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AUGUST 23, 2010

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Biscayne Bay Beds to roll in the Grove for Labor Day Weekend BY MISCHELLA REED

Miami Book Fair International returns to MDC, Nov. 14 - 21

T

he wildly comedic bed race is returning to the streets of Coconut Grove, this time with injury protection on its side. Teaming up with this year’s bed race is title sponsor 1-800-411-PAIN, whose attorneys are revved up for trial — timed trials that is. The 1-800-411-PAIN Great Grove Bed Race will take place during Labor Day Weekend, with the races starting on Sunday, Sept. 5. Spectators will witness fast-paced action and possible “bed-on” collisions. Luckily 411-PAIN will be on hand for damage control, including shattered egos and side-splitting pains from uncontrollable laughter. 411-PAIN also will be getting plenty of “bed action” as a race sponsor for one of the participating teams.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––– See

BEDS, page 2

BY TERE ESTORINO

T

Local women parody Obama’s “cadillac of healthcare plans” on their “GoBettyGo” bed during the 2009 Great Grove Bed Race. (Photo Courtesy of Grove Merchant Group Inc.)

Arsht Center embarks on Fifth Anniversary Season

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY ALLIE SCHWARTZ

A

s the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County enters its fifth year serving South Florida, its leaders are

rolling out a special Fifth Anniversary Season. The season will celebrate the institution’s success as a presenter of world-class programs that reflect Miami’s diverse population, an economic engine in the city’s thriving urban core, and as a model public/pri-

vate partnership that has made critical investments in important community-based initiatives. The Adrienne Arsht Center’s mission will factor prominently into a special Fifth Anniversary Season Gala event that will take place on the stage of the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House on Thursday, Oct. 28. A focal point of the gala evening will be the dedication of two newly engraved donor walls featuring the names of hundreds of individuals, families, businesses and organizations that have supported the center dating back to its initial planning phase. The wall’s newest additions will be names that participated in the Adrienne Arsht Center’s 2010 Donor Wall campaign, which raised more than $2 million according to Suzanna Valdez, the center’s vice president for ––––––––––––– See

ANNIVERSARY, page 2

he 27th edition of the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering, Miami Book Fair International, presented by the Florida Center for the Literary Arts (FCLA) at Miami Dade College (MDC), will take place Nov. 14-21 at the college’s Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave. in downtown Miami. The always-popular Street Fair runs Friday, Nov. 19 through Sunday, Nov. 21, with more than 200 exhibitors from around the country selling books in a festive atmosphere. This year, the fair will celebrate the literature and culture of Mexico. Each year, the fair raises the bar of excellence by offering a fine roster of prize-winning authors, and this year will

–––––––––––––––––––– See

BOOK FAIR, page 2

See Grove Section Inside


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

BOOK FAIR, from page 1 –––––––– be no exception. Confirmed authors include tennis superstar Venus Williams, Harvard biologist and naturalist Edward O. Wilson, MacArthur Fellow and HaitianAmerican author Edwidge Danticat, screenwriter and author Nora Ephron, musician Patti Smith, novelist and memoirist Pat Conroy, local South Florida favorite Dave Barry, novelist Michael Cunningham, filmmaker John Waters, biographer and novelist Susan Cheever, humorist Ian Frazier, fight doctor Ferdie Pacheco, comics creator Charles Burns, NPR’s All Things Considered host Michele Norris, as well as Ann Beattie, Kate DiCamillo, Emilio Estefan, Jonathan Franzen and many others. The fair again will treat book lovers to more than a week of cultural and educational activities, including the beloved “Evenings With‌â€? series; IberoAmerican Authors program; Student Literary Encounters; Weekend Festival of Authors; popular Street Fair, Nov. 19-21, on the closed streets surrounding the campus; Comix Galaxy with Kids Comic Con and School of Comics; Children’s Alley, and much more. Special Topic Panels will discuss current issues of the day, including the environment, immigration, and the financial crisis. In addition, the fair maintains a strong commitment to literary voices of the international community, and always welcomes writers from Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Caribbean. This year’s program includes Sir Michael Caine (England), Salman Rushdie (India), Darren Shan (Ireland), Susan Abulhawa (Palestine), Zakes Mda (South Africa), Binyavanga Wainana (Kenya), Okey Ndibe (Nigeria), Chenjerai Hove (Zimbabwe), EC Osandu (Nigeria), Aappiah Anthony Kwame

(Ghana/UK), and others. The IberoAmerican program will present Paquito Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Rivera (Cuba-USA), Eduardo Sacheri (Argentina), Alberto Fuguet (Chile), Luis Leante (Spain), Claudia PiĂąeiro (Argentina), Pablo Simonetti (Chile), and more. Caribbean writers featured include Earl Lovelace, Raoul Pantin, Gideon Hanoomansingh, Merle Hodge, Winston Maynard-Moderator, Lasana Kwesi, Diana McCaulay, and Geoffrey Philp. Confirmed Haitian writers are Miriam Chancy, Michele Voltaire Marcelin and Edwidge Danticat. An exciting dimension to this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Book Fair includes a celebration of Mexico, commemorating the bicentennial of Mexicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s independence and the centennial of the Mexican revolution. The FCLA has partnered with the Mexican government, the Consulate General of Mexico in Miami and the Mexican Cultural Institute in Miami to honor these momentous occasions. Fairgoers will enjoy a grand pavilion dedicated to Mexican culture, and gallery exhibits by Mexican artists. The diversity of Mexican literature will be represented by authors such as Laura Esquivel, Mario BellatĂ­n, Gonzalo Celorio, Jorge Volpi, Estela LeĂąero, Natalia Toledo and others. The celebration of Mexico also will include a local project with a focus on community involvement. During the fair, the Miami Book Fair and the Mexican Cultural Institute will collect new or gently used books and build a colossal spiral of books located on the fairgrounds in downtown Miami, and after the fair, these books will be donated to local jails. The goal is to have more books than prisoners inside jails. For regular updates on the Miami Book Fair, visit online at <www.miamibookfair.com>, call 305-237-3528 or send email to <bookfair@mdc.edu>.

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BEDS, from page 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Prior to Sundayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s race, the weekendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s festivities will kick off with a Pajama Pub Crawl on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. Onsite registration opens at 6 p.m. at Sandbar & Grill in Coconut Grove. Sunday events start with the Ford Motor Company Family Pajama Party, featuring musical performances, face painting, a petting zoo and story telling at 11:30 a.m. at The Bookstore in the Grove. The Pit Row Parade of decorated beds begins at 1 p.m. followed by a 2 p.m. green flag for the start of the one-eighthmile Bed Race in the heart of Coconut Grove. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Great Grove Bed Race has reinvented bed racing in partnership with the Homestead Miami Speedway and Coconut Grove community, who have embraced this tradition with open arms,â&#x20AC;? said event director Daisy Lewis. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s race was a huge success and featured Miamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three-time Indy500 Champ, Helio Castroneves, as the eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grand marshal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thousands of spectators came out to support and cheer for their favorite team. We had 36 participating teams in 2009 and

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m expecting this year to be twice as crowd-pleasing,â&#x20AC;? Lewis added. The race involves rolling beds down two village streets (Commodore Plaza and Grand Avenue) in Coconut Grove with the local South Florida community, individuals, businesses, organizations, and clubs sponsoring the beds. Comprised of fivemember teams (one rider, four racers), each team will be racing against the clock until the fastest eight beds are determined. Those eight finalists go head-to-head in a race for the top position. Speed earns the ultimate checkered flag, but awards also will be presented for theme, creativity and dĂŠcor. Similar to last year, the race will begin with a DUI checkpoint for all participants. However, this year, teams will be up against a more grueling sobriety test known as, The Inferno Challenge. The 1-800-411-PAIN Great Grove Bed Race is produced by the Grove Merchant Group and proceeds benefit the University of Miami Sleep Program and Alonzo Mourning Foundation Charities. For additional information visit online at <www.thegreatgrovebedrace.com>.

ANNIVERSARY, from page 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; advancement. The success of the Donor Wall campaign is only the latest in a string of milestones that have defined the Adrienne Arsht Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first four years. These range from philanthropist and businesswoman Adrienne Arshtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $30 million gift and the presentation of the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first complete summer season in 2008, to the recruitment of M. John Richard as president and CEO, and the decision to pay off the institutionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bank debt seven years early. The past two years have seen the center achieve steady financial performance, new audience cultivation, membership and new donor growth, and both commercially and critically successful programming endeavors. In addition, the center has added new amenities designed to enhance the patron experience, such as the 2009 opening of specialty restaurant Prelude By Barton G. and the planned fall 2010 debut of a new street-level Bombay Sapphire Lounge, a Bombay Sapphire Gin-branded lounge. Today, the Adrienne Arsht Center is revered as a fixture in South Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cultural landscape and as a centerpiece of Downtown Miamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transformation into a vibrant urban center. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While the Adrienne Arsht Center has set out to achieve many objectives, the common thread throughout our mission is

our role as a new â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;town squareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for Miami, a place where members from all corners of our community come together to share transformational experiences that enrich the mind and soul,â&#x20AC;? Richard said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As we reflect on our past and look to our future, we are confident that we have established the Adrienne Arsht Center as an invaluable component of our community landscape, be it through diverse programs, innovative arts education initiatives, or our role as a catalyst for economic development. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The success of our Donor Wall campaign sends a clear signal that our mission enjoys broad-based support throughout our community.â&#x20AC;? The mission-driven nature of the Adrienne Arsht Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diverse, yearround calendar of programs is at the heart of the institutionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. The centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first four years saw 1,536,662 patrons attend 1,855 events and performances including Broadway musicals, sold out jazz concerts, hip-hop shows, and everything in between. For additional information about the Adrienne Arsht Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifth Anniversary Season, visit online at <www.arshtcenter.org>. To RSVP for the Fifth Anniversary Season Gala, call 786-468-2020 or send email to <gala@arshtcenter.org>.


August 23, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Supporters gather to kick off Miami-Dade Heart Walk Gloria Burns GLORIA’S GAB Supporters for the 2010 Miami Dade Heart Walk gathered at the Mayfair Hotel and Spa in Coconut Grove on Aug. 18, to kick off this year’s big event for the American Heart Association. This annual charity event sponsored by Baptist Health South Florida will take place at FIU’s Maidique Campus on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 30. It promises to draw a crowd of more than 8,000 who are committed to the fight against cardiovascular disease and stroke. Co-chairing this year’s Heart Walk will be Baptist Health COO Wayne Brackin and FIU’s Medical School dean John Rock, MD. Look for a great day of fun in the sun with lots of action, Subway treats, a chance to socialize while supporting a worthy cause. For more information on how you or your company can get involved, join a team, cre-

ate your own team or simply donate to the effort, go online to <www.miamidadeheartwalk.org>. In other news, several local riders were part of the 5,100 cyclists who rode 190 miles in the 31st Annual Pan Mass Challenge on Aug. 7 and 8. Joining other cyclists from 34 states and six countries in Massachusetts were South Floridians Lee Kessler, Harold Kessler and Chris Coffey. Chris and Lee, who are among the generation of young adults joining this effort, will be holding a few more events before the funds are due. In fact, Coffey held a skating party while Lee will be hosting another fun event in Coconut Grove before the final tally is due in October. Each rider must raise at least $4,000 to participate and pay for his own food and lodging, airfare, etc. This is truly a commitment and young men such as these are the future of the event. PMC founder and executive director Billy Starr expects to raise a record $31 million for the fight against cancer this year. Gearing up for the fall, University of Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt entertained Rotarians during a recent lunch meeting at the Westin Colonnade sharing with the crowd a video highlighting UM’s sports programs followed by his comments.

Kirby Hocutt, University of Miami athletic director, (left) is pictured with Gables Rotary Club president Sally Baumgartner during recent meeting. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Now in his third year as athletic director, Hocutt sees his job as that of making sure that 357 student athletes receive an excellent education while having a chance to play in UM’s athletic program. Hocutt boasted that UM’s athletes have an 86 percent graduation rate, and noted that 134 athletes have a 3.0 or bet-

ter GPA and that 56 have a 3.5 or better GPA. Until next time, keep making each day count. If you want to submit information for this column, send your news via email to <gloriagalburns@aol.com>.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 23, 2010

Miami-Dade Blue offers affordable healthcare George M. Burgess MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MANAGER

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Miami-Dade County is a national model for making healthcare more affordable and more accessible to residents. A year ago, through a partnership with our Office of Countywide Healthcare Planning and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, we launched Miami-Dade Blue, a low-cost and comprehensive healthcare plan designed specifically with Miami-Dade residents and small businesses in mind. Nearly 3,500 people are now enrolled in this insurance program. That’s 3,500 people who may have otherwise denied themselves preventive care (that costs all of us in the long run), avoided seeing a doctor until it was too late, or unnecessarily clogged our already crowded emergency rooms because the ER was their primary care provider. Participants in Miami-Dade Blue can choose from among nearly 2,000 primary care providers and specialists. They gain access to Jackson Health System’s three hospitals and its primary care centers, as well as other respected medical centers throughout our community, including Baptist Homestead, Coral Gables, Memorial and Palmetto. With premiums starting as low as $112 for 35-year-old men and $124 for women, Miami-Dade Blue has exceeded all expectations and continues to offer so much promise.

But even with all of its success, we know Miami-Dade Blue can’t reach all of the estimated 600,000 uninsured in our community. We know there are still those who fall through the cracks with incomes so limited they find themselves choosing between mortgage payments, car payments, food and health insurance. So we have found yet another way to enhance an already successful Miami-Dade Blue program. With $500,000 from the state, we will now be able to cover a portion of the monthly insurance premium for approximately 400 low-to-moderate-income residents under an initiative named the Health Insurance Utilization Program (HIUP). HIUP provides assistance for individuals making a minimum of $16,000 and a maximum of $27,000 a year. This limited premium assistance will only go so far, but it is one more way Miami-Dade County is chipping away at our community’s healthcare challenges. Initial enrollment took place on July 1423, but individuals are encouraged to apply until all slots are filled. Miami-Dade residents who think they are eligible for Miami-Dade Blue and/or premium assistance, can learn more by calling 3-1-1 or visiting online at <www.miamidade.gov>. Remember, this is not free healthcare. Participants will still be responsible for paying a portion of their premium each month. We know there is no one answer to tackling our healthcare challenge, but this is yet another component that works with our initiatives on expanding primary care and reducing chronic diseases through our commitment in getting people insured and improving the health of our residents.

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August 23, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Coconut Grove BID Celebrates First Year with Much Success BY MELISSA NOBLES Whether it’s a quick stop for shopping on a Monday, happy hour specials on a Wednesday, or an entire Saturday spent with visiting family – Coconut Grove is a destination. Amid economic challenges for many local businesses, one organization has vowed to keep this concept true. With a primary mission of putting feet on the street, the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District (BID) has done exactly that – promote the commercial core and bring people to the Grove. The Coconut Grove BID is the only selfgoverned board of its kind within the City

of Miami, and one of only two in South Florida – Coral Gables also has a BID of their own. The board is made up of business-based stakeholders that include local property owners, merchants and non-forprofits, and is chaired by City of Miami Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff. With an office staff located in the center Grove, the Coconut Grove BID is committed to enhancing parking, lighting, sanitation, marketing and safety, as well as supporting special events. “People that live or work in Coconut Grove usually have one thing in common,” said David Collins, Coconut

Grove BID executive director. “We live and breathe the Grove. We are very dedicated and vocal about making sure that not only are we happy with our Village community, but also that the Grove’s long-term character is something to continuously improve and share with the world.” Celebrating its one-year anniversary, the Coconut Grove BID has successfully reached, and in some cases surpassed, many of the goals it identified back in 2009. From detailed landscaping and road renovation to executing strategic events, the BID looks back at its accom-

plishments since its inception in April 2009, in this very special section.

David Collins, Executive Director, Coconut Grove BID

Great Grove Events Return BY MELISSA NOBLES Events bring people to Coconut Grove – simple as that. Coconut Grove’s reputation as a lovable, quirky village in east Miami has been in part due to its colorful residents, as well as its wacky festivals and outdoor events.

Using its history to their advantage, the Coconut Grove BID decided to strategically reinstate the Coconut Grove brand. Bringing people back to the Grove meant bringing back Grove-style events. “Unlike other communities in Miami, the Grove has more than just a growing restaurant and shopping scene,” said David Collins, executive director of the Coconut Grove BID. “We have a little something more. We have memories of good times and good people.”

With this starting point in mind, the BID made partnering with event-providers one of its primary goals. By the end of year one, the BID has successfully brought more than 300,000 people to the area by partnering with local organizations on these 17 successful events: POW WOW May 18, 2009 Nearly 2,000 internationally renowned travel and tour specialists were invited to see, shop and taste everything Grove. Aimed at boosting its reputation among tourists, the BID and its partner the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau kicked-off the first of many travel marketing campaigns to come – putting Coconut Grove back on the map. FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION July 4, 2009 An estimated 10,000 people were drawn to Peacock Park and throughout the center Grove to witness the fireworks and join in on hot dog eating contests, kite-making and other traditional Independence Day festivities throughout the day, making the Grove Miami’s #1 spot for the Fourth of July.

COCONUT GROVE BLOCK PARTY Saturdays, July through November 2009 Beginning on the 4th of July, Commodore Plaza was closed to vehicular traffic Saturday evenings and turned into a pedestrian-friendly dining zone with street-side musicians, live bands and artists. This event single-handedly invigorated the commercial core during the slow summer months of 2009. In all, an estimated 25,000 people were attracted to Commodore Plaza for the 13 street closures.

Avenue. More than 15,000 Miami locals came out to celebrate the reinvented race down Coconut Grove's village streets. MAD HATTER ARTS FESTIVAL 2009 November 14-15, 2009

THE GREAT GROVE BED RACE 2009 September 6, 2009

After a seven year hiatus, the Grove Merchants Group partnered with the BID to resurrect bed racing in the Grove, where local groups built, paraded andraced decorated beds at breakneck speeds down Grand

Spotlighting many local Grove artists, as well as others from the Greater Miami area, more than 11,000 people experienced art, live music and discounts at local stores. The event encouraged local shopping and dining while enhancing the Grove’s zany local character. See

RETURNS, next page


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August 23, 2010

RETURNS from previous page SNOW DAYS December 2009

Entirely BID-funded, this family-oriented holiday event brought snow to sunny Coconut Grove. Streets were closed over the course of three weekends, while snow zones were created from tons of shaved ice. Festivities also featured snow cones, face painting, photos with Santa and Frosty, a petting zoo and ambient musicians. Hundreds of families participated in the event, registering the Grove as a family-fun location for the first time in many years. MANGO STRUT 2009 December 26-27, 2009 Traditionally held on the last Sunday of each year, and like the Arts Festival, it has put Coconut Grove on the national map. It defines what the Grove is all about – unconventional, funny and cool. The parade attracted an estimated 14,000. GREAT TASTE OF THE GROVE 2010 January 9-10, 2010

COCONUT GROVE ARTS FESTIVAL 2010 February 13-15, 2010

In its 47th year, the annual CoconutGrove Arts Festival packed the commercial core. Rated the #1 arts festival in the nation for the last two years by Sunshine Artist Magazine, the event brings an estimated 100,000 people to the area. The BID made sure to take advantage of this perfect opportunity and directed visitors to areas outside of the festival gates for shopping and food. SAIL THE GROVE December 2009 – April 2010

GROVE GALLERY WALK Kicked-off May 1, 2010 Miami’s original art district reemerged earlier this summer as art connoisseurs and event-goers across Miami attended (and are still attending) the area’s highly acclaimed 10 galleries, including two recent additions RODEZart.com Gallery of internationallyrecognized George Rodez and Parisfounded Nomade Gallery. PETER MAX IN THE GROVE May 15, 2010 Celebrated artist Peter Max selectively chose Coconut Grove as his premier location to unveil his newest piece. Funding an event that lends national attention to arts scene in the Grove, Max was also presented a key to the City of Miami by Mayor Tomás Regalado at this exclusive event. PEACOCK TOUR LAUNCH PARTY May 29, 2010

luxury movie theater, with a day filled with free movie tickets for Grove Patrons and a celebration of the Grove’s rich Bahamian heritage. Festivities included a traditional island straw market and a rare opportunity to discover the Grove’s unique frontier history on a walking tour with one of South Florida’s finest raconteurs, Dr. Paul George. CIRQUE DU GROVE: A BUSKER’S CARNIVAL July 2 and 3, 2010

The first time a busking event of this size has ever come to Miami, Cirque du Grove offered event goers an alternative fire watching option for Fourth of July weekend. Including, daring fire routines, wire-walkers, hand balancers, static trapeze, hoop and stilt acts, the event brought in an estimated 1,000 people to the pre-firework festivities. FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION July 4, 2010

Increasing its partnership dollars, the BID’s support helped entice sailors and guests participating in a series of sailing regattas to come to the Grove’s commercial core to “shop, dine, and unwind.” MAYFAIR / COCOWALK INITIATIVE October 2009 – April 2010

Despite unseasonably cold weather, an estimated 8,000 people attended the weekend event to taste a bite of many of Coconut Grove’s finest eating establishments. The BID partnered with the event’s producer, the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce.

cases and live performances by popular, local bands such as the Spam Allstars and Suenalo. An estimated 10,000 people were attracted to these events over the four month period.

Designed to increase foot traffic, Mayfair and CocoWalk co-presented events such as the weekly Green Market and Friday Night Happy Hour, plus all kinds of outdoor movies, tango lessons, domino tournaments, Bollywood dance show-

Inspired by the colorful birds that have wandered Coconut Grove’s residential streets, 19 larger than life fiberglass peacock statues are the latest works of art to adorn the village’s streets. This unique interactive public art exhibition was created by Prince Media Development and funded by several community sponsors. Each of the fiberglass peacocks was painted by a noted Coconut Grove or Miami artist and unveiled during a special reception on the Mayfair Promenade, with musical guests sponsored by the Coconut Grove BID. GROVE DAY June 6, 2010 This summer cultural bash kicked-off the opening of the new Paragon Grove 13

The Grove’s most popular celebration returned to wrap-up the year in review with yet another estimated 10,000 people at Peacock Park. Grove-known events such as the Coconut Hunt and CocoWalk’s hot dog eating contest were among the celebrated festivities. For a list of events planned for the upcoming year, please visit www.CoconutGrove.com.


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Natural isn’t the only kind of beauty found around the Grove these days BY MELISSA NOBLES Coconut Grove is known for its lush tropical environment, which includes one of the largest tree canopies in Miami. After 25 years without maintenance, the Coconut BID decided to do something about it. Committed to preserving this historically beautiful scenery, the organization trimmed and pruned 67 trees along Grand and Florida Avenues, and Virginia and Mary Streets, in addition to implementing a pesticide and fungicide program for conservation within the District. “Aside from the view of Biscayne Bay, our lush tropical setting distinguishes us from the other well known Miami neighborhoods,” said David Collins. “As the organization dedicated to rejuvenating and enhancing the Grove, it would be wise for us to start with up-keeping our famed attributes in the form of beautification projects.” Yet, the Grove’s beautiful natural tree canopy isn’t the only project the BID set out to complete back in 2009. Similar to remodeling a historic home, several pivotal accomplishments have revived the Grove’s

cherished colorful character, while still accommodating today’s modern needs. BIKE RACKS Proud to be recognized as one of Miami’s cycle-friendliest cities, the Coconut Grove BID installed a total of six artistic and colorful bicycle racks within the business district. Each rack can accommodate 10 bikes and are aesthetically pleasing to all visitors. Colors include bright blue, green and red. Shapes include an electric guitar as well as an actual bicycle. With restaurant and store owners reporting a significant increase in visitors stopping by on bicycle, the rack installation project has created an overall encouraging environment for those wishing to visit on foot or even while walking their dogs. FLOWER BASKETS Whether it installs flags and bunting for the Fourth of July or decorations and treelighting for holiday celebrations, much of the BID’s efforts are focused on elevating

the overall appearance of the area. “Although our Village literally lights up during different holiday seasons, and is quite a sight to see, we want visitors to walk our streets and admire the natural beauty and inviting scenery on any given day,” said Collins. Adding a pleasant touch to the already famous flora, more than 100 beautiful, hanging flower baskets were installed within the central business district, an initial investment of $56,000. The purple penta, red penta and star jasmine-filled baskets arrived just in time for the summer vacation season. Two baskets adorn each of the Village’s 50 lamp posts – all planted on the central business district’s sidewalks. The central business district’s light posts are located along Grand Avenue, Commodore Plaza and Fuller and McFarlane Roads. Eventually, the summer arrangements will be replaced with new ones during the winter months. This will create a different look for a different season. ART ABOUT TOWN While natural beauty defines the Village center, alluring art blooms everywhere in Miami’s original art district. You’re sure to find that celebrated artists such as Peter Max, George Rodez and Cristina Chacon have all made this Bohemian paradise their artistic home, with acclaimed galleries on nearly every street

corner. But you don’t always have to be inside to admire good work. An artistic revival has come to the Grove, and as with most great ideas, it’s starting on the streets…literally. Located in the center of town, the Grove now has a beautifully hand-painted welcome center that’s not only a work of art, but is conveniently informational as well. Designed and hand-painted by Coconut Grove artist Eileen Seitz, the bright and inviting hospitality booth shines with traditional Bahamian colors and vivid scenic images. Professionally staffed with knowledgeable Hospitality Ambassadors who answer hundreds of visitors’ questions and provide reliable directions, the welcome center is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is located directly in front of The Gap at CocoWalk. Throughout the Grove, Prince Media Development, owned and operated by longtime Grove resident Heather Bettner, has produced one the Village’s most acclaimed art-projects in years: the Coconut Grove Peacock Tour. Proud to be one of this interactive, public art exhibition’s sponsors, the Coconut Grove BID asks visitors to come and meet “Monty” – one of the 19 larger than life peacock statues inspired by the real-life birds that wander the Grove’s residential streets. Varying in colors, designs and pure personalities, each peacock is decorated by a noted Coconut Grove or Miami artist. To locate any of the birds on the tour (including the BID’s very own “Monty”), visit www.coconutgrovepeacocktour.com for a detailed map with information, locations and images.


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Coconut Grove is now a safer, cleaner village BY MELISSA NOBLES In addition to focusing on events, the Coconut Grove BID has also spent more than $375,000 in much-needed upgrades. Benefitting the village’s public perception in a variety of categories, the BID conquered everything from security to sanitation to parking ease. “It is very important for the BID to bring people to the Grove, and to leave them with such a positive experience that they will want to come back time and again,” Collins said. In order to make this goal a reality, the BID knew that quick action was needed and drastic changes were necessary. So, that’s exactly what they did – they made people feel safe, comfortable and at ease while in the Village. With a turnaround time of only a year, success could be measured by the following improvements: SECURITY AND SAFETY • More than 9,372 patrol hours by private security from Thursday-Sunday, since April 2009 • Over 19,000 scheduled private security “beat walks” and bicycle patrols throughout the District • More than 700 check-up’s by BID security guards at local merchants • More than 2,460 additional hours of City police coverage within the District since November 2009 • Upgraded “white light” pedestrian lighting on 28 street lamps on Grand Ave., from Mary St. to Matilda St. for safer night-trips • Conduit installation of 2,800 ft. of lighting for future up and down-lighting along Grand Ave, Commodore Plaza & Fuller St SANITATION AND PARKING • Expanded sanitation services, beyond what the City provides, Wednesdays through Sundays (7 p.m. - 11 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday mornings (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) • More than 3,919 additional sanitation hours provided by the BID • Installation of 12 new, enhanced trash receptacles at strategic business sites • Repair of potholes & pavers within the commercial core • Removal of obsolete phone booths within District

• Installation of custom bicycle tandem bicycle racks within District • Removal duplicate, cluttering “green” street signage • Refurbishing and reinstallation of illuminated parking signs within District • Development and printing of a “parking location map” showing 4,000 parking spaces • Creation of after-hour parking access at the Post Office lot on Grand Ave. from Thursdays to Sundays

And that’s just the beginning. The Coconut Grove BID has several plans for the upcoming year as it relates to improving operations around the business core. Have a question about the changes made? Want to comment or suggest something regarding the BID’s recent efforts? Please call (305) 461-5506 for more information. The BID welcomes all comments and concerns.

August 23, 2010


August 23, 2010

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Sound Waves leads way in ultrasound services BY NANCY EAGLETON

Denise Barbato, RDMS, has been an ultrasound sonographer for 16 years and has specialized in obstetrics and gynecology ultrasound for 11 of those years. With her new company, Sound Waves, Barbato is bringing her ultrasound expertise and her state of the art equipment right into the offices of some of the best OB/GYN doctors in Miami. Barbato left the comfort of her solid, stable career and took a leap of faith to acquire her own ultrasound equipment and start Sound Waves. With her “in-house” services, doctors are able to see ultrasound results immediately and patients are spared the additional appointments at outpatient centers and the long wait time for results. “It’s wonderful to make such a difference in patient care,” Barbato said. “Patients can receive diagnostic results immediately and doctors can actually view the images at the time of the ultrasound.” Barbato had worked previously at South Florida Perinatal Medicine and at University of Miami performing high-risk obstetrical ultrasounds. She also worked with Dr. Nathan Hirsch, OB/GYN, for 11 years. “I’ve worked with such brilliant doctors over the years,” Barbato said. “Dr. Hirsch not only gave me his blessing to start my own business, but also recommended me to several wonderful doctors.” Because of Barbatos’ reputation in the industry, Sound Waves’ services have grown rapidly. She currently provides ultrasound services to six Miami OB/GYN doctors’ offices, including Dr. Edward Phillips. “It greatly enhances our practice to have such high quality ultrasound services in our office.” Dr. Phillips said. “We are able to see results immediately and simplify and improve our patient care. Denise’s experience is unmatched and we are so pleased to partner with her.” To keep up with the growing demand for her services, Barbato has purchased a second ultrasound machine and has hired two additional technologists. Like her, these techs are certified with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, the globally recognized standard of excellence in sonography. “My techs are highly trained and experienced in OB/GYN ultrasound. You really have to know the anatomy and know what you’re doing to get the best picture,” Barbato said. “These techs also have great

Denise Barbato, RDMS, of Sound Waves –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

integrity. We’ll work together to ensure the highest quality results for our doctors and patients.” For Barbato, quality results come from having quality equipment. “Top of the line ultrasound equipment is truly what is best for the patients and the doctors,” she said. “The doctors benefit because they don’t have to think about the equipment. I maintain the service contracts and have plans to update the equipment every five years.” In business and in her personal life, Barbato has become a champion for women’s health issues. Her mother, who lives in Baltimore, is battling ovarian cancer. Barbato donates to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and stays current on prevention, screening and the research to find a cure for this disease. Barbato was born in Baltimore and moved to Miami in 1989. She started riding horses at age 11 and travels to Ocala on weekends to ride her horse, Conspicuous, on cross-country courses. Barbato said that she knew in high school that she wanted to go into the medical field. After meeting an ultrasound technologist while attending school, she was inspired. To reach Denise Barbato at Sound Waves, call 305-803-4823 or send email to her at <denise.barbato@gmail.com>. For more information, visit the website at <www.soundwavesgyn.com>.

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August 23, 2010

Calling all ‘Heroes’ to join childhood obesity fight BY TRACEY LEMPNER

Children and youth across Florida have the opportunity to become “Health Heroes” by learning about childhood obesity, designing programs to address it and implementing the programs in their communities. UnitedHealth Heroes is a service-learning, health literacy initiative designed to encourage young people, working with educators and youth leaders, to create and implement local hands-on programs to fight childhood obesity. As childhood obesity rates are increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UnitedHealth Group is taking the fight to Florida and offering UnitedHealth Heroes grants to schools and youth-focused, community center-based programs. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to programs that demonstrate a clear understanding of the health risks associated with childhood obesity; propose creative solutions to fighting obesity in their schools and communities, and can be easily implemented, scaled and measured. In addition, each grant also engages participating youth in servicelearning, an effective teaching and learning

strategy that supports student academic achievement, and helps students develop their workplace readiness skills. To obtain an application, visit online at <www.YSA.org/HEROES>. The website also contains more information about the program as well as “First Responders: Youth Addressing Childhood Obesity Through Service-Leaning,” a step-by-step manual that helps youth, parents, teachers and other volunteers deploy YSA service-learning models to fight childhood obesity in their communities. Applications must be submitted online before midnight, Oct. 22. Grant recipients will be notified in December and January. “With the UnitedHealth Heroes program, we are helping young people take action to improve their overall health and quality of life in a way that’s not only educational, but beneficial for their communities,” said Dr. Manuel Selva, chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare South Florida. “We believe that as people become more aware of health issues through health literacy and advocacy initiatives they will make positive changes to live better lives. We look forward to seeing the creative ideas young people come up with to help fight obesity and encourage healthier living.”


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Habitat for Humanity among top builders in Miami-Dade BY JOSEPH MCDANIELS

The organization also services their mortgages in-house which allows staff to work Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami closely with families who are experiencing is among the top residential builders in financial difficulties. Only three homeMiami-Dade County, according to a spe- owners over the past two years have lost cial report by MetroStudy. The report their home through foreclosure. accounts for residential closings for fiscal With a low 5.2 percent administrative year 2009-10 and ranks Miami Habitat at cost and 2.9 percent in fundraising, this 21No. 4 with 79 closings. year-old organization Miami Habitat’s posichannels more than 90 Because the payments tion reflects the steady percent of its contribuare affordable, the growth the non-profit tions into the construcorganization has a low builder has experienced tion of homes. during the past several Affordability of the foreclosure rate. The years. While larger, forhomes is maintained with organization also profit residential builders the contributions of volservices their have cut back production unteer builders and donadue to the spiraling econotions from individuals, mortgages in-house my, Miami Habitat has businesses, and foundawhich allows staff to continued to pour its tions. In recent years, work closely with resources into building much of the cost burden homes for low-income has been reduced through families who are families who are in need of the county’s contribution experiencing financial affordable housing. of hundreds of vacant difficulties. “We’re driven by need, lots, meaning land cost not by profit, so we’ve does not get passed on to been able to build during these challenging the Habitat home purchasers. times,” said Anne Manning, executive Next year’s production numbers are director of the organization. expected to be even greater with the recent Habitat for Humanity’s model is based $9 million award from HUD to purchase on what founder Millard Fuller called foreclosed and abandoned properties in the “biblical economics.” The Christian hous- urban core. ing ministry sells its homes to low income “Each of the over 800 Habitat homes families at cost (no profit) and does not spread throughout the county is a testimony charge interest on the loans provided to to God’s love for us and our love for one each purchaser. All homeowners help build another,” Manning said. “Habitat’s success their homes, providing a down payment of is simply the success of this community in “sweat equity” and monthly mortgage pay- reaching out to make a meaningful differments are funneled back into the construc- ence in the lives of our neighbors in need.” tion of more homes. For more information about Habitat for Because the payments are affordable, Humanity of Greater Miami visit online at the organization has a low foreclosure rate. <www.miamihabitat.org>.

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August 23, 2010

Some tips to help you squash stings, bites BY CRISTINA ARMAND

In the summer months we like to flock to the beaches and parks to enjoy the beautiful weather that give Florida the moniker â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Sunshine State.â&#x20AC;? But for some of us, spending time outdoors places a great big target of ourselves for the mosquitoes and other stinging critters that seem to be everywhere during the summer. On top of the fact that bug bites are annoying and irritating, now we have to be mindful of possibly contracting the West Nile Virus, encephalitis and other diseases. The Florida Department of Health advocates prevention by practicing the â&#x20AC;&#x153;5 Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s.â&#x20AC;? They are: â&#x20AC;˘ Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. â&#x20AC;˘ Dress so your skin is covered with clothing. â&#x20AC;˘ Apply mosquito repellent containing Deet to bare skin and clothing. Other effective repellents include picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535. â&#x20AC;˘ Empty containers and drain standing water around your home where mosquitoes can lay eggs. When choosing a repellent so you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry about bites and stings the next time you wander outdoors, remember the following information: â&#x20AC;˘ Always read the directions carefully for the approved usage before applying. Some repellents are not suitable for children. Recommended products contain concentrations of up to 30 percent of Deet. Traditional repellents and EPA-approved alternatives are generally available at local pharmacies. â&#x20AC;˘ Apply insect repellent to exposed skin or onto clothing, but not under clothing. â&#x20AC;˘ When protecting children from bites and stings, read label instructions to ensure that the repellent is appropriate for their age. According to the Center for Disease Control,

mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of 3. Deet is not recommended on children younger than 2 months old. â&#x20AC;˘ The best protection for infants is to be kept indoors or use mosquito netting over carriers to protect them. If you do happen to get bitten, most bites from creatures like bees, wasps and ants are not usually life-threatening unless you have an allergic reaction. These bites are common, and normal reactions to bites from these critters include pain, itching, redness and swelling confined to the sting site. Caution must be taken with people who have an abnormal or allergic reaction to bites and stings from these insects, which can turn dangerous or even deadly. While these reactions are not common, you always should monitor for any development of the following signs and symptoms, and call 911 immediately if you notice: â&#x20AC;˘ Hives or swelling in areas other than the sting site; â&#x20AC;˘ Tightness in the chest or difficulty breathing; â&#x20AC;˘ Swelling of the mouth, tongue or throat; â&#x20AC;˘ Dizziness or sharp drop in blood pressure, or â&#x20AC;˘ Unconsciousness or cardiac arrest. If you have had an allergic reaction in the past, you have a much greater chance of having a similar or worse reaction with each future bite, so all allergic reactions, even mild ones, should be checked out by a doctor. In some cases, a doctor will prescribe an autoinjector pen to be carried by individuals who are prone to severe allergic reactions. We all know that bites and stings can be pesky and annoying, but protection and prevention will make that day at the park or beach a pleasant one.

Cristina Armand is a public information officer with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

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Miss Florida USA lends her voice to cancer awareness BY JASMINE BERRY

Miami native Lissette Garcia, crowned Miss Florida USA 2011 during the 60th annual Miss Florida USA pageant on July 10, hopes to lend her voice to cancer awareness and spread her message of persistence. Garcia, a graduate of Southwest Miami Senior High School, is studying at Miami-Dade College to become a physician’s assistant. For the past five years, she has been preparing for her future in the medical field as a polysomnography (sleep study) technician. She is one of five siblings whose parents emigrated from Cuba more than 30 years ago. Garcia got her start in the world of pageants as a teenager as a result of her love for modeling. After turning 18, she began entering bigger pageants, including the Miss USA state pageant, which she didn’t win. But she didn’t let that slow her down. Garcia went on to win the title of Queen of the World in Germany in 2006 and Miss Cuban American in 2007. After returning from her travels, Garcia almost opted not to enter the Miss USA state pageant again. With support from her friends and the knowledge that this would be her last year to compete due to age restrictions as her motivation, she decided to enter. Garcia hopes to inspire boys and girls alike to be persistent in making their dreams come true. “It took me a while to reach my goal, but I did it,” she said. “I want everyone to know that you might not reach your goal right away, but don’t give up.”

Lissette Garcia, Miss Florida USA 2011 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Prompted by her grandmother, who died from ovarian cancer, Garcia also plans to work with the American Cancer Society and the Miami Children’s Hospital to bring awareness abnout the disease. To book Miss Florida USA 2011, Lissette Garcia, for a speaking engagement, call 305-751-7001, ext. 8003.

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August 23, 2010

UM study uncovers potential health issues for beachgoers BY MARIE GUMA DIAZ

A yearlong beach study led by a team of University of Miami researchers suggests that swimmers at sub-tropical beaches face an increased risk of illness. The multi-disciplinary team examined the risk of illness that beachgoers face when exposed to recreational marine water at subtropical beaches with no known source of pollution or contamination. BEACHES (Beach Environmental Assessment and Characterization Human Exposure Study) enlisted more than 1,300 volunteers, all local residents who regularly use South Florida beaches. Researchers divided study participants into two groups: volunteers who went into the water and those instructed to stay out of the water. The group that went in the water was asked to dunk themselves completely in the water three times over a 15-minute period. A few days later both sets of participants received follow-up calls from researchers, checking on their health and wellbeing. “We found that when swimming in subtropical beach areas with no known pollution or contamination from sewage or runoff, you still have a chance of being exposed to the kind of microbes that can make you sick,” said Dr. Lora Fleming, co-director of the Center for Oceans and Human Health (OHH) and professor of Epidemiology at the University of Miami, who directed the study, the first large epidemiologic survey of its kind. “This information is especially important to take into account for children and the elderly, or if you have a compromised immune system and are planning a beach outing.” The study found that the swimmers were 1.76 times more likely to report a gastrointestinal illness, and 4.46 times more likely to

report having a fever or respiratory illness. Swimmers in the study also were nearly six times more likely to report a skin illness than those volunteers who stayed out of the water. “While people shouldn’t avoid our beautiful beaches which are regularly monitored for water quality safety, we recommend taking simple precautions to reduce the risk of microbes so your visit to the beach can be more enjoyable,” said Dr. Samir Elmir, environmental administrator with the MiamiDade County Health Department. Among the top tips from the scientists for a healthy visit to the beach this summer are: • Avoiding getting beach water in your mouth, or swallowing seawater; • Practicing good beach hygiene by not swimming when ill with flu-like symptoms, diarrhea or open wounds; • Showering before entering the ocean and immediately after leaving the water; • Washing your hands with soap before eating, and • Taking small children to the restroom frequently, while on a public beach. (For more tips, visit the CDC’s guide to preventing recreational water illnesses at <www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/rwi /rwi-prevent.html>. “Very few studies have been conducted in warm sub-tropical waters such as those found in South Florida,” said Dr. Helena Solo-Gabriele, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UM. “The persistence of microbes can be linked to water temperature, and other environmental factors including sunlight, rainfall, currents, and wave conditions. Moving forward we will use the information we have gathered through BEACHES to help us to better understand these factors, and develop better predictive tools for establishing beach closures.”


August 23, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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1450 Brickell office tower leases over 26,000 sq. ft.

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1450 Brickell Avenue, the premier “class A” office building in Miami’s Brickell Financial District, has finalized leases with financial services firm BNY Mellon, executive recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International, investment banking firm BroadSpan Capital and commercial reinsurance company International Broking Solutions. The new lease agreements total a combined 26,045 square feet of office space, bringing the total amount of space leased at 1450 Brickell to more than 226,000 square feet. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed. Tere Blanca and Danet Linares of Blanca Commercial Real Estate represented landlord 1450 Brickell LLC and Rilea Group in the transactions. Alan Kleber and John Marshall of Cushman & Wakefield of Florida represented Korn/Ferry International, which will relocate from Wachovia Financial Center. BNY Mellon, which is relocating from Sabadell Financial Center, was represented by Jones Lang LaSalle. Bill Cutler of Colliers Abood Wood-Fay represented BroadSpan Capital. The other transaction did not involve cobrokers. The latest tenant relocations to 1450 Brickell are indicative of the “flight to quality” underway in the South Florida office market, according to Tere Blanca, president and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate. “As companies increasingly seek to align their real estate decisions with their business goals, the Miami office market is witnessing a ‘flight to quality’ driven by office users looking to upgrade their occupancy to assets offering financial stability and ownership strength, superior location, efficient floor plates with panoramic views, advanced construction quality and premium finishes,” Blanca said. “1450 Brickell stands out in each of these categories.” The BNY Mellon, Korn/Ferry International, BroadSpan Capital and International Broking Solutions leases follow two of the largest office market transactions of the past 12 months in Miami — the Bilzin Sumberg law firm’s decision to take 80,000 square feet at 1450 Brickell and private investment firm H.I.G. Capital’s 39,000-square-foot lease. Factors driving tenant traffic to 1450 Brickell include the building’s panoramic

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views, location within walking distance of more than 30 retail businesses, restaurants and high-end hotels, and close proximity to Miami’s Metromover, which provides transportation throughout Downtown Miami. Tenants also are drawn to the building’s location away from the Miami River, affording them and their visitors the conveniences of the Brickell Financial District without the traffic headaches spawned by the bridges spanning the river. 1450 Brickell also stands out for its LEED Gold certification and superior construction quality. The building is fabricated with above code large-missile impact glass from top-to-bottom, making its exterior curtain wall window system one of the nation’s strongest. The tower also sports an above code backup generator that can power tenants’ basic electrical needs during outages. 1450 Brickell is a 35-story, 582,817 square-foot “class A” office tower in the Brickell Financial District. The building includes both commercial office and retail space and is located in one of the city’s least congested areas, offering convenient in-and-out access, as well as sweeping views of Biscayne Bay. To learn more, visit online at <www.1450Brickell.com>.

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August 23, 2010

Historic NY spring water popular with local diners BY HOWARD SCHAFFER

With a seasonal home here in South Florida, CEO Adam Madkour of the famed Saratoga Spring Water Company continues to nurture the bond he shares with South Florida restaurant operators and aficionados of fine dining. The natural springs in Upstate New York, where folks once traveled from throughout the world to “take the cure” in the clear cold water, is where Saratoga Spring Water originated. It is one of the world’s first bottled waters, and after 138 years remains committed to offering the finest bottled water from deep beneath the lush Adirondack foothills. While there are approximately 1,500 miles between Saratoga Springs, NY, and Miami, the number of “New York transplants” are many. In fact, in 2006 alone, more than 100,000 New Yorkers became permanent Floridians. It can be said it is the same with bottled water. Countless restaurants and food service operators throughout South Florida see the value and demand for the noticeable blue bottle. “Some might question why we get our

Pictured with the cobalt blue Saratoga Spring Water bottle is Ernesto Plagata, general manager of Ortanique on The Mile of Coral Gables. (Photo Credit: Murnor Studio) ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

sparkling water all the way from New York,” said Robin Seger, who with her husband, Patrick Farnault, is owner/operator of Sugar Reef Grill in Hollywood Beach. “After they taste Saratoga Spring Water on our beach-side patio, they realize

it’s the only thing you can drink in this oasis. Its cobalt blue bottle also matches our Sugar Reef mosaic tiles.” Many eateries have a variety of wines, beers, and soft drinks, but not always water. Restaurant owners and managers in

the foodservice industry are beginning to provide a large number of bottled water brands for their beverage menus. Restaurant operators believe customers see a water menu as a differentiating factor and something that attracts the high-end, trendsetting clientele. “For us, selling bottled water isn’t necessarily about the profit,” said Ernesto Plagata, general manager of Ortanique on The Mile of Coral Gables, who made mention of this key factor. “Restaurant patrons frequently look for a brand name label on their water bottles. Customers love it, especially the sparkling drink which has a very clean flavor, which goes so well with our food.” Madkour observes that Floridians have a genuine appreciation for the famed bluebottled specialty, noting that out of all 50 states nationwide, Florida restaurants have a greater frequency of re-orders than that of any other state in the union. “As long as people keep drinking Saratoga, we’ll keep supplying for hopefully another 138 years,” he said. For more information about Saratoga Spring Water visit online at <www.saratogaspringwater.com>.

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August 23, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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UM architectural students exhibit their work in Rome BY LEE STEPHENS

The University of Miami School of Architecture’s Rome Program director and faculty member Carmen Guerrero and her students were invited to display a collection of their models and drawings in an exhibit in the new MAXXI museum in Rome. University of Miami architecture graduate and Sunny Isles resident Juliana Urrego displayed her models in the exhibit. The work is being displayed in one of five inaugural exhibits titled “Luigi Moretti Architetto from Rationalism to the Informal.” This collection has played a valuable role in the preservation of the work of the Italian architect, and the exhibit opening is a significant curatorial event for researchers of modern architecture in Europe. Professor Guerrero has led her students in the research of Moretti for more than three years and has exhibited their work in Rome, Switzerland and Miami. The MAXXI museum, one of the few contemporary projects in the city of Rome, is designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid. The Rome program began in 1991. The program brings together a select group of upper level students and faculty members for an intensive experience in design, theory, and history of architecture. University of Miami students Juliana Urrego and Andrew Reich do restoration work on one of the exhibition models while the exhibit is being set up.


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August 23, 2010

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311 and Sixthman to host Caribbean cruise for fans BY BECKI CARR

311 and Sixthman have announced 311â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first ever cruise through the Caribbean in 2011. 311 will take over the entire Carnival Destiny cruise ship to host an amazing fan experience Mar. 3-7, 2011, sailing from Miami to Turks and Caicos and back. Every other year, 311 hosts a special â&#x20AC;&#x153;311 Dayâ&#x20AC;? concert on Mar. 11 and fans travel from all over the world to attend. Now that March 2011 is coming up, the band looks to celebrate the month and year 3/11 by throwing the best party yet â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a four-night cruise of fun, sun and music. To show appreciation for fans, 311 plans to take photos with each guest as they board the ship, host a Q&A session on the Lido Deck and take song requests for their three on-ship performances. Other performers joining 311 on the cruise include Pepper, DJ Soulman from Phunk Junkeez and more to be announced soon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The band and I are really excited about working with Sixthman on this cruise, and we have no doubt that it will be the trip of a lifetime for 311 fans,â&#x20AC;? said Adam Raspler, the bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are thrilled to help 311 create a historic event for their most passionate fans,â&#x20AC;?

said April Gardner of Sixthman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The band is already embracing the experience more than anyone could hope for, and the team at Sixthman are fired up!â&#x20AC;? A dedicated 311 Caribbean Cruise website has been launched at 311cruise.com. 311 was formed in 1990 in Omaha, NE, by vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum, vocalist/dj SA Martinez, lead guitarist Tim Mahoney, drummer Chad Sexton and bassist P-Nut. 311 has sold more than 8.5 million units in the U.S., had six albums reach the Top 10 on Billboardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Top 200 Sales Chart, and eight singles reach the Top 10 on Billboardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Modern Rock Chart (including the No. 1 singles Down, Love Song and Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Tread On Me along with Amber, All Mixed Up, Come Original, Creatures (For a While) and Hey You). Sixthman LLC, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, creates, markets, and commercially develops musically driven lifestyle events with an emphasis on themed cruises. Founded in 2001 and captained by industry leader Andy Levine, Sixthman pioneered the music-themed cruise movement, and has rapidly captured market share in the affinity travel industry. For more information, visit online at <www.sixthman.net>.

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August 23, 2010

Teach For America selects Nicole Brisbane as director OUR FOCUS IS ON YOUR EYE CARE

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Teach For America has named Nicole Brisbane as director of District and Community Partnerships in Miami-Dade, it was announced recently by Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, executive director of the non-profit organization’s Miami-Dade region. Teach For America’s mission is to build the movement to eliminate the gap in academic outcomes that exist between children growing up in low-income communities and their peers living in higher-income areas. The organization recruits outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural areas, and become lifelong leaders in pursuing educational equity. As director of District and Community Partnerships, Brisbane will manage and oversee Teach For America’s outreach and relationships with schools, community leaders, and civic organizations to increase student achievement throughout local schools. “Nicole is one of our hundreds of Teach For America alumni in South Florida and a native of Miami,” Fishman Lipsey said. “She understands the community’s needs and the many opportunities education can provide to our children for their future.” Brisbane was a Teach For America Miami-Dade teacher at Allapattah Middle School from 2005 to 2007 where she taught students who entered the grade substantially below grade level. Through relentlessness conviction and use of data in her planning, she increased her students’ academic achievement by 2.5 grade levels during her tenure at Allapattah. She won the “Rookie Teacher of the Year Award” at Allapattah in 2005-06 for her strong performance. Brisbane attended Florida State University (FSU) where she received her

Nicole Brisbane –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Bachelor of Arts in Communication and graduated cum laude. After her Teach For America teaching commitment, Brisbane went on to Emory University School of Law where she received her Juris Doctor. While at Emory University, she was president of the Black Law Students Association, served as a summer law clerk at the Florida Justice Institute, as well as a student attorney at the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic, among a host of other honors and distinctions. Teach For America began placing corps members in Miami-Dade Public Schools in 2003 in order to address disparities in educational achievement between students in the county’s low-income neighborhoods and those in wealthier communities. In the 201011 school year, nearly 150 Teach For America corps members will reach more than 10,000 students who are concentrated in the 20 schools where there are the greatest needs in Miami-Dade County. For more information, visit online at <www.teachforamerica.org>.

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August 23, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

UW early education center earns APPLE accreditation

These youngsters attend the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY YANET OBARRIO SANCHEZ

The United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, a national state-ofthe-art best practices teaching and learning center dedicated to elevating the quality of early childhood education in Miami-Dade and beyond, has received the prestigious Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE) accreditation. APPLE is a voluntary national early learning program accreditation awarded by the Florida Association for Child Care Management (FACCM). At the same time, the center, through a grant from the Early Learning Coalition, helped 15 other early learning centers prepare and apply for APPLE accreditation. After five months of preparations, all the centers applied and are well on their way to becoming accredited. “I am proud that all 16 centers have taken the initiative to surpass the standards set by local and state licensing bodies, and embrace higher standards of quality in early care and education,” said Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of MiamiDade. “These early learning centers are truly making a difference in the lives of South Florida’s children.”

An early learning center must be in service one year and one day to be eligible to apply for (APPLE) accreditation. During the process, a self study is followed by a verification visit, which is an evaluation of all components of a program, including: administration, classroom environment, parent and community involvement, advocacy on behalf of children and child care, staffing credentials, staff/child ratios, teacher/child interaction, literacy and curriculum. After a thorough verification visit, the center was awarded the APPLE accreditation, and is now a Gold Seal Quality Care Program. Next, the center is embarking on an even more rigorous and ambitious endeavor — the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation. Only about 8 percent of preschools and early childcare centers across the U.S. are NAEYC accredited. This process should take 18 months, but once again, United Way is looking for ways to enhance the quality of early care and education in the community and beyond, and is seeking grants that would help 10 very worthy centers begin the NAEYC accreditation process. For more information, visit online at <www.unitedwaycfe.org>.

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August 23, 2010

Alquizar Orthodontics offers state-of-the-art treatment BY NANCY EAGLETON

Pedro Alquizar, DMD, MMSc, has opened Alquizar Orthodontics in The Crossroads in South Miami. Although he has moved into an orthodontic office that’s been around for 50 years, he has transformed the space with chic décor, state-of-the-art technology, and offers the very latest in orthodontic treatments. Dr. Alquizar specializes in orthodontic treatment for both children and adults, and utilizes digital radiography in his patient diagnoses. Digital radiography is a form of x-ray imaging that allows images to be viewed and enhanced digitally, and bypasses the chemical processing time of traditional x-rays. “This technology sets me apart from other orthodontic offices,” Dr. Alquizar said. “I don’t have to wait for x-ray development. I can see the images right on the computer screen for a quick and accurate diagnosis.” He said the self-ligating orthodontic brackets he uses on his patients cause less friction, are slightly more comfortable and, because there are no collars around the teeth, reduce plaque build up. “With these brackets, the monthly adjustments are easier and take slightly less time, as well,” he said. “I really strive to offer the most up-to-date treatment options.” Dr. Alquizar attended dental school at Temple University in Philadelphia and then attended Harvard University for three additional years to obtain his Masters of Medical Sciences and Certificate in Orthodontics. Currently, he is an attending professor in the pediatric dentistry program at Miami Children’s Hospital. “There’s a science behind moving the teeth correctly and I’m a perfectionist,” Dr. Alquizar said. “I’m here to deliver the very best results possible for my patients.” To accomplish this, it’s important for him to see children around the age of 8 for a complimentary consultation. During this evaluation, he examines the developing teeth and bite to determine if interceptive orthodontics, or Phase I treatments, are needed. Many children will need no early intervention and their oral health progress will be checked annually. “Some kids may have a cross bite and a palate expander may be necessary. Some may have a strong over jet and may need braces at that time to pull the teeth in,” Dr. Alquizar said. “I also look to be sure there

Pedro Alquizar, DMD, MMSc –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

are no impacted teeth.” He partners with the children and the parents at this early stage to determine the best course of action. “Some patients and parents want early intervention. The smile is important and if an issue is causing low self-esteem, we work together to do what’s best for the child at that time.” When no early intervention is needed, the average age for treatment is around 11 to 12, when most of the permanent teeth have come in. During treatment, Dr. Alquizar also educates children on the importance of good lifelong oral health practices. He sees adult patients at all ages and stages because adult teeth can begin shifting at anytime. “It’s very normal for teeth to shift. If you had braces, a retainer should be worn at night to keep the teeth straight,” Dr. Alquizar said. “I’ve had patients who’ve had braces on three times in their life. For many, the best option is to place a permanent retainer behind the lower teeth and the teeth will always stay straight.” Alquizar Orthodontics — open Monday through Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. — is located in The Crossroads at 7210 Red Rd., Suite 204, in South Miami. To schedule a consultation, call 305-667-5738.


August 23, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Miami Dade College (MDC) is one of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best colleges to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. For the second year in a row, the major publication has announced that MDC has been selected for its Great Colleges to Work For program. More than 42,000 college employees and nearly 300 institutions nationwide participated in the application process. This program is higher educationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version of the popular Fortune magazine survey, with one key difference: It does not rank institutions in one big list. Instead, the program recognizes select groups of colleges for specific best practices and policies, such as tenure clarity, collaborative governance, work/life balance, teaching environment, security, compensation and benefits, and others. The program results, including recognized institutions, were published in The Chronicleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Academic Supplement in July. MDC was recognized in three categories as part of the process. In the Work Environment category, the college was recognized for Respect and Appreciation. It also was lauded in the Diversity category. In the Institutional Policies category, MDC was recognized for Professional/Career Development. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am very proud of this distinction, especially during a time when many challenges continue in higher education. Our students, faculty and staff truly make MDC a great college to work for,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? said Dr.

Eduardo J. PadrĂłn, president of Miami Dade College. The process consisted of two online surveys: the ModernThink Institution Questionnaire (IQ) completed by one or more management representatives at each institution, and the ModernThink Higher Education Insight Survey (Climate/ Engagement assessment) completed by a random sample of full-time and adjunct faculty members, administrators, and professional support staff at each institution. Results from both of these surveys were used in the assessment process that included analysis of demographic data and workplace policies at each of the participating institutions. The program also is designed to help colleges improve as workplaces through the individual reports they receive, so The Chronicle names only those institutions that have scored well enough to be recognized in any category. There was no cost to participate and the program was open to all non-profit higher education institutions. The Chronicle is the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important source of news about colleges and universities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the Great Colleges program, the Chronicle can provide even more of the vital information our readers rely on â&#x20AC;&#x201C; unbiased reporting on which colleges are being innovative in their workplace practices.â&#x20AC;? said Jeffrey J. Selingo, the Chronicleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s editor. MDC joins Harvard, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, USC, Notre Dame and other prestigious institutions on list of colleges recognized.


August 23, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Children receive backpacks filled with school supplies

Knots of Hope creator Priscilla Suzal-Wright poses with backpacks at Transplant Foundation’s fourth annual Back-to-School Bash. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY LEE STEPHENS

School time can be difficult for parents as they prepare for added expenses to give their children the supplies necessary for academic success. The affect of these expenses are compounded when you consider that the child is a transplant patient. In order to assist transplant families lessen the burden, the Transplant Foundation organized the fourth annual Back-to-School Bash program. The program kicked off on Sunday, July 25, at the Miami Science Museum where transplant families enjoyed food, music, entertainment and complimentary admission to the museum, all to go alongside a backpack stuffed with school supplies for the year. “At Transplant Foundation, we recognize the challenges transplant families face with costly bills, so we’re looking to make the upcoming school year a little more carefree for pediatric transplant patients and fami-

lies,” said Melissa Chediak-Wetzel, director of development for the Transplant Foundation. “We were so pleased to serve over 20 families at the Back-to-School Bash, and are thankful to our gracious sponsors that we will be able to provide 136 backpacks to transplant families this summer.” Transplant families enrolled in the program who couldn’t attend the Bash picked up their backpacks at either the Miami Transplant House or the UM Pompano Beach Transplant Clinic. Transplant Foundation Inc. is a Miamibased 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to assist transplant patients in need, educate the community on the importance of organ donation and fund transplant research. For additional details, call 305-817-5645 or visit online at <www.transplantfoundation.org>.

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August 23, 2010

2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara is a ‘rugged little SUV’ Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS Suzuki’s Grand Vitara has developed a reputation as a compact but rugged little SUV with a good combination of off-road capability and on-road composure. Most recently, the respected Edmunds.com picked it for the “Top 10 Most Affordable SUVs” list and Consumer Guide tapped it as a “Best Buy” selection. The Grand Vitara has a classic SUV look, with short front and rear overhangs and lots of window space. It has a reinforced unibody chassis with a stiff structure incorporating an integral ladder frame, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. The Grand Vitara does a good job of bridging the gap between weekday commuting and weekend adventuring. It seats five comfortably and has 60/40 split-folding reclining rear seats. With the rear seats up, there is 24.4 cubic feet of storage space; with the seatbacks folded, cargo space expands to 68.9 cubic feet.

The Grand Vitara was upgraded last year and given a new fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine and a more powerful V-6, so there is little change for 2010. The Suzuki-developed 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 166 hp and 162 pounds-feet of torque, while delivering 19/26 mpg. The 3.2-liter V-6 (18/24) develops 230 hp and 213 pounds-feet of torque and is available for Grand Vitara XSport and Luxury models. The V-6 has variable valve timing for both the intake and exhaust camshafts. Both engines use a zeromaintenance timing chain rather than a belt. The four-cylinder engine can be teamed with a standard five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission, while the V-6 is matched to a standard fivespeed automatic transmission. Optional RWD models, Single-Mode four-wheel drive or 4-Mode full-time four-wheel drive are available. An Electronic Stability Program is standard for all Grand Vitara models, along with a rollover sensor for the standard side curtain airbags. The Grand Vitara has a dash-mounted transfer case switch and in the 4H position for highway driving, the electronically controlled on-demand four-wheel-drive system applies traction to the front wheels only as needed, maximizing traction and optimizing economy. For off-road or low-speed power

Grand Vitara has classic SUV look with short front and rear overhangs and lots of window space. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– and traction, the switch is move to high-range control into the neutral position helps mini4H Lock or low-range 4L Lock to engage the mize driveline wear and prevent non-driving center differential lock. miles from accumulating on the odometer. The V-6 models with Four-Mode full-time Base price on the Suzuki Grand Vitara is four-wheel drive also have Hill Descent $26,999. Control and Hill Hold Control for better driver control and safety on steep slopes. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for For RV owners, a Grand Vitara equipped Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be with an automatic transmission or with the 4- contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, Mode full-time four-wheel-drive system can or by addressing email correspondence to be flat-towed. Switching the transfer case <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.

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August 23, 2010


Biscayne Bay 08-23-2010