The barbarians were not stopped at the gates of Miami. An uncontrollable mob. Miami Beach was the place to be this season. The spring breakers came in droves. More than anticipated, more than ever before.
Short of a death occurring, all has been bad. So bad that Mayor Dan Gelber announced a new curfew yesterday. Eight o’clock in the evening. The party over at that time. Bars closed. Students relegated to their hotels. God help the hotels!
Thursday and Friday fights occurred in some South Beach hotels. Tables, chairs and other items of furniture used in the melee. Damage done.
I can only imagine what last night was.
In addition to the South Beach 8 pm curfew, the causeway was shuttered. Cars stopped by police. Only those with homes or hotel reservations permitted through. The rest turned away.
The best way to understand what was occurring is contained in the words of Miami Mayor Gelber when he announced the 8 pm curfew yesterday: The crowds were “more than we could handle.” The spring breakers came “without intention of following the rules.” The result “a level of chaos and disorder that is just something more than we can endure.”
Referring to the two previous nights, “it feels like a rock concert, wall-to-wall people over blocks and blocks.” South Beach “feels like a tinder, it feels like just any match could set it off.”
The police are in danger of being “overwhelmed.”
A “state of emergency” is declared.
The purpose of the curfew and causeway restrictions were to protect the community from personal and physical damage. A further consideration was COVID-19. No social distancing. Too many people. Crowds jammed together. A coronavirus field day in the making!
I compliment Mayor Gelber. Only a few days earlier, Governor DeSantis had lifted all restrictions on businesses and other activities. Also advised fines would be waved for those who received tickets for failing to wear masks.
Mayor Gelber stood up against higher authority in order to do the right thing. His attitude my town, my way. An attitude required against the most inept governor in America. A man who followed Trump religiously. A person who has permitted vaccine be given to his rich and wealthy donors, while others went without. A man who has screwed up the Florida distribution of the vaccine royally.
Now to what I perceive will be the end of this dilemma. Key West will be invade next!
Do you think these young adults are going to remain in Miami if they have to be home by 8. Mom and dad never imposed such a ridiculous curfew on them.
They came to Miami to have fun. If not Miami, somewhere else. Key West the logical destination. A mere 140 miles away.
Over one of the 3 day holiday vacations this past year, things were getting out of hand in Miami. The city was effectively closed down.
The students were not to be dissuaded. The y came for fun and were going to have fun. The cry went up…..Key West, an open city!
They came in unexpected droves. Our police authorities handled the problem well. This time however the crowds might be just too big to control.
Key West has a problem. Its normally sensible bar, restaurant and business people have deviated from good judgment during the crisis. They have fought state wide and locally for business to go on as usual. Local elected officials have had a hard time protecting their interests and those of the rest of the community. In a few instances, the Key West City Commission has acted above and beyond. In most however, sucked up to the money people in this town.
Key West’s Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission are going to have their hands full the next two weeks. Extraordinary steps will be required to stop and/or keep the hordes under control. It may not be possible.
Interestingly, I spoke at length re the problems the spring beakers would bring to Key West this year. I spelled out in my blog talk radio show Tuesday night that Miami had a midnight curfew running to 6 in the morning. I doubted the college students would be happy about it. They would not. That is their nature. And probably the way many Americans think today. Feel they can do what they want. This is a free country. Rules do not apply to them.
Ergo, onward to Key West! The open city. The cops won’t bother them.
May they find a surprise in store for them.
One last item. A further comment by Mayor Gelber. He blames among others the airlines’ recent cheap flights program: “Last month you could get here from Philadelphia, New York, or Chicago for $50 round trip.”
A separate issue. The Miami Herald reorted yesterday that Key West has decided not to enforce its strict ordinance requiring people to wear masks in public.
This was a day or two before the Miami problem began occurring.
Miami-Dade County did the same thing several days ago. Then on thursday Miami announced its police would resume enforcing a mask and curfew law despite Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order opening Florida businesses 100 percent and canceling payment of mask fines.
An example of standing up to superior authority when that authority is blatantly wrong.
The Key West police are handling the mask problem differently. They will ask those not wearing masks to wear them. If the people refuse, the police will walk away. No attempt will be made to enforce Key West’s mask ordinance in view of Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order.
What will the police do the next few days when the anticipated Miami onslaught arrives?
Now to the important. Syracuse/West Virginia at 5:40 this afternoon. March Madness at its finest on CBS.
Enjoy your Sunday!