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LUNCH LAWS: A Miami measure that would make it illegal for unauthorized persons or groups to feed the homeless downtown was deferred last week until April 8 to allow more time for dialogue. The proposed city ordinance would require anyone who wants to feed the homeless to get a license and would dictate how food should be handled, require that trash be removed and mandate that portable bathrooms be available. The idea isn't to discourage helping the homeless, proponents say, but to provide a regulated process that would also keep downtown streets safer and cleaner.
TRASH TALK: The homeless feeding measure has support from groups like the Downtown Development Authority but is also drawing fire. Anticipating discussion at last week's meeting, a crowd from non-profit Humility Now packed City Hall armed with handouts expressing disdain and offering an alternative. They called the proposed law a "series of roadblocks and red tape" that would keep folks from helping the homeless and suggested instead installing more trashcans to collect discards — even offering to donate them.
BLIND SPOT: It's unclear whether Miami-Dade's unionized transit workers will be immune to layoffs. After debate Tuesday over a proposed collective bargaining agreement, Miami-Dade commissioners deferred a decision until today (3/18). Should it pass as is, unionized transit workers would escape the chopping block for the next year and a half. To get the immunity, the union would have to accept the concessions other county unions have agreed to — though none of them got layoff protection. Those concessions include contributing 5% of employees' base pay toward health insurance and a one-year benefits freeze.
RIVER RESOLUTION: Looks like the word "port" is to reappear in the City of Miami's comprehensive plan in reference to the Miami River. Past administration pushed for years for what proponents called more development flexibility, removing the word "port" from the plan. Marine industry players viewed it as a bid for riverfront residences over industry operations. The state rejected the city's changes, but the city has persisted until now. A draft compromise is on the table, and commissioners are giving the administration and industry a month to work it out.
KUDOS: The Federal Aviation Administration Southern Region Airports Division has named Michael J. Handrahan General Aviation Airport Manager of the Year. Mr. Handrahan is manager of the Kendall-Tamiami Airport.