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One of Miami’ Community Newspapers ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Connecting local businesses.

JUNE 12 - 25, 2012




Sell-out crowd attends fifth annual Taste of the Gables BY GLORIA BURNS


he fifth annual Taste of the Gables was a sell-out event as more than 450 people gathered at the Westin Colonnade on May 31 for a night of fun, food and spirits. Organized by Coral Gables Business Improvement District (BID), the affair for a second year provided a kickoff for Coral Gables Restaurant Week that started June 4. With a portion of the proceeds benefiting United Way of Miami-Dade County, guests enjoyed samplings from 20 of Downtown Coral Gables’ best restaurants with a complimentary drink.

Riviera Health Resort celebrates official opening, ribbon cutting




–––––––––––––––––––––– See

TASTE, page 6

Israel Reyes’ outstanding career focuses on justice BY GLORIA BURNS

Attending the official opening of the Riviera Health Resort are (l-r) Dr. Ismael Roque-Velasco, chief administrative officer of Riviera Health Resort; Brian Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health; Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason, and Richard E. Stacey Sr., CEO and co-founder of Riviera Health Resort.

Westin’s Doug Bridegum (left) chats with Carlos Rossi, owner of Anglelique Euto Café, at Taste of the Gables affair. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––



ore than 500 dignitaries and guests celebrated Riviera Health Resort’s official opening and ribbon cutting, where the luxurious 223-bed post-acute

care and rehabilitation facility was unveiled for the first time. Located on the site of Coral Gables’ first true nursing home, Riviera Health –––––––––––––––– See

srael Reyes has an astounding career path that has included everything from police detective, professor, sought after speaker and freelance television reporter, to judge and now managing partner of the Reyes Law Firm PA. Not only has he done it all, he has excelled in all these areas like few others receiving numerous commendations and awards. Born in New York City (Manhattan), Israel Reyes spent his early years in New York and New Jersey before moving to ISRAEL REYES South Florida.

RIVIERA, page 6 –––––––––––––––––– See



REYES, page 6

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June 12 - 25, 2012

June 12 - 25, 2012


Local student meets U.S. Rep. while visiting nation’s capital U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen recently met with Rene Lamar, a student from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Lamar was part of an educational program that brings students from different parts of the United States to get a firsthand look at our nation’s capital. Lamar is in 10th grade and hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

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June 12 - 25, 2012

Gables Woman’s Club installs Mireya Kilmon as president BY GLORIA BURNS

Mireya Kilmon, a long-time volunteer for many charitable organizations and an Arthritis Foundation activist, has taken over as president of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club. On May 9, the club’s immediate past president, Linda Hartwell, passed the gavel to Kilmon during the Coral Gables Woman’s Club Annual Installation Dinner, an affair orchestrated by another past president, Pam Schaefer. For Kilmon, it was the beginning of her two-year term. More than 80 guests attended the celebration including Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason and his wife, Carmen. On addressing the crowd, Kilmon expressed hopes of having “a stronger partnership with the City of Coral Gables.” The club was not only installed officers and board but to also added new members: Nanette Rodriquez, Deborah Van Stone Moore, Ana Maria Martinez-Escalona and Maureen “Moe” Flanagan. In addition, the 2012 Barbara Lapsley Best New Member Award was presented by past president Barbara Lapsley, for whom the award was named, to education chair Lisa Merheb. Coral Gables Woman’s Club is a chapter

Pictured (l-r, foreground) are Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason, Mireya Kilmon and Stephen Kilmon. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– of the General Federation of Women’s Club, than 18 years, in 2010, Kilmon was the the largest internationally organization for recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award women. A member of the CGWC for more for the state of Florida.

Kilmon and her board oversee the management and operation of the club’s May Van Sickle Dental Clinic that provides dental care for disadvantaged children throughout Miami- Dade County. In addition, the club supports other non-profit organizations and has different departments for volunteer opportunities such as education, conservation, public issues, crime watch, and domestic violence, to name a few. Kilmon brings to the presidency of the club some added recognition as a past beauty queen with many titles to her name. In fact, she holds the Lifetime Queen Crown for the National American Image and is the Brand Ambassador for Tiara Magazine . In addition, as an ambassador and spokesperson for the Arthritis Foundation, Kilmon recently was on Capitol Hill advocating for that organization. Those interested in meeting new people while becoming involved in community service, are encouraged to contact Kilmon by email at <> or visit the club’s website at <>. For information on the Arthritis Foundation visit the facebook page at <!/AFMiami>.

June 12 - 25, 2012


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Coral Gables Woman’s Club hosts Tucker graduation party Gloria Burns GLORIA’S GAB The GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club once again hosted the Tucker Elementary graduation party at the clubhouse on May 24. Tucker’s entire graduating class was treated to a lovely party with lunch and a deejay for dancing thanks to the generosity of this dynamic group of women who seem to be everywhere lending a hand. Among those helping organize the annual affair for the happy fifth grade students were education chair Susan Tilson, club president Mireya Kilmon, Maryann Etkin, Ana Lam, Vicki McGroarty, Dr. Iris TorresRivera , and past presidents Linda Hartwell and Barbara Lapsley. In other club news, Rotary Club of Coral

Ricardo Trillos of Cao Chocolates was one of many vendors taking advantage of the extended Farmer’s Market at the Coral Gables Museum.

Gables president Deborah Swain took advantage of the May 24 meeting to introduce Gloria A. Antia, BS, executive director of Citizens for a Better South Florida (CBSF), and present her with a check from half the proceeds of the Rotary Club’s annual gala. This year’s gala netted $22,000 to benefit both the Coral Gables Rotary Club Foundation and CBSF. At that same meeting, members heard from guest speaker Pedro Garcia, MiamiDade County Property Tax Appraiser, who provided an update of commercial and residential property values and valuations followed by a Q&A session. In addition, as that day was also the day for the big raffle drawing, Garcia was asked to draw the winning ticket. As luck would have it, the winner was the Rotarian who seemed to have worked the hardest to make this a successful club fundraiser, Don Trombley. Congrats to a most deserving and dedicated Rotarian. One of the newest great restaurants in the Gables, Crave in the Village of Merrick Park, held a Mad Hatter Reception for the Coral Gables Community Foundation on

Gloria A. Antia, BS, executive director of Citizens for a Better South Florida, (left) receives $11,000 donation from Coral Gables Rotary Club presented by club president Deborah Swain. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

June 7. Every month Crave selects a charity and donates a percentage of the revenues from the Crave Cares menu items ordered during the month. Coral Gables Community Foundation will be the first to benefit from this generous program that looks to give back to the community. Crave marketing director Christina Ward, general manager Clifton Carmody and executive chef Josh Wahler (whom some may remember from Hell’s Kitchen fame) are all passionate about Crave’s commitment to community outreach as part of its corporate mission. Royal Poinciana Fiesta Luncheon, Musicale and Art Exhibit took place at the Coral Gables Museum on June 1. Among the program highlights was the debut reading of a new poem by Graham Miller with musical accompaniment by Jay Clarke on a seven-foot piano provided by Steinway. In addition, the crowd enjoyed the voice of Joanne Meagher as well as Carolyn

Davenport and Angelica Sganga playing four hands of Calle Ocho and other music by Carolyn and published by Warner Bros. As summer is all but here and the last of the farmer’s markets are closing. Coral Gables visitors were fortunate to have their season extended when the Coral Gables Museum picked up the Farmer’s Market through May after the one in front of City Hall closed. Of course, you can bet there still is plenty of action at the museum. There seems to be an endless stream of great programs offered as well as an upcoming summer camp for children and the most recent celebration on June 3 of George Merrick’s 126th birthday with a free afternoon event that was open to the public. Until next time, keep making each day count. If you want to submit information for this column, please send your news via email to <>.

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TASTE, from page 1 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

RIVIERA, from page 1 –––––– Resort is poised to redefine the way healthcare is delivered to the South Florida community through its state-of-the-art hospitality healthcare approach within an amenityrich, luxury boutique-hotel environment. Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason formally welcomed Riviera Health Resort, presented a proclamation from the city, and joined Richard Stacey, CEO of Riviera Health Resort, and Dr. Ismael Roque-Velasco, chief administrative officer, for a ribbon cutting. Other local business and civic leaders in attendance included Miami-Dade County Commission chair Joe A. Martinez; State Rep. Ana Rivas Logan; State Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla; Brian Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health, and Mark Trowbridge, president and CEO of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. “I am truly humbled by the response Riviera Health Resort has received from

Seen enjoying Taste of the Gables are (l-r) Gus Fonte, Mike Wurster, Andrea Carrero, Barbara Van Hussen, Laura Delgado and Tarpon Bend’s Wayne Eldred. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

The 1862 Restaurant and Bar area was open to those with VIP tickets where they were treated the music of singer-songwriter Cat Shell. The VIP area also provided a special menu from the Westin Colonnade, Morton’s The Steakhouse and Peterbrooke Chocolatiers as well as a gift bag and open bar. With multiple bars and restaurant food stations both in the Rotunda Ballroom and upstairs overlooking the ballroom, party goers did not have to wait in line for anything. Upstairs also drew a crowd as people donned crazy accessories and posed for fun photos that will be posted on the BID’s website BID’s Mari Gallet was blessed with some great event sponsors including Westin Colonnade, Yelp Miami, Bacardi USA, the Jackson Family Estates, Aquabanna and San

Pelegrino. Among the many faces seen the evening were Gables Commissioners Frank Quezada and Ralph Cabrera; BID board members Gus Fonte, Jose Bolado, Wayne Eldred, Zeke Guilford and BID president Burton Hersh; Ramon Irigoyen; Season’s 52’s Denise Erwin; Modern Luxury Bride’s Vanessa Selva; Morton’s Katherine Perez; Angelique Euro Café’s Carlos Rossi; Westin’s Doug Bridegum, and Gina Guilford. This year’s Coral Gables Restaurant Week, presented by Bacardi USA Inc., gives diners a selection at more than 30 fine restaurants in Downtown Coral Gables, all of which offer fixed-price three-course menus for lunch and dinner at a 20 percent savings off their regularly offered fare and will run through June 17. For more information visit the BID website at <>.


REYES, from page 1 ––––––––– Following graduation from Hialeah Miami Lakes High, he attended Miami-Dade earning an AA in Criminal Justice in 1981. In 1992 he graduated magna cum laude from Florida International University with a BS in Criminal Justice and then earned a JD in 1994 graduating in the top 20 percent of his class at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center. While in college, Reyes worked first for the county as a uniformed patrol officer at Miami International Airport, then two years with South Miami Police Department before joining the Metro-Dade Police Department from 1980 to 1995. During that time he worked in almost every division — from homicide to organized crime and media relations. From 1995 to 1998, Reyes joined the personal injury law firm of Needle Gallagher & Areces PA as an associate. In 1996, Reyes was also president of Police & Media Consulting Group that focused on training in the areas of law enforcement procedure, media relations, and public records issues while also working with WSVN TV (Channel 7 News) as a free lance television reporter/consultant. Moving on to another challenge from 1998-2002, Reyes served as assistant state sttorney assigned to the Racketeering/ Organized Crime Prosecution Unit in the Office of the State Attorney (11th Judicial Circuit of Florida). That assignment was followed by nine

June 12 - 25, 2012

the South Florida community and especially the City of Coral Gables,” Stacey said. “It has been nothing short of extraordinary and is a testament to this unique facility.” Featuring an array of complex care services, the five-story, 76,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style Riviera Health Resort caters to the needs of guests that require short and long term care as they transition from the hospital to their home, with a particular emphasis on post-stroke and hip and knee replacement recovery. “We look forward to carrying out our commitment to the community and ensuring that our guests’ experience exceeds all expectations,” Dr. Roque-Velasco added. “We are not only redefining the way healthcare is delivered, but distinguishing Riviera Health Resort as South Florida’s premier facility for clinical excellence and superior, integrated rehabilitation.” For a consultation and personalized tour of Riviera Health Resort, contact the facility’s guest services team at 786-517-6999 or visit online at <>. years with the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida as a county court judge appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush on Mar. 26, 2002, and assigned to the Criminal Division as of May 1, 2002. He was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003 with numerous assignments over the years in the Civil, Criminal and Juvenile Divisions. Before opening his own law firm this year, Reyes was a partner at Diaz, Reus & Targ LLP, where his focus revolved around such areas as anti-money-laundering, financial fraud and white-collar criminal defense representing international corporations, multinational financial institutions, foreign governments and high-profile individuals. Given his interesting work experience and background, it is no wonder Reyes is called on to lecture and for over four years has been an adjunct professor at various universities including the University of Miami; Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, and Florida International University. Reyes’ judicial honors and awards as well as his police commendations could fill a book. While Reyes was most recently awarded the FIU College of Law Alumni Network Award for Public Legal Education, his non-profit work and volunteerism in one form or another dates back to high school years and became part of his life as a police officer, assistant state attorney and judge. Reyes resides in Coral Gables with his wife of 31 years, Maria, and is the proud father of three children and one grandchild whom he adores and likes to baby sit whenever possible. Reyes used to play golf, but adds, “I could no longer stand the ridicule.”

June 12 - 25, 2012


Curing paralysis goal of Party in Park fundraiser

Marc Buoniconti is joined by father Nick Buoniconti, a NFL Hall of Famer.


On a recent balmy Saturday night, highlighted by fuchsia and cobalt blue skies, several blocks near City Hall in downtown Coral Gables were barricaded against traffic. Instead of cars cruising around the Biltmore Way roundabout, canopied tables and chairs and tents full of delightful dishes and wines to taste welcomed guests at the “Party in the Park.” Presented by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and sponsored by Bacardi, the inaugural fundraising event was to benefit the Buoniconti Fund, the fundraising arm of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. “I don’t care for myself really, I am adjusted,” said part-time Buoniconti Fund staff member Ernesto Velazquez, 28, as he sat enjoying the cool sunset breeze with cousin Henry Fonseca. “It’s to help the kids and give them a chance to walk again.” Confined to a wheelchair since being hit by a drunk driver at age 10, Velazquez added, “One of the most ironic things to me is that the guy who picked me up off the street is a paraplegic today as a result of drunk driving as well.” Velazquez spent a month in a coma after the accident and calls himself a survivor who does not dwell on the past. “I live life to the fullest. I am a survivor. I don’t let things bring me down. I have family and friends to keep me up.” Marc Buoniconti, event chair and president of the Buoniconti Fund and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, said it always has been the support of family and friends that kept him going through the tough times after his accident on a football field in 1986. “I rely on my family and friends to get me

through the hard times,” Buoniconti said. “I am so humbled by the support of everyone that has come out to help me and help the cause. There couldn’t be a better place for us to have our inaugural event, in front of City Hall in my hometown of Coral Gables. It’s great to be with my community and to raise money for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.” Event sponsor attorney Steve Coxhead said it is a thrill to be connected to the work of the not for profit. “It’s like people must have felt in the 1960s during the moon launch,” Coxhead said. “Not very often in life is one exposed to the very cutting edge of science that will touch millions of lives and allow hundreds of people to be able to walk again.” The live auction items and raffle giveaways were received by an enthusiastic and well-fed crowd. The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) had a corner booth near an exit where they were giving away white T-shirts that read “I (heart) safe drivers.” Communications manager Cindy Polo-Serantes said MDX tries to attend community events whenever possible because they need to go where the drivers are to help make a dent on preventable accidents. “We have a million drivers on our roadways every single day,” Polo-Serantes said. “The four to six seconds it takes you to send a text message, you have traveled the distance of a football field. When you are driving 40 to 60 miles an hour you can cause a world of destruction in the distance of a football field.” To find out more about the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis contact Kristin Wherry, director of National Chapters, at 305-2433863 or visit

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June 12 - 25, 2012

Hinshaw & Culberton LLP celebrates grand opening of new office in Gables

Pictured (l-r) are Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason; Mark Trowbridge, president, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce; Ron L. Kammer, partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP; Don L. Mrozek, chair, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, and Drew Kern, chair, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY JEANNE A. BECKER

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, a full-service national law firm, celebrated the grand opening of its new office in Coral Gables on May 22 with more than 200 people attending. The firm recently relocated its Dadeland office to 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd. in Coral Gables after signing a 12-year lease to occupy the entire fourth floor of the building. With approximately 40 lawyers in the Coral Gables office, the firm is able to provide a wide range of sophisticated transactional and litigation services to its clients. Hinshaw & Culbertson has had a longstanding presence in Miami, having opened its first office in 1987. The firm also has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Jacksonville, and with over 80 lawyers in Florida, it’s one of the larger law firms in the state. The firm is proud that its employees are highly diverse, having been recognized nationally as one of the most diverse law firms in the United States.

Moving to the vibrant, multinational business community of Coral Gables allows the firm to provide outstanding service to its local, national and international clients. The access to additional resources in Coral Gables and convenient proximity to all areas of Miami-Dade County will fuel its continued expansion in Florida. Attorneys in the Coral Gables office routinely represent developers, small businesses, banks, professionals and the insurance industry. The Coral Gables office also handles the legal needs of high net worth individuals, including tax and probate matters, including individuals from Latin America, Europe and Canada. The firm has its offices in strategic locations in major cities across the country, and with approximately 500 attorneys in 24 offices in the U.S. can provide national depth of expertise coupled with a local or regional presence and knowledge. For more information, visit <>.

June 12 - 25, 2012


La Piazza Academy learning center opens in Coral Gables

Pictured (l-r) are La Piazza Academy owners Kelly Yeung and Nita Yeung, Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason, Jessica Pinto, and Neil Jurado. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


La Piazza Academy, a unique learning center for children ages 1 to 5, now is open in Coral Gables and offers youngsters much more than crafts and crayons. The 15,000-square-foot facility, located in the heart of Coral Gables at 4101 Salzedo St., uses the highly acclaimed Reggio Emilia approach to learning. At the core of this approach to early childhood education, is a curriculum driven by the needs and interests of the children. It provides preschoolers with meaningful learning experiences that help to develop their cognitive, creative and physical skills and abilities. Adding to La Piazza’s uniqueness is its language program. In addition to offering Spanish through the use of music, art and games, the academy is one of the few in the nation that teaches Mandarin. In addition, the facility is in the process of becoming LEED certified. The focus on environment and well-being at La Piazza has been thoroughly carried out, right down to its lunch program. Each day, children will enjoy fresh, nutritious, all-natural and organic ingredients prepared by Bon Appetit Kids. La Piazza Academy’s classrooms are carefully arranged to promote active learning. The center offers a multitude of activities and features art, cognitive and movement areas, along with a library and exploring area. While children are outdoors, they have

the opportunity to grow their favorite plants in the garden area, run in the grass, climb on playground equipment, and play in the sand area. “At La Piazza, our teachers give children the opportunity to make simple choices such as reading, painting or exploring,” said director Corina Dekker. “Our teachers help children follow through with their projects, and they provide encouragement and praise. The teachers are seen as learners, along with the children. They observe and document, with pictures, videos and notes, the activities that interest and motivate each child.” The Reggio approach was started by Loris Malaguzzi, who lived in Italy’s Reggio Emilia area after World War II. Malaguzzi was a teacher, innovator and creative philosopher. He was quoted as saying, “The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences.” Dekker added, “This is the place where future academic scholars, arborists, scientists, athletes, artists and more, will be inspired by their experiences here as they explore, create and learn about the world around them. “We are proud to be a part of the Coral Gables community and look forward to many years of active participation,” she said. For more information on La Piazza Academy or to register for the summer or fall sessions, call 305-495-4832 or visit online at <>.

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The Hermanni Law Group specializes in all immigration matters

By y Ann n Lino The Hermanni Law Group, a full service immigration law firm, was founded by Senior Partner, a graduate of the Roger Williams University School of Law, Kurt Hermanni, in an effort to better serve his clients with all types of immigration issues. Hermanni, of Venezuelan descent, has earned the reputation of a skilled, honest and competent international attorney. Fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, Hermanni’s client list has included a former President from South America and his family, several foreign dignitaries, a former military General, military attaches, professional athletes, and foreign investors from China, Serbia, Colombia, Venezuela, Spain and Italy. The firm is currently comprised of five full-time house attorneys: Kurt Hermanni, Senior Partner; Norma Lorenzo, Managing Attorney who specializes in business visas; and Associate Attorneys Erica Perez-Luque, Kerry Anne Donohue, and Karamat Qayum. The group represents numerous international companies, with clients in Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The following is an overview of the various business visas the firm handles: NON IMMIGRANT BUSINESS VISAS: • E-1 / E-2 Treaty Trader and Investor Visas are visas available for Foreign Nationals Investors and traders and their employees may receive visas. • H-1B Specialty Occupation (Professional) Visas are available for professional workers with at least a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent work experience). • L-1 Intra-company Transfer Visas are available to executives, managers and specialized knowledge employees transferring to their employer's U.S. affiliate, parent or subsidiary. • O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas are a category set-aside for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability. • P-1 Artists and Athletes Visas cover professional athletes, artists and entertainers. IMMIGRANT BUSINESS VISAS: • Permanent Labor Certifications allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. • EB1 Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers and Multinational Executives and Managers. • EB-2 Workers with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business. • EB-3 Skilled Workers and Professionals: • EB-5 Investor / Employment Creation Visas The Hermanni Law Group is located at 2655 LeJeune Road, Ste. 800, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Ph: 305 640-8222 or Mobile 786-271-6699. Visit our website at

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June 12 - 25, 2012

Temple Judea honors 7 members at Showcase of Stars reception

2012 Showcase of Stars award recipients are (l-r) Teen Star, Benjy Goldberg; President’s Award, Debbie Siegel; Communication Star, Janice Gates; Rookie of the Year Star, Dana Pelletier; Shining Stars, Valerie and Gary Berman. (Not pictured is Surprise Recognition recipient Melanie Cole Goldberg.) ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


Temple Judea, one of the largest Reform synagogues in Miami, presented seven congregation members with special honors during its Showcase of Stars reception, in appreciation for their volunteer efforts and longtime commitment to the future of the synagogue. These “Stars” were recognized during Temple Judea’s annual congregational meeting on Wednesday, May 16, at the synagogue, 5500 Granada Blvd., Coral Gables. “The Temple Judea family is blessed to have so many dedicated and passionate volunteers as members,” said Lainey Brooks, president, who will soon complete a very successful two-year term. “The Showcase of Stars event is an opportunity for us to recognize them for their unselfish efforts and show our appreciation for everything they do.” Temple Judea’s 2012 Showcase of Stars includes: President’s Award — Debbie Siegel, Pinecrest. Siegel played an important role this year helping with the Building on Tradition campaign and the Dancing with the Stars fundraising event. A dedicated full-time mother and a former Women of Temple Judea president and chair of the Youth Committee, she helped to create the Linda Martin Youth Activity Fund and currently is a member of the board of directors, Education Committee and youth group. Shining Stars — Valerie and Gary

Berman, Coral Gables. Valerie and Gary co-chaired two major fundraising campaigns (Torat Chayim and Glee), raising tens of thousands of dollars for the synagogue. Gary is the incoming president who will be installed in July. Communication Star — Janice Gates, Coconut Grove. Gates champions the production of the Temple Membership Directory and for the past two years, produced the Tribute Books for the Glee and Granada Lounge fundraisers. Rookie of the Year Star — Dana Pelletier, Coral Gables. Pelletier used her passion, enthusiasm and talent to collect items for this year’s Glee silent auction fundraiser, which raised thousands of dollars. Teen Star — Benjy Goldberg, Pinecrest. Goldberg is the past president of the Jewish Temple Youth (JTY) group and leads by example. Surprise Recognition — Melanie Cole Goldberg, Pinecrest. Goldberg was given an unannounced presentation of flowers for receiving an honorary doctorate in Jewish Education from the Hebrew Union College. Now celebrating 61 years of Jewish Learning and Living in Coral Gables, Temple Judea has more than 620 member families. The congregation is led by Rabbi Edwin Goldberg and Rabbi Judith Siegal. For more information, visit online at <>.

June 12 - 25, 2012


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Zoo Miami announces opening LATIN AMERICAN of new Playworld Playground Enjoy a variety of coffees and everything from paninis to pastelitos, as well as a selection of wines to complement your meal.

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The same quality & tradition as the Latin American of 57th Avenue Recreational area features new “wet” and “dry” playgrounds for kids to enjoy. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY CINDY CASTELBLANCO

Zoo Miami has announced the opening of its new Playworld Playground that contains two play areas — Jungle Journey and Ocean Voyage. With more than 1.5 acres of play and picnic space, kids ages 12 and under have plenty of room to explore the splashing water features and jungle gym while parents supervise in comfortable shaded seating. In the Jungle Journey playground, children have 11 play features to help them create their own adventures. While the jungle gym could keep them busy for a while, kids can find themselves making their way past a wobbly bridge, through a hollow log and escaping life-size gorilla and hippo figures. Their imaginations may take them on a wild journey, but kids remain safe on spongy floors as they bounce around the playground. After their jungle adventure, kids can cool down by splashing through spouting blow holes and overflowing buckets of water in the Ocean Voyage playground. This water-themed area includes 28 features that are guaranteed to get kids dripping wet. It would be hard to stay dry around water shooting cannons, a whale tail waterfall, and touch-activated rods spraying water. The ocean theme comes to life with shells and glossy starfish on the

floor as guests walk in. “This $1 million state-of-the-art playground has been a highly anticipated addition to Zoo Miami,” said Eric Stephens, Zoo Miami director. “We are so excited to open it and offer our guests a top-notch play experience.” Directly next to the playgrounds are two new shaded pavilions that are available to rent for special events like birthday parties or picnics. With parents and kids sure to work up an appetite, the Playworld Playground is conveniently located next to the new and improved Oasis Grille. There guests can chow down on everything including hotdogs, salads, fruit, burgers and refreshing drinks in the shade of the African outpostthemed area before heading to their next adventure in Zoo Miami. Speaking of adventures, now guests can rent pedal boats, water tricycles and kayaks on the lake at Amazon and Beyond on weekends (Friday-Sunday) and holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 St. General zoo admission is $15.95 per adult and $11.95 per child (3-12), plus tax. Children under 2, zoo members and parking are free. Zoo Miami’s hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m; ticket booths close at 4 p.m. For more information visit <> or call 305- 251-0400.

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June 12 - 25, 2012

Gulliver students’ dance program benefits underpriviledged kids BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

Meaghan Sylver and Meagan Adler met in their first dance class when they were age 4 and became fast friends. Now they are incoming juniors at Gulliver Prep and still dance buddies and best of friends. The girls dance at Artistic Soul Studios in Palmetto Bay and compete in the studio’s company. “We’ve both began dancing when we 4 years old and we’ve been dancing ever since,” Adler said. “We dance 10-15 hours a week.” When they started ninth grade, they decided they wanted to share their love of dance — particularly tap dancing — with underprivileged children. “Meagan [Adler] and I started talking about how we wanted to teach a group, not necessarily at our studio,” Sylver said, adding they wanted to teach somewhere the kids didn’t have access to dance classes. “We’ve always wanted to share our passion for dance.” So they started Tap Kidz and began teaching a free weekly tap class at the Boys and Girls Club in Kendall. In 2011, they expanded and began teaching at the

Meaghan Sylver and Meagan Adler met in dance class when they were age 4. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Now at Gulliver Prep, Meaghan Sylver, of Cutler Bay, and Meagan Adler, of Pinecrest, still dance together –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Homestead YMCA as well. By the end of this school year, they had earned approximately 115 community service hours each through the program. “We do it one day a week,” Adler said. “We go to the Boys and Girls Club first and then we travel to the YMCA.” The girls said that they had been dancing a long time and they really wanted to give other children the opportunity to express themselves and see how much fun dancing can be. They also are aware that with rising childhood obesity rates, they are helping kids stay healthy by helping them exercise in a fun way. “We start teaching the most basic steps,” Sylver said.

While teaching the children to dance fulfills their community service requirements, Adler said the classes they teach mean much more than going to club meetings at school. “Seeing the excitement on their faces, it’s so fulfilling,” Adler said. The children they teach range in age from 5 to 11 at the YMCA and 6 to 13 at the Boys and Girls Club. The classes also draw some boys. In order to dance, the children need tap shoes, so the girls collected tap shoes from friends and various dance studios for the children to use. “The kids really like to dance with them,” Adler said. The girls also are planning on fundraising for the Dizzy Feet Foundation, which gives out dance scholarships to underprivileged kids. The foundation was started by So You Think You Can Dance producer Nygel Lithgoe and others, including actress Katie Holmes. “We plan to continue this program throughout high school,” Sylver said. They have a few students who have been in the program both years and are interested in continuing to dance. For those children who were in the program before, they added more difficult moves and used those children to demonstrate the steps. At the beginning of the school year, the girls expanded the scope of Tap Kidz and began tutoring kids in the homework program. Next year they hope to incorporate information about nutrition into the program. “We would teach about health and a healthy lifestyle, and how tap is a lifestyle that is healthy and is good for expressing yourself,” Adler said. At the end of each school year, the youngsters take part in a mini-recital so the parents can see what their children learned.

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Grand Prize Chevrolet delivers customers winning experience BY NANCY EAGLETON

Taking care of the customer is not a new thing, but at Grand Prize Chevrolet, owner Ralph Sifford and his team take customer service to the next level. “I want people to have that Grand Prize experience — the feeling you get when you’re winner,” said Sifford, who has owned the dealership since 1992. “That’s why I chose the name Grand Prize Chevrolet. And that’s what we do here – we deliver that winning experience.” This commitment to going above and beyond customers’ expectations has paid off with used car sales at Grand Prize up 44 percent and new car sales up 11 percent over last year. Sifford said the key to success is delivering excellent customer service every step of the way — from the customer’s shopping experience to sales, service, operations, financing and product delivery. High standards are top priority at both of Sifford’s privately owned dealerships. He also owns a Chevrolet/Cadillac and GMC/Buick dealership in Nanuet, NY. His vast business experience of 37 years operating General Motors dealerships, 20 years

Grand Prize Chevrolet recently completed an extensive renovation to better serve customers. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

running a service station, and experience in commercial banking, commercial real estate and community political service, has molded the savvy business owner. But Sifford isn’t complacent. He looks forward and changes with the times. The service experience at Grand Prize Chevrolet often begins before the cus-

tomer even visits the showroom. A highly proactive Internet department maintains inventory listings online and connects with customers 24/7 on Facebook, Twitter and at “Customers begin their search online, so it’s important that we reach out to them and start the service process at this time,” Sifford said. “We are always looking for new ways to provide our customers with excellent service.” Once at the dealership, customers will find an updated, state-of-the-art facility. Grand Prize Chevrolet was one of the first in the country to complete a renovation to meet the new GM brand standards. The dealership is sleek, modern and comfortable. The customer waiting area features a computer lounge with Wi-Fi, TVs, snacks and a playroom for children. Grand Prize now has a new building entirely devoted to pre-owned vehicle sales, which are seeing an upswing during this economic downturn. “Our pre-owned vehicles are all certified and come with a maintenance plan and

extended warranties,” Sifford said. “It’s like getting a new car, but it’s more economical.” Sifford is especially proud of the Chevy lineup. In recent years, Chevrolet has introduced more vehicles that get 30 mpg or more than any other brand — an important feature considering the rising gas prices. All new vehicles have three- to five-year warranties, with 100,000-mile powertrain warranties. On Star — the high-tech system that provides drivers with automatic crash response, navigation, roadside assistance, remote unlocking and hands-free calling — comes standard on all new vehicles. “In my 37 years in the automotive industry, On Star is one of the most revolutionary developments I’ve seen,” Sifford said. Grand Prize offers new car owners free maintenance for one year, including tire rotation, oil change and filter. Vehicles are serviced by GM certified technicians in one of the dealer’s 44 modern service bays. The collision center repairs all makes and models and works with customers’ insurance companies to make the process simple and easy. And when customers’ vehicles need repairs or maintenance, Grand Prize offers free drop-off and pick-up. “That’s how we create the Grand Prize experience,” Sifford said. “We treat our customers like family.” It’s important to Sifford to support the community that has supported his business. Grand Prize is the sponsor of the Sunshine Corvette Club and the Dade County Farm Bureau. The dealership proudly supports youth sports programs such as the Kendall Hammocks Optimists Club and educational programs at Robert Morgan Educational Center. Grand Prize Chevrolet is located at 11701 SW 152 St., right off Florida’s Turnpike. For more information, call 305235-8200 or visit online at <>.

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Resident’s marine aquarium hobby turns into business BY RICHARD YAGER

ReefSmart Aquariums is a dream come true for Maria Campos. “We’ve always had fish tanks in our home,” said the proprietor of one of the area’s newest business ventures, tucked amid a row of storefronts on the south side of Hammocks Plaza off SW 147th Avenue in West Kendall. “We knew it would be a risk to start up a business in a down-economic cycle,” she said. “But I talked it over with my son, George, and we both agreed. Why not; let’s take the chance. “With his help and that of other friends, we put together display racks, painted and installed them, purchased our inventory and did everything we could by ourselves to start up,” she recalled. “We opened our door in May 2011, just one year ago.” International trading in colorful marine organisms from coral reefs has become big business over the past 15 years, according to a New York Times article, noting: “New lighting and filtration technology [has] enabled hobbyists to set up saltwater aquariums at home. According to the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, one million of the world’s 1.5 million aquarium hobbyists live in the United States and Americans buy more than half of all marine aquarium fish sold globally.” With that popularity, ReefSmart has attracted a growing clientele of veteran saltwater aquarium owners not only for needed supplies but exotic tropical fish. It also attracts newcomers who want a 10-gallon tank to try out the hobby. “We’re serving collectors who need supplies and look to expand to larger tanks and different species of tropicals,” Maria said. “A driver’s license bureau

Maria Campos inspects 175-gallon aquarium at year-old ReefSmart. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

just a few doors from us is giving us walk-in traffic, too.” A 175-gallon tank brilliantly lighted by a fluorescent fixture displays vibrantly colored corals and brightly iridescent reef fish to greet visitors to the 1,700square-foot store, lined with rows of tanks housing fish of all colors, shapes and sizes. “We’ve always loved having tropical fish in our home,” Maria added. “Going home, pouring a glass a wine and just sitting in front of tropicals in their tank is perfect relaxation for me. It’s the joy of my life.” That dedication and professional expe-

rience guides clients at ReefSmart, essential for a new owner, who needs to know what species are compatible, as well as advanced collectors. Recalling his first aquarium as a youngster, George Campos, now 28, said, “I brought home a bowl and put my first two freshwater Betta fish inside and watched them fight to a bitter end.” With his career planned in emergency medical services, George Campos attended the Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue Academy and has recently received certification as an emergency team member, spending spare hours at the store. A married sister, Alejandra, also helps when she can.

While environmental restrictions prohibit reef fish or coral collecting from Atlantic or Gulf waters, local tropicals are “really not very hardy survivors,” Maria Campos explained. “Sad to say, offshore waters carry too much pollution for harvesting healthy reef tropicals, even if it was legal to do so.” Most stock at ReefSmart is supplied by a Los Angeles complex of dealers who keeps Maria on “red eye” flights from MIA to LAX at least once a month, replenishing inventories. “LA distributors have the most varieties from locations overseas,” she said. “Tropicals in demand largely come from Indonesia and Australia, many very rare and costly.” Among more than 1,000 tropical varieties swimming in ReefSmart tanks, George points to an orange-and-black striped Tang, about three inches long, lazily basking in a display tank. A chalked price on the aquarium glass lists it for $200. “People into tropicals like rarer fish,” he said. “Especially younger ones because you will see the colors change as they grow to adults.” For the curious, a free quarterly magazine, titled Reef Hobbyist, is available at Campos’ store describing species that vary from “New & Unusual Corals from Western Australia” to “Caribbean Angelfish.” For the first-time hobbyist, a range of saltwater tanks, colorful but inexpensive tropicals and corals as well as maintenance items and food supplies are available at ReefSmart, open Tuesday-Saturday (closed Monday) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. For information, visit <> or call 305-752-3511.

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Globetrotters offering youngsters Summer Skills Clinics at local sites BY GLYNNIS RICHARD

For the first time ever, the Harlem Globetrotters are partnering with 24 Hour Fitness to offer Summer Skills Clinics at 24 Hour Fitness locations across the U.S., including Kendall and Cutler Bay. Boys and girls will learn the three attributes that make a Globetrotter — great basketball skills, great entertainment skills, and great role model characteristics. This combination is called “Globetrotter Soul.” Whether basketball fans or not, each child is sure to have a fantastic time and learn valuable lessons from the Globetrotter players. Kids in Miami will get a chance to be coached by Harlem Globetrotter Blenda Rodriguez. This dribbling sensation and star ball handler will be coaching and teaching some of his famous moves. You can check out Blenda’s skills on the Globetrotter YouTube channel. Local clinics will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 Globetrotter Blenda Rodriguez will be coaching kids in Summer Skills a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. ($59 Clinics. per session) at the follow––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– ing 24 Hour Fitness locaFor more information, visit online at tions: 8400 Mills Dr. in Kendall on June 18 and 20851 S. Dixie Hwy. in Cutler Bay on <> or call 1-800-641-HOOP (4667). June 19.

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Switchboard of Miami earns $20K during charity bachelor auction BY AMY CRISMOND


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Switchboard of Miami has announced that the organization’s Women’s Leadership Council raised more than $20,000 during their first charity bachelor auction on May 17. The event, held at The Stage in Miami’s Design District, featured more than 40 eligible professional men from South Florida who were auctioned off for a date to benefit Switchboard of Miami. Approximately 300 attendees enjoyed food, drinks and music as they bid on their favorite bachelors, some of them going for over $1,000. “We were extremely pleased with our first bachelor auction,” said Erbi BlancoTrue, chair of the Women’s Leadership Council. “The event was fun, exciting and very different from the typical fundraiser. We had an amazing group of women who worked tirelessly to insure that this event was a success and thanks to them, the sponsors, the bachelors and the Switchboard

staff, we received rave reviews from those who participated.” The vision of the Women’s Leadership Council is to strengthen the social landscape of the community by engaging women leaders to inspire others in taking action and creating long-lasting change in the community by supporting Switchboard of Miami. “This was the event everyone had been talking about for weeks and we at Switchboard were all very pleased with how successful it turned out” said Catherine Penrod, president and CEO of Switchboard of Miami. “I’m proud to say we accomplished one of the main goals for the event which was, not only to raise money, but to inform professionals from South Florida about Switchboard of Miami and some of the great work we do in the community. We also had a wonderful time!” For more information visit online at <>.

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New book offers a look into autism from insider BY GLORIA BURNS

pies in Philadelphia completed, Sybil used every single moment as a teachable one Voracious readers often will forget the while his dad was his best friend and put him contents of a book unless it meets certain to work. To this day Sybil continues this misconditions that make it memorable. Playing sion and recounts, “My mouth never stops into that mix, as a rule, is it being especially with Marc and I am not a big talker. I am surwell written and entertaining or something prised the kid didn’t put a gag on me. To this that touches one’s very soul and imparts day when we go shopping to buy our own something of value they may things, I constantly discuss be shared with others or put and point out things as we into use in one’s everyday life. shop. Afterwards, he will Living Life with Autism: The make a comment like ‘thanks, World Through My Eyes, a Mom, I had a good time and book written by Marc William learned a lot today.’” Pulver with Robert Shostak, is In this book, Marc shares the latter. While it is intentionhis experiences — good and ally not well written, that is bad — with amazing recall, part of its charm. With the help something not uncommon for of a retired education profesthose with autism spectrum sor, Shostak, Pulver tells the disorder. The reader learns story of his life dealing with how the positive influence and Marc William Pulver and growing up with minimal incredible efforts of his loving –––––––––––––––– brain damage later diagnosed as parents and siblings impacted autism when he was applying his life and how grateful he is for an insurance policy as an adult. Spelling for that support. mistakes and other noticeable errors are left While Marc’s words have a child-like qualas written effectively giving the reader a bet- ity, he ultimately comes across as a person ter understanding of how Marc’s mind with good common sense who has an incredworks. ible appreciation for his family who gave him The book is an insightful journey with into the platform to conquer his challenges: from the world of autism that leaves one with a receiving his driver’s license, writing his bar better understanding of how parents, like mitzvah speech, being a water boy for the Marc’s, have navigated unknown waters and football team when he couldn’t make the prevailed against all odds. You see, Pulver team, to volunteering to help the homeless suffered oxygen deprivation at birth result- and taking great trips with his parents. ing in developmental problems. After reading this book, you will be enamWhen doctors suggested that he be institu- ored of this fine man and feel a kinship to this tionalized, his courageous and amazing parents remarkable family. Those dealing with or looked elsewhere and turned to the Institute for who have friends, relatives or children with the Achievement for Human Potential in autism spectrum disorder will find this book Philadelphia. His mother, Sybil Pulver, began inspiring and full of useful information. with countless hours of therapy one of which Marc’s book is available at Ingram, was an exercise for his eyes to perfect stereo-, Barnes & Noble and fine scopic vision making trips to Philadelphia bookstores everywhere for $10.95. For addievery three months for three years. tional information, visit online at As Marc was growing up with his thera- <>.

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‘Light of Florida’ exhibit opens June 16 in conjunction with Bird Road Art Walk

The photos featured in the exhibit highlight the unique and varied natural light that makes Florida a great place to photograph and produce imagery of all kinds. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


Sixty-five of the world’s top professional photographers showcase their work featuring unique Florida lighting and outdoor locations on June 16. This highly acclaimed “Light of Florida” exhibit, which was four years in production, makes its Miami debut at Ave 74–A Miami Art Gallery.” Ave 74 is the area’s newest art gallery located in Miami’s Bird Road Art District at 4432 SW 74 Ave. The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) is the most prestigious organization of photographers worldwide who produce images for publication. This exhibit comes off a highly acclaimed showing at the Studio at Key West in February, and opens in conjunction with

the Bird Road Art Walk 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, June 16. For more information contact the gallery at 305-666-3355 or Matthew Pace of the ASMP Fine Arts Committee at <>. “Light of Florida” is a collaborative project created by the South Florida Chapter of American Society of Media Photographers with the support from the Central Chapter to produce a premium coffee table book, Internet portfolio and a traveling exhibit. The images feature people and places captured in the unique and varied natural light that makes Florida a great place to photograph and produce imagery of all kinds. All submissions were made by members of ASMP in Florida and judged by an impartial panel of media professionals.


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Community Association Beat

Cooperative Extension Div. earns Everything you wanted to know 2012 NACO Achievement Award about collections - but didn’t ask! BY ALEJANDRA CASTRO-NUÑEZ

The Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension Division of the Regulatory and Economic Resources Department (RER) has been awarded a 2012 National Association of County’s Award (NACO), for its educational program on Whitefly Management. NACO recognizes effective and innovative programs that contribute to and enhance county government in the United States. Immediately following the announcement of a new whitefly infestation in South Florida, Extension began offering homeowners and landscapers the opportunity to learn more about the pests and how to protect their plants. Educational efforts included: workshops, field consultations, office visits, plant/pest identification clinics, production of YouTube videos, updates to the Extension website, newspaper articles, and radio and TV interviews. Written educational materials and Power Point presentations also were developed in English and Spanish. The program targeted the entire county including: residents, Pest Control Operators, landscape professionals and ground maintenance employees from county, cities, and municipalities. The objective was to teach the communi-

ty how to identify whiteflies and their damage to plants, and to educate landscape professionals and pesticide applicators on how to treat whiteflies without damaging the environment. “The importance of this highly successful program cannot be underestimated,” said Mario Goderich, assistant director of the Regulatory and Economic Enhancement Department. “Extension has been instrumental in combating the spread of whitefly by educating the pesticide industry and general population about this serious issuem” Goderich added. “Without their efforts, the economic loss would be far beyond the actual numbers to date.” The Cooperative Extension staff demonstrated dedication and commitment to develop and conduct a variety of educational activities and provided information in English and Spanish for the entire community. NACO recognized Extension for putting together an innovative program that contributes to and enhances county government. The Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension is a partnership of the Miami-Dade Business Affairs Division of the Regulatory and Economic Enhancement Department and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Community Newspapers

BY MITCH DRIMMER, CAM Community Association Manager

Boards of directors, managers, and even attorneys in Florida are more confused today about the complexities of community association collections than ever before. So how should an association approach the problem and devise the right solution? There’s so much disparity in opinions given by association attorneys regarding collections that boards need to first establish a procedure and move forward confidently in the knowledge they have chosen wisely. So who do you believe — and how can you choose “wisely” when authorities don’t agree on a standard of what can or cannot be done? Or even worse, what should or should not be collected? Answers lie in the questions boards should ask their collection solution, whether an attorney or collection agency. Among those questions: • How is the association being charged for services rendered? • How are the fees structured by your collection solution? • Does the collection solution defer fees, or is the association required to pay as they go? • Will your attorney defer costs for court actions? • Has your collection solution proposed that if they don’t collect their fees from a delinquent owner, subsequent purchaser, or foreclosing bank, will they then forgo their fees? Those just begin the kind of questions your board needs to ask. Others: • How does your correction solution define “statutory cap?” • Does it believe the association is only entitled to recover the lesser of 12 months

or 1% of the first mortgage, or does it believe the association is also entitled to recover all late interest, late fees, collection costs, and reasonable attorney fees? There’s a tremendous spectrum of opinion on answers to such questions and the company you choose that believes an association is entitled to more will invariably collect more. That’s why the collection solution should be carefully questioned about what entitles a foreclosing entity to “safe harbor” provisions. Some maintain that a first mortgage forecloses is entitled to receive a write off. Others say that a bank needs to comply with a stringent procedure to qualify for “safe harbor,” i.e., the lesser of 12 months or 1 % of the first mortgage. Boards should know whether the entity collecting money is going to put up a fight by reviewing service, notices and assignments to uncover defects, and then negotiate a settlement beyond the paltry amount a “safe harbor”allows. Answering a question with a question has been dubbed by some as the “Socratic Method” but clearly, boards of directors cannot make decisions unless they have solid answers to those questions. If you ask your collection partner: “What will happen if that is done?”, they may give you various scenarios. So perhaps it would be best to rephrase the question this way: “Do youu believe that if we do this, the result will be that?” The only way to best do this is to know the right questions to ask in the first place, and understanding what the various answers could mean. Mitch Drimmer is a licensed CAM, an instructor at FCAP, and is the Vice President of Association Financial Services, an accredited collection agency and specialty finance company specializing in community association collections. For more information, visit, Tel: 305-677-0022, ext. 804.

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June 12 - 25, 2012

Shula’s 347 Grill takes iPad menus beyond just wine lists BY KRISTIN SIMMONS

Uptown Network recently announced that Shula’s 347 Grill, 6915 Red Rd. in Coral Gables, has expanded its iPad Wine List well beyond wines. The upgraded app now allows guests to explore food such as desserts and cocktails, beer and martinis. There even is an extensive selection of single malt scotch. “We have definitely seen an uptick in wine sales based on our introduction of the Uptown Network iPad Wine List,” said Francesco Balli, nanaging partner of Shula’s 347 Grill in Coral Gables. “One of the biggest advantages of rolling out this app is the ‘wow’ factor that patrons will remember. We completely eliminated our traditional paper printed wine lists and only use the iPad Personal Sommelier. We have now

expanded its benefits to so much more.” In addition to being available in the restaurant, the Shula’s 347 Grill app is available for free to anyone with an iPad. The app can be downloaded by searching “Personal Sommelier” on Apple’s App Store. “People love it! Because of its versatile search ability, it helps give all of our wines a great chance of being purchased, not just the big movers,” Balli said. “It’s another item that makes dining with us that much more special, not just another night out to dinner.” “We are excited to see our customers expanding the value of our app and network,” said Phil Turner, vice president of Research and Development at Uptown Network. “Shula’s 347 Grill wisely has increased their offerings to over 70 million iPad users.”

June 12 - 25, 2012


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Youngsters can have fun with food at Dadeland Mall BY LAUREN BROWN

Pint-sized food lovers and even the pickiest eaters will have a blast getting crafty with cuisine as Super Duper Mini Chefs makes its annual spring appearance at some 100 Simon malls nationwide, including Dadeland Mall in Kendall. Hosted by the popular Simon Kidgits Club and sponsored by Nickelodeon, participating kids will be encouraged to play with their food. Super Duper Mini Chefs will take place on Friday, June 15, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at Dadeland Mall in the Saks Fifth Avenue Corridor. At the event, aspiring young cooks and little foodies can explore the creativity of cuisine through a combination of demonstrations and interactive activities. Kids can learn to play Nickelodeon’s new iCarly: Groovy Foodie! game, based on the hit Nickelodeon television series iCarly, available exclusively for the Nintendo DS on June 12. In iCarly: Groovy Foodie!, players can help Carly and Sam get out of trouble by serving wacky dishes to crazy customers in a fast paced, action puzzle game that dishes out all the random hilarity from the show. Super Duper Mini Chefs attendees who try out iCarly: Groovy Foodie! will receive an exclusive GameStop coupon to use on their next purchase. Other food-focused activities that will be hosted include chocolate chip cookie sandwich-making with Nestle Toll House Café; pizza creation with Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen; mini cupcake decoration with Candy in a Cupcake; create yogurt parfaits and sample chicken nugget with Chick-fil-A, along with a special visit with the Eat More Chikin Cow; mini ice cream sundae creation with Haagen-Dazs; pretzel twisting and pretzel stix samplings with Auntie Anne’s, make desert crepes with BannaStrows,fruit smoothie creation with Starbucks Coffee. Young visitors also can keep learn the

Top and bottom: Participating kids will be encouraged to play with their food.

importance of keeping hands clean with an antibacterial hand-cleaning station provided by Bath & Body Works. Additional activities will be provided by Johnny Rocket’s, Assure A Smile, Churromania, Banna Strows and Macaroni Kids. In addition to sampling their delicious creations, children will be able to enjoy an instructional, nutritional magic show performed by Amy the Magic Chef where table manners and healthy eating habits will take center stage. All participants are able to create their own chef’s hat and will receive an apron to wear while they are creating their delicious treats. Event attendees also will receive a special recipe card for Spaghetti Tacos, an imaginative meal made well-known among children by Nickelodeon’s iCarly television series, and a colorful Simon Kidgits Club plate to continue the culinary creativity at home. Also as part of the event, kids are encouraged to lend a hand to those in need by bringing a non-perishable food item to Dadeland Mall to be donated to Feeding South Florida. Jayne Stilson, assistant vice president of business development for Simon Brand Ventures, the business-to-consumer division of Simon Property Group, said, “Super Duper Mini Chefs provides kids an outlet to express their imagination and have a good time being inspired by the art of food.” The Simon Kidgits Club is a fun and informative program that focuses on health, wellness, education, safety and entertainment for children ages 3-8. Since 2003, the Simon Kidgits Club has kept children and parents alike amused with various events and activities while providing incentives for club members, such as special offers, rewards and games. For more information about the Simon Kidgits Club and Super Duper Mini Chefs events, visit <>.

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June 12 - 25, 2012

Baptist Health graduates inaugural class of Nurse Executive Academy BY STEPHANIE ROJAS

opportunity to work on individual career development plans through Baptist Health South Florida organizational projects. graduated the inaugural class of “Many of the participants in its Nurse Executive Academy on our Nurse Executive Academy May 14. have made great advancements in The talent management protheir careers at Baptist Health,” gram was launched in 2010 to said Marlly Cadavid, Baptist reinforce Baptist Health’s goal of Health’s director of Nursing developing and promoting nursWorkforce Development and ing leaders from within the organcoordinator of the inaugural ization. The Academy aims to Nurse Executive Academy. mold the future of Baptist Health “Seven of our academy graduates by creating a talented pool of canhave already been promoted to didates for chief nursing officer assistant vice president and direcand other executive positions. tor positions, which speaks to the “The Nurse Executive caliber of our participants.” Academy is just one example of Baptist Health South Florida is how Baptist Health strives to prothe largest faith-based, not-formote exceptional leadership in profit healthcare organization in nursing,” said Deborah S. the region. Baptist Health Mulvihill, MSN, RN, FACHE, includes Baptist Hospital, South Baptist Health’s corporate vice Miami Hospital, Baptist Pictured are members of the first class of Nurse Executive Academy graduates. president and chief nursing offiChildren’s Hospital, Baptist –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– cer. “We are very proud of our Cardiac & Vascular Institute, inaugural class and we look forward to the academy’s inaugural class. The exec- porates human resources talent manage- Mariners Hospital, Homestead Hospital, seeing the academy graduates continue to utive training program includes mentor- ment and leadership development best Doctors Hospital, West Kendall Baptist ships, projects and formal classes with practices to enhance the participants’ Hospital and Baptist Outpatient Services. succeed at Baptist Health.” Fifteen nurse leaders were selected participation from Baptist Health execu- leadership capacity. For more information, visit online at The academy members also had the <>. from across the organization to make up tives and managers. The academy incor-

June 12 - 25, 2012


FIU Health unveiled during ribbon-cutting ceremony

Page 39

FPL CORNER How we can energize economic opportunity

Pictured at the FIU Health ribbon-cutting ceremony are (l-r) Pedro J. Greer Jr., MD, clinical chair of Humanities, Health & Society, FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine; Yolangel Hernandez Suarez, MBA, MD, chief medical officer, FIU Healthcare Network; Douglas Wartzok, PhD, executive vice president and provost, Florida International University; John A. Rock, MD, founding dean, FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine; Fernando Valverde, MD, CEO, FIU Healthcare Network; Mayi de la Vega, FIU Board of Trustees; Mark Rosenberg, PhD, president, Florida International University; Herbert Wertheim, OD, founding chair, FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine; Nicole Wertheim; Ora Strickland, RN, PhD, dean, College of Nursing and Health Sciences; Albert Dotson Sr., chair emeritus, FIU Board of Trustees, and Jeffrey Horstmyer, MD, clinical chair of Neurology, FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


Physicians with the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University now are available to see patients through FIU Health, a unified system that provides access to world-class care. Unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony to community leaders, FIU Health includes many of the best doctors in South Florida, in addition to nationally renowned medical faculty recruited by FIU to teach in the College of Medicine. “When we made the case for this medical school, we said that it would help our community by educating new doctors and providing expanded access to medical services,” said FIU president Mark B. Rosenberg at the launch ceremony in April. “The first part of that promise we will fulfill next year when we graduate our first class of physicians. Today, we honor the rest of the promise by inviting members of our community to come receive excellent care from FIU Health providers.” FIU Health is a gateway for coordinated access to some of South Florida’s top specialists and providers at leading hospital affiliates including Baptist Health South Florida, Jackson Health System, Mercy Hospital, Miami Children’s Hospital, and Mount Sinai Medical Center. “FIU Health physicians meet the highest standards in their fields,” said Dr. John A. Rock, senior vice president for medical

affairs and the founding dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. “We have recruited them to teach our students and now we offer them to our community under a unified system that will produce excellent quality of care.” Currently, FIU Health’s main office is the Faculty Group Practice, located at FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus, 885 SW 109 Ave. in West Miami-Dade, where patients can see family physicians and various specialists. As FIU Health grows, plans are underway to expand on-campus services through a 100,000-square-foot complex that will house an ambulatory care center, an ambulatory surgery center and a medical office building, scheduled to open in 2014. Additional clinical sites are planned. “FIU Health is the umbrella under which we will provide our community all the services and health expertise that FIU faculty have across disciplines,” Dean Rock said. “We are creating an environment that will assist our community in preventing disease and will provide culturally sensitive care of the highest quality.” FIU Health also will include services provided by FIU faculty from College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and College of Arts and Sciences. To make an appointment with an FIU Health physician, call 305-FIU-DOCS/ 305348-3627.

In one way or another, we’ve all been asking a simple question: “How can we energize economic opportunity?” That’s the same question people are asking here in Florida, across America, and really – around the world. Our collective answers to that question will define the future. And the good news is: there are lots of ways we can answer that question constructively. I believe we should energize economic opportunity in three simple ways: 1. Investing in infrastructure 2. Expanding educational opportunity, and 3. By working together more effectively. Over the three-year period from 2011 through 2013, FPL is investing approximately $9 billion here in Florida to strengthen and improve the state's electric generation and delivery system, and to maintain our strong reliability, all while helping to keep customer bills low over the long term, and all through the use of fuel-efficient generation and innovative technologies. The combined fuel savings are tremendous. By 2016, our customers will save about $1.2 billion in fuel costs every single year. And every dollar we save our customers on fuel is a dollar that stays in their pocket. Saving money for our customers is extremely important to us, but there are other benefits as well. FPL’s investments in new infrastructure also reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and not in a small way. In 2001, we burned more than 40 million barrels of fuel oil to generate electricity, almost all of it imported from overseas. This year, we’re projecting that we will burn less than 600,000 barrels. That’s a reduction of more than 98 percent in just 10 years, which is a great benefit to our customers, when the price of oil once again is more than $100 a barrel. The second way we can energize economic opportunity is by investing in education. For grade school children, FPL sponsors science shows that visit about 100,000 students a year. For older students, we’ve created a solar education in schools program. Through this program, FPL has installed on-campus solar demonstration systems in a dozen schools, and we’re still doing more. And for young men and women ready to enter the workforce, we’ve created a Nuclear Power Plant Skilled Worker Pipeline Program. In fact, 76 employees at our two nuclear plants are graduates of this program. Third, we can energize economic opportunity by recognizing that we are all in this together. To that end, and with the support of our regulators, FPL now offers a special “Economic Development Rate” for FPL business customers that commit to bringing jobs to the state ( <> ). I am also personally encouraged by several of our business customers who have told me recently that they see Florida’s economy turning the corner, and gaining strength and momentum. None of us knows what the future will bring, but working together for the common good can bring out the best in all of us. Despite the headwinds we can all see before us, FPL remains incredibly optimistic about the future of our state, our country and our global economy. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to keep our electric bill the lowest in the state, and among the lowest in the nation. Eric Silagy is President of Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE) and one of the largest investor-owned electric utilities in the nation.

Page 40


June 12 - 25, 2012

Chapman Partnership collecting school supplies, uniforms for homeless kids BY LEE STEPHENS

Every year the Chapman Partnership provides all school supplies for every child living at either one of its centers. “It takes a great load off parents’ shoulders knowing that their kids will have what they need on the first day of school,” said Patricia Vila, marketing director of Chapman Partnership. “Over 1,000 schoolage children come through our centers each year.” To reach its goal Chapman Partnership relies on the community to assist in collecting items needed for about 200 children who currently reside at its centers — ranging from toddlers to high school age. “We provide each child with uniforms, backpacks and all other supplies such as pencils, notebooks, calculators, basically anything and everything you

can think of,” Vila said. You can drop off donations at Chapman Partnership’s downtown Miami center, 1550 N. Miami Ave., or the Homestead center, 28205 SW 124 Ct. If you need more information, call 305-329-3003. Chapman Partnership provides a wide array of services to help the homeless in Miami-Dade County rebuild their lives while offering dignity and respect. It is the private sector partner of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, commissioned to site, build and operate two Homeless Assistance Centers in downtown Miami and Homestead. Chapman Partnership empowers homeless men, women and children to build a positive future by providing the resources and assistance critical to growth and stability. For more information, visit online at <>.

June 12 - 25, 2012


Team Florida Baseball to host first Golf and Poker Tournament, July 7 BY RAQUEL GARCIA

While a junior at Ransom Everglades High School, Dan Otero, now a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, said one of his best opportunities to prepare for a future with Major League Baseball came from his days with Dave Westberry’s Team Florida Baseball. “Dave is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet in baseball,” Otero said during a recent telephone interview. “He never wants to take credit for anything but he gives high school players an incredible chance to compete and learn the sport.” Team Florida was established in 1985 by president and head baseball coach Dave Westberry to assist young players with the college recruitment process and get them to the next level of play. The not-for-profit organization, Team Florida, is hosting its “First Annual Golf Extravaganza and Poker Tournament” on Saturday, July 7, at Redland Golf and Country Club, 24451 Krome Ave. Registration opens at 11 a.m. and a shotgun start is set for 1 p.m. “We want to reach out to past players and bring them back to the family,” Coach Westberry said about the fundraising event. “We haven’t seen some of these guys in a while. It’s a great way to find out where they are and what they have been up to while helping the kids.” Team Florida competes in the American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC) and Continental Amateur Baseball Association (CABA) by bringing promising young ball players from as far north as Pensacola to the Euclid, OH, CABA High School World Series every July. More than 400 former Team Florida players have gone on to play at the college level and beyond. Major League Baseball clubs such as the California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Florida Marlins have

welcomed alumni players onto their rosters. “We have had kids graduate from West Point and Harvard and go on to the big leagues,” Westberry said. “Our coaches have all been or currently are high school coaches. I work for the Department of Corrections and we have veteran police officer coaches. We know how to instill values for success on and off the field.” Otero said Coach Westberry also was a strict disciplinarian and no one got special treatment. “We learned how to follow instructions and discipline ourselves to be on time and play hard. It didn’t matter who you were; if you didn’t follow the rules, you didn’t play.” The Golf and Poker Tournament will help raise funds for this summer’s CABA World Series trip. “The first year we went to Ohio was in 1988 and there were 12 college teams represented,” Westberry said. “This is a national tournament and a showcase tournament. Last year there were 65 college teams watching and this year there may be more.” Eligible students for Team Florida must have played and passed high school baseball (along with SAT and ACT pre-college exams) and have a potential future in the sport. The Golf and Poker Tournament will help raise money to finance the trip for players from varied socio-economic backgrounds so everyone has a chance to travel and play. “We have been doing Team Florida for 27 years now and we are getting support from guys who have played in the past,” Westberry said. “Everybody is excited about the tournament; it is something new and we’re trying to get the word out. It’s really ultimately all about the kids saying they had a great time playing, and the parents, too, who I have met over the years and become friends with. The camaraderie is the best reward.” For more information contact Coach Dave Westberry at 786-258-6184 or Coach Phillip Wisser at 305-283-5277.

Page 41

Hectorr Wiltz,, MD.,, CPI. Board Certified Dermatologist FXM Research Miami

Do you or someone you know have Rosacea? FXM Research in Miami is looking for males and females 18 years or older that suffer from Rosacea “Redness on forehead, cheeks, and nose with acne type lesions on your face” to participate in an eighteen [18] study-visit clinical research study. Medical Insurance is not required for study participation. Qualified participants will receive: • Evaluation by a Board Certified Dermatologist. • Investigational Study Medication at no cost. • Reimbursement for time and travel up to USD $800.00.

¿Tiene usted o alguien que usted conozca Rosacea? FXM Research en Miami está buscando hombres y mujeres de 18 años o más que sufran de Rosacea “Enrojecimiento en la frente, mejillas, y nariz con lesiones similares al acné”, para participar en un estudio clínico de investigación que requiere dieciocho [18] visitas. Seguro Médico no es requerido para su participación en el estudio. Los participantes que califiquen recibirán: • Evaluaciones por un Dermatólogo Certificado. • Los medicamentos bajo investigación a no costo. • Compensación por tiempo y transporte hasta $800.00.

For more information please call / Para más información por favor llame:

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Hectorr Wiltz,, MD.,, CPI. Board Certified Dermatologist FXM Research Miami

Do you or someone you know have Psoriasis? FXM Research in Miami Miami is looking for males or females 18 years or older that suffer from moderate to severe plaque Psoriasis to participate in a clinical research study. Medical Insurance is not required for study participation Qualified participants will receive: • Evaluation by a Board Certified Dermatologist. • Investigational Medication at no cost. • Compensation for time and travel.

¿Tienee ustedd o alguienn quee ustedd conozcaa Psoriasis? FXM Research in Miami está buscando hombres y mujeres entre 18 años o más que sufran de Psoriasis moderada a severa para participar en un estudio de investigación clínico. Seguro Medico no es requerido para su participación en el estudio. Los participantes que califiquen recibirán: • Evaluaciones por un Dermatólogo Certificado. • Los medicamentos bajo investigación a no costo. • Compensación por su tiempo y transporte.

For more information please call / Para más información por favor llame:

(305) 220-5222

11760 0 Bird d Road,, Suite e 452

Miami,, Florida a 33175 5 • m

Page 42


June 12 - 25, 2012

Bay Day at Shake-A-Leg brings joy to youngsters

Bay Day at Shake-A-Leg organizer, Rotarian Judy Pantoja, helps check in children for their day of fun. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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When you gather the volunteer resources of five great non-profits, any event is certain to be a success. Thanks to the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame and Canes 4 Life working with the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, Shake-ALeg Miami and the Youth Fishing Foundation, the annual Bay Day was a hit. Participants included underprivileged kids from CHARLEE Homes, Overtown Youth Center, Leadership Learning Center at John Bosco and a few other non-forprofit organizations with youth programs. Conducted at the Shake-A-Leg Miami facility in Coconut Grove on Saturday, May 19, Bay Day was a family event where invited participants rotated through enrichment zones including sailing, kayaking, bay cruise and swimming at Eco Island courtesy of Shake-A-Leg Miami. For kids that don’t swim, there was a scavenger/trivia hunt on the Eco Islands while land activities included art, face painting and an educational experience at a touch tank with live sea life provided by the Youth Fishing Foundation.

John Routh of the UM Hall of Fame had Sebastian the Ibis, UM’s mascot, make a surprise visit. In addition, Gino Torretta’s Heisman Trophy was on display and available for photo ops with UM alumni athletes attending that day. The day afforded 115 youngsters as well as several veterans a truly memorable experience. Among those Gables Rotarians and many others helping make this day a success were Rotarian Judy Pantoja, who orchestrated the event rounding up friends and Rotarians for help including a Shake-A-Leg regular Bill Quensenberry as well as Rick and Margarita Tonkinson, Zac Handler, Raquel Garcia, Tom Dixon, Dick Golden, Deena Bell, and Charles Llewellyn, Lorraine Sheldon, and Catarina Jimenez, to name a few. Happy children went home with a fishing rod courtesy of the Youth Fishing Foundation and in promotion of the UM Sports Hall of Fame’s Fishing Tournament. That tournament will take place at the Post Card Inn in Islamorada, June 29-30, and will benefit both ShakeA-Leg Miami and Habitat for Humanity.

June 12 - 25, 2012


Page 43

Beth Am students pick golden beet as favorite from community garden BY KAREN BUCHSBAUM

In a hard-fought battle among Beth Am fourth grade students, the golden beet edged out pineapple as the favorite offering from the Deering Bay Club Community Garden. Honorable mentions went to turnip, sorrel and marigold. Nineteen students from Vicky Koller’s fourth grade science class recently returned to Deering Bay Yacht and Country Club to celebrate the harvest of the community’s vegetable garden. The kids got hands-on experience learning about harvesting and the steps that follow with regard to plants going to seed, how to compost, the role of insects helping the garden, and healthy eating. As part of the mid-day festivities the students enjoyed a sumptuous salad bar. Under the direction of Deering Bay Club member Ethan Shapiro and Deering Bay Sous Chef Tim Rowan (a QCS Certified Organic Farmer), the kids tasted a wide variety of vegetables, including some still available in the community garden. In the second annual Battle of the Dips competition, Mexican Guacamole was the overwhelming winner over Greek Tzatziki. This marks the second year that the stu-

dents from Beth Am have helped plant and harvest the Deering Bay Garden. The popular program incorporates visits to the garden with special science classes about plants, pollination, ecology and conservation. In the fall, the students planted about one quarter of the garden including three types of cabbage, garlic chives, sorrel cosmos, radicchio, golden beets, lettuce, basil, bok choy and tatsio. Ms. Koller returned to Beth Am with a pineapple plant and dozen Southern Milkweed plants to attract butterflies for the Beth Am garden. Students got to take home recipes as well as caterpillars and other interesting garden-friendly insects. “The beauty, colors and flavors of what we’ve seen come out of the garden have been so vivid and far beyond what we expected when we started in 2010, “Shapiro said. “Our members take pride that some of the vegetables served at the club are grown on premises, free of pesticides and they thoroughly appreciate that the garden has also been used for educational purposes.” To follow the garden’s progress visit the “A Garden on the Bay” blog at <>.

Mia Bilchik and Rachel Kaplan enjoy their garden treats. (Photo by Daniella Tosta) ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Page 44


June 12 - 25, 2012

Rotary Club inviting participants for Coconut Grove Treasure Hunt BY ROBERT HAMILTON

The search for fun and treasure in Coconut Grove is Saturday, June 16, and starts at the Sandbar Sports Grill, 3064 Grand Ave. Register between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and join your mates and other scallywags for $10 Bottomless Bloody Marys or Mimosas and two fabulous breakfasts for just the price of one. Participants will be given a treasure map leading them on a Grove Treasure Hunt for fun, great grog and great treats, plus treasure tickets for dozens of fabu-

lous raffle prizes. Then from 5 to 8 p.m. join the “Grab Some More Booty Party” at the Sandbar Sports Grill. While everyone replays the day, get Grub ‘n’ Grog specials, live music and the big drawing for all the loot. The cost is just $25 at the door or $20 in advance at <> (see: Club Links on left side click on Grove Treasure Hunt) with all proceeds going to the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove Foundation to help Coconut Grove neighbors. For more information call Kelly Smith at 305-302-9342.

June 12 - 25, 2012


Page 45

Nelson Diaz elected board An Extraordinary School president of Kristi House for Extraordinary Students BY LEE STEPHENS

The Kristi House, the non-profit child sexual abuse agency which serves as the Children’s Advocacy Center for MiamiDade County, has announced that the board of directors elected Nelson David Diaz as its president during its annual meeting on May 10. Diaz will serve a twoyear term as president. Diaz, an attorney and lobbyist with Becker & Poliakoff, has served on the Kristi House board since 2007 and is a leading fundraiser. He was elected vice president in 2011. Diaz is credited with leading Kristi House’s effort in the successful passage of the Florida Safe Harbor Act which changes how commercially sexually exploited children are viewed and treated in Florida. As Kristi House’s pro bono advocate lobbying for the passage of the legislation, he described this legislative victory as the conclusion of a long and, at times, arduous road, but the beginning of many, many success stories for all child victims of sexual abuse. “Human trafficking, in particular the sex trafficking of children, is a pandemic in this country,” Diaz said. “The Safe Harbor Act will allow first responders the option of treating commercially sexually exploited children as victims, and not criminals, by placing them at private treatment centers, or Safe Harbors, to treat these children and offer them hope for a brighter future.” Diaz represents local governments, businesses, trade associations and other corporate clients before the legislative and executive branches of state government and has successfully guided many pieces of legislation into Florida law. His previous expe-

Nelson David Diaz –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

rience as chief legislative aide to the former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and now U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, along with a history of election campaign and fundraising work, make him ideally suited to lead the Kristi House organization, which is supported by public and private sector grants and philanthropy. Diaz is joined on the executive board by newly elected officers: Bobbie JonesWilfork, vice president; Lauren Harrison Genovese, vice president; Antonio Zamora, treasurer, and Chuck Vodicka, secretary. The officers and board members will assist Kristi House in its mission of healing and ending child sexual abuse, and will be dedicated to ensuring services remain free to children and their nonoffending family members and that no child is turned away for help. For more information visit <>.




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After more than a year of preparation, children in Kindergarten through 4th grade who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, ADDADHD, mild Dyslexia, and auditory processing issues will have the opportunity to attend a private elementary school created exclusively for them. “Rosemont Academy is a school for extremely bright children who simply learn differently,” says Lainie Hansen, Rosemont’s owner/Director and the mother of a daughter with high functioning Autism. “I wanted to offer a program that was like no other,” Hansen states. She worked for months with Curriculum Coordinator, Vanessa del Campo, to create the academic aspect of Rosemont’s program. Hansen then moved on to creating the Rosemont Method™: a carefully crafted adaptation of scaffolding techniques, gifted elements, differentiated learning applications, and cooperative learning strategies. Finally, Hansen turned her attention to finding the perfect staff. Each member of the teaching staff is state certified and possesses specialized skills and experience that makes them outstanding in their field. “I have never and will never underestimate the role a great teacher plays in the lives of their students,” notes Hansen, who also happens to be a Florida certified Language Arts teacher with a Gifted Education endorsement. “We consider Rosemont the bridge to mainstream classrooms and schools,” Hansen explains, sitting in one of her sunny, spacious classrooms located on the campus of Temple Bet Breira Samu-el Or Olom in east Kendall. Tanya Tepper agrees. Tepper, whose daughter just completed Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ LEAP pre-school program feels Rosemont’s small, specialized kindergarten class is the logical step before the jump to public elementary school. “We are so excited to know that at Rosemont our daughter will be given the chance she needs to maximize her potential at this critical age so that we can fulfill our goal of mainstreaming her down the road.” Hansen has also assembled an impressive roster of therapists to help her Rosemont Falcons soar. Included in Rosemont’s tuition are weekly Language and Social Skills Circles created by Wendy Nottoli, M.A., CCC, BCaBA; Occupational Therapy groups facilitated by Nicole Hanna, OTR/L, C-SIPT; and Music Therapy provided by Jillian Mehler, MT-BC, NMT. Art, yoga, P.E, computer lab, and Skill Builder Groups will round out each student’s academic experience. “We even threw in all of the school supplies,” Hansen says with a smile. “I listened to what parents wanted in a school.” Listening to parents of kids with special needs is nothing new to Hansen. She is also the founder of Moms Reach—Miami, a local organization that serves as a clearinghouse of information and source of support for families with kids on the Autism Spectrum in South Florida. “Moms are hearing that there is a new school out there created exclusively for their high functioning kids,” Hansen says. And the word is spreading. Aura, the mother of an incoming fourth grader sums it up nicely, "I feel like someone read my mind on what I wanted from a school and its curriculum, and that includes a huge faith in my son's potential. I have been searching extensively and could not find a better place for my son.” For more information about Rosemont Academy visit

Page 46


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June 12 - 25, 2012

Gulliver senior Michael Leigh Pelle earns Angier B. Duke Scholarship BY LEE STEPHENS

Michael Leigh Pelle, a resident of Key Biscayne and a senior at Gulliver Preparatory School, recently was awarded one of 15 Angier B. Duke Memorial scholarships by Duke University. The scholarships are undergraduate merit awards to attend the university. They are awarded to outstanding students who show promise of being intellectual leaders. “We’re extremely proud of Michael and very grateful to play a part in the education of this exemplary young man,” said John Krutulis, Gulliver head of school. “This scholarship is another stepping stone towards a bright future for Michael.” The scholarship program was established in 1925 by Duke University cofounder Benjamin Newton Duke in memory of his son, Angier Buchanan Duke. Over a four-year period, a scholarship is estimated to be worth more than $200,000.

Michael Leigh Pelle ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

June 12 - 25, 2012


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June 12 - 25, 2012

June 12 - 25, 2012


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June 12 - 25, 2012

2013 Nissan Altima is beautiful all-new mid-size sedan

Ron Beasley LET’S TALK CARS I recently attended the press preview in Nashville for the beautiful new 2013 Nissan Altima and I came away with the feeling that this car eventually will overtake the Toyota Camry as the best-selling vehicle in the United States. This fifth generation Altima is just that special. It was two decades ago that Nissan introduced the Altima and over the years it has become the company’s best-selling vehicle (No. 2 in the U.S. last year). This newest Altima only will add to the healthy sales figures and will begin appearing in dealer showrooms in June. The new Altima has numerous features that will make it attractive to the American consumer, not the least of which is 38 mpg highway gas mileage. Two engines options are available — a 2.5-liter 182 hp DOHC four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter 270 hp DOHC V-6. The 2.5-liter QR25 engine has been redesigned to make

it lighter and more efficient, and it now has variable valve timing on both exhaust and intake camshafts, all helping it to achieve better fuel economy. Both engines are mated to a new next-generation Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), the single most important factor in improving the Altima’s fuel economy. Nissan says 70 percent of the parts in the CVT have been redesigned to reduce internal friction by up to 40 percent, with new control logic and expanded gear ratio coverage further reducing noise and fuel consumption, improving drivability and responsiveness. As for styling, the Altima was completely redesigned to give it a luxury exterior with improved aerodynamics, a wide, aggressive stance and dramatic front-end styling. It keeps the same wheelbase as the previous Altima, but has a wider front and rear track and deeper fenders that combine with a crisp new grille design, a seamless bumper and projector-type headlights. The longer sloping rear roofline and raised trunk combine to create a more fluid silhouette capped by large taillights that flow into the bodysides, with chrome trim and door handles for accent. The new Altima also has all the latest electronic technology, including a Standard

New Altima has dramatic front-end styling, new grille design, seamless bumper and projector-type headlights. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth; NissanConnect and NissanConnect Navigation, with a suite of Bluetooth phone connectivity features including hands-free text message integration, Pandora playback, realtime Google POI search; Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Moving Object Detection (MOD), and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). There is a host of other new goodies, including an upscale interior that is as good

as any you’ll find in most luxury cars, with NASA-inspired “zero-gravity” seats, an Advanced Drive-Assist Display and a BOSE Premium Audio System. Pricing on the 2013 Nissan Altima starts at $21,500.

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 <>.

June 12 - 25, 2012


Free parking at Miami-Dade parks for Parks Foundation members BY EDITH TORRES

Parks Foundation members are receiving an additional perk just in time for the summer months. Now through Aug. 31, existing and new Parks Foundation members will be able to park for free at all MiamiDade Parksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; locations, excluding marinas. Popular park locations with parking tolls include Crandon Park, Haulover Beach Park, Matheson Hammock Park, Greynolds and East Greynolds parks, and Amelia Earhart Park. Parks Foundation members simply must show their member card and photo ID to the parking tollbooth attendant and they will be allowed to park for free all summer long. The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, its mission, programs, and services. Memberships to the Parks Foundation not only help support the Miami-Dade Parks system, but also

Parks Foundation members simply must show their m e m b e r c a rd a n d p h o t o I D to the parking tollbooth attendant and they will be a l l o w e d t o p a r k f o r f re e a l l summer long. provides valuable benefits to card holders such as free shelter rentals, discounts to programs and park attractions, free entrances to VIP parties and special events, and varying limited-time offer benefits, such as free parking in the summer. For more information on the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, or to become a member, visit the website at <>.

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June 12 - 25, 2012

The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/ Palmetto Bay hosts 2012 Wing Ding Cook-Off held at the Palmetto Bay Village Center

June 12 - 25, 2012




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June 12 - 25, 2012

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June 12 - 25, 2012


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June 12 - 25, 2012


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June 12 - 25, 2012

June 12 - 25, 2012




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June 12 - 25, 2012

6.12.2012 Coral Gables News  

Coral Gables News 6.12.2012 PDF