TRENDING TOPIC FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH: Transportation alternatives continue to be a preferred topic of discussion on Spanish-language radio, while Cuban migrants stranded in Central America keep the twitter sphere humming.

COMMISSIONER SUAREZ ON TRANSPORTATION: City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez was on “Al Ritmo de Miami” on Radio Mambi 710AM, discussing transportation with Humberto Cortina.

Commissioner Suarez, who also serves as Vice Chairman of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), explained that the issue of transportation has changed over the years, because “we have data indicating that Miami-Dade County and the city are becoming more and more dense. This means that more people are living here and using their vehicles on our roads. We also know 80% of Miami residents use their car to get to and from work everyday, so this is not something we are speculating about.” Suarez continued, “the key to the issue is connectivity. For example, many residents are using the trolleys, around 360 thousand per month, and that amount is only for the existing three lines. That is why we are about to expand and create three more lines to cover the areas of ​​Coconut Grove, Wynwood and 8th Street. My vision is to increase the system even more in the future, because the idea is to create circulation among the various business and dense areas, the trolleys can also help with the last mile issue.” For Suarez, “public transportation must connect people to the places where they want to go, should be an option that reduces the time it would take to arrive to the desired destination, and should cost people less money. Studies show that in areas where residents use their cars everyday, they spend 25 percent of their income on transit related expenses, while in cities with mass transit only 9 percent is spent on transportation. That could make a big difference for our working families.”

Regarding other massive transportation plans, Commissioner Suarez stated that the new trolley lines are not the only options considered. “We have 800 buses on the streets of the county, so there is a high volume of buses and I believe that around 12 or 13 percent of the residents use buses to get to and from work. The other concept being discussed, and all county and city commissioners agree, is to expand mass transit most likely using light rail. We want to do four light rail lines. One to expand from 27th Avenue to the end of the county to the north; a second one would be Baylink connecting Downtown Miami to Miami Beach; the third one would be using the CSX line that runs parallel to the 836 that would go from the MIC connecting to Florida International University, from the MIC there is also access to Downtown Miami; and lastly an expansion in Kendall, from Dadeland Station to 167th, since the land and the lines for this expansion already exist.”


Marc Caputo ‏@MarcACaputo  Nov 18
While we talk Syrian refugees & Mexican immigrants, look what’s happening w/Cubanshttp://reut.rs/1X8rdLz 

Rep. Carlos Curbelo ‏@RepCurbelo  Nov 18
78% spike in # of Cubans arriving in US since announcement of Pres’s Cuban policy. This requires his immediate attn. http://bit.ly/1MVIaDq 

Mario Diaz-Balart ‏@MarioDB  Nov 18
Met with @CostaRicaInUSA Ambassador Macaya re: border crisis in Costa Rica + Nicaragua @RepCurbelo @RepSires

Marili CancioJohnson ‏@MariliCancio  Nov 18
#MsM not covering but over 1000 Cuban migrants between Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. How is that “normalization” process going #POTuS ? @Cuba

Matt Dixon ‏@Mdixon55  Nov 18
425 refugee # used by Gov. Scott is capacity estimate from state groups that house all refuges. Not just Syrians http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/florida/2015/11/8583483/state-department-we-have-not-asked-florida-take-425-syrian-refugees …

NO ZONING CHANGE FOR HORSE COUNTRY: Spanish-language radio and TV shows have been covering for weeks a proposed development in Horse Country and a request to change zoning regulations in the area. Bernadette Pardo talked to Mario Hernandez, a resident of Horse Country who opposes the commercial project, before the Commissioners’ decision, on “Pedaleando con Bernie” on Radio Mambi 710AM. The request was unanimously rejected by the Board of County Commissioners yesterday (read more here).

Hernandez explained that “Horse Country, which extends from SW 40th Street to SW 72nd Street and from the Turnpike to SW 127th Avenue and is zoned as agricultural, deserves to be protected. This area has been active and serving this purpose for more than 40 years ago.” He highlighted, “it is the only part of Miami where you feel like you have actually left the city, it is the only place in Florida considered Horse Country and we don’t want this to change.” Hernandez continued, “there is no need for more commercial buildings, the proposed commercial center is unnecessary, because we have a shopping center in every corner of Horse Country. Here, we like our lifestyle, we have people from all over Miami coming to see the horses and the ranches.” Hernandez urged for everyone who shared his point of view to go to the County Commission meeting, “it is very important for those who are on our side to attend the meeting and let them know how we feel. “Our country setting must remain intact with its farmyards, stables, miniature zoos and peaceful homes.”