Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25: North Miami Should Say "No" To Strip Joint

By Sylvia Gurinsky
WPBT-Channel 2's potential new neighbor on Sesame Street may be brought to you by the letter "X."

Many years ago, the area of Northeast 20th Avenue in North Miami in front of the PBS affiliate was named in honor of the network's beloved children's program. Now, however, the deceptively-named Sunny Isles Eatery wants to open an alcohol-serving strip joint - also deceptively called a "gentlemen's club" - close to the station.

North Miami would have to change a law that prohibits alcohol being served in such places for this to happen.

Actually, city council members shouldn't change that law.

But one council member, Scott Galvin, inexplicably supports this project as a potential job creator. What a choice from a man who works with Junior Achievement of Greater Miami, an organization that's supposed to teach young people about entrepreneurship.

Is this what you have in mind for them, Councilman?

Even worse is the location choice. Channel 2 is in an industrial/warehouse section of North Miami. There are any number of businesses the city could - and should - try to get for that neighborhood. For instance, how about businesses that match with Channel 2, which is also the headquarters of Comtel, a video production facility? How about high-tech businesses?

Then there's the matter of what's over the railroad tracks and Biscayne Boulevard to the east - Florida International University, David Lawrence K-8 Center and Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School.

(Yes, it's true that the corner of 163rd street and Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami Beach has a similar club; that doesn't mean North Miami has to join the party.)

Whatever joins Channel 2 in the area should match the employment and economic needs of the schools, not of a red-light district.

North Miami should say no to a change in law and to the Sunny Isles Eatery plans.

Otherwise, with apologies to the memory of Mr. Rogers, WPBT, a good citizen of North Miami for more than 40 years, will likely be asking another city, "Won't you be my neighbor?"

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