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Pembroke Pines CITY CONNECT Birthday Bash

The City of Pembroke Pines turns 52 this year and that means it’s time to celebrate! The 52nd Annual Pembroke Pines Fair, held March 22 through April 1, 2012 at City Center, 10300 Pines Blvd, is filled with a variety of fun activities sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. A bigger and more elaborate version of Pines Day, which the city observed for over 20 years through 2009, the Pembroke Pines Fair really tries to recapture the feel of a small town celebration. “It’s a fun time for everyone, a great chance to get together as a community, and a time to show pride for our city,” said Vice Mayor Iris A. Siple. “Each year it’s bigger and better.” Even though the city’s true birthday is in January when the city was incorporated, the delayed celebration in March has become a mainstay for the city. A carnival, booths, food, free entertainment and concerts, and a variety of special events highlight the Fair. With nearly 155,000 residents, ac-

Feb/March 2012

cording to the 2010 Census, Pembroke Pines is now the second largest city in Broward County. The goal of the Fair, however, is to keep the small town feel for the residents. People of all ages will find things to do throughout the 11 day celebration. The Taste of Pines, a Jazz Concert, the Mayor’s Golf Tournament, the Little Miss Sweetheart Contest, Sundaes with the Bunny, the Pill Box Pharmacies Pines 5K Pursuit and the IndianAmerican Festival are just a few of the events scheduled during the same time as the Fair as part of the citywide celebration. New this year, the Indian-American Festival will feature Asian Indian Food, Art, and Cultural performances the last two days of the Fair, March 31 and April 1. No birthday celebration is complete without cake, so a Cake Cutting Ceremony takes place on Saturday, March 24, 2012. It features an elaborately decorated eight foot chocolate and vanilla cake that feeds upwards of 500 people. Residents are encouraged to enjoy the treat and will also

be given party hats and beads. City and local officials, State Representatives, Congressional Representatives and sponsors participate in the cake cutting ceremony. “We are a family-oriented city that works well together and plays well together,” said Commissioner Angelo Castillo. “Events like the Fair bring us even closer together as a community.” Bloomberg BusinessWeek named Pembroke Pines the “Best Place to Raise Your Kids” in Florida for two years in a row. The City has also won the National Civic League’s cov-


eted “All-America City Award” and received an “outstanding achievement award” in the Civil Livability Awards sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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



Pembroke Pines City Connect

February - March 2012

In the Swing Mayor Frank C. Ortis’ 10th Annual Pembroke Pines Charter School Golf Tournament is fast approaching. Golfers and sponsors wishing to participate should mark their calendars for Friday, March 23, 2012 at the Pembroke Lakes Country Club, 10500 Taft Street. “Last year we raised $100,000 at the event,” said Mayor Frank C. Ortis. “We’re hoping to reach that goal and maybe even

surpass it. This tournament is a chance to celebrate the great education our city’s Charter School system provides to over 5,000 students.” Activities begin at 10 a.m., with savvy golfers teeing off at 12:30 p.m. in groups of four in shotgun scramble-style. Participants will then take part in various raffles, contests, lunch, dinner, prizes, auctions and awards. “It really is a fun time for everyone involved and a great way to enhance the education of each of our charter school students,” added Ortis. For more information or to become a sponsor, please email Kathleen Kuebler at kkuebler@

Did You Know? A hurricane actually played a major role in the growth of Pembroke Pines. In the mid to late 1990s, Pembroke Pines’ rapid population growth was the effect of Hurricane Andrew which devastatingly hit Miami-Dade County in 1992. Thousands of Miami-Dade residents moved northward to Broward County, and many settled in Pembroke Pines. This boom resulted in the city being ranked third in a list of “Fastest Growing Cities” in the United States in 1999. The city has weathered several hurricanes since Andrew. In 1999, Hurricane Irene dumped up to 16 inches of rain in Pembroke Pines. In 2004, Hurricane Frances and Jeanne passed over Palm Beach County but brought tropical force winds and left minor tree and shrub damage throughout the city. The next year, Hurricane Katrina passed directly

over Pembroke Pines as a Category One storm, leaving downed power lines and trees in its wake. In late October of 2005, Hurricane Wilma’s eye passed north of the city but sustained winds from the storm were recorded as 92 mph in Pembroke Pines, with wind gusts as high as 101 mph. Most of the city was left without power for days, schools were closed for two weeks, intersection lights were destroyed or damaged and many buildings suffered from minor structural damage.

February - March 2012

Pembroke Pines City Connect


A Tasty Night Out What better way to discover a new favorite dish than by sampling the best a city’s local restaurants have to offer. Taste of Pines, being held March 22, 2012 from 6 to 9 p.m. at City Center, 10300 Pines Blvd, features 20 to 30 local restaurants offering samples of their cuisine and

signature wines. The Element of Jazz Band also will be playing at the event from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to add to the night’s ambience. This food and wine sampling event began in 2010 as part of the city’s 50th birthday celebration, and became a

fundraiser for the Pembroke Pines Charter School System. Latin, Asian, Mediterranean and Italian are but a few of the types of food samplings featured. “Taste of Pines is a very successful and popular event,” said Commissioner Carl Shechter. “Some of the best known restaurants participate, as well as the mom and pop establishments, so we get a real mix of what our city has to offer.” For more information on this event, call 954-435-6525.

Little Miss Sweetheart

Pembroke Pines City Connect Published by the City of Pembroke Pines Marianne Wohlert – News Editor 10100 Pines Blvd – 3rd 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

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

It’s that time again to crown a new Miss Sweetheart Queen and Princess for 2012. Each year at the Pembroke Pines Fair, the Little Miss Sweetheart Pageant is held. This year’s crowning will take place on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at the Fair. Approximately 30 to 50 little girls will vie for the titles, being judged on poise and personality. All participants must be residents of Pembroke Pines, show proof of age, and must complete a registration form prior to the event. The winners of the pageant will appear at several citywide special events such as ribbon-cuttings, grand openings, and lighting ceremonies throughout the year.

For more information and an application, please call the Special Events Office at 954-435-6525.




Pembroke Pines City Connect

February - March 2012

All Aboard Jazz It Up We no longer live in a world where we can walk to all the places we need like grocery stores, doctor’s offices, the workplace, post office or even the homes of friends and family. Communities have grown and for those without cars, local public transportation has become a necessity and a link to the outside world. The City of Pembroke Pines is keenly aware of the importance of meeting the transportation needs

of its residents, which constantly changes with the times. In September 1994, the city only offered one shuttle bus on one Route. It was free and ran Monday through Saturday from 7:45 a.m. to 5:35 p.m. Today, residents can still use the transportation service for free on seven buses on seven Routes operating Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7:38 p.m. Extended service to include an additional stop at the Walmart Store scheduled for opening in the Flamingo Pines Plaza (corner of Pines Blvd. and Flamingo Rd.) are now in the planning stage. For more specific information on service and schedules, please visit the City’s website at www.ppines. com, the Transportation Division, Southwest Focal Point Community Center at 301 NW 103rd Avenue, or call 954-450-6850.

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If one of your new year’s resolutions for 2012 was to destress, check out the free jazz concert Sunday, March 27, 2012 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at William B. Armstrong Dream Park located at 1700 Dykes Road (NW 160 Ave). Bring a blanket or comfortable chair to sit on as you listen to the jazz beat and relax, surrounded by lush landscaping and beautiful water views. For more information, call the Special Events Office at 954-435-6525.

Water Notice: Super Chlorination Residents of Pembroke Pines, please note, that as of April 9, 2012, the tap water will carry extra chlorine for a three (3) week period. Fire hydrants will be flushed during the entire 3 week period throughout the city. This annual practice is recommended by the Department of Health to ensure that the city’s water supply is maintained at optimal safe levels. Customers may experience unusual taste, odor and/or cloudy water during this process. Nevertheless, the water is safe for cooking, drinking or bathing.

Pick a Park The perfect place to relax, walk along a shady path, sit and watch the ducks on the lake or take family

photos at the lakeside gazebo can be found at Ben Fiorendino Park at 10211 Taft Street.

Spring Break Camps Spring break doesn’t have to be endless hours of video games and television show reruns. Boys and girls, ages 6 – 11, can get creative at Spring Break Art Camp, March 12 – 16, 2012 at the Fletcher Art Center, 7960 Johnson Street. Camp takes place 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The cost is $125 per child and registration at the Fletcher Art Center is required. When registering, please bring the child’s original birth certificate (no passports), parent’s driver’s license and copies of each. Counter, out of state, business or temporary checks are not accepted.

For more information on Spring Break Art Camp, call 954-986-5027. There will also be a Spring Break Special Population Camp, March 12 – 16, 2012. The week is filled with fun activities, crafts, indoor and outdoor games, swimming and more. Children need to be independent in toileting and be able to independently, but under supervision, administer medications. For more information on camp location, cost and registration, contact Mary Wilson Palacios, Special Population Coordinator, at V/TDD 954-450-3663 or email mpalacios@

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February - March 2012

This passive park with walkways and benches is open from 8 am to dusk. A smaller park than most in the city, it serves as a great place for residents to just get away for a bit to enjoy the South Florida weather and views. The park, which opened in 2007, is named after Ben Fiorendino who served as a city commissioner from 1994 to 2006. He also filled in as mayor for six months in 2004 after the death of Sue Katz. The city owned the park land for


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Pembroke Pines City Connect

February - March 2012

Get Computer Savvy

Rather than feel isolated sitting home alone or bored doing the same thing every day, there are many daytime classes being offered throughout February and March at the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center for adults and seniors. According to the American Journal

Free Classes! If you are 62 years or older, the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center at 301 N.W. 103rd Avenue offers the following free daytime classes: FREE Basic Computer Skills in English: This easy beginner’s course, which has been created specifically for English-speaking individuals, will enable students to perform basic computer functions as well as understand basic computer vocabulary and technology. Class held every

of Epidemiology, taking part in social activities such as classes helps people live longer. Taking classes to learn or improve computer skills can especially help bridge the communication gap with family members, as well as improve health and learn other knowledge via the internet. The Center offers Basic Computer Skills in Spanish in a six week session March 1 through April 5, 2012 on Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. It’s an easy beginner’s course, created specifically for Spanishspeaking individuals, to help students perform basic computer functions and understand basic computer vocabulary and technology. This class is $42 per person, students must be 18 years and older. An Intermediate Computer and Advanced Computer class is being

offered February 28 through April 3, 2012 every Tuesday. Each is $42 per person. The Intermediate is from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 am and the Advanced is from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 pm. For those just wishing to learn to surf the web, there is an Internet Computer class March 1 through April 5, 2012 every Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 am. The cost is $42 and includes books. The deadline for registration is no later than one week prior to class beginning.  All classes are held at the SWFP Community Center, 301 N.W. 103rd Avenue in Pembroke Pines. For additional information please call 954-450-6888 and ask for the activities desk. Other interesting daytime classes being offered include language and creative classes.

Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., February 29 through April 4, 2012. FREE Basic Computer Skills in Spanish This easy beginner’s course, which has been created specifically for Spanish-speaking individuals, will enable students to perform basic computer functions as well as understand basic computer vocabulary and technology.  Class offered on Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 12 noon to 2 p.m., February 27

through April 2, 2012. FREE Pottery Classes Taught by Professional Artist & Art Educator Leroy Daniels.  (Wednesdays and Fridays) 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Offered in 6 weeks sessions: Wednesdays: February 29 through April 4, 2012 Fridays: March 2 through April 6, 2012 For additional information please call 954-450-6888 and ask for the activities desk.

Learn a Language English or Spanish, the SWFP Community Center, 301 NW 103rd Avenue in Pembroke Pines, has a class for you. For additional information please call 954-450-6888 and ask for the activities desk. Conversational English - Level 1 (24 hr Course) This easy, beginner’s course will teach you how to think, listen and eventually speak in English!  In this class, you will learn how to effectively communicate in English in a variety of social and professional settings.  Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., February 28 through April 5, 2012. Cost is $42 per person. Conversational English - Level 2 (24 hr Course) The next step after Level 1, students will expand their basic configuration and conversational patterns of Modern English. Must have taken Level 1 to register.  Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 noon to 2 p.m., February 28 through April 5, 2012. Cost is $42 per person. Conversational English - Level 3 (24 hr Course) The next step after Level 2, students will study conversational techniques and practice these techniques through structured dialogs and pair practice conversations.  Must have taken Level 2 to register for this class. Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., February 29 through April 6, 2012. Cost is $42 per person. Beginner’s Spanish Class Class held every Wednesday 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., February 29 through April 4, 2012. Cost is $20 per person (55 yrs. & older) and $40 per person (54 yrs. & under) Advanced Spanish Class Class held every Friday 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., March 2 through April 6, 2012. Cost is $20 per person (55 yrs. & older) and $40 per person (54 yrs. & under)

February - March 2012

Get Creative From drawing and writing, to sewing and acting, the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center can bring out the creativity found in all of us. Daytime classes span a variety of topics. For more information on classes and to register, call 954-450-6888 and ask for the activities desk. Drawing Class Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in 6 weeks sessions: February 29 through April 4, 2012. Cost is $20 per

person (55 yrs. & older) and $40 per person (54 yrs. & under) Acting Class Class held every Tuesday 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., February 28 through April 3, 2012. Cost is $25 per person (55 yrs. & older) and $45 per person (54 yrs. & under) Ceramics Class Class includes firing and instruction.  Choice of one day a week (Tuesdays or Thursdays) from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. offered in 6 weeks sessions: Tuesdays: February 28 through April 3, 2012; Thursdays: March 1 through April 5, 2012. Cost is $20 per person (55 yrs. & older) and $40 per person (54 yrs. & under) Creative Writing Class held every Thursday 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., March 1 through April 5, 2012. Cost is $25 per person (55 yrs. & older) and $45 per person (54 yrs. & under)

Pembroke Pines City Connect

Pastel Chalk Class Class held every Tuesday 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., February 28 through April 3, 2012. Cost is $20 per person (55 yrs. & older) and $40 per person (54 yrs. & under) Painting Class Class held every Friday 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., March 2 through April 6, 2012. Cost is $20 per person (55 yrs. & older) and $40 per person (54 yrs. & under) Sewing Class:  Learn Alterations, Home Decorating or how to make Custom Made Outfits. Choice of one day a week from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. offered in 6 weeks sessions: Wednesdays: February 29 through April 4, 2012; Fridays: March 2 through April 6, 2012. Cost is $20 per person (55 yrs. & older) and $40 per person (54 yrs. & under)



We’re Hiring The City of Pembroke Pines Parks and Recreation Department is looking to fill several seasonal full-time summer camp positions for the Art / Drama Camp, Special Population Camp and Aquatics Programs. Site Supervisor $13.15 Unit Leader $9.34 per hour Recreation Leader $8.48 Water Safety Instructor $10.90 Lifeguard $9.88 Please contact the Human Resources Jobline at 954-4371108 for details or log on to for more information.



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Pembroke Pines City Connect

Stepping Out It’s great to practice dancing in front of Xbox or Wii, but it’s more fun to actually go out and dance with real people. The City of Pembroke Pines Parks and Recreation will host four Teen Dances now until summer break. Held at the Walter C. Young Middle School, 901 NW 129th Avenue in Pembroke Pines, the dances will take place on Friday, February 10, 2012; Friday, March 2, 2012; Friday April 13, 2012 and Friday, June 1, 2012. The dances are held from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m. and teens should be picked up no later than 9:30 p.m. The entrance fee is $4 and refreshments will be sold. Teens interested in attending must attend Walter C. Young Middle School, and present their school ID, which is required for admittance. For more information, call 954 437-1134.

February - March 2012

Code Corner: Garage Sales Garage sales are a great way to declutter and make a little extra cash from things you no longer want or need. It’s important to note, however, that people wishing to hold a garage sale must follow the Pembroke Pines ordinance regulating garage sales. The city adopted the ordinance because it did not want residents conducting garage sales as an ongoing business in residential neighborhoods. To hold a garage sale in Pembroke Pines, a permit is required. The permit can be obtained at City Hall at the cashier’s window on the first floor. The cost for the permit is $5.  The number of garage sales permitted by a property owner is restricted to one every six-months. Applications can be obtained on-line at Completed applications need to be delivered to City Hall when payment is made on the first floor at City Hall. Residents are permitted to post three signs advertising the sale.  One sign may be posted on site, and the other two signs can be placed at the street corners closest to the property where the sale is being conducted. The signs are limited in size to three square feet. The signs must be removed within 24 hours of completion of the sale. Failure to remove the signs could result in fines. For more information regard-

ing garage sales or other code related questions please contact the code division at 954-431-4466. In addition to these requirements, the following are a few tips for a successful garage sale: Be sure to have plenty of change on hand, both paper money and coins. Try to have a large variety of items to spark interest from people of different ages. Your trash is another person’s treasure. Remember that garage sales are work – the more time you put into it, the more success you’ll experience. Have electrical outlets nearby to plug in any electrical items you’re selling such as toasters, irons, hair dryers etc. to show people that they work. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it’s in good condition. Price as many of the items in advance. Items that may be in big demand include baseball cards, tools, comic books, dishes, books, toys and jewelry. If possible, string up a clothes line to better display clothes to sell. People are looking for bargains, so try to price reasonably. Take advantage of space under the tables if you need more display room. Garage sales are a lot of work but you will make extra money, meet new people and will be more organized.

Possible Property Clean-Up

Cost Solution Some South Florida cities are now using the tax bill to force property owners whose property is abandoned or foreclosed, to pay for clean-up costs and repairs. Hallandale, Sunrise, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County now have laws that place repair and clean-up bills for vacant or dilapidated properties on the property owner’s tax bill. With foreclosures on the rise, cities have taken on the task of mowing the grass, cleaning pools, boarding up windows and putting up fences on abandoned properties. Reimbursement for such costs usually came from a lien placed by the city on the property. However, payment from the lien couldn’t be received until the property was sold. On December 21, 2011, the Pembroke Pines City Commission passed a motion by Commissioner Jack McCluskey asking the City Attorney to gather further information, and possibly draft an ordinance similar to the other cities which would place a special assessment against abandoned properties on which the city has expended city resources. Legal Aid Services is reportedly against this city trend, warning that it may lead to lawsuits over the improper taking of property. Property owners who don’t pay their tax bill by April 1 do run the risk of losing their house through a tax deed sale. “I’d like this to be an exploratory mission and get all the facts before we make a decision,” said McCluskey. “The intent is not to take people’s homes, but rather to figure out some way so that our taxpayers are not holding the burden for these clean-up costs.”

February - March 2012

Learning is Fun at West Pines Preschool

Pembroke Pines City Connect

for story time in their classroom. The Presidents of the United States will be discussed as children use various coins to identify past Presidents. March brings Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Celebration to the children. They’ll enjoy a Dr. Seuss story time, create “Cat in the Hat” projects and discuss words that rhyme. The month wraps up with St. Patrick’s Day activities such as counting shamrocks, creating rainbows and pots o’gold! For information about fees and enrollment, please call 954-437-1134.


Go Treasure Hunting Isn’t it often the case that the coolest pieces in a home are oneof-a-kind finds from a flea market? It’s that time again when you get a chance to search for that perfect treasure that you won’t be able to live without. Four times a year, the Southwest Focal Point Community Center hosts a two day Flea Market & Bazaar. The first one of 2012 is being held on Saturday, February 11 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday, February 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center located at 301 NW 103 Ave. Proceeds from the event will benefit senior programs at the center. Why go to a flea market? Flea

West Pines Preschool has many great activities coming up in their Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) classes that make learning fun and prepare the children to have a successful kindergarten year. VPK is a preparatory class designed to prepare children four years of age in the State of Florida for kindergarten and develop skills they need to become good readers and successful students. Science, Math, Reading and other disciplines are used to introduce thematic concepts that the children engage in throughout the year. Last month, the theme for the students was “Winter Wonderland.” Polar bears and their habitat were introduced through books that accompanied the theme in their reading centers. Penguins made a great math activity where the children had to count the number of goldfish crackers the penguins ate. Students also watched ice melt and recorded how long it took. They were shown different winter clothing and the importance of it when the temperature drops, songs about winter were sung and they made penguin costumes. February and March are busy months as well. The theme for February is the “healthy heart.” Children will participate in various physical activities, learn to eat healthy and discover the importance of keeping your heart healthy. In addition, “I love to read week” has the parents joining the children


markets literally overflow with things a person needs or just wants. From a frying pan to a vintage lamp, the variety of items is incredible. On the bargain front, why pay $60 at a department store for something you may get for $5 at a flea market? Even if you don’t find what you were looking for, you’ll probably have learned something from the flea market vendors who know the origins of their finds and probably have a story to tell about them. Over 100 vendors will be showing off their wares at the Flea Market & Bazaar. Parking and admission is free and food will be available for purchase.



Pembroke Pines City Connect

February - March 2012

Break a Leg Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Pembroke Pines Charter School West Campus Middle School drama club will present its seventh production “Death by Chocolate,” written by Craig Sodaro. Performances will be held Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m. at the Jim Davidson Theatre of the Performing Arts at Walter C. Young located at 901 NW 129 Ave. Audiences get a chance to follow private eye Nick Noir who is looking for a case to salvage his faultering career. At the Precious Perks Coffee Shoppe, where the signature drink is Death by Chocolate, he gets hired by the Purvis sisters to find the killer of Vinnie the Leech who died after drinking the specialty concoction. A cast of strange characters enters the picture to add intrigue to the murder mystery.

With the help of his faithful and odd secretary, Selma, Nick works with the Purvis sisters to unravel the murder puzzle. “We love watching the students bring their characters to life,” said Darryl Mahoney, Drama Director and Science Teacher at West Campus. “This year promises to be another top-notch production.” Tickets are $6 in advance or $7 at the door. For more information, contact Darryl C. Mahoney at the Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School West Campus at 954-443-4847.

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Hoppin’ Good Time Peter Cottontail will be on hand to meet children, take pictures with them, and help them enjoy ice cream sundaes at the Sundaes with Bunny on Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center, 301 NW 103 Ave.The event features a Make Your Own Sundae bar with a variety of favorite toppings, and special shows to delight all those in attendance. Admission is $6 per person for residents and $8 per person for non-residents.

Summer Volunteers Needed Studies have shown that volunteering actually increases health and longevity. But the real virtue may be in the pleasures gained in the process – seeing a smile or hearing a thankyou, as well as having fun and learning a new skill. A national study, conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, found that youth who volunteer are less likely to engage in risky behavior, are more likely to feel connected to their communities, and tend to do better in school. Each summer, the City of Pembroke Pines Parks and Recreation Department needs student volunteers for the summer program.

If interested, they are currently accepting applications for volunteers to assist summer counselors with the daily camp activities. Volunteers must be 14 years old by September 1st and have completed 9th grade. They must be Pembroke Pines residents or attend Pembroke Pines Schools. The City determines the location and number of days or weeks the volunteer is assigned. The camps (Fine Art/Film Production Camp or Special Population Camp) are held at several locations throughout the city. For more information, go to or call 954-9865022.

February - March 2012

A Song in their Hearts If singing in the shower is your thing or you secretly believe you could win American Idol, then you may want to consider joining The Songbirds or at least listening to them. The Songbirds, the Southwest Focal Point Community Center’s very own singing group, are a true community chorus. The group meets and practices every Monday at 10:15 a.m. at the Center located at 301 NW 103 Ave. The mission of the group is to promote and encourage the art of singing and to share the experience of great music with the commu-

nity. Members join and stay with the group because of a shared love for singing and the friendships they make along the way. Performing at City functions and local nursing homes adds to the excitement and challenges of their musical experience. In fact, many of the Songbirds say their self-confidence grows as they learn to sing and share their passion for singing with others. For more information about the Songbirds or becoming a member, contact the Activities Desk at (954) 450-6888 or visit, click on Departments and select Community Services.

Safety Reminders The Pembroke Pines Fire Department would like to remind you that if you haven’t already replaced the batteries in your smoke detectors, you should. They need to be replaced once a year. The entire unit should be replaced when it’s 10 years old or as the manufacturer recommends. Dust and dirt are bad for smoke detectors so they need to be cleaned with a vacuum hose to maintain their efficiency. Every household should also know how to use a fire extinguisher. You can use the PASS principle which is Pull the pin from

the extinguisher, Aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the base of the fire, Squeeze the extinguisher handle to release the contents, and Sweep the extinguisher from side to side while putting the fire out.

Pembroke Pines City Connect



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Pembroke Pines City Connect

February - March 2012

Be My Valentine Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged, all in the name of St. Valentine. While 75% of chocolate purchases are made by women all year long, during the days and minutes before Valentine’s Day, 75% of the chocolate purchases are made by men. Over $1billion of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day. For their own chocolate twist, this Valentine’s Day, from 12 noon p.m. till 1p.m., the Southwest Focal Point Community Center at 301 NW 103rd Avenue in Pembroke Pines will host a “Chocolate Challenge” baking contest. Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three decadently delicious desserts.

Those who wish to participate should bring their favorite home baked chocolate treat to enter it into the Chocolate Challenge baking contest. Only home baked entries will be accepted - no store bought entries are allowed. The following day, Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. members will be treated to a FREE Valentine’s Celebration breakfast complete with bagels, fruit, juice and coffee courtesy of Pill Box Pharmacy. Members must sign up for the free breakfast at the Activities Desk by February 9, 2012. For additional information please call 954- 450-6888 or visit www. , click on Departments and select Community Services.

Pen In Hand Students at the Pembroke Pines Charter FSU Campus started the new year off by honing their handwriting skills. They participated in the 21st annual Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest during their media special last month. The contest focuses on handwriting legibility, paying special attention to the shape, size and slant of each letter, as well as spacing between them. The students were given the opportunity to compete for the honor of representing his/her school as a School Grade-Level Winner. All students chosen as School Grade-Level Winners will move on to compete at the State and National levels for the chance to be named one of eight Grand National Champions. The contest is free to enter and

open to all students grades 1-8. Nationally, more than $100,000 in prizes, including cash and trophies, will be awarded by Zaner-Bloser. The Zaner-Bloser Handwriting program, used by the school, provides explicit handwriting instruction so students can become more effective communicators.

March 22 April 1, 2012 City Center Featuring 11 Days of Family Fun!

Celebrating the City’s 52nd Birthday!

February - March 2012

Pembroke Pines City Connect

Exploring a Law Enforcement Career The Pembroke Pines Police Department’s Explorers Program is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between the police officers and youth in the community. In partnership with the Boys Scouts of America, the Explorer program gives young men and women the opportunity to study the field of law enforcement and community service first-hand. “It a real mentoring program that emphasizes academic study, character development and self-discipline,” said Sgt. Jim Henry, Supervisor of the Pembroke Pines Explorer Program. “It’s very fulfilling to watch these young people grow and mature.” Explorers meet every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at police headquarters where they are taught leadership skills, participate in physical training and crime scene investigations, and eventually take part in competitions with Explorers from other cities. Within the classroom setting, Explorers learn the role of a police officer. Classes are scenario-based and touch on topics such as domestic violence,

traffic stops, a barricaded subject or a crime scene. They also have the opportunity to ride with a police officer to experience things out in the field. “We never turn anyone away who wants to participate,” said Cheryl Waters, Police Service Aid who is very active in the program. “Those who show an interest in participating are given a packet for their parents to complete and they provide us with a copy of their grades so we know where they stand academically.” Explorers get a chance to assist the police and city personnel at functions such as the Chili Cook-off or Snofest to help direct traffic, distribute information, fingerprint children or do what’s needed. According to Sgt. Henry, several graduates of the program have gone on to become actual police officers. Approximately 25 young people participate in the 80 hour academy program at a time. A state competition among Explorers takes place every June in a different location throughout Florida.

Safety Check Each year in the U.S. there are more than five million home burglaries. That’s why, whether you live in a house or an apartment, or own your own business, security around your property should be top of mind. When people think of protecting their homes or business, they often think of fancy, expensive security systems with lots of bells and whistles. Although that is an option, the Pembroke Pines Police Department would like you to know that there are measures you can take that won’t break the bank. To help city residents and

business owners, the department provides, free of charge, a Security Survey. A certified officer will come out to your home or business and will review what is needed or not needed to keep the place safe and secure. Alarms, door locks, cameras, motion-sensing lights and proper landscaping are just a few of the tools used to ensure the prevention of burglaries. If you are interested in having an officer come to your home or place of business to do a Security Survey, please contact the Community Affairs Unit at 954436-3274.







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Pembroke Pines City Connect

February - March 2012

From the Clerk’s Desk





Another reminder in this new year, a city ordinance mandates that a Homeowner or Condominium Association must provide current names and contact information for its property management company and certain Board officers. The following is the Code section: 32.504  HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION AND CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBER EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION.      Homeowners’ associations and condominium  associations, as defined by Chapters 718 and 720, Florida Statutes, as amended  from time to time, respectively, located within the City of Pembroke Pines shall designate one of their officers to be an  emergency contact person. Each homeowners’ association and condominium association shall provide the City Clerk the name, address and phone number of the association’s property manager, emergency contact person, and at least one other board member. The associations, at their discretion, may provide the city with the contact information of additional

Utility Tip: Leaks


Leaking faucets, valves and toilets can mean money thrown away. The best thing to do is locate the leak and fix it as soon as possible. The Pembroke Pines Utility Department has a few tips for dealing with household leaks. Leaking faucets are generally the result of a worn rubber washer. The washer on a sink is usually located under the handle. These are relatively easy to replace if you have the right tools. It does require shutting off the water under the sink or at the main shutoff valve and removing the handle (note: faucet handles are not shutoff valves). For more information, check your local home center of hardware store on how to repair faucet leaks. Toilet leaks can waste thousands of gallons and oftentimes are silent. Even a small leak can add up to a lot of wasted water and money over

board members to be used in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. Current associations shall provide the contact information of the necessary individuals no later than June 30, 2006. Thereafter, the associations shall provide the contact information of the necessary individuals no later than April 1 each year or within 30 days of an election of new board members. The homeowners’ association and condominium association are responsible for providing updated information within 30 days in the event there is a change in their board membership. The contact information for homeowners’ association and condominium association board members shall only be used in accordance with Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, as amended from time to time.  (Ord. 1544, passed 5-17-06) For those who have not yet updated their information, please provide correct information to the City Clerk’s office as soon as possible via fax: 954-435-6592, website: index.html or mail to city hall. time. Fortunately, most toilet leaks are easy and inexpensive to repair. To help determine if you have a leaking toilet, simply remove the tank lid and place a few drops of food coloring in back of the toilet tank. Wait 30 minutes, without flushing, and then look in the toilet bowl to see if any color has come through. If the water is clear, water is not leaking. If you see food coloring in the bowl, you have a leak. In most cases, you will simply just need to replace the toilet flapper and/or filling mechanism. These are available at hardware or home center stores for about $8 each. The most common reason for a leaking toilet is one that has an improperly working or sealing flapper. The flapper is the rubber valve in the bottom of the tank that lifts up when the toilet is flushed. If the flapper is worn or cracked, it allows water to continuously flow from the tank into the toilet bowl without flushing.

February - March 2012

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Let the Hunt Begin Over 50,000 eggs will be scattered and waiting to be found at two city Easter Egg Hunts on Saturday, April 7, 2012. The hunts at Pines Recreation Center, 7400 Pines Blvd, and the Pembroke Shores Park, 501 SW 172 Ave., begin promptly at 9 a.m. It’s a fun time for all with a visit from the big Bunny himself, prizes inside the eggs, a bounce house and Bunny Ears to the first 500 children. For more information, call the Special Events Office at 954-435-6525.

Use coupons, advertorials, track your leads! Next issue is April/May 2012. Space is limited. Request more information at City Connect would like to thank all our local businesses who do advertise in our newspaper which allows us to continue to bring readers informative stories throughout the year. These advertisers help keep Pembroke Pines one of the best cities in the country to live in! Memorial Hospital West The Shoppes at Pembroke Gardens Falls Jewelers The Circle Gazette Sunset Sudbury School AAA Realty Group Jaffer Medical Group Bergeron Plaza Pembroke Lakes Country Club Monkey Joe’s Boyd-Panciera Family Funeral Care Pill Box Pharmacies Midas – Pembroke Pines Florida Technical College Sylvan Learning of Pembroke PInes

Antique Enthusiasts Take Note Vintage fashion and home décor is all the rage these days. Whether it’s a wish to get back to simpler days or the thrill of finding that one-of-a-kind piece, the Pembroke Pines Antiques & Collectibles Show is the perfect place to find timeless treasures. The show, held twice a year, April and October, is one of the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center’s major fundraisers. The next show is April 13, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each show features over 50 dealers including an orchid dealer. Appraisers are on site Sundays only to give you infor-

mation about items of interest. There is free parking and admission is $3 per person with children under 12 free. The Paradise Cafe at the Center will be open for breakfast, lunch and snacks. For more information on renting a dealer space, call 954-450-6888 or contact The Center is located at 301 NW 103 Ave.



Pembroke Pines City Connect

February - March 2012

In the Eye of the Beholder

Art, Jazz and Razzmatazz Strolling down the aisles of art booths while listening to jazz is the perfect combination for a great time. The 14th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival in the Pines Art, Jazz & Razzmatazz is being held March 10-11, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at City Center, 10300 Pines Blvd. The juried art and fine hand craft festival also features plant vendors, jewelry booths, food, live art demonstrations, a free kid’s craft tent and of course, jazz entertainment. Admission is free for this fun-filled event sponsored by the City of

Don’t miss the photography exhibit “In the Eye of the Beholder” at the City of Pembroke Pines Glass Gallery, 10100 Pines Blvd, first floor of City Hall. Under the direction of Art Curator Benoit Menashe, these works from some of the city’s most talented photographers will be on display through March 12, 2012. An opening reception, hosted by the Arts and Culture Advisory Board, took

Pembroke Pines Parks & Recreation Department and the Arts & Culture Advisory Board. For more information, call 954961-6067 or visit

place last month at the Glass Gallery. Those in attendance had the opportunity to meet and mingle with the artists and enjoy music by Serge Dor. The Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or applications for the Seventh Annual Competition, please contact the Fletcher Art Center at 954-986-5037.

Get in Shape If memories of failed New Year’s resolutions are haunting you, it’s time you found the right resolution to keep. Almost every New Year’s resolution list has “Exercise More” on it. Don’t let those resolutions fall to the wayside. The reason that most resolutions fail is that they are too extreme or time consuming. Your solution: The Towngate Recreation Fitness Center, located

at 901 NW 155 Ave, offers daily and yearly memberships. It’s close and it’s easy to work into your daily life. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For membership fees and other information, please call 954-450-6895. You can also take advantage of Hatha Yoga and Meditation Classes on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

February - March 2012

Pembroke Pines City Connect



College Bound Be Heart Smart One of the first major decisions a young person must make is choosing a college, and it shouldn’t be made solely on information from guidebooks or websites. The process begins in their junior year in high school and can be a very confusing experience unless some real investigating is done. The Pembroke Pines Charter High School offers juniors the opportunity to visit and see first-hand universities throughout Florida to help them with their decision. A group of 50 juniors took a Florida College Tour last month, headed by Senior Guidance Counselor Tracy Greenbaum. They went to the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, the University of Central Florida, Florida State, the University of North Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University in just a few days from January 25 through January 27.

“Absolutely nothing compares to actually seeing a campus when selecting a university,” said Greenbaum. “The students have a great time, but they also get a feel for the place, meet students who attend the university and become more aware of what they themselves are looking for in a university.” Approximately two hours is spent at each university, giving the students a chance to ask questions and gather as much information as they can. According to Greenbaum, it also gives him a chance to get to know the students better so he can write recommendation letters and better guide each of them. An out of state trip is being planned to Boston in March for 1012 students. In the past Greenbaum has also planned trips to New York and Washington D.C.

High blood pressure often has no symptoms which is why it’s called the “silent killer.” The statistics are staggering, one in three adults has high blood pressure and 30% of people don’t even know they have it. Blood pressure measures the force of blood that travels through your arteries. Readings are recorded as a fraction, with systolic blood pressure (measures heart beats by pressure in the arteries) over diastolic blood pressure (measures pressure between heart beats). If your blood pressure is too high, it’s a risk factor for serious medical problems such as heart attack, heart failure, stroke or kidney disease. The higher your blood pressure is, and the longer it stays untreated, the greater your risk for these problems. The only way, however, to know you have high blood pressure is to get it checked. The Pembroke Pines Fire Department conducts blood pressure screenings at each of its six fire sta-

tions Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents are encouraged to stop by and monitor your health by having your blood pressure checked. Fore more information, contact the Rescue Division at (954) 435-6700. The U.S. Prevention Task Fore (USPTF), Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure and other medical authorities recommend that all adults be screened for high blood pressure regularly.

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Pembroke Pines City Connect

February - March 2012

Helping Our Troops Last year, the Silver Trail Middle School adopted the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing Unit, headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan. This unit is a joint organization (i.e. Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines). Their mission is to train, advise, and assist Afghan National Security Forces. The project began as a National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) Community Service Project but has become a school-wide patriotic initiative. The project began with Justin Moyer, the project committee chairperson, contacting the unit to see what supplies they needed. A supply list was created and the items were collected from Dec. 5 through Dec. 9. Over 4,000 items were collected. On Dec. 10, 14 boxes were sent to the troops. Inside the boxes were also greeting cards that were created by the students in their social studies classes. “This project will be continuing throughout the remainder of the

school year,” said Steve Frazier, Principal at Silver Trail. “To keep the soldiers top of mind, we have the name of the unit displayed on the school marquee and our P.T.S.A. has generously donated a banner to hang on the school fence.” Justin, who is an 8th grader at Silver Trail, will continue to communicate with the unit. The NJHS members will also be making flag pins in April to send to the troops

for Armed Forces Day which is on May 19, 2012. “This project has been a moving experience for so many students at Silver Trail,” added Frazier. “Many students, as well as faculty members have family in the military that

every day,” shared Justin. Zoe Shir, another 8th grader involved in the project stated, “This

were not here for the holidays and this project helped make them feel closer to their loved ones.” “It was an amazing experience to be able to give back to our troops overseas that fight so hard for us

project has hugely impacted my life. I had a reality check that they are fighting not just for our country but for me. The amount of supplies we collected is amazing and I know they will appreciate everything.”

Location, Location, Location Choosing the perfect event location is one of the biggest steps in planning an event such as a wedding, birthday party, or corporate event. In fact, finding the perfect event location helps all the other planning details fall into place more easily. The Southwest Focal Point Community Center, with a capacity of 250 people, has been the location for many weddings, birthdays, banquets and special affairs. It boasts a main banquet hall, a stage, a spacious hardwood dance floor and a full service kitchen. It is the ideal location for an intimate gathering to a grand celebration. The Center, located at located at 301 N.W. 103 rd Avenue in Pem-

broke Pines is available for rent. For information regarding hall rentals please call 954-450-6888. Or, to print out a hall rental brochure which includes pricing information, please visit www.ppines. com , click on Departments and select Community Services.

February - March 2012

Pembroke Pines City Connect



Busy Month for Bright Beginnings The month of February for the students at Bright Beginnings, which caters to Infants through Pre-Kindergarten, is filled with a variety of fun and educational activities. On Thursday, February 9, 2012, the students will be making homemade Valentine’s Day cards for their families to be mailed in a special mailbox the preschool provides. They’ll also be creating homemade Special Valentine’s Day cards for seniors at the city’s Southwest Focal Point Senior Center. “It’s such a fun time to watch the smiles on the faces of those receiving cards from our students,” said Mary F. Peddy, who’s been the Director and Site Supervisor at Bright Beginnings for the past 22 years since its inception in 1989. “It’s a small gesture but it really means a lot to the students and the recipients.” On February 13, as part of the Valentine’s Day celebration, the prekindergarten students will decorate a pre-made heart shaped vanilla cake with frosting and sprinkles. The students will then be able to take their cakes home after completion to share with their families. The week of February 21-24 the school has their Annual Taste of

Black History Month. Parents sign up each day for a different food to present to the students from various countries/islands such as Jamaica, Africa, Caribbean, and American Soul Food. Last month, the pre-kindergarten students and mini campers got a chance to enjoy a Creepy Crawly Science Insect and Bug Show. They saw interesting creatures up close and personal. Bright Beginnings is run by the city of Pembroke Pines located at the Walter C. Young Resource Center, 901 NW 129th Avenue between Flamingo Road and I-75 off Pines Blvd. In addition to catering to Infants thru Pre-Kindergarten, they also provide mini camp and summer camp to school age students Kindergarten thru 5th grade. Hours of operation are 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday. The school follows the Creative Curriculum and all teachers are certified with the CDA Degrees and First Aid/CPR Training. Science, Mathematics, Language, Spanish Lesson, Computer Lab, Culinary Cooking Fun, Arts and Crafts along with extra curricular activities Dance Classes by 5,6,7 8 Dance and

Shimmy and Shake Many experts say belly dancing is the oldest form of dance, having roots in all ancient cultures from the Orient to India to the Middle East. Today, it’s become a great way to exercise and get in shape. Two belly dancing classes are being offered at the Southwest Focal Point Community Center. Belly Basics with Naiilah is an easy to follow course designed for both beginners and slightly advanced students, or for those wishing to brush up on basic technique. Students learn the basic moves most often seen in belly dancing. Moves include shoulder and hip shimmies, hip drops and lifts, as well as basic dance posture and arm placement.

This class is held on Tuesdays, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., February 28 to March 3, 2012. Cost is $45 per person. For a more fast-paced class, students can take Belly Dancing with Naiilah for the more advanced. Students must have taken Belly Basics to participate. Movements learned in the first class are more refined in this session. This class takes place on Thursdays, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., March 1 through April 5, 2012. Cost is $45 per person. Registration for these evening classes is required. Both classes will take place at the SWFP Community Center at 301 NW 103 Ave. For more information, call 954-450-6888 and ask for the activities desk.

Sports by Soccer Shots are all taught at the school. “We are very proud to have been a recipient of the GOLD SEAL AWARD from Child Care Licensing over the years,” added Peddy. The school’s Summer Camp is a huge success by offering Movie Theatre Fun, Jungle Island Adventure, Bowling Bonanza, Lion Country

Safari Excitement, Splishing and Splashing at YMCA Water Park and C.B. Smith Paradise Cove, Mobile Gaming Bus Entertainment, Gigantic Inflatable Water Slides on Site, Miami Marlins Baseball Game, Lunch at Rainforest Café and more for all the campers. For more information on Bright Beginnings, call 754-323-4519.



Pembroke Pines City Connect

February - March 2012

Friendly Competition Nothing like a little friendly competition to encourage students to do their best. That’s what Leroy Daniels, the pottery instructor for the Southwest Focal Point Community Center, had in mind when he suggested a “Teapot Competition” for

both the daytime and evening pottery programs. The winner would receive a piece of his own original pottery. A number of his students had never even attempted to make a teapot before this class. They rose to the

challenge, creating short, stout and many other variations of teapots. When the classes ended, the students lined up their finished works and three judges were called in to the classroom to choose the most original clay teapot. After examining each piece carefully they declared that student Buck Horvath was the winner with his teapot built entirely by hand with meticulously shaped coils of clay. “This pottery class was the most wonderful, creative and diversified class I’ve ever taken,” said student Judy Thal. “Mr. D is an outstanding teacher. He brings in a lot of resources & examples and gives us plenty of demonstrations to help us learn this beautiful art form.” Daniels has a Masters Degree in Art Education from Penn State University. He was an art teacher and art department head at several high schools for Dade County Public Schools for close to 40 years. He already issued another challenge to his students – to create clay whistles. Students immediately be-

gan making little sketches of possible clay whistle projects and experimenting with balls of clay. “To enrich the lives of others and be enriched – who could ask for anything more out of life?” he said. The SWFP Community Center is located at 301 N.W. 103rd Avenue. For more information about day and evening pottery classes and other programs, call 954-450-6888 or visit , click on Departments and select Community Services.

Holiday Dancing Taking a Dip Put your dancing shoes on and celebrate Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day moving to the music. The Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance on Friday, February 17,

2012 will take place at the Southwest Focal Point Community Center, 301 NW 103 Ave. After a delicious buffet dinner, which begins as 5:30 p.m., attendees can hit the dance floor at 7 pm as a DJ plays your favorite songs. You’ll be able to get your jig on at the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance at the Center on Friday, March 16, 2012. The Buffet dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. and the dancing starts at 7 p.m. For more information on the cost per person for either dinner dance (must be 18 years or older), call 954-450-6888.

Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s time to put on our bathing suits and start swimming again. The City of Pembroke Pines Pools are a great place to cool off and keep in shape. For residents, the daily entrance fee is $1.50 for adults and $1 for children. For nonresidents, it’s $3 for adults and $2 for children. ACADEMIC VILLAGE POOL: 17198 Sheridan Street, 954-538-3721. Hours: Saturdays & Sundays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. only for Lap Swimmers. ROSE PRICE PARK POOL: 901 NW 208th Avenue, 954-435-6599. Hours: March & April 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May to September 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

PEMBROKE LAKES POOL: 10500 Taft Street, 954-435-6580. Hours: October through April 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Closed Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May through September 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends TOWNGATE POOL: 901 NW 155th Avenue, 954-450-6732. Hours: Closed Nov. - March, April 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May through September 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends WALDEN LAKE POOL: 20460 SW 1st Street, 954-450-6865. Open June through August 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

February - March 2012

Pembroke Pines City Connect



Reaching Out For the third year in a row, Somerset Academy has participated in the Forgotten Soldiers Outreach program, created to ensure that our country’s soldiers receive care packages and letters of encouragement. The organization provides names of soldiers gathered from platoon leaders or commanders that notice who is not getting mail at mail call. Names are also received from family members and friends who can’t afford to send packages year round. “We make sure that if anyone is on our list, they receive a package every month from Forgotten Soldiers Outreach,” said Jeanelle Knecht, Assistant to the Executive Director of Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, Inc. and Volunteer Manager.


Who doesn’t love watching someone get a pie in the face? Bugs Bunny pied Elmer Fudd, oldtime comedians Laurel and Hardy got their fair share of pies in the face and Soupy Sales made getting a pie in the face an art form. Today, it’s still funny to watch. As a reward for raising money, Panther Run Elementary students got a chance to experience first hand the joys of pie throwing. The school’s PTA fundraiser, which involved the students selling various gift items, exceeded its goal. They raised $15,784.62, for the school – well over their $15,000 goal. “There were four top earners so we decided to give them the honor of being the pie throwers,” said School Principal Elaine Saef. “The Assistant Principal, the PTA President & VP for PTA Programs and I were the lucky recipients of the pies in the face.” The event took place on the school’s PE Court for all the students to see. A great time was had by all and the school will benefit greatly from the fundraiser results.

“We do not want anyone going away from mail call empty handed.” Student Gabriella Matarazzo, who is now in middle school, brought the program to the attention of Somerset in 2008 when she was in the 5th grade. The school has continued and expanded the program through the years. Dress down days and other fundraisers are held throughout the school year to pay for care package supplies such as travel size toothpaste, toothbrushes, lip balm, toilet paper, deodorant, baby wipes, shaving cream, razors, sun block, batteries etc. Though packages are sent year round, a special emphasis is made during holidays. Soldiers have written students

back at Somerset Academy, and have even come to school assemblies to personally thank the students. Last year the wife of a soldier who received a package and letter came

to the school to meet and speak with the students and thank them for their thoughtfulness. To learn more about this program, go to

Swim Star Brings Home a Silver Medal Kudos to a shining star in the Pembroke Pines swim arena. After a 12-year drought in major international swimming medals, Alia Atkinson, who has been training in Pembroke Pines since 2001, gave Jamaica its first at the XVI Pan American Games, the largest multi sport event of 2011, with approximately 6,000 athletes from 42 nations participating in 36 sports. The 22-year-old two-time Olympian won the silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:14.75, her fifth national record time in four days at the Scotiabank Aquatics Center in Guadalajara, Mexico. It was the South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer’s first major international medal at a major meet, and Jamaica’s first medal in swimming at the Pan American Games since 1999 when Janelle Atkinson (no relation) won three silver medals in Winnipeg, Canada. Atkinson’s new time shaved 2.56 seconds off her previous best of 2:17.31 set at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto

Rico in 2010. According to her coach, Chris Anderson, CEO and Site Supervisor for the South Florida Aquatic Club and Comets Swim Team coach, Atkinson went into the championship final with a vengeance. “She took the race out hard and fast,” said Anderson. The South Florida Aquatic Club officially began on May 1, 2010 when the Pembroke Pines Comets and the Coral Springs Swim Club merged. This merger combined more than 450 swimmers and 20 employees including two world-class coaches, two 50-meter Olympic-size pools, three 25-meter and 25-yard pools, and diving and teaching pools at the City of Pembroke Pines Academic Village Pool, Coral Springs Aquatic Complex and Mullins Park. “Establishing the Club enables us the flexibility between the two pools to better service our athletes in the water,” added Anderson. “We are already getting our kids to be more competitive in practices and the level of training has risen which I think is wonderful. It’s giving kids the

dynamic skills they really need to be successful in life.” Atkinson competed at the 2004 Olympics. Four years later in the 2008 Olympics she finished 25th in the Women’s 200 breaststroke. She had the honor of carrying the flag for her native country at the opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she set the Jamaican Record in the 100 fly; and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Atkinson also competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She placed first in the 200 Breaststroke at the 2010 NCAA Championships, swimming for Texas A&M.



Pembroke Pines City Connect

February - March 2012

Teen Job Fair The 2 Annual Teen Job Fair at Pembroke Pines Charter High School is a win-win for both students and local businesses that participate. This fair is a great place for students to meet potential employers for summer jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities. And businesses can promote their products and services, meet potential employees and get involved with students to help shape their futures. nd

“Last year’s event was a great success with over 30 local businesses and organizations joining us,” said Marta Cabezo, who handles the Fair for the school. This year’s Job Fair will take place in April. The date will be determined but the time will be 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all presenters. For more information, contact Mrs. Marta Cabeza at

Keeping Active in 2012 KARATE Karate is offered at Rose G. Price Park, 901 NW 208th Avenue, on Tuesdays for ages (5-11) from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Thursdays from 7:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. for ages 12 and up. Learn self-discipline and self-defense. For more information, call Jim Hobson at 954-494-6174. DANCE Florida Superstars provides a high energy combination class that includes dance, cheerleading and baton twirling. Classes are held at TownGate Recreation Center, 901 NW 155th Avenue, on Fridays at 5:30 p.m. Children will be invited to perform for the Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, University of Miami and the Miami Marlins as well as local community events! For more information, please call 954-438-2075 or log on to the web: YOGA Hatha Yoga and meditation classes are being offered at TownGate Recreation Center, 901 NW 155th Avenue, on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. For fees and information, please call Monica DeMasi at 954391-8904 or email or log on to the web: www.

Check Mate

Hours of strategic chess practice paid off for the Jaguar Knights Chess Team from Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School West Campus. They competed in the National Youth Action-East Tournament recently held at the Doubletree Miami Mart & Exhibition Center, taking home a ninth place trophy. Throughout the nine-round, two day tournament, 21 schools and 101 players from New York to Florida gathered together to compete. “I am very proud of our players, especially considering the lack of experience on the part of some of our

team,” said Sandi Lieber, the Chess Team Sponsor who also teaches Intensive Reading to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. “Team members are selected based on their interest in chess, not their ability – anyone can play in any tournament, regardless of his or her level of expertise.” There are 36 members in the Jaguar Knights Chess Club. Numerous studies show a variety of benefits in youth who play chess such as improved thinking skills and memory, better organizational skills, increased gains in math problem-solving and enhanced reading performance.

Winterfest Carnival Here in South Florida the sun may be shining and the temperatures may still hover in the 80s during the winter, but we can all enjoy a Winterfest Carnival. Chapel Trail Elementary will be holding its annual Winterfest Carnival on Friday, February 10, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on school grounds at 19595 Taft Street.

Each year the carnival is an opportunity for the school’s PTA, Administration, Staff and families to come together for an evening of community building and fun. In addition to exciting carnival rides and games, there will be face painting, delicious carnival food and a DJ to dance the night away.

February - March 2012

Pembroke Pines City Connect



It’s Vegas, Baby! Chief Fire Officer What happens at Vegas Night at the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center, stays at Vegas Night. An exciting fundraiser for the Pembroke Pines School Foundation, the event, being held on Saturday, March 17, 2012, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., welcomes not only Charter School parents but the entire Pembroke Pines community. Chris McDonald, an Elvis Impersonator who is known for his rendition of Viva Las Vegas, will entertain guests. MSC Cruises USA, a leader

in the Mediterranean cruise market that also offers itineraries throughout Northern Europe, the Caribbean and various other destinations, donated a 7 night cruise for two for a lucky winner. A red carpet affair, Vegas Night will also feature a Chinese Auction, cocktail hour and a night to remember. For more information, call 954-447-1701 or email mjordan@

Making Stories Come Alive A great story can transport you to far away lands where unicorns live or spaceships land on distant planets, or bring you into the home of a friendly rabbit or the castle of a beautiful princess - the ideas are endless. Such ideas and the love of books and stories brought over 4300 people of all ages to the 10th Annual Storybook Festival held at the Southwest Regional Library in Pembroke Pines. Its theme was “A Whopper of a Festival!” The free festival, held in November, featured live children’s performances, arts & crafts, a “Swappin’ Ground” area where people could tell their own stories, face painting, and the Miami Herald’s Fantasy Forest where children interacted

with their favorite fairy-tale friends. This annual event takes place with major support from the Broward Library Foundation, the City of Pembroke Pines and Friends of Southwest Regional Library. Corporate and programming support from local businesses and organizations also helped make this a true success. Partnering with the Florida Center for the Book, funding was secured to bring Pat Nease, a storyteller/educator who presented a workshop on the creation of original tall tales. Chapel Trail Elementary School willingly embraced the opportunity to offer all of their fourth grade classes this unique opportunity. Student finalists were selected by their teachers from each class and competed for prizes in the Fibber’s Contest Finals. Featured tellers at the festival judged the young finalists and generous gift certificate prizes were awarded to the winner and runners-up. This new storytelling project positioned the StoryBook Festival as an event whose reach and interest included the participation of older children, beyond the fairy tale, pre-school set.

Division Chief David Smith of Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue has successfully completed the process that lead to his professional development designation as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO). He joins nearly 800 CFO’s internationally and less than 100 in the State of Florida. The CFO application process consists of several components including employment, department demographics, and letters of reference and professional development that shows formal education as well as how the CFO will plan and articulate his or her future development. The application also includes professional memberships and affiliations, community involvement recognition as well as 20 technical competencies that outline knowledge, skills and abilities relating to his or her job duties. A peer review team evaluates portfolios confirming an applicant’s content ensuring that an applicant meets the required high standard of competencies. If recommended by the peer review team, it is forwarded to the Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC), an entity of the Center for Public Safety Excellence, who then makes the final determination of the CFO designation.

Division Chief Smith joined the City of Pembroke Pines in April 1991. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree at UCLA in 1982, AS Degrees in Fire Science and EMS in the 1990’s and most recently his Masters in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University in 2005. Division Chief Smith has served on the Board of Directors for the local Chamber of Commerce since 2008. Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue is one of only 62 ISO rated Class 1 Fire Departments in the USA.

Raising Money Two Pembroke Pines Charter Schools are raising money for good causes by holding garage sales. Pembroke Pines Charter School Central Campus will be hosting its 7th Annual Garage Sale on Saturday, February 18, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 12350 Sheridan Street. Proceeds will benefit the school’s technology program. Vendor space is still available. Spaces are $40 (for two parking spots). Vendors must pre-register, spaces are sold on a first come first serve basis. They must supply

tables and chairs and are responsible for cleaning up their area, removing unsold items. For vendor information, call 954-322-3330 or email The Spanish Honor Society at Pembroke Pines Charter High School is having their annual garage sale the same day on Saturday, February 18, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 17189 Sheridan Street. Donated items can be dropped off at the school in Room U134. All proceeds from the sale will go to help Autism.

Pembroke Pines City Connect 10100 Pines Blvd. – 5th Floor Pembroke Pines, FL 33026

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City Connect Feb-March 2012 Volume 1 Issue 3