BEWARE: Hottest New Exercise Trend Could be Dangerous For Your Health
OBAMACARE LAW OF THE
Keep An Eye On Your Neighborhood
Can You Trust Your Broker?
Local Section Inside!
He May Be Keeping A Secret
Real Estate pg. 38 - Home Improvement pg. 68 - Marketplace pg. 76
Coral Gables Februar y 2014
Welcome to Obamacare, Law of The Land
Sell By Dates Up For Debate
The much maligned Affordable Care Act went into full effect across the country. The law fundamentally shifts parts of the health care industry and open the door for millions of uninsured Americans to finally afford health care. But not every American will benefit from the ACA.
The most confusing numbers at the grocery store are not the prices but the “sell by” dates on just about everything. In fact, “Sell By,” “Use By,” and “Best By,” are two little words that carry a lot of weight with shoppers at the store, but what’s the difference?
Can You Trust Your Broker?
Don’t Panic! Symptom Checkers Available Online In Case You Can’t Reach The Doctor
Those who use an outside source for financial help should know that their professionals could have an important secret. A history of complaints could have been wiped clean.
Feeling sick? Many people turn to the internet to diagnose themselves, but that can be dangerous. Now doctors are coming up with an online remedy that’s available in case you can’t make it to the doctor.
CBS4 News Super Kids: Deborah Perez This is a Christmas tale that will melt your heart and break it as well. A new found family of CBS4 Super Kids gathered to meet for the first time to celebrate the holidays and treasure of a girl. As child advocates, teachers and community leaders will tell you, Deborah Perez is an inspirational young woman who is a pied piper for children all year round.
[ 4 ] February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables
Students Go To Extreme Measures To Get Higher Test Scores It’s no secret the college admissions process can be stressful for students, especially the dreaded standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, but these days the pressure to perform is greater than ever. Some students have gone to extreme measures to increase their scores but was it necessary?
26 Eye On Coral Gables Latest News & events in your neighborhood
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“Am I Pretty or Ugly?” Teens Are Letting Social Media Decide It’s a troubling trend among teenage girls, posting videos asking the public to determine their beauty. On YouTube there are hundreds of thousands of videos from girls asking “Am I pretty or ugly?” It’s not just the videos, but the feedback from people online that’s alarming.
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DatesDeBate Up For
The most confusing numbers at the grocery store are not the prices but the “sell by” dates on just about everything.
By Brian Andrews
n fact, “Sell By,” “Use By,” and “Best By,” are two little words that carry a lot of weight with shoppers at the store. “If it’s yogurt or milk I definitely pay attention to that date,” a shopper told CBS4’s Brian Andrews. Dr. Tiffiani Onifade is the state of Florida’s Director of Food Safety. “The manufacturer puts this date on there because it is about when they believe it will have the best quality,” said Onifade.
“I think it’s surprising how little the labels actually mean. Primarily the dates are their best guess on when that food is still going to be at its peak quality” That date may be causing each of us to trash more than $2,000 dollars worth of perfectly good food every year. “Ninety-percent of consumers are throwing food away on that date because they don’t
understand,” said Emily Broad Leib, Director of Harvard’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. Recently, Leib’s group co-authored a study on how these confusing labels lead to food waste. “I think it’s surprising how little the labels actually mean. Primarily the dates are their best guess on when that food is still going to be at its peak quality,” said Leib. That’s food quality not food safety. However, Florida law calls for date labels on food that has a recommended shelf life of fewer than 90 days. Milk for example, is required by retailers to remove it from store shelves after the “sell by” date has passed. “Shelf stable foods such as vinegar, cereal, crackers, those kind of things, if they taste good to you they are still good,” said Leib.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 7 ]
After that “best by” date, some foods may smell or taste bad. “There’s a yuck factor but it’s not going to make you sick,” explained Elizabeth Scott of Simmons College. “The likelihood of you getting sick or not is to do with the kind of food you’re eating, the way you handle it and the risks that are taken with the food,” said Scott. Risks such as storing or cooking the food improperly. “We’re more concerned about pathogenic bacteria,” Scott said. “Those are the ones that make you sick.” Doctor Onifade insisted that common sense can keep food out of that danger zone. “You want to cook food to proper temperatures and after you cook the food, you want to refrigerate it.” In the meantime, there’s a move to make date labels more useful. “We are really hoping we can get a change that would require a reliable uniform coherent system and make it really clear for the foods where this is a quality issue not safety. It’s totally quality,” said Onifade. Until that happens, take the date with a grain of salt.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 9 ]
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Broken Heart Syndrome Really Does
ow many times have you heard someone say they’re so sad about something that they have a broken heart? More often than not, they don’t really have a broken heart but it can actually happen. Broken heart syndrome is a serious medical condition caused by sadness. When Janet Ghise’s 14-year-old dog, Maggie died unexpectedly at a kennel while she was on vacation, she was devastated. “She was just the nicest dog,” said Ghise. So upset, she nearly died of a broken heart. “I said to my husband, ‘I’m going to the doctor’s, to the cardiologist, to see if he can fix my broken heart.’ It’s exactly what I said,” Ghise said. Luckily, she just happened to have a doctor’s appointment a few days later. “To tell you the truth, I was really short of breath, but I didn’t put any weight on it. I thought, well, this is because I’m upset,” she said. “She walked into the office, and she just did not look well,” said Dr. Jeffrey Friedel, a cardiologist. “She was very pale; she was breaking out in a cold sweat. She was short of breath, and she was complaining of a lot of chest pressure.” He sent her to the hospital where a heart cath showed the problem, an actual illness called broken heart syndrome. “The heart becomes severely weakened in a very characteristic shape, and it’s usually in response to an intensely stressful event,” said Dr. Friedel. “They can be in heart failure, they can be in shock; and in the worst case scenario, they can present in full cardiac arrest.” The symptoms, EKG, and blood tests can be just like a heart attack. But it’s not. “With broken heart syndrome, there’s no blockage to explain this extent of heart damage,” Dr. Friedel said. It’s seen after the death of a loved one, after an argument, after extreme emotional turmoil. “There’s this intense surge of stress hormones that basically damage the heart,” Dr. Friedel said.
What clinches the diagnosis is a distinctive appearance on the cath, a stagnant bulge in the lower part of the heart. “There’s a whole section of the heart that has essentially ballooned outward and is not moving,” said Dr. Friedel. “And that’s clearly abnormal.” It’s generally an unexpected diagnosis. Dr. Friedel sees fewer than 10 cases a year. It’s more common in women. “Usually, we’re expecting to find a blockage that we can fix, and get the heart to recover. So, yeah, it’s always a surprise,” he said. “Ten, 20 years ago, we never diagnosed it, we just didn’t know about it.” Broken heart syndrome can be treated with medicines to strengthen pumping, lower the
blood pressure, and slow the pulse. The vast majority of patients do well. “The heart was healing, and it’s almost back to normal function,” said Ghise. “I’m feeling good.”
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 11 ]
broker? Those who use an outside source for financial help should know that their professionals could have an important secret. A history of complaints could have been wiped clean.
study has shaken up the financial industry, which revealed that in an alarmingly high percentage of cases, brokers have gotten investor complaints removed from their publicly accessible records. Experts gave details and tips on how to pick the right professional. When a new trading day opens, people want their investments in the right hands. That’s why Damon Petraglia thoroughly checked out his financial advisor. “It’s very important for me to have somebody reliable and capable,” said Petraglia. However, Petraglia is no average investor,
“I don’t think very many people knew about this, It is the security industry’s dirty little secret” he’s a private investor. People hire him to check out their stock brokers. It’s easy to get background information on any federally licensed financial professional on the “financial industry regulatory authority” or FINRA’s website. These public records list licenses a broker holds and where they’ve worked but what you may not see even surprised Petraglia. “I don’t think very many people knew about this,” said Petraglia. “It is the security industry’s dirty little secret.”
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 13 ]
he secret, revealed in a new study which said stock brokers are able to keep complaints filed against them a secret in many cases. Brokers have the right to request a complaint be “expunged” from their record if they feel it was false. Federal guidelines say expungement is an “extraordinary relief” but this study found between mid-May 2009 to 2011. When cases were resolved by settlements, arbitrators approved brokers requests to remove complaints from their records nearly 97 percent of the time. “This is a major problem that must be fixed,” said Petraglia. If a broker’s record is wiped clean, there is no way investors, regulators or future employers can find out. The study found one broker requested expungement 40 times and arbitration panels granted it 35 times. The group behind the study said sometimes investors are given a settlement trade-off. “There will be a provision that says in exchange for that money the customer has to agree not to oppose the expungement request and it just basically just wipes it under the carpet,” said Petraglia. FINRA is taking action and said the study “underlines and emphasizes serious concerns.” The agency sent notices to arbitrators, reminding them about “the extraordinary nature of expungement relief.” But what if a broker was wrongly accused or a financial issue just wasn’t their fault?
“If you picked a bad broker, you could lose the entire investment”
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 15 ]
“We closely guard our reputations so if there’s something where we have complaints against us that are unwarranted or unfounded we want to protect our reputation,” said Ed Gjertsen. Gjertsen of the Financial Planning Association said just because an adviser went through arbitration doesn’t mean they’re a bad broker. If someone is concerned about their financial professional, they should ask about their record. “I think what the study showed us is that there’s probably a lot more due diligence that the average investor has to do. Whether it’s engaging with an advisor and asking them the
direct question of saying ‘Hey have you ever been involved in arbitration?’” said Gjertsen. Investor and investigator Petraglia said he thinks his financial shake up should be a financial wake up to everyone. “If you picked a bad broker, you could lose the entire investment,” said Petraglia. A court must also approve a broker’s expungement request before it becomes final. FINRA is reviewing its rules and may consider future changes as well. Several U.S. Senators have also taken a closer look at the system. One wrote a letter to the SEC demanding big changes.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 17 ]
In Case You
Feeling sick? Many people turn to the internet to diagnose themselves, but that can be dangerous. Now doctors are coming up with an online remedy.
hen Beth Feldman woke up with a red swollen eyelid her first thought was to call the doctor. But when she couldn’t get an appointment right away she said she decided to do a little symptom searching online. “It’s good to just look and see if it’s not too serious, I’m going to see if I can just take care of this at home,” said Feldman. It used to be that physicians worried about patients playing doctor online. “When you go online to self-diagnose, you’re going to websites and using your limited medical knowledge to look at a big list of differential diagnoses and you’re immediately going to go to the worst possible situations,” said Dr. Dan Feiten. But now many are having a change of heart, thanks to “symptom checkers,” created by the medical community itself, and integrated into doctor and hospital websites. “Parents go online to our website to find out whether they need to make an appointment or what should they in the meantime,” said Dr. Feiten. Proponents said these new symptom checkers can cut down on office calls and unnecessary trips to the emergency room, as well as save people money on co-pays.
It won’t give you a long list of scary possibilities, but will help you determine what to do next. “It’s based on the medical literature. It’s based on national guidelines from American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, other organizations,” said Barton Schmitt, medical director of the pediatric call center at a children’s hospital. But not all medical websites are created equal. It’s important to check the source before taking any advice. “Professional organizations like the American College of Physicians or reputable patient and consumer groups should generally be trusted more than information that’s coming from an organization that the patient has never heard of,” said Dr. Christine Laine, VP of the American College of Physicians. But there is no substitute for an actual doctor’s visit where a physician can actually see how sick you are and also ask questions and notice things you may not think are related and weren’t part of your Internet search. Computers can’t replace doctors, at least not yet. Doctors advise people to steer clear of websites that have a vested interest in their treatment.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 19 ]
By Vanessa Borge
Dangerous Could Be
To Your Health One of the hottest fitness trends in the country has instructors turning up the heat, leaving gym-goers drenched. The trend puts participants in rooms that range from a toasty 82-degrees to a nearly oppressive 95-degrees, more than 20-degrees warmer than recommended.
started with hot yoga and then it spread. People like Jen Ellenberg swear by classes like hot cycling. “When you take a heated spinning class you feel like you get so much more out of it. You sweat, your blood is pumping, it’s amazing,” said Ellenburg. Advocates, like ‘The Sweat Shoppe’ owner Mimi Benz, claim the higher temperatures lead to a better workout. “Obviously your heart rate’s going to increase because it’s a heated environment which yields more of a caloric burn,” said Benz. However, experts from the American College of Sports Medicine caution that turning up the heat may not be a good idea. “Taking exercise programs and putting them into a gym in a hot environment to me is kind of a scary proposition,” explained Dr. Walter Thompson, PHD. Thompson helped develop the college’s guidelines for fitness centers. Those guidelines recommend that fitness room temperatures be kept at 72-degrees. “Well, the interesting question is, what kind of physiological reaction do people have in the heat?” said Thompson. “And that is an increased body temperature, an increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure.” Those reactions can lead to medical emergencies and dangerous complications but supporters argued that preparation is the key to any athletic endeavor. “You put on a pair of shoes and run 26-miles and you’re out of shape, you put yourself into danger, don’t you? You’ve got to be in shape whenever you do any kind of exercise and you need to control your own personal effort,” said Hot Yoga And Pilates, owner King Rollings. Some gyms do train instructors to watch for the signs of heat related problems but Dr. Thompson said that isn’t enough. “The question is whether or not the average gym goer, the average client in a gym should participate in these heated environments, and my answer still is no,” said Dr. Thompson. Ellenberg said that the heat does take some getting used to, but she has no plans to cool down. “I’m addicted to the feeling of sweating. It makes you feel so pure,” she said. Doctors said that anybody with a heart condition should get the okay from their physician before starting a hot exercise regimen.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 23 ]
“Am I pretty or ugly?” Teens Are Letting
Social Media Decide By Cynthia Demos
It’s a troubling trend among teenage girls, posting videos asking the public to determine their beauty. On YouTube there are hundreds of thousands of videos from girls asking “Am I pretty or ugly?” It’s not just the videos, but the feedback from people online that’s alarming.
ome area teens said it’s a daily struggle to feel pretty in today’s society, but none of those girls said that they have posted a video of their own. “My initial reaction is you know I’ve never actually seen this before but I’m thinking they almost set themselves up for negative feedback,” said Ethan Protzel, a junior in high school. And that’s exactly what most feedback is, negative. Many students said they’re shocked but
understand the motivation behind the videos. Young teens across the country, mostly girls, receive actual critiques on ways to improve their appearance. With comments ranging from suggestions to lose weight or have surgery to getting a new haircut. “I think it’s really sad that this is what it’s come to and I also think it’s very understandable that this is what it’s come to, because it’s the pressure of everyday life,” said senior Anna Unterreiner. “If you look good then you’re
“I think it’s really sad that this is what it’s come to and I also think it’s very understandable that this is what it’s come to, because it’s the pressure of everyday life”
popular and looks is what this society is more and more based upon.” And it starts at a very young age. Most of the subjects in the videos note how classmates call them pretty or ugly. So in an age where social media is almost a natural way to communicate these teens seek outside opinions for validation. “And the instant nature to be able to post something without thinking,” said Sarah Strohmeyer. “You don’t think through things before you just spout off. And I think that’s the problem. There’s no filter.” “It’s that vicious cycle,” added Protzel. “We have an insecure person who calls someone ugly or fat and then that person becomes insecure.” It begs the question, what can be done to
change this stigma of looks above all else? Well administrators say it starts with building self-esteem at a young age so teens don’t learn these attention seeking behaviors. “That’s really what this is all about,” said Strohmeyer. “They’re seeking attention and so what are the ways we can give positive attention for appropriate things and not just focus on looks.” Counselors said parents need to monitor their kids’ online activity. They say it’s also important to stress inner beauty and have an open conversation with your kids about any pressures they may feel that make them self-conscious.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 25 ]
Eye On Coral Gables
Content provided by The City of Coral Gables
Catch all that Jazz at the Free Gables Concert Series
Photo by Farrad Ali/iRockJazz.com
Local jazz legend Ira Sullivan blew in the Fourth Annual Jazz in the Gables Concert Series last month with an inspired performance that generated plenty of buzz.
“American jazz is still it,” said Sullivan, who led his Inter/Outer Continental Quintet at the opening concert January 15. “It’s the only art form America has given the world.”
At age 82, Sullivan, who was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the 1950s and once played with Charlie “Bird” Parker, shares a common goal with the free concert series – to help spread the message of jazz.
Jazz in the Gables, which runs through March 26, offers an exciting act every Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. This year’s lineup ranges from talented bands from area music schools, including UM, to jazz veterans Joe
Donato and Jesse Jones, Jr., who will trade blazing riffs on their alto saxes. “I can think of no better way to enjoy a beautiful afternoon than having lunch while listening to live jazz performed by talented musicians,” said Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason. “Whether you’re a fan of cool jazz or bebop, there’s music that appeals to every taste.” “We’re thrilled to help sponsor the concert series,” said Raoul Thomas, CEO of CGI Merchant Group. “It’s an important cultural program that exposes the public to talented local musicians and provides a great community venue.”
City of Coral Gables Commission:
Jim Cason Mayor
William Kerdyk. Jr.
In addition to the Wednesday lunchtime concerts, Jazz in the Gables will include evening concerts on Gallery Night, February 7 and March 7 at 7 p.m., and Sunday performances on February 16 and March 23 at 4 p.m. All concerts are held on the Coral Gables Museum Plaza at 285 Aragon Avenue on Salzedo Street, two blocks north of Miracle Mile.
Patricia Keon Commissioner
Catering by Lovables will offer box lunches for sale on-site during each performance and Peterbrooke Chocolatier will offer chocolate treats for purchase. Jazz in the Gables is sponsored by the City of Coral Gables, the Miami Jazz Coop, the Coral Gables Museum, the Business Improvement District, the Chamber of Commerce and CGI.
For more information, call 305-460-5311 or visit www.jazzinthegables.org.
Frank C. Quesada
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 29 ]
Eye On Coral Gables
Read All About It!
Photo Credit: JC Ridley / Student Athlete: Mike James
Photo Credit: Cornelia Taudt-Ehrling & Rodester Brandon
Coral Gables E-News is a fast and easy way to stay in the know about the important news and events that affect our City, you, and your pocketbook.
Be among the first to know what’s going on. Receive information bi-weekly on City services, programs for you or your family, and free tickets to sporting, cultural and other events.
It’s simple, join now: Visit www.coralgables.com and click on E-News. “Empowerment GaBlEs CIty CommIssIoN begins with an informed citizenry and a Long ago, newsboys on street cornersCoRal hawked
government that is not only transparent but accessible,” a copy of the latest edition for a nickel. Today in Coral Jim Cason said Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason. “E-News is one of Gables you can get the news for free without leaving Mayor the diverse ways we offer to achieve this.” home. So long inflation; welcome technology. William H. Kerdyk, Jr. Vice-Mayor Coral Gables E-News delivers the latest news and Be informed. Join by visiting information fast and easy. Whether or Rafael “Ralph” Cabrera, Jr. Commissioner Maria Andersonit’s a concert Commissioner Commissioner Frank C. Quesada www.coralgables.com and meeting announcement, a policy decision or a story of clicking on E-News. interest, you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on in our City with just a simple click.
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All You Need is Love
EVENTS NEARBY URBANISM: PERCEIVED AND INTERPRETED Feb 02 2014 - Mar 30 2014 Coral gables MuseuM 305/603-8067 Beauty can be found in the unlikeliest of places. Local artists have grown and developed their styles while responding to their changing surroundings in Miami. The Bakehouse Art Complex (BAC), originally built in the early 1920's as the American Bakeries Company, became a nonprofit art complex in 1986. Located in Wynwood, nestled amid the I95, the 112 and North Miami Avenue, the artists who reside there are immersed in the heart of Miami urban life, landscape and evolution.
ARTCYCLE Jan 23 2014 - Feb 23 2014 Coral gables MuseuM 305/603-8067
Love is in the air this month, and there is no place better than the City Beautiful to celebrate Valentineâ€™s Day. Livability.com ranked Coral Gables among the 10 most Romantic Cities in America. You can dine, shop and stay the night in one of the cityâ€™s five-star hotels. So when Cupid strikes on February 14, Coral Gables is the perfect place to be.
Created by two locals to promote cycling in Miami and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in cycling accidents, ArtCycle debuted during Art Basel 2012. ArtCycle merges the Miami art scene with the Miami bike movement by creating sculpture from donated bikes and 2D artworks about biking and bike safety. This innovative exhibit furthers ArtCycle's mission to raise awareness, respect and tolerance for bicyclists.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 31 ]
Eye On Coral Gables
City Of Coral Gables Events Calendar
“End of the Rainbow” February 6, 7, 8, 9: 2 p.M., 3 p.M., 8 p.M., aCtors’ playhouse at MiraCle theatre, 280 MiraCle Mile This savagely funny Broadway hit with music offers unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of the most beloved figures in American popular culture. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.actorsplayhouse.org.
“Antony & Cleopatra”
Coral Gables Farmers Market
February 6, 7, 8, 9: gablestage - 2 p.M., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. Biltmore Hotel, 1200 anastasia avenue Cost: $40 - $55
February 8, 15, 22: 8 a.M. – 2 p.M., in Front oF City Hall, 405 Biltmore Way, Free
Set on the eve of the 18th Century Haitian Revolution, this adaptation of Shakespeare’s historical tragedy by award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney promises to be one of the new year’s most exciting cultural events. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.gablestage.org.
The Coral Gables Farmers Market returns with South Florida-grown fruits, vegetables and herbs as well as locally produced baked goods, juices, honey, jams and other items. There will be free Tai Chi lessons, garden workshops, cooking demonstrations and children’s activities. The Market will run through March 29. For more information, call the Coral Gables Parks & Recreation division at 305-460-5600.
Valentine’s Day Concert at Fairchild Gardens
Photo by Adriano Castelli / Shutterstock.com
Content provided by The City of Coral Gables
February 14: 7 p.M.; in the garden house lawn at FairCHild tropiCal BotaniC Garden, 10901 old Cutler road Enjoy a romantic evening of jazz under the stars with Grammy winning pianist Shelly Berg and Grammy winning vocalist Patti Austin. Bring a blanket and picnic or reserve a table for dinner and champagne and enjoy wonderful music and the ambiance of the Garden after dark. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Fairchild Garden Members $60, Non-members $75, Students (with ID) $25, Kids (6-18) $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 305-667-1651, ext. 3391.
Literally Bike Tour February 16: 11 a.M. – 2 p.M.; Coral GaBles museum, 285 araGon avenue Join Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan on a tour of literature in the Gables. Presented by Coral Gables Museum and Bike Walk Coral Gables, Gables Bike Tours is powered by Voss Water. Bike rentals and helmets (required for children under 16) are available at No Boundaries (305-444-3206), across the street from the Museum. Cost: $10; $5 for Museum members and children under 12. Space is limited. Please RSVP to 305-603-8067.
Gallery Night: Coral Gables Gallery Night February 7: 6 p.M.–10 p.M., Various galleries Held the first Friday of the month, Gallery Night showcases the works of European and Latin American art masters and outstanding contemporary artists. A dedicated Gallery Night Trolley makes stops at Coral Gables galleries and art venues.
Gallery Night Live at the Coral Gables Museum February 7: 6 p.M. – 9 p.M., Coral gables MuseuM, 285 araGon avenue Begin your Gallery Night experience at the Coral Gables Museum, where you'll find new exhibitions, live music, food and spirits on the beautiful Plaza. The Gallery Night trolley stops right at the front door. For more information, call 305-603-8067.
Get connected, and we’ll keep you current! Coral Gables E-News is a fast and easy way to stay in the know about the important news and events that affect our City, you and your pocketbook. Be among the first to know what’s going on. Receive information bi-weekly on City services, programs for you or your family, and free tickets to sporting, cultural and other events.
It’s simple, join now: Visit www.coralgables.com and click on E-News. February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 33 ]
By Lisa Petrillo
Flash Sale & Discount Sites
Sell Their Own Brands Flash sale and discount websites are hot shopping destinations for consumers who want to find bargains on luxury and designer goods but we found some of these sites are now selling their own trademarked brands, many advertising an original and then a discounted price ,but in many cases the merchandise isn’t available anywhere else.
hopper Lora Tusinski said she’s saved hundreds of dollars on designer items on flash sale sites and when a “Barrow and Grove” sweater caught her eye, she ordered it right away from “Gilt.com” What Lora didn’t know was “Barrow and Grove” is actually a private label owned by Gilt. “When I bought the item, no, I didn’t have any idea,” said Tusinski. Lora’s sweater is one of hundreds of products popular flash sale and discount websites are now creating. A review of federal records reveals: Rue La La, One Kings Lane, Zulily, Ideeli and Gilt all applied for registered trademarks for items that range from clothing, to jewelry, to home goods. Experts say some online sale and discount sites are now selling exclusive private label merchandise because they make more money selling their own products. Now that the economy is improving people are paying more for luxury goods, so there’s less inventory for discount and sale sites. Gilt filed the most trademarks in our review of the flash sale and discount sites, said: “with six years of sales history, we know exactly what our members are looking for and our private label merchandise serves our more intent-based shoppers.” Those in the e-tail biz said these sites closely watch what shoppers buy. Not all sites make it clear they’re the makers behind some of the products they sell and that original price you see next to the discount is
what retailers value the item at, even if it might not have ever been sold at full price. To make sure your online shopping experience is positive,
experts say when ordering a new brand, try to research similar items for sale to make sure the one you want is competitively priced, check out online reviews and know the site’s return policy, since some will only issue you a credit. Lora said now that she knows about this new private label trend, she’s willing to give other items a try. Retail insiders point out that many department stores have been selling their own private labels for years and sometimes those aren’t advertised as store brands.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 35 ]
“If the numbers are accurate, it would mean roughly nine million Americans who didn’t have health insurance this time last year now have coverage”
care Law of the
Photo credit: spirit of america / Shutterstock.com
As of last month, the much maligned Affordable Care Act went into full effect across the country. The law fundamentally shifts parts of the health care industry and open the door for millions of uninsured Americans to finally afford health care.
ccording to government numbers, roughly two million have enrolled in health insurance plans by using the federally run healthcare. gov website and state healthcare exchange websites. The government said another 3.9 million Americans benefited from the expansion of Medicaid and CHIP and an additional 3 million stayed on their parents’ health insurance. If the numbers are accurate, it would mean roughly nine million Americans who didn’t have health insurance this time last year now have coverage. Original forecasts from the government aimed for 3.3 million enrollees through the federal and state exchanges. However, when the federal website was rolled out in early October it was a disaster and few if any signed up for the new coverage. The White House began working on the site and said it was up and running properly on November 30. But, not every American will receive benefits from the Affordable Care Act. States, most of them controlled by Republican legislatures or governors, that refused to expand Medicaid will leave millions without access to affordable health care and don’t qualify for federal subsidies because they should have been under Medicaid. In Florida the number is over 500,000 who
“That said, millions of Americans may have to find new insurance if their old plans don’t meet minimum requirements” will fall into the state-imposed doughnut hole. For most Americans, they will not notice any difference in their health care from last year to this year. Eighty percent of Americans get their insurance through their employers and those programs will not be impacted much by the ACA’s provisions. That said, millions of Americans may have to find new insurance if their old plans don’t meet minimum requirements. Those “essential” requirements, according to the Washington Post, include: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services; prescription drugs; rehab and habilitative services and devices; lab services, preventive and wellness services along with chronic disease management; and pediatric services.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 37 ]
he exact cost of the insurance will vary by state, region, number of plans available, and Medicaid coverage. But, preexisting conditions will no longer matters as the ACA makes it illegal to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions. Citizens looking to buy health insurance must do it by the 15th of each month through March 31. After that, no policies can be purchased until next October when enrollment opens up again. If a person signs up before the 15th of a month, the coverage will begin on the first day of the next month. While the ACA does mandate everyone buy health insurance, citizens can still choose not to purchase any insurance. If they donâ€™t, a $95 tax will be levied, but no liens can be placed on homes or have IRS agents come to your home. The worst that can happen is the IRS takes it out of your tax refund or adds it to your tax bill. In addition, if you canâ€™t find a plan that costs less than 8 percent of your income, you are exempted from the requirement to purchase health insurance.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 39 ]
Real Estate Sponsored By
Listings in this section are based on properties sold in the previous months and retrieved from zillow.com. Not all properties sold are listed. Not responsible for typographical errors and/or omissions. Photographs are for illustration purposes only.
Content provided by www.Zillow.com
The 7 Steps to
Buying a Home
You’ve finally found the home you love. Now what? Though every market is different, you can expect to follow these seven steps, from offer to closing.
1. Making an offer
If you’re sure the home you love is right for you, it’s time to make your move. This means writing up a formal purchase offer and signing a real estate contract. Even though it’s early in the buying process, you still must sign a legally binding contract. With your signature, you’re committing to moving ahead with the seller. Keep in mind you can add contingencies to many real estate contracts. For example, most real estate buying offers will be contingent on a property inspection, as well as disclosure review, loan approval, appraisal and other matters. Such contingencies enable buyers to opt out of the contract if unexpected problems or concerns pop up. 2. Disclosures
In most states, sellers are legally required to provide buyers with disclosure documents, a preliminary title report, copies of city reports and any specific local documents. In California, for example, an earthquake hazards report or a geological survey is required as part of the disclosures. In some areas of the South, especially near the Gulf Coast, buyers usually receive flood maps and reports relevant to the property being considered.
In addition, sellers must disclose any known issues that might affect the property’s value or habitability. Usually, in a transfer disclosure statement, sellers must answer a series of “yes” or “no” questions about the property, the neighborhood and their experience there. If there have been leaky windows, violations from the city, work done without permits or plans for a major nearby development, the seller must disclose them. If there are significant issues, the seller’s agent would likely have brought them up before the contract signing. But if something is disclosed here that is a negative factor for you, it is your “out” of the contract. 3. The appraisal
Most buyers put a certain amount of money down toward the purchase price. The balance will come in the form of a bank loan (usually). But a bank isn’t going to hand over that money without due diligence. An appraisal is the financial institution’s way of making sure the contract price is the right price. So the lender sends out a third-party appraiser, which the buyer pays for, to confirm that the contract price is in line with the neighborhood’s comparable sales. If it’s not, the bank can deny the loan or change the terms.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 41 ]
Content provided by www.Zillow.com
As part of the real estate contract, you have the right to a property inspection. The most common is a “general” property inspection, in which the inspector checks the home from the foundation to the roof and investigates all major systems and components. As the buyer, you should follow along with the inspector to learn more about the property. For example, you’ll want to know about the components (such as the water heater) and have a plan in place for maintenance. After the general property inspection, the inspector may suggest having a specialist come out. This could be a roofer, electrician, HVAC specialist or even an engineer. Listen to the inspector and have any recommended follow-up inspections. Remember: This is your one chance to approve the property from top to bottom. If issues arise, you may be able to negotiate a fix or credit with the seller. If something major arises and it’s not what you signed up for, you can exit the contract via your inspection contingency. 5. loan approval or coMMiTMenT
In addition to making certain the property appraises at no less than the contract price, the bank will want to fully approve your credit, debt and income history. The bank will also want to approve the property’s preliminary title report to make sure there are no liens recorded against the property that might affect its value. The bank can take up to 30 days to complete its review, which should result in a loan commitment or full loan approval. Once that’s completed to the bank’s satisfaction, you’re guaranteed a loan, and you’re one step closer to closing. 6. final walk-Through
Just before closing, you should walk back through the property to make sure it’s in the condition it was when you last saw it. Make sure the seller didn’t remove any fixtures, make modifications or leave behind garbage or debris. You also want to be sure any fixes you negotiated with the seller have been completed.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 43 ]
Recently Sold Properties in Coral Gables
9540 Journeys End Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156
6500 Riviera Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146
590 Reinante Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33156
7 Beds / 7.5 Bath | 12,328 sq. ft. | 1.89 acre Lot | Built in: 1998 Sold: 12/12/2013 | $7,030,000
6 Beds / 7 Bath | 8,558 sq. ft. | 0.53 acre Lot | Built in: 2004 Sold: 12/16/2013 | $6,200,000
5 Beds / 6.5 Bath | 7,749 sq. ft. | 0.55 acre Lot | Built in: 2005 Sold: 12/24/2013 | $5,300,000
10801 Snapper Creek Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156
10001 Fairchild Way Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156
60 Edgewater Dr, #PH2A, Coral Gables, FL 33133
7 Beds / 12 Bath | 11,242 sq. ft. | 1.27 acre Lot | Built in: 1990 Sold: 11/6/2013 | $4,200,000
7 Beds / 8.5 Bath | 9,096 sq. ft. | 1.04 acre Lot | Built in: 2003 Sold: 11/1/2013 | $3,975,000
3 Beds / 4.5 Bath | 4,530 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 2003 Sold: 12/12/2013 | $3,550,000
9440 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156
133 Rosales Ct, Coral Gables, FL 33143
9501 Kerwood Ct, Coral Gables, FL 33156
5 Beds / 4.5 Bath | 5,409 sq. ft. | 1.73 acre Lot | Built in: 1976 Sold: 12/4/2013 | $3,400,000
5 Beds / 4.5 Bath | 5,224 sq. ft. | 0.37 acre Lot | Built in: 1995 Sold: 11/15/2013 | $2,792,300
6 Beds / 7.5 Bath | 7,267 sq. ft. | 0.88 acre Lot | Built in: 2003 Sold: 12/16/2013 | $2,750,000
Listings provided by www.Zillow.com
13645 Deering Bay Dr, PH163, Coral Gables, FL 33158
626 Coral Way, Apt 1103, Coral Gables, FL 33134
4920 Suarez St, Coral Gables, FL 33146
3 Beds / 4.5 Bath | 4,090 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 1993 Sold: 12/20/2013 | $1,900,000
3 Beds / 3 Bath | 2,100 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 2002 Sold: 12/20/2013 | $950,000
4 Beds / 3 Bath | 2,680 sq. ft. | n/a sq ft Lot | Built in: 1952 Sold: 12/30/2013 | $895,000
222 Aledo Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134
55 Merrick Way, Apt 708, Coral Gables, FL 33134
4000 Alhambra Cir, Coral Gables, FL 33146
3 Beds / 2.5 Bath | 2,361 sq. ft. | 10,018 sq ft Lot | Built in: 1948 Sold: 11/27/2013 | $763,000
3 Beds / 2 Bath | 1,682 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 2008 Sold: 12/16/2013 | $690,000
4 Beds / 3 Bath | 2,664 sq. ft. | 5,662 sq ft Lot | Built in: 1977 Sold: 12/4/2013 | $552,000
920 Alberca St, Coral Gables, FL 33134
1256 Bird Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33146
911 E Ponce De Leon Blvd, Apt 1004, Coral Gables, FL 33134
2 Beds / 1 Bath | 1,492 sq. ft. | 6,882 sq ft Lot | Built in: 1942 Sold: 11/15/2013 | $460,000
2 Beds / 2 Bath | 1,640 sq. ft. | 7,318 sq ft Lot | Built in: 1957 Sold: 11/27/2013 | $368,000
2 Beds / 2 Bath | 960 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 1981 Sold: 11/27/2013 | $265,000
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 45 ]
L ux u ry P roPerties
9705 Collins Ave, Unit 2402N, Bal Harbour, FL 33154
1000 S Pointe Dr, Apt 3101, Miami Beach, FL 33139
590 Reinante Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33156
3 Beds / 3.5 Bath | 3,424 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 2011 Sold: 12/23/2013 | $7,350,000
3 Beds / 3.5 Bath | 3,365 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 2002 Sold: 12/24/2013 | $6,325,000
5 Beds / 6.5 Bath | 7,749 sq. ft. | 0.55 acre Lot | Built in: 2005 Sold: 12/24/2013 | $5,300,000
10 Edgewater Dr, # 12A, Coral Gables, FL 33133
7600 Fisher Island Dr, #7643, Fisher Island, FL 33109
597 Hibiscus Ln, Miami, FL 33137
5 Beds / 8 Bath | 6,800 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 1997 Sold: 12/27/2013 | $4,750,000
3 Beds / 3.5 Bath | 2,861 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 2001 Sold: 12/23/2013 | $3,500,000
4 Beds / 4.5 Bath | 3,962 sq. ft. | 0.31 acre Lot | Built in: 1949 Sold: 12/24/2013 | $2,725,000
1100 Biscayne Blvd, Unit 6101, Miami, FL 33132
3632 Stewart Ave, Miami, FL 33133
4906 SW 88th St, Coral Gables, FL 33156
4 Beds / 4.5 Bath | 3,729 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 2010 Sold: 12/24/2013 | $2,675,000
5 Beds / 5 Bath | 5,080 sq. ft. | 0.55 acre Lot | Built in: 1925 Sold: 12/23/2013 | $2,650,000
6 Beds / 7.5 Bath | 4,837 sq. ft. | 1.59 acre Lot | Built in: 1947 Sold: 12/27/2013 | $2,550,000
Listings provided by www.Zillow.com
12990 Biscayne Island Ter, North Miami, FL 33181
100 S Pointe Dr, Apt 1102, Miami Beach, FL 33139
901 Brickell Key Blvd, Apt 2104, Miami, FL 33131
4 Beds / 4.5 Bath | 4,428 sq. ft. | 0.29 acre Lot | Built in: 1959 Sold: 12/26/2013 | $1,750,000
1 Beds / 1.5 Bath | 1,201 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 2002 Sold: 12/27/2013 | $1,725,000
3 Beds / 3.5 Bath | 2,591 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 2005 Sold: 12/23/2013 | $1,687,500
7910 SW 52nd Ave, Miami, FL 33143
3737 Collins Ave, # S-703, Miami Beach, FL 33140
4395 Ingraham Hwy, Miami, FL 33133
6 Beds / 5.5 Bath | 4,489 sq. ft. | 0.29 acre Lot | Built in: 2002 Sold: 12/23/2013 | $1,660,000
2 Beds / 2.5 Bath | 1,621 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 2008 Sold: 12/23/2013 | $1,525,000
3 Beds / 3.5 Bath | 3,590 sq. ft. | 0.36 acre Lot | Built in: 1951 Sold: 12/27/2013 | $1,500,000
9275 SW 97th Ter, Miami, FL 33176
10205 Collins Ave, Apt 702, Bal Harbour, FL 33154
1525 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129
5 Beds / 4.5 Bath | 6,323 sq. ft. | 0.77 acre Lot | Built in: 2000 Sold: 12/27/2013 | $1,350,000
2 Beds / 2.5 Bath | 2,325 sq. ft. | Condo - Lot | Built in: 1975 Sold: 12/26/2013 | $1,325,000
4 Beds / 3.5 Bath | 2,649 sq. ft. | 7,500 sq ft Lot | Built in: 1923 Sold: 12/24/2013 | $1,275,000
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 49 ]
Content provided by www.Zillow.com
7. The closing
Depending on the market, the closing may happen at an attorney’s office or with an escrow officer at a title company. In some jurisdictions, the buyer and seller don’t ever meet. Each goes in to sign their closing papers separately. In others, the buyers and sellers sign the closing documents together. Also, thanks to current technologies, some closings can now happen remotely using wire transfers and overnight delivery of documents. Regardless of how a closing happens, if you’re a buyer and getting a loan, plan on signing dozens of documents at closing. You’ll need to show photo ID, as your signature will be notarized. Prior to the closing, your real estate agent, attorney or escrow officer should send over a closing statement to review. The statement details your final closing costs and the money you need to bring to the closing. The funds can be wired in or paid with a cashier’s check on closing day. Be sure to ask for the statement early, so there aren’t any last-minute surprises. This article was provided by www.Zillow.com
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 51 ]
TASTE OF THE TOWN
By Lisa Petrillo
Located in the heart of Miami’s Buena Vista neighborhood, the newest spot in town is The District Miami set in a warm atmosphere with brick walls, leather couches, fun artwork and some industrial touches. The New York meets Miami eatery is actually touted as a cultural taste of the America’s.
t the helm, is Chef Horacio Rivadero who feels like his food is internationally inspired. “We like to call it Pan American. It’s a fusion of different flavors of different places from South America, North American and Central America. We make our own twist,” said Horacio. And that “twist” Chef speaks about is truly all about blending flavors. Chef Horacio prepares his corvina ceviche with grapefruit juices and thin sliced onions. The delicate flavors are not lost on CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo. “The grapefruit juice gives it tang then the corvina absorbs the juices, then the onion–it’s a wonderful blend and it’s really good,” said Petrillo.
From his small plates to the bigger entrees, Chef says the way to try it all–is to share. “You can go around the table and order different dishes with a group of people. It’s much more fun,” said Chef. Horacio’s signature Pan Afro Braised Cuban Pork topped with collard greens and a creole pepper salad takes six hours to make. One bite of this dish and guests are transported to another country. “I’m taken to another country. I’m in South America somewhere,” said Petrillo Petrillo’s favorite dish is the tuna tacos with a pinch of guacamole inside. The shells, which are gluten-free, are made of malanga. “It’s refreshing. The citrusy flavor gives it that feel and guacamole has the softness. It’s perfect,” said Petrillo.
www.thedistrictmiami.com February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 53 ]
By Michele Gillen
Becomes Inspiration For Other Children This is a Christmas tale that will melt your heart and break it as well. A new found family of CBS4 Super Kids gathered to meet for the first time to celebrate the holidays and treasure of a girl. As child advocates, teachers and community leaders will tell you, Deborah Perez is an inspirational young woman who is a pied piper for children all year round.
ut Deborah’s smile and dedication to helping children through MiamiDade’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters program belies a childhood that was dark. Growing up, there were many years where there was no Christmas, no joy. In fact, not even the basics as she and her 3 siblings were left home alone. “Sometimes without water, without electricity,” Deborah recalled while sitting down with CBS4 Chief Investigative Reporter Michele Gillen. “A lot of times it was really scary,” she reflected. At the age of 10 years old, she said, she was removed by the state of Florida from her family. But instead of being sent to live in foster care and be split up from her brother and sisters, a true life Santa Claus stepped forward to rescue the children from a potential dark abyss. The children were only told he was their “grandfather.” An elderly man who had never been married or had his own children, he devoted his life to Deborah and her siblings. “My grandfather is one of the most remarkable persons I have ever met, in my entire life,” she told Gillen. But she was scarred by so many secrets, she said, it took yet another stranger to help her rebuild her life. That stranger, a Big Sister from Miami-Dade Big Brothers/Big Sisters is a woman Deborah absolutely treasures today. When she stepped into a young Deborah’s life, “For once in my life I had somebody who was by my side, who was consistent, not coming and going, and just experiencing all the things I did as a child,” said Deborah. She described her ‘Big Sister’ as nothing less than a guardian angel. But even with all that caring, adolescence was tough as she had to move neighborhoods, swapping Kendall for Little Havana and had to change schools. She now regrets acting out but realizes it was a chapter that finally led to her finding her path and inner strength. She explained she simply ‘woke up’ the day she learned that the kind stranger who raised
“For once in my life I had somebody who was by my side, who was consistent, not coming and going, and just experiencing all the things I did as a child”
her, was not her biological grandfather but just a good man who wanted to make a difference in her life. And he did and that moment she knew she had to make him proud. “That really changed me. It was pivotal that moment when I found out that my grandfather really was not my biological grandfather. I shared the news with my ‘Big Sister’. In that moment I was so amazed that somebody could stop what they were doing and so late in life give up everything, sacrifice
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 55 ]
everything he had just to insure that we were safe, that we could live to see another day, that there was a tomorrow. So in the moment, that was when I really decided that I cannot live my life like this and something has to change. I need to be better at school. Be more involved, I need to come out of the closet as far as secrets go and share and to experience the world,” recounted Deborah. “I couldn’t give up. Giving up was not an option. I had to make it.” Indeed, she turned her life and grades around. She would graduate from Booker T. Washington High School with honors. She was elected to be President of her Student Government. Ultimately, she was courted to go to the University of Miami by none other than
President Donna Shalala. Now her greatest dream has come true working for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and running their continuing education program, helping give other children’s dreams flight. “I really found out what my passion was, that education is what I wanted to be in,” she exclaimed. “I want to be a professor one day and be at a University level and help students transition from academics into the community. I hope to be a part of that change.” Putting on her elf’s hat, CBS4’s Michele Gillen delighted in thinking up how she could have Deborah tap into the Christmas and family she never had. It didn’t take long to realize how valuable a Super Kid Christmas reunion would be.
One by one they turned out to meet Deborah and feel a part of holiday sweetness that many never experienced. “I’m excited to meet them and excited to see how we can work together,” Deborah told Gillen. Super Kid Brandon Burke flew in from his Congressional internship in the nation’s capital as he was working in the office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz. She was the mentor CBS4 News had surprised him with and she has opened doors and her heart to him. Michael Williams of Florida Memorial University arrived and shared his dreams of greatness and inventions. He is excited to continue his relationship with mentor Barrington Irving who was the one man in the world he told Gillen he hoped to someday meet. And Zelda of Mast Academy came bearing her famous smile and stories of making change for others. She had just aced a tough calculus test but would not miss the reunion. But the most appreciated guest announced himself with a chant of ”Ho-Ho-Ho” and Santa emerged. As the party and gift giving unfolded and the CBS4 Super Kids took the first step of being family, Deborah offered these words to all. “It makes me honored to be part of this Super Kid community, each of us is doing individual things.” The gift of this holiday? “How can we work together to make the world a better place.” Santa smiled. He has no doubt they will.
“I really found out what my passion was, that education is what I wanted to be in,” she exclaimed. “I want to be a professor one day and be at a University level and help students transition from academics into the community. ”
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 57 ]
Students Go To
mEaSurES To Get Higher
TEST ScorES By Cynthia Demos Itâ€™s no secret the college admissions process can be stressful for students, especially the dreaded standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, but these days the pressure to perform is greater than ever.
ome students have gone to extreme measures to increase their scores but was it necessary? When it came to raising her scores on the SAT, Sarah Rodeo was determined to do whatever it took. “I drilled the math all through the summer from my junior to my senior year,” said Rodeo, a college freshman.” And in the Fall I was still drilling, still taking practice SATs every weekend.” Test prep took over her life, leaving her so stressed that she sought therapy. “I was feeling a horrible amount of anxiety about the SAT math section, I was pretty miserable,” said Rodeo.” I missed so many things with friends.” Lisa Sohmer, director of college counseling and member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, said pressure to prep has been greater than ever. “It’s just over time gotten bigger, and bigger and bigger. The pressure comes from everywhere,” said Sohmer. “Students a few years ago talked about doing test prep starting in the 11th grade, starting in the 10th grade. Now people are talking about having prep courses for students in the 9th grade.” For some, excessive prep can leave little time for anything else. “My best friend has given up swimming and she’s given up like hanging out with us, just so she can prep for the SAT,” said 12th grader, Sheila Khan. Sohmer has seen the effect that test prep has on extracurricular activities for students. “If a student says I can’t play basketball because I have to test prep or I can’t be a member of the student government anymore because I have to work on my test prep, then that’s too much,” said Sohmer.
“I was feeling a horrible amount of anxiety about the SAT math section, I was pretty miserable”
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 59 ]
So is all the test prep worth it? Former admissions officer and college coach Elizabeth Heaton said schools look for applicants in a certain score range, but then focus on the overall student. “The idea that test scores kind of make you stand out I think is a little bit of a false one. What is most important is, you know, what students are doing outside of the classroom, doing well in their courses, being interesting people who have things they enjoy doing,” said Heaton. A strategy that might not give a student an advantage is taking both the ACT and SAT over and over, according to Heaton. “Colleges have no preference of one over the other. They really just want to see the best score that the student can get,” said Heaton. However, taking both tests may not be a bad thing. “They ask the questions in a different way and they gauge success differently. There are going to be students whose SAT and ACT scores can be dramatically different,” said Sohmer. Rodeo said that she ended up taking the SAT three times and her math score increased 70 points. As for whether the extra effort was worth it, she is still undecided. “I think I over did it,” said Rodeo.”I think I drilled myself too much, I stressed myself out too much.” Since not all students are good test takers, no matter how much they might prep, a growing number of universities are becoming “test optional” and will still consider students who don’t submit scores.
“I think I over did it,” said Rodeo.”I think I drilled myself too much, I stressed myself out too much.”
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 61 ]
Should Pregnant Women Drink
Alcohol & Caffeine? It seems like the rules of pregnancy are constantly changing, so navigating through them can be tricky for moms-to-be. One of the big questions is regarding caffeine and alcohol. Should pregnant women abstain, or is a little bit ok?
affeine is the fuel that runs families across the country. An estimated 400 million cups of coffee are consumed in the U.S every day. Valerie Schimel, who is a mom of three, loves her coffee. Schimel and her husband tried to get pregnant for a long time, so when it finally happened, she kicked her coffee addiction. “I went overboard, being cautious about everything,” she told CBS4’s Rhiannon Ally. Previous studies suggested any amounts of caffeine could cause harm. But, Dr. Gene Burkett with the UM School of Medicine says new research suggests a small amount is ok. “There’s no data to suggest if you have one cup of coffee there will be problems.” Dr. Burkett said. The problem is many women won’t stop at just one cup. Dr. Burkett said anything more than that can cause serious problems like early miscarriage, hypertension, and rapid pulse. Dr. Burkett said that’s because caffeine, along with any other beverages, crosses the placenta, and that includes alcohol. One new study in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Journal revealed there is no association between alcohol consumption before 15 weeks of gestation and small for gestational age, reduced birth weight, preeclampsia, or
spontaneous preterm birth. It’s a controversial and personal issue. Many women admitted to Ally off camera that they consumed alcohol while pregnant, but most agreed it’s best to pass. Dr. Burkett agrees. He says even the smallest amount can make its way into a babies system and the consequences could be severe, like subtle learning disabilities to severe mental retardation.
“even the smallest amount can make its way into a baby’s system and the consequences could be severe”
By Marybel Rodriguez
Freezing A New Alternative for Women
After a walk down the aisle ended in divorce, Melanie Bradshaw walked into a fertility clinic to undergo a procedure to harvest and freeze her eggs.
didn’t want to give up that dream of still having that family,” said 34-year old Bradshaw. ”I think (the procedure has) taken the pressure off my shoulders.” For the growing number of women that have chosen to postpone parenthood, having a backup to aging eggs is a dream that doctors say is now within reach. Egg freezing has only been widely available in the United States since October 2012. Once considered “experimental,” it was generally only utilized by cancer patients. But now more women, even healthy women, have chosen to freeze their eggs. Dr. Eric Widra, of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, credits this increase in women, starting in their late 20s to early 40s freezing their eggs to significant advances in technology. “Now we feel like rather than an empty promise, there’s real hope that we’re giving patients,” said Widra.
Freezing eggs, of course, is not a fail-safe insurance policy. Even with high-quality eggs, it’s not a guarantee that there will be implantation. The procedure is not typically covered by insurance and the price tag ranges from $5,000 to $10,000, plus storage fees. Psychologist Dr. Joann Galst said many of the women who undergo the procedure have also bought time to focus on life goals, such as finding a partner, finishing school or straightening out finances. “There’s also a focus on, for women, establishing their careers before they start their families,” said Galst. The technology is so new that only about 2,000 babies have been born from frozen eggs worldwide. Widra said that more research still must be done. “We don’t yet know whether freezing eggs from older women, or for a longer period of time, will have consequences,” said Widra. “We don’t think it will, but we don’t know yet.”
“We don’t yet know whether freezing eggs from older women, or for a longer period of time, will have consequences...”
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 65 ]
By Rhiannon Ally
WATER Is It All Safe?
When it comes to drinking water, it is no longer just a choice between bottled or tap – there is flavored, fizzy and even vitamin-infused water. But some people are questioning whether all of the choices are safe.
any people like the idea of some pizzazz in their water, rather than plain old tap or bottled water. So they go with water with a carbonated kick, itself a classic going back centuries. They also might try the more recent innovations of flavored water or water with claims of health benefits. But there may be some less-than-welcome aspects to those alternative water beverages. Some turned out to be loaded with sugar. One flavored water contained 32 grams, almost as much as a can of soda, and packs a 120-calorie punch in 20 ounces. “Different studies, depending on what you look at, estimate that if you consume one of these waters every day, you can go on to have anywhere from a 20-to 50-pound weight gain for a year,” said Dr. Ellen Gutkin. In addition to obesity, another agreement is high-fructose sweetener which has also been linked to diabetes and liver disease. Dr. Gutkin also advised looking out for preservatives, sodium, and triglycerides by reading labels carefully and she suggested a rule of thumb. “If it sounds like it comes from a chemistry lab, it’s probably not a healthy water,”
said Gutkin. But once you start drinking the waters, it may not be so easy to stop. Consumers of the drinks can actually get hooked. “We’re absolutely fooling our taste buds into craving, and almost requiring, in some cases, a flavoring or a particular sensation when it comes to carbonation,” said endocrinologist Dr. Joseph Pinzone. “It is allowing them to form habits which actually affect the brain and how we crave things.” But experts said if you still crave a flavor, a good alternative is to add it to regular water yourself. “You can squeeze a lemon, squeeze an orange, limes, the alternatives are endless, and you would know what is in it,” said Gutkin. The bottom line, according to experts, is not to give up on regular water and to drink special waters in moderation. “If you’re drinking any single drink once or in small amounts, it’s unlikely to have major health risks to you,” said Pinzone. Doctors advise that we need about eight cups of fluid a day to stay hydrated. That includes water and food, which accounts for about 25 percent of our daily liquid intake.
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 67 ]
By Brian Andrews
Most people like getting their hands on the latest and newest technology, but for some, letting go of the old is hard to do.
icole Wakelin is delights in trying out new technology and owning the latest gadgets but she, like many, has trouble getting rid of the old. “I have everything from phones that I haven’t used in five years that are still in a pile, various versions of the iPads that also sit in a pile that don’t get used,” said Nicole. Nicole says her gadgets have grown on her— and she’s attached. “It’s hard to part with it. You know, it means so much when you buy it,” said Nicole. Dr. Christina Villarreal is a behavior therapist who specializes in hoarding. She says gadget hoarding is becoming more prevalent. “Gadget hoarding is a form of hoarding disorder, which is a person having persistent difficulty with parting with their possessions, regardless of their value,” said Dr. Villareal. For serious hoarders, staying current can be a financial drain. “I’ve definitely seen patients who struggled with feeling the need to accrue electronic devices, in spite of their ability to afford them. It’s definitely becoming an increased area of concern for many people,” Dr. Villareal said. But is keeping a collection of dated devices a sign you need help? “Holding onto old cellphones or old laptops isn’t necessarily hoarding or a problem, as long as it’s not affecting a person’s work life, home life, relationships, and ability to function,” said Dr. Villareal. Nicole said she’s not that far gone and points out a practical reason for holding on to old electronics. “We haven’t gotten rid of them because there’s that sense, ‘What if something happened that I needed this as a backup?’” Nicole said. However, she does admit some emotional attachment to her collection of gadgets, something Dr. Villareal believes is
not uncommon. “Some people hold onto electronic devices because they used them during a special time in their life. Maybe they had cellphones from college, uh pagers that they used in particular work settings,” said Villareal. Whether the motivation is sensible or sentimental, if you’ve got gadgets galore, consumer guru Andrea Woroch has some advice. “Consider selling them so you can help pay for some monthly expenses like your cable or electricity bill,” said Woroch. Woroch says letting go of the gadgets could lead to some serious cash back in your pocket. Nicole knows her gadget stash could probably bring in some spare cash, but she’s holding onto it—at least for now. “Gadgets are probably my big weakness. I try not to hoard anything else,” said Nicole.
“Gadget hoarding is a form of hoarding disorder, which is a person having persistent difficulty with parting with their possessions, regardless of their value”
February 2014 CBS4 News Magazine Coral Gables [ 69 ]
Countertop Buying Guide
Finding the perfect countertop shouldn’t be a challenge. That’s why we’ve assembled some points to consider when finding the surface that’s right for your home and budget.
Content provided by www.Lowes.com
Laminate Countertops Laminate countertops consist of sheeting glued to plywood or particleboard substrate. The result is a beautiful, affordable countertop that’s quite durable. Laminate countertops resist water, are the easiest surface to clean and maintain and come in hundreds of color and style options. And, because they’re easy to install, our installation specialists will help you quickly so you’re back to your routine with minimal downtime. If you do choose laminate countertops, keep in mind that they are not suitable for cutting and sometimes have visible seams and edges. Laminate countertops are the least heat resistant, so be sure to use a trivet. soLid surfaCe Countertops Solid surface countertops are made of nonporous, acrylic material for a visually seamless appearance. They are available in a range of colors and patterns, including some ecofriendly options, and offer the option of an integral sink and backsplash. Solid surface countertops resist water, bacteria and stains, providing a low-maintenance option for your home. Do use caution with you solid surface countertops. They are susceptible to scratching and less heat-resistant than quartz or granite.
Granite Countertops Granite countertops are crafted from beautiful, durable, natural stone. Visually rich and dynamic, granite countertops are highly heat-resistant and can stand up to stains and bacteria when properly sealed. And, thanks
to their ultra smooth texture, granite is phenomenal for baking preparations. Granite countertops do have visible seams. To maintain your granite, seal it yearly to ensure bacteria resistance. Use caution around stress points as the stone can split. Quartz Countertops Quartz is another non-porous, natural stone countertop option that is the most durable option available. Like granite, quartz resists heat, water, bacteria and stains, but is easier to maintain. Quartz countertops have more consistent colors and patterns and are very easy to clean. With quartz, there are fewer shades to choose from and you will have to contend with visible seams, but with so many other benefits, quartz is a wonderful choice for countertops that last. ComBininG Countertop surfaCes For a truly customized cooking experience, a combination of different countertops can be designed for specific kitchen tasks. For example, stone surfaces work nicely near the range for placement of hot pots and pans, while solid surfaces are perfect for use around the sink for easy cleaning. Because of special exceptions, combinations of countertops could be the most expensive option. Speak with a kitchen project specialist about your budget or needs to find the perfect countertop options for your kitchen. This article was provided by www.Lowes.com.
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