture, I can probably help you out,” he wrote. “I think you are making some incorrect assumptions, or have been told false things or are seeing something that was photo-shopped.”
According to Ambrosino, Falwell freaked out after learning there were photos of himself at the club. Inside the bubble of Liberty University, coed dancing and drinking alcohol are no-nos. Falwell then apparently tasked a university IT staffer with essentially burying the photos in Google.
Despite the prevalence of nondisclosure agreements on campus, Liberty employees who spoke with Politico say they’re fed up with Falwell and can no longer remain silent.
“We’re talking about the difference between right and wrong,” one university official told Ambrosino. “Not even ‘being a Christian,’ but being a good person versus people who manipulate the system.”
Published at Mon, 09 Sep 2019 19:30:00 +0000If His Charcoal Drawings, Oil Paintings & Four-Legged Sculptures Aren’t Enough Of A Hint, Yes, Artist Skip Hartzell Is Nuts About Dogs
South Florida artist Skip Hartzell creates large paintings and works on paper that capture the essence of “dog”. His work is inspired by man’s best friend, and he is best known for his unique sculptures recognized immediately by their distinct form and style only Hartzell can produce.
His inspiration comes in the form of a morning walk, accompanied by a furry friend. The canine-inspired artworks that he creates are figments of his artistic imagination and creative vision. Hartzell creates directly from his emotions and instincts, his work is inspired by dogs of all shapes, sizes and varieties.
“Dogs are always in the moment. Although nothing in life has held my attention longer or has been more fascinating to me than dogs, my work is about much more than that. It is about form, movement, color and texture. The dogs are a recognizable common denominator that allows me to communicate my joy of living, passions and sentiments,” explained Skip Hartzell.
“If you love dogs, you are going to love Skip Hartzell’s soulful pieces. His work is representative of caricature features of dogs,” said J. Marshall Adams, the executive director of the A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce where Hartzell has held exhibitions.
Hartzell’s art studio is crawling with canine-based works. Whether he’s painting or sculpting, Hartzell’s dogs have a wonderful quality of friendliness about them, and it’s hard to keep yourself from reaching out to touch. And that’s perfectly okay with Hartzell. He’s never been one to place a rope around his artwork.
“The texture is so important because the tactile experience of sculpture is so primal for me,” he says. “You grab with your hands and just start to mush things together and get your fingers on the materials, and there is just such a richness to the feel.” He says whenever he’s doing a show, he is quick to hand his sculptures to the patrons so they can enjoy the feeling, too. And whether it’s paint on canvas or sculpture, the texture is one of the most captivating and inviting parts of experiencing his artwork. Hartzell may not set out to mimic the look of someone’s beloved pet, but he says his sculptures and paintings often evoke a fond memory of a furry family member.
The artist has held numerous solo exhibitions at notable art galleries and prestigious art fairs such as Art Palm Beach,A.E. Backus Museum, ArtHouse 429, Paul Fisher Gallery,Aqua Art Fair during Art Basel Miami Beach and many more.
Skip Hartzell is a longtime supporter of no-kill animal rescues and donates proceeds from the sale of his artworks to animal-rescue, no kill shelters. For sales, commissions, general inquiries or future show information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org / visit www.skiphartzell.com
Published at Sat, 07 Sep 2019 16:04:28 +0000Mike’s Weather Page Is the Unofficial Voice of Hurricane Dorian
Last year, as Florence approached the United States, Mike Boylan went live from his home office in Oldsmar, about a half-hour north of Tampa.
The storm for days had waffled between a Category 4 hurricane and a tropical storm, either of which could become a pain in the ass for parts of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. So Boylan shared the controversial ECMWF model — more commonly known as the Euro model — with the half-million or so followers of his hurricane-tracking site, Mike’s Weather Page. The European model is one of a handful of models generated by programs around the globe, and it was the outlier predicting Florence would become not only a hurricane but also a strong one headed for the States. Boylan warned his followers not to get too comfortable just yet.
Hurricane Florence would go on to make landfall as a Category 1 storm that nevertheless caused deaths, power outages, and flooding for days throughout the Carolinas.
“These stations treat people almost like they shouldn’t have this information,” Boylan says. “I get that a lot. Like, we’re adults — we can process the information.”
Now, with Category 5 Hurricane Dorian threatening almost all of Florida’s coast north of Miami, Boylan’s followers have swelled to more than 730,000 and counting. As of Saturday, Boylan was predicting the storm would continue to grow. According to him, lightning in the eye wall shows that the storm could expand and that “it might stay at the coast, but the effects are still gonna go inland.”
Too many overnight models inched west not to have Hurricane Watches up for east Florida IMO…— Mike’s Weather Page (@tropicalupdate) September 1, 2019
A self-taught weather enthusiast, Boylan got into tracking storms as a hobby in 2004 after becoming frustrated that he couldn’t find a single site with all of the models and predictions in one place. Fifteen years later, he’s still at it. All day, he reads blogs, studies government forecasting sites, and watches the news. Then he shares it all with the public before offering his take. Then he sleeps a few hours.
“I’ve learned a lot,” the 45-year-old says. “I keep up.”
From the beginning, his rudimentary website — which packs rainbow-colored thumbnail images of every credible weather model and map in three columns on a single homepage à la Drudge Report — has always aimed to provide all the credible information, spaghetti models and predictions, and coverage in one place so he and other weather nerds could easily find it. He says he’s rejected offers from website developers over the years to change the display because he updates it so regularly it wouldn’t make sense.
As social media ramped up, more and more people came across Mike’s Weather Page, which now has a large and loyal following.
That success has at times made him a target for trained meteorologists and veteran news reporters. In the leadup to Hurricane Florence in 2018, a Savannah, Georgia meteorologist got wind of Boylan’s page and, in a terse Facebook live video, told her station’s quarter-million followers that, yes, she would show the Euro model they were all so concerned about.
“Yes, I’m going to show the European model, and I’m going to show rain and what it looks like as it approaches land. Not the scary, tight isobars that a person named Mike is showing across the internet, all right?” she said, clapping between each word for emphasis. “And from a very reputable meteorologist named James Spann, in Alabama, any drunk donkey can show a European model, OK?”
As it turns out, she was paraphrasing a tweet by Spann, a fellow meteorologist who had written that “a drunk donkey could pull this data and post it,” though he had never used the term in conjunction with Mike’s Weather Page.
A friendly reminder; posting deterministic model output with tropical cyclone positions 10 days out to get shares and likes (or to scare people) isn’t cool. It serves no good purpose. A drunk donkey could pull this data and post it.— James Spann (@spann) September 5, 2018
Boylan’s followers went berserk, and Boylan, a marketing major from the University of South Florida, chuckled as the Georgia meteorologist issued a public apology and the news station removed her video from its page. Then Boylan began making T-shirts and changed his profile picture to an inebriated ass — because for a guy whose hobby website is sponsored by Florida’s ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, that seemed pretty on-brand.
“That was my little moment,” Boylan says. “All our fans were over there bashing them, and I embraced it. Some of my people took offense to it, but now I’m running with it. People really feel like they’re part of this little thing I have going on.”
During storm season, Boylan goes live a few times throughout each day, beginning at 9:19 a.m., which is when he’s finished getting his kids on their school bus and wrapped up conversations with chatty neighbors. It’s not uncommon for him to be eating or drinking during a video. During Friday’s live update, he showed pictures of the brownies he made with his kids and suggested his followers get the Colorado-strength recipe if they were in the storm’s path.
“I think the reason why people get drawn to me is that I’m more of an average joe like they are, and I do cuss, but I don’t have a boss,” he says.
And though Boylan repeatedly warns his followers that he is not an expert and that he doesn’t give advice or help folks make decisions, they nevertheless turn to him for those exact things.
“I’m as unofficial as they come,” he said during a Thursday video update on Dorian.
But aside from the drunk-donkey incident and a random middle-of-the-night crank call this week where a man dialed him at 2 a.m. to say he was generating a lot of hype for nothing, Boylan says his followers have nothing but positive things to say about what he offers.
“I go out on limbs a lot,” he says. Last Sunday, Boylan was ready to call Dorian a hurricane while other outlets were predicting it would remain a tropical storm all the way through landfall — until Thursday, when they changed their tune and began predicting a serious hurricane.
“People definitely saw I was hyping it, but I feel vindicated,” he says. “I was eating dinner at Chili’s and they put the little NHC advisory out, and I was like, so relieved, you know?”
Advertising has happened organically over the years, and Boylan says it brings in some money but not much. Followers suggested a Patreon crowdfunding account, and Facebook now allows users to become supporters of his page, but neither of those options has taken off, he says. Instead, Boylan maintains work as a computer programmer, which he does from home.
During a video Thursday night, he told about 28,000 people who had tuned in that he was going to head out for the Tampa Bay Rays game.
“Cool, man. All right, that was fun. I’m gonna go have a hamburger and watch the Rays,” he said. He pulled up the game stats and noticed he had gotten the time wrong: The baseball team had already played earlier that afternoon.
“Oh, well. Now I have no reason to go to Chili’s,” he said. “OK, I’ll read a few more things.”
His live video continued for 15 more minutes.
Published at Sun, 01 Sep 2019 12:00:00 +0000Read This: The Tattooist of Auschwitz
I have always been fascinated with books relating to the Holocaust. I suppose Elie Wiesel’s Night and The Diary of Anne Frank sparked this fire in me early on. My other favorite tomes regarding World War II include: The Invisible Bridge, The Nightengale, All The Light We Cannot See and The Alice Network.
You can now add The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris to the list.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz tells the extraordinary TRUE tale of Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz in 1942, and forced to tattoo numbers onto the arms of thousands of incoming prisoners. At the camp, Sokolov met a Slovakian girl, Gita, and they fell in love.
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with the Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist and proves to be an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
Published at Wed, 28 Aug 2019 13:45:04 +0000Florida Gov. DeSantis Declares State of Emergency as Hurricane Dorian Strengthens
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis formally declared a state of emergency this afternoon as Hurricane Dorian continues on its path toward South Florida.
Dorian strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane earlier this afternoon as it descended upon the Virgin Islands. Wind gusts registered up to 97 mph on the island of Saint Thomas. The storm’s current trajectory will take it toward the northeast shore of Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from Hurricane Maria two years ago. The U.S. territory can expect tropical-storm-level winds tonight as Dorian passes through the alley between Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands.
The hurricane is expected to intensify as it emerges from the Caribbean Sea toward warm Atlantic waters and Florida’s east coast. Although it’s still too early to be certain, projections say the storm could hit as a Category 3 hurricane when it makes landfall in Florida Sunday night or Monday morning. Nearly all of Florida, from Miami to Jacksonville, is in the forecast cone.
Floridians should keep their eyes on Dorian and continue hurricane preparation as a precaution. The Florida Division of Emergency Management recommends residents have a week’s worth of supplies.
As Hurricane #Dorian approaches, I’ve declared a state of emergency to ensure local governments and emergency management agencies have ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared. Please continue to follow local reports and @FLSERT for updates. https://t.co/FyQM6wd8er— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 28, 2019
Residents should have 7 days of supplies in preparation of hurricane #Dorian. A stocked supply kit has water, nonperishable food, prescription medications, flashlights and extra batteries. Here’s a checklist to help you stock your kit. #FLPrepares pic.twitter.com/KRS7MLqZym— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) August 28, 2019
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts Dorian will “strengthen and become a powerful hurricane during the next few days over the Atlantic waters.” Sections of the Florida coast can expect four to eight inches of rain, with isolated areas of ten inches or more. The hurricane’s storm surge might arrive at the same time as king tides in South Florida, so it’s imperative residents be prepared for potential flash floods.
Even if Miami is fortunate enough to dodge the brunt of Dorian, increased rainfall could worsen flooding, expected to begin tomorrow and continue through next Tuesday. King tides occur annually and can flood streets near waterways and the coast for hours. City officials have already urged locals to prepare for king tides, including cautioning cars against driving through floodwater and advising residents in low-lying areas to employ flood-mitigation techniques such as using sandbags. No official guidance has been released regarding the potential interplay of Dorian and the expected king tides.
The National Hurricane Center will release its next complete advisory at 11 p.m. An intermediate hurricane advisory is expected at 8 p.m.
Published at Wed, 28 Aug 2019 21:12:00 +0000