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One of Miami’s Community Newspapers

Phone: 305-669-7355

ENDALL GAZETT E K www.communitynewspapers.com

JANUARY 25 - 31, 2011

Approval of church garage to relieve Miller Road traffic BY RICHARD YAGER

R

ezoning to permit a twostory, three-level parking garage has been approved for Alpha and Omega Church to alleviate illegal parking and traffic jams on Miller Road and neighboring streets near the Palmetto Expressway (SR 826). A standing room crowd of more than 200 jammed the Kendall Village Civic Pavilion meeting room during a two-hour public hearing on Jan. 18 with a majority cheering a 6-0 decision by Community Council 12 Zoning Appeals Board approving garage construction on church grounds at 7800 SW 56 St. Growth during the past 15 years, now estimated by the church at 2,000 members, has resulted in an overflow of illegally parked cars along nearby swale areas and adjoining neighborhood streets, primarily SW 77th Court and SW 57th Terrace, according to Alex Nunez of Doral, attorney representing the Latin Missions Ministries Inc., at the hearing with architect Felix Pardo of Miami. A group of protesting residents said traffic during Sunday services and special holidays becomes a problem due to church proximity to the Miller-Palmetto interchange, as well as the south entry to Tropical Park, located north of Miller Road in the same area. An elementary school and day care center create daily traffic to and from the 5.6-acre site. Development of a Planning Departmentapproved three-story, four-level garage to accommodate 655 vehicles was reduced to two stories and three levels when three council members — Angela Vazquez, Alberto Santana and Jorge Garcia — indicated objections to a 40-foot high structure. During a 10-minute recess following those comments, Nunez and Pardo reviewed garage planning, later agreeing to revise the structure’s overall size to three levels not to exceed two stories with a 30-foot height at its highest point. Its capacity will be refigured with “about 120 spaces” less than planned in the original garage, Pardo said later. Construction is not expected to begin “for at least six to eight months,” he added.

Francisco Foundation Scholarships presented at Miami Dade College

Souto challenges manager on bond funding priorities BY RICHARD YAGER

I

Winners of the longstanding Francisco Foundation Scholarships at Miami Dade College (MDC) were recognized during a brief awards ceremony on Jan. 11, at the Wolfson Campus. The winners, Melissa Larrocha and Chabeli Castillo, will each receive $2,500 scholarships. Winners were selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership, community service, academic excellence and a love of democracy and freedom. Pictured at the presentation are (l-r) Miami-Dade Commissioner Javier Souto, Larrocha, Castillo and Dr. Rolando Montoya, MDC provost.

Once redesigned, the property will have about 740 to 750 on-site parking spots, based on an existing 330 surface vehicle spaces. In addition to the garage, the approving vote will require the church to hire off-duty MiamiDade police during primary service hours (Sundays at 8 and 11 a.m.) and on major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter) to direct traffic and patrol adjoining streets for illegally parked cars. Council member Jose I. Valdes added trellised-climbing vines for the garage walls, in addition to a landscaping plan of oak trees to soften the structure’s appearance from abutting neighbors. “Oaks grow slowly,” he noted.

Both a church and church school have occupied the premises since 1964 under various names, beginning with the “Miami Church of Religious Science” (1966) and “Gables Academy of Florida Inc.” (1972), each given modifications for expansion incorporated into Latin Mission plan granted in 1994. Pardo and the church ministry had worked with the Miami-Dade Planning staff to gain approval for the garage with minor setback and lot allowance variations. No Miami-Dade agency objected to the garage according to a Planning Department analysis recommendation with conditional changes in lot coverage and a restriction to prevent spillover of garage lights on adjacent properties.

ncensed at a resolution delineating Better Building Communities (BBC) priorities issued by Miami-Dade County manager George Burgess in December, District 10 Commissioner Javier D. Souto said he will seek restoration of funding for 12 projects omitted from the next five-year BBC program. Among them are $10 million to expand the Ronald Reagan Equestrian Center at Tropical Park, as well as funding for a new Hispanic Cultural Center. Souto claims a proposed BBC project list submitted by Burgess on Dec. 23 had “ignored, dismissed and disregarded” resolutions to proceed with improvements for the Tropical Park projects as approved by formal vote of the county commission. Souto charged that 12 resolutions approved by commissioners for expenditures in the second five-year BBC program were omitted after public hearings, development schedules and formal commission votes. His action followed a two-page memorandum issued by Burgess describing a new formula of implementing a “commercial paper program” to finance BBC projects on an “as needed” basis, along with an 18-page review of BBC projects for funding at the county’s 0.445 millage rate. Souto said such action by the county administration “ignored a legislative

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– See

SOUTO, page 4


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 25 - 31, 2011


January 25 - 31, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

4 Ocaquatics instructors honored by U.S. Swim School Association

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Pictured (l-r) are honored Ocaquatics instructors Kristina Paula, Esther Calero, Miguel Barranco and Celia Madrid. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY LEXI SEGRÉ

Four longtime instructors of Ocaquatics Swim School are the proud recipients of the United States Swim School Association 2010 Swimming Teachers of the Year award. The deserving winners are Celia Madrid, Esther Calero, Kristina Paula and Miguel Barranco. The four recipients are swimming instructors and supervisors at Ocaquatics Swim School locations in Kendall and at Gulliver Academy. Ocaquatics was the only swim school in South Florida to be recognized. “Celia, Esther, Kristina and Miguel are invaluable members of our teaching team,� said Miren Oca, owner and director of Ocaquatics Swim School. “We are extremely fortunate to have these four

great instructors on our staff. They have worked with Ocaquatics for a combined total of over 16 years and have been instrumental in the growth of our program.â&#x20AC;? In October 2009, Miren Oca was honored by the U.S. Swim School Association with its 2009 Humanitarian Award. This award is given to an individual who provides outstanding service to the local community in some way related to water safety, drowning prevention or aquatic education. Ocaquatics Kendall location is located at 13408 SW 131 St. across from the Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport with easy access from Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Turnpike. For more information contact Miren Oca at Ocaquatics Swim School, office 305969-SWIM (7946), cell 305-390-6446 or visit online at <www.ocaquatics.com>.

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mandate” to list the same amount of funding in the five-year project summary as voted specifically by the commission for a series of county projects. “This board’s power has eroded to the point that it has allowed you [the manager] to gain supreme power as the county’s chief administrator and policy maker,” Souto stated. “In the resolution, you are putting forth for the issuance of [general obligation] bonds, you not only rescind the 12 resolutions sponsored by individual commissioners, you are also asking the board to give you complete power to determine which projects are funded, at what levels those projects are funded and whether they are funded at all.” His comments in a press release dated Jan. 12 followed a meeting of the county commission’s Infrastructure and Government Affairs Committee that withdrew a Finance Department resolution that proposed administrative authority over the next five-year bond program. According to Bernardo Escobar, Souto’s chief aide, the resolution was to be resubmitted for further consideration but no other meeting or agenda of the committee to reconsider the resolution had been

January 25 - 31, 2011

scheduled through Jan. 20. Responding to the Souto statement, Burgess said, “I respect Sen. Souto’s passion. In December, the administration put out a proposed list of projects and how to spend available money with limited resources. “Sen. Souto understands the fiscal constraints the county faces. While there are projects across all commission districts, there are limits,” he continued. “No projects will be included or excluded without the final approval of the board of county commissioners.” Souto said that the proposed BBC program by Burgess contained projects “never approved by the voters of Miami-Dade County, while you are delaying projects approved democratically by the voters and taxpayers. “I have served in the legislative level of state and county government as a Florida senator, state representative and county commissioner for more than 25 years and have never seen the executive branch ignore a legislative mandate,” he declared. “I think it is time to clear up this blurry line between the legislative policy-making branch of government and the administrative branch,” Souto said, adding he intended to ask the county attorney “to draft the appropriate charter language to conform our local government legislative process to the state and federal model.”


January 25 - 31, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Zoning Board â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;solvesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; parking dilemma? Michael Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR

AROUND TOWN Overc rowded parking conditions caused Community Council 12 to wind up as traffic engineers at the boardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest zoning meeting. To settle a conflict of parking on neighboring streets, the East Kendall ZAB â&#x20AC;&#x153;permittedâ&#x20AC;? conditions that will require no parking sign installations, policing and even traffic direction during primary services conducted at the Alpha and Omega Church on Miller Road. Those specifications accompanied the boardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approval of a new parking garage with ingress/egress limitations, all to keep residents in the Miller Drive - SW 77th Court area at least somewhat mollified over the expansion of church facilities to include a multi-level parking structure. Truth is, Church officials, their attorney and architect spent several months in collaboration with the Miami-Dade Planning

Department staff to work out an agreeable solution to the parking jam-ups, regularly occurring during Sunday services and holiday events. Council 12 members have at times bent over backwards to try to settle issues between institutional property owners with expansion plans that have often become intrusive to established neighborhoods. The decision to incorporate parking and traffic cop requirements into conditional exceptions to required zoning seemed even a new departure for this Council that admittedly works industriously and conscientiously to settle issues at a local level, relieving County Commissioners of a great deal of resident complaints. While some might question the legality of incorporating such conditions into zoning conditions for any given property (legally speaking), no one can dispute the Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts to adjudicate a touchy issue with equal concerns for both sides by fashioning a compromise that will eventually will work out to the satisfaction of all. Winding up its business for the night, Council 12 gave two of its newest members extra work by electing Jose Garciga as its new Chair who, very likely at age 25, is the

          

 

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PUBLISHER .................................................................................................................................. Grant Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR .....................................................................................................................Michael Miller EDITOR.................................................................................................................................. David Berkowitz WRITERS, COLUMNISTS.............................................................. Ron Beasley, Kenneth Bluh, Robert Hamilton, Linda Rodriguez-Bernfeld, Gary Alan Ruse, Lee Stephens, Al Sunshine, Richard Yager ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES..........................................................Albie Barnes, Beatriz Brandfon, Roberta Bergman, Celia Canabate, Diane Chasin, Henry Chau, Sharon Christian, Cecile Fanfani, Diane Maddox, Denzel Miles, Ann Robbins-Udel, Fara Sax, Lori Schwadron, Diane Sedona Schiller, Walter White LEGAL ADVERTISING ..................................................................................................................... Georgia Tait BOOKKEEPING ............................................................................................................................ Jesus Toledo PROOF DEPARTMENT....................................................................................................................Isabel Vavrek GRAPHIC ARTISTS ......................................... Catalina Roca, Isabel Ortega, Vera Salom, Sergio Yanes PUBLISHER EMERITUS......................................................................................................................................... Ron Miller MIAMI COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS Aventura News, Biscayne Bay Tribune, Coral Gables News, Cutler Bay News, Doral Tribune, Homestead News, Kendall Gazette, Miami Beach News, Miami Gardens Tribune, Palmetto Bay News, Opa Locka News, Pinecrest Tribune, South Miami News, Sunny Isles Beach Sun We will not return solicited or unsolicited editorial material including stories, columns and or photographs. Please make sure that you have duplicate copies of the material.

youngest ZAB Chairman in Florida. A member of a local architectural firm and a graduate of Columbus High and FIU, Garciga is high on adopting LEED (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Greenâ&#x20AC;?) standards within local construction. Veteran Atty. Jose Valdes was elected vice-chair, a post he previously held as well as chairing the board. Long-time Continental Park resident, Albert Harum-Alvarez, hosts a radio talk show each week on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. Listeners can â&#x20AC;&#x153;telephone inâ&#x20AC;? live at 305-541-2350 to join Albert and guests in discussions of current issues at Listen305 on 880AM radio. Recent broadcast highlighted our veteran columnist R. Kenneth Bluh of Community Newspapers on the topic: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is Our County Commission Haunted?â&#x20AC;? Newly-installed Commission Chair Joe A. Martinez celebrates a â&#x20AC;&#x153;topping outâ&#x20AC;? ceremony of the Cuban Memorial, providing a permanent home to a monument that has been part of Miami-Dade for almost a decade. Supporters of the memorialâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s construction can witness the final assembly of the obeliskâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s summit, signifying a milestone in the structureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s completion. The event takes place at Florida International

University near the campusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; stadium on SW 114 Avenue, at 6 p.m., Friday, January 28. Commissioner Marttinez and Audrey M. Edmonson were sworn in to their new offices during a brief installation ceremony as Chairman and Vice Chairwoman of the Commission before a day-long January 20 meeting. Both were elected November 12, 2010 for two-year terms (through 2012) but Joe has now cast his hat into a potential race for County Mayor, if Mayor Carlos Alvarez gets the boot in the coming recall election. Both Alvarez and Martinez have long-time Kendall roots, so it is with some regret that folks here see these well-liked â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;polsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; from our area continue warring on county business. Thought for the Day: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what we do consistently. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Anthony Robbins

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


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January 25 - 31, 2011

Caring for an aging, ill parent is full-time job BY ANTHONY ACEVEDO

Director, The Visiting Angels

This is one of a series by West Kendall Business Association members providing helpful advice to readers. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re rushing out of the office on a weeknight hoping to get your daughter to soccer practice on time, help another with homework, and cook dinner, too. Then your cell phone rings. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your pharmacy. Two prescriptions your father immediately needs are ready for pick up (or your momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neighbor calls to inform you that sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fallen again and needs you â&#x20AC;&#x153;right awayâ&#x20AC;?). If any of those scenarios sound familiar, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve joined the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sandwich Generation.â&#x20AC;? The term refers to adults with families who find themselves caring for parents as well as their own offspring. According to the National Family Caregiver Survey, 44 percent of Americans aged 45-55 have aging parents or in-laws, as well as children under 21. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Caring for an aging or ill parent is a full-time job that can take a toll on the caregiver. Add to that the demands of your job, lost time at the job plus your immediate familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs, and chances are youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to need assistance,â&#x20AC;? says Richard Bitner of Visiting Angels, a national network of franchised non-medical senior homecare agencies. The company provides senior homecare to help elderly and older adults continue to live in their homes. Caring, experienced home caregivers provide up to 24-hour care in the comfort of a clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own home.

The company provides senior homecare to help elderly and older adults continue to live in their homes. Caring, experienced home caregivers provide up to 24-hour care in the comfort of a clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own home. In addition to offering joyful companionship, Visiting Angels provide a vital link in patient care. Although non-medical caregivers, they become an important link between the patient, the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family and doctor. Caregivers also do light housekeeping, run errands, prepare meals or shop â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all providing a respite for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sandwich Generationâ&#x20AC;? families dealing with a loved oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s care â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and who cannot use a caring, helpful hand themselves.

Since 2005, Anthony Acevedo has been the director of Visiting Angels, a senior homecare agency whose staff members are also trained as Certified Dementia Care Professionals with the Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Foundation of America. For information, visit online at <www.visitingangels.com> or call 800-365-4189.


January 25 - 31 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Start of new year finds prices ticking skywards

Al Sunshine CBS MONEY WATCH It seems since the start of the new year, wherever we look we’re seeing higher prices at local checkout counters and when we open our bills in the mail. It seems that rising production costs and higher gas prices are impacting everyone’s budgets. So how can we beat these rising costs? There are several practical ways we can get a handle on our family finances. For starters, look for bulk food bargains and discount coupons. Consider better meal planning based on weekly specials. However, don’t buy something on sale that you may not really use. All you need to do is check your old gas bills to see fuel prices are rising again. Unleaded regular already is approaching $3.30 a gallon nationally and it is even higher around South Florida gas stations. You can stretch your gas mileage by taking extra weight out of your car, clean out the trunk and make sure your vehicle is well maintained and the tires are inflated properly. Residential electric bills always are a problem. But over the winter, you can turn off your air conditioning or turn up the thermostat and even open the windows to cut back electric bills. You also can save money by lowering the temperature in hot water heaters. That way they won’t have to use so much electricity. COSTLY CRUNCH It’s won’t be long until all our holiday shopping bills start coming due if you were one of the millions of people who used credit cards online or at the malls. Likewise, there also is the federal income

tax deadline, this year postponed until Monday, Apr. 18. So what’s the bottom line to ensure you’re ready for it all? Howard Dvokin of Consolidate Credit Counseling Services says, “Go through and organize all your financial papers. Start fixing your financial problems now or you could be facing even more problems over the next year or so.” Yet, for most of us, better managing our money sounds a lot easier than it actually may be. Here is a quick and easy plan for double checking your financial bottom line: Now is the time to organize your tax records to get ready for this year’s Apr. 18 tax deadline. At the same time, start updating your financial balance sheet to put down, on paper, how much you earn compared to how much you spend and owe. Next double-check the interest rates of credit cards, mortgages and car payments to see if you can refinance at lower rates. Then start going over your investments, paying special attention to your blend between savings, stocks and 401k retirement accounts. And don’t forget about doublechecking your insurance needs to make sure you are not over-spending on health, car or homeowners insurance. If you rely on just paying minimum credit card balances, or moving money around between bank accounts, some financial insiders say those banking fees are starting to rise. “We’re absolutely going to see higher costs for credit cards, ATM’s or possibly even balance calls,” Dvokin warns. “They’re going to ‘fee’ us to death!” For more information on home budgeting, go online to <www.fpanet.org/>. Watch Al Sunshine’s “Money Watch” reports Monday-Friday beginning at noon. You may find Al’s blog at cbsMiami.com.

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January 25 - 31, 2011

Commissioner kicks off annual Small Business Grant Program BY VERONICA C. BUIE

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss has announced, as in past years, qualified small business owners throughout District 9 will have the opportunity to apply for financial assistance provided by the Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program. Small businesses that have not received a grant award in prior years are eligible to apply and can pick up grant applications through Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at either of Commissioner Moss’ offices. District North Office is located in the South Dade Government Center, 10710 SW 211 St. Suite 206 in Cutler Bay, and the District South Office, 1634 NW Sixth Ave. in Florida City. All small businesses applying must be located in District 9, show proof of having been in business for at least one year, confirm that the business name on the application matches the one on the business license and meet all other eligibility requirements. Grants will be awarded up

to $5,000 and can be used to purchase equipment, supplies, advertising and marketing, inventory, building liability insurance, security and to make minor improvements and renovations. The Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program was created to provide financial and technical assistance to qualified small businesses that are approved for funding. “In a time of financial uncertainties and economic challenges, we, the MiamiDade Board of County Commissioners, are pleased to be able to offer assistance to the real economic engines of this country, our small businesses,” Commissioner Moss said. “I invite and encourage small businesses throughout District 9 to take full advantage of this assistance and opportunity.” For more information on Commissioner Moss’ 2011 Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program call 305234-4938 or visit the Miami-Dade County website at <www.miamidade.gov>.

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January 25 - 31, 2011

Celebs to learn if they’re smarter than 5th graders

Pictured are students during last year’s event. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY GARY ALAN RUSE

Last year’s special event for fun and learning at Whispering Pines Elementary School, 18929 SW 89 Rd. in Cutler Bay, “So you think you’re smarter than a 5th grader?” is back for a second go-round with a new set of brave celebrity contestants. Scheduled for the school’s cafetorium on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m., this year’s cast of adults testing their mettle against the kids will be (in alphabetical order): Horace Cox, Technical Sergeant with the United States Air Force; Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman, Miami-Dade County Public Schools vice chair; Maria Lastre, Whispering Pines Elementary fifth grade teacher; Tim Meerbott, 2010 mayoral candidate for the Town of Cutler Bay, and David Sutta, CBS 4 News reporter. Alicia Attong Mendes, Alphabet Soup Booster Club chair and this year’s event coordinator, said the school felt compelled to bring the mock game show back again. “This event was a huge success last year, thanks to the participation of our contestants and contributions from local business-

es,” Mendes said. “More importantly, the children had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed meeting local ‘celebrities.’ We hope that this year’s event will be as successful and fun for everyone.” Admission for the show is $3, but kids under age 5 are free. Renee Y. Espinosa, an active PTA member at the school, said that the event began last year as an idea for a fundraiser and a way of including the community. “The production was a ‘midnight’ idea,” Espinosa said. “We felt this would be a great opportunity.” It worked out well on every level, according to Mendes. “Last year’s event raised over $1,000 and helped three of the school’s student committees,” Mendes said. “Those same committees are joining forces again this year in hopes of a fun-filled evening for the whole family.” Space is limited to 350 people, but tickets will be sold at the door at 6 p.m. if available. For more information call the school at 305-238-7382.

Read us online: www.communitynewspapers.com


January 25 - 31, 2011

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Beautiful 3 bdrm/ 2 bath Cutler Bay home, 2,431 sq ft, large bdrms, very spacious family room/ kitchen area. Oversized lot with great backyard and room to park a boat. 2 car garage.

Great opportunity in Pinecrest! 4 bdrm/3 bath, set in lush Devonwood community. New impact windows, large living spaces, split bdrm plan. Pool/patio, 2 car garage.

$325,000

$695,000

20000 Cutler Ct.

8108 SW 172 Te.

3 bdrm/3 bath, updated kitchen, large family area with room to create fourth bedroom. 2,732 sq. ft, 13,019 sq ft lot, screened patio. 2 car garage.

Formal, two story, 4 bdrm/ 3 bath, 3,067 sq. ft., gated home in Groves of Old Cutler community. Expansive pool and patio. 2 car garage.

$315,000

$545,000

7318 Monaco St.

13001 Nevada St.

Contemporary, two story, 5 bdrm/ 5.5 bath plus office, 6,138 sq. ft., remodeled kitchen, unique pool/patio. 2 car garage. Also available for lease.

Rare opportunity to customize existing 3/2 or build dream home, 2,956 sq. ft., on an oversized lot in Gables by the Sea. 110 ft. sea wall.

$2,495,000

$1,550,000

6602 SW 56 St

8505 SW 109 St.

Live in the exclusive, gated community of Montebello. Spacious and elegant, 4 bedroom/ 3 bath home, built in 2001. Open family room/kitchen. Great location.

Unique home, total of 6 bdrm/ 4.5 bath, 4,565 sq. ft, essentially two separate homes connected. Perfect for family with in-laws or live in nanny. Screened pool/patio. 2 car garage.

For rent $3,500/month

$699,000

550 SOUTH DIXIE HIGHWAY, CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA 33146 305.329.7744 â&#x20AC;˘ KERN.D@EWM.COM


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Giant scale model airplanes set to fill South Dade skies As many as 60 pilots from all over Florida and as far north as Canada are expected to compete in the 2011 AMP’S Aerobatic Challenge.

BY LEE STEPHENS

Giant-scale model aerobatic airplanes are expected to take to the skies of South Miami-Dade County on of Feb. 19 and 20. As many as 60 pilots from all over Florida and as far north as Canada are set to compete in five different categories ranging in complexity from Basic to Unlimited. The event, which is almost free to the public (a $2 per carload donation), will take place at AMP’S flying facilities located two miles west of Krome Avenue on SW 168th Street (201st Avenue and 168th

Street, the entrance is on the left). The 2011 AMP’S Aerobatic Challenge is sanctioned by the International Miniature Aerobatics Club (IMAC) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). These radiocontrolled giant-scale model airplanes compete following the same rules and regulations as their full-size counterparts. Pilots are awarded points for precisely following a series of aerobatic maneuvers designed by the International Miniature Aerobatics Club (IMAC). The five competition classes range from Basic, where any size model airplane can be entered, up to the

Unlimited class in which you can see 42 percent size exact replicas of modern aerobatic airplanes with wingspans over 10 feet and sometimes exceeding $10,000 in value. Pilots compete for plaques and prizes, awarded to the first three positions in each class, and for points towards the IMAC Southeast Region Championship. In addition, pilots enter into raffles for valuable prizes donated by some of the country’s leading model airplane manufacturers. The public is invited to attend this event where the whole family can enjoy a thrilling day of exiting competition while

relaxing in South Florida’s winter climate. Food and prizes will be available throughout both days. Competition is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. A freestyle competition will be flown at 1 p.m. Sunday with the awards presentation at 3 p.m. For additional event information and directions visit AMP’S website at <http://amps-rc.com>, contact contest coordinator Tony Fandino at 305-2168580, or send email to <tony@ajfnet.com>.


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January 25 - 31, 2011

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Page 15

Columbus HS senior on quest to empower other students BY CRISTINA CRUZ

Christopher Columbus High School student, Philip Koenig, is no ordinary high school senior. Koenig’s main mission is to help ensure that local youth achieve success in their lives. He formed the non-profit organization Leading Miami in 2009 through which he helps children at the middle school level, where he believes they are most impressionable. In just over a year his organization has partnered with seven schools, held 43 workshops, and helped more than 150 children. He already has purchased the website domains for “Leading Boston” and “Leading New York” because of his future plans of taking the program nationally. He lives and breathes his organization’s mission and has taken it on with great zeal, focus and determination. This passionate and caring 17-year-old carries a to-do list in his shirt pocket, visits members of the school’s administration regularly to generate ideas, and has been able to instill his mission in other students who have become committed to the organization. Dubbed “Harry Potter” when he first arrived at Columbus from England due to his British accent and resemblance to the young on screen wizard, Koenig does seem to have worked magic in getting such an important program up and running so quickly. The mission of Leading Miami is to empower middle school students in Miami to become leaders in society. The diverse team accomplishes its mission by regularly offering workshops for students at their schools and also providing hands-on experiences for them. Koenig created the curriculum for the workshops himself. They are focused on five subject areas: • Self-Realization (includes the identification of strengths and weaknesses); • Team Leadership; • Social Responsibility and Community Involvement; • Professional Development (includes communication skills/professional attire

Philip Koenig (rear center) is pictured with Leading Miami participants from West Miami Middle School. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

advice, etc.), and • Igniting Your Passion. In the last workshop students use all the skills and tools that they learned to create their own projects and clubs. Whether they enjoy running, acting or playing guitar, students are given the support and funding necessary to share their passion with the community. “As long as our students have an interest in pursuing their passion, Leading Miami will work vigorously to guide them,” Koenig said. Leading Miami’s first partnership was initiated in 2010 with South Miami Middle School, triggering the team to expand and involve more schools such as Ponce de Leon, W.R. Thomas, Glades, West Miami, Riviera,

and Everglades K-8. Recently the program has branched out into different areas. Under team member and Columbus senior Giancarlo Ghinatti, Leading Miami is working on a middle school debate league with aims to improve academic performance and critical thinking skills. A tournament to take place in March will include some 100 competitors. Recently, Koenig learned that Leading Miami was chosen by the Children’s Trust Youth Advisory Committee to participate in the Combat Youth Violence Program. Koenig said that he decided to start Leading Miami when he learned of the high dropout rates in some areas of the country. He thought the problem could be helped if students were addressed in middle school by successful high school students to whom they could relate. “Philip is a truly exceptional and enterprisingly gifted young man,” said Pedro GarciaCasals, Columbus’ assistant principal. “He is one of those rare individuals who can muster personal talents and resources in bringing to fruition the stuff of imagination. In creating Leading Miami, he saw a need, explored ways of addressing it, and set to it with passion. I expect much from Philip.”

An introduction to Judaism for children of unaffiliated families

Children from Kindergarten–8th Grade will discover the treasure of Judaism — from values to vocabulary, stories and holidays, tastes and sounds.

Five Saturdays 10:30 am–Noon beginning January 29th This program is open to all children in the community. Temple membership is not required.

For registration or information, contact Joy Schandler, 305.667.6667 ext. 123, or email jschandler@tbam.org.

The Richard and Janet Yulman Campus • 5950 N. Kendall Drive, Pinecrest, FL 33156 • tbam.org


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January 25 - 31, 2011

Coach Booher leads PHS boys swim team to victory again

Miami Palmetto High School boys swim team members receive their trophy. (Photo courtesy of Bryn-Alan Portraits by Prestige.)

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BY GARY ALAN RUSE

Palmetto Bay resident David Booher clearly has a winning approach to youth athletics and as coach of the boys swimming program at Miami Palmetto High School that has paid off in a big way. For the second straight year the boys swim team of garnered first place in the Class 3A State Championship. Held on Nov. 13 at the Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando, the meet brought teams together from all over Florida. “The funny thing was that we also won the championship last year on the 13th, on an earlier day of the week,” Coach Booher said. “I told the boys that was kind of ironic. I’m just overjoyed and ecstatic. I’m very proud of the boys winning again this time. “We lost so many good swimmers last year to graduation, and they’re all in college now, so for our team to be able to come back and win it the year after is amazing. All the boys swam really strong throughout the year, and when it came time for district, regional and state, and they really ended up doing well in their relays. One of our boys had the fastest time ever posted.” There were more than 40 students —

boys and girls — who participated during the year, and 11 boys and seven girls that were in the state meet. “The state level is the highest they go, but they publish their times in the national magazines and there’s a ‘mythical’ national champion chosen based on the best times of each team, but it’s all done on paper — they don’t have a real swim-off or anything,” Booher said. “One of our boys was acknowledged at the national level last year. We’ll have to see how we do this time.” Booher is just in his fourth year coaching at Miami Palmetto, so state championships two years in a row seems all the more impressive. He had previously been at Coral Reef High. He had a special reason for moving to Palmetto and to be extra proud. “It’s my alma mater, so I really wanted to come over and coach here,” Booher said. “The championships are not only a first for our school, I think it’s the first time any Miami team has done it since 1967. And we’ve had to do it practicing in borrowed pools. Some of the other teams around the state have their own pools on campus.” Booher said that he thinks they have a good start on a great team for next year as well.


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FDOT to conduct public meeting on Red Road project The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Six will conduct a public meeting about a roadway project on State Road 959 (SW 57th Avenue/Red Road) from SW Eighth Street to SW 24th Street (Coral Way). The meeting will be on Jan. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the City of West Miami Community Center, 901 SW 62 Ave. The public will have the opportunity to view the project plans and the graphic displays from 6 to 7 p.m. A PowerPoint presentation will start at 7 p.m. FDOT representatives will be available before and after the presentation to discuss the project and answer questions. For more information, contact Marta Rodriguez, public information specialist, at 305-470-5873 or by email at <marta.rodriguez@dot.state.fl.us>.

SOUTH FLORIDA HISPANIC CHAMBER TO HOLD MEMBERSHIP LUNCHEON The South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its first general membership luncheon of the year on Jan. 28, beginning at noon, at Casa Juancho Restaurant, 2436 SW Eighth St. The guest speaker for the luncheon is Mark Spiegelman, general manager for AT&T Advertising Solutions. Ticket prices are $45 for members and $65 for non-members. For RSVP information, call 305-534-1903.

MIAMI DADE COLLEGE TO PRESENT ‘THE BIRTH OF COFFEE’ EXHIBITION The renowned Art Gallery System at Miami Dade College (MDC) will present a documentary photographic exhibition about one of the world’s most popular beverages when “The Birth of Coffee” exhibition opens on Feb. 3. The exhibition will be located at the Wolfson Campus’ Centre Gallery, 300 NE Second Ave., Centre Gallery, Building 1, third floor. The exhibition continues through Apr. 9. Harvested in more than 50 countries, coffee is the world’s second largest commodity. Yet despite its widespread popularity, the coffee enjoyed by most people today was planted on a small, single-family farm, where coffee is not as much a drink as a way of life. The exhibition is sponsored by Gavina Gourmet Coffee. The Centre Gallery is open TuesdayFriday, from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, contact AGS at 305237-7700, <galleries@mdc.edu>. For information on the artist and author, visit <www.birthofcoffee.com>. SORENSON TO SPEAK ABOUT HER TIME AS COMMISSIONER Former Miami-Dade Commissioner Katy Sorenson will speak on Thursday, Feb. 1,

COMMUNITY NEWS BRIEFS 7:30 p.m., at the Alper JCC Futernick Family Art Gallery, located at 11155 SW 112 Ave. Sorenson will share her impressions on changes in the community during her 16 years on the commission, her greatest triumphs and disappointments, and her new role as a lecturer on excellence and ethics in government at the University of Miami. Bring your questions, as this is certain to be a lively and informative evening. This program is co-sponsored by The Illuminating U and the Alper JCC. Refreshments are at 7 p.m., speaker at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $5. For information call 305-217-9000, ext. 264, or log on to <www.alperjcc.org>.

LAUREN’S LIGHT TO PRESENT FOLK SINGER ELLEN BUKSTEL Lauren’s Light, a leading national nonprofit organization that serves families with young children in which a parent has cancer, invites the community to hear the award-winning songwriter and folk singer Ellen Bukstel

on Feb. 3, 7 p.m., at 3390 Mary St. in Coconut Grove. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Purchase tickets through <www.laurenslight.org> or call 305-285-1202. For more information, call 305-285-1202

MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING TO HOST FIRST ‘WALK LIKE M.A.D.D.’ Come join MADD members as they host their first annual “Walk Like MADD,” a 5K walk or run on Feb. 5, from 4 to 7:30 p.m., at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, 1 Speedway Blvd. This family event will raise funds to provide the community with alcohol education programs for youth and adults, victim advocacy and the latest scientifically proven DUI prevention program, “The Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence.” Enjoy live music, food and much more.

––––––– Continued on next page

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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For more information, visit online at <www.walklikemadd.org> or call 305-2733744.

CELTIC MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS CONCERT ON FEB. 6 AT SOUTH DADE HIGH The Homestead Community Concert’s third concert of the season will highlight Celtic music that tells stories, including those of Joan of Arc and Sir Francis Drake. The concert is on Feb. 6, 2:30 p.m., at the new South Dade High Auditorium, 28401 SW 167 Ave. Using a sweeping soundscape, Coyote Run engages its audience members in story after story, whisking them away to celebrate the ancient Celtic springtime holiday of Beltane — May Day; march side by side with the Scottish honor guard of Joan of Arc; roll out the guns against Sir Francis Drake; snatch back a faerie abductee or defy the universe with the bold words of Invictus, the Unconquered. For those who do not have season tickets, the ticket price is $25 for adults and $5 for full-time students. Tickets will be available at the box office. For more information go online to <wwwhomesteadconcerts.com> or call 305235-8818 or 305-253-6620.

UM DEPARTMENT OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES TO DISCUSS ‘FAITH, POLITICS AND MEDIA’ The University of Miami Department of Religious Studies presents “A Conversation about Faith, Politics and the Media” on Feb. 7, 7 p.m., in the UM Clarke Recital Hall, 5501 San Amaro Dr. The panel will be moderated by William S. Green, professor of Religious Studies who is UM’s senior vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Education. Panelists include nationally known figures such as Amy Sullivan, Dr. Randy Brinson and Eric Sapp. Free parking is available. For more information visit the website at <www.as.miami.edu/religion/publiclife> or call 305)-284-4733. MOVIE ‘RACE TO NOWHERE’ TO BE SCREENED IN GABLES Sunrise School of Miami Parent Association will host a must-see film for parents, educators and policy makers in the community, Race to Nowhere, which takes aim at the high-stakes, high pressure culture that has invaded schools and our children’s lives. The screening will take place on Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m., at the Coral Gables Congregational Church, located at 3010 De Soto Blvd. Immediately following the screening, a panel with educators, parents and healthcare professionals moderated by David Lawrence

Jr., will discuss how we prepare our youth to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens. Ticket prices are $10 if purchased in advance online at <http://rtnsunriseschool.eventbrite.com> or $15 at the door For additional information regarding the film go to <www.racetonowhere.com>.

OPEN CASTING CALL SET FOR NEW REALITY SHOW There will be an open casting call for a new reality show, titled Test of Love, on Feb. 19, from noon to 6 p.m., at the Coral Gables Country Club, 997 N. Greenway Dr. This heart-racing television series will place 12 engaged couples in a string of rigorous challenges for the chance to win the ultimate prize, a luxury wedding at the newly renovated Coral Gables Country Club. You may register for the casting call online at testoflovetv.com, or you may register in person at the Coral Gables Country Club. For more information, call 305-392-0819. EVENT PLANNERS, COME EXPERIENCE ‘SAFARI SNEAK PEAK’ AT ZOOMIAMI If you’re looking for that unique fun and elegant venue to plan an event for your clients, look no farther. You can find it at ZooMiami, located at 12400 SW 152 St. On Wednesday, Feb. 23, or Thursday, May 12, from 9 to 11 a.m., join the ZooMiami Group Sales Team on a complimentary

January 25 - 31, 2011

“Safari Sneak Peek” showcasing exotic event locations throughout the zoo. Visit the most beautiful and popular areas in which to host an event with wild animals and lush vegetation as your background. Pre-registration is required so contact Terry Mallo, special events manager, to reserve your spot by phone at 305-251-0400, ext. 84939, or by email at <mallot@miamidade.gov>.

HEAD START/EARLY HEAD START NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS The Miami-Dade Community Action Agency’s Head Start/ Early Head Start program now is accepting applications for the 2011-12 program year. Miami-Dade Community Action Agency’s (CAA) Head Start/Early Head Start Program for 2011-12 will begin in August. Applications are being accepted until Mar. 18 for pregnant women and children ages 2 months to 5 years (after Sept. 1). The program also provides services to families with children who are homeless. Applications are available at all Head Start/Early Head Start centers and CAA Community Service Centers throughout Miami-Dade County. Applications and a list of Head Start Centers may be downloaded from the county’s portal at <www.miamidade.gov/caa/hsrecruitment.asp>. For additional information or to locate a Head Start Center in your neighborhood, call 786-469-4622.


January 25 - 31, 2011

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How To Feel Comfortable About Your Investment Decisions By Rick Tonkinson

Certified Financial Planner CFP®

After 18 years of being a money manager, I have consistently heard how many people do not feel comfortable with their investment decisions. Have you ever second-guessed the investment decisions you have made? Do words like foolish, dumb, wrong, confused, guess, uncertain, frustrated, and overwhelmed describe your feelings? You are not alone in feeling uncomfortable about decisions you have made. Would you like to feel better about your investment decisions? If the answer is yes, then here are some basic steps to consider:

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night. Don’t rely on a sales rep to tell you what your investment profile is because the sales rep may adjust your profile to fit the suitability of the investment they are trying to sell you.

Focus on the Purpose of Your Investment Do you need to put money away for a rainy day? Make a “To Do List” of items that you want the money to attain such as vacation, education or wedding. Give each item a specific cost such as $5,000 for a vacation. Determine which item motivates you to attain it. Motivation that is ratcheted up is called passion. If you find a passion for an item, that will be your top priority. How quickly you want to attain the item will help determine what investment to consider. Again decide on the specific purpose of the money and then consider your options. Be Realistic with what You have to Invest As an “investor,” you need to accept that you are prepared to lose part or all of your investment. If this risk is not comfortable for you, then you are a saver. There are times when people have borrowed on the equity of their home and invest in the stock market because the potential gains offset the risk of losing their home. People make reckless decisions so that they can attain the item they want quicker than what is realistic. Plan so that if it takes a year to attain an item, you give yourself two years to attain it. If you attain the item in one year, that’s good but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make your deadline. The important thing is to keep working toward what you want. His firm, Rick Tonkinson & Associates, Inc. is a South Florida based company with offices at 100 Almeria Avenue, Suite 310, Coral Gables, Florida 33134, offers financial planning services to many in the community with a specialty in assisting the middle class. For more information, or to schedule an initial meeting at your business or home, call 866-323-8326 or (305)447-6617. Also visit the website at HYPERLINK "http://www.ricktonkinson.com" www.ricktonkinson.com. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, Rick Tonkinson, Registered Representatives. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., Rick Tonkinson, Investment Advisor Representatives. Rick Tonkinson & Associates, Inc. and the Securities America companies are not affiliated.


January 25 - 31, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Biscayne National Park announces Jones Lagoon Canoe Adventures BY GARY BREMEN

This winter and spring, Biscayne National Park and the park’s concessionaire (Biscayne National Underwater Park Inc.) will offer all-day ranger-guided canoe trips to some of the park’s most pristine locations, including Adams Key, Totten Key, Hurricane Creek and Jones Lagoon. The trip will be offered to experienced paddlers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 29, Feb. 26, Mar. 19, Apr. 2 and Apr. 16. The cost of the trip is $35 per person, which includes boat transportation to Adams Key, a shared canoe, paddle and a life jacket. Space is limited; reservations may be made by calling 305-2307275, ext. 000. The islands surrounding Jones Lagoon have been witness to the activities of pirates, rumrunners and hardy settlers, not the least of whom were Israel Lafayette Jones; his wife,

Moiselle, and their two sons, King Arthur and Sir Lancelot. For nearly 100 years, members of this pioneering African-American family survived and thrived in the crystal clear waters that now make up the southern part of Biscayne National Park. Lancelot Jones is familiar to many park visitors because he was the subject of the Biscayne National Park segment on the 2009 PBS series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea by filmmaker Ken Burns. Participants are responsible for their own water, sunblock, insect repellent and lunch. Binoculars, cameras, sunglasses, a hat and other comfort/convenience items are encouraged, but all items have the potential to get wet. Trips depart from the park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center, located at 9700 SW 328 St., nine miles east of Homestead. Call 305-230-7275, ext. 000, for more information.

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January 25 - 31, 2011

Chiropractic Associates’ patients are losing weight with hCG Diet BY NANCY EAGLETON

Chiropractic Associates, Inc. is helping patients lose weight and keep it off with the popular hCG Diet program. Patients who have partnered with the doctors at Chiropractic Associates have had positive results, losing about a pound a day in their first two weeks on the plan. Joseph Gambardella, DC, owner of Chiropractic Associates, noted that the hCG Diet has become a leader in the weight loss industry, helping millions Dr. Joseph Gambardella (left) and Dr. Todd Brown offer the hCG Diet and a of people achieve their complete wellness approach at Chiropractic Associates Inc. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– weight loss goals safely in husband, Nelson, went on the hCG diet a short amount of time. The hCG Diet consists of taking oral together. She lost 14 pounds in 26 days and hCG daily and adhering to a very low calo- he lost 20. “I was skeptical because I’m not a rie diet throughout a 26- or 40-day plan, depending on the patient’s weight loss dieter,” Denise Paganacci said. “What’s amazing is that not only did I lose weight, goals. The diet is based on Dr. A.T.W. but I came off of three medicines I was takSimeons’ 1950s research of human chori- ing for high blood pressure.” Patients on the hCG diet also can work onic gonadotropin, (hCG), a hormone produced in pregnancy and found in both men with Dr. Gambardella and Dr. Brown to and women. Dr. Simeons’ research develop an exercise plan to help maintain revealed a significant breakthrough on the their healthy weight and get toned. Chiropractic Associates’ gym area is body’s ability to burn fat. “When the proper amount of hCG hor- equipped with free weights, weight mone is delivered daily, it triggers the body machines, Physio balls and more to build to release and burn stored fat and delivers strength and muscle. “We train patients to take an active role the nutrition the body needs to supplement the very low calorie diet,” Dr. Gambardella in their well-being by developing a wellsaid. “In other words, hCG utilizes fat rounded fitness plan that provides maxireserves and helps you slim down without mum results,” Dr. Gambardella explained. Dr. Gambardella has been practicing chifeeling hungry all the time.” The superior support offered by Dr. ropractic medicine for 12 years. He earned Gambardella and Dr. Todd Brown, associ- his bachelor’s degree from Villanova ate doctor and clinic director at University before graduating with high Chiropractic Associates, is pinnacle to the honors from Life University College of success of the diet program. The doctors Chiropractic in Georgia. Dr. Gambardella offer support meetings and one-on-one is a contributing author of the No. 1 bestconsults that help patients develop a seller, The World’s Best Kept Health Secret healthy eating plan that includes proper Revealed, Vol. III. Dr. Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in portions of fruit, vegetables, lean meats, International Business at Ohio State fish and poultry. Chiropractic Associates patient Diane University and earned his degree as Levi lost 30 pounds in 40 days on the hCG Associate Doctor with high honors from Life University College of Chiropractic. diet. Chiropractic Associates is located at “I’ve been dieting for years and would always hit a wall,” Levi explained. “What’s 7170 SW 117 Ave. The center is open different about this plan is that I was not Monday through Friday. For more information, call 305-598hungry all the time. It’s a strict regime, but if you follow the plan, it’s very rewarding.” 8788 or go online to <www.chiropracticasFirefighter Denise Paganacci and her sociatesinc.com>.


January 25 - 31, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 27

Stratiform Fitness-Miami now open near the Falls BY ROBIN WOLFE

Arthur Schlecht, the new owner of Stratiform Fitness-Miami, formerly known as Flex, is passionate about fitness, nutrition and health. When the former Palmetto Senior High student and commodities broker learned that the gym, located at 8815 SW 131 St., was for sale, he jumped at the opportunity to take this family-friendly fitness place to a new level. “I know fitness,” Schlecht said. “I’ve been a member of practically every gym and spa in Miami. Stratiform is like a big family fitness center. It’s like walking into a coffee shop, everyone is so friendly. There are no airs here.” Schlecht, a former University of Florida football player with a degree in Finance from FIU, understands that being healthy is key to living a good life. Always into sports and fitness, a few years ago Schlecht became out-of-shape and said he felt “disgusted with himself.” He went to Flex to train with former friend, baseball player and personal trainer Pete Fonesca. Fonesca knew about the connection between healthy eating and proper form. Flex became Schlecht’s “home away from home” for the next few years. When Fonesca learned that the gym was for sale, he mentioned it to Schlecht. The timing was right. Schlecht, who had sold his national commodities firm five years prior, was ready to clean it up and make it state-of-the-art. “I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. I have been so blessed and fortunate. I have a wonderful wife and two sons; now I want to make a real difference in other people’s lives,” he said. Schlecht worked with many gym members who provided their professional expertise to retrofit Stratiform, which is now ready and open to help people reach their 2011 health and fitness goals.

Pictured are gym owner Arthur Schlecht and certified personal trainers Pete Fonesca, Mo Soriano and Chuck Zies. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Members old and new will enjoy newly purchased state-of the-art equipment; new Nike Grind rubber floors, video and audio monitors; a high-tech cardio deck, and remodeled bathrooms with lockers. “Mo” Soriano, a 14-year personal trainer, said that he has seen families successfully incorporate “fitness” into their lives. “I’ve seen three generations of families grow up here,” Soriano said. “Families get to know each other and make working out a family affair. Stratiform offers something for every member of the family.” Schlecht has personally seen how fitness can help people overcome their troubles. “One member was having trouble with his teenage son. I told him that they need to do things together, father and son. So they started training together. The other day he expressed his thanks for the advice and

told me that his son is doing much better his boy felt so much better about himself.”

“Helping people makes me feel really good,” Schlecht said. The poor state of nutrition and general lack of fitness in the United States irks Schlecht and he hopes to do something about it. In addition to working with kids from local schools and colleges, one of Schlecht’s goals is to obtain grants that will enable him to create healthy fitness programs for underprivileged kids. “I want to make a positive difference in people’s lives,” he said. In addition to Wi-Fi, smoothies and health foods from Here Comes the Sun, Schlecht said his certified and insured trainers will offer complimentary sessions for an initial period and there is no rent for trainers and their clients who are members of the gym. Stratiform will offer Spinning, Yoga, Pilates, Cross Fit, Boot Camp and special classes for seniors. Yearly gym membership is $325; special rates are available for families, teachers, military personnel, fire and police. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 5 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.6 p.m., and Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Free parking is available. Call 786-429-1025 for information.


Page 28

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 25 - 31, 2011

Equus is Hyundai’s entry in large luxury car segment Ron Beasley LET’S TALK CARS Hats off to Hyundai for the new top-of-theline Equus, a stunningly beautiful and technologically excellent automobile. If you’ve been thinking about buying a Mercedes S Class sedan, Lexus LS 460 or a BMW 7 Series, but the price tags have kept your wallet in your pocket, then take a look at the Equus with a starting price of under $60,000. Hyundai has had the Equus on the production boards for several years as engineers worked to come up with the company’s initial offering in the large luxury car segment. With its European design, comfortable interior and leading edge automotive technology, the 2011 Equus is Hyundai’s signal to the world that it can engineer, design and build world class vehicles. Equus is offered in two models — Signature and Ultimate. Equus Signature has a starting price of $58,000 and comes with leather seating surfaces; Alcantara suede headliner; dual automat-

ic temperature control with air quality system; a 608-watt, 17-speaker Lexicon stereo system; heated and cooled front seats; heated steering wheel trimmed in wood and leather; illuminated scuff plates; illuminated door handles and door armrest, and all the bells and whistles you find in similar luxury sedans. Equus Ultimate, with a base price of $64,500, has everything that the Signature has and more, including separate rear seats that have elaborate massage technology, power headrests and footrests, separate entertainment controls and even a small refrigerated cooler in the center console. A forward-view camera allows for better visibility and a power trunk lid is standard. Equus is powered by Hyundai’s vaunted 4.6liter Tau V-8 engine with variable valve timing and mated to the six-speed ZF automatic transmission with a manual shift mode. The combination is amazingly quick, quiet and smooth and the handling is precise. The Equus is designed on what Hyundai calls its “Fluidic Sculpture” principle. Up front, the grille is taken from the Hyundai Genesis and it has been neatly integrated with the headlights, which wrap around and blend into the fenders. The shortened front overhang allows the auto-cornering HID headlights to swivel effectively as the car turns. Along the side the car has a fast roofline and a contour crease across the top of the front

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 25 - 31, 2011

Miami Science Museum gets $75,000 grant from Chase BY DAISY CABRERA

The Miami Science Museum (MiaSci) recently was awarded a $75,000 grant by Chase to implement the Girls SPICE (Science Program Inspiring Creative Exhibits) project. The grant will allow the museum to work with Charles R. Drew Middle School’s Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Program to implement an after school and summer program targeted to female students in grades 7-8. The Girls SPICE project addresses the need to cultivate diversity in preparing the next generation of female scientists. “Our nation’s need for a world-class science and technology workforce has never been greater, requiring that all members of our population have the opportunity and the resources to pursue successful science and technology-related studies and careers,” said Judy Brown, EdD, senior vice president of education, Miami Science Museum. “The Girls SPICE project addresses this need and will create a model for engaging middle school girls in science by utilizing

their interest in art to design and build museum exhibits related to science topics of interest to them,” she said. “We are honored to provide the Miami Science Museum with a grant of financial support to make science a part of the learning experience for young girls,” said Guillermo G. Castillo, president of Chase Commercial Banking in South Florida. “Engaging female students in science education is very much necessary if we want to provide the best opportunities for our work force to compete in a global market, and we look forward to seeing more female scientists in the future.” In 2010, JPMorgan Chase Foundation donated $4 million to Florida-based charities. Miami Science Museum is located at 3280 S. Miami Ave. The museum is open every day from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Admission is free for MiaSci members and children under 3; students (with valid ID), seniors (62 and older) and children 3-12, $10.95; adults are $14.95. Parking is free. For more information about the museum visit online at <www.miasci.org/blog> or call 305-646-4200.


January 25 - 31, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 31

‘Viva’ Classic Rock and Roll Fridays at Cauley Square BY SHERRY MILLER

Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village in South Miami-Dade County is providing an extraordinarily exciting show every Friday night through Feb. 25 with “Viva” Classic Rock and Roll. “Viva” performances are from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. in the village’s main courtyard providing ample seating for the audience’s listening enjoyment as well as dancing. There is no cover charge for the “Viva” show. Cash Bar and buffet will be available and reservations to attend must be made by calling direct to the Village Chalet Restaurant at 305258-8900. For aficionados of rock and roll, “Viva” is one of the few groups in the country that performs live music from the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. “We’re really looking forward to being able to showcase our group’s talents for South Florida audiences,” said “Viva” manager and keyboardist Paul Saca. “We feel we are the ‘heart and soul’ of classic rock.” Joining Saca in the “Viva” performing group are Kookie Gee, “The Professor,” on bass guitar and lead vocals; Heppi Pettit on lead guitar and vocals, and “Juli” del Valle

on drums and vocals. Known nationally for their outstanding fourpart harmonies with an emphasis on music from the ’50s and ’60s, “Viva” has the distinction of being recognized as the No. 1 classic rock ‘n’ roll band in Florida. The group has appeared as the opening act for many national recording stars such as The Little River Band, Three Dog Night, America, Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Mike Pinera and the Classic All Stars, Gim Blossom, Bad Company and The Village People. For more information on the group go online to <www.vivarockband.com>. For reservations and information on the Cauley Square Friday Show Nights with “Viva” Classic Rock and Roll call direct to 305-258-3543 or The Village Chalet restaurant at 305-258-8900. Reservations must be made for the “Viva.” Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village is located at 22400 Old Dixie Hwy. (just off US 1 at 224th Street). Cauley Square is open daily seven days a week, however the village’s shops are closed on Mondays. Entry and parking is free. For more information, visit online at <www.cauleysquare.com>.

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January 25 - 31, 2011

Neat Stuff setting the stage for fabulous Casino Night BY GABRIEL PINERES

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The non-for-profit organization Neat Stuff Inc. is ready to host its first Casino Night fundraising event on Jan. 29, from 7 to 11 p.m., at the newly renovated Coral Gables Country Club. The Casino Night is planned to be a fabulous night filled with “Las Vegas” style fun intended to help raise funds for an organization that aids South Florida youth. Neat Stuff was founded in 1995 with the mission to provide free new clothing and school uniforms to abused, neglected, abandoned and other at-risk children. Neat Stuff was created by local community child advocate Phyllis Krug who identified a critical need for children involved in the social services system. Today, under the leadership of executive director Franklin Monjarrez, the organization is the only agency of its kind in South Florida serving an average of 8,000 at-risk children and distributing over $700,000 worth of new clothes, school uniforms and accessories annually.

The Neat Stuff Casino Night is planned to be a spectacular affair. Fittingly the upscale, newly renovated Coral Gables Country Club was chosen for this event. Guests will experience a red carpet welcome complete with Las Vegas style showgirls, which are sure to set the mood for a “Sin City” inspired event. After ticketing, guests will receive their “play money” and enter the Coral Grand Ballroom and be transported to Las Vegas for one night. If the tables aren’t their fancy or just taking a break between bets guests are encouraged to take part in the fabulous silent and live auction. Music will fill the air and palates will be pleased as guests savor delicious hors d’oeuvres throughout the evening. The Neat Stuff Casino Night is sure to be a spectacular event but more importantly it is an event to bring people together for the welfare of less fortunate children in our community. Pre-paid tickets to the Neat Stuff Casino Night are $75 and $100 at the door. For more information on tickets send email to <casinonight@neatstuffhelpskids.org>.


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386 N.E. 191 Street, Miami, FL 33179

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“Free Estimates and Consultation”

ROOFING Steve Nagy Enterprises

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January 25 - 31, 2011


Kendall Gazette 1.25.2011  

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