Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 061715 Contents 4 • June 17, 2015
Drama Engulfs Stonewall
By Michael d'Oliveira
Despite being $26,000
short of sponsorships for the
June 20 Stonewall festival, two
publishers accused Stonewall
organizers of not asking them
to help sponsor the event.
At the June commission
meeting, Peter Clark, publisher
of Hot Spots, and Norm Kent,
publisher of South Florida Gay
News, said they were not given
the opportunity to sponsor the
stages available and the total
sponsorship opportunity was
capped at $25,000.
"We just got screwed," Kent
"My sponsorships in a lot
of cities is greater," said Clark,
who added that there's not
enough time for him to join
now. "We've been blocked on
all four stages."
They accused organizers of favoring
Multimedia Platforms, which owns Guy
Mag and The Agenda, by giving that
publication stage sponsorships.
Kent also criticized the choice of Billy
Bean as grand marshal. Bean, a former
Major League Baseball player, came out as
gay in 1999 and was named as MLBs first
Ambassador of Inclusion. He also serves
as a national spokesperson of Multimedia
Kent, who calls Bean a friend, said it
"looks insulting" to have a Multimedia
Platforms representative serve as grand
marshal. In an email, Kent brought up the
ties of Jeff Sterling, executive director of the
Stonewall event, to Multimedia. Sterling,
who owns a small number of shares in
Multimedia Platforms and who once leased
office space to The Agenda, said no one
received special treatment.
"Everyone got the same sponsor
book," said Sterling, who added that no
sponsorships were capped at $25,000. "We
only control the center stage. Anyone can
buy a stage. There are still two more stages
not going up because no one bought them."
He added that it might look like Multimedia
Platforms got special treatment but "they
were just shrewd. They worked faster than
anybody else. We feel bad that there's this
perception but there's no grand conspiracy."
Kent shot back.
"That's the problem. The contract wasn't
supposed to be awarded to someone being
shrewd. The contract was to provide equal
rights to all media entities, and this they did
not do," he said.
Before the June 9 commission meeting,
an email was sent out offering a $3,000 co-
sponsorship of the center stage.
After the June 9 commission meeting,
City Manager Joseph Gallegos, in an email
to Kent, apologized "for not notifying you
earlier of the opportunities for sponsorship
of the subject event." He also informed
Kent that exclusive sponsorship of the
parade, and with it the choice of parade
marshal, had been offered to Clark.
Other sponsorship opportunities were
highlighted as well.
But both offers were declined.
UPDATE: It was learned just before
press time that HotSpots will now sponsor
the city parade with Clark stating he is
"happy" that the community worked
together during Pride week. WMG
Gables Begins Enforcing
Parking, Brings Out the Boot
By Michael d'Oliveira
A "battle" for 10 retail parking spaces at
the Gables Wilton Park has its roots in the
city's decision not to require parking for
Wilton Drive retail establishments.
Randy Welker, economic development
coordinator, said the city has been lax
on requiring retail parking because it's
trying to encourage retailers to locate to
Wilton Drive. It's part of the effort to draw
more people to the city's most popular
commercial area during the day. "We did
this because [Wilton Drive] is a special area."
Welker added that there was plenty
of parking right across the street in the
city parking lot at Hagen Park. "We have a
parking lot right there. You're literally right
across the street from a parking lot."
Although the city didn't require the
Gables, which has 145 residential units and
19,000 square feet of commercial space, to
provide more parking for the businesses
there, Tom Rossetti, owner of Rossetti Fine
Art Gallery, said it's ridiculous that the
Gables hasn't done so on its own.
Most of the spaces, he said, are "hogged"
by employees and that forces the business
owners to compete with their own
customers for a parking spot. He said he
often has to park in a residential spot and
wait for a retail one to open up. It's not a
problem before 6 p.m. but after that the
Gables starts booting.
"I've been booted twice behind my
own gallery. If we're renting, why can't [the
business owners] get a spot? We pay more
than these [apartment] renters."
Infinty lounge customer Craig
Hobberman said he's very careful not
to park in the wrong spot. "It gets very
At the entrance to the complex, a sign
warn visitors that unauthorized vehicles
will be towed or booted. Inside the complex,
10 parking spots are designated specifically
for retail customers and have corresponding
signs. Two of those spots are for 15-minute
parking only. But no signs exist designating
spaces for residents only, leaving it unclear
if customers can park there. In addition
there are no signs inside the complex
warning potential parkers that they may be
towed or booted.
John McDonald, a South Florida Gay
News writer, said he was parked directly
behind Infinity Lounge and had his car
Richard Wexler, owner of Richard's
Men's Hair Shop, and Michael DaSilva,
manager at Scarfone's, said they understand
why Gables' management is exercising
stricter control over the parking spaces.
"How would you feel coming home and not
having a parking space [because it's taken up
by a customer]? This is someone's home,"
said DaSilva, who added he thinks it's pretty
clear where customers are allowed to park.
Up until recently, parking wasn't strictly
enforced. That's possibly due to Gables only
recently filling up most of its commercial
space. Before, with few businesses bringing
customers in to take spots, residents never
had to worry about their spots being
taken. This past spring though, said Gables
resident Carl Cappuccio, parking started to
become a problem.
But, once residents started voicing
concerns to management "the situation
greatly improved," Cappuccio said. "I and
several residents are pleased with the ample
Calls to Gables management were not
returned in time for publication. WMG
Two sponsors furious over City's handling
of this year's event
Links Archive SFGN 062415 Navigation Previous Page Next Page