CRESPOGRAM REPORT
JANUARY 5, 2015
BARRED FROM NUMEROUS GOVERNMENTAL COMPUTER NETWORKS FOR TELLING THE TRUTH

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ONCE THE POLITICIANS GET THE OLD PEOPLE AT THE ROBERT KING HIGH TOWERS TO VOTE FOR THEM, THEY
GIVE LESS THAN A FLYING FUCK ABOUT 
HOW THESE PEOPLE SURVIVE UNTIL 
THE NEXT ELECTION COMES ALONG
ROTTING GARBAGE, MOLD, NO SECURITY, PEOPLE SLEEPING ON MATTRESSES IN HALLWAYS, AND AN ABYSMAL LACK OF MANAGEMENT ARE JUST SOME OF THE PROBLEMS THAT PLAGUE MIAMI’S SIGNATURE HUD BUILDING
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On October 21, 2013, I did a video commentary, with accompanying photographs about the sorry condition of the Haley Sofge Towers that make up part of the high-rise HUD housing complex across the street from the Marlin’s Stadium on NW 7th Street.


Fourteen months later, painters are finishing up the exterior of Building Two of the Sofge Towers, although the new paint job could not cover up the stench of rotting garbage in the overflowing garbage dumpsters outside its west wall, nor could it mask the other, more significant internal problems that still remain at these two towers.

It took years of complaints just to get a paint job put on these two buildings.


Across the way, at the other towers that make up this complex the conditions are just as bad, if not worse, because the buildings are older, and the management seems to be non-existent.


Robert King High Towers was named after a former Mayor of Miami who from all accounts actually gave a fuck about the people in his city.


If he had been with me last Friday morning as I walked around taking photographs and talking with residents he’d have probably had several fits before he even reached the building.


The stench from the overflowing garbage dumpsters made the stench from the ones at the Haley Sofge Tower across the way seem like Lilacs in the Spring. That’s because the dumpsters at Robert King High have been rolled up next to the Handicap Access Ramp, just below a section of  apartments whose windows are actually louvers that block out little, especially smells.


The problem was not that the dumpsters were overflowing with garbage - this was after all the day after New Years, but that this was a common occurrence because the company that had the contract to collect the garbage seldom showed up.


The placement of the dumpsters was just one in a long list of examples of the kinds of shit service that the taxpayers get at the county level pay for when it comes to the management of this complex.

Here is what one old woman told to me when she saw me walking around with former City Commission candidate Alex Dominguez looking at the building and taking photographs.

I had come to the Tower because of Alex Dominguez. In 2013 he had run for the District 3 City Commission seat against incumbent Frank Carollo, and he had told me then that whether he won or lost he intended to keep coming back for visits because it was obvious to him that while these towers were prime locations for hundreds of votes, the politicians who showed up at election time with their trays of sweets, and their bullshit hugs and kisses, along in Carollo’s case, a Domino Table paid for by campaign funds, they seldom bothered to come back between elections.

He was absolutely right, about Carollo, because no one I spoke with claimed to have seen Frank Carollo since he stood outside the polling place on the property on election day November 5, 2013.


But I don’t want it to appear that I’m just picking on Frank Carollo for doing what Cuban politicians have been doing for several decades when it comes to trolling for votes in these buildings. All of the Cuban politicians show up because the overwhelming number of residents are Cuban, and they’ve become conditioned to vote almost exclusively for fellow Cubans.


This is building managed by Miami-Dade County, and that means that when it comes to fixing blame for the current conditions, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and County Commissioner Bruno Barriero are at the top of the list of county politicians who are directly responsible for the deplorable conditions in these buildings.


I’ve said in the past, and I’ll say it again that Bruno Barriero has absolutely no problem gluing his lips to the ass of people like Stephen Ross, the owner of the Dolphins, or Jeffrey Berkowitz, the developer of Skyrise Miami when they need favors from the county - especially if those favors include taxpayer money - but his sorry ass is no where to be seen when it comes to checking out the living conditions in these buildings which are in his District, and where he expects the residents to blindly cast their votes for him every 4 years. 


HOW BAD ARE CONDITIONS AT ROBERT KING HIGH?


It’s often hard to get people to speak openly about the kinds of abuses that occur in public housing because they are afraid that if they do so they will be punished by being evicted, or by being harassed by the managers.  These threats - and I’ve been told in the past that residents are threatened not to talk to the news media about conditions in these buildings - are what allows the abuses to pile up over time to the point where they become a crisis.


In the video below, you will hear Maria Campo, the President of the Tenants Association describes a number of issues that underscore just how badly this complex has, and is being managed.


This interview with Campos was conducted in Spanish with the assistance of Alex Dominguez, and is just a part of what will be discussed at Wednesday’s press conference, which will include photos to support many of the allegations.

After the interview with Maria Campos, Alex and I went looking for the building manager to try and get his side of these stories.

We were told by an employee after leaving the empty office that the manager, and I guess his assistant, were not at work because they were both recovering from “injuries.” Obviously the injuries could not have been the well deserved kick in the ass that they merited for the condition of the buildings and the examples of mismanagement that were so readily visible.


Robert King High Towers is now 50 years old, and current building codes would not be allowed to be built today in the way it was built then. Yet, the problems with the buildings only represent one set of issues.


The problems with management, and with the upkeep and lack of concern or respect for the people who live in these buildings is what should be the real concern here.


Like every major American city, Miami has some really good public housing that the politicians and bureaucrats are always ready to use as examples of what good stewards of the public’s money they are.


Unfortunately they serve to mask the places like Robert King High Towers, that because of neglect and mismanagement have become little more than nasty, decaying warehouses that no one wants to accept responsibility for, and only receive attention when they conditions become so bad that people won’t put up with it anymore.


What makes the condition of these particular buildings even more embarrassing is that every two years all the Cuban politicians that need the vote of the residents in these buildings make their visits, bring their little pastries, cakes and sandwiches, talk all the bullshit about how much they care about these people and how sad it is that they can’t spend their last years back in their homeland of Cuba, and once the elections are over, they disappear until the next election cycle.


In a just world, Carlos Gimenez, Bruno Barrerio, Tomas Regalado, Frank Carollo and every other gasbag politician who’s currently in office and trolled for votes in these buildings, along with the head of the Miami-Dade Housing Authority should be forced to live in the nastiest units until ALL of the problems that affect the living conditions of the residents is fixed.


That’s how you’d really solve this problem in Miami, Bitches!

The exterior conditions, starting with the overflowing garbage dumpsters, grass that has not been cut in months and mold all over the exterior of the building support the accusations that whatever management services are provided by the Miami-Dade Housing Authority, they are woefully inadequate, including several of the claims made on their website.

There is no security gate, the security cameras don’t work, there are multiple people living in the efficiencies and apartments exceeding the number allowed, units are sublet, in one case to a guy who sublet his unit and moved to Cuba, there are no inspections, and there are homeless people sleeping in the stairwells.

MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE

I HAVE JUST RECEIVED WORD THAT MARIA CAMPOS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE TENANTS ASSOCIATION MET WITH THE HEAD OF THE MIAMI-DADE HOUSING AUTHORITY THIS AFTERNOON, AND A PROMISE WAS MADE TO RECTIFY THE PROBLEMS AT THE ROBERT KING HIGH TOWERS WITHIN THE NEXT 30 DAYS.  THEREFORE, THE PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON HAS BEEN CANCELLED.