Smoke and Mirrors?

Reports are dribbling in regarding the Marlins case currently being tried before Judge Cohen. I’ve heard that Bob has been a bit scattershot but is improving, and that Sandy is playing to a nonexistent jury. Oy.

This report of yesterday’s proceedings gave me a chuckle:

After a brief appearance by Jim Villacorta, executive director of Miami’s Community Redevelopment Agencies, University of South Florida economics professor and author Philip Porter took the stand as a witness for Braman.

Porter detailed how studies he’s conducted show the limited impact that sports facilities have on the public — disputing the county’s contention that a facility adds to local residents’ quality of life.

But that was quickly questioned by attorneys for the county and the Marlins. ”Your honor, smoke and mirrors. He’s an economist. He doesn’t live here. He hasn’t lived here for years,” said Marlins attorney Sandy Bohrer, who represents The Miami Herald in unrelated matters.

With the witness seated, Braman attorney Bob Martinez began a slide show taken by Porter of two Tampa-area professional stadiums — one for baseball, another for football — showing poor conditions in the surrounding area.


It was meant to show how building a ballpark in Little Havana would offer little for the community.

But the pictures were quickly dismissed as evidence after strenuous objections from Assistant County Attorney David Hope and Bohrer — when it was discovered they were shot after Porter’s deposition was taken.

What the hail is happening here? First, there’s no rule that an economist needs to “live” in a particular area before rendering an expert opinion on the potential impact of an economic development on that area. Good lord, Sandy, if that’s the best you’ve got on this guy you better keep trying.Second, why the hail were these photos not part of this guy’s expert report? And btw you don’t have to go to Tampa to prove his point — look at how the “quality of life” improved after they built the Miami Arena, or look at the quality of life in Miami Gardens after Joe Robbie got built. What a crock.

I remember taking the Metromover after work to see the Panthers play, throwing fake rats, all that crap. Now it feels like a distant, forgotten memory of the future, a Jetsons vision of what downtown could have been.