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District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 e-Newsletter

Dear residents,

Spring is in full swing, and that means there are plenty of activities for you and your family available throughout Miami-Dade County. Enjoy the great outdoors at one of our many parks and schedule a tee time, have an adventure, or just relax in a peaceful setting.

Make sure you stop by North Trail Park on April 21 for the District 12 Annual Spring Festival!  Enjoy free food and fun for the whole family from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Bring your baskets for a special egg hunt at 12:30 p.m. Call my office at 305-599-1200 for more information.

Sincerely,

Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz

March 2012
Airport and Seaport employees trained to spot victims of human trafficking

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, South Florida serves as the third largest human trafficking hub in the country. Last fall, Commissioner Diaz introduced legislation asking County staff to devise a plan to train personnel at both Miami International Airport and PortMiami to identify and respond to children in transit who are being sexually exploited. Tens of thousands of passengers travel through MIA and PortMiami every day , making it an easy place for traffickers and their victims to hide in the crowd.

On March 1, both MIA and PortMiami employees started special training sessions that will help them identify and save victims. The training was performed by the local non-profit Kristi House, which specializes in coordinated services for children who are victims of sexual abuse.  Miami International Airport is the first U.S. airport to launch this training, but Krisiti House is already in talks with other airports across the country to initiative the training. 

Miami-Dade County hosts Wrestlemania XXVIII
 

Commissioner Diaz, who serves as Chairman of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, welcomed the WWE’s Superstars and Divas at a press conference on March 28 at the Eden Roc Hotel to kick off the start of WrestleMania week in Miami-Dade County.  The press conference featured Dwayne “The Rock” and John Cena, who went head-to-head on April 1 at Sun Life Stadium. Others stars at the conference included Triple H, CM PUNK, Beth Phoenix, Rosa, Eve, and Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey.

Prior to the main event, the commissioner and WWE stars took part in several local activities. WWE’s anti-bullying initiative be a STAR (Show Tolerance And Respect) took place on March 29 at two middle schools, including Hialeah Gardens Middle School in Commissioner Diaz’s district. WWE Superstars Rey Mysterio, David Otunga, The Miz, Alicia Fox, Lilian Garcia all spoke about their own experiences of being bullied and told students to report bullying to someone they trust. Commissioner Diaz then surprised the students with a raffle for free Wrestlemania tickets. Several WWE stars also participated in the annual WWE Golf Tournament at Doral Golf Resort and Spa on March 30.

Commissioner Diaz presented Triple H and WWE's Senior Vice President of Special Events, John Saboor, with a proclamation naming March 28-April 2, 2012 “WrestleMania Week” and the Key to the County. An estimated 70,000 fans from the U.S. and 36 countries visited Miami-Dade County for WrestleMania Week, bringing in a projected $75 million in revenue for the county.

Commissioner Diaz hosts cook out for local veterans

Commissioner Diaz provided a cook out for more than 100 veterans at the Miami VA Living Facility on March 29.  The veterans feasted on hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, dessert and refreshments all donated by Juniors Catering of Miami. Last month during the commissioner’s “14 Days of Neighborly Love” initiative, Commissioner Diaz helped deliver a new barbecue grill to the facility for the veterans to enjoy more picnics.

Commissioner Diaz joins FCBF Association for "Hall of Fame" monument groundbreaking

On March 30, Commissioner Diaz participated in the groundbreaking of the Florida Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association’s (FCBF) “Hall of Fame” monument. The commissioner was joined by Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll and City of Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez at 8216 NW 14 Street in Doral. The FCBF was founded in 1960 by a handful of Miami brokers & forwarders and has since grown into the most influential and active representative body of the Florida freight forwarding and customs brokerage community. Through its numerous committees of volunteer professionals, the FCBF represents the Customs Brokers & Forwarders Industry on matters that directly affect international trade.
District 12 projects underway

Commissioner Diaz announces the following projects taking place in District 12 to ensure a better and safer community for all residents:

NW 87th Avenue to NW 96 Avenue, along NW 170 Street
The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) is currently working on installing a 36-inch water main from NW 87 Avenue to NW 96 Avenue, along NW 170 Street, to better provide residents with high quality drinking water and continuous water distribution service. Traffic in the area will be detoured temporarily between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday. The project is expected to be completed by April 2012.

NW 138th Street Bridge over the Miami River Canal from NW 113 Avenue to Okeechobee Road
The scope of work consists of, but not limited to, furnishing all supervision, labor, materials, equipment, tools.  The project consists of replacing the existing bridge with a new and wider bridge; turn lane improvements and replace existing signal at the intersection of Okeechobee Road and NW 138 Street. Work also includes a striped median with a center left turn lane, sidewalks, a continuous storm drainage system, roadway lighting, signalization, pavement markings and signage. Construction is anticipated to be completed by April 30, 2012. Mainline Closure: The bridge will be closed for the duration of the construction.  Detour: Motorists are advised to seek alternate route or follow posted maintenance of traffic (MOT) signs or detour route.

Open enrollment for Head Start/Early Head Start Program ends on April 17

Open enrollment for the Miami-Dade Community Action and Human Services Department’s (CAHSD) Head Start/Early Head Start Program will end on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.  Parents interested in having their child participate in the 2012-2013 program year are encouraged to apply prior to the closing date.  Applications are being accepted to provide services to expectant mothers and children ages two months to three years old in the Early Head Start Program and three years old (by September 1, 2012) to five years old (after September 1, 2012).  The program also provides services to families with children with special needs. 

Applications are available at all Head Start/Early Head Start centers and CAA Community Service Centers throughout Miami-Dade County. The Head Start/Early Head Start Program is a comprehensive early childhood education program that puts children and families first.  Applications and a list of Head Start Centers may also be downloaded from the County’s Portal.  For additional information about the Head Start/Early Head Start Program and other childcare options available, please call 786-469-4622. 

Small Business Development to host monthly forums

In an effort to assist small businesses in Miami-Dade County, the Small Business Development Division (SBD) of the Sustainability, Planning, and Economic Enhancement Department will host several informational forums from April 13 to August 10, 2012. The purpose of the forums is to provide small businesses the opportunity to network, obtain information on contracting opportunities, and learn the ins-and-outs of accessing resources available to them. Each month’s forum will cover different topics and you must RSVP in order to attend.  For more information on the topics or to reserve your spot, contact Lawanda Wright-Robinson via email at wlawand@miamidade.gov

Medal Day Ceremony honors MDFR's bravest

Medal Day is Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's (MDFR) way of recognizing the meritorious efforts of the men and women who perform above and beyond the call of duty in a job that requires unparalleled bravery every day. On March 24, MDFR honored recipients of the Employee Valor and Excellence Awards. The 11th annual Medal Day Ceremony took place at MDFR's Training Center, 9300 NW 41 Street, in Doral. More>>

Free vaccination for dogs and cats throughout the month of April

Thanks to the generosity and support of the ASPCA®, Miami-Dade Animal Services will be offering free vaccinations for dogs and cats throughout the month of April.  Vaccines will be administered at the Animal Services Department during regular vaccination clinic hours. Each year, the department receives over 30,000 abandoned and unwanted pets.  The goal of Animal Services is to reunite lost pets with their families and find lifelong homes for as many animals as possible.  For more information, visit the Animal Services website or call 3-1-1.

SR 836/Dolphin Expressway closures

On November 30, 2009, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Six in partnership with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) began a reconstruction project of the State Road (S.R.) 826 (Palmetto Expressway) and S.R. 836 (Dolphin Expressway) Interchange. Now that construction has begun, there will be many upcoming lane and ramp closures on the Dolphin Expressway. For more information about construction-related activities, please contact Oscar Gonzalez at 786-280-0983 or via e-mail at ogonzalez@mrgmiami.com. General information can be found at www.826-836.com. Motorists are encouraged to call 511 before they drive, or log on to www.fl511.com for real-time traffic and lane closure information.

Need assistance paying your utility bills?

The Miami-Dade Community Action Agency’s (CAA) Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is currently assisting eligible residents with payment of their gas or electric bills.  The program assists individuals who are experiencing an increase in their energy bill due to the weather as well as individuals with final notices or those who have had their services disconnected.  Applications for LIHEAP are available Monday through Friday at CAA Service Centers like the Hialeah Service Center, 300 E. First Avenue, or the Sweetwater Service Center, 250 SW 114 Avenue. For a complete list of all the CAA Service Centers or to download the application, please visit the County’s website or contact the Miami-Dade Community Action Agency at 786-469-4600.
Upcoming events

April 21, 2012 at 11 a.m. - Commissioner Diaz's annual District 12 Spring Festival is almost here! This fun-filled free event for the entire family will be taking place at North Trail Park, 780 NW 127th Avenue, in Miami until 3 p.m.

Contact us

Downtown Office
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW First Street, Suite 320
Miami, FL 33128
305-375-4343

District Office
8345 NW 12th Street
Miami, FL 33126
305-599-1200

district12@miamidade.gov

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