Short Order Awards

Like everything in Miami this week, we start with hoops. King James “decision” to bring his talents to South Beach (wonder if anybody told him yet that the American Airlines Arena is actually in downtown Miami) thousands of his Cleveland Cavalier jerseys are outdated, irrelevant, and, frankly, insulting if worn by anybody in Ohio. But you know what they say: One city’s trash is the Miami homeless community’s treasure.After reading about how untrusty our leaders can be you might get the sensation to cuss somebody out. Instead, listen to an old man do it. It’s more fun. Brandon Thorp reviews A Behanding in Spokane in “Damaged and Dangerous,” and tells us that it’s dark, thought provoking but missing something. Want to guess what? We’ll give you a hand?A Behanding plays out entirely in a grubby hotel room in “a small town in America” (set design by Lyle Baskin, who accentuates the seediness by breaking a few slats off the closet door), but even that narrow view enables us to imagine the world beyond the nfl jerseys It’s a world where killers don’t worry about people overhearing gunshots, where even the presence of police lights beneath a fire escape doesn’t inspire urgency in a criminal’s cleaning up of severed limbs. Everything about the world’s inhabitants is vaguely off kilter manic and depressive at the same time, calling forth the farcical from the tragic and fashioning pathos from inanity. Murder is funny, but a bellhop’s story about a gibbon in a zoo elicits a tear.Halloween is here and Elyse Wanshel, New Times’s Loon Over Miami, gives us the lowdown on the Original Ghost Tour of Coconut Grove in “Paranormal Inactivity.” And yeah, there’s a whole lot of nothing going on. In fact the only paranormal thing happening will be how your wallet shrinks for no reason. On the cobblestone sidewalk, Sandy provides historical factoids: The place opened as a movie theater in 1927. And it had a 15 foot tall basement, which led parts of the building to sink into the ground. A dressing room, known as Apartment 5, is haunted with a “vortex of energy.” Then we are told to open our palms next to the glass panels on the closed theater’s heavy front door. “Do any of you feel anything?” Uh, no.El Palacio de los Jugos is place to go for Lechon If you missed New Times’s Iron Fork event last week then you might not know who won “The First Annual Short Order Awards.” Lee Klein will clue you in to who were the big winners, including Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill and Michy’s, and how it all went down. Still deciding where to spend your nights partying on Halloween weekend? Check out our Halloween lists. But you could do worse than checking out Afrobeta during Hollerween at Electric Pickle on Saturday. In “Do You Zombie,” Music Editor S. Pajot unearths the secret to Afrobeta’s scary good sound.Even if you’re a zombified corpse with zero rhythm, permanently locked joints, and an insatiable hunger for human brains, there’s still a pretty good chance an Afrobeta song might elicit some sizzle from your shriveled, prune like dance still can’t decide where to go on Halloween, then go to the ultimate source for nightlife in the city, Club Editor Liana Losada. She’ll show you how to “Join the Freak Fest.”

Ward 2 candidates fight for your vote

Fort Myers voters will have to choose between three candidates to represent their interests in the next few weeks.

One has served on the Fort Myers City Council for eight years and has a record to show; another is a newcomer with big dreams and aspirations for the city; the other bills himself as a political activist wanting to give the power back to the people.

Early voting begins Sept. 8,cheap nfl jerseys and the primary election is Sept. 15. Unless a candidate wins 50 percent of the vote plus one in the primary, the top two candidates will go on the ballot for the Nov. 3 general election.

However, the past two elections have been decided by an overwhelming number of absentee ballots. More than 630 ballots have been requested and should be hitting mailboxes by the end of this week.

Ward 2 covers east Fort Myers and most of Palm Beach Boulevard, but it’s an area with few economic opportunities and few community leaders, and its fair share of blight.

The person elected will earn $32,630 annually and become the voice of this area for the next four years, taking on some of the city’s toughest issues.

Johnny Streets Jr.

Running for his third term, Streets said there is still much work to be done in the city, and he wants to start with public safety.

“Every person in every community wants to feel safe from what’s going on in today’s world,” he said, citing recent shootings. “Fear causes people to change their lifestyle, and it’s not always for the better.”

Streets, 65, retired as a sergeant with the Fort Myers Police Department after 27 years, and he said the problems in the community are resting on the shoulders of the city’s police force.

“The police department has a leadership deficit that needs to be corrected,” he said. “It’s not to condemn or criticize anyone, but to push for change in a new direction.”

Recently, Police Chief Doug Baker has come under fire for the wrongful arrest of NFL player Nate Allen, and the subsequent internal affairs investigation in which he is accused of lying. But even before then, Streets has been critical of Baker’s leadership within the department.

Streets said he will continue to push for a top to bottom review of the police department, giving the public a sense of peace.

If nothing comes of the review, Streets said, then at least the public will know officials are doing everything they can to ensure public safety.

The lack of economic opportunity for folks in Ward 2 is also an area of concern, he said, and he wants to promote ways to restore businesses along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Elected in 2007, Streets worked with the council to navigate through a tough financial time for the city. People lost jobs and homes were foreclosed, all while the city’s infrastructure was neglected.

But during that time, he pushed the city to get kids off the streets by funding its summer youth program, called Step up to Work. Streets has also helped provide “affordable, decent and livable housing” in Harlem Lakes, and made sure infrastructure issues were put back on the agenda for Ward 2.

He realizes that he is the voice of the people, and isn’t afraid of making unpopular decisions based on what his people want, he said. Streets was a dissenter in the Garden Street Iron Metal expansion.

If elected, he will extend his thankfulness and gratitude to the people of Ward 2 by listening and learning what the people find most valuable in their lives and community. And from there, he will work tirelessly to restore transparency and trust to the City Council, he said.

“We have a cultural issue of inflated thoughts and power within government,” he said, “as if only ‘they’ know what is best for the rest. It is actually the opposite.”

As the majority owner of College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving brands, 38 year old Bienko said he knows what it takes to be successful, but the success only came after failure. He has struggled; he has started businesses and failed, but he came out on the other side, he said.

“In order to lead, you need to understand what people are going through,” Bienko said, “and with all my ups and downs, I know exactly what people are going through. I can relate, and more importantly, I can understand.”

Bienko would also push for an external, top to bottom review of the police department, saying it would give officers an opportunity to improve and restore the public’s trust. He said only good can come from a thorough review.

And when it comes to the location of Ward 2, Bienko said it couldn’t be better.

With its proximity to airports and interstates, as well as low cost housing and vacant property, he said it’s a prime destination for business development and relocation. But Ward 2 just needs the right person to step in leadership to push the envelope.