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One of Miami’ Community Newspapers –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Connecting local businesses since 1958

MAR. 20 - APR. 2, 2012 –––––––––––

Cavaliers to play ball at new Marlins Park

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Valoppi speaks to trustees of Coral Gables Chamber

305-669-7355

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

BY RAQUEL GARCIA

O

ne of the first public schools to participate in the Miami Marlins’ “High School Field of Dreams” project, the Coral Gables High School Cavaliers varsity baseball team will play at the new Marlins Park on Tuesday, Apr. 10, at noon, against the Killian High Cougars. To offset expenses, the Cavaliers are selling tickets to three different Marlins games this season that include a pass to the Apr. 10 CavaliersCougars game as well. The team must sell 500 tickets to break even and hopefully more to help pay for new equipment and travel. For $25, the ticket holder can choose from one of three Marlins’ games to attend: Friday, Apr. 27, against the Arizona Diamondbacks; Friday, June 8, against the Tampa Bay Rays, or Friday, July 27, against the San Diego Padres. Head baseball Coach Phillip Wisser said it is about more than the game. “I want to see these kids become successful in life. Baseball is a way for them to learn more about everything that matters like the responsibility of selling tickets and handling rejection. The spirit of the sport is to teach them life lessons that will make them better people in the end,” Wisser said. Coral Gables High has a legacy of building ball players for the majors like Mike Lowell, retired third baseman and 2007 World Series MVP, and the Padres’ Yonder Alonso. Recent first round draft pick Alonso from the University of Miami is expected to be starting first baseman for the San Diego Padres game July 27 on sale through the Cavaliers. For more information contact Coach Wisser at <pwisser@dadeschools.net>.

Jennifer Valoppi, television journalist, author as well as president and founder of Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program, (right) is pictured with Jamie Byington, partner at Cherry Bekart & Holland CPA, a Women of Tomorrow board member and program sponsor. Valoppi recently spoke at the Coral Gables Country Club to the trustee council of the Coral Gables Chamber.

KARIS LEE

City extends popular trolle y route north to Fla gler Street BY BELKYS PEREZ

C

oral Gables’ iconic trolleys are a welcomed sight for residents, commuters and visitors to the northern end of the city. Now the Coral Gables Trolley expanded its service into North Gables. Trolleys now run along Ponce de Leon Boulevard past SW Eighth Street to Flagler

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DANIELA VALDES

Street, adding approximately one and onequarter miles to the route as well as seven new stops. “My vision for the trolley system always included expanding to the North Gables area. By extending the route, residents in this area now enjoy greater mobility and

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TROLLEY, page 6

REBECCA DWIGHT This is another in a series of profiles of outstanding students attending schools in Coral Gables. See profiles beginning on page 7.


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Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

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U.S. Appeals Court Chief Judge to speak at University of Miami BY CATHARINE SKIPP

The University of Miami School of Law’s Robert B. Cole Lecture series is presenting Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the United State Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, essayist and judicial commentator, on Tuesday, Apr. 10, 5 p.m., at Gusman Hall, 1314 Miller Dr. on the UM’s Coral Gables campus. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available at the Pavia garage at 5616 Pavia St. Judge Kozinski, who has titled his lecture “In the Court Where I Live,” was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1985 and was the youngest federal appeals court judge at the time. Prior to his appointment on the appellate bench, Judge Kozinski served as Chief Judge of the United States Claims Court. He also served as law clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and to Circuit Judge Anthony M. Kennedy. He holds an AB degree (1973) and a JD degree (1976) from UCLA. The Robert B. Cole Lecture was established in 1985 through the generosity of

the former Miami law firm of Mershon, Sawyer, Johnston, Dunwody & Cole. The lecture honors the late Robert B. Cole, a member of The Florida Bar since1935 and name partner of the firm. Mr. Cole served for many years as the principal legal advisor to the University of Miami and served on the School of Law’s Visiting Committee. He passed away in 1997 and made provisions in his will so that the lectures would continue. His son, attorney Richard P. Cole, continues to sponsor the lecture in memory of his father. The Cole Lecture provides a forum for faculty, students, practicing attorneys and the public to hear distinguished jurists and public figures discuss important legal and international matters. Previous speakers include United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Justice John Paul Stevens, Justice William J. Brennan Jr., Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Justice Stephen G. Breyer and George J. Mitchell, former Majority Leader of the United States Senate.

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Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

UM Miller School gets surprise $30,000 from CVS Caremark

Pictured at the grant presentation are (l-r) Danny Armstrong, PhD, director of the Mailman Center Clinical Program; Michelle Schladant, PhD, manager at the Miller School’s Department of Pediatrics, and Carlos Ojeda, CVS district manager. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY BROOKS WALLACE

Representatives of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics were surprised recently when CVS Caremark representatives of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation, showed up at their doorstep with a check for $30,000 from the Trust. The visit was part of CVS Caremark’s nationwide “Day of Giving,” a one-day event which included visits from CVS Caremark Charitable Trust representatives to several deserving nonprofits across the country, surprising them with the grant funding they had requested. The surprise visits were timed to coincide with the announcement that $4.3 million has been awarded in grants from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust to 98 nonprofit organizations across the country in 2011, which includes multi-year grants from previous years. “We were thrilled to see CVS Caremark Charitable Trust colleagues at our doorstep with a large check for the amount of funding we had requested,” said Michelle Schladant, PhD, Clinical Program manager at the Miller School’s Department of Pediatrics. “We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust for recognizing the work we do in Miami to make a positive impact in our local communities.” The grant for the University of Miami will support the Mailman Center, one of the top 10 programs in the United States for children with neurodevelopment disabilities and chronic ill-

nesses. The Mailman Center annually serves more than 19,000 children and youth with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities and chronic illnesses. The grant from CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will provide bi-lingual language interventions to 50 young children with autism and related disorders using the most advanced assistive technology. “We are so excited to help University of Miami Miller School of Medicine start 2012 in a positive way with much-needed funding,” said Eileen Howard Boone, vice president, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. “All of the nonprofit organizations we support share our commitment to providing greater access to healthcare and medical services and improving the lives of children with disabilities. The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is honored to work with University of Miami and all of its nonprofit partners to help people on their path to better health.” The 2011 grant recipients were chosen through the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust’s annual grant cycle in which awards range from $10,000 to $50,000 for one-year support. These grants align with the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust’s efforts to improve the quality of health and well-being of underserved populations and also align with CVS Caremark All Kids Can, a signature program of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and CVS Caremark that is committed to supporting children with disabilities. For more information on the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust visit <http://info.cvscaremark.com/community/our impact/charitable-trust>.


Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

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Themed fundraisers help put smiles on kids’ faces Gloria Burns GLORIA’S GAB There will be more smiles for children thanks to the efforts of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club’s May Van Sickle Children’s Dental Clinic and the University of Florida College of Dentistry Give a Kid a Smile event. South Florida has a right to be proud of the hardworking volunteers who treat, care for and raise money to support programs that provide dental care for those in need. While the Woman’s Club provides $170,000 in free dental care annually to school aged children in the Club’s May Van Sickle Dental Clinic, they also must raise more than $88,000 to provide that care. A recent Casino Night fundraiser provided that opportunity to raise money while also creating awareness for this long-standing clinic owned and operated by the club. Guests arrived to lights and a red carpet walk a la the Oscars before arriving at the clubhouse ballroom transformed into a veritable casino. The evening was truly a success with more than 170 guests. While donations still are coming in, the club hopes to net more than $20,000. That is not bad for an event that only charged $25 for admission. Kudos to organizers Barbara Lapsley, Carmen Suarez, Iris To r res, Linda H a rtwell, Mayra Dominguez, P a m Schaefer, and so many other club women who impact the lives of so many children with their efforts to fund the dental clinic. Another wonderful dental program comes from the University of Florida College of Dentistry that recently held a Give a Kid a Smile event. Some 80 children residing at His House Children’s Home received pro bono dental screenings from 24 dental providers and eight supervising dental facul-

ty. The children were given a check-up, xrays and cleanings. The dental clinic will be providing a treatment plan for those children who need to be seen for follow-up or need to be referred to specialist. The University of Florida Dental Clinic also will be providing pro bono follow-up work for these children. This is great news for all in this time of so much need. Like the Coral Gables Woman’s Club, Gables Rotarians also brought out the red carpet for their annual gala, “A Night on the Red Carpet,” at the Country Club of Coral Gables on Friday, Mar. 9. A reception and silent auction preceded a lovely prime rib or salmon dinner with a live band, silent auction and, of course, dancing. A short program recognized sponsors including major sponsors, FPL, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Tonkinson Financial. In addition, former Coral Gables mayor and past president of the Coral Gables Rotary Club Don Slesnick received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Beneficiaries of the event were Citizens for a Better South Florida and the Rotary Club of Coral Gables Foundation. Many guests donned Hollywood-inspired costumes to walk the red carpet adding lots of glamour and fun to the evening. Of course, with the always entertaining and enthusiastic Ron Magill from Zoo Miami, fun always is the order of the day. Event chair M a r g a r i t a Tonkinson and club president Debbie Swain worked tirelessly with a great committee for yet another successful event. Finally, on Mar. 24 do not miss the best party of the year benefiting Sunil’s Home Orphanage Foundation to take place at 1400 S. Greenway Dr. Sunil’s Home is an orphanage that that rescues children from the mean streets of India. For tickets visit sunilshome.org. That same Saturday also is the final day for Gables’ Farmers Market. Check out the fresh produce, baked goods, plants, trees and flowers, cooking demonstrations, activities for kids and much more at

Pam Schaefer and event chair Barbara Lapsley are pictured at Coral Gables Woman’s Club Casino Night.

Sabrina Perez-King dances while other are gaming at Coral Gables Woman’s Club Casino Night fundraiser to raise funds for the Club’s free children’s dental clinic. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Merrick Park from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you want to submit information for this Until next time, keep making each day column, send your news via email to <glocount. riagalburns@aol.com>.

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Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

Coral Gables BID launching ‘Tuesdays for Neighbors’ BY ROSIE TOBALINA

If you live or work in “The City Beautiful,” there now is a day of the week that will make you feel very special. The City of Coral Gables and the Business Improvement District of Coral Gables (BID) are launching “Tuesdays for Neighbors,” a program of special offers for residents and for employees who work in the city. Dozens of Downtown Coral Gables businesses are making special offers available every Tuesday on food, jewelry, art, and fashions for the whole family. The City of Coral Gables Communications Committee suggested the idea for local businesses to show their community appreciation and the BID jumped on board. Offers include 10-30 percent discounts off the total bill from various restaurants and retailers, among other available promotions. Offers are valid on Tuesdays only and cannot be combined with any other sale or promotion unless otherwise noted. “It’s a great idea that one day of the week is being dedicated to say ‘thank you’ to our neighbors and business community for their support of our local merchants,” said Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason.

TROLLEY, from page 1

“It is a win-win situation for all and we appreciate the participation of our Downtown Coral Gables merchants and the Coral Gables BID,” he added. “We are excited about our upcoming Coral Gables residents and employees program,” said Mari Gallet, executive director of the Coral Gables BID. “For local residents it is our way of showing appreciation for their continued patronage, and for thanking the many employees who help to make Coral Gables a unique and vibrant destination for shopping, entertainment and more.” To obtain discounts and promotions on Tuesdays, residents will be required to present proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or official identification card. Employees may present their company ID or business card. Please check with participating businesses for discounts and modifications of offers. Visit <www.shopcoralgables.com/offers> to view offers and participating merchants. Additional Coral Gables merchants interested in joining the program should contact the City of Coral Gables via email at <enews@coralgables.com> or the Coral Gables BID at <info@shopcoralgables.com>.

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added convenience,” said Vice Mayor Bill Kerdyk Jr. At Flagler Street, the final stop before looping south, passengers can connect to several of Miami-Dade County’s major Metrobus routes. The route extension provides Coral Gables residents with complete access and connectivity to major transit lines in the north and south ends of the trolley route. Street signs identifying the new stops have been installed. Coral Gables’ fare-free vintage-styled

trolleys are a convenient and reliable transportation system designed to relieve local traffic congestion, alleviate parking requirements and connect downtown Coral Gables to surrounding areas through the county’s transit system. The trolleys run every 10 to 15 minutes Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. until 8 p.m., except the first Friday of the month when trolleys run until 10 p.m. For more information, contact the Coral Gables Trolley at 305-460-5070.


Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

DANIELA VALDES

KARIS LEE

REBECCA DWIGHT

Coral Gables High senior Daniela Valdes thought she might like to go into medicine, so she began volunteering as a nurses’ aide at Miami Children’s Hospital. “I help them with paperwork. I did an orientation to work with kids,” Valdes said. “I used to work at the big hospital, but now I’m working at the Doral branch. I was part of a group of girls who go around singing to the kids.” They sang children’s songs to the younger long-term patients and different songs to the older kids. “I work at the Doral Urgent Care Center now,” Valdes said. “They are kids who aren’t there for a long time. They broke a leg or they stuck a Lego up their nose. I wish I were kidding. They are the cutest kids in the world. They are crying because they have a round piece of Lego up their nose.” She goes every Saturday and pulls out the toys and games cart from the Volunteer Office. “There are game boards and stuffed animals and Barbie dolls,” she said. “You do what you can do.” Her time at Miami Children’s Hospital has only solidified her interest in medicine. “I want to work in pediatrics,” she said. “I like the combination.” At Gables, Valdes is a member of the National Honor Society; the International Baccalaureate Honor Society; Tri-M, a music society; the English Honor Society, and French Club. “I’m in the choir, the Cavalier Singers. I’m actually soprano section leader this year,” she said. “I’m in charge of making sure they (my group) learn their parts. Last year we got all superiors at state evaluation. This year we want to go back and get superiors again.” The choir usually takes part in the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and the choral competition. Last year the choir received honorable mention in that competition. Although she would love to be in the school’s a cap-

Karis Lee, a senior at Coral Gables High School, has earned community service hours by volunteering as a line judge at an international badminton tournament. Lee was a volunteer line judge at the Bill Graham Miami International Pan Am International Tournament. Players at the tournament came from Brazil, Peru, Puerto Rico, Canada, Italy, Spain and Italy. The tournament takes place the second week of November and volunteers work at the tournament for two days. “We sit about two feet away from the courts and we watch to see if the shot is in or out,” Lee said. “We have to be truthful and be fair about calling the lines.” Lee began playing badminton her freshman year. She has played girls doubles but this year she decided to try out for girls singles. She has done well in tournaments, placing second and third in major events. Her junior year, she took first place at the Miami-Dade Fair Invitational. When she is not playing badminton at school, she plays club badminton at Don Shula’s. She lives in the Miami Lakes area but transferred to Coral Gables in order to attend the International Baccalaureate program. She wakes up by 5:15 a.m. and leaves the house by 5:50 a.m. in order to get to school on time. Lee also has earned community service hours by volunteering at a Girl Scout summer camp. Although she’s not a Scout, she has friends who are Scouts who got her involved. She worked as a volunteer counselor for 10 hours a day at the weeklong summer camps. She has volunteered at the camps for three years. At Gables, Lee is co-president of the Chinese Club. “We volunteer at Dragon Boat festivals in the fall,” Lee said. “We go and either help run registration, or when the rowers pull in, we have to scoop out the water and make sure the boats won’t sink.” The club also volunteers during the Chinese New Year Festival at the Miami-Dade College Kendall Campus. “I usually volunteer at the games section,” she said. “It’s fun.” The Chinese Club has a different theme for each month. Lee said there usually is some type of festivity

Coral Gables senior Rebecca Dwight loves drama. She is not as interested in being on stage acting as she is being the behind-the-scenes person creating the costumes for the actors. She became interested in drama through Shakespeare in the Park Miami, which is based in Coconut Grove. “Last year all the productions were done at Shell Lumber,” Dwight said. “Before that it was at Flamingo Park on South Beach. Usually it was at Peacock Park in Coconut Grove.” She volunteered at Shakespeare in the Park because she needed community service hours for the International Baccalaureate program her freshman year. “I met Colleen Stovall; she asked me if I wanted to help the production that year of Macbeth,” Dwight said. “Ever since Macbeth I’ve been the head costume manager.” Shakespeare in the Park lasts a month during January and February. She said the cast and crew have to unite because there are so many problems, from cold weather to not having a tent to change in. Despite that, it’s really fun, Dwight said. Through Shakespeare in the Park and internships, she has earned at least 860 community service hours but she estimates her total is more than 1,000. “I’ve interned three different places. I interned at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science dissecting DNA from coral,” Dwight said. “I had the opportunity to work there. I love Key Biscayne and I love the ocean. I realized I love the theater more than the research science. It was a great opportunity and it taught me a lot of things.” The next summer, Dwight went to Lenox, MA, to work at Shakespeare and Company. They didn’t have a place for her to stay, so she and her dad emailed churches in the area until they found a host family. “I lived with strangers. I didn’t know what these people looked like,” she said. “It was really scary to be in the middle of nowhere with strangers.” But she quickly got to know everyone in the area and now they are good friends.

See

DANIELA VALDES, next page

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See

KARIS LEE, next page

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See

REBECCA DWIGHT, next page

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DANIELA VALDES, from page 1

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KARIS LEE, from page 1

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Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

REBECCA DWIGHT, from page 1 ––––––––––––––

pella group, she can’t because she spends summers in Brazil. She leaves in June and comes back the week before school begins. While she has family in Brazil, Valdes said in the U.S. there are more opportunities for her, including college. She applied to the University of Miami and the University of Florida. If she ends up at Florida, her dad will be happy because he was a Gator. Her dad is a civil engineer who has been working in Mozambique. Valdes lives here with her mom, who will go to Mozambique to be with her husband when Valdes goes off to college. She said her father will be finished in Mozambique in two years. Before that, he was in Libya. Valdes jokes that Skype will become her best friend. Because of her background, Valdes is adept in several languages. She takes French in school and is an officer in the French club. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese as well as French. “I have an obsession of learning languages,” she said. “I want to learn German and Italian.” That obsession will help her if she ends up working for Doctors Without Borders, which is her plan for after college. “That’s why I learned French,” she said. “I have this feeling that I need to help people more.” For relaxation, Valdes plays guitar and has made videos with a friend that she uploaded it to You Tube.

going on in China that they can highlight and educate the members about China. She used to go to China every other summer for six weeks and she would practice Mandarin there as well as her reading and writing. “I’m fluent in speaking but need practice in reading and writing,” she said. Lee was born in Texas and moved to South Florida when she was a year and a half. Both of her parents are from Taiwan, but her mother came to the U.S. as an international student. Her father immigrated with his family. Her parents both have become U.S. citizens. Her school activities include membership in Key Club, the National Honor Society and Gables Earth. “I help recycle,” she said. “We recycle every Wednesday. I help when I can.” She is working with both the Chinese Club and Gables Earth to plant trees. The idea called for the trees to be planted in March because that’s a big tree planting time in China. Lee has applied to the University of Florida, Florida State University and Florida International University. “I really want to go out of Miami,” she said. She still is undecided on her major. Last year she wanted to take pre-pharmacy but said she then realized that her math is better than her science. “I really want to graduate in four or five years,” Lee said “I also want to study abroad in China.”

“It was a great experience. We only did a Winter’s Tale,” she said. “It was cool doing costumes for a Renaissance era… It was fun. I learned a lot, sewingwise.” Dwight also interned in Manhattan with a costume shop that does Broadway productions, television shows and movies, including Julia Robert’s new movie, Mirror, Mirror. “I did meet Julia Roberts and I got to meet Brooke Shields,” Dwight said. “I got to go on to the set of the Phantom of the Opera and Addams Family Broadway show. They would give me an address and a credit card; they would say, here, get this and be back.” At Coral Gables, Dwight has run cross-country and she runs track. Her events include the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles, the triple jump and the long jump. Dwight is a member of Gables Earth and the English Honor Society. As a member of the English Honor Society she participates in the club’s Poetry Slam. “I don’t make up my own poetry. I read other people’s,” she said. Dwight is the creative director of the International Baccalaureate Honor Society, which is the sponsoring organization for the school’s big fundraiser, Bridge for Peace. She has applied to the major Florida public universities and to a number of liberal arts colleges including Skidmore, Franklin and Marshall, Vassar, Dickenson, Ithaca, Hamilton and Carnegie Mellon.

— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld

— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld

— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld


Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Fire Department updates fleet with new engine at Station 1

New fire engine will enhance department’s capacity to respond. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY ROSIE TOBALINA

When every second counts, it’s important that all of the Coral Gables Fire Department’s front-line vehicles and equipment perform at optimum levels. The city recently received a new fire engine that will enhance the department’s capacity to respond to calls. The new engine replaces a 1988 model, which had reached the end of its service life. “The city is making a concerted effort to upgrade its fire life-safety equipment to ensure that it’s ready to respond to residents in their time of need,” said Gables Mayor Jim Cason. Built to the city’s specifications, this state-of-the-art vehicle is fully equipped and capable of responding to fires, vehicular accidents and medical emergencies, among other calls.

This vehicle is the first in the city’s fleet to have a special vibration-emitting siren that can be felt up to 100 feet away, a dual-stage hydraulic pump allowing firefighters to power multiple tools simultaneously, a diesel exhaust filtration system that meets all EPA requirements, and extra cabin space to seat up to eight firefighter/paramedics. It is now the primary vehicle responding to calls at Fire Station 1. With nearly 4,000 calls a year, Station 1 has the largest call volume in the city. The Coral Gables Fire Department is one of only seven internationally accredited, ISO Class 1 fire departments in the world, resulting in lower fire insurance premiums for businesses within city limits. One of the factors contributing to the top-level certification is having reliable, first-rate equipment and vehicles.

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Sawa’s Middle Eastern flavor breath of fresh air in Gables CUSTOM SUITS • EXPERT ALTERATIONS At John the Tailor our mission statement is “to produce high quality men’s custom suits and shirts that fit as close to perfect the very first time. Also, we know how important alterations are to you, and we offer the best alterations Miami has to offer.”

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Sawa is a breath of fresh air in a world of expensive chain restaurants. Ramzi Zahr, who opened the restaurant two years ago with his family, found the perfect location in beautiful Merrick Park in Coral Gables. Sawa, which means together, is a wonderful fusion of Mideastern food with the feel of South Beach. The food is presented by Chef de partie Aldo Castillo and executive chef Steven Acosta with the support of an attentive staff. Sawa offers a wide choice of speciality drinks but that is just the beginning. Would you believe they even have a menu for your four-legged family members. The doggy menu includes dark meat chicken kebab, chopped bacon

bits, mini bone biscuits, and Purina main courses. Zahr surprised me with his knowledge of American football and always is willing and readily to watch and cheer our local team to victory. Sawa is a great place to watch the big game. Tasteful belly dancers two nights a week and a hookah lounge round out this trip to the Middle East with exotic flavors like apple, grape, mint and mojito. If you’re really adventurous try a hookah where your drink liquor flavors the pipe. I was pleasantly surprised that the hookah experience was very mild and a lot of fun. The kebabs are endless and the sushi is world class. Sawa is located at 360 San Lorenzo Ave. in Coral Gables. Call 305-447-6555 or visit online at <www.sawarestaurant.com>.


Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Florida Renaissance Festival coming to Cauley Square

Jousting tournaments are part of the spectacle of the Florida Renaissance Festival. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY JOSE BOZA

Miami-area fans of the Florida Renaissance Festival can rejoice! For two special weekends, the Florida Renaissance Festival will take place for the first time at Cauley Square Historic Village in South Miami-Dade. The festival weekend dates are Mar. 31- Apr. 1 and Apr. 7-8. “We are excited to return to Miami at our new location in Cauley Square Historic Village,” said Bobby Rodriguez, executive producer of the Florida Renaissance Festival. “This year’s festival promises even more thrills and excitement for our loyal Miami fans.” The featured entertainment will surely get the crowds going at this year’s Florida Renaissance Festival. Musical acts include local favorites such as Celtic Mayhem, and nationally known acts like The Trouvaires. Also performing at the festival is Wolgemut, a colorful and energetic pipe and drum act, featuring talented musicians in traditional German Renaissance garb. Variety acts include the new Kamikaze Fireflies, The Duelists and the Washing Well Wenches. Fans will have the chance to interact with roaming entertainers, such as Gabriel Q, a creative puppeteer who works on stilts with elaborately costumed characters. And, of course, the Florida Renaissance Festival would not be complete without its

King and Queen, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. The royal couple will be on hand to greet their loyal subjects. Guests can enjoy jousting tournaments, feast on hearty food and toast to the royal court with a tankard of ale or cider. The festival also will feature games of skill and chance that will challenge guests of all ages, including archery, the test of strength, Jacob’s Ladder and many more. Historical reenactments, sword fights and magical illusions are just some of the exciting events in store for this year’s festivities. The Florida Renaissance Festival is produced by the nationally acclaimed Bobby Rodriguez Productions and strives to create an entertaining and cultural experience for adults and children alike. The Florida Renaissance Festival at Cauley Square Historic Village will be open each day from 10 a.m. to sunset. Prices are $20 for adults and $6 for children ages 6 to 11. Children 5 and younger are free. Group ticket rates are available. The Florida Renaissance Festival has been seen by more than one million people in South Florida. This 16th Century production features more than 100 costumed performers and stage acts from around the world. For additional information, visit online at <www.ren-fest.com> or call 1-954-7761642.

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Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

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Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

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Danny Berry’s JCC Baseball to add Little League play BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

Red Berry’s Baseball World closes its doors at the end of March. Those parents are starting their search for a new place to play and Danny Berry hopes they will look his way. “I have been getting calls from people who were at his facility,” said Danny Berry of Danny Berry’s JCC Baseball, based at the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center. He’s been at the JCC for almost 20 years. Prior to that, he worked at Red Berry’s facility for nine years. Berry wrote a letter to Red Berry congratulating him on his career. “We both have the philosophy about baseball,” Danny Berry said. Berry said he can handle an influx of children who are seeking a new baseball league now that Baseball World is closing. “I can take in more. I’d basically spread them out throughout the week. My goal is to get 500.” In fact, the timing of when Red Berry’s program ends and Danny Berry’s next one begins is good. “His season goes until the end of March,” Danny Berry said. “My next program starts at the end of April.” That’s when he begins his Little League season and his Intro to Baseball Program for 3- and 4-year olds. Danny Berry said he and Red Berry run similar programs where parents are involved but the teams are coached by guys who played in college or the minors. He makes sure they coach positively and encourage the kids instead of yelling at them. His program always has been respected and now he has added an official Little League program as well. “I do have parents coaching in my Little League,” he said.

Danny Berry is pictured with some of the youngsters he teaches. (Photo courtesy Eric Ellington) –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“But I’m here all the time. My job, as the president of the league, is to make sure the parents are talking to the kids, not

yelling and screaming at them.” Danny Berry believes that playing baseball should be fun for children, without the pressure that they’ll feel if they play high school or college ball. “It should be the best time of their lives, right now,” Danny Berry said. “It builds their self esteem. It rubs off on other things at school. A coach is like a hero to the kids for six months.” He said being in a good baseball program can build character and teach good sportsmanship. “We make it a non-pressured fun environment for the kids,” he said. That’s one of the reasons he brought in Little League, because its philosophy meshes with his philosophy. Danny Berry’s Little League team of 11- and 12-year olds made it to the state championship last year, just one game from going on television. They lost the championship game but he’s confident he is going to have another good team this year. “I think we’re going to have a pretty good team with the 11 and 12’s,” he said. “The 9 and 10’s have a good team, but they can only go as far as state.” He is a fan of the system because Little League demands positive coaching. “You see the coaches in the World Series, you don’t see the yelling and screaming,” Danny Berry said. “Little League stresses the fun and the positive.” Danny Berry’s has an academy setting in the fall, Little League starting Apr. 30 and running for six weeks, then summer camp. He also runs an Intro to Baseball program for 3 and 4 year olds. His program accommodates children through age 12. For more information, call 305-271-9000, ext. 241, or go online to <www.dannyberry.com>.


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Switchboard of Miami’s Helpline logs 168,000 calls during 2011 BY RICHARD YAGER

They probably have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives. Yet those who operate Switchboard of Miami Inc. are still little known to many county residents after 45 years of existence. Switchboard’s staff and volunteers often make a profound difference between life and death, and that is why a description of the non-profit agency’s mission captured the attention of a West Kendall audience on Feb. 29. “While primarily known mostly for suicide prevention, we do many other services, as well,” said Trudy Krasovic, a Helpline counselor who noted a total 226 suicides in Miami-Dade County during 2011. “When I joined the service 24 years ago, the average was about 4,000 calls each month,” she recalled. “Now we average 15,000 calls per month for many reasons besides the desperation of a suicidal-inclined individual.” Krasovic assists in training staff for 24hour answering shifts at Switchboard’s newly occupied quarters in a former parking authority garage at 190 NE Third St. in downtown Miami. Increased call-ins during her years of service, however, more directly point to the agency’s extended outreach, rather than a surging population with suicidal tendencies, she added. That is because Switchboard maintains 24/7 lines that answer general information queries about where to find specialized help while providing referrals for free individual and family counseling and prevention assistance for high-risk youth and families through local schools. Operating on a yearly budget of $4.1 million, additional funding to keep Switchboard in operation comes entirely from contributions, grants and government subsidies that allow its Helpline services to log an estimated 168,000 calls yearly in addition to crisis counseling. Besides federal, state and county subsidies, major private donors who contribute regularly include United Way, Miami Foundation, AmeriCorps, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Kidside Solutions Inc., Roxy Bolton Rape Treatment Center of Jackson Health System, and Alphanet Inc. “Caring, multilingual, professional staff members and volunteers are available around the clock for anyone in need of help, even if just to identify the right agency to call for a particular problem,” Krasovic said, noting Switchboard maintains the only comprehensive countywide Community Resource Directory. Its Prevention and Clinical Services

Moraima Lugo-Morales and Ruben Morales learn Switchboard services from Trudy Krasovic (center) during Miami-Dade Police Hammocks District CAC meeting on Feb. 29. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Department provides both school and community-based education and prevention programs (in English, Spanish and Creole), designed to identify youths with alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, an inclination to violence, early pregnancies and other high risk behaviors. A Senior Services program provides a daily monitoring call, mostly to seniors who live alone, “to see that they’re okay and have a meal for the day,” Krasovich said. “We get about 700 calls a month just from seniors who need direct help or just a comforting word. They can’t always find a friend or relative to help with a personal problem.” Current Senior Services program for residents of 65-plus years resulted in 69,798 outgoing calls from problem-solvers last year. Prevention and Clinical Services provided education and information to 2,382 teens and individual or family group counseling to 354 families last year. An 18-member, all-volunteer board of directors governs the non-profit agency with its staff composed equally of employees (74) and volunteers (75), aided by nine AmeriCorps members and 10 interns. “We encourage people to find out about volunteering,” Krasovic urged, adding that a special “Gatekeeper” program provides free community outreach training the second Tuesday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m. The session includes a light breakfast. Information for upcoming Apr. 10 or May 8 sessions is available by calling 305-3581640, ext. 156. For other program details, visit online at <www.switchboardmiami.org> or call 305358-HELP (4357).


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It’s Federal Tax Season — don’t get scammed BY KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE

State Attorney, Miami-Dade County Just recently, a Miami woman was charged with stealing the identities of U.S. Marines and others in an alleged tax-refund scheme to con the Internal Revenue Service into sending her thousands of dollars. In Broward County, a Sunrise woman recently tried filing for her tax refund only to find out that someone else already had filed on her behalf and received the refund instead. During every tax season, scammers are on high alert, coming up with ways to score every last penny as they prey on the unsuspecting taxpayer. This means, among others, stealing identities, filing fake tax forms, hiding income offshore and exaggerating charitable donations. In South Florida, this type of criminal activity is very common. It is no surprise that a Federal Trade Commission report just released indicated that South Florida had more complaints about identity theft than any other place in the United States in 2011.

Some of the scams these crooks pitch involve victim participation in illegal activity, which potentially could lead to criminal prosecution. Each year, the IRS releases its “Dirty Dozen” tax scams to make the taxpayer aware of the common schemes being reported during that particular tax season. It is extremely important that we maintain our defenses on high alert by reviewing this list and becoming an even more informed taxpayer. Beyond releasing this yearly “Dirty Dozen” publication, the IRS always stresses that it does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or any social media tool to request personal or financial information. Scam artists will tempt people in-person, online and by email with false promises about lost refunds and free money. Don’t be fooled by these scams. Remember the wise old saying: “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably isn’t.” Protect your identification and use caution during tax season to protect yourself against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud. To view the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” list, go online to <www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=254383,00.html>.

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Tropical Park begins hosting ‘Farmers Market Weekends’ BY LAURA PHILLIPS

The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department has begun “Farmers Market Weekends” at Tropical Park. The public has the opportunity to purchase fresh seasonal produce and flowering plants directly from south Miami-Dade growers, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday, through May 31 (weather permitting). “Improving our community’s health is important,” said Jack Kardys, Miami-Dade Parks director. “Hosting a farmers market event at Tropical Park provides citizens with access to fresh and affordable local fruits and vegetables, heart-healthy food choices, and park activities that can help them achieve a healthier lifestyle.” Tropical Park is located at 7900 SW

40 St. (Bird Road). The event will take place at the park’s main entrance at Bird Road and SW 79th Avenue. “Tropical Park is one of the most beautiful settings for such an event and a great place to take the family for a memorable day out,” said Miami-Dade County District 10 Commissioner Javier D. Souto. “After guests browse the market, they can spend the rest of their afternoon enjoying the park’s picturesque scenery and outdoor activities, such as picnicking, fishing and boating at the park’s south and east lakes, or strolling along the park’s miles of pathways and much, much more.” For more information about the Farmers Market Weekends at Tropical Park contact Tommy Vick of V&B Farms at 786-412-9584, or via email at <vandbfarms@gmail.com>.


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‘Night in Bollywood’ fundraiser promises unique night of fun BY GLORIA BURNS

The fifth annual “A Night in Bollywood” extravaganza is scheduled for Mar. 24, 7-11 p.m., at 1400 S. Greenway Dr. in Coral Gables. Guests at this unique gala will be filled with the sights and sounds, culture, cuisine and the enigma and excitement that is India. With the event touted as “the most fun fundraiser in South Florida,” guests may expect an over-the-top evening featuring an incredible lineup high-energy Bollywood dance performances that include amazing aerial acrobats and fire breathers. There also will be a live and silent auction, contests for Best Dressed in Indian Attire, Seductive Indian Cuisine, and much more. Prepare to be spellbound as the affair promises to transport you from sunny Southern Florida to exotic India — all in a single evening. Last year, a record breaking 1,300

Guests at this unique gala will be filled with the s i g h t s a n d s o u n d s , c u l t u re , cuisine and the enigma and excitement that is India. people attended “A Night in Bollywood” with all proceeds going to benefit Sunil’s Home Orphanage in India. To date, the generosity of the community has touched the lives of more than 10,000 children — connecting them to the resources and educational opportunities that allow them to explore, innovate, and build important life skills to achieve their dreams and break the cycle of poverty. For tickets visit online at <www.sunilshome.com/tickets>.

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Badass Business Women preparing to celebrate anniversary, Mar. 24 BY ROBERT HAMILTON

Badass Business Women is celebrating its anniversary on Saturday, Mar. 24, from 7 p.m. to midnight, at The Stage Miami in the Design District. Look for a stellar event with hundreds of empowered entrepreneurs gathering to celebrate their successes and all that is to come in 2012. At the event Badass Business Women will be crowning the new “Badass in Business” award winners with a pink carpet and camera crew to rival that of the Academy Awards. Jessica Kizorek, founder of BadassBusinessWomen.org, is hosting the second annual anniversary party to cele-

brate the success of this dynamic organization that is changing the face of entrepreneurship. Women are invited to rub elbows with hundreds of Miami’s most Badass business people and the imported super stars being flown in from around the country. Imagine entering the heart of Miami’s Design District, walking down a hot pink carpet, coasting alongside the hot pink stretch hummer limousine. Prepare yourself for paparazzi, television crews and photographers catching your every move. Professional women unite to bond and grow their business For more information, visit online at <www.badassbusinesswomen.org>.

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Kendall Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram back on track and open for business

General Manager and owner Hector Collado (center left in suit) with staff –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY SUSAN SMITH

our top selling vehicles and we have a huge inventory on site. The Dodge Ram Trucks start with 1500 Regular Cabs to 5500 Duallys. The Dodge Challenger is an incredible sports car with a v8 Hemi. The Compass and Avenger are phenomenal. The Dodge Dart is coming back at our lowest price point and the quality will be there. We are also offering larger commercial vehicles as well.” The VIP Loyalty membership program is in effect for guests to take advantage of once they purchase a vehicle or have a service performed in the service department. It offers a host of complimentary services in addition to credit upon a new or used auto purchase that can be used towards service, parts, or accessories and three percent loyalty cash on paid service. The VIP plan also includes no vehicle maintenance for the first two years and access to the $12 oil change. General Manager and Owner of Kendall Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Hector Collado, knows buyers after over 30 years in the industry. “We purchase a new vehicle when we believe we are getting a good value. The way I measure value is by comparing an $80,000 vehicle to a $40,000 one and if I can feel the same quality, workmanship and care that goes into both, well then I am going to get everything I want for 50 percent off. Now that is good value.” To find out more about Kendall Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram at 13355 SW 137 Avenue call 786-231-2132 or visit www.KendallDodgeChryslerJeepRam.com. *(automedia.com)

President Barack Obama said it clearly during the State of the Union Address in January: “We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.”* In no other community is the auto industry back in Florida like it is at Kendall Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram. The immaculate 25 vehicle showroom at 13355 SW 137 Avenue recently re-opened to an ecstatic neighborhood reception grateful for the renewed area commerce and additional area jobs. “Of the 100 vehicles we sold in the first few weeks of February since our opening, many clients would come in and say ‘we are so happy you are back.’ Obviously we are happy to be here as well in a welcoming facility; bar none. We want to earn the trust and business of the community by supplying information and the best prices in town,” said General Manager and Owner Hector Collado. The formerly shuttered dealership has now reopened under new ownership and offers one of the largest inventories in Dade and Broward counties at a state of the art facility including a service department open seven days per week for customer convenience. “We are the only image facility in Dade County and in essence that means that our showroom is what Chrysler wants all of their dealerships to look like. Our parts department has the capacity for over a million dollars in parts, and we are the only location open on Sunday for service and parts. Our guest lounge has 6 complimentary computer stations and free wireless internet. Plus, with a 70 inch HDTV screen it looks like the place to be on Super Bowl Sunday,” said Collado. Kendall Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram has a vehicle on hand for every South Florida lifestyle niche whether for town or country or—the Keys, according to Collado. “The Chrysler convertible 200 is amazing, the perfect car for sunny South Florida and a great vehicle to have. The Jeep Wrangler and Cherokees are two of The Kendall Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Showroom

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Westminster Christian students sweep Future Problem Solving competition BY ANA POVEDA

Westminster Christian School elementary and middle school students competed in the Future Problem Solving District Competition and came away with the top prizes in each category and division. In the Middle Division, grades 7-9, Westminster teams took the first and second place prizes in both the Written Plan category and the Skits Presentation. In the Junior Division, grades 4-6, Westminster students earned earned the first and second place awards for the Written Plan Category, and the first, second, and third place prizes in the Skit Presentation category. At the Future Problem Solving District competition, students develop written plans and skits for problems that are futuristic in nature, but oriented to real life. This year’s topic was human rights. Students rely on their skills of teamwork, communication, research, critical and creative thinking, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Placing teams will compete in Orlando on Mar. 19. This will be the fourth year WCS students qualified for state. District competition winners were:

MIDDLE DIVISION (GRADES 7-9) Booklet/Written Plan Category First Place — Callie Hodges, Savannah Hodges, Sophia Gonzalez and Brejah Upton; Second Place — David Delgado, Andrew de Moya, Jake Hodges and Michael Ibar. Skit Presentations Category First Place — David Delgado, Andrew de Moya, Jake Hodges and Michael Ibar; Second Place — Callie Hodges, Savannah Hodges, Sophia Gonzalez and Brejah Upton. JUNIOR DIVISION (GRADES 4-6) Booklet/Written Plan Category First Place — Alexia Arrizurrieta, Carolina Gonzalez, Melissa Navarro and Katrina Solares; Second Place — Carli Ness, Annie Perez, Faith Shaw and Emily Waltz. Skit Presentations Category First Place — Carli Ness, Annie Perez, Faith Shaw and Emily Waltz; Second Place — Meghan Quirantes, Rebekah Raffalski, Victoria Suris and Natalie Talarico; Third Place — Alexia Arrizurieta, Carolina Gonzalez, Melissa Navarro and Katrina Solares.

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Miami Seaquarium offers teachers free admission Mar. 31 - Apr. 1 BY MICHELLE PALOMINO

During “Totally Teachers Weekend!,” Saturday, Mar. 31, and Sunday, Apr. 1, MiamiDade and Broward teachers, in both private and public schools, will receive free admission to Miami Seaquarium, plus a discount for up to four guests at 50 percent off of regular admission. Teachers also may enter to win a free field trip to Miami Seaquarium at the Education Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Only one trip will be awarded each day. Teachers must show a valid school ID card or pay stub along with a picture ID to redeem discount. The offer is valid only on regular admission to Miami Seaquarium and is not combinable with any other offer. “Totally Teachers Weekend! is our small way of recognizing our teachers for the invaluable service they offer to our community,” said Andrew Hertz, general manager at Miami Seaquarium. “We encourage teachers to bring out their families and take advantage of this great offer.” For more than 50 years, Miami Seaquarium has been a firm advocate of marine life conservation and education. Through its current inter-

active educational programs, Miami Seaquarium continues its mission of educating students of all ages about the wonders of marine life. Miami Seaquarium hosts several educational programs throughout the year, such as: Day Camps; Spring Camp; Home School Days; Girl Scout and Boy Scout Days, and “Mommy and Me,” a program for mothers and young children. In addition, the park hosts thousands of local students for educational field trips year round. Teachers are invited to visit the Education Center at Miami Seaquarium during Totally Teachers Weekend! for more information on educational programs offered at Miami Seaquarium. Miami Seaquarium, South Florida’s most popular tourist attraction, is a family-oriented marine-life park open to the public every day of the year. The park provides visitors with a greater understanding and appreciation for marine life through shows, presentations and marine-life exhibits. General admission to Miami Seaquarium is $39.95 and $29.95 for children (ages 3-9). More information on Miami Seaquarium is available online at <www.miamiseaquarium.com>.


Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

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Students can nominate teacher for chance to win Disney stay BY JACKIE MACKAY

The Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels have partnered with Walt Disney World once again to honor outstanding K12 teachers with its 2012 A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney essay contest. The fourth annual contest, which runs through Apr. 13, asks students in grades 1 through 12 to nominate their favorite teacher by writing a brief essay of no more than 300 words and submitting it via <www.downtowndisneyhotels.com>. The essay should explain how the teacher has made a difference in the student’s life and will be judged on its relevance to theme, creativity, originality, and the merit of the teacher’s accomplishments as outlined in the essay. Seven winners will be chosen, and those students and their favorite teacher nominees each will win a vacation prize package that consists of: • Five-day/ four-night accommodations (for up to four family members) at one of the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels; • Four free Walt Disney World one-day, one-park passes; • Four free tickets to the DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive theme park; • Complimentary breakfast at the hotel each day (for up to four family members), and • One $100 gas card. “We’re excited to kick off our fourth annual contest to celebrate those teachers who truly make a difference in the lives of their students in spite of the many challenges their schools are facing,” said Kevin Renzi, chair of the organization’s marketing committee. “We’ve been amazed by

the stories we’ve received in prior years, so we look forward to selecting even more gifted teachers for the recognition they deserve.” Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels have awarded 60 vacation trips to deserving teachers and their students since starting the annual essay contest in 2009. Prior winners have been recognized for home schooling students struggling with challenging illnesses, persevering in their teaching careers despite life-threatening medical conditions, supporting the work of non-profit organizations, helping their students excel academically, inspiring learning in the classroom, and other professional and personal feats. This year’s A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney contest winners will be notified directly by May 1 and also announced on the hotels’ website. Guests staying at these Official Walt Disney World Hotels receive special privileges not available at hotels outside of the Disney Resort, such as: • Complimentary transportation to all four Disney theme parks, two of Disney’s water parks and Downtown Disney every 30 minutes; • Advanced tee times and discounts at all four Disney championship golf courses; • Disney’s Extra Magic Hours (at select hotels), and • Delivery of souvenirs purchased at the parks directly to their hotel room at no cost. To make a reservation or for more information on the 2012 A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney contest, visit online at <www.downtowndisneyhotels.com>.

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Miami Dade College students to host Concert for Congo BY LEE STEPHENS

worked with Food for the Poor, a nonprofit Florida-based organization. It hosted two All-Nighter’s for Haiti, accumulating more than $50,000 in funds towards the island’s relief. HEAL Africa is a registered 501(c)(3) charity whose main focus is to support the Congolese people, train health professionals, strengthen the communities, and encourage women to take on leadership positions while at the same time providing them with life skills and vocational training to help them thrive. Throughout the past 14 years, the organization has helped establish 28 women’s safe houses for those who have been victimized by the war. Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society with a mission of recognizing and encouraging the academic achievement of two-year college students along with proving opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming.

Students Aiding International Development (SAID), in cooperation with HEAL Africa and Phi Theta Kappa, will host a concert on Mar. 30 at the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus’ Fred Shaw Memorial Plaza in an effort to promote awareness and raise the necessary funds to construct and preserve a safe house for the war victims of Congo. Although contributing to all genders and age groups, the Concert for Congo is a community and college event intended to heal, empower, and rebuild the lives of the women and children of the community who have been affected by the hardships of war, and, most importantly, rape. SAID is an organization established three years ago by Miami Dade College students with the intent of raising cognizance and accumulating funds to aid those who face deplorable suffering that occurs throughout the world. In October 2009 and January 2010, the organization

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United Way launches program to encourage love for reading BY YANET OBARRIO SANCHEZ

United Way of Miami-Dade is expanding its volunteer reader pilot program — now titled Read Together/Leer Juntos — to include up to 130 volunteer readers at 13 early learning centers across Miami-Dade. Now through May 24, these readers are being matched with 55-60 pre-K classrooms for an hour of story time each week, influencing nearly 1,000 students. The program is still seeking volunteers to help enhance literacy opportunities for young children and instill a love for reading, even before they can read for themselves. For information on a center location and program specifics, visit <www.unitedwaymiami.org/volunteerreaderprogram> or contact Chantell King at <kingc@unitedwaymiami.org>. As part of the program, United Way is offering a training session for the volunteer readers where they will learn about ageappropriate books, tips for reading to young

children and receive a reader toolkit with sample activities and more. “The United Way Volunteer Reader Program is a great way for residents to get involved with their community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Promoting literacy and encouraging our youngest residents to read is a true win-win and will have a lasting impact.” Research shows that children who learn to read well at an early age not only will read more independently, but also achieve more in math, social studies and science. They also are more likely to graduate from high school and pursue higher education. Investing in them pays off — the outcome includes higher graduation rates, better job skills, increased homeownership and less chance of criminal activities. To learn more about the Read Together/Leer Juntos program or for tips on how to read to children, visit online at <www.unitedwaymiami.org/Volunteer ReaderProgram>.

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Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

Miami-Dade announces transportation information for Sony Ericsson tourney BY DORIS HOWE

The Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department welcomes the return of the Sony Ericsson Open Tennis Tournament to Miami-Dade Parks’ Crandon Tennis Center, located on Key Biscayne, Mar. 19-Apr. 1. In cooperation with the Sony Ericsson Open/IMG, Village of Key Biscayne, Key Biscayne Police Department, Miami-Dade County Public Works and Waste Management Department, Florida Department of Transportation, and City of Miami, and in the interest of enhanced public safety at this year’s event, MiamiDade Parks provides the following information concerning traffic, transit, parking, drop-offs, bicycles, and pedestrians for residents and visitors attending the event: Pedestrians — For greater patron safety, the South Gate will not be accessible to pedestrians. Tennis fans walking to the tournament from the Village of Key Biscayne will be directed by Key Biscayne Police to proceed along the east side of Crandon Boulevard, along its bike path adjacent to Lot 4. The path will lead to the tournament’s main-entrance crosswalk, where patrons will cross Crandon Boulevard to enter the event. Pedestrians will not be permitted to walk north of Harbor Drive on the southbound side of Crandon Boulevard. D rop-Off/Pick-up/Will Call — The tournament drop-off, pick-up and ticket Will Call area will be strictly limited to the North Gate/Lot 6 entrance. Traffic — The public should expect heavier than normal traffic along Rickenbacker Causeway during the tournament due to larger than normal crowds. Fans should note that SunPass is NOT accepted at the causeway’s tollbooth. Visit <www.511southflorida.com> for traffic updates. Transit — Bus service via the popular Route B, also referenced as Route 102, covering the Brickell Metrorail Station, Brickell Business District, Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami Seaquarium, Crandon Park, City of Key Biscayne, and Cape Florida State Park, will make regular stops at the main entrance of the tournament when heading toward the Village of Key Biscayne. It also will make regular stops across the street from the main entrance, along the east side of Crandon Boulevard, on its return route to Brickell. Public transportation information, including bus schedules, routes and fares, can be found at <www.miamidade.gov/transit/>

or by calling 3-1-1. Taxi Service — Taxi service will be available with pickup/drop-off located north of the Crandon Park Office, between Lots 2 and 3, where shuttle buses enter/exit the park. Signage will be posted. Parking — Parking lots close two hours after the last match. Shuttle bus service to and from the All Day General Admission Parking Lot on Arthur Lamb Road ends one hour after the last match. During the tournament, parking will be available at the following locations: • All Day General Admission Parking — $12-$20/vehicle — Located at Arthur Lamb Road across from the Seaquarium. Free shuttle services will be provided from Arthur Lamb Road to Parking Lot 3 every 15 minutes until one hour after the last match. • Parking Lot 1 — Beach Patrons Parking Only — Located at the northernmost entrance to Key Biscayne after crossing the bridge beyond the Rickenbacker Causeway, this lot is strictly reserved for beach patron parking only. No event parking permitted. • Parking Lot 2 — Accessible Parking — Located at the north entrance of Crandon Park, all accessible parking spaces for the disabled are located in this lot to patrons with a tournament ticket and a valid handicap decal. • Parking Lot 2 — VIP Parking After 5 p.m., $30/vehicle — Located at the north entrance of Crandon Park, this is the closest lot to the stadium. Fee is per day, no reentry allowed. Subject to availability. • Parking Lot 3 — Box Holder Parking — This lot is reserved for Box Holders. • Parking Lot 4 — Motorcycle and Golf-Cart Parking, $10 — Located at the south entrance of Crandon Park, this is the only lot allowing motorcycle and golf-cart parking at a cost of $10. Fee is per day, no re-entry allowed. • Bicycles, Lot 4, Bike parking is free — Located in Lot 4 by its main exit, diagonally across from the tournament’s mainentrance crosswalk. P rohibited Parking – Overnight parking is prohibited at Crandon Park. Parking is prohibited at Calusa Park on Key Biscayne. Commercial trucks are prohibited from parking in all public lots. RV’s are not permitted at Crandon Park. RV Parking — RV’s are restricted and may only utilize Arthur Lamb Road for parking. For information about MDPROS the public should call 3-1-1 or visit online at <www.miamidade.gov/parks>.


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Miami Childrens Theater Wins Big at 2012 Junior Theater Festival Miami Childrens Theater’s participated in their first ever national theater competition, the internationally recognized, Junior Theater Festival held this past January in Atlanta, Georgia and won in multiple areas. Miami Childrens Theater took a group of 15 multi-talented students ranging in age from 10-16 and won awards for Best Acting in a Large Group Musical, Best Male Actor, Best Broadway Slam Performer and had three dancers chosen to appear in choreography DVD’s seen that will be used internationally to teach students. The dancers will be flown to New York and will film dance DVD’s to be included in Junior versions of Broadway Musicals. Participants rehearsed for over three months leading up to the festival. Junior Theater Festival is sponsored by ITheatrics, an offshoot of Music Theater International. Founded in 2003, JTF has grown to over 1500 participants from around the world. In addition to the competition, participants got to meet with the creative team and actors from NBC’s new hit show, “Smash” which is set within a Broadway musical. Miami Childrens Theater is in their 16th year of bringing the best of the performing arts to the young people of South Florida. Artistically, MCT has evolved into one of the top young persons’ theaters in the Southeast. With an acclaimed faculty and an extensive theater conservatory curriculum, MCT “graduates” have been accepted to the finest performing arts universities in the country and currently has six former students on Broadway or on national tours. Miami Childrens Theater’s reputation for high artistic and technical production values is well known. Past MCT productions include, Les Miserables, The Light in the Piazza, Evita, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, On The Town, Into the Woods, The Music Man, The Wizard of Oz, Mulan and Guys and Dolls to name just a few. For further information regarding MCT’s programming, summer camps and performances, call their offices at 305-274-3595 or www.miamichildrenstheater.com.


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Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

Mazda3 refreshed for 2012, adds SKYACTIV technology

Ron Beasley LET’S TALK CARS Mazda finally has brought its SKYACTIV fuel-saving and performance technologies to North America, adding the innovative equipment to the popular 2012 Mazda3. Redesigned for the 2010 model year, the 2012 Mazda3’s exterior has been refined for a bolder look, and given a new front fascia and an updated five-point grille opening for both the sedan and hatchback styles. The refreshed exterior also includes unique new 16-inch and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheel designs. The 16-inch wheel has 10 twisted-surface spokes (increased from the current seven-spoke design) and the 17inch wheel has enlarged openings between each spoke. Designs for the 16-inch steel wheels and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels are unchanged. In addition to the Mazda3’s MZR 2.0liter dual-overhead-cam 16-valve four-

cylinder engine (available only on iSV and Sport sedan models), a new high-efficiency direct-injection SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine is offered now. It is the standard power in the Mazda3 iTouring and Grand Touring models and is mated to the new SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission or the optional new SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. The iTouring and Grand Touring trims are available in either sedan or hatchback body styles. The MZR 2.0-liter engine continues to be available with the five-speed manual gearbox as standard equipment. Mazda3 iSport models also are available with the five-speed automatic as an option. The SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine is about 4.4 pounds lighter than the old MZR engine and uses multi-hole injectors for enhanced fuel spray, along with specially developed piston cavity shapes that ensure a shorter combustion time and suppress the impact on power and torque from engine knocking. Fuel economy gets a boost from the combination of a SKYACTIV engine and transmission. When equipped with the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine and optional SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission, the 2012 Mazda3 sedan gets an EPA rated 40 mpg on the highway, a 21

Mazda3 has a bolder stance, a new front fascia and updated five-point grille opening for both sedan and hatchback styles. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

percent improvement. With a fuel tank capacity of 14.5 gallons, the 2012 Mazda3 sedan with SKYACTIV technology has a 540-mile range. Also, previously only available with the MZR 2.5-liter engine, the Mazda3 fivedoor hatchback model is offered now in the U.S. with the SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine.

Pricing on the base 2012 Mazda3 starts at $15,200 and $18,450 with SKYACTIV technology. 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 <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.


Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

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Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

DREWKERN.COM

OPENING DOORS TO SOUTH FLORIDA REAL ESTATE As a second generation real estate professional, and a Miami native, I have an intimate understanding of our local market. Let me help guide you through the sometimes turbulent waters of buying and selling your most valuable asset. The process should be easy and enjoyable when you have the assistance of the right professional.

1519 9 Granada a Blvd Impressive, 2 story, Old Spanish Coral Gables home. 4 Bdrrm/3 Bath main house and two, 1 bedroom separate maid's quarters above the garage. 11,406 sq ft lot.

$898,000

157255 SW W 877 Ct Updated Palmetto Bay, 3/2 with screened pool and 2 car garage. Newer roof and A/C with too many extras to list. Move in condition.

Reduced Price $449,000

Drew Kern

146011 Snapperr Dr Wonderful, 4 bdrm/2.5 bath family home in gated, Kings Bay community in Coral Gables. Open great room. Screened patio and pool. Carport fits 2 cars.

$549,000

90133 SW W 2066 St Spectacular Cantamar home, 3 bdrm 2.5 baths, 2 story model with 2 car garage. Open kitchen with granite counters, overlooking dining and family room.

$245,000

238011 Overseass Highway,, Summerland d Keyy

(Mile Marker 23.8) Great opportunity to Acres are upland (335,848 sq ft). 990 feet of purchase a unique commercial property in the frontage on Overseas Highway, West side is on Florida Keys. 9.46 acres on the Bay on Kemp Channel, and the east side is on a lagoon. Summerland Key. This property was Property has several ponds, 2 fresh water injection previously a thriving Shrimp Larva Farm. The wells and 3 salt water wells. seller represents that of the entire property, 7.71 Reduced price $1,495,000

ESSLINGER WOOTEN MAXWELL, INC., REALTORS 305.329.7744 â&#x20AC;˘ KERN.D@EWM.COM


Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Mar. 20 - April 2, 2012

This offer cannot be combined with any other discounts. Not valid on prior purchases. Offer valid with Ace Rewards Program Enrollment and Ace Reward Members. Some items are non discountable. Excludes Benjamin Moore paints, Weber Grills and MSP products. Only one coupon per transaction. EXPIRES March 26, 2012

Coral Gables News 3.20.2012  

Newspaper PDF

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