Just how Red is Florida?

Image result for puerto ricans orlando florida


Since 1936, Florida has picked the winner of the presidential election 19 out 21 times and in no other state has the Hispanic vote proved more valuable in helping determine who will lead the nation for the next four years.

In 2016 Presidential Election. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 115,000 thousand votes

Hurricane Maria continues to ravage Puerto Rico.  Nearly a half million americans have been without power  for more than four months.  Thousands of homes still need repair many are without roofs.

Over two hundred thousand Puerto Ricans have moved to Florida since Hurricane Maria.  Florida’s govenor Rick Scott says the number is closer the 300,000.  Scott’s number represents people on commercial airlines flying from Puerto Rico to Orlando, Miami and Tampa — a statistic tracked by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. So it would include businesspeople, journalists, aid workers, contractors, government employees and possibly travelers who connected at Puerto Rico airports from other points of origin.

There’s really no whole number that is reliable yet, said Rich Doty, GIS Coordinator & Research Demographer at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The most accurate number is from schools, where children from the island are new registrations. Statewide, that number is about 11,200 for arrivals from Puerto Rico and the much smaller Virgin Islands.

The actual number may not be known for months.   Since Puerto Ricians are US Citizens they are not required to register.  Many are staying with families in Florida.

 Leaving Puerto Rico Sad and Blue

Bloomberg says, an estimated 600,000 people plan to leave the island by 2022.   On Wednesday,  Puerto Rico’s Govenor Ricardo A. Rosselló announsed the island will not be able to pay down any portion of the islands more than $70 billion debt for the next five years because of the damage brought on by Hurricane Maria.

Just before the hurricane, Puerto Rico had made plans to pay creditors a total of $3.6 billion through 2022. That was a fraction of the amount due, had the island, a United States territory, not gone into default.

Nearly half of Islands population live in poverty prior to the hurricane. The unemployement rate is currently 11 percent.

Before Maria, Puerto Ricians were leaving the Island with Orlando being the most popular destination. Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph had reported more than 20,000 Puerto Rico residents moving to the county in the 12 months before Maria.

An Early Warning

In May of 2016, The Wall Street Journal editorial board warned that if Congress failed to pass a bill addressing the island’s debt crists on Puerto Rico would result in thousands of Puerto Ricans moving to the US mainland which could make Florida a Democratic stronghold.

The challenges posed by such a mass emigration are two-fold, according to the Journal. One, it could increase costs to the federal government as Puerto Ricans rely on public assistance to help reestablish themselves on the U.S. mainland.

“While many will eventually find jobs in the U.S., their incomes will at least initially be low enough to qualify for Medicaid, food stamps and public housing. Their kids will attend public schools.

“A congressional default would relegate the island to economic paralysis, and Florida and Puerto Rican voters to the Democrats for years to come,” the Journal warned.

Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt?

Last October President Trump told Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera “We have to look at their whole debt structure,”  “They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we’re going to have to wipe that out.” The president added that “you can say goodbye” to the island’s existing debt, regardless of how it may affect companies on Wall Street like Goldman Sachs. Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy in May.’

The writing is on the wall, Puerto Ricans will soon displace Cubans as the largest Latino group in Florida.  In 2016, Puerto Ricans in Florida overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton.  Puerto Ricans are an attractive group of voters because of their high participation rates and their ability to group together as a voting bloc.

Groups like “Mi Familia Vota” plants to register 25,000 Latinos to vote in 2018. Nearly half of those will be Puerto Rican.

In 2016, many Puerto Ricans were offended by Candidate Donald Trump Mexican comments.

This year, Floridians will elect a new Governor, U.S. Senator send a few members to the House. What role ,will the Presidents negative tweets about the island and San Juan’s Mayor have on the elections this fall?  How RED is Florida? Details this Fall.





Gay Rights vs Guns: Orlando Front and Center

People pay tribute to Orlando during the annual Pride Parade in downtown San Francisco on Sunday, June 26, 2016. The theme for the parade this year is For Racial and Economic Justice. Photo: James Tensuan, Special To The Chronicle

Photo: James Tensuan/S.F. Chronicle

By: Winston Ross/Newsweek

Supporters of gay rights took to the streets of New York, San Francisco, Orlando, Chicago and other cities across the globe on Sunday in annual celebrations of gay rights with a brooding twist, in the wake of this month’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Florida. This year, many of the participants in annual marches demonstrated their opposition to America’s obsession with guns.

In New York City, tens of thousands of marchers paraded through Manhattan, dressed mostly in rainbow-tinged outfits per a tradition that dates to the 1969 Stonewall rebellion, a spate of demonstrations by members of the LGBT community after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. Nearly a half-century later, LGBT supporters can celebrate a string of victories, especially last year’s Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. But the shooting in Orlando served as a grim reminder that bigotry and hatred remain very much alive.


 Brandon Joyce carries a sign of remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, on June 12.DAVID MCNEW/REUTERS

 I’ve been so heartbroken and outraged by Orlando,” said Dorothee Benz, 50, who was marching with a group called New York Supports Orlando. “We need to be out loud and proud more than ever, but it comes with mourning and anger.”

New York’s celebration included dozens of visual tributes to victims of the Orlando massacre, some as simple as an Orlando Magic jersey, others more pointed at the National Rifle Association. One marcher held a sign that read “NRA Sashay Away.” At one point in the parade, some 100 men dropped to the ground for 30 seconds, as a megaphone-wielding woman led them in a chant of “What do we want?” “Gun Control!” “When do we want it?” “Now!” Others walked silently down 5th Avenue with their faces covered in ghostly white gauze, drawing applause from the sidelines. The lead float in New York’s parade carried Pulse owner Barbara Poma and the club’s entertainment manager, Neema Bahrami.

Among the New York marchers were three men from Gays Against Guns, or GAG, a group that was formed after the Orlando shootings.

“We realized that in different facets, the gay community has been supporting common-sense gun laws for a long time, but it has never organized as a gay community,” said Chris Arruda, 50, a post-production supervisor for television.

Carrying a sign reading “NRA prepare to GAG,” a reference to the National Rifle Association, Arruda wore a pink triangle on his bare chest, an emblem that the Nazis forced gays to wear before and during World War II.


Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance in the parade, which with 20,000 expected marchers was to be the largest crowd in its history. She waved while walking alongside New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “One year ago, love triumphed in our highest court. Yet LGBT Americans still face too many barriers. Let’s keep marching until they don’t,” she tweeted. President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall Inn as a national monument on Friday. It was the first time such an honor has been bestowed in recognition of LGBT Americans’ contributions.


Kaitlyn Camperlino of New Jersey blows bubbles while taking part in the New York City Gay Pride parade in Manhattan, New York on SundayADREES LATIF/REUTERS

Police officials stepped up security at the parades—San Francisco’s parade had security checkpoint screenings at its entrances, for example, and police in New York added helicopter and maritime patrols and an increased presence of uniformed and plainclothes officers. Authorities took similar steps in Chicago. Some departments demonstrated their support for LGBT citizens. New York City police cars had “Pride Equality Peace” painted in rainbow colors.

06_26_pride_01Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, center, waves while taking part in the New York City Gay Pride parade with Governor Andrew Cuomo, left, and Mayor Bill de Blasio in Manhattan on Sunday. Standing on the right is civil rights activist Al Sharpton and New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray.ADREES LATIF/REUTERS

Some 2 million spectators had been expected to line the route of New York’s parade this year, while organizers forecast a turnout of 1 million in Chicago. At the head of the Chicago parade, a group carried photos of the 49 Orlando nightclub victims. Later a contingent of marchers donned elaborate, rainbow-colored costumes constructed from hundreds of balloons and carried large letters, also formed by balloons, spelling out P-U-L-S-E.

Across the globe, authorities weren’t so supportive. In Istanbul, Turkish police detained 19 people and fired tear gas into the streets to break up a forbidden parade there.

Reuters and Newsweek reporter Lucy Westcott contributed to this article.

The Sacramento Kings in Seattle may be the best gift for Sacramentians

After reviewing the Entertainment and Sports Center(ESC) Term Sheet. The Sacramento Kings moving to Seattle may be the best gift for Sacramentians.  The 2013 sheet is overly optimistic with perfect storm forecasts.  It  has several unsubstantiated claims for growth and insufficient  traffic/parking studies.

 In a city facing deficits this  year, the questions becomes is the ESC a good deal from Sacramento?

  A look back……

March 06, 2012

The Sacramento City Council voted 7-2 on March 6 2012  in favor of a nonbinding term sheet to finance a new sports and entertainment complex in the old railyard on the north side of downtown Sacramento.

2012 Terms:  The City of  Sacramento would contribute $255.5 towards the cost of an$390.5 Arena in The Railyards.  The Sacramento Kings $73.25 million-Anschutz Entertainment Group(AEG) $58.75 million with $3 million         coming from sponsorship’s.   Under the conditions of the 2012 term sheet the city agreed to build a new parking garage (14.5 million)

The lions share($230 million) of the cities contributions would have come from the leasing of the cities parking lots  those lots contribute 9 million dollars to the city’s General Fund.  The lease  term was 50 years .  Not all the garages are paid for.  The city owed 52 million on those lots and that  debt would  have   to be satisfied before they were leased.   The city would be partially responsible for cost overruns for the arena and  half the repairs .

 Replenishing the General Fund:  One third of the nine millions would come from ticket surcharges

Benefits, The City Say’s the ESC would:  Keeping the Kings would save eight hundred jobs.  Saves Natomas from blight. Would Create between 1200 to 5000 new jobs

41 Days after the council approved the 2012  Term Sheet

City of  Sacramento Press Release

April 26,2012

Ongoing Structural Budget Imbalance of $23.1 Million Must be Addressed in the Next Two Years
Today Sacramento City Manager John Shirey released the Fiscal Year 2012/13 Proposed Budget. The
Proposed Budget is balanced and addresses a projected $18 million shortfall for FY2012/13. The Proposed
Budget includes the elimination of approximately 286 Full-Time Equivalent positions and does not include use of the General Fund Economic Uncertainty Reserve.
“This is not the budget I had hoped to recommend to address next year’s structural budget deficit,” said
John Shirey, City Manager. “We continue to work with our employee groups to find solutions that would avoid the need for the elimination of positions and consequently programs and services to our community.” The ongoing General Fund budget gap is the result of both expenditure increases mostly attributable to contracted employee salary increases and the continued decline in property tax revenue, the city’s single largest discretionary revenue source.
The total budget proposed for FY2012/13 is $1.06 billion. This includes $365 million for General Fund
operations and capital projects, and $690.5 million for the operation and capital projects for the City’s
Enterprise Funds and other fund activities. The recommended budget supports 3,791 authorized full time
equivalent (FTE) employee positions. The General Fund totals $365 million and 2,777 authorized FTE

The City’s structural budget deficit in FY2013/14 is an estimated $7.4 million budget gap. Over the past
six years, the City has eliminated approximately 1,200 positions and addressed an estimated $219 million ongoing budget gap.The public hearing process will begin at City Council on May 1 and is expected to go through June 12. All community members are invited to attend. Please visit for regular budget updates and current information. To view the Proposed Budget please visit:

Mayor Kevin Johnson
District 1: Angelique Ashby
District 2: Sandy Sheedy
District 3: Steve Cohn
District 4: Robert King Fong
District 5: Jay Schenirer
District 6: Kevin McCarty
District 7: Darrell Fong
District 8: Bonnie Pannell


Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Center @ Downtown Plaza 

(March 23,2013)

Term Sheet

2013 Terms:  The City of Sacramento would contribute $258 million towards the $447 million dollar arena.   The Investor Groups contr bu tion to the ESC $189 million.

The Lion Share ($212 million) would come from future parking revenues.$38 million from land the city owns. The balance would come from taxes and city funds.  The city would gift 3700 parking spaces under Downtown Plaza to the Investment Group. and pay towards the cost of  signage for the ESC.

 Replenishing the General Fund:  Tickets surcharges, parking revenues and arena profits.  Under the profit sharing agreement the city at a minimum would receive a million dollars that would go into the general fund.

Benefits, The City Say’s the ESC would: Help development on K Street, Old Sacramento and Capitol Mall.  Benefits Previous City Investments  on K Street (the 700 Block and the Convention Center.  Generates potentially large stream of tax revenue for City services as a result of ESC and additional private development.

On March 26, The Sacramento City By a 7-2 vote, the council approved a non-binding “term sheet”


The Meat and Potatoes of the Arena Deal


Economic Boom for Downtown?

If the plans of the term sheet is approved by the city.   The city will give the Investors  land parcels  downtown, Natomas and other areas of the city.    The Investment Group would eventually develop the land Adjacent to downtown plaza.  The development would  include, Retail, office, hotels, and Residential , The city would collect new property taxes from those developments.     However, there are no time-frames set for the development, which means that land could remain vacant for…….

“The City of Sacramento has not conducted impact (Parking) study”

Currently there are 37oo parking spaces in Downtown Plaza.   The plaza is estimated to lose 1000 spaces due to construction of the Arena.   The Agreement calls for 1000 spaces held for premium seat holders. Leaving 1700 spaces for a mix of Kings fans and mall shoppers.    The nearest parking is under  I-5 at Old Sacramento and near the Crocker Art Museum.

Historically, the majority of people who attend events in arena and stadiums, eat, and shop in those venues.     

The arena is likely to create parking shortages downtown, effecting  local businesses.

The City assumes more people will use public transit.   In Sacramento, most routes end  by 10pm.    The light rail in its current configuration would be overwhelmed.   Regional Transit (RT) Operating budget is in the red.

The term sheet calls for An Arena comparable to other NBA facilities including the Amway Center in Orlando, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Chesapeake Center in Oklahoma City and the Pepsi Center in Denver. Some venues, American Airlines arena in Miami and  Madison Square Garden  have smaller theaters generating  more foot traffic.

Most business suffer a drop in transactions when the principal tenant is closed .   After the NBA season is over, all of the Arenas mentioned  above arenas are often dark for  a week or more.        How do the surrounding business benefit when the arena is dark?    Note: Sacramento will be the first Arena in an existing mall.


In a perfect world, city leaders  would negotiate the best deal possible for the citizens they represent.   Despite the list of investors, the current term sheet is a cut and paste affair.  With much of the same terms at the 2012 sheet with the city’s contribution being the same.

Most of the funding will come from the city’s parking garages… Including those the city doesn’t fully own?

The city believes it will get nearly a third of money from surcharges.  The projection is based on ticket sales of many years ago when the Kings were selling out.    The surcharge would not be applied to suites during Kings games.

The City will not receive revenue from parking during Kings Events. (and share revenues during non-kings events)

If approved the, city would  limit events at Sleep Train (a non compete clause) after the ESC was built.



Sacramento is a medium size city with nearly a half a million citizens..  Unlike, similar cities of  its size Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City Austin, Portland and Seattle.   It doesn’t have a large corporate presence to absorb hiccups created by the leaders of the city.

In an attempt to keep the Sacramento Kings, it has over and understated what the city can afford.  When it comes to development the city doesn’t have a positive history.

In  1996, the newly expanded Sacramento Convention Center  opened.  Leaders said we must have it, the older center wasn’t competitive.    The city believed the expanded center  would bring visitors to the city and to K Street mall.   The center did not see a major increase in business.   Leaders believed the problem was, there weren’t enough rooms to support the center.   Nearly ten years later,backed by the city,Sheraton Grand opened next doors.  The Sheraton was successful,  however, today the  Convention center continues to look for business. Sources say the Center is not profitable.

Last year, the city approved a term sheet for an Arena at the Railyard, shortly thereafter the city laid off nearly three hundred workers including Fire and Police staff.

The term sheet has more holes than J Street.  Leaving taxpayers to fill them.  If the perfect storm fails the city will have to borrow more money or issue new bonds at a higher rate of interest.

More than 9 million dollars are at risk, the city is making a Three Hundred Dollar Commitment at a time when the city cant pay its bills.  

The Sacramento City Council approved the nonbinding term sheet after less than three days…..   By all appearances it’s a done deal.

Newspapers, Newsgroups and bloggers can see the holes and potential damage that might be created by approving this deal.   After a week ,no one from I street has publicly questioned theTerm Sheet.

Could a 300 million dollar debt bankrupt Sacramento?


This complex deal needs to be placed on the ballot and approved by local citizens.


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