NOTE: Many of the links for my older stories in Biscayne Times, Miami Herald and Miami New Times no longer work.

             Quite a bit of my early blogging can be found at

An Astonishing New Book about Vietnam

             My best friend in college has just published an astonishing book
about his year  in Vietnam -- an account of a onetime Soldier of the Month getting by with pot, booze, a defiant attitude – and a bit of luck.  For full story click on Vietnam Stunner at left. Posted December 15, 2014

Jungle Island slashes labor costs, still loses money. Second item on THIS PAGE.

Posted October 15, 2014

A UM doc, a KKK guy and the Gaza-Israel Debate.

Cast of characters: a UM professor emeritus, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan,  a Norwegian doctor who defends the 9/11 Al-Qaeda attackers, a British medical journal, anIsraeli health center and others, including a cameo
appearance by Fidel Castro. Full story at UM Doc & KKK.

Posted October 8, 2014

Video Interviews with famed restaurateur Mark Soyka    

      He's hitting 70. His fabled News Cafe will be a quarter century old on Dec. 2. A print interview with him appears in the Biscayne Times coming out this weekend and at Soyka was one of the first in creating energy on Ocean Drive and his opening of the Soyka Restaurant is seem by many as a major step in rejuvenating Biscayne Boulevard.
    Video excerpts of the interviews are available through the MiamiWebNews channel on Youtube, available HERE:
     -- Soyka discusses here what gives him "goose bumps" -- a passion for vintage cars that's leading to a new business venture.
     --  He talks here about how his status as a technological "dinosaur" led to his decision to keep News Cafe open around the clock.
     -- And he tells here how he left his native Israel for New York, where he met developer Tony Goldman at "whiteys' night" at a roller rink in Bedford-Stuyvesant -- a relationship that ultimately led him to coming to South Beach, first to manage the Park Central Hotel for Goldman and then, on a Goldman property at 8th and Ocean, creating the News Cafe, starting in a kiosk and expanding until it is the best known gathering place, with 350 seats, on Ocean Drive.
    These videos are part of the new MiamiWebNews channel on Youtube. Among others, you can also see here an interview with Miami author Marvin Dunn about his latest book, The Beast in Florida -- A History of Anti-Black Violence. November 29, 2013

Why is NE 2nd Avenue such a mishmash of Paris and Bangladesh?

By John Dorschner
     NE 2nd Avenue near 70th Street: Bangladesh by the Quike Foodmart A long section of NE 2nd Avenue has become a shining example of how government treats the haves and  have-nots.
    Some stretches could be Paris -- smooth streets, curbs, good drainage, bike lanes and decorative lighting. Other parts feel like Bangladesh -- pock-marked and bumpy streets, with poor lighting and puddles pooling in mud and gravel beside the curbless pavement.  
    The ritzy Design District, home to upscale shops such as Hermes and Pucci, with a powerhouse developer planning much more, occupies a fine section of NE 2nd Avenue from 36th to 42nd streets.
    Just north of that comes a hodgepodge of shops and restaurants, a Catholic high school and the middle-class Buena Vista residential neighborhood. That area, from 42nd to 51st streets, is akin to a Third World street, with dark lighting and bumpy road -- conditions that residents say helped cause the death of a night-time pedestrian earlier this year. Buena Vista residents have become exceedingly vocal in complaining to politicians that their area has been ignored.

     Full story and photos on the blog HERE under Sept 2013 archive. 

Posted September 28, 2013