Miami Beach’s spring break ‘canceled’ as Florida sprints to get in front of coronavirus pandemic

“Continuing to allow these large group gatherings on the beach is a public health hazard,” Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian said in a statement. “These measures are vital.”

March 16, 2020 | CNN | Miami Beach’s spring break ‘canceled’ as Florida sprints to get in front of coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus Florida: Beaches in South Beach in Miami closed, spring break declared ‘over’

Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian said battling coronavirus is hard enough. But when you add large, energetic crowds and alcohol — not the disinfecting kind — into the mix, strong measures are needed to protect public safety, he said.

“It is certainly unprecedented,” he said. “We’re trying to keep people as healthy as possible, and specifically we are being advised by medical professionals that these type of large crowds are not in people’s well being.”

He said the measures would also protect the health of the spring breakers, who may not fear the disease but who may pass it on to others.

“This is a public safety issue and we have got to address this,” he said. “I support these measures and I believe it is the right thing for the community and frankly for the safety of these spring breakers.”

March 15, 2020 | Tampa Bay Times | Coronavirus Florida: Beaches in South Beach in Miami closed, spring break declared ‘over’

Miami Beach to start shutting down Ocean Drive early to control coronavirus spread

The city of Miami Beach is pushing to reduce large gatherings along Ocean Drive — one of the region’s most popular social spots — amid efforts to hold stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

A Saturday release from the city notes the street had been closed to vehicles since Thursday.

“Effective immediately, the city will be reopening Ocean Drive to northbound and southbound vehicle traffic and will eliminate parking on the east side of the street,” the release reads.

“They will also be closing the beach from 7th to 10th streets ‪starting at 4:30 p.m. To enforce this, Miami Beach Police will begin clearing the beach from 7th to 10th streets ‪at 5 p.m.”

Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian said he backs the efforts of the city to control the spread.

“The warnings from the health professionals have been clear regarding large crowds and the increased risk of spreading COVID-19,” Samuelian said.

March 14, 2020 | Florida Politics | Miami Beach to start shutting down Ocean Drive early to control coronavirus spread

Making the Venetian Causeway safer for bicyclists

At this week’s City Commission meeting, Miami Beach Commissioners will vote on a resolution signaling their support for a multi-jurisdictional effort to implement protection measures for the bike lanes. Commissioner Mark Samuelian is leading the effort here while Commissioner Ken Russell has taken up the charge for the City of Miami.

At the February meeting of the Commission’s Neighborhood and Quality of Life Committee, Samuelian said, “We have a problem. Right now, cycling safety on the Venetian is not as safe as we would like it to be. We all are well aware of one tragic incident that we had, but I think I can speak personally as someone who occasionally is out there on a bike and lives on the Venetian, it’s just not set up in the most safe way. One specific issue, there is no protective barrier between the bike riders and the cars. What I’m going to look for is that we approach solutions expeditiously.”

February 8, 2020 | RE: Miami Beach | Making the Venetian Causeway safer for bicyclists

City of Miami Beach Officially Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

The resolution was introduced by Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian and passed unanimously.

“I am extremely proud of my Armenian heritage, and happy to have visited Armenia this summer and seen the wonderful countryside and its people. I commend the U.S. House of Representatives for condemning and recognizing the Armenian Genocide and proud of the City of Miami Beach for adopting this resolution,” Samuelian said in a statement to FLArmenians.com. “In addition, I congratulate the Armenian Genocide Committee, Inc. (AGC) for its efforts in commemorating the Armenian Genocide here in South Florida. This is a significant step in honoring the history of the Armenian people and their contributions,” Samuelian said.

In 2017, Samuelian became the first Armenian American elected official in Miami-Dade County history.

January 2, 2020 |  The Armenian Mirror-Spectator | City of Miami Beach Officially Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

City of Miami Beach Officially Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, the City of Miami Beach, Florida passed a resolution officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide, reported FLArmenians.com.

The resolution was introduced by Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian and passed unanimously.

“I am extremely proud of my Armenian heritage, and happy to have visited Armenia this summer and seen the wonderful countryside and its people. I commend the U.S. House of Representatives for condemning and recognizing the Armenian Genocide and proud of the City of Miami Beach for adopting this resolution,” Mark Samuelian said in a statement to FLArmenians.com. “In addition, I congratulate the Armenian Genocide Committee, Inc. (AGC) for its efforts in commemorating the Armenian Genocide here in South Florida. This is a significant step in honoring the history of the Armenian people and their contributions,” Samuelian said.

In 2017, Samuelian became the first Armenian American elected official in Miami-Dade County history.

December 19, 2019 | FL Armenians | City of Miami Beach Officially Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

City of Miami Beach Officially Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, the City of Miami Beach, Florida passed a resolution officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide, reported FLArmenians.com.

The resolution was introduced by Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian and passed unanimously.

“I am extremely proud of my Armenian heritage, and happy to have visited Armenia this summer and seen the wonderful countryside and its people. I commend the U.S. House of Representatives for condemning and recognizing the Armenian Genocide and proud of the City of Miami Beach for adopting this resolution,” Mark Samuelian said in a statement to FLArmenians.com. “In addition, I congratulate the Armenian Genocide Committee, Inc. (AGC) for its efforts in commemorating the Armenian Genocide here in South Florida. This is a significant step in honoring the history of the Armenian people and their contributions,” Samuelian said.

In 2017, Samuelian became the first Armenian American elected official in Miami-Dade County history.

December 19, 2019 | MassisPost | City of Miami Beach Officially Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

Free flu shot program ends in Miami-Dade public schools, but one city is pushing back

Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian called the abrupt cancellation of the program a “public health issue” and said he planned to introduce an item during the city’s Jan. 15 commission meeting to direct the city to pay for flu vaccines for public school students in Miami Beach.

Samuelian said his office was in communication with the district to allow Miami Beach to pay for its own vaccine program.

“We’re hopeful that this will come together because it’s the right thing to do for the kids,” Samuelian said. “We have communicated to the school board that the city of Miami Beach would like to fund this vaccine for the schools here in Miami Beach. We are hopeful that they will take us up on that offer.”

He said he expected to see “multiple” commissioners agree to back his item. Mayor Dan Gelber said he would support such a proposal.

December 19, 2019 | Miami Herald | Free flu shot program ends in Miami-Dade public schools, but one city is pushing back

Palm, Hibiscus, Indian Creek projects referred to Inspector General for review

Committee Chair Mark Samuelian brought the issue to the entire Commission at its final meeting in October. “The situation I would describe as pretty urgent. Our project is frozen” in an unfinished state, Samuelian said. “In my two years on the dais, this is probably one of the most concerning situations I’ve become aware of.”

“Like we had in Indian Creek, we now have unpermitted work and we are in violation,” he added. “This action needs to stop. Our project was stopped by DERM on July 9 and our residents are now suffering.”

Samuelian agreed. “When we brought in the Inspector General, it was to address waste and inefficiency. I think this is a classic example.”

He said he would continue to keep the item on the Commission agenda for discussion for the time being. “We need to act with urgency. We need to get this darned thing done.”

November 9, 2019 | RE: Miami Beach | Palm, Hibiscus, Indian Creek projects referred to Inspector General for review

Miami Beach Greenlights Ocean Terrace Park Along 73rd to 75th Streets

On Wednesday, July 31st, the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously gave final approval to the Ocean Terrace Streetscape Plan. The development agreement that will bring a new oceanfront public space along the two-block stretch of Ocean Terrace along 73rd Street to 75th Street.

“This has been an excellent and very involved community process,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian. “Folks have been involved throughout.”

August 5, 2019 | Miami Beach Times | Miami Beach Greenlights Ocean Terrace Park Along 73rd to 75th Streets