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Pembroke Pines CITY CONNECT

Dec/Jan 2012/2013


Holiday Happenings! Each year at this time, no matter how hot it gets in South Florida, it seems to always snow in Pembroke Pines. In fact, 50 tons of snow is ex-

pected to fall at City Center, located at 10300 Pines Blvd., on Saturday, December 8, 2012, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. as part of the City’s annual Snowfest and Lighting Ceremony. This year there will actually be two snow mounds, a North Pole and a South Pole, for kids to enjoy and play in, and new holiday activities will be also be featured at Snowfest. The Mrs. Claus Bling Fling is a holiday handcrafted jewelry show presented by the Pembroke Pines Arts and Culture Advisory Board and the Parks and Recreation Department. A portion of the proceeds from this event at Snowfest will be used for public art projects throughout the City. A great place to find that perfect gift, the show features handcrafted jewelry from a variety of artists. Mrs. Claus will be very busy that

day because she will also have the Mrs. Claus Kitchen, sponsored by Whole Foods, where kids can make reindeer food and Santa’s delicious Trail Mix. Santa’s Magical Sleigh Ride, sponsored by BrightStar Credit Union, is a great photo opportunity for kids when they visit with her husband, Santa. There will also be a Letters to Santa area, hosted by Sylvan Learning the presenting sponsor, where kids can write letters to Santa and immediately mail them in a special mailbox; the Milk and Cookies booth, sponsored by McArthur Milk and Chick-Fil-A, gives kids a chance to sample Santa’s favorite milk and cookies; Reindeer Games, which includes inflatable rides, face painting, and arts and crafts projects; and the Adopt a Reindeer and Secret Santa Gift Chance Drawing which

will benefit the Special Needs Program – where participants can Continued on page 3

Pembroke Pines City Commission From left to right: Angelo Castillo (District 4), Jay Schwartz (District 2), Mayor Frank C. Ortis, Iris A. Siple (District 3), Carl Shechter (Vice Mayor – District 1) Mayor Frank C. Ortis 954-435-6505 ……. Commissioners: Carl Shechter, Vice Mayor 954-436-3266 ...... Angelo Castillo 954-436-3266 ………. Jay Schwartz 954-436-3266 .....….. Iris A. Siple 954-436-3266 ..............… City Manager: Charles F. Dodge 954-431-4884 ….......….



Pembroke Pines City Connect

December 2012 - January 2013

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December 2012 - January 2013

Golfing Success The 9th Annual Swing for the Green Golf Tournament was another huge success this year. It raised $30,000 to benefit Southwest Focal

Pembroke Pines City Connect Published by the City of Pembroke Pines Marianne Wohlert – News Editor 10100 Pines Blvd – 5th Floor Pembroke Pines, FL 33026 For Advertising Information Contacts: City Manager’s Office 954-431-4884 Charles F. Dodge, City Manager Martin Gayeski, Deputy City Manager Aner Gonzalez, Assistant City Manager City Clerk’s Office 954-435-6501 Judy Neugent, City Clerk Finance 954-431-4330 Rene Gonzalez, Finance Director

Point Senior Center programs, activities and classes. Held each year at the Hollybrook Golf and Tennis Club, the tournament was a sellout with over 120 participants Though no one got the hole in one car, a Cadillac, it was a beautiful day with lots of winners,” said Vice Mayor Carl Shechter. “Everyone enjoyed themselves for a great cause, and great big thank you to all the volunteers who helped make it a success.” The 1st place team was Daryl Mahoney, Nick Fernandez, Nick Fernandez Jr. and Dan Ciocca. The 2nd Place team was Bill Balzer, Liz Balzer, Dave Brasher and Bob Erickson. The Grand Prize winners from the tournament raffle were Dean Matarangelo, winning a 50’’ Panasonic TV, and Bob Kennedy who won a Grand Palms Golf Package Weekend. Those who missed this year’s tournament can plan on getting involved in next year’s by calling the Vice Mayor at 954-431-0279.

Public Services/Utilities 954-437-1115 Shawn Denton, Director of Public Services Fire 954-435-6712 John Picarello, Fire Chief Police 954-431-2466 Dan Giustino, Police Chief Recreation 954-437-1137 Dean Combs, Recreation Director Community Services 954-450-6868 Jay Shechter, Community Services Director Human Resources 954-437-1146 Daniel Rotstein, Human Resources Director

Pembroke Pines City Connect



Holiday Happenings! Continued from page 1

make a donation and take home a large Rudolph or Teddy Bear, or have a chance to win prizes in wrapped gift boxes that include gift certificates and many holiday surprises. Santa’s Workshop, new this year and sponsored by Home Depot of Pembroke Pines, will be is a great place for kids to make a holiday bracelet they can take home. Preregistration, however, is required at the event at 2 p.m. The actual workshop will take place 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Children will receive a special Elf Certificate and get a chance to meet the Home Depot mascot, Homer, as well as a few of Santa’s other friends. Space is limited. So that no one leaves hungry, the entire family can try a variety of yummy treats from a large selection

of food trucks in attendance, and the Peppermint Stage will showcase performances by local school choruses and performers. The evening will come to a close when, at 5:45 p.m., the countdown for the holiday lights begins. Michele Aguierre, a Pembroke Pines teen who is Miss Florida 2013, will not only throw out the first snowball at Snowfest, but she’ll also assist in the light countdown. Thousands of twinkling lights will fill the night, forming a two-story Christmas tree on City Hall. Tickets for the snow areas are $4 for Pembroke Pines residents and $6 for non-residents, and can be purchased at various park offices throughout the city. For more information, call 954-435-6525.

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Pembroke Pines City Connect

December 2012 - January 2013

In the New Year Saving Water Pays As the New Year approaches, many people say, “how did the time fly?” Work, vacations, school, children and holidays keep everyone busy throughout the year. It’s very easy to forget about taking care of things that need to be done. New Years is a great time to reflect on the year that passed and on the year ahead. Review and update your will. Death, divorce, illness, a new baby, adoption, relocating your home etc. requires considering a change in estate plans or implementing an estate plan if you don’t have one. An experienced attorney can guide you through the necessary steps, including explaining options that many don’t know exist. ”Drafting legal documents, especially a Last Will and Testament requires extensive training, knowledge and experience,” said Pembroke Pines Attorney Lawrence Jay Davis. “None of those qualities are available with an on-line form. Many times I have seen poorly worded, improperly signed, incomplete forms which will not accomplish the intent of the person.” The State of Florida has an estate plan for those who do not plan or who try to plan ineffectively. Many times that plan is not what the person would have intended. Digital assets,

like online bank accounts and passwords to social media and other web sites also need to be recorded and kept with other important papers. Review insurance. There are all kinds of insurance matters to take care of including Homeowner’s and Renter’s – update if you’re remodeled, bought a new car, or bought new high priced items; Car insurance – reduce coverage on an older car, increase the deductible or comparison shop rates; Life and Health – keep abreast of changes, ensure you have enough or get some. Start Getting Ready for the IRS. It’s never too early to start gathering receipts and other documents for next year’s taxes. Preparation is crucial especially if you itemize deductions, such as out-of-pocket medical expenses, mortgage interest and expenses related to your child’s college education. Gather paid medical bills, billing statements from schools, prescription receipts and receipts for cash donations made to church or favorite charities. Also look at credit reports, review credit card terms, review licenses, permits and leases, computer security, passport renewals, see the family doctor for a check-up and keep important papers and information in a safe and accessible place. Happy New Year!

Don’t flush money down the drain. Pembroke Pines residents were paid nearly $17,000 and saved more than 2.6 million gallons of water in only one year, last year, as part of the High Efficiency Toilet (HET) Rebate Program through The Broward Water Partnership. Funding is once again available through the program, which began October 2011. Since that time, the City distributed 168 toilets, saving more than 7,000 gallons of water a day. This year the program is collectively planning to save 30 million gallons. The Broward Water Partnership includes Pembroke Pines and 17 municipalities and water utilities. Resources were pooled to provide customers with the cash rebates and other incentives for saving water. “As the second most populous city in Broward County, this is an excellent opportunity for our residents to take part in water conservation that has a real impact,” said Rose Colombo, Public Services Administrative Supervisor.

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Customers of participating utilities with toilets using more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush (gpf) may be eligible to receive up to two $100 rebates for replacing their older model toilets with WaterSense® certified HETs that use 1.28 gpf or less. Some residents are also eligible to receive free low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads. The older the original unit, the greater the potential water savings, as great as 70 to 90 percent, depending on the device. Commercial and multi-family properties and non-profits are also eligible, with the total number of allowable rebates determined on a case-by-case basis. High efficiency pre-rinse spray valves are also available for commercial kitchens. Each replacement can save up to 400,000 gallons per year, the equivalent of 27 residential swimming pools. All participants must be pre-approved, and other restrictions apply. For more information, go to or call 1-800-270-9794.

Holiday Pick-Up Please note the following changes to the garbage, bulk and recycling pick-up dates involving the holidays. On Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25, 2012 there will be no garbage pick-ups. The normal schedule will resume on Wednesday, December 26, 2012. Residents scheduled for bulk pick up on December 25 are re-scheduled for December 31, 2012. On New Years Day, Tuesday, January 1, 2013, there will be no change to the pick-up schedule garbage, bulk and recycling pick up will be as usual.

December 2012 - January 2013

Welcome Home For veterans coming home from Iran or Afghanistan, it isn’t always easy getting back to the life they had before their deployment. All too often, they deal with struggles to find a job, and trauma that can lead to anger, drug addiction, alcohol abuse etc. Coming home from war is anything but simple and can really take a toll on a person’s life and their family’s. Mayor Frank C. Ortis, the Commission, Administration and residents of Pembroke Pines wish to express their sincerest gratitude to returning veterans for their bravery, courage and willingness to lay their lives on the live to serve this country. “We wish to extend to all the service men and women who hail from our community a specific welcome that

Feelin’ Jazzy! Shake off the holiday stress and relax at free jazz concerts at the William B. Armstrong Dream Park located at 1700 Dykes Road (NW 160 Ave). On December 16, 2012 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. the Debbie Orta Jazz Quartet will play. Bring a blanket or chair, maybe a little picnic and listen to the smooth sounds of jazz. Mark your calendar for another jazz concert that will take place on January 27, 2013 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on these and upcoming events, please call the Special Events Office at 954-435-6525.

goes beyond mere words, to actively appreciate and honor your service to this country by asking that you reach out to us to let us know who you are so that we can recognize you,” said Mayor Ortis. “Then we would like to actively partner with local businesses and community agencies to get you plugged in to information about jobs and services specific to the needs of veterans and their families.” Veterans wishing to contact the Mayor, please call 954-4356505 or send him an email at fortis@ppines. com with a copy to his Executive Assistant Marlene Graham at

Pembroke Pines City Connect



New Dining Model Grows Between traditional fast food dining and full-service dining, customers more and more have the opportunity to experience quickservice dining that’s a bit different, called fast casual dining, throughout the City of Pembroke Pines as a new trend continues to grow not only here, but across the country. A fast casual restaurant is a type of restaurant that does not offer full table service, but promises a higher quality of food and atmosphere than a fast food restaurant. In the US, it is a relatively new and growing concept, with a typical cost per meal between $7 and $15. Typically, food orders are taken and the customer is given a number to take back to their table to wait. The number is called when the food is ready or is brought to the table. Foods are fresh, often ethnically diverse, local and unique in some way. Examples of such dining establishments include Jason’s Deli, Panera Bread, Salsa Fiesta and Lime Fresh Mexican Grill. The restaurant industry looks at this as the middle ground for consumers who are still cautious about dining out due to the economy, want something more than fast food, but will only spend if the value is right. “With the busy schedules families keep, quick service/fast casual

restaurants really are filling the need to provide high quality products at affordable prices,” said Commissioner Jay Schwartz. “Pembroke Pines continues to be a great City to attract these types of businesses, which in turn results in local job creation.” In the past few years many of these types of restaurants have opened in Pembroke Pines. According to Michael Stamm, the City’s Planning & Economic Development Director, there are a few more of these establishments currently under construction with plans to open soon. “They are choosing to locate in Pembroke Pines because of the strong retail sector, as well as the concentration of families,” said Stamm. This type of dining concept began in the early to mid 1990s, but became more mainstream in 2010. “Residents in Pembroke Pines demand diversity in dining options, and they are getting it as each of these restaurant models grows,” added Stamm.

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Pembroke Pines City Connect

December 2012 - January 2013

Santa’s Express Time for a Bit of Drama Santa will soon be making some early rounds throughout the city with the help of the Pembroke Pines Fire Department. For the 15th year, the annual Santa’s Express Children’s Holiday Toy Delivery Program will take place the evenings of December 10 through 12. Each year, residents with children ages 10 and under can register to have Santa deliver a gift, with the help of a few of his elves and Pembroke Pines firefighters, to their children at home.  Santa rides throughout the neighborhoods aboard a fire truck with lights flashing, announcing his arrival and spreading cheer to approximately 250 houses. Parents register for the program, donating a new, unwrapped toy with a $10 value or a $10 cash/check donation per child to the Fire Department on registration day.  These toys are then given to children in need.  They also provide a wrapped toy for their child when Santa arrives to their

home on the night of the scheduled delivery to the area.  This year’s delivery dates are Monday, December 10, Tuesday, December 11, and Wednesday, December 12 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The times are approximate and no changes will be made to the delivery dates. Registration this year was held on December 1, but if you missed it, mark your calendars for next year. Go to www.

It’s no wonder why theater trips planned through the Southwest Focal Point Community Center book up fast – prices include best seats in the house and transportation to top theatrical productions. The following trips, which depart from the Center at 301 NW 103 Ave., are scheduled: “Damn Yankees” at the Stage Door Theater in Coral Springs on February 6, 2013 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $33 per person. The last day to buy tickets is January 18, 2013. This is the story of the ultimate baseball fan Joe Boyd who sells his soul to the devil for the chance to help his team win the pennant race against the Yankees. “Flashdance” at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on March 13, 2013 at 2 p.m. Orchestra Seating tickets are $60 per person. The last day to buy tickets is December 21, 2012. This is the unforgettable story about Alex Owens, a working-class girl from Pittsburgh with a dream of becoming a professional dancer.

“The Addams Family” at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on April 17, 2013 at 2 p.m. Orchestra Seating tickets are $60 per person. The last day to buy tickets is January 18, 2013. This play finds the famously macabre Addams Family put to the test when outsiders come to dinner. Participants on the trips must be 55 years or older, and a registered member of the Center (registration is fast and free). For more information on these and other theater trips planned, please call the Activities Desk at 954-450-6888 or visit www., click Departments and select Community Services.

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December 2012 - January 2013

Pembroke Pines City Connect



Picture Perfect The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” means a lot to the Pines West Camera Club, a group of approximately 90 members who are passionate about photography. Comprised of amateur as well as

professional photographers, teens to seniors, the group meets twice a month on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at the Southwest Focal Point Community Center. “We are a hobby club that gets together to have fun taking photos and learn more about photography,” said Jerry Biddlecom, current Club Vice President who will become President in January. “Every six weeks we do have a photo competition but we really are more of a social rather than competitive group.” The members enjoy hands-on demonstrations, guest lecturers, presentations and even field trips as part of their meetings. Many times they take photos at Center events and provide them to use in articles, press releases and promotions. Last month they even removed millions of staples from the back wall of the Center’s stage in the main hall, patched and painted over the holes because there was too much reflection of light from

the staples when they took photos. The Club began in 2000 and has exhibited photos throughout Broward in libraries, museums and the Glass Gallery. Anyone can join, no

Glass Gallery Now through January 7, 2013, the Glass Gallery, located on the

matter what level of skill, from beginners to the very experienced. For more information on Club meetings or how to join, please call Judy at 954-475-4518. first floor of City Hall at 10100 Pines Blvd., is featuring Children’s Holiday in the Pines. A reception will be held on December 18, 2012 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.



Pembroke Pines City Connect

Time with Santa Santa marks his calendar every year for Sundaes with Santa, held at the Southwest Focal Point Community Center at 301 NW 103 Ave., when he gets to enjoy lots of ice cream and visit with parents and children.

This year’s event, which takes place on December 15, 2012, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., features a holiday show, a Make Your Own Sundae Buffet with lots of holiday toppings and yummy treats, an arts and crafts area, prizes, surprises, and of course, time to visit with Santa. Admission is $6 per person for residents, and $8 per person for non-residents. All participants are required to have a ticket, and seating is limited.

December 2012 - January 2013

Paradise: Lost or Found Artists have submitted their works of creation for a juried art competition being held at Studio 18 in the Pines, located at 1101 Poinciana Drive, addressing the question “What does paradise lost or found mean to you?” Their art submissions, in the categories of 2D, 3D, Mixed Media, Collage, Painting, Printmaking,

Photography, Digital Art, Sculpture and Assemblage, will be on display December 7, 2012 through January 24, 2013 at Studio 18. Awards will be given at an opening reception on Friday, December 7, 2012 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be awarded a 1 st Place cash prize of $500, a 2nd Place cash prize of $300 and a 3rd

Place cash prize of $100. Also a reminder that there is a call to artists for the upcoming 15th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival in the Pines, being held March 9 and 10, 2013. Applications for art and fine hand craft vendors can be found at or call 954-9865027 for more information.

Kick Up Your Heels After all the holiday hustle and bustle, it will be time to put your dancing shoes on at the “Time of Your Life” dinner dance at the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center on Friday, January 18, 2013. The buffet dinner, at $9 per person, starts at 5:30 p.m. (reservations are required), and the dance starts at 7 p.m. Music and entertainment will be provided by Radio DJ

Tom Caminiti from Majic 102.7. Prizes will be given for the best costume. The SWFP Senior Center is located at 301 N.W. 103 Avenue in Pembroke Pines. For more information on events please call 954450-6888 or visit www.ppines. com , click on Departments and select Community Services.

December 2012 - January 2013

Pembroke Pines City Connect



Riding the Blue Route Getting In the Holiday Spirit The Pembroke Pines’ Blue Route, the newest of the City’s community bus service routes, has proven to be a great success, with popularity growing amongst residents since it’s inception in January 2008. The Blue Route started as a single Route utilizing one bus. It went through several service changes as the City responded to the community’s needs and now operates as a split Route - two separate routes, Blue East and Blue West. Almost five years later, residents are pleased with the convenience and service. Ridership has increased on the original Blue Route from 5.6 passengers per hour at the end of 2008 to an average ridership today of 12.25 passenger per hour on the revised Blue East and West Routes combined. The Blue Route operates three days a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Blue Route East provides service from 8 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. between Southwest Focal Point

Make some holiday memories at the annual Holiday Open House on December 13, 2012, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Southwest Focal Point Community Center. It’s free and open to the public. Sparkling holiday decorations and displays, steaming hot cocoa with whipped cream and sprinkles, and yummy cookies await those who will

(301 NW 103rd Avenue) and the US Postal Service (corner of Pines Boulevard and University Drive), and stops along Taft Street (between Palm Avenue and Hiatus Road.) Blue Route West provides service from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. between Century Village Clubhouse (Pines Boulevard. and 136th Avenue) and Doris’ Market (corner of Pines Boulevard and Palm Avenue.) For more information on service and schedules, please visit the City’s website at or call 954-450-6850.

enjoy an evening to remember. Students from Rising Starz Music Academy will also perform, and there will be a Simply Puppet Show, and Curly Sue & Friends face painters. The big man himself, Santa, will arrive and give away free party favors to all the children who visit him. For more information on this holiday tradition, call 954-450-6888



Pembroke Pines City Connect

In the Bag A check for $3,200 was presented to the Pembroke Pines Charter School (PPCS) System at a recent City Commission meeting, from monies raised at the Whole Foods Market 5% Day, a “bagging” fundraiser held at the Whole Foods Market in Pembroke Pines. Celebrity baggers, including Mayor Ortis, Commissioners Angelo Castillo, Iris Siple and Jay Schwartz, and principals and teachers from each of the five Pembroke Pines Charter School Campuses,

December 2012 - January 2013 participated in the fun day. Whole Foods donated five percent of net proceeds from the day’s purchases to the Pembroke Pines Charter School Foundation. “This was not only a fun day, but a great way for the community to contribute to the growth of our Charter Schools,” said Commissioner Iris A. Siple. “Whole Foods was very generous in this fundraiser and we appreciate all the people who came out to support the education of 6,000 student residents from Kindergarten through 12th Grade.” This month another fundraiser was held at the Pembroke Pines Barnes and Noble book fair where the Foundation received 10 percent from purchases made when PPCS was mentioned at checkout.

Holiday Fire Safety With the holidays approaching, the Pembroke Pines Fire Department wants to share safety information and remind residents of the importance of fire safety when it comes to holidays lights, decorations, trees, etc. Each year, hospital emergency rooms treat thousands of people for injuries from falls, cuts and shocks from holiday decorating. Christmas trees are also involved in hundreds of fires each year, resulting in deaths, injuries and property loss or damage. It’s important to inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Also, use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe to do so. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet, and make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch. Holiday decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant. Ensure that trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way so you always have a clear path in the event of a fire. A blocked entry/exit way puts you and your family at risk. South Florida may not have too many fireplaces, but for home that do, never put wrapping paper in the fireplace. It can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles. If you do use real candles, keep them in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave a room or go to bed with a candle burning. Keep Christmas trees watered. Never place real candles on a tree as decoration. And don’t forget safety in the kitchen. During the holidays much time is spent cooking, so it’s critical to take precautions by keeping pot handles and electrical appliance cords out of the reach of children. Put a lid on a pot or pan to extinguish a food or grease fire - never use water, and in the event of an oven fire, turn off the heat and close the oven door. Avoid wearing loose or baggy clothing, and always use potholders while working in the kitchen.

December 2012 - January 2013

Konnecting Families and Businesses This year, Kids Konnection, which introduces and connects local businesses with families throughout the City, has a new location. It will be held on January 26, 2013, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Center, 10300 Pines Boulevard.

local entertainment, delicious food samplings and fun kid-friendly activities that include rides and a ‘mascot moment’ where kids can meet and take pictures with their favorite mascots. This is a free event and one not to

Pembroke Pines City Connect


Fourth Annual Tour de Broward presented by zMotion

Every Heartbeat Needs a Hero Born with a heart defect, Baby Kylee received a new heart at just 4 months old, making her the youngest of six children who have received the ultimate gift at The Cardiac Center at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Your generous gift will repair more little hearts to keep up with active bodies like Kylee’s. Walk, Run or Ride in the Tour de Broward and donate to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, because every kid deserves a healthy heart.

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Pembroke Pines City Connect

December 2012 - January 2013

Activities Abound at Pembroke Lakes Elementary The students at Pembroke Lakes Elementary have been very busy, not only with their studies, but also in getting into the holiday spirit with all sorts of activities. Last month Turkey Dressing Family Night, an annual event, had families using feathers, beads, yarn and other arts and crafts materials to dress a turkey pattern given to them by the school. Both parents and students really got creative with a variety of themes. “We had a large array of turkey themes from diva and princess turkeys to patriotic ones,” said Principal Sandra Shipman. “It was great to see families working and creating together, having fun and sharing lots

First Student Advisory Board The first Student Advisory Board for 2012-2013 was recently named by the Commission. Applications were distributed to both the traditional and charter high schools throughout Pembroke Pines. The students who met criteria and were appointed are: Melanie Mark from College Academy; Jada Bullen from College Academy; Natalie Giron from Charles W. Flanagan High; Saran Morgan from McArthur High; Kyler Hevia from Pembroke Pines Charter High; Jacob Kenberg from Pembroke Pines Charter High and Christine Bahadoor from Charles W. Flanagan High. “They are all outstanding students and a great addition to the City,” said Marilyn Soltanipour, chairperson on the Education Advisory Board. “They have much to offer, and when they do move on in their lives, we hope they will continue to be active in our city, and come back to live, work and raise a family here.”

of smiles and laughter.” A Turkey Trot, which supports wellness and spirit, was also held. Students jogged along a mapped course in the neighborhood with the help of staff, the neighborhood and the Pembroke Pines Police Department. There was also a Harvest Food

Drive, where students collected canned goods for families in need within the Pembroke Lakes Elementary family. On Fall Festival day, students got a chance to learn at various center activities related to fall, such as mad scientists, hands-on lab experiments, pumpkins that are

Bright Beginnings Winter Break Camp A lot of holiday fun is planned at the Bright Beginnings Early Development Center Winter Break Camp being held the weeks of December 26 through 28, 2012 and January 2 through 4, 2013. Scavenger hunts, face painting, a visit to Sparez Bowling Alley, a pretend pajama party, a picnic at the park and special movies will all be awaiting the children for an exciting and fun time. The weather forecast has even predicted that it will snow at Bright Beginnings. There’s also a pizza lunch included on Fridays. Space is limited for the camp. It’s $35 per day, plus a 5% discount for siblings. Bright Beginnings at the Walter C. Young Resource Center, 901 NW 129 Ave., is a preschool for children ages infants through five, and offers VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten). “I know the children will have a fantastic time at the holiday camp,”

said Director Mary Peddy. “And on behalf of Bright Beginnings, we’d like to wish everyone a healthy, happy and safe holiday season.” For more information, please call 754-323-4519. Lic. #45487

measured and weighed, and an area to create bats out of cookies with proper measure. “Students in Ms Summerall’s fourth and fifth grade class also traveled on a Virtual Field Trip to Williamsburg, Virginia via distance learning where our students participated in the election of Thomas Jefferson,” added Shipman. “They were able to call in with other students in the US, ask questions and learn about history. Other field trips, such as an Everglades trip, to the Buehler Planetarium, County Fair, Cultural Plays and the Indian POW WOW, are planned for December and January to enhance the curriculum.

Students Help With Food Collection The Pembroke Pines Charter West Elementary School Student Council partnered with the Bread of Life Food Pantry in Pembroke Pines last month to make a difference in the lives of less fortunate families in the community. The students filled baskets with food items they collected for a Thanksgiving dinner. Each grade level brought in different food items such as canned goods, boxes of stuffing, cookies, gravy, and muffin mixes etc. This was the Student Council’s first project of the school year. Since 2009, the Bread of Life Food Pantry, located at 20911 Johnson Street, has been feeding 200 people each month, providing food boxes to families throughout South Florida who are struggling or having a difficult time making ends meet.

December 2012 - January 2013

SantaMail Forget texting or emailing, Santa still enjoys getting a letter from boys and girls this time of year. The City of Pembroke Pines helps Santa by getting these letters right to jolly ol’ Saint Nick’s mailroom so he can write back More than 500 letters are received each year as part of the “Letters to Santa” program by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Children can write letters to Santa, letting him know if they’ve been naughty or nice, and address them to Letters to Santa, THE NORTH POLE c/o Special Events City of Pembroke Pines, 10100 Pines Boulevard, Pembroke Pines, FL 33026, or they can drop the letter in Santa’s Magical Mailbox at City Hall. The Mailbox and a letter writing area will also be at the Snowfest/Lighting Ceremony on December 8, 2012. A reminder to parents that this is not a gift service, but rather a fun way to keep the magic alive for children of all ages.



Helping Storm Victims The Cities of Pembroke Pines, Miramar, the Miramar- Pembroke Pines Chamber of Commerce and American Red Cross have joined forces to ask residents to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy which has so devastated the upper east coast. A special press conference was held on the steps of City Hall to present information about joint fundraising efforts. Mayor Frank C. Ortis and Mayor Lori Moseley spoke about the overwhelming losses endured by so many in the northeast as a result of the storm and the near-freezing temperatures that followed. “As South Floridians, we understand what it’s like to need help in the aftermath of hurricanes and storms, and how this changes the lives of so many so quickly,” said Mayor Ortis. “We need to help alleviate their suffering – our friends and family up north are in dire need.” Residents are being asked to make a donation, no matter the size, to the

Holiday Crime Prevention The holiday season is a special time with family and friends, but it can also be a time when people are the busiest and most vulnerable to theft and other holiday crimes. The Pembroke Pines Police Department has a few reminders to ensure your holiday is safe and incident free. No matter how rushed you are, thinking of a thousand different things, always be aware of your surroundings. Try to minimize shopping at night or alone. Take only the cash you need or pay with a credit or ATM card. Be extra careful when carrying a wallet or purse. Be wary of holiday cyber crimes – only do business with known websites and look for high ratings and user approvals. Only buy gift cards from well established retail businesses and check the card balance immediately to ensure it’s correct. There are many counterfeit gift cards and stolen cards that are resold at a lower price.

Pembroke Pines City Connect

Lock your belongings in the trunk or place them out of site. Walk briskly, confidently and directly through the parking lot with your

American Red Cross. Those who wish to use their cellphones can easily make a ten dollar donation to the American Red Cross by texting RedCross to #90999. Also, local businesses are stepping forward to offer drop locations for residents to share their unused hurricane supplies to the people up north. “We were fortunate not to experience a hurricane this year, so we are asking that the supplies we still have - food, batteries, blankets - are keys in your hands. Be cautious of people handing out fliers or asking questions in the parking area. Keep the outside of your home well lit with doors lock and window curtains closed. Make sure your home doesn’t look empty by leaving mail, newspapers or advertising

donated to those who can truly use them in this storm’s aftermath,” said Robert Goltz, President and CEO of the Miramar-Pembroke Pines Chamber of Commerce. “There will be information posted on our website regarding drop off sites. We are asking all residents to help with this, and all businesses to consider participating.” Please visit or contact the American Red Cross at 1-800- Red Cross. flyers outside. If you are traveling, make your house look lived-in. Use common sense. If something is too good to be true, it usually is. While there is no need to be afraid, extra precautions should be taken so that you are not a victim of crime.



Pembroke Pines City Connect

December 2012 - January 2013

Easy and Fast Disposal On Saturday, January 12, 2013, members of the Community Affairs Unit of the Pembroke Pines Police Department will assist members of the Broward Sheriff’s Office with a Shred-a-Thon and Medicine Take Back Program Event being held at 400 N. Hiatus Road between 9 a.m.-12 noon. There will also be volunteers from the Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association at the event to help keep the line of vehicles moving in an orderly fashion. Shred-a-thons offer people the opportunity to guard against identity theft by shredding credit card offers, tax returns, medical bills and old bank statements. This service is free, easy and fast. Last August 2012, at a similar event, 15, 060 pounds of sensitive documents were collected and shredded. In addition, 68 containers equaling 1,941 dose units of controlled medicines were collected, and 832 containers of non-controlled medicines were collected equaling 20,300 doses. The Medicine Take Back program allows for safe, legal and environmentally-friendly disposal of extra drugs that patients may not have used, thereby reducing the risk of

prescription drugs entering the water system which potentially can harm aquatic life or get into a human water supply. The program also reduces the risk of prescription drugs being taken inappropriately, either by accident or through illegal sale. If you can’t make this, please log onto and in the drop down menu, look up Shred-a-Thons to see dates, times & locations in other areas of the county where such events are scheduled. For more information, please call the Pembroke Pines Police Community Affairs Unit at 954-436-3274.

Simplified Parking Codes Parking got a bit easier for business owners and shopping centers with the City’s new, more organized and uniform parking regulations. The Commission passed an ordinance of revisions that simplified the previous parking code and how it applied. In addition, the new ratios will now provide eastern businesses with much more flexibility when it pertains to leasing. “These new parking regulations are refreshing and long overdue,” said Commissioner Angelo Castillo. “This doesn’t change the way we do business, but it does simplify the way we do it, which helps all of the businesses in our City. It’s a common-sense approach.” The parking code simplifies, modi-

fies and consolidates how parking is viewed within the code of ordinances and helps with economic development. It uses standard radios of per 1,000 square feet and synchronizes the City Code with the City’s Engineering Standard. It provides a standard of 9 feet by 19 feet for all parking spaces, where previously there were three different size spaces allowed. It also includes provisions for parallel parking, and aligns the City’s parking ratios and requirements with industry standards. In addition, it includes new ratios for uses that may have required interpretations or variances, and there are now provisions for additional landscaping areas in lieu of parking spaces.

At the Library The Culture in the Pines Series begins December 8, 2012 at the Southwest Regional Library at 16835 Sheridan Street in Pembroke Pines, FL at 2 p.m. It will feature a Gold Coast Wood Turners Demonstration. Woodturning is a form of woodworking that is used to create wooden objects on a lathe. It is different from most other forms of woodworking in that the wood is moving while a stationary tool is used to cut and shape it. Many intricate shapes and designs can be made by turning wood. At this demonstration participants will learn about the history of Woodturning and the different stages that a piece of wood goes through. Light refreshments will be provided by the Friends of Southwest Regional Library On January 12, 2013, the series will feature Historic Places in Broward County. This program will focus on the 31 historic sites in Broward County that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This includes two historic districts: The Hollywood Downtown District and the Dr. Kennedy Homes in Fort Lauderdale. The sites are located in Hallandale Beach, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Lighthouse Point, Oakland Park and Pompano Beach. The program will be moderated by David Baber, Broward County Historian. Participants will be encouraged to visit the National Register Exhibit located in the library after the presentation. Light refreshments will also be provided by the Friends of Southwest Regional Library. Also, the Southwest Regional The City’s Planning and Economic Development staff extensively researched the City’s parking regulations and those from several local municipalities, conducted interviews with traffic engineers, reviewed standards from the Institute of Traffic Engineers, considered the Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendations, and discussed

Library is having “A Blue Grass Holiday” with the Shade Tree Pickers on Saturday, December 15 at 2 p.m. with light refreshments provided. In addition, the South Regional/Broward College Library, located at 7300 Pines Blvd., will celebrate the fourth day of Kwanzaa, Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) on Saturday, December 29, 2012, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., in memory of Valerie E. Martin who shared her knowledge about Kwanzaa at the library since 1997 and even began preparations for the 2012 celebration before her death in October. Ms. Martin took great care in “dressing” the Kwanzaa Table with the seven symbols representing the seven principles of Kwanzaa, which is an African American celebration observed December 26 – January 1, and to explain the importance of symbol and principle. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) reaffirms the ethics of the harvest, shared work and shared wealth. For more information regarding activities at the libraries, please call 954 -538-9996 or 954 201-8825. parking requirements with local shopping center and property owners before tackling this issue. “This project has really been a collaborative effort,” said City Zoning Administrator Dean Piper. “It took a lot of research to get it right, and the end result will benefit all businesses throughout the City.”

December 2012 - January 2013

Pembroke Pines City Connect



Math-a-Thon Raises Funds and Hope For more than 30 years, the St. Jude Research Hospital Math-a-Thon has been one of the largest education based fundraisers in the country. To help in this great cause, the students at the Pembroke Pines Charter Elementary School Central Campus

Clerk’s Note: Board Meetings Earlier this year the Commission voted to have all Citizen Advisory Board Meetings “streamed” to the City website and aired live on the OCTV Channel. As a start, the Planning and Zoning Board and Board of Adjustment meetings are now being aired - they meet the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 6:30 p.m. The Board of Adjustment Meetings are also being aired – they meet the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. The Planning and Zoning Board, which meets the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 6:30 p.m., acts in an advisory capacity to the City Commission. As a local planning agency, it reviews commercial site plans and land uses, In addition, the Board hears requests for Code variances, such as setback requirements, on commercial properties. The Board of Adjustment deals meets every first Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m., and hears and decides requests for Code variances single- family residential properties within the city, as well as requests for zoning interpretations. For other specific Planning and Zoning Board and Board of Adjustment responsibilities, go to, “Services A to Z,” and click on Code of Ordinances. Residents can also go to and click on Clerk to find board openings.

joined with St. Jude’s and raised $1,600 through the Math-a-Thon. Students who participated in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade received math funbooks. They then asked neighbors, parents, family and friends to “sponsor” them to complete a math page either directly in the book or online. “I am extremely proud of all my student council members who made posters and kept their classes updated through the month about the fundraiser,” said Sarah Bradley, a fifth grade teacher in charge of the student council. “Everyone who participated really worked hard to raise money that is used to eradicate childhood cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases.” Each Funbook level meets national standard requirements that helped students practice and prepared them for standardized testing.

“After watching the video about the children in St. Jude’s Hospital, it inspired me to help the sick kids because many of them were my age and I felt sorry for them,” said 5th grader Giana Santacroce who raised

$3355 during the Math-a-Thon. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is denied treatment because of a family’s inability to pay.

Drawing and Painting Classes New drawing and painting classes are now being offered at the Southwest Focal Point Community Center, located at 301 NW 103 Ave., for adults and seniors. The deadline for class registration is no later than one week prior to a class beginning. The Florida Wildlife Drawing class teaches budding artists how to capture not only characteristics of Florida wildlife subjects, but also the light that surrounds them, taking care to depict both the subjects and their native habitats. The class uses photos taken by members of the Pines West Camera Club as subject matter and will take a field trip to the Chapel Trail Park Nature Preserve to sketch wildlife. Participants should bring a sketch pad and drawing pencil to the first class. Offered in six sessions, the class meets every Thursday, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., January 10, 2013 to February 14, 2013 and February 28, 2013 to April 4, 2013. It’s $20 per person 55 years and older, and $40 per person 54 years and younger.

The Figure Drawing class explores the world of figure drawing, with the use of live, fully clothed models. Students will learn the fundamental skills of figure drawing and gain knowledge of and develop sensitivity to the intricacies of the human form. Some previous drawing experience is desired. Participants should bring a sketch pad and drawing pencil to the first class. Offered in six week sessions, the class meets every Tuesday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. January 8 to February 12, 2012 and February 26 to April 2, 2013. It’s $14 per person 55 yrs. and older, and $34 per person 54 yrs. and under – includes materials. The Drawing Fundamentals class will teach students the fundamentals of drawing including the study of line, perspective, light and shade, form and proportion. Students will work in the following mediums graphite pencil, charcoal and pen & ink. Offered in six week sessions, the class is held on Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. January 9 – February 13, 2013 and February 27 – April 3, 2013. It’s $20 per person 55

yrs. and older, and $40 per person 54 yrs. and under. Two other new classes include Intro to Watercolors and Painting with Acrylics. For more information on these and other classes, please call 954450-6888 and ask for the activities desk.



Pembroke Pines City Connect

December 2012 - January 2013

Spirit of Giving Every December the West Pines Preschool and Pembroke Pines Fire Department join together for a special toy drive. Parents from the preschool are asked to bring in new, unwrapped toys for their children to donate, which the fire department then distributes to needy families throughout the city. “So many children benefit from this wonderful project,” said Holly Bonkowski, Recreation Supervisor II

and Director of West Pines Preschool. “It’s all about the spirit of giving, not receiving. The kids learn a great lesson, and they really enjoy seeing the fire truck.” West Pines Preschool, located at 18490 NW 8 Street next to the West District Police Department, enrolls children 2 to 5. For program information, please call 954-437-1134 or visit

Pembroke Pines Charter High Looks at Changing the World Students at Pembroke Pines Charter High School are taking a closer look at how they can change the world. They held a “Footprints: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” week, a school-wide focus on how they could learn from the past, what they can do today, and what they can do in the future to make the world a better place. During the week of Thanksgiving, a series of activities focusing on the past, present and future were scheduled. Each teacher used their curriculum to focus on the theme and hold active discussions and activities. On one of the days, more than 30 alumni came back to talk to the juniors and seniors about how they dedicated their lives to changing the world. “It’s amazing what some of our past students are now doing out in the world,” said William Quigley, a teacher and chairperson for the event. “They have given of their

time, life, and professions to build houses in foreign countries, work with Engineers Without Borders, veterans who served in Iran and Afghanistan, lawyers who help the needy and so much more.” As part of the week’s focus, the students also collected canned goods for needy families. They were asked what pawprint (their school mascot is a jaguar) will you leave behind and what are you going to do today? The students wrote their answers on paper pawprints which were then strung together and hung in the school. “Changing the world doesn’t have to mean stopping a war, it can mean starting small with a hello or being kind to one another,” added Quigley. Teachers Sheila Portundo, Kacey Wagner and Lorraine Vasquez also acted as chairpersons for the project, helping the students understand their important role in the world.

Fun at the “Y” A Three Day Challenge – Kids/ Youth Fitness Camp, a half a day camp, is being held January 2 through 4, 2013 at the Pembroke Pines YMCA Family Center, 501 SW 172 Ave. This half a day camp is geared to develop a healthy perspective and habits on diet and fitness. A certified personal trainer will emphasize cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, mobility, strength and conditioning for a strong fit body. Pre-registration is required. The camp is for children

ages 9 – 12 years and 13 – 16 years old. $140 for Y members and $200 for non-members. For more information, call 954-761-5437. A Mix, Mash & Remix 90 minute journey ride will take place on January 26, 2013, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Top 2 Y-instructors will get participants’ heart pumping through a fun terrain where they will climb, sprint and endure flats listening to their favorite music. Pre-registration is required. $20 for Y members and $30 for non-members.

December 2012 - January 2013

Pembroke Pines City Connect



Letters for Soldiers New Mosaic Class Students from all grade levels at Pembroke Pines FSU Charter Elementary School participated in a special project called Letters for Soldiers. The effort began when an 11 year old girl named Savannah had a friend whose father was deployed to Afghanistan. She wrote a song about how it affected both of them and their families. The song gained exposure, which led

to the creation of her organization called Savannah’s Soldiers. This organization invites schools to write letters to the battalion that her friend’s father is in to raise their spirits and remind them of their gratitude for their service. All the letters, filled with patriotism, sincere sentiments and words of encouragement, were collected and given to Savannah herself when she came to visit the school.

Fall Field Trip The weather cooperated and even gave a bit of nip in the air for the students at Atlantic Montessori Charter School who got the chance to visit Amelia Earhart Park. They visited the petting zoo and took a hayride throughout the park. The students visited the park after learning vocabulary words for all the farm animals – male, female and offspring. The field trip also allowed them to tie in the study of the seasons and harvest. Atlantic Montessori, the only Public Montessori Charter School in Broward, recently opened in Pembroke Pines in August. Located at 9893 Pines Boulevard, the school currently has 72 students in Kindergarten and First Grade enrolled, but there are plans to grow to 144 students through the Third Grade over the next three years. For more information, call 745-263-2700.

One of the hottest trends around, the art of mosaics is simply spellbinding to many. The Southwest Focal Point Community Center is now offering a new class in mosaics called Mosaic Lanterns & Lamps. Students will learn the basics of the art of mosaics, creating original, authentic stained glass lanterns

and lamps. The class is taught by Helen Daniels, a professional artist and art educator who specializes in mosaics. Offered in a six week session, the class is held Tuesdays 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. January 8 – February 12, 2013 and February 26 – April 2, 2013. It’s $42 per person and materials are extra.



Pembroke Pines City Connect

December 2012 - January 2013

Citizen’s Police Academy Notice The next Citizens’ Police Academy class, through the Pembroke Pines Police Department, will begin in February 2013 and run through May 2013. For 15 weeks, every Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., resi-

dents can come and discover what really goes on inside the city’s police department. Classes meet at the police station located at 9500 Pines Blvd. Be a part of the excitement and learn all about

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Mailed to approximately 65,000 Pembroke Pines residents and businesses 6x a year. Viewed at the click of a mouse at at no extra charge. Use coupons, advertorials, track your leads! Next issue is Feb/March 2012.

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the different areas of police work including training, crime scene, fingerprinting, defensive tactics, domestic violence, gun range, street crimes,

narcotics, homicide and ride with an officer for a shift. For more information, call the Community Affairs Unit at 954-436-3274.

December 2012 - January 2013

Pembroke Pines City Connect

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City Connect December 2012 January 2013 Volume 2 Issue 2