Zamkuwire.com
google.com, pub-3138357808576331, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 google.com, pub-3138357808576331, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
0 0
Read Time:4 Minute, 39 Second

City of Miami Beach code enforcement and police officers patrol along Ocean Drive, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. For decades, this 10-block area has been one of the most glamorized spots in the world, made cool by TV shows like Miami Vice, where the sexiest models gathered at Gianni Versace's ocean front estate and rappers wrote lines about South Beach's iconic Ocean Drive. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

An effort by police in Miami Beach, Florida, to turn down the volume of South Beach’s raucous party scene is being labeled as racist by some critics.

City officials have been attempting to reduce noise levels and crime along the 10-block stretch of Ocean Drive known for art deco hotels, restaurants and bars, arguing that increased revenue from the partygoers is not worth the headaches for local residents.

“We cannot accept this as our normal,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said. “What we have called an entertainment district has become an incredible magnet for crime and disorder, and whatever it provides in revenue is just not worth the heartache.”

“What we have called an entertainment district has become an incredible magnet for crime and disorder, and whatever it provides in revenue is just not worth the heartache.”

— Mayor Dan Gelber, Miami Beach, Florida

Dan Gelber, mayor of Miami Beach, Florida, wants to halt alcohol sales at 2 a.m. as part of an effort to combat crime and noise in the city of 90,000 residents.Danielle Wright, visiting from Roanoke, Va., poses for a friend taking a photograph along Ocean Drive, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. For decades, this 10-block area has been one of the most glamorized spots in the world, made cool by TV shows like Miami Vice, where the sexiest models gathered at Gianni Versace's ocean front estate and rappers wrote lines about South Beach's iconic Ocean Drive. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Dan Gelber, mayor of Miami Beach, Florida, wants to halt alcohol sales at 2 a.m. as part of an effort to combat crime and noise in the city of 90,000 residents.

Miami Beach, a city of 90,000 residents, is not to be confused with the much larger nearby city of Miami, which has about 450,000 residents. (Miami’s mayor is Francis Suarez.)

Some critics have deemed Miami Beach’s exercise as racist. These critics include former NAACP Miami-Dade County chapter head Ruban Roberts, who accused the police cracking down as “callous” and “overzealous.” Roberts added that Black tourists in the area were being treated “as second-class citizens.”

Yakima Carpenter of New Jersey and her boyfriend Anthony Phillips of New York, enjoy dinner, drinks and smoking a hookah, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. For decades, the 10-block area of South Beach has been the most glamorized spots in the world. But in recent years, the glitter is wearing off amidst increasingly violent crimes and vandalized businesses. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)A drink is displayed at the Boulevard Restaurant along Ocean Drive, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. For decades, this 10-block area has been one of the most glamorized spots in the world, made cool by TV shows like Miami Vice, where the sexiest models gathered at Gianni Versace's ocean front estate and rappers wrote lines about South Beach's iconic Ocean Drive. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Some Black activists have accused the city of using overly harsh police tactics to disperse crowds and, on a larger scale, trying to attract only certain types of visitors, while discouraging others.

More than 1,000 people were arrested during this year’s spring break, when Miami Beach imposed a rare 8 p.m. curfew. Authorities sent military-style vehicles to disperse predominantly Black crowds with rubber bullets, prompting criticism from Black activists and spawning a parody on “Saturday Night Live.”

Last month, Miami Beach increased police and code enforcement officials covering the neighborhood to their largest number in history. Gelber called it a stopgap measure, saying the city cannot afford to increase the number of police permanently.Singer Dhalaig Averoff performs a Celia Cruz song during a show at Mango's Tropical Cafe, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

FILE - In this Monday, March 14, 2016, file photo, college students have fun during their spring break in South Beach, at Miami Beach, Fla. The mayor of Miami Beach is proposing changes to the South Beach party neighborhood, including limiting loud music and halting alcohol sales at 2 a.m. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

His long-term proposal would rebrand the blocks known as the entertainment district by hosting higher-end concerts and fairs, focusing on family-friendly events and marketing the city’s often-overlooked but impressive museums and symphony. He also wants to limit loud music and halt alcohol sales at 2 a.m.

The Ocean Drive closure, which remains in effect as the city maps out its future, has taken a financial toll on local businesses.

Tom Glassie, longtime owner of the Avalon Hotel, has been meeting with city officials and residents for the past two years, wrestling with “what do we want to be when we grow up.”

“The nightlife took over. We were the best nightlife,” he said. “There was nothing wrong with that, but it just got overbranded” and eclipsed arts and culture.

The mayor’s proposal also seeks to increase office and residential space and cut the number of bars and clubs.

Zoning regulations allow both residential and commercial spaces, but no buildings can be taller than five levels, which deters investors who would rather build luxury high-rises. In addition, the art deco facades that provide glamorous backdrops have historic building protections, making the cost of renovations prohibitive for some developers.

“We’re tired of being made into the bad guy, to continue to blame a 30-year-old business that is one of the largest taxpayers in the city and one of the largest employers,” said Joshua Wallack, chief operating officer of Mango’s Tropical Cafe.The Clevelander Hotel and Bar is shown at dusk along Ocean Drive, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. For decades, this 10-block area has been one of the most glamorized spots in the world, made cool by TV shows like Miami Vice, where the sexiest models gathered at Gianni Versace's ocean front estate and rappers wrote lines about South Beach's iconic Ocean Drive. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

A waitress holds a rose given to her by a street vendor at the Clevelander Hotel and Bar on Ocean Drive, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. For decades, this 10-block area has been one of the most glamorized spots in the world, made cool by TV shows like Miami Vice, where the sexiest models gathered at Gianni Versace's ocean front estate and rappers wrote lines about South Beach's iconic Ocean Drive. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)People walk along Ocean Drive, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. For decades, this 10-block area has been one of the most glamorized spots in the world, made cool by TV shows like Miami Vice, where the sexiest models gathered at Gianni Versace's ocean front estate and rappers wrote lines about South Beach's iconic Ocean Drive. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

“People come off these cruise ships dreaming of dancing salsa at Mango’s.”

Alexander Tachmes, attorney for the Clevelander bar, accused the mayor of “really turning up the heat on the Ocean Drive anti-business rhetoric” last summer and essentially trying to siphon established businesses while the city attempts to rebrand and court more cultural businesses.

The Clevelander sued the city over the 2 a.m. alcohol ban in May and won a temporary injunction until a trial starts this fall. The owners also sought in court to have Ocean Drive reopened, arguing that pandemic restrictions were no longer necessary, but they were unsuccessful.

Officials from the bar said the chaos in the street has made it difficult to maintain a nightlife business. The Clevelander checks IDs and pays for security, yet it has been a victim of vandalism and fights that spill over from nearby crowds. The bar voluntarily shut down early in March as the city struggled to gain control during spring break.

The majority of “problem tourists” are not college students, but come from out of state looking for trouble, city officials have said.

placeholderA group of people in a bridal party from Houston, Tx. walk along Ocean Drive, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. For decades, this 10-block area has been one of the most glamorized spots in the world, made cool by TV shows like Miami Vice, where the sexiest models gathered at Gianni Versace's ocean front estate and rappers wrote lines about South Beach's iconic Ocean Drive. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)People dine outdoors at the Avalon Hotel along Ocean Drive, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. The Avalon Hotel and its popular seafood restaurant downstairs is one of the iconic Art Deco hotels on South Beach from the 1940s. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)Crowds gather in the street while a speaker blasts music an hour past curfew in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday, March 21, 2021. An 8 p.m. curfew has been extended in Miami Beach after law enforcement worked to contain unruly crowds of spring break tourists. (Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP)

In an attempt to discourage large crowds, the city canceled all programs amid the pandemic, leaving a void where tens of thousands of people gathered with nothing to do. An initial lack of police created an anything-goes atmosphere, and businesses complained that crowds were using marijuana, drinking and treating the area like a house party.

Ken Koppel, chairman of SoBe Safe, a group of 400 concerned residents, said some tourists are merely “gun-toting drug sellers who disrespect cops and misdemeanor statutes” and gather in crowds that are too large for police to control.

And even with the increased police presence, which Koppel said many residents support, “who wants to live in or pay for an armed camp forever?”

A person is arrested while out a few hours past curfew in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday, March 21, 2021. Miami Beach commissioners voted unanimously Sunday to extend the 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew Thursday through Sunday in the South Beach entertainment district until at least April 12. (Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP)A man walks his dogs on Ocean Drive, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. The famous 10-block area of South Beach has been closed to traffic since the pandemic began, making it difficult for hotel guests and restaurant patrons to park their cars. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

By Davies

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.