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Serving Aventura, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor, Golden Beach, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Sunny Isles Beach, Surfside

December 23 - 29, 2009

Nordstrom and Aventura Mall 'ho-ho-host' holiday breakfast meeting BY BARI AUERBACH

Nordstrom and Aventura Mall closed out the year by opening extra early to ho-ho-host a holiday breakfast meeting for Aventura Marketing Council members invited to help support the Aventura Police Department's toy drive for underprivileged children from The Salvation Army. Talented students from the Krop Sr. High Jazz Ensemble provided great musical entertainment for hundreds of business and community leaders attending the festive event on Nordstrom's first level. On behalf of the AMC, President Elaine Adler wished everyone continued success in 2010. But before ringing in the New Year - there was still time to shop at Nordstrom and the Aventura Mall for perfect holiday gifts. Nordstrom store manager Tony Espinosa encouraged AMC members to impress friends and colleagues with fashionable finds under $100 throughout the store from famous names like Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Lancome, MAC and UGG. Aventura Mall director of marketing Anabel Llopis also reminded guests that Aventura Mall gift cards, great for every occasion, are redeemable at over 280 Aventura Mall stores and restaurants. A Corporate Gift Card program is also available to create special incentives and bonuses for stellar employees.

Judge Lisa Walsh, North Dade Justice Center; Miami-Dade Comm. Sally Heyman; guest; Aventura Comm. Billy Joel; Leslie Kaplan, Carrousel Yacht / Great Bay Yacht Charters; Jan Solomon, Florida International University ~ Biscayne Bay Campus

Aventura Comm. Michael Stern, Stern Bloom Media; Leslie Stein, JGB Bank; Steven Klotz, Miramar Cultural Center / ArtsPark; Nancy Doyle, Broadway Across America

Before visions of shopping bags began dancing in their heads, ladies were invited to experience "early morning makeovers" courtesy of the finest cosmetic lines featured at Nordstrom. Special prizes were also awarded as Santa came a little early for Anat Goldstein of The Credit Council and Charmain Yobbi of the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood - presented with awesome Nordstrom gift sets. Tina Martinez-Jaramillo of Marquis Bank won a $100 Aventura Mall gift card; and Leslie Kaplan of Carrousel Yacht won Phantom of the Opera tickets compliments of Broadway Across America.




Aventura Police Lt. Michael Bentolila; Elaine Adler, President, Aventura Marketing Council; Rita Noa, Executive Assistant, Aventura Police; Aventura Police Capt. Skip Washa; Area Commander, Fernando Martinez, Salvation Army; Tony Espinosa, Nordstrom; Anabel Llopis and Laura Nichols, Aventura Mall

Steve Goitia, IT Doctors adds more toys for the toy drive

In the spirit of giving, many generous AMC members donating toys joined in applauding efforts made by the Aventura Mall and the Aventura Police Department to help The Salvation Army. While the Aventura Mall gave shoppers the opportunity to "give from the heart" by choosing an angel from the Angel Tree and purchasing a gift to make a child's holiday a little brighter - Aventura police officers could have traded blue uniforms for red Santa suits. (Cont. Pg. 8)

Photography by Susan Courtney

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December 23 - 29, 2009

Aventura Hospital hosts Holiday Outreach Committee

AMC Holiday Outreach Committee gathers with Aventura Hospital team

Smiles are what they're after…..and when the Aventura Marketing Council's (AMC) group of volunteers visited patients and the nursing staff , smiles are what they received during a recent visit to the Aventura Hospital & Medical Center. Each month, an eclectic group of businesspeople take a few hours of their day to bring cheer to those less fortunate, whether in a hospital or nursing home. Known as the Holiday Outreach Committee,' chaired by Stuart Geller, Geller Design Group and Shelley Costin, Miami Gardens Florist, the group raises their voices in song…..almost always off-key….and encourages the patients and staff to sing along with them. Wearing funny-looking hats and singing oldies, such as "It Had To Be You" and "Love and Marriage", the group laughed their way through the performance. Sometimes, they're lucky enough to have a member participate who can really sing, such as Caryn Rae Robin, and then everyone is in for a treat. For more information on the Aventura Marketing Council, visit

More hours, more shopping at Aventura Mall With more than 280 stores and restaurants, Aventura Mall is the ideal destination for last-minute Christmas shopping or just enjoying the holidays with friends and family. Aventura Mall's extended holiday hours are: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Dec. 23rd; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 24th; Closed Christmas Day (restaurants and theater hours may vary); 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 26th; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 27th; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 28th - 30th; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 31st and 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Jan. 1st and 2nd. The perfect present for any occasion, the Aventura Mall Gift Card is accepted in more than 250 stores and restaurants throughout the shopping center and works just like a debit card. Aventura Mall gift cards can be purchased at the Concierge Center and online at South Florida's #1 shopping destination, the 2.7 million square foot Aventura Mall is home to Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Macy's Men's Home Furniture, JCPenney and Sears, a 24-screen movie theater, and an artist-designed interactive playground, Rainbow Valley. For a complete store listing or more information call 305-935-1110 or visit

Caryn Rae Robin sang "I Thank You" from her new CD "Caryn Rae's Lovin' Isaac Hayes"

Laughing, singing and carrying a tune… Eileen Glastein, Bnai Zion Foundation; Shelley Costin, Miami Gardens Florist; Scott Fishman, Fishman Dispute Resolution

Spreading holiday cheer Friends from Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Resort recently visited the offices of Aventura Marketing Council at One Aventura Executive Center. From down the hall you could hear the jingling bells and you couldn't help but feel the holiday cheer. Decked out with reindeer antlers and bows, sales manager Michele Leyden, Director of Sales Misty Polihronakis and Sales Manager Loretta Hardial delivered seasons greetings with the special Crowne Plaza flair.

Gianna Rose Giusti..... a ray of sunshine Maira Diaz Giusti, Senior Vice President of Coconut Grove Bank Aventura and Daddy Alessandro Giusti welcomed Gianna Rose into their lives three months ago, and word is out that she's already trying to talk! If you listen real hard, you can hear Gianna Rose saying how happy she is to be with Mommy and Daddy and her abuela and nonna.

December 23 - 29, 2009


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Wanderings & Ponderings Beards BY DAN PALMER

him. The relationship got so bad that she decided to visit her sister in another state A beard is some- for awhile to figure out where the marthing that many men riage was going. After a few weeks she have worn throughout flew home expecting Billy the beard to the ages. Now they pick her up at the airport. Imagine her surseem to have stumps prise when this nerdy looking beardless on their lips that don’t guy came up to her and tried to hug her. cover much. A few On a second look, she realized that it was years ago beards of the full type were Billy minus the beard. She burst out common and although it made some men laughing at what she felt was his shlumpy Dan Palmer –––––––––––––– look slightly imposing it also seemed to looks. It actually finished off the marriage be quite manly. After all, who knew what with clean shaven Billy. the bearded one looked like before the As for Billy he discovered that his beard? next door divorced neighbor loved how he It reminds me of Billy the beard. he looked as Beardless Billy. So much so that seemed to have had a beard from his col- it didn’t take too long after the divorce lege days on. It impressed Jane who that he moved in with the neighbor. thought he was so manly. In fact she realBilly and the neighbor are a pretty ized that that’s what attracted her to Billy good item now. They enjoy each other but when they first dated. However when they lately Billy began to feel that he needed to got married the beard became a symbol of do something to his face. He needed the fact that their marriage wasn’t so hot. brightening up. They discussed the situaShe really wasn’t into the beard or as time tion and now Billy and his new flame are wen on in Billy himself. It got to a point quite happy in the decision. He’s got a when it was almost too much to even kiss moustache ... with handlebars.




X X X B C T P M V U F  J E F B  D P N

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Celebrate Christmas and New Year's at The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club

Florida Heart and Vascular Care at Aventura welcomes Roberto Cubeddu, MD Florida Heart and Vascular Care at Aventura recently welcomed Dr. Robert J. Cubeddu to their staff. Dr. Cubeddu is an interventional cardiologist and one of the very few to hold a subspecialty in Structural and Adult Congenital Heart Interventions, a new cardiovascular field that uses catheter-based technology to provide patients a less invasive and attractive alternative to open-heart surgery. Dr. Cubeddu explains that the fundamental basis of this field arises from the successful experience gained over the last 30 years with heart catheterizations, balloon angioplasty and stents that are used to open the obstructed coronary arteries. "We can now diagnose and treat a number of other important heart conditions with the use of small catheters," said Dr. Cubeddu. "These catheters are carefully advanced through the major blood vessels, from the leg groin to the heart, after making only a small 1cm incision with local anesthesia." Traditionally, heart valves have been repaired or replaced using openheart surgery. However, with this new technology, they can now fix and replace certain heart valves with catheters, also known as percutaneous or transcatheter valve implants or repair. According to Dr. Cubeddu, the very first human percutaneous valve implant was performed in Europe in 2000, and since then, it is estimated that more than 8,000 patients worldwide have benefited from this new technology. This technology is particularly useful and important for patients with valvular heart disease who are either inoperable or simply high-risk for conventional surgery. Additionally, many other heart conditions may now be treated with this novel transcatheter technology, including congenital heart defects and cardiac stroke-related problems. A few of these examples include: closure of patent foramen ovale, patent ductus arteriosum, atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, arterio-venous malformations, and left atrial appendage. "Dr. Cubeddu is a highly-skilled interventional cardiologist, and we at the Florida Heart and Vascular Care at Aventura are extremely excited to have him join our medical staff," remarks Dr. Paul Vignola, Medical Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Aventura Hospital. "With his expertise, Dr. Cubeddu will bring new and innovative ideas for patient care to the hospital and to the community." For more information, call 1-888-256-7692.

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December 23 - 29, 2009

The holidays are a time meant to be spent with those you love and cherish, which is why The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club puts the fun back into Christmas and New Year's with exciting dining options to keep you out of your own kitchen. Here's what you can enjoy: Christmas Day Specials at Bourbon Steak Fri., Dec. 25 On Christmas Day, Bourbon Steak presents delicious specials that'll have even Santa Claus coming back for more. Specials include a tempura Maine lobster with Satsuma tangerine, grilled fennel and Sausalito springs watercress; a main course of wood-grilled local black grouper served with caramelized salsify, Swiss chard and a pinot noir reduction; and American Kobe beef tasting of rib eye and New York Strip accompanied by celery root and black truffle jus. A la carte menu also available 6 to 10 p.m. Complimentary valet parking with dinner. Call 786-279-6600 for reservations. Traditional Christmas Day Buffet Fri., Dec.25 Enjoy a lavish buffet fit for royalty on Christmas Day in Cascata Grille at The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club. $50 per person, $25 per child. 12 to 3 p.m. and then again from 6 to 10 p.m. Seating is limited and reservations are required by calling (786) 279-6800.

New Year's Eve Dinner at Bourbon Steak This New Year's Eve, ring in 2010 at the famed Bourbon Steak restaurant. Firstseating begins at 6 p.m. and features three courses including a choice of burrata heirloom tomato salad, ahi tuna tartare, perigord truffle risotto with butter poached Maine lobster, or sunchoke soup to start; a main course selection between tapiocacrusted red snapper, Alaskan king salmon, milk-fed veal chop, or American Kobe rib eye filet "Rossini" with a shallot potato cake and foie gras; and concludes with a choice between a strawberry panna cotta, traditional beignets or a selection of seasonal sorbets and ice cream. Second-seating starts at 9 p.m. and features a six-course menu showcasing an American caviar parfait to start, seared diver scallops, perigord truffle risotto, roasted squab breast, an American kobe beef tasting and a strawberry panna cotta. Complimentary glass of champagne each, live band and party favors included. Three-course / first-seating is $95, Six-course/second-seating is $245; plus tax and gratuity. Complimentary valet parking. Reservations are required by calling 786-279-6600. The legendary Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club is located at 19999 West Country Club Drive in Aventura. For more information, call 305-932-6200 or visit

Give the gift of coal and give back Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza to donate 10% of gift card sales to the Dan Marino Foundation This holiday season, why not give the gift of coal‌ and give back at the same time? Ten percent of all Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza (ACFP) gift cards sales system-wide will be donated to the Dan Marino Foundation to support medical research, treatment, and outreach programs for children with chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities. ACFP, the South Florida-based concept that uses authentic coal-burning ovens to create "well done pizza," counts Hall of Fame football legend Dan Marino as a partner. When customers spend at least $250 in gift cards, they'll receive 10% back in gift cards to enjoy for themselves. Gift cards are redeemable at any of ACFP's 21 locations and do not expire. For the location nearest you or to buy gift cards online, visit "We've been looking for a way to give back to the community this holiday season so it was natural to support my friend Dan's foundation and Dan Marino, Anthony Bruno and Michelangelo Mozzicato all the great work he does for kids," ACFP founder Anthony Bruno said. Known for its high energy atmosphere and signature menu items, ACFP uses 800-degree anthracite coal-burning ovens and the highest quality ingredients. Anthracite is known to be the 'cleanest' of coals, burning smoke free with extremely high heat. Known for its simple and consistent menu, the restaurant also features its award-winning coal-oven-roasted chicken wings topped with grilled onions and signature Italian-style salad, as well as other Italian specialties. Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza's food and service have continually been ranked "very good to excellent" by Zagat Survey, the distinguished dining and entertainment ratings guide and is the only South Florida pizza restaurant to be included in Zagat's 2008 Top Restaurant Guide. Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza was recently voted Best Pizza by The Miami Herald and "The Best of South Florida Survey." Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza now has 21 locations, including Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Weston, Aventura, Plantation, Coral Springs, Pembroke Pines, Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Stuart, Wellington, Pinecrest, Tampa, Clearwater, Doral, Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami Lakes, Brandon. Expansion plans include an additional location in Wilmington, Delaware. Visit Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza in Aventura at 17901 Biscayne Boulevard. For more information, call 305830-2625 or visit

Comm. Heyman helps over 1,500 families in District 4 celebrate Thanksgiving

Comm. Heyman with Miami Dolphins player Erik Walden

Comm. Sally Heyman with her staff members Mary Ferreiro and Margo Mankes along with representatives from Odebrecht Construction

Miami-Dade Comm. Sally Heyman, District 4, once again helped make Thanksgiving Day better for residents in her district. The Commissioner, along with her staff, distributed over 100 turkeys and 1,500 Publix gift cards during the week of Thanksgiving to families in her district. Comm. Heyman worked with the schools, places of worship, community centers and agencies to identify those families that would most benefit from a helping hand. "Each year my office donates turkeys to those families in District 4 that are in need," said Comm. Heyman. "Gift cards were added this year to enable us to reach out to more individuals in the community."

December 23 - 29, 2009


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VIEWPOINT Climate Scams Won’t Save the Planet

Time to Declare Peace on Youth Violence



Whether you listen to NPR or Rush Limbaugh, you’ve probably heard about climate change. And if you’ve heard about climate change, chances are you’ve also heard about “cap and trade.” It’s a scheme that tries to sell business-as-usual as a solution to global warming. Here’s how it works. The government puts a limit on how much greenhouse gas can be released in a year (the cap), and industries covered by the system are issued an equivalent number of emissions permits. As the cap is tightened each year, permits become scarcer and thus more valuable. The increasing value of the permits is supposed to encourage dirty industries to clean up their act fast, and sell their spare permits to the dinosaurs that didn’t innovate. That’s the trade. The theory behind cap and trade is that the planet doesn’t care where you reduce emissions, as long as you stay under the cap. And by trading permits, you maximize efficiency and make it profitable for corporations to shrink their carbon footprints. Everybody wins, right? Wrong. A new short film, The Story of Cap & Trade, released by the Story of Stuff and Free Range Video ( explains why the real of story of cap and trade is that it’s easy to scam, riddled with loopholes, and a dangerous distraction from the real change needed to protect people and the planet. First of all, cap and trade programs are easy to cheat. In Europe, where carbon trading has been under way since 2005, energy corporations were asked how many permits they needed and were given that amount for free. But they made out like bandits when they still raised consumer prices as if they had paid top dollar. The result: more than $30 billion in windfall profits. And to add insult to injury, emissions didn’t decline because corporations had overestimated how many permits they needed. Under the U.S. cap and trade law snaking its way through Congress, 85 percent of the carbon credits would be given away to polluting industries for free. Here’s the second problem. Cap and trade includes offsets—a kind of carbon trading that allows polluters to finance projects outside the cap that purport to cut emissions, and then claim the cuts for their own. Even in theory, offsets don’t lower emissions—they simply move reductions

from one place to another. In reality, offsets are rarely “additional”—meaning that the cleaner projects were going to happen anyway. But because the offset creates carbon credits, the company that provided finance has permits to keep polluting at home. Even if the atmosphere doesn’t care where pollution comes from, the people who live next to the power plants and factories do. Unfortunately, many offsets are just scams. Consider the case of Sinar Mas. This pulp and paper company cut down native forest in Indonesia, causing major devastation, and then planted palm oil trees on the wasteland it had created. Guess what it got for that? Offset credits for reforesting. This company destroys an entire forest ecosystem, installs a monoculture industrial plantation, and can still turn a profit from selling the trees cut down, the palm oil produced in their place, and carbon credits. As a result, a company somewhere else can continue to pollute. It doesn’t make any sense. Third, carbon trading creates a new derivatives market in carbon credits that’s ripe for speculation. Remember the mortgage crisis, where bad loans were bundled and resold ad nauseum? Now imagine the investment banks that brought us the financial crisis gambling on carbon derivatives—and toxic carbon credits backed by nothing but hot air—creating a carbon bubble. This time when the bubble bursts, we could lose more than our houses. Our planet's ability to sustain life as we know it is at stake. Above all, cap and trade is a dangerous distraction from what we must do to avert climate chaos. That includes shifting public support from fossil fuels to wind, solar, and other renewable energy alternatives, rebuilding our economy around new jobs in clean industries and energy efficiency improvements, and promoting policies that reward real innovators, not dirty industries. --

Janet Redman is co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network at the Institute for Policy Studies, a multiissue progressive think tank that turns ideas into action for peace, justice, and the environment. Watch the Story of Cap & Trade online at

If you're reading this in your local urban newspaper, you probably encountered at least one story about youth violence in your community before finding your way to my commentary. But reports of violence in the news pale beside the daily reality of many young people across this nation. According to a recent Justice Department report, "More than 60 percent of the nation's youth have been exposed to violence within the last year. Nearly 1 in 2 was physically assaulted at least once, with more than 1 in 10 injured in an assault." While incidents like the 1999 Columbine massacre or the 2007 Virginia Tech rampage make international headlines, we're in the midst of a largely silent epidemic of youth violence that endangers the lives of hundreds of thousands of children across this country every year. Recently, the nation was riveted by a YouTube video of the senseless beating death of Derrion Albert, a Chicago high school honor student. He was attacked on his way home from school while innocently walking through a crowd of rival gang members. According to The New York Times, "Close to 70 students have been murdered [in Chicago] since the beginning of the 2007 school year." This level of violence is exceptional by any standard, but sadly, it's replicated at equally unacceptable levels in many of our major cities. As Attorney General Eric Holder said during his recent visit to Chicago to address this issue, "Youth vio-

lence is not a Chicago problem any more than it is a black problem, a white problem, or a Hispanic problem. It is an American problem." A problem this big calls all of us to action. In recent years, we declared "war" on drugs and "war" on terrorism. Today, I think it's time we declare "peace" on youth violence. I was pleased that Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan went to Chicago to begin what they called "a sustained national conversation" about youth violence in response to Albert's murder. Holder also announced a request for $24 million in next year's budget for community-based prevention programs, such as Ceasefire and Project Safe Neighborhoods. But stopping and preventing youth violence will take more than money. And it's about more than violence. While young people who commit violent acts must ultimately be held accountable for their crimes, we can't ignore the role that poverty, parenting, poor schools, guns, drugs, gangs and the lack of opportunity play in this ongoing tragedy. We must invest both more money and more of ourselves in solving these problems if we want to dig out the roots of youth violence. If we can find the votes and the money for a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, we ought to be able to summon the will and the resources to save our kids. --

Marc H. Morial is president and CEO of the National Urban League and the former mayor of New Orleans.


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December 23 - 29, 2009

Tips for stopping identity theft Presented by Ernie Long, Aventura Police Crime Prevention Coordinator The Aventura Marketing Council's Business Development Committee recently invited members to an informative meeting featuring Aventura Police Crime Prevention Coordinator Ernie Long, who presented tips for stopping identity theft - affecting more than 10 million Americans each year. Business Development Chair Peter Fishel, CPA welcomed business and community leaders to the Courtyard by Marriott at Aventura Mall during the height of the holiday season when crimes such as theft and credit card fraud are especially prevalent. Aventura Police Chief Steve Steinberg recently noted the Aventura Police Department now has a detective dedicated to addressing Internet and identity theft fraud. "Criminals don't need a gun anymore - they just sit behind computers and hack into people's systems. You have to be very smart about not leaving information around and frequently check bank and credit card statements for unauthorized activity." Long emphasized "Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes‌Florida's Attorney General has done a lot on the state level to increase the police officers' 'tool kit' for handling these cases. He also pointed out that dumpsters and mailboxes are often sources targeted for input as are credit reports and fraudulent personal information update requests sent by entities masquerading

as Internet service providers, banks and other financial services such as PayPal. "Don't store personal information on your lap top and use caution when giving out credit card and drivers license numbers," Long said. "There are thousands of data bases out there that can be compromised. A major step you can take to prevent identity theft is to place fraud alert warnings on your files so anytime someone tries to use credit in your name, you'll a call. It's also helpful to come up with creative passwords using at least nine characters with numbers and capital/lower case letters." For business owners, Long advised training associates to ask for identification when conducting credit card sales and to check for counterfeit bills when accepting cash. "There are inexpensive black light devices that can identify fake credit cards and currency," Long said. "It's also a good idea to develop relationships with credit card companies - notify them if you're going to be out of the country or plan to make a large purchase." "Perpetrators are always coming up with new ways to steal your identity. The most important tip: if someone asks you for information - don't give it to them over the Internet or the phone. Go to the source and provide it personally - or call them yourself." For more information about upcoming meetings of the Aventura Marketing Council's Business Development Committee, phone: 305-932-5334 or visit

Dan Palmer, Aventura News ; Lilly Trimino, Courtyard by Marriott; Ernie Long; Claudia Machado, Courtyard by Marriott; Peter L. Fishel, CPA

Joyce Boggerson, Budget Blinds; Donna Joseph, Attorney; Maria Cancio and Beatriz, Mazuera, Pre-Paid Legal Services; Harriet Robkin, 1st United Bank

Eileen Glastein, Bnai Zion Foundation; Bob Cahn, AFLAC; Cindy Miropol, Office of Attorney Jeffrey Blacher

Dolores Molina, The Village at Gulfstream Park; Leslie Loewenthal, Aventura City of Excellence School; Lori Fein, Prudential Florida Realty; Shelley Costin, Miami Gardens Florist

Celebrate New Year's Eve at Acqualina Resort & Spa Break out the confetti and noisemakers at Acqualina's New Year's Eve party on Thursday, December 31, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Raise a glass of champagne and toast with loved ones in the upscale luxury setting of Acqualina Resort & Spa. Lush dĂŠcor combined with the lure of beautiful people, tropical weather and a romantic ambiance come together to create an unforgettable New Year's Eve black tie gala at Acqualina. Enjoy live music, featuring Adrian Spadoni, Lala Nacimento and their three-piece band in the Aaria Lounge. A live DJ will be spinning records on the Aaria Veranda where guests can enjoy an al fresco party with open bar, dancing and a midnight countdown to ring in the New Year. Aaria features a 20-foot bar and separate lounge area serving the resort's signature cocktails and lounge menu. Aaria's outdoor veranda overlooking the ocean is perfect for sipping New Year's Eve cocktails. For $250/person, indulge in Mediterranean food stations, featuring spreads and light bites from Greece, Spanish paella, Moroccan roasted leg of lamb carving station, imported French cheeses and classic petite fours, and a selection of Italian

favorites, premium bar, lounge seating upon guest arrival in Aaria Lounge and $8 valet parking. Reserve a table at Aaria Bar and enjoy an exclusive dinner with deluxe bar and set

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menu by Chef Marc Debas. $495/person includes one bottle of Dom Perignon per couple, access to Mediterranean food stations and complimentary valet parking. Take pleasure in open bar and live DJ

on the Aaria Veranda for $95/person and $8 valet parking. Acqualina caters to children as well with New Year's fun for all ages. Ring in the New Year at Il Mulino New York. Reserve a table for an elegant meal and complimentary champagne. First seating is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for $125/person and includes a complimentary glass of champagne. Second seating is from 8:30 p.m. and onward for $200/person and includes a complimentary bottle of champagne and a midnight toast. Tax and gratuity is not included. For $65/child plus tax and gratuity, Acqualina's AcquaMarine Children's Program offers party favors, music, dancing, DJ and games from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for children ages 5 to 12. Children's tickets are available to guests purchasing tickets for one of our New Year's Eve options, not including Il Mulino New York. Party the night away and mark the end of the festive season and the beginning of a new year full of promise at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach. Call Acqualina's concierge desk at 305-918-6860 to buy tickets and learn more about New Year's Eve options at Acqualina.

December 23 - 29, 2009


Historically Yours BY BOB DIAMOND A COURAGEOUS HEROINE: ELOUISE COBELL In 1996, Elouise Cobell, a soft-spoken Native American woman from a Blackfeet tribe in Montana, against all odds, took on the U.S. Department of the Interior on behalf of over 500,000 Native Indians. It all started about 1830, when tens of thousands of Indians from over 300 tribes were forcibly removed from their lands and resettled on remote far west areas. The tribal reservations, however, turned out to have significant value for oil, natural gas, timber and minerals. In 1887, Congress opened up the reservations to settlers by declaring the Native Indians incapable of managing their own affairs, thus depriving them of the right to sell or lease their own property. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) of the Department of the Interior handled all reservation financial transactions “with all income to be put in separate trusts for each tribe with checks to be issued regularly for their benefit.” Only a pittance of the money was ever paid to the

Indians. Elouise grew up on one of the poorest Indian reservations, without electricity or running water. Because she took a few accounting courses at a local college, she was appointed treasurer of her tribe. When she started asking why there was no money for food or clothing, she was told, “Don’t make waves.” She found lands leased out to oil and gas companies with nothing being paid to the Indians. When she questioned the figures, the BIA supervisor tried to humiliate her, “Why don’t you learn to read a statement.” Every government door that Eloise tried to open for assistance was closed in her face. Elouise had only one remedy- a class action lawsuit. Federal Judge Royce Lamberth held Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt in contempt and fined him $625,000 in holding that untold billions in Indian income had been “lost” by the Interior and Treasury Departments. Lamberth stated, “I have never seen more egregious misconduct by the federal government.” On December 8, 2009, the federal government announced a $3.4 billion settlement of the prolonged litigation. A courageous Elouise persevered, recalling, “My dream was to buy my mother a new dress.”

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December 23 - 29, 2009

Nordstrom and Aventura Mall 'ho-ho-host' holiday breakfast meeting (Cont’d. from Pg. 1) Aventura Police Chief Steve Steinberg noted, "With your help, we've managed to collect a large amount of toys for kids who might not otherwise have gotten a present. Thank you for helping to put smiles on a lot of faces." Thanks to the Aventura Mall, there were a lot of happy gift givers and receivers around town - now looking forward to another great year of shopping. Heralded as a fashion phenomenon with fabulous stores, indulgent spas, distinctive restaurants and acclaimed art under one roof, Aventura Mall is "your one-stop, total luxury destination." Nordstrom, a highlight of the mall’s newest wing, showcases shoes, cos-

Paola Burkholder, GlobaLinx; Charlene Welker, Mount Sinai Medical Center; Tammy Wagner, Velocity Processing; Steve Goitia, IT Doctors

metics, accessories, fashions for women, men and children as well as the store's own Cafe Bistro. Special touches include an on-site alterations and tailor shop, a shoe-shine stand, oversized dressing rooms (a/k/a ''girlfriend rooms'') and clothing departments merchandised by lifestyle. If you haven't shopped at Nordstrom yet, make it your New Year's resolution - but be prepared - with 9,000 shades of lipstick, 2,600 handbags, 2,800 dress shirts and the best collection of designer labels including Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Prada - you may need help carrying all your shopping bags home! For more information, visit and

Marvin Cashion, Cashion ADR International; Ben Launerts, Marksman Security; Phil Rosen, Bloomgarden Goudreau & Rosen

Aventura Marketing Council members and guests gather for a brief program

Salvation Army Area Commander Fernando Marinez; Anabel Llopis, Aventura Mall; Tony Espinosa, Nordstrom; Aventura Police Lt. Michael Bentolila; Salvation Army representative; Aventura Police Crime Prevention Coordinator Ernie Long

Bringel Cidel leads the Dr. Michael M. Krop Sr. High Jazz Ensemble band as they entertain the crowd Photography by Susan Courtney

M o r e

p h o t o s ,

m o r e

s t o r i e s . . .

A v e n t u r a M a r k e t i n g C o u n c i l . c o m

December 23 - 29, 2009


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December 23 - 29, 2009

December 23 - 29, 2009


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December 23 - 29, 2009

Nordstrom and Aventura Mall

Dr. Nancy Bacher; Charles Orvieto, Orvieto's Trophies Awards & More; Karen Rachles, Custom Spine

Dan Palmer, Aventura News; Carole Pumpian, Apple; Surfside Comm. Howard Weinberg and Bill Worrall, The Continental Group

Barry Mankes, South Florida Shomrim Society; Zoe Masterson; Nick Bonev, Zip Realty; Terry Sweigart, Solar Glass Window Tinting

Muriel Sommers, Florida Breast Cancer Foundation; Mike Krolikowski, Brickman Group; Elizabeth Greco, The Keyes Co.; Ira Haber, All in 1 Production

David Burney, NPS Bank; Eileen Glastein, Bnai Zion Foundation; Ira Haber, All in 1 Production

Robin Conn, Equinox; Conan Cuenca, Any Lab Test Now; Erin Milchman

Beth Herdegen, Gulfcoast Business Finance; ____ Martinez, Marquis Bank; Jessica Safie and Holly Jones, Executive National Bank

Yael Barzily and Milly Delgado, Dr. Michael M. Krop Sr. High PTSA with guest

Barry Ger, The Sterling Aventura; Jeff Goodz, Remer Georges-Pierre; Oscar Llorente, Mount Sinai Medical Center

Sydney Davis, Top Shelf Artists; Leyane Jerejian, Farrey's Lighting & Bath; Leslie Stein, JGB Bank; Barbara Von Eberstein, Farrey's Lighting & Bath

Lance Detotto, Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort; Tammy Wagner, Velocity Processing; Dimitry Shaposhnikov, DS Xpress; Brian Cruz, US Parking

David Gedansky, Travel Leaders; Phil Rosen, Bloomgarden Goudreau & Rosen; Arnold Goldman, The Alternative Board

December 23 - 29, 2009


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'ho-ho-host' holiday breakfast meeting

Nordstrom stylists (L-R) Marlene Leslie, Richard Santos, Tiffany Ashurian and Brady Wright

Rosie Sardinas-Lajara and Christine Allen, Aventura Worldwide Transportation Service

Michelle Leyden and Misty Polihronakis, Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach; Alphoncia LaFrance Mompremier, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

Anat Goldstein, The Credit Council enjoys a makeover compliments of Nordstrom

Scott Sander, Sander & Associates; Debbie Blasberg Sander, Bookkeepers USA; Arnold Goldman, The Alternative Board

Rita Regev, Optimar International Realty; Patsi Mednick, AllState; Caryn Rae Robin, CafĂŠ A GoGo; Bob Mednick, AllState

Shari Kwitney, Shari's Creations; Bob Cahn, AFLAC; Jentry Redinger, FastCare; Jason Katz, Circle of Lifesaving, Life Fitness; Mark Seff, Aventura North Miami Beach Lions Club; Shelley Costin, Miami Gardens Florist

The Salvation Army collected over 100 toys from generous AMC members

David Thompson, IMACS; Ralph Cadet, Pet-Haven; Raquel Fitoria, RBC Bank; Dimitry Shaposhnikov, DS Xpress

Leslie Kaplan, Carrousel Yacht / Great Bay Yacht Charters; Belina Nagar, ORNA Security & Camera Services; Donna Joseph, Attorney

Xiomara Umana Alvarez, Elite Care at Home; Ernie Long, Aventura Police; Elliot Kalus, Hebrew Homes Foundation; Donna Joseph, Attorney

Members of Aventura Marketing Council's Education Committee enjoy great networking (L-R) David Thompson, IMACS; Dr. Eduardo Rivas and Laura Heller, Greynolds Park Elementary; Barbara Hirshhorn, David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Photography by Susan Courtney

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December 23 - 29, 2009

Who should consider LongTerm Care Insurance? BY NICHOLAS GNAD About fifteen years ago, when I first entered the insurance business, a relatively new type of insurance policy was just gaining notoriety. The risk being insured were the substantial costs associated with the need for assistance, known as the Activities of Daily Living. Depending on the level of care being required, it is not unusual for these expenses to be in excess of $80,000 per year. There are many reasons why someone would want to prepare themselves for such a future. For some it may be to protect hard earned assets, for others it may be to maintain independence. Most traditional major medical insurance policies do not cover long-term care. Medicare does allow for a very limited benefit. The only social program that does cover long-term care is Medicaid, which is basically a welfare program. To receive Medicaid benefits the individual must first use their own assets. In other words to get Medicaid you have to be almost destitute. Creative advisors have thriving practices that are based on helping people protect their assets

from such a threat. There are many strategies that can be used, but they all basically have one thing in common: get the assets out of the senior’s name. If it were me and my life-long hard earned assets, I am not sure that would sound like such a great plan. Very often the conversation about long-term care insurance is focused around preserving an estate. This is unquestionably a huge benefit of a long-term care policy. I suggest a few moments of deep thought on the “Independence” benefit of such a policy. The ability to pay for your own care without the fear of running out of money or being a burden on the ones you love. Not being forced into a sub-par care program because that is all the public program is willing to pay for. The satisfaction of knowing you took the responsible steps to take care of yourself. I guess the answer to the question of “who should consider long term care insurance?” is anyone who values their independence, anyone who wants control of their wellbeing and anyone who wishes to enjoy peace of mind. Nicholas Gnad, Managing Partner of Beachwood Financial Group, an independent insurance brokerage, can be reached at 877-6839200 or

December 23 - 29, 2009


Holiday Feelings BY PATRICIA C. FRANK MThere are many aspects of the holidays that make them special and enjoyable. One of the most pleasurable aspects is the feeling of anticipation. Anticipation is a stimulating feeling. It is exciting. It is responsible for all of the extra energy you suddenly find to do everything that needs to be accomplished before the actual event. Looking forward is what keeps you going. Your mind is full of positive thoughts about what you are doing and about what is to come. You are thinking of others and you anticipate the happiness that you will give and share. As you think of their reaction, you actually feel a glow inside. You may even find yourself smiling. You cannot wait for the day to come. You are full of joy. Thinking about what is to come generates feelings of expectation. Studies show that the prospect of a reward activates the same circuits in the brain that actually receiving the reward activates. For instance, the brain of people buying lottery tickets is stimulated in the same way that winning the lottery stimulates the brain. It is not just winning the money but anticipating win-

ning the money that is exciting and pleasurable. So, preparing for the holidays is as wonderful as experiencing the holidays. This is part of what makes the holiday season so special. It provides many days of joyous anticipation. This explains why so many people feel let down after the holidays. They no longer have something special to look forward to on a daily basis. Sometimes, people also feel let down because their expectations were not met. Their anticipation was more enjoyable than the reality of the event. You can guard against the let down by planning mini holidays. Be creative. Keep giving yourself something to look forward to all year. There is no limit to what you can anticipate. Even simple things will generate the same feelings of happiness. Get in the habit of anticipating something every day. You can also plan things to do and give to others which will increase and intensify your feelings of anticipation. Before long, you will notice that your life has more pleasure and happiness than you ever imagined. The joy of the holidays can be with you on a daily basis. Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305788-4864, 212-308-0309.

Never Pay Another Expensive Repair Again

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Celebrate New Year's Eve at The Grill on the Alley New Year's Eve at The Grill on the Alley is the perfect start to the night with a variety of specialty dishes created by Executive Chef Luis Padilla and Senior Vice President of Culinary John Sola. The a la carte menu allows guests to enjoy an elegant dinner featuring The Grill's classic American fare, stellar service and signature cocktails. The Grill on the Alley also offers a private dining room, ideal for an early evening dinner party or a celebration with friends. The New Year's Eve menu includes appetizers such as Vine Ripened Tomatoes and Buffalo Mozzarella ($13.76) and Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with an Orange Fennel Beurre Banc Sauce ($13.75). Entrées range from Parmesan Crusted Chilean Sea Bass baked and served atop mustard sauce with grilled vegetables ($39.95) and the Prime Rib Dinner, 24 oz. prime rib on the bone served with creamed spinach, baked potato, Yorkshire pudding, au jus and creamy horseradish ($41.95). For a truly indulgent experience, The Grill is presenting their Filet and Lobster Tail, a petite filet with fl pound cold water lobster tail, served with creamed spinach ($58.95). The dessert of the night is the Grand Marnier Crème Brulee ($8). The New Year's Eve menu will be available from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Grill on the Alley is located at the Aventura Mall piazza. Valet parking is available. For more information, call 305-4667195 or visit

Chef Luis Padilla

December 23 - 29, 2009

FPL offers tips for saving energy while staying warm this holiday season Ranked No. 1 among utilities nationwide in energy efficiency, Florida Power & Light Company is offering tips to help customers conserve energy and save money this holiday season. Although Florida is blessed with mild winters, the weather is said to possibly drop during the next few weeks. Following are some helpful and simple energy-efficiency tips to help save throughout the cooler winter days. Heat your home at 68 degrees or cooler with the thermostat fan switch on "auto." To save even more, lower your thermostat to 65 degrees or cooler at bedtime or when you're away from home. Don't forget to wear cozy sweaters to stay warm. Clean or change your A/C filter once a month. Many homes in Florida use strip heating in their air conditioning units, which have to work harder to heat the house. A clogged filter makes your A/C work harder than it has to. Reduce hot water temperature. Set your water heater to the "normal" setting or 120 degrees, unless the

owner's manual for your dishwasher requires a higher setting. Seal up leaks. Caulk leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. Caulk works best on small gaps. Your hardware store should have products to close the larger gaps. Stay safe this winter. Do not resort to using a barbecue or camp stove for heat. Such equipment is designed for outdoor use only and presents significant safety hazards when used in any enclosed or partially enclosed setting. Besides the obvious fire hazard, they can produce high levels of carbon monoxide - a deadly gas that you cannot smell or see. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak, get to fresh air right away. Do not delay. Carbon monoxide can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. If you experience serious symptoms, get medical attention immediately. Visit to learn more about other ways you can save in your home, during the holidays and throughout the year.

Mount Sinai's tiniest patients return to celebrate with caregivers at hospital's annual baby "graduates" NICU party A holiday tradition at Mount Sinai Medical Center, children and their families returned to the hospital for a celebration of their "graduation" and a reunion with their caregivers. The 2009 event brought more than 125 guests into a magical, fun-filled fantasy land inspired by the beloved children's book and film Where the Wild Things Are. Mount Sinai's Abess Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides state-of-the-art care to critically ill newborns. The NICU is staffed by board certified neonatologists who are on call 24-hours a day, and the nursing staff is specially trained in the care of prema-

ture/critically ill newborns. As a Level III nursery, Mount Sinai offers the most advanced care and is distinguished by its excellent outcomes and commitment to research. The unit's two neonatalogists are Jose Antonio Adams, M.D. and Ignacio Zabaleta, M.D. They have worked together at Mount Sinai for 20 years, taking care of babies from birth to discharge, providing a level of continuity of care rare in larger NICUs. The experienced nursing team is also crucial to the high quality of care and excellent outcomes. For more information, visit

Dr. Tony Adams, director of Mount Sinai's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) joyfully reunites with sisters Faith and Phaedra Toney

Little Trinity Miranda gets a visit from a friendly lion. The theme of this year's party was inspired by the beloved children's book and film Where the Wild Things Are

M o r e

p h o t o s ,

Dr. Ignacio Zabaleta shakes the hand of young Nicholas Pailleul, who still returns to visit the doctors who treated him as an infant. His father looks on

m o r e

s t o r i e s . . .

Daniel and Samuel Wahlgreen show off their holiday best. Now just over a year old, the twins have energetic and full lives thanks to the care they received at Mount Sinai's NICU

A v e n t u r a M a r k e t i n g C o u n c i l . c o m

December 23 - 29, 2009


Eat This…Drink That…

BY SHARI LYNN ROTHSTEIN-KRAMER MNestled into the Newport Beach Hotel is Kitchen 305, a funky, festive restaurant that doubles as the hotel’s hipster hangout and place to hear live music. We were there to see the Spam AllStars, a band I have loved for years. We were warmly welcomed and seated by the hostess in a big, comfy booth, complete with a white tablecloth; a clean touch in a color-filled space. The only drawback: it looked as though someone else had dined on it prior to us. Dirty makes me sad anywhere I go. It puts doubts in my mind, but when I mentioned it to our server, it was changed before I could blink an eye. Okay, redemption. We began with cocktails. My Acai martini combined the “it” ingredient of the moment with vodka; sweet enough to let it go down easily, but clean enough not to be overpowering. My companion’s Dirty martini was mixed (literally) perfectly. Not too much juice, but enough to taste the brininess. It was the day after Thanksgiving and I imagined there's be a big crowd: 10 p.m., great music, and the beginning of the weekend. I kept looking for crowds, but mostly saw random tables of hotel guests. Okay, more attention for me. And I received it in abundance. The associate food and beverage director was on hand to chat throughout the evening. He even shared a secret stash of Parducci Pinot Noir from California: not on the menu and really a lovely, light to medium “drinkable” wine. The menu, which is generous in its offerings, piqued our interest from a price and selection standpoint. Garlic lovers should try the Sun & Sand pail Mussels ($12). It was a bit much for me, but I like to taste the other herbs and broth too. But overall, nicely done. The Tunatini ($14) offered an interpretation of tartare, large chunks of tuna with Mango salsa in a double martini glass. Quite a generous, but in my world, tartare is generally small delicate cubes or almost ground. I can’t resist anything interesting and out of the ordinary, thus the Grilled Watermelon Salad ($8) was a natural. I expected watermelon, briskly seared and crisped outside, cool and crunchy on the inside…not so much. It was kind of mushy, perched atop a flavorful salad of greens,

feta, and citrus vinaigrette. (While not mentioned, I am sure I detected a little bite of spice.) By now, the Spam All-stars came on and they are so good. They make funk, jazz, horns, and of course the “turntable” so fun, festive and inviting, anyone who appreciates music from the heart has to love them. The groups unpretentious, highenergy approach to playing makes everyone want to hear more. By this time, I was ready to sit back, sing and groove, but we still had main dishes coming. I was intrigued by the “All-youcan-eat” Large Stone crabs. For $35, one gets an Iceberg Wedge salad with Port wine and blue cheese, choice of side (I ordered my favorites: truffle fries, which unfortunately didn’t smell, much less taste, like truffle and cream spinach, which was whole baby spinach leaves topped with a cream sauce. I liked it, but was surprised at the way it was served. Completely different than any other creamed spinach I’d ever eaten.) The stone crabs themselves were good. They were definitely medium, not large, but with all you can eat at $35, who am I to complain. They were sweet and honestly, delicious. No complaints. My companion had the 16 –oz. Blackened, Cowboy rib eye not overly ($35, and the most expensive main courses on the menu.) It was ideal. Perfectly cooked at medium rare with a generous amount of seasoning (yes, also a little bite – surprise!) and served with an interesting choice of accompaniment?a Hungarian pepper stuffed Colby cheese wrapped in bacon. What I liked most was the variety: Almost 16 appetizers and bar bites to choose from; soups, salads and flatbreads; Pastas, including a $10 pasta special; almost a dozen main courses sides. I might have had dessert, but no one asked me. The service was lovely overall, on that front I have no complaints (other than I might have wanted coffee), but otherwise, I asked, it appeared. I believe for the money, Kitchen 305 is a good evening activity. You can eat, imbibe, be entertained, and even dance all under one roof. Kitchen 305 is located in the Newport Beach Hotel, 16701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33160; 305.949.1300 Shari Lynn Rothstein has been writing about food, wine, lifestyles and fashion for more than 20 years, in New York and Florida. She resides in Aventura. Shari can be reached at for comments, questions thoughts.

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December 23 - 29, 2009

Mardi Gras Casino Presents LUNA / AZUL


A New Year’s Eve affair of unique and astronomical proportions

BY LEE STEPHENS Every so often the stars align and a blue moon rises. This New Year’s Eve, Mardi Gras Casino invites guests to revel in the opulent glow of this rare occurrence at LUNA / AZUL. As the sun sets on Thursday, December 31st, 2009, the party begins at Mardi Gras Casino featuring non-stop casino excitement, New Orleans style dining, outstanding give-aways, live entertainment, beautiful showgirls, LUNA dancers, Jester drop at midnight, 2010 brunch and much more. Known for incredible prizes and giveaways, New Year’s Eve at Mardi Gras Casino is no exception. LUNA / AZUL offers guests the chance to win a BMW 328i at 11:00 p.m., a Harley Davidson XL833C at 1:00 a.m. on January 1st, 2010 in the Big Easy Poker Room, and up to $50,000 in Cash & Bonus Play. Additional prizes include the Annual Limited Edition Mardi Gras Calendar Poster and New Year’s Eve party favors, Mardi Gras beads, feather boas, and noisemakers. A LUNA / AZUL buffet dinner will be available on the second floor featuring a carving, seafood, and pasta station, decadent desserts and specialty cocktails.



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A variety of live musical entertainment will set the tone for an exciting and unforgettable evening. The LUNA / AZUL buffet is $45.00 per person or $100.00* per couple (*includes a bottle of Champagne). Reservations required 954-924-3237. In addition, a New Year’s Eve menu inspired by the distinctive flavors of New Orleans will be available at the casino’s signature dining establishment, French Quarter Restaurant, located on the third floor. The French Quarter Restaurant’s full menu will also be available as well as specially priced Champagne by the glass and bottle. On the Veranda, Club LUNA /AZUL comes to life with a high energy DJ, showgirls, LUNA dancers, a Junkanoo Revue Band and the 3rd Annual Jester & Balloon drop at midnight. As the evening greets the sun, kick-off January 1st, 2010 at the French Quarter Restaurant for a New Year’s Day Brunch. The sun sets. The blue moon rises. The party begins. LUNA / AZUL New Year’s Eve 2010 at Mardi Gras Casino begins at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, 2009. For more information on LUNA /AZUL, please call 954924-3200.


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December 23 - 29, 2009


Thanks to the Clot family for a Christmas tradition BY KELLY CRAIG

Christmas just isn’t the same this year in Pinecrest. After four decades of bringing smiles and wonder to literally millions of people, the Clot family has pulled the plug at Southwest 119th Street. In the same yard where the yearly display of festive ornaments and dozens of elaborate decorations overflowed, a for-sale sign now stands alone in the darkness. The man whose passion was Christmas, Bill Klot, passed away two years ago. Understandably, his grown children felt it was time to move on. As they explain on their website, it was a tough decision. After long and emotional reflection, they realized that their joy came from working so closely with their father to make his dream come true, year after year. No longer able to see the delight in their dad’s eyes, it just wasn’t the same. I’m sure I speak for many in expressing my sincere thanks to the Clots and all the volunteers who created something that we don’t have a lot of in South Florida: Tradition. Like you, I have my own memories of the first time I was enchanted by the display. I couldn’t believe all the work that went into the production; from the countless number of volunteers to the heavy equipment needed to bring the winter wonderland to life. I watched the little children delighted by the mechanical skaters, the automated animal band, the choo-choo trains and even the skinny “Father Christmas” who majestically stood amongst the freshly mulched front yard. I loved that they erected a sign that answered all of our questions. Monthly electric bill? Four-thousand dollars. How long does it take to assemble the display? Fifteen

Life With kelly

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MARCOS E. MALDONADO, M.D. Clinical Professor University of Miami ANNOUNCES THE RELOCATION OF HIS PRACTICE TO 21097 NE 27TH Court, Suite 200 Aventura, FL 33180 (behind the Aventura Hospital)

Phone: 305-652-6676 Fax: 305-932-6335 days and 15 volunteers. Total number of lights? Seven-hundred-thousand. Who’d have thought that the best holiday home in the entire country could be found in the heart of sub-tropical South Florida? We were all so proud of the Clots when the Today Show bestowed that title on “our” Christmas house. Even though his mega-display was featured in numerous national publications and on countless television shows, it seemed as though it was the little things that made Mr. Clot the happiest. He made sure that every tot who came to visit had a tiny candy cane to enjoy. He loved to listen to people tell their own stories of Christmases past. Who wasn’t touched by the big grin on Mr. Clot’s face when he received a proclamation in his honor from the city? It was his quiet humility that I’ll remember. Thanks to a modest on-site donation box, the family was able to raise close to a half-million dollars for the Women’s Cancer Association at the University of Miami, a cause close to their hearts. Yes, the lights have gone out at Southwest 119th Street, but the Clot’s have graciously donated many of the decorations to Miami Metrozoo, where even more people can enjoy their father’s luminous legacy. Somewhere in Heaven this year I’m sure there’s a man with a ladder, a string of lights and a fistful of candy canes who’s very happy about that.

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December 23 - 29, 2009

• EDUCATIONAL AND TEEN ADVICE • whole new way of life. Stay with it.

Toby Rose ASK TOBY Do you have any answer that would help us understand why teenagers kill cats, dissect them or mutilate animals? I went online and this seems to be more prevalent than I thought. I’m not a psychologist and I’m not a criminologist. From what I’ve read and heard from professionals in these areas, this behavior many times results in the actions of a serial killer later on. I wish I had the answer. I’m 16 years old and a junior at Palmetto High School. I feel that I have to contain my rage at all times. I don’t know why, but I just feel this terrible anger inside me all the time. What can I do to help myself? You need professional help. Please call me at 305-238-7737. There is a lot that I can do to help you and I will be glad to refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. It’s very good that you recognize that you’re angry. Please call me.

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Can you give me some advice for my daughter who will is a freshman at the University of Florida? Stay focused, you are there to learn. Try not to be overwhelmed and if that happens, see a counselor; they are there to help. Ask questions of faculty and upperclassmen. Don’t be shy. Be prepared in class and don’t procrastinate. I suggest you wait until your second semester or sophomore year to join a sorority. And give college a chance, you are there to become independent and learn. Don’t be disappointed if, in the beginning, your experience is not what you hoped it would be. It is very difficult to adjust to a

Do you know how many words are in the typical college essay? The average essay can range anywhere from 250 up to 800. I’m wondering why most colleges appear to have their applications online. I have an application for Washington University and it’s in paper form and I don’t know which is worse. It has so many pages and I’m overwhelmed. I receive many questions on what to do on a college application. If the student had poor academic grades in the beginning and had a good reason for it, explain it. If a student freezes on tests or if there’s anything else that could hurt their chances of being accepted, explain that as well. There is a space on most college application to explain your child’s situation. I’m looking at WashU’s application and it says “Additional information: if there is any additional information you would like to provide regarding special circumstances, additional qualifications, etc., please do so in the space below or on an attached sheet.” I feel that this statement to a college is extremely important. Nine out of 10 children that I work with have had some special situation or experience in life that cannot be explained by test scores or essays. This particular section on the application can really help a student in that situation. It’s their time to really zoom in on the truth. Toby Rose is president of Toby Rose’s College Prep. She is an independent college counselor, was a Dade County Outstanding Teacher, a past president of the Pinecrest Business Association, and served as chairperson of the Dade County School Board Academic Advisory Committee. Toby Rose may be contacted by calling 305-238-7737 or via the internet at <>.

December 23 - 29, 2009


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‘Aventura Gift Guide’ BY BARI AUERBACH This holiday season, what do you get for “the city that has everything?” If you were going to make a gift list for Aventura, it might feature some very special attributes like these: *The Gift of “Willpower” – Very soon, people throughout Aventura will be making New Year’s resolutions - many based on the desire to lose weight. Wouldn’t it be great if the gift of willpower was bestowed upon the entire city so at restaurants all over town you’d hear a resounding “NO!” to the question, “Would anyone like some dessert?” Only problem is, up until the holidays are over, there will be so many temptations, even willpower might not help overpower cravings. But chin up! Even if you have a double chin, it’s never too late to deflate from an overloaded plate and reach your ideal weight! The Gift of “Patience” – So what if *T Biscayne Boulevard’s backed up with traffic? If more people had the patience of a saint – like Nick – maybe there wouldn’t be as many horns blaring and road rage tempers flaring. But even the “jolly old soul” wouldn’t be smiling if someone stole the parking spot he’d been patiently waiting for while slow movers were loading umpteen packages, strollers and a few pets into a huge SUV that took forever to pull out! *The Gift of “Grace” – Can you imagine if the Aventura Police Department declared a “grace period” for giving out tickets so everyone who got pulled over between now and the New Year would be exempt from a citation? That would mean all those people who always run red lights, roll through stop signs, change lanes without looking, text message while eating a burg-


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December 23 - 29, 2009

2010 Cadillac SRX redesigned with new engine options Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS Since better fuel economy tops just about every consumer’s list of necessities in a new vehicle these days, most manufacturers are trying to deliver, and that includes Cadillac. The luxury manufacturer has redesigned the SRX for 2010 and given it a pair of more efficient engine choices. The luxury midsize SRX is powered by Cadillac’s advanced V-6 engines, the smallest-displacement engines that the company offers in North America. A new 3.0-liter, 265 hp direct-injected engine (direct injection results in more power, 10-15 percent better fuel economy and lower emissions) mated to a new Hydra-Matic 6T70 sixspeed automatic transmission is standard, while a new 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6 is optional. Both have advanced technology that helps produce high performance typical of larger-displacement engines, but with greater fuel economy and lower emissions. They replace the 3.6-liter and 4.6-liter

engines of the previous generation SRX. The new turbocharged V-6 is derived from engines that GM uses in luxury European models and it delivers about 300 hp under full throttle, but gets the fuel economy of a smaller engine during lowerload driving conditions such as highway cruising. An Aisin AF40 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the 2.8-liter turbo and includes a driver-selectable “eco mode” that alters transmission shift points to maximize fuel economy. The new SRX seat seats five adults (the optional third row is no longer available), has ample cargo room, tows up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped and rides on a wide track that delivers responsive handling. It has the typical edgy Cadillac design of recent years, with minimal body overhang, and the wheels are pushed out to corners. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard and 20-inch wheels are offered. A multi-piece shield grille marks the face and vertical headlights blend into a sweeping body that tapers downward to give the vehicle a sporty, raked profile. A bold accent line dives across the body side and ends at a chrome front fender vent that incorporates a side marker light. An integrated spoiler on the rear edge of the roof extends the sleek

Redesigned Cadillac SRX has a shield grille, vertical headlights and a sweeping body that tapers down for a sporty profile.

design line and improves aerodynamics. On the inside, luxury abounds, with hand-sewn leather covering the dashboard and seats. An integrated center stack houses controls for climate and audio systems. The 2010 SRX has many advanced electronic systems, including adaptive headlights that swivel in synch with vehicle steering, a power liftgate with programmable height setting, an integrated hard disc drive for audio storage and a dual-screen

system for rear entertainment. Bluetooth compatibility is standard, as is OnStar’s Turn-by-Turn Navigation service. Pricing on the 2010 Cadillac SRX starts at $33,330. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to <>.

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December 23 - 29, 2009

December 23 - 29, 2009


Cobra health plan coverage may become much more expensive Al Sunshine 4 YOUR MONEY What do snakes and government have in common? The answer: A health plan called “Cobra Coverage.” The government-subsidized plan has become a major part of the federal safety net for millions of unemployed workers. It allows laid-off workers to keep their old company health insurance, but the catch is that they have to pay for most of the bill themselves. The latest version of the standard plan allows workers who were laid off after September 2008 to enroll in up to nine months of their old health coverage at a reduced rate. Thanks to a federal subsidy, the government absorbs about 65 percent of the total cost. Former workers have to pay the other 35 percent themselves. However, once the federal subsidy expires at the end of the month, millions of unemployed workers will have to find more money to keep their health insurance or find other alternatives. Under normal circumstances, the policy does not allow re-enrollment. Once the 90-day election period expires or the COBRA coverage is cancelled, there is no way to reapply. Even so, some people are trying to avoid possible conflict by purchasing a short-term plan. Unfortunately, short-term coverage has limitations. Unlike an individual or family health insurance plan, if there is a medical condition while on a shortterm policy, the insurer has the option not to renew the coverage once the preset term of the short-term policy ends. Short-term policies also won’t cover any current pre existing health conditions or medications. On the upside, short-term coverage provides an excellent safety net in case of unexpected emergencies or hospitalization, and it’s an especially effective option when you know that you’ll have access to another health insurance plan — like group health coverage through an

employer — within six months. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may find it slightly easier to qualify for a short-term plan than a standard individual and family plan, since short-term coverage doesn’t extend to pre-existing medical conditions. In addition, there are other alternatives to short-term coverage, month-to-month individual and family health plans. If the goal simply is to be able to cancel coverage at any time, both short-term and individual and family coverage are paid for on a month-to-month basis and typically, an individual or family plan can be canceled at any time. “It will hit thousands of local families with higher bills than they may be able to afford,” said local financial planner Matt McGrath. “This is a very big problem for South Florida families and any other recently unemployed workers around the state as a whole.” Today, a typical Cobra bill for a family of two would be about $529 a month. But take the federal aid away and it becomes more than $1,500 a month. In Florida, the full cost of Cobra family coverage equals more than the state’s monthly unemployment benefits. Congress is considering several bills to extend the federal Cobra funding. If they don’t come up with more funding before the end of the year, thousands of local families drawing unemployment benefits may not be able to afford any health insurance at all. According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, as many as 7 million people could be benefiting from the Cobra subsidy by the end of the year. Critics argue that the policy is making people more dependent on government assistance and less likely to try and find a new job or new health insurance on their own. With the health insurance debate still raging in the Senate, it is unlikely that any new bills will be rushed through congress anytime soon. Watch Al Sunshine’s “4 Your Money” reports Monday-Friday beginning at noon. You may find Al’s blog at <>.

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December 23 - 29, 2009


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Page 29

Exonerated cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon tells his story


Dr. Alex Zakharia, a highly-esteemed American Board Certified Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon with a 40-year career, has been vindicated by the State of Florida and the Florida Board of Medicine and is in the process of getting his medical license reinstated in 2010. “It is time to clear my name in the court of public opinion,” stated Dr. Zakharia. “My family and I have suffered from this unspeakable injustice. The truth has prevailed. I am so grateful for the support and letters of good wishes from my colleagues and patients. I get calls from patients every day, and I offer them guidance respecting their health issues.” In a letter to Dr. Zakharia dated June 10, 2009, the Florida Department of Health affirmed that the Board of Medicine’s Probable Cause Panel “found there was insufficient evidence to support prosecution” and the pending case against Dr. Zakharia, which investigated past medical cases and his personal health was dismissed. There are no pending cases. This is just one of the final steps in a long legal battle that Dr. Zakharia has endured since 2002 when he proffered a medical opinion during a telephone deposition on behalf of a veteran in Michigan who brought a civil malpractice lawsuit against the Veteran’s Administration. The veteran had undergone a coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) and experienced a brain stroke during the surgery. The prosecution had hired Dr. Zakharia as a vascular surgery expert, who was approved by the Michigan Supreme Court, to testify that if a proper ultrasound was performed prior to the surgery, the disease in the carotid arteries would have been revealed and corrective surgery performed prior to the CABG procedure. Dr. Zakharia offered no criticism of the CABG procedure itself during this 49 minute long-distance deposition and it was never used in court. The case was settled in the veteran’s favor. In May 2004, the Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Eastern District of Michigan filed charges against Dr. Zakharia, claiming he exaggerated his credentials and made false statements with regards to his CABG experience in the deposition. The AUSA claims were based on records obtained from the defunct Cedars Hospital in Miami naming only the “main surgeons” for CABG procedures performed at that hospital. Dr. Zakharia maintained during his deposition that he was not the main surgeon in these procedures at Cedars, but was, in fact, the attending physician for the period of time in question. Dr. Zakharia had been a main CABG surgeon for 30 years prior, but at other centers. “There is a difference between attending physician and main surgeon, and it was imperative that the AUSA use correct terminology,” said Dr. Zakharia. “My experience as attending physician qualifies me to recommend that an ultrasound treatment should have been conducted prior to this CABG procedure.” Had Cedars Hospital provided complete records to the AUSA, they would have attested to the fact that Dr.

Dr. Zakharia ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Zakharia was undeniably the attending physician, consultant and provided patient care in over 400 cases spanning a period of seven years, and also had active privileges in Thoracic and Vascular Surgery over the past 25 years. Dr. Zakharia has a pending lawsuit against Cedars Hospital which alleges intentional omissions in record production, fraud, defamation, and misrepresentation of hospital privileges. “These misrepresentations have been repeatedly produced in tandem in many Miami Herald publications and were relied upon by the AUSA in Detroit to try to build this case,” said Dr. Zakharia. The doctor and his attorney provided the AUSA with medical records and letters from patients corroborating his role in CABG procedures as attending physician. Letters from the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Miami Heart Institute, Chief of Anesthesia and Director of Nursing also confirmed Dr. Zakharia’s role as assistant surgeon/ co-surgeon at that facility in CABG and Primary Surgeon in Thoracic and Vascular procedures. Dr. Zakharia also provided the AUSA with extensive character, professional and public service records as evidence of his impeccable record over the past 35 years. Dr. Zakharia had no pending lawsuits, investigations, or complaints from any professional, hospital, medical, criminal or civil authorities. “The case was also reviewed by prominent Miami legal authorities, judges, as well as presidents of national surgical societies, who concurred that the AUSA’s position was unwarranted and outrageous,” said Dr. Zakharia. “I

simply gave a medical opinion which was never refuted and suddenly found myself facing criminal charges.” Since the motion to change venue to Miami was denied, and the costs and stress of a full blown trial were overwhelming, Dr. Zakharia settled the case with a plea agreement for Contempt of Court/One Count Misdemeanor. “I had 15 doctors who would have testified on my behalf, but with the trial in Detroit, it was simply not feasible,” said Dr. Zakharia. He said that he and his attorney were led to believe that the proposed penalty in this plea agreement was based on a downward departure and was fair and just. In reliance on this, they accepted the terms, which required the doctor to relinquish his medical license. During sentencing and following the signing of the plea, the AUSA admitted that a mistake was made in calculating the penalty. This meant that Dr. Zakharia had agreed to a penalty that did not correspond to a misdemeanor offense. The proposed penalty was based on a felony charge and not a misdemeanor, and the AUSA admitted this mistake in court. Simply stated, there was no need to trade the practice of medicine for the illusion of a downward departure. “How can an allegedly experienced AUSA commit such malpractice?” Dr. Zakharia said. “If there is no downward departure, why should I retire from the practice of medicine? The issue of relinquishing my medical license was tied to the downward departure, which was not even necessary. I accepted the plea, which was supposed to be a lesser penalty. It was not so. In retrospect, I paid the price for the AUSA’s fraudulent representation and lack of candor. When I realized this, I stated that I wanted out of the plea agreement. We are appealing this miscarriage of justice, and my goal is to get my medical license back.” Dr. Zakharia is encouraged by the finding. “The vindication by the State of Florida is a major victory, which by all standards of fairness and justice, refutes the entire basis for the AUSA’s arguments, the defamatory articles published by the Miami Herald and Cedars’ malicious claims,” he said. Dr. Zakharia has been in private practice in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery in Miami since 1985. Prior to this, he served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine, the Attending Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital and the Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Veterans Hospital in Miami. “I’ve practiced at seven different hospitals in Dade County and have trained hundreds of students and residents,” said Dr. Zakharia. “I’ve been published in various books, publications and medical journals and lectured at numerous seminars including the Armed Forces in Bethesda. I am an active member in most national and international societies for Cardiovascular Surgery and was the subject of an editorial in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, recognizing my pioneering innovations in cardiothoracic trauma.” Dr. Zakharia has been married to wife Andree for 38 years, and they are the proud parents of Yara, Kareem, and Alex.

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December 23 - 29, 2009

December 23 - 29, 2009


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analyze relationships, but not necessarily a good time to act on the insights you have. You might come across as a bit controlling and pushy, when all you want to do is make things smoother for everyone. Listen to loved ones this week, especially children.

Cancer - You may be thinking about healthcare for yourself or a member of your family this week. You have some interesting ideas and opportunities to find better ways to treat someone's medical problems, or to build them a stronger and more secure home base.

Leo - You may think that you have the perfect answer to a friend's problem with their love life or children, but in truth, you are not at your most clear this week. It may be better to sit back and wait for them to come to the realization themselves. Virgo - You'll know just what to say this week to someone in your family or circle of loved ones who is coming off as more than a little bit judgmental. You can point out that spiritual growth does not always mean spiritual perfection. We all have faults. Libra - You may find that it is difficult for you


W W W. O C E A N C A D I L L A C . N E T

to communicate with others this week. For some reason, you seem to keep tripping over your own tongue. But if you keep at it, and watch where this happens, you may make some significant strides in self-understanding.

Scorpio - You may be overdue for a sitdown, drag-out discussion on the household expenses and budget right now. You may have a disagreement or misunderstanding over medical or healthcare expenses. There may need to be changes in your lifestyle as a result. Sagittarius - If you are not yet a parent, and you don't want to be, be extra careful when "playing" this week. Your chart shows abundant fertility, creativity, but there are also potential mistakes involving children. If you are already a parent, watch your temper, especially with children of the opposite sex. Capricorn - You feel optimistic and pessimistic at the same time and are not sure why. People are likely to press your buttons at the strangest times right now, so it is a good idea to be as aware as possible of your own feelings and motivations. You can avoid a misunderstanding if you are patient and tolerant. Aquarius - You are being a little too generous and kind to a friend or companion. Right now you are moving ahead, but not so quickly that you can afford to be giving out big handouts. You have to learn when it is time to be prudently stingy. Pisces - The career ladder seems to be a lonely place at times this week, but that is only because you have lost sight of your true priorities. You got lost in the outcome, in the politics, and have forgotten that the true value is the joy you feel in your work. 1000 Kane Concourse Bay Harbor, FL 33154

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Is Your Association Attorney Taking Their Legal Fees Out of Your Assessments? BY: BEN SOLOMON, ESQ.

If your homeowners or condominium association attorney is taking their legal fees and costs out of your assessments they are collecting (or only collecting the assessments due to the association and then billing the association without collecting such fees and costs on top of the association assessments), then you may want to consider finding a new attorney. Florida Statutes and most association governing documents protect an attorney’s right to collect his or her legal fees and costs in addition to the assessments due to the association. Therefore, if the attorney only collects the assessment amount for the association and then separately bills the association for their legal fees (which fees, in some cases, may be more than the actual assessments collected) then, in essence, the attorney has taken their fees out of the association’s money instead of taking advantage of the association’s legal right to collect all of its legal fees and costs in addition to the assessments.






Call DAN LIGMAN 305-255-1144, ext. 105 “Se habla español”


Additionally, some attorneys either bill their association clients up front or at some other stage of the collection matter instead of deferring such legal fees until the matter is successfully concluded and the association also receives its money. While smaller practitioners may need to bill their clients up front or along the way in order to cover overhead expenses and other financial needs, the irony is that most associations in this market cannot afford to pay any legal fees (which is why they need a good collection attorney in the first place) and therefore should consider finding an attorney who agrees to defer all of their legal fees until such legal fees are fully collected from the debtor or the lender. Additionally, having to pay legal fees up front or along the way is actually a deterrent to many associations from even pursuing advisable legal remedies such as filing their own association foreclosures against delinquent owners (instead of just waiting for the lenders to come through) because the legal fees are cost prohibitive.


Some naïve attorneys also allow lenders’ counsel to convince them that the statutory cap for a qualified first mortgagee (who completes a foreclosure against its borrower) also includes a cap on the association’s legal fees and costs. It does not. Such statutory caps, if applicable, only apply to “assessments” and, as such, the legal fees and costs are all recoverable in addition to the capped amount of assessments due from the prior owner. If the Florida Legislature had intended to cap legal fees and costs for qualified first mortgage holders, it would have stated so in the applicable statute. Practically speaking, this also could not have been the intent because the legal fees and costs are typically more than the statutory cap in the first place, which would mean that if the legal fees were capped, the association would not only typically get nothing (because the fees would be greater than the assessments due), but would possibly leave the association upside down owing an additional balance to the attorney, in which case no association would be able to hire an attorney for such purpose. Ben Solomon, Esq. is a partner and co-founder of Association Law Group, P.L. (ALG) and practices in the areas of developer representation and association representation. /

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Aventura News, December 23, 2009 Edition - Local, Community News - Miami, Florida  

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