It took nine months to build the track and viewing areas for the Miami Grand Prix on the grounds of Hard Rock Stadium.
They’ve served their purpose, and now that they’re being dismantled — was Formula One a hit in South Florida? It all depends on perspective.
Some local residents are dreading the thought of Formula One racing happening once a year in their neighborhood.
“So we got nine more years of this,” said Deedee Gilliard, who lives just north of the stadium and told me she’ll be leaving town during next year’s race.
We spoke to Gilliard on Friday, during the practice runs. She said the volume was much greater on Saturday and Sunday when races were happening.
“It was extremely, extremely loud, it was almost unbearable to be outside,” Gilliard said.
So does that mean the Grand Prix was loud enough to cause hearing loss in people outside the racecourse? That was a concern of the group which tried to stop the race in court. Miami-Dade Commissioner Oliver Gilbert, the former mayor of Miami Gardens, doubts it.
“I was there, I live around the stadium, my family, we live around the stadium, we didn’t go deaf,” Gilbert said. “I’m not a big race guy, whether it be Formula One or NASCAR, what I am a big fan of is tourism in Miami-Dade County and how it drives our economy.”
The race drove customers into Lorna’s Caribbean American Grill. On Friday, the manager told us they were expecting a big influx of business from the Grand Prix. I asked if that expectation panned out.
“Yes it did. We were overpacked, overbooked, and we enjoyed everyone who came in for the Formula One. It was exciting all weekend,” said Durell Eskridge, the restaurant’s manager.
“And while it’s a little bit early from our perspective to measure the full impact, especially economic impact, I will tell you that the brand impact is already being felt,” said Rolando Aedo, the chief executive officer of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Aedo says the Grand Prix was a grand way to advertise South Florida to a worldwide audience eager to travel now that the pandemic lockdowns are in the rearview mirror.
“So it couldn’t be better not only from the economic impact, the jobs, the resort taxes and the revenue, but also the timing for us to welcome back the international market,” Aedo said.
Formula One seems to have been good for commerce, without question, but perhaps not as good for quality of life in Miami Gardens during that three-day period, with epic traffic congestion and noise.
Gilbert told us he appreciates the concerns of some of his constituents but thinks the positives of the Grand Prix outweigh the negatives.
Richardson and Achong fall in opening round of the NCAA Singles Championship
Fifth-year senior Eden Richardson and fourth-year junior Daevenia Achong, Miami’s two representatives for the NCAA Singles Championship at the Khan Outdoor Sports Complex in Urbana, Ill., lost their respective matches Monday evening in straight sets. For the second time since 2014, a Cane won’t make the Final Four.
“Listen, these are the best players in the country. We didn’t play our best tennis today, but I think that had a lot to do with the players that we played, our opponents,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We’ve got to do better against high-level competition. We’ve got to push a little harder. We’ve got to believe a little more.”
In Miami’s first match of the day, No. 37 Richardson fell to No. 36 Michaela Bayerlova of Washington State.
The contest was initially close, as both players remained deadlocked at 2-2 after trading a pair of games in the first set. However, Bayerlova dominated after breaking Richardson’s serve at deuce to go up 3-2. She didn’t drop a game the rest of the way, cruising to the Round of 32 with a 6-2, 6-0 victory.
With the loss, Richardson’s collegiate singles career is over. In her lone season with the Hurricanes, she downed five ranked foes, including Virginia’s Emma Navarro, the 2021 NCAA Singles Championship victor and the number one seed in this year’s tournament. Before facing Richardson, Navarro had only lost once in her collegiate career, at the hands of another Hurricane – former NCAA Champion Estela Perez-Somarriba.
Around an hour later, No. 33 Achong faced No. 10 Layne Sleeth, the highest-ranked player on Oklahoma – this year’s NCAA Team Championship runner-up. Both competitors held serve through the first two games, until Sleeth broke Achong in the next one to go up 2-1 in the first set. That started an eight-game winning streak, which Achong ended in the second set after winning two straight games without dropping a point. Having closed the gap to 3-2, her comeback would end there. Sleeth convincingly took the next three games for a 6-1, 6-2 triumph.
Despite the loss, Achong had a breakout season, finishing with a spectacular 28-13 record in singles, where she primarily played the No. 2 spot.
“I’m extremely proud of the singles seasons that Daev and Eden put together,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “[They had] two tough first-round opponents today and they came up short, but that is not taking anything away from their seasons. They had incredible singles seasons.”
Tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. ET, Achong and Richardson, ranked No. 13 nationally, will square off against Furman’s No. 34-ranked duo of Julia Adams and Ellie Schoppe in the first round of the NCAA Doubles Championship.
Redistricting Wrangling Goes To Florida Supreme Court
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Voting-rights groups went to the state Supreme Court on Monday as they try to keep alive the possibility of blocking a congressional redistricting plan that would make it harder to elect a Black U.S. House member this year in North Florida.
The filing by attorneys for the groups and other plaintiffs was the latest twist in a legal battle over a congressional redistricting plan that Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed through the Legislature in April.
Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith on May 12 issued a temporary injunction against the DeSantis-backed plan, but the 1st District Court of Appeal on Friday reimposed a stay on the injunction. That stay could effectively clear the way for the DeSantis-backed plan to be used in this year’s elections.
But in a 59-page emergency petition Monday, the plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court to place a stay on the 1st District Court of Appeal’s order. The plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote that such a move would allow county elections supervisors to prepare to carry out the DeSantis-backed plan and a different plan that Smith approved in his temporary injunction.
“A stay of the First District’s decision is necessary to preserve this (Supreme) Court’s ability to adjudicate the parties’ appeals in time for the 2022 elections,” the filing said.
The case centers on Congressional District 5, a sprawling North Florida district that was drawn in the past to help elect a Black member of Congress. DeSantis argued that continuing with such a district would involve racial gerrymandering and violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The Legislature approved DeSantis’ proposal to revamp the district, condensing it in the Jacksonville area. But Smith ruled that the plan violated a 2010 state constitutional amendment — known as the Fair Districts amendment — that barred diminishing the ability of minority voters to “elect representatives of their choice.”
The overall redistricting plan passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to increase the number of GOP members of the state’s congressional delegation from 16 to 20, based on past voting patterns. District 5 is currently held by U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Black Democrat, but the revamped district likely would flip to Republicans.
Smith’s temporary injunction ordered use of a map that would keep the current sprawling shape of the district, which stretches from Jacksonville to west of Tallahassee. Using that map also would affect some other districts.
The state quickly appealed Smith’s temporary injunction, which led to an automatic stay on it. Smith lifted that automatic stay, but the appeals court Friday reimposed a stay.
The state’s underlying appeal of Smith’s temporary injunction remains pending at the 1st District Court of Appeal. But in reimposing the stay, the Tallahassee-based court signaled it did not agree with the temporary injunction.
“Based on a preliminary review, the court has determined there is a high likelihood that the temporary injunction is unlawful, because by awarding a preliminary remedy to the appellees (the plaintiffs) on their claim, the order ‘frustrated the status quo, rather than preserved it,’” the appeals court said, quoting a legal precedent.
The appeals court also cited the “exigency of the circumstances and the need for certainty and continuity as election season approaches.”
But in the filing Monday at the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs also cited the approaching election season. A qualifying period for candidates will be held in mid-June, with primary elections Aug. 23.
“A remedial plan (the plan included in Smith’s temporary injunction) must likely be implemented within the next few weeks to ensure that the 2022 congressional elections proceed on time under a lawful districting plan,” the filing said. “But resolution of the parties’ multiple appeals will make that deadline almost impossible to meet. Consequently, if petitioners (the plaintiffs) are to obtain relief, election administrators must continue preparing the remedial plan now to ensure their ability to effectuate any relief granted by this (Supreme) Court. The First District’s preliminary order reinstating the stay makes that impossible.”
The plaintiffs also filed a motion May 13 to have the underlying appeal bypass the appeals court and go quickly to the Supreme Court, a move known as seeking “certification” of the case to the Supreme Court.
But attorneys for the state on Monday urged the appeals court to decline the certification request. In a nine-page filing, they said the plaintiffs’ “supposed need for an urgent resolution falls flat. The secretary (of state) has made clear since the inception of this case that it is already too late to provide any relief for the 2022 election cycle.”
(©2022 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida’s Jim Saunders contributed to this report.)
NOAA: ‘Above Average’ 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Predicts 6-10 Hurricanes
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In its initial outlook, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting an above-average 2022 Atlantic hurricane season when we kick it off on June 1st.
NOAA is predicting we’ll see 14-21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6-10 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), and 3-6 will strengthen into major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).
NOAA is forecasting a 65 percent likelihood of an above-average hurricane season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season.
The increased activity anticipated is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon which supports the waves that come off of Africa.
This is the seventh consecutive year they’ve forecast an above-average hurricane season.
An average hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
When the busy 2021 Atlantic hurricane season came to an end, there had 21 named tropical storms and hurricanes, which was the third-most for any hurricane season, behind only 2020’s record 30 storms and the 28 storms that formed in 2005.
The season included seven hurricanes with four of those becoming major hurricanes reaching Category 3 strength.
Of the 21 named storms, only two impacted South Florida. Elsa and Fred, both tropical storms while near South Florida, were mostly rainmakers and gave the area brief tropical-storm-force winds.
Louisiana was hit hard again when Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on the 16-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall.
The 2021 season was the second year in a row that exhausted the list of storm names. Dissipating in early November, tropical storm Wanda marked the 21st named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
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