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NEWS

Cutler Bay

SEPTEMBER 6 - 19, 2011

SERVING SOUTH DADE

Second town hall meeting set to discuss high school BY GARY ALAN RUSE

Some county services returning to South Dade area in October

T

he issue of a high school in Cutler Bay, which was the subject of a town hall meeting on Aug. 18, will be discussed again during a second town hall meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m., in the Town Council Chambers, 10720 Caribbean Blvd. Mayor Ed MacDougall said he was impressed by the success of the first meeting, which he felt accomplished what town officials wanted — to make sure that the school was something the residents of Cutler Bay wanted. “The first meeting was exceptionally well attended,” said MacDougall during an interview on Aug. 25. “We had well over a hundred people, it was standing room only. We gave a presentation of the facts we had found so far on having a municipal charter high school, and after the presentation we just took comments

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MEETING, page 4

BY MAURICE R. HERNANDEZ

A

A large crowd attended the first meeting on Aug. 18. (Photo by Erin O’Donnell)

Rotar y Club Casino Night returning for eighth year BY GARY ALAN RUSE

T

he eighth annual Rotary Casino Night, hosted by the Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay, will give area residents a chance to have a fun night out and also raise funds for college scholarships for local students. The Mardi Gras-themed gala evening takes place in the Palmetto Bay Village Center’s Palm Room on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 7 to 11 p.m. Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, live Pictured are some of the attendees at last year’s Rotary Club Casino Night.

and silent auctions, a raffle, door prizes and, of course, gaming with blackjack, craps, roulette and more. Guests receive “fun chips” with which to gamble and bid on prizes in the silent auction. The prizes include vacation trips, hotel stays, dinners, sports memorabilia and other items. “We look forward to the participation of the community and anticipate 500 guests for this exciting fundraising event bene-

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CASINO, page 4

number of Miami-Dade County services are returning to the South Dade area as part of an effort spearheaded by Commissioner Lynda Bell. Scheduled to open on Oct. 1, a new office in the South Dade Justice Center, 10710 SW 211 St. in Cutler Bay, will assist nearby residents with purchasing transit passes, auto tags, memberships to cultural activities, paying taxes, accepting service requests, and offering information and referrals. Since taking office in 2010, Commissioner Bell has continued to work with county administration and recently with Mayor Carlos Gimenez to ensure that residents and people who work in South Miami-Dade have better access to services as opposed to travel-

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SERVICES, page 4

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

September 6 - 19, 2011


September 6 - 19, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Rotary Club Casino Night returning for eighth year

Pictured are some of the attendees at last year’s Rotary Club Casino Night. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY GARY ALAN RUSE

The eighth annual Rotary Casino Night, hosted by the Rotary Club of PerrineCutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay, will give area residents a chance to have a fun night out and also raise funds for college scholarships for local students. The Mardi Gras-themed gala evening takes place in the Palmetto Bay Village Center’s Palm Room on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 7 to 11 p.m. Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, live and silent auctions, a raffle, door prizes and, of course, gaming with blackjack, craps, roulette and more. Guests receive “fun chips” with which to gamble and bid on prizes in the silent auction. The prizes include vacation trips, hotel stays, dinners, sports memorabilia and other items. “We look forward to the participation of the community and anticipate 500 guests for this exciting fundraising event benefiting students with scholarships through the efforts of the Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay,” said Bill Thiele, club president-elect. Tayloe Perry and Abe Levy are co-chairs of Rotary Casino Night 2011 and have worked hard to make it happen. “We plan to have fun and raise money for some great causes in our community,”

Perry said. The club was chartered in 1960. Following the motto of “Service Above Self,” the members have reached out to the needy as well as providing scholarships for students and assisting the elderly for more than 40 years. Funded by the moneys raised at Rotary Casino Night, the club last year provided $69,000 in scholarships for local college students. “Where can you go and be provided an open bar, food, entertainment, gamble, and win auction items for an entire evening for only $50?” said Maria C. Kesti, past president of the club. “And the proceeds are utilized to provide scholarships to students from our community.” The club is seeking local companies to be sponsors for the event and is requesting donations of items to utilize for the auction. “This is a great way to promote your business to those here in the area, as well as support our community,” Thiele said. For tickets, contact Ed Ludovici at 305233-2161. The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay meets every Tuesday for lunch at Romanza Restaurant in Palmetto Bay. For more information, visit online at <www.pcrpbrotary.org> or call 305-89ROTARY.

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SERVICES, from page 1

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ing to downtown Miami for assistance. “This issue was one of my most important priorities,” Commissioner Bell said. “The trek from South Dade to major county facilities in the downtown area can be time consuming if someone is in need of specific services. How reasonable is it for someone to have to travel several miles via bus or train to get a transit pass? “In the end, Miami-Dade should be about delivering effective customer service to residents and this new service location is a step towards that goal,” Commissioner Bell added. “I’m glad the current administration was able to work with my office on this matter to help the hundreds of thousands of people living in South Dade and its neigh-

boring communities.” The office located at the South Dade Justice Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during weekdays, closing an hour during lunch. A Miami-Dade staff person will be available to assist residents, as well as an automated computer touch screen that will allow residents to pay their bills and access other services online. A transit ticket machine also will be placed on site. Additionally, two similar service stations will open at the North Dade Justice Center, 15555 Biscayne Blvd., and the Miami-Dade Permitting Information Center, 11805 SW 26 St. For more information, contact Commissioner Bell’s office at 305-3755218.

www.communitynewspapers.com

Please join us for lunch

September 8, 2011

The CBBA will be hosting their

Monthly Luncheon in the Palm Room, on the 3rd floor of the

Palmetto Bay Village Center

JUMPS FOR CUTLER BAY

Between 11:00AM and 1:00 PM. Members $10 Non-Members $20

WE HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US. To R.S.V.P. visit www.cbba.biz or call 305-609-1096

September 6 - 19, 2011

MEETING, from page 1

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most of the night. “The overwhelming majority, with only maybe one or two exceptions, were completely in favor of a charter high school and they wanted to have one in Cutler Bay.” MacDougall said that the other points he took from the meeting were that the people want a choice in education, wanted to make sure that the high school was made available to all residents, whether they were renters or owners in Cutler Bay, and wanted to know how a charter school would be administered. “We weren’t there to give them all of the answers, since we just didn’t have all the answers,” MacDougall said. “We needed to find out what they wanted. At the second meeting we’re going to provide many more answers to the questions and some options that we’re developing as far as where we would have it.” The mayor said after that he would prefer a referendum to let the people of Cutler Bay make the decisions, something he had promised voters. Council member Mary Ann Mixon expressed the same views about the meetings regarding the school. “My main concern is encouraging people to attend — the more people who show up and give us their feedback the better,” Mixon said. “I loved the last town hall meeting. It was incredibly informative because we got to hear directly from the people. I implore the people to come and tell us what they want. Because after all, I didn’t get elected to voice my own opin-

CASINO, from page 1

ions; I’m there to fulfill the wishes of the people.” Vice Mayor Ernie Sochin had the same impression of the first town hall meeting and its importance to the community. “The overwhelming response seemed to favor a ‘choice’ mainly conceived of as a charter school,” Sochin said. “For example, of the 2,262 students eligible for Southridge Senior High 1,158 chose an alternate. That’s 51.2 percent. “Many questions were asked at that meeting and in our efforts to hear first from the public, not many were answered. We hope at this next meeting to provide answers and get more input. It is a long road to travel but I think the results will be a better education for Cutler Bay children.” There is currently no high school in Cutler Bay and no indication that the Miami-Dade County School Board plans on building one in the near future, especially with the recent budget cutbacks. Mayor MacDougall believes that a municipal high school for Cutler Bay residents will be better for students and parents who now have to travel outside of the city. “My mission and the mission of this council is that we want to be a town of higher education, of quality education,” MacDougall said. “Obviously better parks, safer streets and better roads are our duty and obligation to provide, but we also want a city of educational opportunities for our kids. It will impact the quality of life in such a way that I believe it is a decision that can only be made by the people. I’m very excited about it.”

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fiting students with scholarships through the efforts of the Rotary Club of PerrineCutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay,” said Bill Thiele, club president-elect. Tayloe Perry and Abe Levy are co-chairs of Rotary Casino Night 2011 and have worked hard to make it happen. “We plan to have fun and raise money for some great causes in our community,” Perry said. The club was chartered in 1960. Following the motto of “Service Above Self,” the members have reached out to the needy as well as providing scholarships for students and assisting the elderly for more than 40 years. Funded by the moneys raised at Rotary Casino Night, the club last year provided $69,000 in scholarships for local college students. “Where can you go and be provided an open bar, food, entertainment, gamble, and

win auction items for an entire evening for only $50?” said Maria C. Kesti, past president of the club. “And the proceeds are utilized to provide scholarships to students from our community.” The club is seeking local companies to be sponsors for the event and is requesting donations of items to utilize for the auction. “This is a great way to promote your business to those here in the area, as well as support our community,” Thiele said. For tickets, contact Ed Ludovici at 305233-2161. The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay meets every Tuesday for lunch at Romanza Restaurant in Palmetto Bay. For more information, visit online at <www.pcrpbrotary.org> or call 305-89ROTARY.


September 6 - 19, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Charter school is the town’s current hot button issue Michael Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR

AROUND TOWN The matter of the charter high school in Cutler Bay is one that has folks taking sides, pro or con, and will be the subject of a second town hall meeting on Tuesday, September 13 (see story in this issue). If you want to find out more about this or voice an opinion you might want to attend. We heard from Town Council Member Peggy Bell about this issue on Tuesday August 30, just as we were wrapping up this issue. “I do not think our residents can afford a tax increase,” says Peggy Bell. “If they want the town to purchase land for a Charter School, or other good government use, I want to hear it from them, preferably by referendum. At our July meeting I made my position clear. I requested town hall meetings, to allow the people to tell us what they want, as it is their money.”

Sounds like everyone on the council is on the same page about wanting a referendum, so it’s likely you’ll see one fairly soon. Music lovers, take note: We hear from local resident Miriam Stern that she and the other members of the CrossTown String Quartet have two concerts coming up, an eclectic “Musical Voyage” as the highly accomplished alternative group plays traditional and original selections from around the world, ranging from Classical & Baroque to Tango, Bluegrass, Latin and others. The first one is on Friday, September 9, at 5:30 p.m. at Miami Conservatory Concert Hall, 2911 Grand Avenue, Ste. 400A, in Coconut Grove. “Free admission for kids of all ages!” says Miriam. The second is on Saturday, September 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Wertheim Performing Arts Center/ Concert Hall FIU, 10910 SW 17 Street, Miami. For tickets for that one contact WPAC Box Office, email carta@fiu.edu or phone 305-348-0496. Tickets: $15 General, $10 Seniors, $5 FIU Students, Children Free.

Cutler Bay News

6769 S.W. 62 Avenue, South Miami, FL 33143 • Phone (305) 669-7355, Fax (305) 662-6980

www.communitynewspapers.com

PUBLISHER .................................................................................................................................. Grant Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR .....................................................................................................................Michael Miller EDITOR.................................................................................................................................. David Berkowitz WRITERS, COLUMNISTS.............................................................. Ron Beasley, Kenneth Bluh, Robert Hamilton, Linda Rodriguez-Bernfeld, Gary Alan Ruse, Lee Stephens, Al Sunshine, Richard Yager ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES..........................................................Albie Barnes, Beatriz Brandfon, Roberta Bergman, Ana Caceres, Celia Canabate, Diane Chasin, Henry Chau, Sharon Christian, Diane Maddox, Denzel Miles, Ann Robbins-Udel, Fara Sax, Lori Schwadron, Diane Sedona Schiller, Walter White LEGAL ADVERTISING ..................................................................................................................... Georgia Tait BOOKKEEPING ............................................................................................................................ Jesus Toledo PROOF DEPARTMENT....................................................................................................................Isabel Vavrek

GRAPHIC ARTISTS ...........................................................Catalina Roca, Isabel Ortega, Sergio Yanes,

PUBLISHER EMERITUS...........................................................................................................................................Ron Miller COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

Aventura News, Biscayne Tribune, Coral Gables News-Tribune, Doral Tribune, Kendall Gazette, Cutler Bay News, Palmetto Bay News, Pinecrest Tribune, South Miami News, Sunny Isles Beach We will not return solicited or unsolicited editorial material including stories, columns and or photographs. Please make sure that you have duplicate copies of the material.

Rafael Padron is on guitar. CrossTown String Quartet: Orlando Forte and Miriam Stern, Violins; Viera Borisova, Viola; Ashley Garritson, Cello and Alex Berti, Bass. More Info: www.crosstownstrings.com The Miami-Dade Salvation Army remembers and honors 9/11 attacks with “Do The Most Good” weekend. The agency will hold moments of silence remembering the three fatal plane crashes and exhibit never seen before photos of its service in response to the tragic events. Dozens of United Way volunteers will participate in a “Do the Most Good” weekend. Projects include landscaping an environment friendly garden at The Army’s shelter for the homeless and stocking the agency’s food pantry. That’s Friday, September 9 at The Salvation Army – Miami Area Command, 1907 NW 38th Street, Miami Schedule: 8:30 a.m. Welcome, 8:46 a.m. Moment of Silence and Presentation of Photos; 9:02 a.m. Moment of Silence; 9:05 a.m. Volunteer activities begin; 9:37 a.m. Moment of Silence.

And on Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 – Patriots’ Run Caravan Davie - Isla Morada. A Salvation Army “Canteen” (kitchen on wheels) will participate on the 9th Annual 9/11 Patriots’ Run, a parade and fund raiser that honors victims of the tragic events. The caravan, escorted by Police and Fire Departments will leave from Davie on Saturday 10 and arrive in Isla Morada for an after party on Sunday 11, where The Salvation Army’s iconic Canteen will provide breakfast to all participants (PatriotsRun.us). Thoought of the Day: This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer. — Will Rogers

Gary Alan Ruse contributed to this column. Got any tips? Contact me at 305-6697355, ext. 249, or send emails to <michael@communitynewspapers.com>.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

September 6 - 19, 2011

Who will benefit from Florida prison privatization? R. Kenneth Bluh • –––– VIEWPOINT –––– • KENNETH’S COMMENTARY The Florida Legislature during the past session mandated that the management of Florida’s prison system be turned over to private enterprise in order to save the taxpayers of the state money. The governor signed the bill into law. A number of questions have been debated in the press during the past few months as to the benefits and possible problems that privatization might create. The debates have asked the question: Who is benefiting from privatization? First, we should ask what is the state of our prison system, the fourth largest in the nation? Story after story about medical attention given, or better said lack of medical attention given to our prisoners has been published in the newspapers over and over again. However, there is little interest, except for the families of the prisoners. The public’s perception is that once put away the prisoners are quickly forgotten. Stories tell of prisoners complaining of

chest pains only to be given nonprescription pain relief medication and sent back to their cells. They die in the next few days from a heart attack. Overcrowding is a massive problem nationwide. The courts in California have instructed the state to release thousands of prisoners, who are confined for nonviolent crimes, in an effort to relieve overcrowding. Florida’s system, while no way as bad as California’s, has prisoners living on top of each other in unhealthy crowded conditions. The legislature stated that the transition from government run to private management requires that the savings must equal 7 percent or better than the current cost otherwise no privatization. Unfortunately, when the legislature met and passed the law they failed to consider the cost of firing 4,000 state employees working in our prison system. It is estimated that it will cost taxpayers approximately $25 million to cover the cost of unused vacation and sick leave time. This cost will far exceed the savings anticipat-

ed by the state for the first year. Letters to the editor writers and commentators addressing the $25 million loss suggest that the problem of unemployment could be solved by hiring the current prison workers to work for the private companies. No one seemed to realize that when the employees are fired and then hired by the private corporation running the system, they still are entitled to compensation for unused benefits. And, while on the subject of the rehiring of state prison employees, it should be pointed out that when a new organization or governmental management team takes over, they generally bring in their own people. Example: When recently resigned Florida prison chief Edwin Buss took over the prison system when Rick Scott was sworn in as governor, he brought in a large number of key employees from his old job as prison chief in Indiana. To the governor’s credit he has stated that if privatization doesn’t really save money, he will kill the transition. Who will run our prisons? The legislature

states that one company must run the entire state system. This greatly limits the number of eligible prison management companies. It does favor one company, the GEO Group, a heavy contributor to candidates for public office in Florida. This unfortunately doesn’t address the major problems facing our state’s prison system: medical attention, proper housing and very important, but almost always neglected, training for prisoner reentry into the community. Will the community benefit from the transition or will the benefits only flow to the successful bidder and the reelection war chests of our elected officials at the expense of our prison system? We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-662-6980 or email to <letters@communitynewspapers.com>. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.


September 6 - 19, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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I’m looking for contributors to my ‘legal’ Ponzi scheme BY ERNIE SOCHIN

Vice Mayor

Back in 1920, even before my time, a guy named Charles Ponzi developed a scheme to make money by having others invest in stuff that didn’t really exist. He paid back some of the original investors with the investments of newer clients. As long as there were new clients sending money in, everyone was happy. Actually Ponzi didn’t originate the idea. Another Charles started it — Charles Dickens in an 1857 novel called Little Dorrit. Being the financial genius that I am, I realized that there are apparently millions of people in the world wanting to invest in these schemes. The problem is that they are illegal. Not with my plan however. My plan is simple. If you have a strong desire to invest, simply send money to me c/o this newspaper. I promise to use it in a most appropriate way. You will have the pleasure of seeing your money provide a great deal of happiness for me

and all those around me. My grandson Julian expressed an interest in having one of those Segway things that police use in shopping malls. I might like one myself. My home investment counselor thinks that investing in gold jewelry might be a good idea. Done on both counts. I seem to be the only one at my tennis club without a Mercedes Benz. No problem! You see, unlike all the other schemers such as Nevin Shapiro and the Miami Hurricanes; Scott Segal, who stuffed his girlfriend in the trunk of her car; Felipito Perez, who even got a mayor to invest, and of course my idols, Bernie Madoff and Scott Rothstein, I promise nothing but the satisfaction of seeing your money well spent and enjoyed. What could give you greater pleasure than that? If I get enough, I might even give a small amount to charity and post pictures of myself handing out checks to the “Three Headed Orphans of Claustrophobia Fund” for example. Maybe I can get a lounge named after me if I throw a few bucks at a school. “The Ernie Sochin Kindergarten Reading Room” Sounds nice huh? Perhaps I could “hang out” with the soccer team and be on the sidelines for their games.

We’re in the money. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Another benefit would be to society in general. With no need for prosecution — court costs, defense attorneys, etc. — millions of dollars in taxpayer money would be saved because the plan is perfectly legal. Reading the newspapers and my volumi-

nous emails, there must be a burning need in people to throw money away. I receive literally hundreds of emails from Nigeria where recently departed relatives have been hoarding millions of dollars just waiting for me to claim them. I just got one from a “soldier” in Iraq who actually has all of Saddam Hussein’s hidden money and wants to share it with me. I thought for a while that I was the only lucky one receiving these emails. The fact that they show up on all my email accounts is further proof that they are dying to reach me so that they can send me this money. Obviously there are perhaps millions of people receiving these valuable pieces of correspondence and at least some of them are sending the money necessary to transfer these vast sums, or giving out their bank account passwords, etc. Otherwise they would stop doing it and the entire Nigerian economy might collapse. I ask that these same people just send the money to me and again, at least they will know where it is going. I might even set up a website listing my expenditures. Of course I ask that in order to save the cost of expensive bank accounts that you send cash only.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

September 6 - 19, 2011

Letter to the Editor Send ‘Letters’ to: <michael@communitynewspapers.com>

R e a d e r q u e s t i o n s p ro p o s a l s f o r B u s w a y, r e d u c i n g d e f i c i t To the Editor: In the Aug. 5-22, 2011 edition of Cutler Bay News, Vice Mayor Ernie Sochin suggested ways to solve the national debt (not the annual deficit). He has been an effective councilman and I am sure he will continue to be an effective vice mayor. I do not wish to criticize him, but I do disagree with him on some of his proposals here as well as an earlier proposal. I assume the vice mayor is presenting this as a serious solution to the problem, although some of his suggestions near the end of the article cause me to have some doubt. Solving the national debt is a very tall order. The national debt currently stands at roughly $14.5 trillion and has been authorized to go to about $16 trillion. At 10 cents a pop this would require 160 trillion emails. I do not know the current rate of email correspondence, but that seems to be an awfully big number to me. Even he admits such a small charge would most likely cause a decline in the number of emails sent. It is easy to see that without a change in habits many would run up bills of several hundred and even several thousand dollars a month. That would probably discourage many diehards of continuing their present behavior after a few months. I have not even discussed the probable political backlash of such a proposal. The other comment I have is that awhile back he proposed turning the South Dade Busway into a toll road. He certainly is not the only one to make such a proposal. It seems to me that this would defeat what I believe to be the original intent of the Busway. As I understand it, the Busway was built as a way to move traffic off South Dixie. It also was an attempt to move more drivers to mass transit. Also, it would provide emergency services a much faster way to respond rather than pushing itself through rush hour traffic on the highway. In my own personal experience, after the Metrorail opened I parked in the Dadeland South lot. It was not long before getting a space there involved arriving at a very early hour in the morning. I switched to Dadeland North. That soon turned into such a long walk in the hot sun or pouring rain that I stopped using Metrorail. I started again after the Busway opened. If the Busway turns into a toll road I most likely will gas up my car and once again help clog South Dixie, the Palmetto and the Dolphin. Charles R. Jones Palmetto Bay

Promote Your Business In the

Cutler Bay News! For all your advertising needs call Roberta Bergman • 305-284-7380 or Georgia Tait • 305-284-7381


September 6 - 19, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Old Cutler Presbyterian Church to host arts and crafts festival BY ROBERT HAMILTON

All local artists and crafters are invited to participate in the “First Annual Arts and Crafts Festival” to take place Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the grounds and in the fellowship hall of Old Cutler Presbyterian Church, 14401 Old Cutler Rd. in Palmetto Bay. Event chair Andrea Rogers said that she is seeking entries from all categories — including fine arts; sculpture; paintings in oils, acrylics and watercolors; photography, and crafts, including handmade jewelry, pottery, and other similar objects of art. Exhibit spaces will range from $75 to $100, depending upon location.

Those who want to participate may submit samples or photographs of their work to Andrea Rogers, Old Cutler Presbyterian Church, 14401 Old Cutler Road, Palmetto Bay, FL 33158. Her telephone number is 305-332-8834, and email is <andrea@ocpc.com>. Deadline for all entries is Nov. 1.

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September 6 - 19, 2011

Cutler Bay Business Association Luncheon August, 2011

Jonathan Wilson, our member of the month

Cindy Rogg, Darryl Boyette and Daniel Rivera

Michelle and Tracy of Buffalo Wild Wings, our lunch sponsor

Jean Tong Noon and James Rogers

Tracy Kohn, Jessie Gomez and Pria Nemhard

The group works on the networking exercise


September 6 - 19, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Parks’ Out-of-School program helps kids to get healthy, fit BY LAURA PHILLIPS

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and parents can join Miami-Dade Parks in its long-standing commitment to help keep our community’s kids healthy and fit by registering their child, age 6-14, for its “Fit-to-Play: Health, Wellness and Obesity Prevention” Out-ofSchool program. Kids will enjoy fun, fully supervised programming after school, with team sports and activities focused on nutrition and wellness, and developing their appreciation of nature, science and the cultural arts. “As today’s kids are prone to spending less time exercising and more time in front of the TV, computer, or video-game console, it is more important than ever that we encourage them to be more active and develop a healthier lifestyle,” said Jack Kardys, Miami-Dade Parks director. “Our Fit to Play Out-of-School program offers an evidenced-based fitness and wellness program where kids can enjoy safe outdoor play and interactive activities with their friends that will help them develop a healthier lifestyle and good citizenship,” he said. “But, perhaps the most important thing is that they have fun.” Each day’s session begins with homework help, followed by SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) an evidenced-based, outcome-oriented active recreation component of the Out-of School program. SPARK is dedicated to improving the quantity and quality of physical activity for children, focusing on activities that develop and improve motor skills, movement knowledge, and social and personal skills. With parental permission, Miami-Dade

Parks will track key health indicators in children, such as blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI), assisting parents and children in making the correct decisions about their fitness and nutrition. Upon completion of the programs, participants will be able to know their fitness improvements, which will be measured throughout the year. The University of Miami UHealth System, a long-time partner of MiamiDade Parks’ “Fit-to-Play” Summer Camp and Out-of-School programs, serves as a year-round oversight of its health, wellness and obesity prevention initiatives. UHealth also provides all of the health testing and education components for these programs, covering such topics as stress management, safety, BMI testing, nutrition, and more. Miami-Dade Parks’ Fit-to-Play Out-ofSchool program operates Monday through Friday, from 2 to 6 p.m., now through June 7, 2012 at several sites. Transportation is available to pick up the children at certain nearby schools and transport them to the program, for an additional charge, at select park sites only. There is no deadline to register, however parents are encouraged to register early before programs fill to capacity. Affordable prices vary per park and parents must register directly with the individual park. For more information, visit MiamiDade Parks’ website at <www.miamidade.gov/parks> or call 3-1-1. Miami-Dade Parks is funded in part by The Children’s Trust. The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in MiamiDade County.

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How To Feel Comfortable About Your Investment Decisions By Rick Tonkinson

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL

PLANNERTM

After 18 years of being a money manager, I have consistently heard how many people do not feel comfortable with their investment decisions. Have you ever second-guessed the investment decisions you have made? Do words like foolish, dumb, wrong, confused, guess, uncertain, frustrated, and overwhelmed describe your feelings? You are not alone in feeling uncomfortable about decisions you have made. Would you like to feel better about your investment decisions? If the answer is yes, then here are some basic steps to consider: Determine if You are a Saver or an Investor If you need guaranteed stability, then you are a saver. When the stock market is positive, many people say that they want to invest and that they are an “investor.” They say that they can tolerate the volatility of the stock market and that their investment time horizon is long term (greater than 10 years). Then 2008 comes along and the stock market (S&P 500) drops 34% and the “investors” now are running for safety as “savers”. Their long-term time horizon has decreased from 10 years to 10 minutes and the risk tolerance has decreased from moderate to minimal. You need to be honest with yourself as to what degree you are a saver or an investor. This is a personal decision that in a perfect world should not be influenced by your family, friends or coworkers.

There are investments for savers and investments for investors. Before you select from the thousand of choices, decide what will make you sleep at night. Don’t rely on a sales rep to tell you what your investment profile is because the sales rep may adjust your profile to fit the suitability of the investment they are trying to sell you.

Focus on the Purpose of Your Investment Do you need to put money away for a rainy day? Make a “To Do List” of items that you want the money to attain such as vacation, education or wedding. Give each item a specific cost such as $5,000 for a vacation. Determine which item motivates you to attain it. Motivation that is ratcheted up is called passion. If you find a passion for an item, that will be your top priority. How quickly you want to attain the item will help determine what investment to consider. Again decide on the specific purpose of the money and then consider your options. Be Realistic with what You have to Invest As an “investor,” you need to accept that you are prepared to lose part or all of your investment. If this risk is not comfortable for you, then you are a saver. There are times when people have borrowed on the equity of their home and invest in the stock market because the potential gains offset the risk of losing their home. People make reckless decisions so that they can attain the item they want quicker than what is realistic. Plan so that if it takes a year to attain an item, you give yourself two years to attain it. If you attain the item in one year, that’s good but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make your deadline. The important thing is to keep working toward what you want.

Rick Tonkinson is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner who started his first job as a paperboy at age 12. Rick Tonkinson and his family focus on the financial planning needs of working people. Tonkinson Financial Inc. is located at 2398 South Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL. 305-858-1628 Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services offered by Tonkinson Financial Inc. are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

September 6 - 19, 2011

Miami-based MeetOnCruise.com launches social media network BY CLAUDIA VITULICH

that takes place on those floating cities, they also were very familiar with what they MeetOnCruise LLC, a website dedicated lacked — namely, a good way to meet peoto networking cruise enthusiasts was ple. So they built a way to make it happen. launched in August of this year. The webDubbed “A Social Network for site offers a social media platform for Cruising” by the LA Times, MeetOnCruise cruise passengers that facilis a fast growing communiitates relationships and ty of people who love to enhances the cruising expecruise. The website sucrience even before their cessfully marries the best ship sets sail. features of mainstream “We have both had the social media to create an experience of meeting new original, easy-to-use netfriends the last few days of working platform exclua vacation or cruise and sively for cruise enthusistarted thinking how much asts. It aims to appeal to more fun we would have people who are new to had if we made these cruising as well as seasoned friends on the first day, or cruisers. even earlier,” said MeetOnCruise changes MeetOnCruise co-founder the way cruisers prepare Eddy Garrido, along with and experience their cruise. Faraz Qureshi his business partner Faraz Coupled with a newly –––––––––––––––– Qureshi. launched iPhone app, Growing up in South Florida and cur- MeetOnCruise has built an intuitive, userrently residing in Cutler Bay, the two local friendly website that even allows users to entrepreneurs have seen more than their log in via Facebook. Prior to sailing, users fair share of cruise ships come and go from can interact with others on their cruise, so port. Fascinated with the big ships and all that they can plan on doing things together

during the cruise, and stay in touch after automatically added. the cruise. Qureshi and Garrido, both Florida Members of MeetOnCruise can take International University alumni, recognize advantage of the following key features: the value of enhancing the cruiser experi• Find your roll call easily by selecting ence and already have gained the attention your cruise line, ship and sailing date. of major cruise lines. • Join the roll call and “The benefit of a captive post messages in the discruising audience is undecussion. Other members on niable and we know it will the same roll call are notilead to unique promotions fied that you joined and/or and opportunities for active posted a comment in the users,” Garrido said. discussion. “Cruising doesn’t have • Create your “Cruise to be a solitary experiResume” — one place to ence,” Qureshi said. “There store your pictures, past and are lots of people cruising upcoming cruises, and more with you with similar interinformation about yourself. ests. Using MeetOnCruise, • View member profiles you can find folks to have while browsing newsfeed, dinner with, a family like roll calls and reviews your own to share an (emails and names are never excursion, a scuba partner Eddy Garrido shown). or even just someone to –––––––––––––––– • MeetOnCruise iPhone share a laugh with. There is app, available for free in the iTunes store, no need to cruise with strangers, when you allows users to keep track of their roll call can cruise with friends.” community anywhere. For more information about • Don’t see your cruise schedule? MeetOnCruise, visit online at <www.meeFill out the info and the roll call is toncruise.com>.

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September 6 - 19, 2011

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Student collects old cell phones for victims of domestic violence BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

Because she was a tad bored this summer Palmetto High School senior Kara Rubin spent some time trying to figure out what to do with her free hours. She was talking to her mom about it when she had the great idea of volunteering at a shelter for domestic violence victims. “I thought that would be perfect,” Rubin said. She ended up volunteering at the Perrine location of the Safe Space Women’s Foundation. “They go to the shelter and the shelter provides a place to stay while they get back on their feet,” she said. Rubin visited the shelter a few times and she has been in contact with others about collecting toiletries for the women and children but she wanted to do more. After talking with people, she decided to do a major project for Safe Space — collecting used cell phones that will be distributed to victims of domestic violence. “I’m doing a phone collection through Verizon Kara Rubin shows off some of the cell phones she has collected for vic(HopeLine). It can be any tims of domestic violence. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– phone, [from] any company; “I’m going to try to reach out to local the only thing it has to have is a battery. As long as it has a keyboard to make calls, places,” Rubin said. “We’re going to reach out to temples and churches. We’re going to that’s all it needs.” When she has collected the phones, she’ll try and set up boxes in stores.” She also is talking to the clubs at school to give them to a Verizon representative who will have them refurbished through see if they can help. “I’m actually part of Red Cross Club and HopeLine from Verizon. Once refurbished and distributed, women who need help can see if we can do anything through there,” call either 9-1-1 or #Hope — which con- she said. “Or maybe the National Honor nects them directly to the National Society, because this is all community service projects.” Domestic Violence Hotline. Rubin is used to doing community serv“It gives them communications and helps ice, not only through her club, but through them stay safe,” Rubin said. Her goal is to collect 200 phones by her church. “I go to the Goulds homeless shelter once October in honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In just the first a month with Christ the King Church,” she few weeks she had collected some 25 said. Once the cell phone collection project phones and that was even before school had ends, Rubin will have more time for other started. “Mostly it’s been around my neighbor- things, such as college applications. She is hood,” she said, adding she went from looking at Tulane, the University of Florida, house to house talking to her neighbors. Indiana University and Florida State — and “They all responded and said it’s a great lacrosse, which has just become a varsity thing I’m doing and they’ve been giving me sport. Anyone wishing to donate cell phones cell phones.” Her plan was to ratchet up the collection can contact Rubin by email at <krphones@gmail.com>. process once school started.

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Acid Rebound and Heartburn After Stopping “Acid Blocker” BY SONIA MARTINEZ, RPH

The body normally secretes substances such as gastric acid, which are needed for digestion and adequate absorption of nutrients. However, excessive acid release can lead to problems such as reflux and heartburn, and patients with acid reflux often take medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). An example is Prilosec™ (omeprazole). However, when patients no longer need the PPI, suddenly stopping the medication can lead to relapse of the problem and “rebound acidity” including symptoms such as heartburn, even in patients who did not previously experience the symptoms. It can be helpful to taper off the PPI over 4 to 6 weeks by gradually lowering the dose and then extending the interval to every other day, every third day, etc. H2-blockers, such as Zantac™ (ranitidine) or Pepcid™ (famotidine) or antacids can be used if needed on "off" days, or some doctors may suggest switching directly to an H2-blocker and taking antacids as needed.

Photo by Ella Woodson

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Marco Drugs & Compounding is located at 6627 South Dixie Highway, Tel: 305-665-4411 • Fax: 305-663-3258 Email:marcodr ugs@bellsouth.net <www.marcodrugs.com> This article is intended to provide information on health-related matters. The ideas expressed cannot be used to diagnose or treat individual health problems and should not be taken as medical advice or instruction.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

September 6 - 19, 2011

Homework Done Right lessens homework stress for families

Teacher Doug Miller works with a student during a session at Homework Done Right. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

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Sometimes parents feel like homework is a punishment on them because they have to battle their children to get the homework done each night. For those parents, the start of school is less than a happy occasion. But Homework Done Right offers a solution to homework stress. It offers kids homework coaching, tutoring in tough subjects and college preparatory courses. “The biggest thing that we do is we make sure the homework is complete and checked by a certified teacher,” said owner Michael Husson. “We offer continuity in learning and help the children complete their lesson. All of our staff is certified. The children will not only sharpen their skill but that portion of their grade will improve because the homework is completed and completed properly.” Homework Done Right is a Pinecrestbased business located at 8505 SW 136 St. behind the Office Max. “We all live and work in the area,” Husson said. “We even have a private bus service from all the Pinecrest/Palmetto Bay area schools.” When a new client comes through the door, the folks at Homework Done Right sit down with the student and help them establish goals. They also help organize the child’s backpack so that the backpack becomes a useful tool and is no longer a black hole where important papers disappear. The teachers identify the child’s strengths and weaknesses and build on their strengths while helping them overcome the weaknesses. If a child needs more than homework help, they offer private tutoring in challenging subjects. “The whole theory is elevating the student to the next level,” he said. “We want them to

understand it and have confidence. We talk to the kids; if you want to build bridges, you have to be great at math and science. If you don’t get a good grade in geometry, you can’t get into Algebra 2. And then you can’t become a veterinarian.” In doing this, not only is the child gaining confidence, which leads to better performance in school, but the family is helped because the pressure to get homework done after dinner is reduced or eliminated. It leads to better grades, a happier student, happier parents and happier teacher or teachers. “Students sometimes get lost in the shuffle,” Husson said. “The parents are too busy or not qualified, or simply not able to help. We offer an affordable alternative for them on a weekly basis.” Homework Made Simple has a variety of plans, starting at two days a week and going up to four days a week. “Our facility is very friendly. We have a student lounge. When they are done, they can enjoy a movie on the big TV,” he said. “The kids like coming here. We have a room full of beanbags. They can crash on those when they are finished studying.” Homework Made Simple has appointments all day long — generally from 3 to 8 p.m. However, arrangements can be made for anyone whose needs don’t fall into those hours. Parents of college-bound students can get help as well. Husson said they will be teaching parents and students all about the process of applying for college. Homework Done Right has approximately 15 certified teachers on staff who rotate depending on need and subject matter. Husson said many have multiple certifications and some have PhD’s. For more information, call 305-971-9680 or go online to <www.homeworkdoneright.com>.


September 6 - 19, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

September 6 - 19, 2011

Alumni Football USA helps relive those days of glory BY HOLLIE FORTKAMP

Alumni Football USA exists to get guys back in the game they love — real, full-contact football. Alumni Football USA supplies all the equipment, pads, officials, announcers, field, field insurance, EMT’s, video crew, security, and more than 26 years of experience putting on these games — everything they need to relive the glory of the game. Also, Alumni Football USA offers a great fundraising opportunity to local schools. Since 2010 the organization has helped schools earn over $180,000. Alumni Football USA was started by former high school football player Bob Cazet, who realized that his dream of just playing one

more game was shared by thousands of other guys. A former public school teacher, Cazet saw that in tight financial times, the schools and particularly the athletic programs take the hardest hit. Along with raising money for schools, Alumni Football USA has put on more than 700 games and given over 45,000 guys their dream of one more game. Games will take place in January-March 2012 with locations and times to be announced. Here’s a chance to represent your old school against a top rival. You must be at least 18 to play and roster spaces limited to first 40 guys to sign up for each team. Sign up at <www.alumnifootballusa.com>.

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September 6 - 19, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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September 6 - 19, 2011

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A group of School for Advanced Studies students is pictured with Dr. Jeanne Jacobs, president of the Miami Dade College Homestead Campus. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY ROBERT HAMILTON

School for Advanced Studies (SAS), a fulltime, nationally recognized, dual-enrollment high school, will be conducting information/application sessions on Saturday, Sept. 24, for the 2012-13 school year, at two Miami Dade College (MDC) campuses: Kendall Campus, 11011 SW 104 St., 9 a.m., in the Gymnasium, and Homestead Campus, 500 College Terr., 1 p.m., in room F222. Additional meetings will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15, at two additional Miami Dade College (MDC) campuses: North Campus, 11380 NW 27 Ave., 9 a.m., in Lehman Theatre, and Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., in Room 7128. All District 10th grade students with a minimum 3.0 grade point average are invited to apply, and may be admitted for the 11th grade upon passing the College Placement Test administered by MDC. Enrollment is limited and student

selection is based solely on the order in which applicants meet the established criteria. Students attending SAS complete their last two years of high school while attending MDC and, in many cases, simultaneously graduate with both a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree from MDC. Each semester, students enroll in a minimum of three college dual-enrollment courses, taught by MDC faculty, and four high school courses, taught by SAS faculty. All high school courses are Advanced Placement courses except for pre-calculus and research. Students receive free tuition and fees, free textbooks, and, if eligible, school bus and Metrorail transportation funded by MiamiDade County Public Schools. SAS is located on four MDC campuses: Homestead, Kendall, North and Wolfson. For more information or to apply, call 305237-0510 or visit the SAS website at <http://sas.dadeschools.net>.


September 6 - 19, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 21

New homeowner insurance regulations to be discussed New homeowner insurance regulations will be discussed by two Miami legislators during a Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations (KFHA) Town Hall meeting on Monday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m., at Kendall Village Center Civic Pavilion, 8625 SW 124 Ave. CBS4 Money Watch reporter Al Sunshine will moderate a three-member panel including State Rep. Ron Saunders (D-120), State Sen. Anitere Flores (R-38), and Dulce Rodriguez, an independent insurance agent. Saunders, House Majority Leader for 2010-12, voted for the new legislation while Sen. Flores, Senate Majority Whip, opposed the measures, noted Lee Zimmerman, KFHA president. Miami-Dade Tax Appraiser Pedro Gonzales also is scheduled to appear prior to the panel discussion to answer audience queries on property tax values and assessments. AREA STAGE COMPANY ANNOUNCES AUDITIONS FOR MUSICAL SNOOPY The Area Stage Company has announced professional auditions for Snoopy on Sept. 6, from 5 to 9 p.m. The musical, is based on the Peanuts

comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, with book by Charles M. Schulz; creative associates, Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw and Michael L. Grace; music by Larry Grossman, and lyrics by Hal Hackady. Under the direction of Arthur Whitelaw, choreography by Michelle Petrucci, produced by John and Maria Rodaz, Area Stage Co. artistic and executive directors, the production will open during the months of December and January. For inquires and/or appointment contact Maria Rodaz at 305-666-2078 or visit online at <www.areastagecompany.com>.

tant sites in Egypt, and lived with its people outside the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. This lecture will include a visual presentation, “Questions and Answers,” and an artifact presentation. This event is open and free to the public. For more information on the Deering Estate’s educational and cultural programs, visit online at <www.deeringestate.org>.

FREE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY LECTURE SLATED AT DEERING ESTATE AT CUTLER In partnership with the Archaeological Society of Southern Florida, the Deering Estate at Cutler, located at 16701 SW 72 Ave., presents a free lecture on the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Visitor Center Auditorium at the Deering Estate. On Sept. 8, 7 p.m., the topic is “Pyramids and the Old Kingdom,” being presented by Rene Rodriguez, Egyptologist and artist. He will share a visual presentation on pyramids and their pharaohs. Rene has visited the most impor-

MASS TO MARK 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF OUR LADY OF CHARITY IN MIAMI Archbishop Thomas Wenski invites the community and all people of faith to a Mass celebrating the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the replica statue of Our Lady of Charity in Miami in 1961. The Mass in her honor will take place on Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., at the University of Miami BankUnited Center, 1245 Dauer Dr. Better known as La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, Our Lady of Charity is the patroness of Cuba. Her statue was found floating in stormy waters in El Cobre, Cuba, by three farm workers who

COMMUNITY NEWS BRIEFS considered it an answer to their prayers for safety. The original statue remains in El Cobre, while the replica was smuggled out of Cuba and brought to Miami in 1961, just in time for the first celebration here of her Sept. 8 feast day — a Mass that took place at Miami’s Bobby Maduro Stadium. For information, call 305-762-1046. SLOW FOOD MIAMI SET TO HOST ANNUAL PIE CONTEST, SEPT. 10 Slow Food Miami is celebrating local ingredients and the art of baking during its annual pie contest to take place on Sept. 10, noon, at The Barnacle Historic State Park, 3485 Main Hwy. in Coconut Grove. Sponsored by Whole Foods Market – Coral Gables, the event, conducted as part of Slow Food Miami’s mission to embrace local growers and artisan food makers, will kick off its 2011-12 event season with a pie contest that features celebrity judges and a picnic lunch.

–––––– Continued on next page


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

NEWS, from previous page

September 6 - 19, 2011

–––

Tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for children ages 5-15. Children under age 5 are free. The Thighs & Pies pie contest will feature up to 30 pies that must be made with a fruit or main ingredient that grows in Florida. Slow Food Miami also encourages entrants to feature ingredients from a local or community garden and use sugars and honeys that are native to Southeast Florida as well. Whole Foods Market – Coral Gables and Breville Appliances have donated prizes for pie contest winners. For information, visit online at <www.slowfoodmiami.com/thighsandpies.htm>. TEMPLE BETH TOV-AHAVAT SHALOM TO HOST OPEN HOUSE ON SEPT. 18 Temple Beth Tov-Ahavat Shalom, located at 6438 SW Eighth St., is sponsoring a Membership Open House and Health Fair on Sept. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. Included in the festivities are free health screenings (blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis, vision) and medical services (acupuncture, chiropractic, women’s heart, substance abuse). There will be a presentation by a diabetes educator. Endless vegetable soup with hot/cold beverages will be served. The event is free to the public. For information, call Gloria at 305-3870622 or the synogogue at 305-261-9821. ARTISTS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Key Biscayne artists are invited to participate in the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Incorporation on Oct, 23, from noon to 5 p.m., on the Village Green. The theme is “Images of Key Biscayne” in paintings, drawings and sculpture. For information or applications, contact Marilyn Liedman at <mliedman@bellsouth.net>. Deadline for entry is Oct. 1 MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE KENDALL CAMPUS ART GALLERY PRESENTING ‘PANNAROMA’ Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Art Gallery System is presenting “Pannaroma-

Miami,’ a photo exhibition by master photographers, including award-winning MDC professor Tony Chirinos. The exhibition runs through Oct. 29 at the MDC Kendall Campus, 11011 SW 104 St., Building M. The photographs featured were shot with a Pannaroma 1x3 camera, designed and manufactured by renowned Brooklynbased photographer Thomas Roma in the late 1980s at the request of legendary photographer Lee Friedlander. Pannaroma is a play on the word panorama, and the name of Roma’s wife, Anna Roma. The first picture taken with the Pannaroma — by Friedlander and included in this exhibition — portrays the camera maker and his muse in a frame reminiscent of cinematic masters Michelangelo Antonioni, or Federico Fellini. Students will have access to lectures and workshops by visiting professors. For information about the exhibition, contact Prof. Tony Chirinos at 305-237-2281. GULLIVER SCHOOLS’ EVERTON EDWARDS NAMED AS SOCCER COACH OF YEAR Gulliver Schools coach Everton Edwards has been named the 2011 Florida Dairy Farmers Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year. In his two years at Gulliver’s Academy Campus, Edwards led his teams to two district titles, regional runnerup in 2010, regional champions in 2011, and state champions in 2011. He has a career record of 51-1-1. Edwards is the 19th winner of the annual award, sponsored by Florida Dairy Farmers and the Florida Athletic Coaches Association. A statewide panel of high school coaches and media representatives voted on the top high school coaches for the 2010-11 season. Edwards, who earlier was named the Class 3A Coach of the Year, finished ahead of Class 6A Coach of the Year Scott Waisanen of Oviedo. Finishing third was Teresa Patterson of Steinbrenner, the Class 4A Coach of the Year, followed by Carlos Giron of St. Thomas Aquinas (Class 5A) and Steve Burgess of American Heritage-Delray (Class 2A). For information, call 305-665-3593.


September 6 - 19, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Miami painter Pery Franco: Master of photo realist style

Miami artist Pery Franco’s portraits have been commissioned by celebrities, politicians and animal lovers. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY MIKE THOMPSON

We all know that art is a thing of beauty. In this case, both the artist and the art are things of beauty. Miami artist Pery Franco truly is a master of the photo realist style. Her portraits have been commissioned by celebrities, politicians and animal lovers alike. Franco found an unusual niche. She creates one-of-a-kind remembrances for couples starting their married life together by capturing the moment that the he popped the question. Her son and daughter-in-law were the first couple to receive this photo realistic masterpiece. Now, many of the bridal boutiques on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables offer this life-long remembrance to their clients. One night in Mexico, Franco’s father introduced her to a famous artist. The artist showed her his studio and she remembers its feeling of uniqueness. It was at this moment that she realized that she had an artistic eye. The artistic view of life has intrigued and inspired her ever since. After 10 years in the cosmetic business, three children and a divorce, Franco entered a period of self-evaluation and reflection. She knew she was an artist at heart, but gaining support from her family was difficult. Franco remembered the old artist she had met as a young girl and bought some paint and canvas. She started expressing her

artistic talents by painting murals in her daughter’s room. Soon, her friends asked her to do the same in their homes and so her life as an artist began. Today, Pery Franco is recognized as one of Miami’s great photo realist oil painters. “It looks like you are looking at a photograph,” said one art collector during a recent Coral Gables Art in the Breezeway exhibit. Pery also has participated in such art festivals as Carnival on the Mile and Mary Street shows during the Coconut Grove Art Festival. Her art has been commissioned by Michael Jackson, Madonna, Gloria Estefan and other celebrities. In December, she will be presenting a portrait of Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason to the City of Coral Gables. If you love cars, visit Florano Motor Sports in Doral. Pery’s portrait of a racecar surely will move you. It actually looks like it’s about to run you over. To view Pery Franco’s newest artwork, visit Art in the Breezeway at 65 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables on the first Friday of each month. Pery Franco’s art is available at Sunset Fine Arts, located on Sunset Drive in South Miami, and by contacting Mike Thompson at <art4ubymike@gmail.com>. For more information, you can visit Facebook/Pery Franco Fine Art, <www.peryfrancofinearts.com> or call 305-785-6344 or 305302-6262.

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September 6 - 19, 2011

ArtSouth exhibit at City Hall presented by commissioner ArtSouth resident artist Victoria Morales (left) and ArtSouth executive director Jeannette Medina present the exhibit at the Homestead City Council meeting.

BY BEGOÑE CAZALIS

Homestead’s most important center for visual expression, ArtSouth, is presenting an exhibit by four of its resident artists at the Homestead Council Chambers in City Hall continuing through September. During the last city council meeting on Aug. 17, Councilmember Stephen Shelley, who spearheaded the “Art in the Chamber” program, inaugurated the exhibit with an introduction to ArtSouth’s history and accomplishments in art education in Homestead. “ArtSouth opened its doors to the public in April 2001, with a core group of 10 artists,” Councilman Shelley said. “Today that number has more than tripled, with the addition of a fully operational school, galleries and ongoing events that have made this space one of the leading art centers in South Dade.”

ArtSouth is a professional artist community located in Historic Downtown Homestead that provides year-round cultural programming that includes art exhibits and cultural performances that are free to the public. It also provides arts education programming for adults and children. The ArtSouth resident artists who currently are in exhibit at the council chambers are Fernando Vallejo, Mimi Dickson, Victoria Morales, Alex Martinez and Steve Beck, who also curated the exhibit. “We are thrilled to be back at the council chamber and want to thank the City of Homestead for its long support to the center,” said Jeannette Medina, ArtSouth executive director. “We invite all Homestead residents to visit us on our monthly openings the second Saturday of the month.” For more information on ArtSouth’s events and artist opportunities visit online at <www.artsouthhomestead.org>.

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Informed Families conducts photo contest in support of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Family Dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; BY DUREE ROSS

More than a decade of research by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University has proven that kids who eat dinner with their families are less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs. Through its Community Action Team (CAT) program, Informed Families is supporting CASAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sept. 26 national Family Day, a movement to remind parents that frequent family dinners make a difference, with its own â&#x20AC;&#x153;Family Day Photo Contest,â&#x20AC;? open to all families across Florida. With the contest, Informed Families is asking families to submit photos of them eating dinner together for the chance to win one of three Publix gift cards â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one $50 gift card or two $25 gift cards. To be eligible to win, participants also must sign a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Family Day Pledge,â&#x20AC;? (available at <www.informedfamilies.org/familyday>) promising to eat dinner with their children on Sept. 26 and more frequently throughout the year. Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 4. â&#x20AC;&#x153;CASAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research supports the benefits of eating regular family dinners together as a means of preventing risky behavior among youth,â&#x20AC;? said Peggy Sapp, president and CEO of Informed Families. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Through our statewide photo contest, we are seeking to educate and inspire participants to eat regular family dinners. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The contest is just one example of how we encourage kids to be safe, healthy and drug-free through our CAT prevention activities, through which we reach approximately 150,000 Florida adults and youth,â&#x20AC;? Sapp continued. According to CASA, frequent family dining is associated with lower rates of teen smoking, drinking, illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse. Compared to

â&#x20AC;&#x153;

The contest is just one example of how we encourage kids to be safe, healthy and drug-free through our CAT prevention activities, through which we reach approximately 150,000 Florida adults and youth.

â&#x20AC;?

Peggy Sapp, p re s i d e n t a n d C E O o f I n f o rm e d teens who eat dinner frequently with their families (five or more family dinners per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are three and a half times likelier to have abused prescription drugs, three and a half times likelier to have used an illegal drug other than marijuana or prescription drugs, three times likelier to have used marijuana, more than two and a half times likelier to have used tobacco, and one and a half times likelier to have used alcohol. Since its inception in 2001, CASAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family Day has grown to become a major nationwide celebration. Participants can submit their photo and pledge by mail to: Informed Families, 2490 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145 Attn: Photo Contest, or they can email the photo to <contest@informedfamilies.org> and submit the pledge online. Submitted photos will be the property of Informed Families and may be promoted on its website and other publications. Winners will be selected on Oct. 21 and notified by Oct. 28. For more information on Informed Families, visit the website at <www.informedfamilies.org> or call 305856-4886.

          

 

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September 6 - 19, 2011

MDPLS to continue anniversary celebration with Read-A-Thon BY VICTORIA GALAN

The Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) continues its 40th anniversary celebration with a system wide, simultaneous Read-A-Thon on Thursday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m., with a special kickoff at the Main Library, 101 W. Flagler St. The Read-A-Thon celebrates the importance of public libraries and also commemorates International Literacy Day, a day that reminds people about the importance of literacy. All 49 branches of the library system will set aside an area for the Read-A-Thon where patrons can select a book and read out loud. Everyone is encouraged to visit their nearest branch to participate in this

event which celebrates the MDPLS’s milestone birthday and emphasizes the roles public libraries play in providing free access to materials, technology, and the pursuit of learning and discovery. Also at the Main Library, Zimbabwean author Chenjerai Hove will discuss global literacy and the “Heartbreak of Banned Books” beginning at 6:30 p.m. Mr. Hove is the inaugural “Miami: City of Refuge” writer-in-residence, a project of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College. For details on this program and for a list all programs, visit online at <www.mdpls.org> and click on the Calendar of Events, or call 305-375BOOK (2665).

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Local families invited to enjoy ‘Pirate Adventure’ at Dadeland BY IVONNE SNAVELY

pate. In addition, all Kidgits Club members will receive a kid’s pirate bandana, a pirate sword with eye patch, pirate rings, and a pirate necklace. All Kidgits events are sponsored by Florida Blue. The Simon Kidgits Club’s “Pirate Adventure” is free to members. Families can sign up for the Kidgits Club, during regular mall hours, for an annual membership fee of $5. Membership includes a Kidgits Club membership card and Tshirt, scheduled entertainment and activities for families, a Birthday Club (including an electronic birthday card and gift redemption certificate), unique programs and offers, discounts and a quarterly newsletter. For more information, visit online at <www.simon.com/kidgits>. Dadeland Mall is located at 7535 N. Kendall Dr. between the Palmetto Expressway (SR 826) and S. Dixie Highway (US 1). For more information on Dadeland Mall, call 305=665-6226.

Ahoy, mates! Dadeland Mall, Miami’s premier shopping destination with Florida’s largest Macy’s, invites kids of all ages to the Simon Kidgits Club’s “Pirate Adventure” on Friday, Sept. 9, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Lenscrafters Corridor. Free fun for the whole family, the “Pirate Adventure” will allow kids to interact with pirate characters and enjoy a pirate-themed adventure. “We are thrilled to provide actionpacked fun for kids of all ages,” said Humberto Maldonado, director of mall marketing and business development of Dadeland Mall. “Our interactive events offer families educational and playful ways to engage their children outside of the house.” Event attendees will enjoy live entertainment by My Dream Production, which will be doing an interactive pirate-themed show, allowing little buccaneers to partici-

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Tamiami Tennis Center to debut first USTA kid-size tennis courts BY LAURA PHILLIPS

The Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department has teamed up with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the USTA Florida Section, and the Friends of Miami Tennis (FOMT) to make tennis playing a whole lot easier for youngsters in the community by adding kid-size tennis courts to its Tamiami Tennis Center. These new facilities will debut on Sept.10 with a tennis-themed “Play Day” for residents and their children from 3 to 5 p.m. The event features games, prizes and refreshments. “This is a giant step for kids tennis in this community,” said Jack Kardys, director of Miami-Dade Parks. “We are proud to be the first facility in the county to showcase permanent USTA 10-and-Under Tennis courts, specifically designed for kids age 10 and under.” Through the efforts of FOMT, and in collaboration with the USTA, USTA Florida Section, Miami-Dade Parks was awarded a $24,000 grant to build four 36-foot 10-andUnder Tennis courts at the Tamiami Tennis Center, each half the length of most adultsized tennis courts. As part of the upgrades, blended lines also were painted on six existing full-size tennis courts to accommodate the USTA 10-and-Under QuickStart Tennis play format. “These new courts will allow younger kids to stay ahead of the curve and start

enjoying the game right from the start,” said Cathy Nordlund, USTA Florida Tennis program coordinator for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. “Scaling the game down to their size gives them more control of the ball and its direction, making their first experience with the sport a positive one.” The USTA QuickStart Tennis play format utilizes age and size appropriate racquets, balls and court sizes to allow kids to play the game of tennis. Originally called 36/60, when it first launched in America in 2006, this system offers two stages of play before progressing to a 72foot full-size tennis court. The first stage advocates a 36-foot long court and at the second stage, a 60foot court. The format has long been popular in Europe where current stars such as Roger Federer, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters first learned the game. Those interested in participating in the “Play Day” opening festivities at the Tamiami Tennis Center can pre-register online at <ustamiami.com>, which also allows them to be entered into a drawing for a free QuickStart mini net, junior racquet and balls, valued at $200. The Tamiami Tennis Center is located at 11201 SW 24 St. and is fully lighted for nighttime use. For information on activities and programs at the Tamiami Tennis Center, call 305-480-2099, or visit online at <www.miamidade.gov/parks>.

These new facilities will debut on Sept.10 with a tennis-themed “Play Day” for residents and their children from 3 to 5 p.m. The event features games, prizes and refreshments.

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Truluck’s Restaurant drawing aids Florida Heart Research Institute BY GARY ALAN RUSE

Truluck’s Seafood, Steak & Crab House Restaurant has come up with a way to benefit the Florida Heart Research Institute (FHRI) with a special promotional project keyed to fundraising for the non-profit organization. Located at 777 Brickell Ave. in Miami, Truluck’s has partnered with the FHRI and everyone who donates $5 to the Institute through the restaurant or online at the FHRI website will receive an entry in a drawing. The winner will get a generous prize of stone crab dinners and Florida Heart Research Institute will receive the proceeds to help further its mission to stop heart disease through research, education and prevention. Sallie Byrd of the FHRI said she is grateful for the popular restaurant’s efforts to help and stressed the importance of the institute’s work. “We are absolutely honored that Truluck’s selected the Florida Heart Research Institute to be the beneficiary of the donations for the stone crab dinners,” Byrd said. “We’re thrilled for the exposure, and that they thought enough of us to

include us in this promotion. “It’s going to be a lot of fun for the community as well as for our donors to come on out and support us. Heart disease is the No. 1 health problem for men and women, and even kids today are having obesity issues which are hard on their health.” For a $5 donation people will get a ticket that will be entered into a drawing to take place on Oct. 15. The person who wins will get “All You Can Eat Stone Crab Claws” every Monday night from Oct. 17 to May 15, 2012. The value of the prize is $1,700. “That’s quite a return on your $5 donation which goes to our mission, which is to stop heart disease through research, education and prevention,” Byrd said. “People can make the donations at the restaurant or they can go on our website, which is <www.FloridaHeart.org>.” Ilde Quintero, managing partner of the Truluck’s on Brickell, was pleased to team up with the organization. “We’ve done some work with Florida Heart Research here in the past and they’re a bunch of good people,”

Quintero said. “We feel like they’re a good fit for the kickoff to stone crab season because stone crab is a very heart healthy item. We’re trying to raise awareness for the FHRI and get people excited about the Florida stone crabs.” Staci Ehrenkrantz, also with the Florida Heart Research Institute, was equally excited about the project. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us and we are very grateful to collaborate with Truluck’s,” Ehrenkrantz said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.” For more information about the FHRI, visit the website at <www.floridaheart.org>, or call 305-674-3020, ext. 3254. You can call Truluck’s at 305-579-0035 or visit its website at <http://trulucks.com/pages/miami-florida>. ––––––––––––––––––––––– Ilde Quintero, managing partner of Truluck’s Restaurant on Brickell Avenue, is pictured with a platter of stone crab claws.


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Artist’s exhibition honors players of Negro League BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

Negro League, because the dark Cubans were not allowed to play in the Major Leagues,” she Because the artist’s mom lives in South said. Gunter is organizing a series of events surMiami-Dade, Miami has been added to the tour of magnificent paintings about the rounding the exhibit, including a fundraiser Negro League, which honors African for Urgent Inc., which runs an after-school program at Goulds Elementary as well as American baseball stars. The exhibition is titled “We Are the Ship” intergenerational programs, programs for and features paintings and sketches by grandparents raising grandchildren, and artist/illustrator Kadir Nelson. Nelson’s housing programs for low-income families. painting of Michael Jackson’s life is featured This school year, Gunter will work at Goulds two days a week and a new after school care in his last CD called Michael. The exhibit opens at the Freedom Tower program in Overtown three days a week. “11-11-11, the date itself says it’s going to on Nov. 3 with an invitation only party. It opens to the public on Nov. 4 and runs be a very special event,” she said. “Kadir is through Jan. 8, 2012. The paintings will be lending his celebrity to Urgent Inc. It will help pay all the programs that we do now.” on tour through 2013. Nelson will lecture at the New World School The exhibit includes a five-foot by fivefoot painting of Jackie Robinson. Nelson of the Arts on Nov. 8, speak at the Miami Dade also wrote a book called We Are The Ship: College Kendall Campus Fall Fest on Nov. 9, The Story of the Negro Baseball League. and at the Miami Book Fair International. The Two of the paintings have been turned into exhibit will run through both Art Basel and the postage stamps honoring the Negro League. book fair. One of the events will be Dec. 10 at Dorsey “The history of the league was big to me,” Nelson said. “I wanted to paint in an epic for- Park, where the Negro League played in Miami. There will be the unveiling of a mural mat. I wanted to exhibit them, too.” He spent eight years researching, painting painted by children and there will be free shutand also writing the book. Initially, the tle buses from Dorsey Park to the Freedom exhibit was going to bypass Miami because Tower. The event includes the rededication of the park. Little League teams are invited to it didn’t have a venue. come in uniform. “When my mother found out Nelson is an award-winabout it, she wanted to bring it ning illustrator, having won a to Miami,” Nelson said. “I want Coretta Scott King Award and the exhibit to go where Negro a Caldecott Honor. He recentLeague baseball was played.” ly won a silver medal from When she learned the exhibit the Society of Illustrators for would bypass Miami because of his book, Heart and Soul: The a lack of a venue, Nelson’s mom, Story of America and African Emily Gunter, decided she Americans. would find the right location. For more information about She had heard about the the Urgent Inc. fundraiser and Freedom Tower and visited to the Miami exhibit contact see for herself about its poten<Emily@urgentinc.org>. tial as exhibit space. Kadir Nelson Information about Nelson and “I heard the history of it. It’s –––––––––––––––––– the paintings can be found the Ellis Island of Miami. This is nothing but perfect. The Cubans and Negroes online at <www.WeAreTheShip.com> or were the ones who came together to form the <www.KadirNelson.com>.

Safe at Home is one of the paintings by Kadir Nelson honoring the players of baseball’s Negro League. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

September 6 - 19, 2011

What is a Nurse Midwife? Navarro Discount Pharmacy Certified Nurse Midwives are nurses specifically trained to care for women during their pregnancies, including delivery of their child. Nurse Midwives also provide medical care for women throughout their life span from adolescents to menopause. If you are pregnant and are considering a natural delivery, consider seeking the care of a nurse midwife! Nurse Midwives will be with you while you labor to help you through the process with position changes, Jacuzzi water therapy (tub-labor), relaxation techniques, and soothing words of encouragement.

Even though you are in the hospital, you may be intermittently monitored, which means you will not be strapped down and have to stay in bed. You may walk and are not required to have IV fluids. You may bring your birthing aids such as your birthing ball, aromatherapy, massage therapy, Doula and HypnoBirthing® tools. We stay with you during your active labor phase, and after delivery to assist with breast feeding. If you desire the intimate relationship of midwifery care and would also like to have an epidural or IV pain medication, we can still take care of you. Contact us at In-Touch Midwifery, a division of Miami Center of Excellence for OB/GYN at 305-274-3130 or www.miamiobgyns.com. 8700 North Kendall Drive, Suite 208. We provide private consultations to find out more about our services and care.

offering seasonal flu shots BY WENDY STEWART

Navarro Discount Pharmacy, the largest Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain in the U.S. and an MBF Healthcare portfolio company, is helping the community stay healthy by offering seasonal flu shots for individuals, families and employer groups. “The seasonal flu vaccine, which protects against the changed H3N2 seasonal flu, is now available at each of our locations — no appointment needed,” said Albert Garcia, RPh, MHL, executive vice president-pharmacy, Navarro Discount Pharmacy. “Our certified pharmacists have undergone extensive training and are extremely knowledgeable about viruses common today, their symptoms and the flu vaccine.” The 2011-12 seasonal flu vaccine protects against three different flu viruses — the H3N2 virus, the influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus. With more than 80 trained clinical staff comprised of Florida Registered Pharmacists, Navarro Discount Pharmacy has been certified for immunization through the Florida Board of Pharmacy.

Effective immediately, flu shots are available at all Navarro store locations during Pharmacy Hours of Operation, on a walk-in basis or by appointment for $25 per shot (competitor’s prices will be matched). Flu shot recipients receive $100 in coupon savings as well as Navarro’s “Flu Guarantee,” which reimburses up to the outof-pocket expense for the cost of the flu shot, with a Navarro pharmacy credit toward the purchase of the antiviral prescription medication (Tamiflu or Relenza – prescription required). Appointments also may be scheduled at 1-866-Navarro (628-2776) or by visiting online at <www.navarro.com>. Most insurance providers cover the cost of flu shots for employees. “Offering employees the opportunity of getting their flu shot at the workplace increases productivity and adds to the company’s bottom line in the form of reduced sick leave,” Garcia added. To verify coverage, flu shot recipients should contact their insurance provider in advance or contact your local Navarro Pharmacist.


September 6 - 19, 2011

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Seaquarium: Back to school with educational programs BY MICHELLE PALOMINO

For more than 50 years, Miami Seaquarium has been a firm advocate of marine life education and conservation. Through its current interactive educational programs, Miami Seaquarium works to continue its mission of educating students of all ages about the wonders of marine life. Miami Seaquarium hosts several educational programs, such as: Day Camps; Home School Days, and “Mommy and Me,” a program for mothers and young children. Day Camps are offered as alternatives to Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher workdays. Kids in grades K-12 will explore various marine mammal species, what they need for their survival, their diet and what makes them unique. Additionally, students will enjoy exciting animal interactions, shows, art projects, games and marine biology fun. Dates include: Sept. 29, Interesting Invertebrates; Oct. 28, Fabulous Fish, and Nov. 11, Radical Reptiles. Home School students can participate in the educational programs offered at Miami Seaquarium. The program teaches students from pre-K to high school about marine plants, animals and many other

aspects of marine life in an interactive, hands-on way. Dates include: Sept. 14, Invertebrates; Oct. 12, Fish; Nov. 9, Marine Reptiles, and Dec. 14, Marine Mammals. Mothers and their children between the ages of 2 and 5 may enjoy “Mommy and Me.” During the program, mother and child will learn about different animals, from sea turtles to reptiles. The program will offer mothers and children the opportunity to interrelate and bond with these unique animals. Dates include: Sept. 7, Fabulous Fish; Oct. 5, Magnificent Manatees; Nov. 2, Beautiful Birds, and Dec. 7, Leaping Lizards. Miami Seaquarium, South Florida’s most popular tourist attraction, is a family-oriented marine-life park open to the public 365 days a year. The park provides visitors with a greater understanding and appreciation for marine life through shows, presentations and exhibits. For more information on Miami Seaquarium visit online at <www.miamiseaquarium.com>. For more information regarding schedules or to register for a program, call 305-361-5705, ext. 207.

www.communitynewspapers.com

Page 39

UNITED TEACHERS OF DADE SUPPORTS NEEDY STUDENTS IN LIBERTY CITY

Pictured left to right are Books & Books Bal Harbour Manager, Michael Karpus, Books & Books Events Coordinator Debra Linn, Florida State Representative Cynthia Stafford and United Teachers of Dade Secretary Treasurer Fedrick Ingram. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

In support of the needy students attending summer camp at the African-American Cultural Center located in Liberty City, members of the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) in collaboration with Books & Books of Coral Gables, donated boxes of school supplies to fill over 100 book bags collected by State Representative Cynthia Stafford. Secretary/Treasurer Fed Ingram, who participated in the distribution of the book bags, said, “Once again, the teachers of our community have gone the extra mile for children. They donated school supplies to underprivileged students so they could go back to school the tools they need to get off to a great start.” “It was an honor and pleasure to join the United Teachers of Dade, the Udonis Haslem Children’s Foundation and Books & Books for a book bag give-away in the community. We distributed book bags to children at the African

Heritage Cultural Arts Center. It was a joy to see the smiles on their faces as they grabbed their book bags and put them on their shoulders. We also gave book bags to Domestic Violence shelters in the community. The children in the shelter are in an unfortunate situation; I don’t want any of the children in the shelters going to school feeling that they are different because of where they laid their head the night before. Hopefully we made a difference in the lives of the children who received book bags. We could not have done this without the partners who stepped up to the plate in a major way to say we support education, we support our children. This was just a small way to ensure that they have some tangible tools to carry them into the new school year,” said State Representative Cynthia Stafford, District 109.


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September 6 - 19, 2011

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2012 Audi A7 is a work of automotive excellence Ron Beasley

LET’S TALK CARS It’s early yet, but the new 2012 Audi A7 is on my short list for “Car of the Year.” This automobile is really special. From a purely technical standpoint, the A7 is a marvel of automotive engineering. It’s manufactured with aluminum, high-end steel and other lightweight materials using a hybrid aluminum construction that melds the lightweight metal with steel of various strengths. The A7 weighs about 15 percent less than a comparable all-steel body. The A7 sits on a sporty, lightweight chassis and is powered by a highly efficient supercharged 310 hp V-6 (18/28 mpg) that is incredibly responsive and fast. It also comes standard with the latest generation of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive and the latest advanced driver assistance and multimedia systems. The A7 clocks 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph. All A7 models

come with a state-of-the-art, eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. As for design, the A7 is a piece of automotive art on wheels. The five-door design combines the appeal of a coupe with the prestige of a sedan and the functionality of a station wagon. It is the next step in the Audi design scheme, with short overhangs, a long wheelbase, an expansive hood and low-slung, sporty proportions. With a low roofline and integrated rear doors, the A7 has a coupe-like silhouette, with frameless door windows and side mirrors mounted on the doors. The C-pillar stretches to the rear and flows into the shoulder, while the sharp tornado line begins at the headlights, extends across the fenders, over the doors and ends in a slope toward the taillights. An integrated spoiler automatically extends at 80 mph and then retracts at 50 mph. It also can be deployed and retracted manually via the push of a button. The two large, round tailpipes of the dual-branch exhaust system are incorporated seamlessly into the bumper and benefit from an attractive chrome application. The A7 comes standard with Audi’s xenon plus technology, complete with new all-weather lighting integrated into the headlamp housings, including two radar

Audi A7 has a coupe-like silhouette, with a low roofline and integrated rear doors, frameless door windows and side mirrors mounted on the doors. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

sensors in the air intakes for optional adaptive cruise control. The signature LED daytime running lights are standard. Optional full LED lighting blends visibility and style with low energy consumption and an extended service life. In addition to the 18 LEDs used for the daytime running lamps and 11 LEDs employed for the turn signals, two powerful LED units comprise the low- and high-beam head-

lamps on each side. Taillights are fitted with LED bulbs, too. Base price on our 2012 Audi A7 test car was $59,250. 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>.

Visit the friendly folks at Irish Tavern after a day at the office By Susan Smith For Rich Woolf the cozy restaurant pub in Eureka Plaza was a favorite place to relax among friends after a long workday. When Rich heard the business was about to sell he jumped into action. “I had no idea what they were going to do with the space, I was a regular customer and the idea of the sale sounded so disruptive and made me so uncomfortable I decided to buy it.” So Mr. Woolf switched careers and became the new proud proprietor of the Irish Tavern at 9821 SW 184 Street in Palmetto Bay. He attributes the success of his hometown restaurant and pub to the friendly, hands on management style he and his team offer customers. “I try to introduce myself to all the new faces I see walk in the door. I want them to know who I am if they need anything special and have a oneon-one connection with the customers. This is a service industry all about people giving; folks should feel as comfortable as I did when I was a customer.” It appears to be a simple effective

recipe for success: good food, reasonable prices and friendly staff. Classic appetizers like Key West style conch fritters and smoked fish dip accompanied by a nice selection of domestic or premium beers on tap or various wines and frozen drink specials are enough to loosen up anyone after a long day in the office or out in the field. Entrees range from chicken wings served naked or dressed up as blackened or teriyaki, jerk or lemon pepper, to classic tavern burgers with all the fixin's or Cajun dolphin, prime rib, steak, and key lime pie to top it off among other noteworthy options. The cozy atmosphere at the Irish Tavern is famous for its over twelve different television sets located all over the establishment broadcasting all major sporting events especially University of Miami and Miami Dolphin football games and Nascar Cup Racing. Live Jazz on Thursdays has become a popular attraction with the Jazz Connection ensemble which includes a saxophonist, drummer and keyboardist who often improvise on stage with surprise

popular performers that make guest appearances to the delight of the crowd. “We are a family kind of place hosting coaches and teams like little league soccer or husbands taking a break after finishing ‘honey do’ chores at home. Our friends come in with their family and friends after a day out fishing or on the beach to relax after the weekend,” says Rich. He remains committed to his simple recipe of per-

sonal attention and consummate service to keep his loyal customers happy. “We especially want to welcome our neighbors in Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay who may not know we are here and invite new area residents to come in and enjoy the familial atmosphere we offer.” Visit Irish Tavern at 9821 SW 184 Street in Palmetto Bay or call the friendly folks at 305-256-4561 or check out www.tavernsouth.com.


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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.

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Cutler Bay 9.6.2011