Interview with dismissed Ocean Drive columnist Trisha Posner
">
Interview with dismissed Ocean Drive columnist Trisha Posner

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Critic Robert Fulford wrote of legendary civic preservationist Jane Jacobs that she “came down firmly on the side of spontaneous inventiveness of individuals, as against abstract plans imposed by governments and corporations.” With certain alterations, the same could be said of author and journalist Trisha Posner, who penned the popular Health Watch column in Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine.

Posner was fired for expressing her opinion on a YouTube video about regulations affecting her South Beach neighborhood. Like many rejuvenated communities in the United States, Posner’s historic south Fifth Street has become the Tribeca of Miami, a fashionable, trendy nightspot with a maelstrom of growth in hotels, restaurants and boutiques that have out-priced many long-term residents.

Local activist Frank Del Vecchio asked Posner if she would appear in the eight-minute Close the Loophole video, directed by Emmy award-winning documentarian Robyn Symon, to state her belief that a loophole that allows popular local restaurants such as Prime One Twelve and Devito South Beach to exist in her residential neighborhood should be amended to limit the amount of seats in the establishments in proportion to their number of rooms. Her segment began, “Hi, I’m Trisha Posner. I’m a journalist and columnist for Ocean Drive magazine. I am married to Gerald Posner, the author.” Within a few hours after her appearance, she was fired by Ocean Drive publisher Jerry Powers.

Posner was aghast and bewildered. Attractive and comely, as a health columnist she is an unlikely candidate as a civic instigator; but those qualities belie Posner’s buffalo stance on doing what she feels is right for her community. “I hate being in the public eye and I prefer to be low key,” Posner told Wikinews in an interview. “To do the video I was nervous. Only in person do I feel comfortable.” Wikinews reporter David Shankbone recently spoke with Posner.

DS: What were the circumstances surrounding your dismissal?

TP: In South Beach and in Miami there are neighborhood associations like South of Fifth Neighborhood Association, which [Posner’s husband] Gerald is President of, and they all try to work together to make living in the neighborhood synergized with the nightlife and the restaurants. This issue involved another, Frank Del Vecchio, President of 301 Ocean Drive condominium association. Frank asked me to be part of a video against a loophole where restaurants can have so many seats that they effectively become a nightclub. On the video there are five others besides me. An entertainer, a school teacher…and then I’m sitting there on a bench. At about 4:40 we wrapped up and I left. When I got home there was a phone message from [editor-in-chief] Glenn Albin saying, ‘Trisha, Trisha, Jerry is running around the place…’ and I thought it was a joke. I started laughing. Gerald said he didn’t think it was a joke, but I had not done anything. Then I received an anonymous e-mail: Jerry Powers had got a phone call from a hotel person that said ‘one of your representatives from the magazine is down here bad mouthing nightlife, hotels, etc.’ The magazine’s publicist panicked and called Powers, who then runs all the way down to City Hall and asks ex-Mayor Neisen Kasdin to let him speak before the City Council. He says that Trisha was not for him, and that Ocean Drive is for entertainment and hotels in South Beach. Then he said I was fired as he left.

DS: Did you receive a call from Jerry Powers?

TP: I never heard from Jerry Powers; he never phoned me, e-mailed. I still have never heard from him. I phoned the office the next day, and [Managing Editor] Eric Newill tells me my services would no longer be required. I had one piece ready, and one piece in the issue. The saddest thing is that I lost my friendship with Eric. Eric was my friend before he was my editor. He is friends with Jerry Powers. Eric wrote me an e-mail that it had played out too publicly and that he wished me good luck in my future endeavors. What kind of friendship is that?

DS: Had you informed the magazine of your appearance beforehand?

TP: Eric knew I was doing a video, and I did it in my friend’s hotel. I don’t remember if I told them what it was for. But the video wasn’t a secret. In the future I will ask permission. But it’s childish. I can’t believe Jerry Powers took this and made it an issue. Nobody would have known about it, and now I’m all over the place. He made Trisha Posner a star. I can’t go anywhere without people saying, ‘Yay, good for you!’ And they still have not paid me for my last piece. I sent them another e-mail on the 17th. They owe me $1,000. They have not written back to me, they have not phoned me. Why are they being so childish?

DS: Did you ever have any other problems at the magazine?

TP: No, I never had an issue and I had the best working relationship with this magazine. I have nothing bad to say about the magazine. I had a fabulous relationship—a unique relationship with my editor. I had never worked so well with an editor of a magazine my entire career. It was so easy, he is so smart, cerebral…it’s unbelievable. But they also got a lot out of me. They got Tina Brown through me. Bill Maher. I have an incredible track record. It was not hard for me to phone people and get them for the magazine. And I never used them for my advantage at all; I never used the magazine to get into restaurants or events. People say you never went to the parties, but I’m over that. I used to be a Studio 54 girl. I just really enjoyed my health column. They allowed me to write in my own voice.

DS: Why do you think Powers fired you?

TP: It’s all advertising driven, but I’m interviewing people for a new book who have advertised in his magazine. It wasn’t a big deal for anybody. The very next day Miami Magazine picked me up. He had a knee-jerk reaction. He didn’t even phone me. Wouldn’t you think he would phone me and say, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ and I would have been like, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize.’ Besides, I was crazy about my editor! Why would I try to hurt him? I hope one day I can work with Eric again.

DS: Has any other employee of Ocean Drive appeared publicly before and been identified as such?

TP: As far as I know I’m the first one, that’s why I made history. But I wasn’t talking about Ocean Drive. I hadn’t thought that under my name were the words ‘Columnist for Ocean Drive’. I didn’t see anything. Later I had e-mails from Tina Brown, everybody…they were really supportive.

DS: Your husband, author Gerald Posner, wrote a piece in The Huffington Post about your dismissal. Several of the comments to it state that since Ocean Drive is a large glossy magazine dependent upon advertising from the entertainment industry, that you bit the hand that fed you. How do you respond to such criticism?

TP: That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard, because it had nothing to do with Ocean Drive. There is another world. I’m not against development; if you listen to my statement I talk about how much I love the nightlife, how I love entertainment. But we all have to learn to live together. I know South Beach is party town, but we can live together. Let’s clean up our shit, take our garbage out, be respectful to our neighbors and also to the entertainment industry.

DS: Some of the comments that were made in HuffPo were that even though it was despicable that you were fired for expressing your opinion on a civic matter, that you should have expected it. Do you think comments like that are par for the course of apathy in the United States today, where people disagree with something, but shrug their shoulders instead?

TP: I think we live in dangerous times because of corporate America—people are really scared to speak out about anything; it is really dangerous. Freedom of speech. I came to live here in this country because it was for freedom of speech. I love America, and it has everything I could have dreamed of: the most incredible husband, friends, everything. But they are chipping away at it. One company is one company, but it shows how dangerous it is. What happens when the Rupert Murdochs own everything? They are trying to gag us. It is very dangerous. Whether it is the film industry, the music industry, D.C., they are trying to strangle all of us. All these regulations of what we can or can’t do. Does it mean if I have an opinion that I have to be gagged or not say who I am or what I think? What can and can’t I say? Maybe I’m just too black and white. I think we need to just chill out here. It wasn’t about Ocean Drive or Jerry Powers. It was about my home and my friends. I was helping out Frank. It was about the loophole and the Bijou [hotel]. I think what really freaked them out was that the video was professionally done.

DS: Another comment said, “The magazine itself sounds like a total contribution of everything that [is] wrong with America right now. Instead of promoting smart growth and longevity, it prostitutes itself to every new development, even at the cost of other developments (advertisers) who will lose out when this new one opens.” What are your thoughts on the magazine?

TP: I have an opinion about Ocean Drive. I used to say I don’t know who reads my columns, but I know they look good and I have an excellent following because people would stop me on the street or give me tons of e-mails. I understand what they are saying, but it is South Beach and that magazine works for South Beach. It’s been around for 13/14 years. I think that it’s healthy there is competition coming in. But the demographics for the magazine are people in their mid-twenties and early thirties. I didn’t realize that.

DS: What are your feelings about Jerry Powers?

TP: This man is a bully, and he wanted to bully me. He is not going to scare me. I’ve been in this business 20 years, and there is only one man who scares me: my husband.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progessive Conservative candidate Tyler Currie, Trinity-Spadina
">
Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progessive Conservative candidate Tyler Currie, Trinity-Spadina

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tyler Currie is running as an Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario provincial election, in the riding of Trinity-Spadina. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Augusten Burroughs on addiction, writing, his family and his new book
">
Augusten Burroughs on addiction, writing, his family and his new book

Friday, October 12, 2007

I had an unofficial phone call from Gay Talese last Tuesday. He had just flown back from Colombia and he was cranky. “I’m happy to do an interview with you,” he said, “but what the hell could you ask me that’s not already out there? Have you even bothered to look?!”

“Jeez, Mr. Talese, lots of things,” was my response. I lied. The truth is that when I call people to interview them, I do not have a set of preconceived questions. My agenda is to talk to them and gain a sense of who they are; to flesh them out as humans. To find out what they think about the world around them at that moment. With Gay Talese I had little interest in talking about Frank Sinatra Has a Cold and with Augusten Burroughs I had little interest in discussing Running with Scissors. I want to know what they think about things outside of the boxes people have placed them in.

With a memoirist like Burroughs, even this is a challenge. What parts of his life he has not written about himself, other interviewers have strip-mined. When we met for dinner at Lavagna in the East Village, I explained to Augusten this issue. I suggested we make the interview more of a conversation to see if that would be more interesting. “Instead of you in the catbird seat,” I said, “let’s just talk.”

We struck an instant rapport. What set out to be an hour and half interview over dinner had turned into four hours of discussion about our lives similarly lived. I removed half of the interview: the half that focused on me.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s conversation with writer Augusten Burroughs.


Contents

  • 1 On addiction and getting sober
  • 2 On the Turcottes and his mother
  • 3 On his work
  • 4 On the response to his work from addicts
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On the gay community
  • 7 On his new book, A Wolf at the Table, a memoir about his father
  • 8 On women’s breasts and tattoos
  • 9 On losing his hair
  • 10 Sources
England’s top scorer Wayne Rooney retires from international football
">
England’s top scorer Wayne Rooney retires from international football

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Yesterday, English football player Wayne Rooney announced retirement from international football via his official website.

In his official statement, Rooney, who left Manchester United to join Everton FC last month, said it was time to “bow out” and wanted to “focus all my energies on helping them [Everton FC] be successful.” Rooney announced his decision just after England’s manager Gareth Southgate called him on phone asking him to play in the upcoming matches against Malta and Slovakia. Rooney said he had “already thought long and hard” to retire from international duties.

In 2003, Rooney made his international debut in a friendly match against Australia at the age of seventeen, becoming then-youngest player to play for England. Since then, Rooney has won 119 international caps with England. Only Peter Shilton has more appearances for the Three Lions. 31-year-old Rooney is England’s all-time top goalscorer netting 53 goals.

Rooney has played in three FIFA World Cup tournaments — 2006, 2010 and 2014. At the continent level, Rooney has played in three UEFA Euro tournaments — in 2004, 2012 and 2016. Rooney did not win any trophies with England in the FIFA as well as Euro tournaments. Last year, England lost to Iceland in the Last 16 of the UEFA Euro 2016 in France. Rooney scored the only goal for England. Iceland defeated the English 2–1. Since 2014, Rooney has been the England’s captain. His last game for England as a captain on November 11 ended in a 3–0 over Scotland.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Business Brief for December 14, 2005
">
Business Brief for December 14, 2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

These are short blurbs about current events in the business world.

Contents

  • 1 A World Bank lead economist speaks on Bird Flu
    • 1.1 Sources
  • 2 Gold prices drop
    • 2.1 Sources
Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
SBC teams with Scientific-Atlanta for cable TV rollout in 13 US states
">
SBC teams with Scientific-Atlanta for cable TV rollout in 13 US states

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Regional U.S. telephone giant SBC Communications is one step closer to offering cable television to the 18 million households in its 13 state coverage area. The company announced a $195 million contract with Scientific-Atlanta Thursday to provide a video operations center and regional hubs for the new service. Under the brand name, U-verse, the SBC’s television rollout is set to launch in 2006 after field trials begin later this year.

The company is seeking the so-called “triple play,” where a telecommunications company offers voice, data and video in one bundled package. Local telephone companies like SBC have been losing business to cable TV companies, which have added telephone and Internet services in recent years.

In a slew of recent deals, SBC is looking to stop that trend. Within the past six months it has signed alliances with various technology firms to build out a fiber network to the home strategy. For instance, SBC has a $1.7 billion deal with Alcatel to build out its fiber optic network and a 10-year, $400 million, pact with Microsoft to license its IPTV technology to allow multi-channel television to stream over its Internet backbone.

In most of the U.S. only cable TV companies like Comcast have been able to offer the “triple play” of voice, video and data services. But traditional phone companies like SBC and Verizon have been upgrading their copper wire telephone networks to fiber optic. SBC says it plans to spend billions of dollars to overhaul its telecommunications network, saying the aging and brittle copper wires which were originally laid in the early 1900s do not have enough bandwidth to allow television capability.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Category:July 16, 2010
">
Category:July 16, 2010
? July 15, 2010
July 17, 2010 ?
July 16

Pages in category “July 16, 2010”

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Pakistani Taliban threaten revenge attack after bin Laden death; CIA says retaliation is likely
">
Pakistani Taliban threaten revenge attack after bin Laden death; CIA says retaliation is likely

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Pakistani Taliban has threatened a revenge attack on the U.S. and senior Pakistani politicians after the killing of Osama bin Laden as Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, warns al-Qaeda will “almost certainly” attempt an attack on the U.S. to avenge their leader.

Though bin Laden is dead, al-Qaeda is not. The terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge him, and we must—and will—remain vigilant and resolute.

U.S. officials warned Americans to ensure they were careful in traveling to unspecified countries where there could be violent retaliatory attacks. “Though bin Laden is dead, al-Qaeda is not,” Panetta said. “The terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge him, and we must—and will—remain vigilant and resolute.”

A notice from the U.S. State Department advised travelers that, “given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation”, they should try to stay inside homes or hotels and avoid large crowds in countries where there is “the enhanced potential for anti-American violence.” White House officials have not yet raised the homeland terrorism threat level, but an anonymous source at the Department of Homeland Security said the agency was maintaining a “heightened state of vigilance”.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced bin Laden had been killed in a television address last night; shortly afterwards, crowds began celebrating outside the White House and Ground Zero, where the twin towers of World Trade Center collapsed after the attacks of September 11, 2001 which have been attributed to bin Laden. However, analysts warned al-Qaeda will “undoubtedly” launch a retaliatory attack.

Michael Scheuer, a former CIA intelligence agent, has warned it is likely al-Qaeda has the resources to mount an attack as deadly as 9/11 again because U.S. officials have done “very little” to prevent terrorist groups carrying weapons across its borders. “I think it’s very likely that over time we will see an al-Qaeda counter-punch, not specifically to avenge bin Laden, but to show that al-Qaeda still is on the ground and still can hurt the United States,” Scheuer said. “I’m not sure if it’s gonna be in the near term or a year from now or two years from now, but it’ll come.”

The warning from Scheuer and the CIA came shortly after the Pakistani Taliban said they would attack Pakistani and American targets. “Now Pakistani rulers, President Zardari and the army will be our first targets. America will be our second target,” a spokesman for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan said.

Bin Laden was killed during a raid on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan near the capital Islamabad. Four others in the compound were reportedly killed in the raid; although a U.S. helicopter crashed, no U.S. forces were killed. His body was buried at sea, in accordance with Islamic scriptures and because no other country would accept his body.

John Gearson, director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College London, also said the killing of bin Laden was very significant, and a retaliatory strike is likely. “There will be concerns that there could be some sort of retaliation, that al-Qaeda may well want to demonstrate that they are still strong and still in the game,” he said, and warned that U.S. officials may “lose their focus” after such a major victory, “and that will provide an opportunity for the remnants of al-Qaeda to reform and grow stronger.”

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Suicide car bomber kills seven in Kohat, Pakistan
">
Suicide car bomber kills seven in Kohat, Pakistan

Monday, April 19, 2010

Seven people were killed and 26 injured in the city of Kohat in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday after a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb near a police station, police officials said.

“It was a suicide attack, the target was a police station,” Dilawar Khan Bangash, police chief of Kohat, told AFP news agency. He said that all those killed in the attack were civilians. The explosion occurred at the back of the police station.

“Seven people have been killed and 21 were injured in this car suicide attack,” Abdullah Jan, another high ranking police official, told reporters. His statement was made soon after the attack, before the number of injured was revised upward. “These incidents are a reaction to the military operation in the tribal areas,” he claimed. Another police officer confirmed what Jan and Bangash had said, saying that approximately 200 kilograms of explosives were used.

The station was badly affected by the attack, and three rooms of a government-run primary school were destroyed. Seven local shops were also severely damaged.

This attack occurred a day after an earlier suicide bombing killed over 40 people near the same city, and two days after an attack in southern Pakistan killed upwards of ten people.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
News briefs:August 02, 2010
">
News briefs:August 02, 2010
Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
Produced By
Turtlestack
Recorded By
Turtlestack
Written By
Turtlestack
Listen To This Brief

Problems? See our media guide.

[edit]

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

« Previous Entries