Friday, July 27, 2012

Art Teele's Suicide - 7 Years Later

Minutes after 6PM tonight, it will be seven years since Arthur E. Teele, Jr. committed suicide in the lobby of The Miami Herald. The news broke across South Florida at the start of the evening news hour. At 7:50PM, he was declared dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. In the aftermath, The Miami Herald hastily fired Jim DeFede. Frank Alvarado's Miami New Times cover story "Tales of Teele: Sleaze Stories" become one of the scapegoats for Teele's public suicide. The following day, the suicide was front page news in the Herald. Click on over to Random Pixels for the original front page article. Here are additional articles from the July 28, 2005 issue of The Miami Herald as well as articles from the following days.

July 28, 2005 (The Miami Herald)

July 28, 2005 (The Miami Herald)

July 29, 2005 (The Miami Herald)

July 29, 2005 (The Miami Herald)

July 29, 2005 (The Miami Herald)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Effort to Recall Teele

Months into Art Teele's second term on the City of Miami commission, activists in District 5, led by Irby McKnight, began collecting signatures to recall Teele. By November 2002, activists collected over 5,000 signatures - enough to begin the recall process. However, by the end of February 2003, McKnight and the rest of the outraged constituents abandoned the recall effort. They felt if the recall went to a vote, Teele had more than enough supporters, especially from the religious community, to retain his seat. McKnight and fellow citizens believe their recall effort was the catalyst for the scrutiny of Teele's District 5 commission seat.

Below are the original flyers handed out as well as signatures.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Art Teele: City of Miami District 5 Commissioner in Pictures

From left: Johnny Winton, Art Teele, Mayor Manny Diaz, Tomas Regalado & Joe Sanchez
Art Teele and wife Stephanie Teele

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Teele's County Commission Reign

Art Teele begin his career in South Florida politics upon beating his mentor Barbara Carey-Shuler for the Dade County District 3 commission seat in September 1990. Teele won by six percent.

September 5, 1990 (The Miami Herald)

In a $215,000 campaign, Teele retained his county seat in March of 1993 beating seven opponents. Teele said, "he would look out for projects to benefit Dade as a whole but intends to take special interest in revitalizing the neighborhoods in his district."

March 17, 1993 (The Miami Herald)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Art Teele: The Vietnam Years

After graduating from Florida A&M University in 1967, Art Teele served in Vietnam.  The below photographs were taken on November 13, 1969. Teele was a decorated captain. The first document lists his medals, including a Purple Heart. The second document shows his discharge in November 1978.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Seven Years

The end of this month marks seven years since Arthur E. Teele, Jr. took his life in the lobby of The Miami Herald minutes before the six o'clock evening news. Approaching July 27th, I've connected the old 1TB Buffalo TeraStation network drive and reopened the Miami Noir vault. Over the next two weeks, I'll post newspaper archives, photos, deleted scenes as we look back at the life, career and death of Art Teele.

"Metrorail beginning new loop (The Miami Herald)" - September 1, 1982 was the ceremonial start of Miami's $116.9 million Downtown People Mover project. Teele attended the ceremony and announced that the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) would provide an additional $3.96 million for the high cost of the metrorail's Government Center Station. Thirty years later the People Mover provides free transportation for those who work in the downtown/Brickell area. It brings us to Miami Heat games and is often used as an unofficial homeless shelter.

Also notice the article, "Wanted: Scarface." Politicians including Miami Mayor Maurice Ferrer scrambled to keep production of Scarface in Miami after it was reported that Universal Studios was pulling the film from South Florida.

"Teele sees more mass transit in Florida's future (11/14/1983, The Miami Herald)" - After leaving Washington and his position as administrator for UMTA, Teele joined the Miami law firm Sparber, Shevin, Shapo & Heilbroner. He professed, "I have a vision of a transportation system in Florida that is second to none." He speaks of water taxis, people movers, bullet trains and commuter rail services throughout Florida. According to the article, "His grand vision is of a state with the most modern and most accessible public transportation system anywhere." Unfortunately, public transportation never lived up to Teele's dreams, however this past April, the City of Miami launched a trolley service. Smells better than the People Mover, which is nice.