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DEC. 28, 2010 - JAN. 3, 2011

Elliott Zack: Let the people decide incorporation issues

BY RICHARD YAGER

I

ncorporation is still “the best way to govern communities” says Elliott N. Zack, a 58-year resident of Miami-Dade County now serving his second four-year term on East Kendall’s Zoning Appeals Board. “The principle of democratic government rests with the people,” he emphasizes. As Community Council 12’s reelected chair, Zack misses the ZAB/Community Council’s non-zoning sessions formerly conducted quarterly when residents could discuss local matters with their representatives, including county officials. The meetings were dropped as an unneeded council expense when county commissioners slashed budgets in 2009-10 to save an estimated $440,000 in clerical and miscellaneous expenses for all county councils. Asked if non-zoning meetings should be restored, Zack replies, “Absolutely. They’re what brings county government closest to the people it represents in any area. One of our council members said non-zoning issues were the primary reason for seeking election in the first place.” Similar emphasis on keeping governments local also causes Zack to heartedly support recent incorporations that have created communities such as Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay

Chair Elliott Zack shares time out during an East Kendall Zoning Appeals Board session with board colleague attorney Jose Valdes (background).

–––––––––––––––––––––– See

ZACK, page 4

Hearing-impaired students visit signing Santa at Dadeland Mall

MDX to study turning busway into toll roll BY RICHARD YAGER

These hearing impaired students had no problem communicating their holiday wishes to Santa using sign language.

BY IVONNE SNAVELY

Jolly Saint Nick made a very special stop at Dadeland Mall recently to visit more than 50 hard of hearing children from area schools. With a big smile and quick hand movements, the students were able to communicate with Santa, who also is hard of hearing, and told him what they want for Christmas. During the two-hour event the children, ages 3-12, happily shared their wish lists and took a free photograph with Santa. Signing Santa also surprised each child with an early Christmas gift. “It was amazing to see the kids’ faces light up,” said Cheryl Mullininx, certified sign language interpreter at Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Department of Special Education. “Normally they cannot communicate in sign language with Santa without hav-

ing an adult translator present. They were excited that Santa knew how to sign and that made them feel connected.” The children watched performances of “Frosty the Snowman” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by local high school American Sign Language clubs. They also enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Chick-fil-A. This is the second year Dadeland Mall has partnered with Miami-Dade County Public Schools during the holiday season to bring smiles to children who are hard of hearing. Participating schools included Auburndale Elementary School, Gulfstream Elementary School, Hibiscus Elementary School, Kenwood K-8 Center and Madarin Lakes K-8 Center. For more information about Dadeland Mall and its holiday programs and retailer offers, visit online at <www.simon.com>.

T

he Miami-Dade Expressway Authority’s newest project study for South Miami-Dade County could take some congestion off S. Dixie Highway (US1) and speed the commute for motorists willing to pay the price. A transportation study focused on maximizing the South Miami-Dade Busway traffic flows will include the tantalizing vision of converting the extra capacity of the rapid transit corridor for use by private vehicles as a toll expressway in addition to buses. As described during a meeting of the Continental Park Homeowners Association in November, installation of Busway “humps” (grade separations) passing over east-west streets could lead not only to faster bus travel but open road tolling

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– See

MDX, page 4

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

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2011 New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resolution: Recycle your Christmas tree BY GAYLE LOVE

Now through Jan. 7, residents who receive curbside waste collection service from the Miami-Dade Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) are encouraged to recycle their natural Christmas trees by taking them to one of the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers (TRCs) or two Home Chemical Collection Centers. All trees brought in for recycling must be free of lights, tinsel, ornaments and tree stands. The trees will be converted into mulch, available free to residents on a first-come, first-served basis beginning in mid-January. Trees can be brought in for recycling to one of several area locations: Trash and Recycling Centers (open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) Snapper Creek, 2200 SW 117 Ave.; Sunset Kendall, 8000 SW 107 Ave.; Chapman Field, 13600 SW 60 Ave.; Richmond Heights, 14050 Boggs Dr.; West Perrine, 16651 SW 107 Ave.; Eureka Drive, 9401 SW 184 St.; South Miami Heights, 20800 SW 117 Ct., and Moody Drive, 12970 SW 268 St. Home Chemical Collection Centers (accepts Christmas trees for recycling seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.)

West Miami-Dade, 8831 NW 58 St., and South Miami-Dade, 23707 SW 97 Ave. Gate-B. Residents who choose not to recycle their Christmas trees will have the following two options for disposal: â&#x20AC;˘ Residents may cut the tree into smaller pieces and place it inside their green waste cart for collection on any of their regularly scheduled waste collection days. The tree must fit entirely inside the waste cart. Trees placed next to the waste cart cannot be collected by the automated waste collection truck. â&#x20AC;˘ For those residents who cannot drop off their Christmas tree for recycling or cut it in pieces and place it in their waste cart, the tree may be placed at the curbside no later than Friday, Jan. 7, and it will be collected. Christmas trees placed at the curbside after Jan. 7 will not be picked up and must either be taken to a drop-off location or placed in the waste cart for collection as described above. Christmas tree mulch will be available at the TRC locations listed beginning in mid-January for residents to pick up using their own bags or containers on a firstcome, first-served basis, while supplies last. Area locations are: West Perrine, 16651 SW 107 Ave.; Eureka Drive, 9401 SW 184 St.; Moody Drive, 12970 SW 268 St., and Sunset Kendall, 8000 SW 107 Ave. For more information, call 3-1-1 or visit online at <www.miamidade.gov/dswm>.

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ZACK, from page 1 ––––––––––––––––– out of Miami-Dade’s sprawling southwestern suburbs, a move only massive Kendall still resists. When commissioners discouraged further incorporations by requiring petitions signed by at least 25 percent of registered voters in any area under consideration, “it became that much more difficult to develop an in incorporation movement,” Zack continued. “Kendall is such a big area that it should consider incorporation of smaller areas, such as the effort two years ago in East Kendall,” he said. “The boundaries enclosed about 20,000 or more people living from US1 west to the Shula Expressway [SR 874] between Snapper Creek Expressway [SR 878] and SW 112th Streets, about the right size. But the petition movement never got off the ground because of the enhanced requirements for signatures and the time frame to obtain them. “Even so, it only stands to reason that the more localized government services are, the better they will be,” he said. “A city zoning board is better than what the county has now, because barring an appeal, the matter stops there. Like Broward County’s cities and county government, Miami-Dade needs to devote its time to countywide matters, not localized services that municipalities can better provide.” Service on the Council 12 zoning board also has led Zack to question a process in which community councils serve as the local board of appeals for zoning applications but are subject to an appeal and revocation by a second legislative body — the county commission. “It’s the one thing that has always puzzled me about the process. Our civil judicial system provides a process of appeal from circuit court to an appellate court, and finally to the Supreme Court, with limitations, to appeal any government action of that kind,” Zack explained. “The way our system works, the commission can change a zoning decision made by the local board, which to me as an attorney always seemed wrong. There doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why the commission as

a legislative body should have additional judicial authority. But then, I look at things through an attorney’s vision.” A native of Detroit, MI, he moved to Miami with his parents at age 9, attended all Miami public schools, graduating from Coral Gables Senior High (Class of ’61) and the University of Miami (Class of ’66) before receiving his law degree from the University of Florida in 1969. His wife, Gloria, a teacher at Gilbert Porter Elementary School, has a 29-year teaching career in Miami-Dade, certified to teach from kindergarten to grade 12, as well as gifted children. The couple’s daughter, Kristin Zack-Bowen of Orlando has an educational background in psychology, and a sister, Sharee Mosk, lives in Pinecrest. A Kendall resident for 39 years, Zack has a private law practice, primarily in areas of probate, real estate and commercial and civic litigation. His law firm is located in North Miami Beach where he served as both a public defender and prosecutor for the city. He additionally spent 10 years as an adjunct professor at Florida International University. His extensive background of civic and community service includes two terms as president of the North Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, president of the North Dade Bar Association, and director of a free public mediation service in North Miami Beach. With all that, he still found time to serve as judge/problem captain and director for the Miami-Dade and the State of Florida “Odyssey of the Mind” program. He said he would support future Kendall incorporations of homogenous areas of up to 40,000 base population, but he believes there may be a better way to reach such a goal. “The MAC Committees set up as study groups had too many members who used their membership to oppose the issue, as well as attract others against incorporation,” he said. “Why couldn’t there be a much simpler process by holding a referendum vote within a given area to decide whether or not to begin incorporation? Isn’t that the whole point of democratic government? “Let the people decide.”

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

MDX, from page 1 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– (ORT) for motorists from Florida City north to Dadeland South where two alternatives would exist: Parking at Metrorail’s southernmost terminal or accessing the non-toll Palmetto Expressway (SR 826). The MDX already has moved ahead with a scope of services outline for a two-year Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study that includes optimizing US1 express lanes on the near 20-mile busway from SW 344th Street to SR 826 and Dadeland South. Gannett Fleming Inc. has been chosen as consulting engineers for the study with a contract for services under negotiation during December, according to Tere Garcia, MDX spokesperson. The meeting with Continental Park homeowners was the first of several public input sessions that will take place as the new study progresses, she added. “Basically, the study is focused on optimizing busway traffic and safety, but we will also look at ways to mitigate congestion on US1,” Garcia noted. “That study is designed to include the potential of converting unused capacity of the busway for private vehicle use with automated tolling now used on all five MDX expressways — Shula, Snapper Creek, Dolphin, Airport and Gratigny routes.” Opening the busway to private vehicles north of SW 98th Street by building a direct access to the Palmetto Expressway would create a combined toll and freeway access from Florida City to Kendall by express buses and private vehicles. It also would provide an alternative and long-missing expressway connection from the South Dade area to Downtown Miami and all other areas served by the Palmetto Expressway. To answer one question in advance, Garcia emphasized, “If this study proves a busway conversion to be workable, it would not be based upon converting the Palmetto to tolling; SR 826 would remain toll-free.” In recent months, the MDX has been sharply criticized for installing toll-collecting gantries on both the Shula (SR 874) and Snapper Creek (SR 878) expressways. Garcia agreed that federal funding would be required to provide any costs to convert the Busway to private vehicle use, including any necessary land aquisition, planning, and construction. She said the project also would examine creation of busway access to the Palmetto in addition to the existing US1 ramps on the east (northbound) and west (southbound) of the Dadeland South Metrorail station. The contract scope has been drawn to evaluate all engineering, environmental and public involvement aspects of implement-

ing managed lanes within the busway rightof-way, including tolls with congestiontype pricing schedules, implemented during 2010 on I-95 between downtown Miami and the Golden Glades interchange. To introduce project parameters at the Continental Park homeowners meeting, Garcia joined an MDX team that included Mayrae Diaz, planning manager; Mario Diaz, public information officer, and Carlos Cejas, PD&E project manager. Team members then described how “humps” (overpasses) over key east-west Kendall streets could make busway conversion possible to avoid creation of congestion at such intersections as S. Dixie and SW 104th, SW 112th, SW 136th streets and other points south. Overpasses at major east-west streets would allow for safer movement of buses without stoplight priorities at intersections, as well as enhancing more “free flowing” traffic in north or south directions. A paramount concern for Continental Park residents was the possibility of a Busway conversion requiring closing SW 98th Street at US1 due to land-taking requirements or other construction necessary for accessing the Palmetto Expressway. Diaz said that consultants would solicit public sentiment at future meetings conducted throughout the PD&E Study but there were no plans to block 98th Street underway in current MDX planning. The extensive scope of services will include the creation of a citizen community advisory committee to liaison with study engineers and attend a series public meetings or workshops connected with the project study. The study also will report alternative recommendations to creating managed lanes on the busway, including bus transit service options, new park-and-ride locations or the effect of a “No Build” conclusion. The study is a result of Miami-Dade’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) incorporating busway planning into its 2035 MPO Long Range Plan. Built by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the initial phase of the busway of 8.2 miles opened on Feb. 2, 1997. The first segment of the extension to Florida City opened on Apr. 24, 2005, and extended the busway five miles from SW 112th Avenue to SW 264th Street in Naranja. The second and final segment of the extension, which opened on Dec. 16, 2007, completed the busway 6.5 miles south from SW 264th Street to SW 344th St. in Florida City, creating a total 19.7mile system.


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 5

New route would eliminate 110-foot poles on US1, E. Kendall Michael Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR

AROUND TOWN The power corridor issue involving FPL and East Kendall folks may be solved in the New Year. If so, thank officials from Pinecrest and other municipalities who are trying their best to get those 110-foot poles off our busiest highway and our oldest neighborhood. According to the latest communications from Pinecrest City Hall, plans are in the works for an alternative transmission route that would avoid erecting concrete pillars along a section of Continental Park on SW 77 Avenue, as well as US 1 in Kendall. Working against a January 14 deadline, the Pinecrest Village Council on December 14 learned that the last alternative under study utilizing the Turnpike west had a “fatal flaw” due to FDOT plans to expand the expressway from six to 12 lanes. The project is too far along, says FDOT, having survived public hearings, gained permits and has construction ready to go. The optimistic news, however, is that a newly-proposed route using existing power lines initially appears acceptable to FPL. Overhead transmission lines from the

Davis Substation at SW 136th Street north to a Flagler Substation would carry the new power load. A combination of overhead and buried lines, roughly parallel to the SR 836/Dolphin Expressway. would complete the route into the downtown Miami substation. That’s where FPL says power draws are needed to make up deficiencies currently drawing on grids as far north as Jacksonville to serve current and projected demands in the city. If approved, that alternative would apparently eliminate the objectionable new concrete poles both on US 1 and the Continental Park neighborhood. Several cities including Coral Gables, South Miami and Doral are working to postpone the January 14 deadline for submission of an alternative route until March 1 but unless there is reason for urgency, Pinecrest folks will ask for May 1 date and June 1 for a final report. Either way, it would appear use of existing transmission lines is a win-win situation for the communities involved although expanding Turkey Creek with two nuclear reactors remains major issue with environmental and civic organizations. In case you missed it, FDOT has announced it will build a one-mile bike and walking path to connect the M-Path bike route under the Metrorail line with the path that runs along the South Miami-Dade Busway, a two-year project

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costing $4.5 million. Best news for South Miami and East Kendall is that the new path pick up at SW 67 Avenue by erecting a pedestrian-and-bicycle only bridge over the Snapper Creek Expressway (SR 878) entry. The project will even include a clean out of the sediment at the bottom of Snapper Creek in the same vicinity to improve its flow that now creates a stagnant water vista just north of Dadeland Shopping Mall. The 10-mile M-Path now connecting downtown Miami and South Miami will link up with the East Coast Greenway to create a continuous 31-mile route that may someday connect to the upper Keys. Credit John Hopkins, Green Mobility Network Chairman, and David Henderson, County bike and pedestrian planner, with shepherding the success that will eliminate a long-existent “gap’ endangering anyone attempting to walk or bike on the west side of US 1 in that area. Red Lobster folks appear before the East Kendall Community Council to obtain needed zoning to build a newly-styled eatery on Kendall Drive just east of SW 117 Avenue. Public hearing scheduled after election

of chair and vice-chair at 7 p.m., Tuesday, January 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Pavilion in Kendall Village Center. MD College/Kendall (and all other campuses) were closed from December 20 through January 2, 2011, but will open Wednesday and Thursday, December 2930, before closing again to resume regular operations on Monday, January 3. Many thanks to all who attended West Kendall Business Association fantastic holiday party at The Palms at Town & Country. Proceeds from the event raised over $5,000 for the Hearing and Speech Center of Florida! A nice way to start a New Year! Hope yours will be productive – and peaceful, too. Thought for the Day: All you need is love, love, love is all you need. — John Lennon

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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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Governor-elect Scott already has educators in a tizzy R. Kenneth Bluh KENNETH’S COMMENTARY Florida Governor-elect Rick Scott isn’t saying anything definitive or detailed about his plans for educating the youth of our state. However, what hints he has dropped have school boards, teachers and parents anticipating draconian changes in our secondary school system. These are changes that will make former Republican Governor Jeb Bush’s educational concepts look like that of a liberal Democrat. For years following the Civil War, the school systems of America were divided into white and black — great schools for whites, poor to deplorable schools for the black children. Then the concept of “separate but equal” became the choice de jour. Of course the two school systems never were equal. The black students where always left out when it came to funding education. Then the courts ruled that “separate but equal” wasn’t what our Constitution envisioned. So schools were integrated. We bused

kids from one side of the community to the other to create diversity. Each school would have a “mix” of students. At first, parents fiercely fought the concept, notwithstanding the fact that it didn’t seem to distract the children once they became adjusted to the change. Slowly, however over the years, kids seemed to drift back to schools in their neighborhoods. It just seemed logical to go to school where you lived rather than spending more time on the school bus than in the classroom. Friendships could be created if you went to school where you lived rather than never seeing your fellow classmates other than during school hours. Some schools produced students with better skills and grades than other schools. So school boards gave permission for a parent to enroll their children in schools that excelled in a specific area such as music, drama, science, aircraft mechanics, etc. More and more “private” schools were opened as an alternative to “public” schools. The student would qualify for a government voucher to cover a portion of the cost of the private school if the public school couldn’t provide, in the mind of the parent, a quality education. Thus was born the charter school. Now along comes our governor-elect who is suggesting that any child should be able to

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VIEWPOINT select a school that he, she or the parent think is most appropriate for the student. You live in Homestead, you like a school in Fort Lauderdale, you have the desire — go for it. Sounds like Scott is suggesting replacing the public school concept funded by a local school district taxes with a voucher system controlled in our state capital to cover public schools, private, charter schools or even virtual schools. Use the voucher as you wish. The cost beyond the voucher is up to the parent. The concept, I am quite sure, was conceived to reduce the cost of education more than improve the education of our children. We already have a problem with our educational system in America. Just look at this: Shanghai (a metropolitan area in China), South Korea, Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore ranked one through five in reading comprehension, math, and science according to the respected Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The United States was way down the list at

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No. 17. Yet we spend more per child than any other nation. Something is wrong. Children aren’t motivated? Parents don’t care? Teachers teach for job security, not for the education of our youth? What is wrong? What a disgrace. Our governor-elect appears to want to change the whole approach to education. Reduce the authority of the local public school system in favor of Tallahassee? End the secondary public school system as we know it today and replace it with privately owned schools? Is this the beginning of a trend to replace education funded by school taxes with limited tuition paid by the state? Change is coming. I hope our children don’t lose; they already are so far behind. We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-6626980 or email to <letters@communitynewspapers.com>. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.

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Just a few days to get end of year finances in order Al Sunshine CBS MONEY WATCH It’s just a few days until New Year’s Eve and the start of a new year, 2011. And that means we’re running out of time to get our last minute financial planning done for 2010 and to get our finances in order for the new year. So what do those plans entail? Paying off holiday bills, tax planning, healthcare spending accounts, insurance options for next year, and that’s just for starters. All these issues will challenge our family budgets and we’re running out of time to prepare. Still, it’s not too late to start by asking

yourself these questions: • How much do I owe on all my bills and what will my yearly income be this year? • Am I withholding enough on taxes to avoid a bigger tax bill next April? • Do I have any money remaining in any flexible spending accounts that I need to use or lose? • What is my money doing for me and where can I cut expenses? • Should I rebalance my investments between stocks, bonds or cash? These are all viable questions and should give you a good basis for determining your strategy. On the other hand, financial experts say that if you ignore your end of the year money management, it could leave you with an expensive — and unwanted — New Year’s surprise. Watch Al Sunshine’s “CBS Money Watch” reports Monday-Friday beginning at noon.

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Fit For Life program being offered again for teens BY SHEILA STIEGLITZ

eating designed to modify existing behavior. Another part of the program includes Following the success of 32 teens who lost goal setting with personal accountability, a total of 429 pounds in this year’s Fit For and upon completion of the program the Life Program, The Children’s Trust Fund has teens should see improvement in physical decided to add its weight and fund the 2011 fitness, self esteem and increased nutritionseries of classes at the Alper JCC in Kendall. al knowledge. Commitment and attendance are the key This life-changing program targets overweight teens and teaches physical and nutri- components to successful results. At the end tional skills in an effort to curb the trend of the 15 weeks, the biggest bonuses are teens with enhanced selftoward excessive weight worth, increased stamina gain. The entire series of Commitment and and overall improved wellclasses is open to the combeing. munity and free of charge. attendance are the Carmen Gil was the The program’s director key components to “biggest loser” in the initial is Evelyn Rosenblatt, a program, having lost over published author, National successful results. 10 inches off her waist and Figure competitor, persondropping eight dress sizes. al trainer, an exercise At the end of the 15 “I don’t know how I physiologist, and former weeks, the biggest could have reached my Miami-Dade County high goals, had I not been part school science teacher. bonuses are teens of it,” she said. “The trans“The success of the Fit with enhanced formations that I have seen For Life program can be my body are remarkable. seen in the incredible self-worth, increased in I still can’t believe that I fit results that the teens into clothes that I hadn’t achieved in just 15 stamina and overall worn in years. And it wasweeks,” Rosenblatt said. “I improved wellbeing. n’t just me, but every sinwas very proud that all of gle one of the 32 particithe participants completed the program, and almost all the teens pants lost weight and adopted a healthier decreased their body fat percentages and lifestyle.” The next session of Fit For Life begins showed an increase in both self-esteem and Monday, Jan. 10. Students interested in parconfidence. “The information they learned gave them ticipating should call Evelyn Rosenblatt at the tools and knowledge to live healthier 305-498-7882 to register and begin the lives,” she added. “The teens’ final measure- mandatory interview process. The Dave and Mary Alper JCC on the Jay ments revealed an amazing total loss of 354 Morton-Levinthal Campus is located at inches which translates into 29.5 feet.” Fit For Life is structured to include three 11155 SW 112 Ave. in Kendall. For informahours per week focusing on strength train- tion about additional Alper JCC fitness, ing and aerobic fitness with certified profes- recreational and sports programs for the family visit online at sionals, plus a one-hour per week workshop entire on nutrition, food preparation and healthy <www.alperjcc.org>.


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 9

Kendall grandmother debuts her invention on TLC show BY KATHERINE GILLETT

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A new television show hosted by Kelly Ripa recently featured Rachel Menton, staff member of Jewish Community Services of South Florida and president of Dizzy Dames Distributing Company. A woman of many talents, the Kendall grandmother was selected from hundreds of applicants to be a contestant on TLC’s show, Homemade Millionaire. The program showcases “average” women and their unique inventions, with each episode’s winner receiving assistance in manufacturing, marketing and selling her product. Menton’s product, called Socks Slots, is a device that keeps socks together in the washing machine and dryer. Born out of a practical need to keep her four children’s socks sorted, Sock Slots is color-coded so each family member has his or her own color. Socks stay in the slot throughout washing and drying — ready to go directly from laundry basket into clothing drawers, which also eliminates the need for sorting and pairing. For the past 18 years, she has worked as activities director at the Seymour Gelber Adult Day Care Center, a joint venture between JCS and the Miami-Dade County Department of Human Services, Elderly Services Division. The Gelber Center serves the frail elderly focusing on families needing help for their memory-impaired and physically impaired loved ones. “Working with a frail senior population is my passion,” Menton said. “Talking to them all day is what I do best. So when I began to talk about my product on the show, Socks Slots, the words just fell easily from my lips.”

Daily Dog Walking Pet Taxi And More! When n itt comess too thee safetyy andd welll beingg of yourr pets,, experiencee counts.. Sincee 2002. All sitters have a back up sitter • Bonded and Insured • References • Since 2002

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The outcome of the show is top secret, but Menton is delighted to have been selected to be on TV with Kelly Ripa. Homemade Millionaire debuted on Nov. 19 on TLC and the segment featuring Menton aired on Friday, Dec. 17, on Discovery Health. JCS, the largest Jewish social service agency in South Florida, provides critical help in the community, such as delivering meals to frail seniors; counseling families in crisis, and teaching basic job skills to developmentally disabled adults. Each year, more than 35,000 people — regardless of race, religion or ethnic background — benefit from their trained, caring professionals. Although each individual’s circumstance is different, JCS is a lifeline for all. For more information, call JCS Access at 305-576-6550 or visit online at <www.jcsfl.org>.

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

4-H of Miami-Dade celebrates achievements of Rebekah Diaz

Rebekah Diaz was elected 4-H state vice president at the recent State Congress. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY SONIA PEREZ

Rebekah Diaz, a graduating senior who is homeschooled, has achieved numerous accomplishments during her 11 years in the Miami-Dade 4-H Youth program. Most recently, the Westchester resident was elected state vice president for 2010-11 and was one of only four 4-H members statewide to be chosen to attend the 4-H National Conference in Washington, DC. One of Rebekah’s first experiences with the 4-H club was a public speaking competition where she was presenting her topic on key lime pie. Her nerves got the best of her and she wound up crying. Now, that same nervous girl has blossomed into a confident public speaker, receiving perfect scores at district events and winning two first-place trophies at state competitions. Joining 4-H has afforded Rebekah many opportunities to learn life skills and get involved in the community. She has learned about computers, the environment, communication, dance, media arts, geography and leadership. 4-H also has served as a vehicle for participating in community service projects, including teaching elementary and middle school students about different subjects, conducting beach and coastal cleanups, visiting the elderly in nursing homes, teaching children at public libraries, working with underprivileged children, and planting for beach restoration and beautification. Rebekah’s many leadership roles have included chairing county, district and state activities, such as State Congress, 4-H Day at the Capitol, and Head Lobbyist for the 4-H

State Mock Legislature program. Through these leadership positions, she has coordinated events and activities for hundreds of 4Hers throughout the State of Florida. She also was instrumental in the challenging task of saving the Miami-Dade County 4H program by undertaking letter-writing and phone-calling campaigns, meeting personally with commissioners and appearing before the Miami-Dade Commission on several occasions. Miami-Dade 4-H leader Kathie Roberts says Rebekah is an exemplary 4-H member. “Rebekah is a testament to what the 4-H program can do for the development of children in preparing them for the real world as well as shaping them into contributing members of society. While 4-H certainly created opportunities for Rebekah to succeed, she did all of the hard work that enabled her to achieve her goals,” Roberts said. “Years from now, when I tell my children stories about my youth, I know that they will include the wonderful experiences that I had through 4-H,” Rebekah said. “I have made lifelong friends, met people from across the country, learned about different lifestyles, have been on many adventures, and learned innumerable skills. I hope one day that my children and grandchildren, too, will be able to say that they made a difference in their community and in the lives of others due to 4-H.” Miami-Dade’s 4-H Club always is accepting new members and volunteers. To sign up, call 305-592-8044 or visit online at <http://miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu> for more information.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Local artist Federico Carosio honored by Green Companies BY KIMBERLY PORTER

A reception for a new exhibit by artist Federico Carosio created a festive holiday party for guests at the Green Companies Dadeland Centre II on the evening of Dec. 16. Elizabeth Green of the Dadelandbased firm said the purpose of the company’s lobby gallery is that, “It’s good for the community; It will bring people together.” Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Carosio said he is a self-taught artist who began doodling as a two-and-one-half-year-old child. Later moving to Soho, New York, he began a professional career in 1974. When next settling in Miami in 1979, Carosio said he realized his passion for painting South Florida’s tropical landscapes, for which he is most well-known today. Commenting on the realism of Carosio’s work, Green said. “When you drive [down the streets depicted in his paintings], it feels like that with the shadows. The detail is

Pictured are Elizabeth Green of the Green Companies and artist Federico Carosio. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

amazing.” Carosio has been twice nominated for the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, singled out for his portrayal and promotion of Florida through his work, and rich colors that capture the intense light of the area. His work has been featured on the posters for the South Miami Art Festival, Pinecrest Fine Art Festival and Key Biscayne Art Festival. His work also has won the coveted “Best of Show” award multiple times. “I’m glad I do what I love,” Carosio said. “Each piece is a work of love, like a child; finishing a piece is a birth. I am looking for homes for my paintings, adoptive parents rather than buyers. “Buy my work. They tell me it will be valuable when I’m dead and I’m not feeling too well,” added Carosio with a laugh. The Carosio exhibition can be seen at the Green Companies Lobby Gallery in Dadeland Centre II, 9150 S. Dadeland Blvd., or by visiting online at <www.carosioarts.com>.


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 13

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Gulliver Preparatory School hosts VEX Robotic Qualifier Competition

Tournament Champions are (l-r) Gulliver’s Danielle Spiegelman, Nikita Mayani, Devin Robbins, Shayantha Sinnarajah and Armaan Mayani. (Not pictured is Victor Naziazeni.)

BY BAY PROBY

Gulliver Preparatory School hosted its first VEX Robotic Qualifier Competition on Sunday, Dec. 5, at the school’s gymnasium. The competition featured 12 South Florida schools and 32 robots. The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest and fastest growing middle and high school robotics program globally with 2,600 teams from 20 countries participating in more than 200 tournaments worldwide. Events are being conducted and added in several cities, states and countries each week. The competition connects students, mentors, and schools into a variety of technology-based programs that foster technical and interpersonal skills. To see a list of events, visit online at <www.robotevents.com>. VEX Round Up is played on a 12- by 12-foot square field and two alliances — one “red” and one “blue” — composed of two teams. Each alliance competes in matches consisting of a 20-second time period, where the robot follows preprogrammed commands from its onboard microprocessor. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than an opponent alliance, by placing tubes upon goalposts, owning goalposts, and by low hanging or high

hanging from the ladder. In addition to Gulliver Prep, MiamiDade schools participating in the competition were MAST Academy, Belen Jesuit, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Christopher Columbus High, Ransom Everglades Middle, Miami Northwestern High, Coral Park High and Coral Gables High. Out of county schools included McArthur High (Hollywood), Donna Klein Academy (Boca Raton) and Seminole Ridge Community High (Loxahatchee). Gulliver Preparatory School teams won three awards. The group consisting of Eric Milton, Joyce Chen, Rodrigo Royo, and Stefano Tufts won the Judges award. The squad consisting of Michael Carey, Darian Miranda, William Gubbins, and Ben Froomkin won the “Programming Skills Champion” award and the team of Devin Robbins, Nikita Mayani, Armaan Mayani, Danielle Spiegelman, Shayantha Sinnarajah, and Victor Naziazeni took home the “Tournament Champions” award. Gulliver robots were competitive all day with all five robots either winning or making it to the finals in all the challenges they entered. For more information about the event, visit online at <www.gulliverschools.org>.


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 15

Need a New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Resolution? Consider Finding a Financial Advisor. I wantt to o startt shopping forr a financiall advisor.. What should d I bee looking g for? Someone you can trust and feel comfortable with. A person who has several years of experience in both good and bad times. A well educated person. Someone who really listens to both the husband and the wife. Someone who provides objective advise to you and who is legally and morally obligated to serve your best interest at all times. Someone who does not have a sales quota of investment products to sell to you. Someone who has malpractice insurance for your protection. Someone who is regulated and supervised by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). Someone who is not a sales rep but an actual money manager. How w manyy financiaal advisorss should dI interview? The more the better, but make sure you ask the same questions to each one. Ask for their credentials, experience, investment process, references and code of ethics. I suggest that you talk to each advisor one on one. Consider talking to at least 3 advisors before you decide.

Theree aree a lott off credentialss thatt advisorss use.. Aree theyy alll th he same? No. Each credential has a different level of course content and time requirement to attain the credential. Some credentials focus on life insurance such as the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) and a Charter Life Underwriter (CLU). The CLU is more of a Masters Degree in the area of insurance. Some credentials focus on mutual funds such as a Certified Funds Specialist (CFS). The credential that focuses on comprehensive financial planning is the Certified Financial Planner (CFPÂŽ). It is more of a Masters Degree in personal financial planning. Ask the advisor for details of their skills and education. Rick Tonkinson is a Certified Financial Planner (CFPâ&#x201E;˘) who works with working people in your area since 1991. The family business, Rick Tonkinson & Associates, Inc is located at 100 Almeria Ave, Suite 310, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Telephone # 305-447-6617. Securities offered through Securities America Inc member of FINRA/SIPC. Rick Tonkinson Registered Representative. Advisory Services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. Rick Tonkinson Investment Advisor Representative. Rick Tonkinson and Associates, Inc. & Securities America companies are not affiliated.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 17

COMMUNITY NEWS BRIEFS

East Coast’s largest Paddleboarding event coming to Miami’s Bayside The largest Stand Up Paddleboarding event on the East Coast will take place in Miami on Jan. 2 at the Bayside Marketplace Marina, 401 Biscayne Blvd. The race begins at 11 a.m., first-ever paddle clinic at 1 p.m. and awards at 3 p.m. An official World Paddle Association event, the Orange Bowl Paddle Championship powered by Jimmy Lewis will include competitive and amateur paddleboarders, including more than 100 Big Brothers and Big Sisters with their “Littles.” For more information about this event, call Kristy Kennedy at 305-448-5839. ROBERT MORGAN EDUCATIONAL CENTER ANNOUNCES AUTO-CAD CLASS OPENING Robert Morgan Educational Center, located at 18180 SW 122 Ave., has announced the opening of an Auto-Cad class. This class will run Monday through Thursday in the evening, part-time. Registration will begin in January. For more information, contact Eladia Chavez at 305-253-9920, ext. 2147. COUNCIL OF TROPICAL FLORIDA TO HOST GIRL SCOUT ALUMNI The Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida will host a Girl Scout Alumni Mixer and Girl Scout Cookie Sale Kickoff to celebrate women of courage, confidence and character.

The Mixer will take place on Jan. 14, from 6 to 11 p.m., at Tobacco Road, 626 S. Miami Ave. Entrance fee is $10 and will benefit the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida. All Girl Scout alumni and Girl Scout supporters are invited to participate and bring sashes, stories and share memories, as they enjoy great music and drinks. Girl Scout cookies will be on sale to benefit the council. Girl Scout alumni and guests will have the opportunity to participate in a series of give-a-ways. For more information, call Eloise Rodriguez at 786-326-2221. SOUTH FLORIDA CANTORIAL CONCERT SET FOR JAN. 15 AT TEMPLE ISRAEL The Third Annual South Florida Cantorial Concert will be presented on Jan. 15, 8 p.m., at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, 137 NE 19 St. The concert, now in its third year, is one of the nation’s leading concerts of Jewish music. Twenty-four cantors and soloists will perform diverse Jewish songs. Each of the past two years, the concert has attracted a capacity audience of more than 700 people. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at <www.cantorialconcert.org> or call 1-888-541-9753.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Blooming Gardens survives by pleasing its customers BY GARY ALAN RUSE

Barbara Wilsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s floral and gift shop, Blooming Gardens, has been blossoming for years and is one of the few florists in the Cutler Bay/Palmetto Bay area to survive the recent bad economy. Wilson has a passion for what she does. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do enjoy it,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the most part itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of fun. We do get a lot of good feedback. We get a tremendous response from the customers, who tell us the flowers last a long time and they like the arrangements. The part I like best is working with people.â&#x20AC;? Blooming Gardens is located at 20462 Old Cutler Rd. (behind the Chevron gas station) and is open six days a week. Its hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday. Wilson said that she and her staff get a lot of repeat business from customers who are happy with her work. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We give excellent customer service and treat everybody like extended family,â&#x20AC;? she said. Blooming Gardens is a full service retail flower and gift shop that specializes in fulfilling all customer requests. They always

have custom, fresh-cut floral buy the business. It was one that designs in every price range and had been struggling after Andrew, keep a cooler full of carnations, and we took it over and built it daisies, multiple colors of roses, back up. I had no floral experience and a wide variety of exotic flowprior to that, but 16 years later Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ers such as larkspur, peonies, lilac, still doing it.â&#x20AC;? hydrangea and lilies, in addition to Wilson, who grew up in Miami assorted tropical blooms as seaand came from a business family sonally available. here, said most new customers Wilsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attractive and comfortcome in saying that they never able shop offers baskets, vases and knew that there was a florist there. containers in many sizes, shapes While other floral businesses in and colors, and also can arrange to the area have closed their doors, have your selection delivered some after several decades in worldwide. business, Wilsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s small business Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fresh fruit in season â&#x20AC;&#x201D; has managed to keep operating, It such as pineapple, apples, pears, is a result, in most part, of the peroranges, starfruit, grapes, kiwi, severance and astute diligence of mango and much more â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that can its co-owner and operator, as well go into an irresistible gift basket as her dedicated and skilled staff for someone special. Gourmet of two part-time designers and one foods â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including a selection of part-time driver. imported cookies, crackers, Active in her community, Barbara Wilson, owner of Blooming Gardens, is pictured in her shop. cheese, spiced nuts, seasoned pretWilson works with local agencies, â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; zels and flavored coffees and teas from various community councils â&#x20AC;&#x201D;also can be added for basket and network groups, to the support all types, so you can stop in and pick up a fillers. A large variety of chocolates includof local public schools and their career teddy bear for the new baby in the family or ing Godiva and assorted candies are availdays. She has donated floral arrangements choose from a large selection of other plush able. and gift certificates for luncheons and animals including Ty Beanie babies, Blooming Gardens also has gift items of award ceremonies throughout South Dade. Webkinz and musical plush. The shopâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arrangements, many of which There are scented candles and unusual she creates personally, are of the freshest candle holders on display, in addition to flowers and highest quality. Her dedication candle lamps and decorative candle houses to providing the best possible service to her from Clayworks. There is a varied selection craft is obvious to anyone who has had the of decorative home accessories such as stained glass vases and nightlights, and pleasure of receiving an arrangement from her shop or has spoken with her. inspirational garden stones. While people are cutting back on some Wilson got into the business she now expenses, flowers are still one of the best loves almost by accident. She recalls how it ways you can let someone know that you began. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was a career employee with Dade care about and appreciate them. Wilson County and we had a plan to have a cruise also creates balloon bouquets and hanship business, putting gifts in the cabins on dles weddings, parties and corporate cruise ships, and I was asked to do flowers accounts. For more information, contact Barbara for the cruise ships,â&#x20AC;? Wilson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was getting burned out with the coun- Wilson on the Web at <www.bloominggarty job so we took a look at it and decided to dens.net> or by telephone at 305-256-2772.

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 19

Fajardo & Lam Design Associates home showcased in holiday tour BY LEE STEPHENS

Fajardo & Lam Design Associates, a South Florida interior design firm, completed an extensive interior renovation for one of the six homes featured in the “Celebrate a Dream” Holiday House Tour, sponsored by the Coral Gables Garden Club. Under the watchful eye of the allwoman design team at Fajardo & Lam Design Associates, the home’s interior was transformed to create a British Colonial island feel. From the selection and design of the architectural millwork, tile and custom cabinetry, to the design of the shell mirror that was custom made with hand-picked shells for the powder room, Fajardo & Lam was attentive to every detail to create the look and feel desired by the homeowner. “Interior spaces should be a balance between the art of good design and the reality of living in them,” said Maria T. Fajardo, president and design principal. “No two clients are alike. Therefore, it’s up to the designer to draw out each client’s sensibilities and translate them into a design that is striking as well as livable.” Fajardo said that this renovated home is being thoroughly enjoyed by its owners and

their bustling family, which includes three large dogs that are always at hand to greet the guests. “Our services do not end with the client’s move-in date,” added Yaisel Chirino-Gomez, a partner and project designer. “We are there to provide our services until the very end. Our greatest satisfaction is seeing a client enjoying their new space.” Several of Fajardo & Lam’s projects are located in Coral Gables and the team is committed to the community through its many works. Under the direction of Ana L. Lam, administrator, the firm has been involved in charitable works through the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club and recently, through the Coral Gables Garden Club. “When one of our favorite clients extended an invitation to us to become founding members of the City of Coral Gables Museum, we were thrilled,” Lam said. “What better way to show our commitment to this wonderful city as it continues to thrive, while adding to its beauty through our design work.” Fajardo & Lam Design Associates Inc. is a full service, licensed interior design firm whose principal designers have more than 25 years of experience. The design team specializes in high-end residential, hospital-

Pictured are (l-r) Ana L. Lam, Maria T. Fajardo and Yaisel Chirino-Gomez. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– ity and resorts, and cruise ship interior tual design through successful implementarefurbishing, as well as commercial interior tion, we work with our clients’ specific and unique project needs.” renovations. For more information about Fajardo & “Our creative vision is forged by our body of successful work and our first-hand knowl- Lam Design Associates, call 305-663edge of the design industry and interrelated 3252 or go online to <www.fajardolamdefields,” Fajardo said. “From inspired concep- sign.com>.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Judge DubĂŠ named as new chair of Baptist Health trustee board BY JO BAXTER

Judge Robert L. DubĂŠ has been named as the new chair of the board of trustees of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest faith-based not for-profit healthcare organization in the region. Judge DubĂŠ is a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Judge DubĂŠ is a respected leader who has served Baptist Health for many years in a variety of board positions,â&#x20AC;? said Brian E. Keeley, Baptist Health president and CEO. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He stands for everything that is the culture of quality at Baptist Health and is uniquely qualified to work with other volunteer board members to guide our mission of caring for the community.â&#x20AC;? Judge DubĂŠ has been a member of the Baptist Health Board for 15 years. In addition, he served as chairman of the South Miami Hospital Board for 18 years. He first joined the South Miami Hospital Board in 1974. Judge DubĂŠ also was a director of Baptist Health Enterprises and Baptist Outpatient Services boards, and served on a wide range of committees. A graduate of the University of Miami Law School, he started his legal career with the firm of Dixon DeJarnette Bradford Williams McKay and Kimbrell. He later served as corporate counsel for Avis RentA-Car System before starting his own firm, DubĂŠ and Wright. Members of all Baptist Health Boards serve voluntarily and without compensation and comply with a rigorous conflict of interest policy.

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Judge Robert L. DubEe â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

The organization is the largest private employer in Miami-Dade County with nearly 14,000 employees and has 1,612 inpatient beds throughout its six hospitals. In 2010 Baptist Health provided $222 million in charity care and other community benefits. Baptist Health includes Baptist Hospital South Miami Hospital, Doctors Hospital Homestead Hospital, Baptist Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital, Mariners Hospital, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute, Baptist Outpatient Services, Baptist Health Enterprises and the new West Kendall Baptist Hospital opening spring 2011. For more information, visit online at <www.baptisthealth.net>.


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Moe’s Southwest Grill opens newest location in Kendall BY LAUREN MCGOWEN BARASH

“Welcome to Moe’s!” now can be heard in Kendall with the Thursday, Dec. 16, opening of Moe’s Southwest Grill, 8746 Mills Dr. in The Palms at Town and County. A Gold Award winner of the 2008 Consumer’s Choice in Chains Awards, Atlanta-based Moe’s Southwest Grill serves fresh made-to-order burritos and southwest fare in a fun and laid back environment. Darryl Nagao and Jason Heidgerken are bringing their sixth Moe’s restaurant to the Miami area with plans to open two more during the next year. “Miami has proven to be a great market for the Moe’s brand,” Nagao said. “I am excited to bring the great flavors, fun atmosphere and friendly, speedy service of Moe’s Southwest Grill to the Kendall community.” When you walk into Kendall’s newest burrito joint the first thing you’ll hear is “Welcome to Moe’s!” It’s more than a greeting; it’s a way of life for the folks who cus-

tomize each meal fresh to order right in front of the guest. All meals including signature items like the Homewrecker burrito, Close Talker salad and John Coctostan quesadilla are served with free chips and salsa. While Moe’s is best known for its burritos packed with a choice of over 20 fresh ingredients, the menu also features kids, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. The new Kendall location is open Sunday through Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Every Monday is Moe Monday where guests can enjoy any burrito, chips, salsa and a drink for $5. On Wednesdays kids eat free from 3 p.m. until close with the purchase of an adult meal. For a unique catering experience with the ability to customize for large groups, guests may call 305-595-9898. For more information, visit online at <www.moes.com>.

Diners fill the new Moe’s Southwest Grill in Kendall.

Pictured are Darryl Nagao (left) and Jason Heidgerken, owners of this Moe’s location.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Commissioner Martinez, Farm Share distribute 85,000 pounds of food

Miami-Dade Commission chair-elect Joe A. Martinez helps a resident carry the items she received at the annual Holiday Food Distribution at Hammocks Community Park on Dec. 11. (Photo credit: Ryan Holloway/Miami-Dade County) –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY LORENA GUERRA-MACIAS

Some 3,000 Miami-Dade residents lined up at Hammocks Community Park on Saturday, Dec. 11, to receive free nutritious food courtesy of Miami-Dade Commission chair-elect Joe A. Martinez and Farm Share. Martinez’s Holiday Food Distribution annually helps residents in need by offering fruits, vegetables and other items. This year, approximately 85,000 pounds of food were distributed. Each resident received a bag including a whole chicken, fruits, vegetables, cheese, rice, applesauce and juice. “Unfortunately, the need is still great for many families who are affected by joblessness and other factors worsened by the recession,” Martinez said. “In the past, this event has helped thousands who can focus on their

families during the holidays instead of worrying about providing basic necessities.” In addition to food distribution, MiamiDade’s Water and Sewer and Sustainability Departments were able to help residents exchange light bulbs and showerheads for higher efficiency models. In total, 69 old showerheads were exchanged for water-efficient models and 372 compact fluorescent light bulbs were distributed to replace energy-wasting incandescent bulbs. The Alliance for Aging also provided residents with useful information on how Medicare recipients could save money for prescription medications. Established in 1991, Farm Share is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to the recovery, sorting, packing and distribution of nutritious foods for people in need.


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

‘We Care’ initiative helps kids to make holiday gifts

Volunteers share creative holiday gift ideas with kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY YANEISY BLANCO

Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade hosted the “We Care” Celebration, a national initiative between Herman Miller and Boys and Girls Club of America to provide kids a variety of craft materials and encourage them to make holiday gifts and cards for family and friends. On Dec. 9 at the club’s Hank Kline facility, hundreds of volunteers from local architectural and interior design firms joined together to share their artistic vision with the youngsters. Some of the organizations that participated included: Perkins Will, Office Furniture Warehouse, Miami Dade County GSA, Miami-Dade Aviation, G3, Leo A. Daly, MGE, MC Harry & Associates, TSAO Design, Gipsy’s Art, Brad Horton

with Workplace Resource and Corporate Design Choice. “We are honored that our club was chosen to participate in the “We Care” initiative,” said Alex Rodriguez-Roig, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. “It’s great to know that 130 kids from our club can bring home a gift for a family member this holiday season.” The “We Care” Celebration included entertainment, arts and crafts, snacks and a special visit from Santa Claus. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami have served the community since 1940 with a wide variety of programs including educational enrichment, summer camps, sports coaching and leagues. For more information on the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, visit online at <www.bgcmia.org> or call 305-446-9910.

Go online at: www.communitynewspapers.com


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 25

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

De Ruiter Electric Motor Co. marks 50 years in business

Both Farrell Sippel (left) and Marvin Winhold have worked at De Ruiter for more than 40 years and recently were honored by owner John Delaney and the De Ruiter team.

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De Ruiter Electric Motor Company in Palmetto Bay recently celebrated its 50th year in business with a celebration attended by the company’s employees, friends and neighbors. At the party hosted by owners John and Marilyn Delaney, two De Ruiter employees, Marvin Winhold and Farrell Sippel, were surprised with awards for their length of service to the company. “Marvin came to Miami from Canada over 45 years ago and when there was work available at De Ruiter two years later, his good friend, Farrell, followed him down here,” John Delaney said. Both Sippel and Winhold said it was quite a surprise and very humbling to be honored. Sippel is the chief mechanic and has been with the company for 43 years. “Marvin and I grew up together and came here as a couple of farm boys,” Sippel said. “I’ve been living in the same house with my wife and have had the same job since coming to Miami.” Winhold rewinds all of the motors at De Ruiter and has done so for 45 years. He and wife Eleanor own Winhold Montessori School, so he stays very busy. “It keeps you young being around all of these young people,” Winhold said. “I couldn’t imagine not coming into work each day. I told John that if he’ll keep me around, I’m aiming for 50 years.” Larry Knesel of Eagle Fluid Dynamic, a valued client and asset to the business, also was honored by Delaney and the De Ruiter team for his continued support. Since 1960, service excellence has been a priority at De Ruiter and the staff of committed

professionals has over 150 years of combined experience in the electric motor and pump industry. Delaney bought the De Ruiter business from Jim De Ruiter in 1994 and merged it with his company, Dade Pump and Supply. Delaney recently renovated the De Ruiter storefront and signs, but the company trademark, a bright red motor, remains a landmark in front of the store on S. Dixie Highway. “New sign, but same old people,” Delaney chuckled. “The people really are the key to success in any business. We get to know everyone by name.” The only business of its kind in the area, De Ruiter serves municipalities, wastewater and agricultural industries, as well as the pump and motor needs of residential and commercial clients throughout South Florida, the Caribbean and South America. Miami Seaquarium also depends on De Ruiter to maintain its pump equipment. The sales team at De Ruiter can help customers choose the right pump from many top brands or design a system to meet their needs. Services provided include electrical motor rewinding, pump and motor remanufacturing, full machine shop services and domestic and industrial pumping systems repairs, including emergency repairs. “If you have a pool pump or sprinkler system, chances are that we’ve worked with you or the service company that is maintaining your system,” Delaney said. “No job is too big or too small.” De Ruiter is located at 14261 S. Dixie Hwy. Business hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 7:30 a.m. until noon. For information, go online to <www.dadepump.com> or call 305-235-5000.


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

4IT expands with data center in Palmetto Bay BY JORGE MARTINEZ

4IT Inc., an Information Technology engineering and consulting firm, recently announced its expansion with an Enterprise Class Data Center facility located at the Palmetto Bay Village Center. The data center provides affordable colocation rack space, Internet bandwidth, VOIP telephone service, and monitored firewall service for clients needing ultra-reliable electrical power, environmental control, and secured physical access. 4IT also provides a full suite of IT consulting services, structured cabling, and high-speed wireless to all the tenants in the building complex. 4IT Inc. is a rapidly growing South Florida technology consulting firm specializing in outsourced IT services for the business and government marketplace. Its Managed Services offer complete end-to-end support of entire voice and data networks, including security, disaster recovery, and access to a fully staffed Helpdesk. The 4IT Helpdesk, located in its Miami

office, consists of technicians and engineers who provide high quality telephone and remote support for all day-to-day technology issues, and dispatch of onsite engineering services for installation and problem resolution. For both local and global clients, 4IT provides 24x7 proactive network monitoring and maintenance of key technology resources. 4ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business focus on technical excellence, customer service, and delivery of technology solutions, has allowed it to expand its service to clients nationally, and internationally. The 4IT team of technicians, network engineers, project managers, sales engineers, and business support personnel have on average 20 years of experience working with small, medium, and enterprise customers in a variety of industries including banking, financial services, legal, healthcare, wholesale distribution, non-profit, and retail. Contact 4IT at <www.4it-inc.com> or call the main office at 305-278-7100. You also may send email to <info@4it-inc.com> for additional information.

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Miami Art Museum breaks ground for new building BY ALLIE SCHWARTZ

Following years of planning and anticipation, Miami Art Museum (MAM) has broken ground for its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed facility in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park and next to the future home of the Miami Science Museum. The groundbreaking ceremony took place the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the museum’s new site overlooking Biscayne Bay. The new Miami Art Museum is scheduled to open to the public in 2013. “Miami Art Museum’s groundbreaking at Museum Park is a giant step forward in Miami’s emergence as one of the world’s great cultural cities,” said Aaron Podhurst, chairman of Miami Art Museum’s board of trustees. “The launch of this construction process signals that the public and private sectors are committed to enhancing Miami’s profile as a global arts destination and we are proud that Miami Art Museum factors prominently into that reputation. “Our new building will fill many roles – as a repository for our city’s greatest works, a resource for learning, an economic engine in our urban core, a gathering place for Miami residents and visitors, and as an architectural icon of our city.” The groundbreaking ceremony featured remarks by Podhurst, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Commission vice chair-elect Audrey M. Edmonson, MiamiDade County manager George M. Burgess and MAM director Thom Collins. MiamiDade County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman and Herzog & de Meuron senior partner Christine Binswanger also were onhand for the milestone. The new Miami Art Museum will comprise 200,000 square feet of programmable space, including 120,000 square feet of interior space — more than three times the size of the museum’s current facility — and 80,000 square feet of exterior space ideal for the display of works of art, educational activities,

Pictured (l-r) are Miami Art Museum (MAM) director Thom Collins; Miami-Dade County Commission vice chair-elect Audrey M. Edmonson, MAM Board of Trustees chair Aaron Podhurst, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman, Miami-Dade County manager George M. Burgess, and (Photo by Juan Cabrera.) Herzog & de Meuron senior partner Christine Binswanger. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

relaxation and dining. The building will house an educational complex with a library, auditorium, classrooms and workshop space, as well as a café and museum store. “Launching our construction timeline is certainly an exciting moment in the history of Miami Art Museum and Miami, but I’m most looking forward to the expanded possibilities that the new facility will unlock on the programming side,” Collins said. “From large-scale touring exhibitions that will expose Miami to the world’s finest art works, to meaningful educational programs

for students young and old, the new Miami Art Museum will be a showcase for the power of the visual arts.” Total construction costs for the Miami Art Museum project are budgeted at $131 million, comprised of $100 million in MiamiDade county bond proceeds and $31 million in private sector support raised through the capital campaign. Miami Art Museum has raised an additional $15 million for the institution’s operating endowment and will continue to cultivate donor support throughout the construction project.

Beyond its impact on Miami’s cultural arts community, construction of the new Miami Art Museum is expected to positively influence the local economy. More than $37 million will be spent on local construction labor, and the museum is expected to draw 200,000 new visitors to Downtown Miami each year, accounting for a $12 million annual economic impact, according to a study by Miami Economics Associates. For more information about Miami Art Museum, visit online at <www.miamiartmuseum.org> or call 305-375-3000.


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Bea Peskoe Series offers you ‘An Hour with Ruth Campbell’ BY BOB JENSEN

Homestead Center for the Arts will present “An Hour with Ruth Campbell” as its first 2011 presentation in the Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture Series, at noon Monday, Jan. 3, in the new auditorium at the Homestead Community Center, 1601 N. Krome Ave. (across from 1st National Bank of South Florida’s Main Office). Ruth Campbell is the executive director of the Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum. She has been an observer of everything Homestead since she arrived from Michigan in 1942 with her Aunt Ruth Zinck for a visit with her other aunts, Veona Schnorbus and Grace Baird. Ruth never left. She went to work at the Homestead Grocery, but within a year her girlfriends convinced her to come work with them at Homestead Army Air Field. Ruth met her husband to be Harold “Pete” Campbell at Dick’s Drive-Inn while he was home on leave from the Army. They married in 1947 after he was discharged. Ruth shares that some of her early decisions dramatically affected her life here. She joined the First Baptist Church of Homestead where she still teaches Sunday School and Bible studies. In 1947 she joined the Woman’s Club of

Homestead. She joined the Chamber of Commerce soon after opening Ruth’s Beauty Studio and her business soared. This is her simple formula for success. She and her family moved into the “Campbell House” built by Pete’s parents in northeast Homestead in 1961. In 1963 she ran for city council and won and was re-elected in 1965. In 1967 she was elected vice mayor and became the president of the Chamber of Commerce. Campbell formed the Military Affairs Committee which still is an important organization with much the same mission. She took four years off from the city council to serve on the State of Florida Board of Cosmetology. She then returned and served until 1997, 24 years total. She was defeated only once. Few are those who have seen Homestead so up close. Come and enjoy an hour with the inimitable Ruth Campbell and see the new audit rium. An optional simple lunch is available beginning at 11:30 a.m. for $10 payable at the door. Lunch reservations are essential and can be made by calling Barbara Millenbruch at 305-230-9185 by noon Dec. 31. Lots of parking is available.


Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Educate Tomorrow to host 6th annual gala fundraiser BY IAN TORRES

Educate Tomorrow, a non-profit organization with a mission to create independence for disadvantaged and foster youth through education, mentoring and life skills training, will host its sixth annual gala and fundraiser on Jan. 8. The Educate Tomorrow Gala returns with a Monte Carlo Night. The festivities again are at the luxurious private bay front estate on Old Cutler Road, with grand architecture, beautiful courtyard and bay front view that will transport guests to the experience of Monte Carlo. Guests will enjoy a variety of casino games and silent auction; exceptional wine, cocktails and food, and the company of Miami’s top executives and professionals. Looking for the thrill of the casino and betting on a great cause? Educate Tomorrow’s Monte Carlo Night will include an assortment of casino games featuring blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker. At the end of the evening, guests can trade in their chips for raffle tickets, which will be randomly drawn. Raffle prizes and silent auction items will include fabulous hotel stays, artwork, cruises and more. All of the proceeds from ticket sales, auction items, sponsorships and donations for casino chips will directly benefit Educate Tomorrow. Guests will enjoy a selection of South Florida’s best restaurants including Smith & Wollensky, Aladdin’s Grill, Captain’s Tavern, Joanna’s Marketplace, Miami Chop House, Tap Tap, and Red the Steakhouse. Parties by Pat also will be passing delicious appetizers. A tasty selection of gourmet desserts will be provided by Jennifer’s Homemade, Platinum Desserts, Homebaked by Tara

and Cakes by Denyse. These scrumptious South Florida favorites will pair well with a selection of fine wines provided by Mattebella Vineyards and others and a variety of premium cocktails courtesy of Bacardi. The latest hits from the airwaves will fill the dance floor courtesy of DJ Tony. Additional event sponsors include the TriMix Foundation, Kaufman Rossin & Co., Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin PA, Robert and Edith Hudson, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson PA, ProSource Solutions, and Antonio Misuraca. Every year hundreds of foster care children “age out” of the foster care system and are expected to transition into society as adults. Although the State of Florida provides them with financial aid for continuing education, many of them lack the required skills, guidance, and basic information needed to take advantage of these programs. Educate Tomorrow volunteers mentor these young adults and guide them in the process of completing high school and applying for college or technical school. The cost of mentoring, life skills training, and inschool support groups is approximately $2,000 per child for the first year, far less than the cost to society when a former foster child ends up homeless or incarcerated. The Educate Tomorrow Gala will take place on Saturday, Jan. 8, from 7 p.m. to midnight, at a private bay front estate located at 17575 Old Cutler Rd. Tickets are on sale now and start at $200 for individual tickets. VIP tickets and sponsorship packages also are available. For more information, visit <www.EducateTomorrow.org> or call 305374-3751.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Disney Store in Dadeland donates to Toys for Tots

Employees of the Disney Store in Dadeland Mall pose with some of the bags of plush toys donated to the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program on Thursday, Dec. 16. The cute and cuddly Disney plush characters are donated through Disney Store’s “Buy One, Give One” program. For every plush that was purchased by a customer from Nov. 29 through Dec. 7, the Disney Store donated a plush toy to Toys for Tots.

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 35

Lowell hosts annual party for Boys and Girls Clubs

Mike Lowell (center, rear) is joined by Santa Claus as well as kids and representatives from Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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Miami’s own baseball star Mike Lowell, former Florida Marlins and Boston Red Sox player as well as MVP of the 2007 World Series, recently hosted a special holiday party for 150 kids at Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s Hank Kline Facility. For the fourth consecutive year, Lowell provided each child of the club with a bag full of toys. He also read Christmas stories to the kids, while Santa Claus joined in the festivities. The children enjoyed bounce houses, face-painting by elves, cotton candy, an indoor slide, food courtesy of

McDonald’s and music. For the first year, Nestlé La Lechera cosponsored the event, helping bring smiles to the children of the community, and offering the first-ever flan-making contest, where eight families competed for a chance to win cash gift card prizes. “With the support from the Lowell family we were able to provide kids from the club gifts this holiday season,” said Alex Rodriguez-Roig, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. “Our annual holiday party continues to be huge success thanks to their support.” For more information on the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, visit online at <www.bgcmia.org> or call 305-446-9910.

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

Ceremony marks completion of causeway improvements BY RUBEN ARIAS

Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos A. Gimenez and members of the Miami-Dade County’s Public Works Department (PWD) celebrated recent improvements to Rickenbacker Causeway beaches during a morning ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 19. The ceremony took place near the causeway on Hobie Beach, adjacent to MAST Academy. PWD completed the Rickenbacker Causeway Shoreline and Roadway Protection Project on the south sides of Hobie Island and Virginia Key Beach (Hobie Cat Beach). The project began on Sept. 9, 2009 and included three major components: shoreline stabilization; stormwater management and parking improvements, and exotic vegetation removal and landscaping of the upland area. This environmental and roadway protection project is the first of its kind undertaken by PWD. The total cost for this project was $6.8 million. “Our Public Works Department is meeting the needs of the community by improving the roadway while taking factors like beach re-nourishment into consideration,” Commissioner Gimenez said. “This balance ensures that motorists and bicyclists are able to ride safely, and that residents are able to enjoy the beaches surrounding the Causeway for years to come.” For more information, contact Commissioner Gimenez’s office at 305-669-4003.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos A. Gimenez (with large scissors) is joined by members of the Miami-Dade County’s Public Works Department in ribbon cutting marking completion of improvements to Rickenbacker Causeway.

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Dec. 28, 2010 - Jan. 3, 2011

2011 Chevy Corvette marks 58 years of production Ron Beasley LET’S TALK CARS I’m still somewhat amazed that the Corvette made it through the recent General Motors bankruptcy to continue as a part of the Chevrolet product line. After all, it certainly doesn’t meet the new criteria for smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. But, survive it did and next year Corvette will mark 58 years of production to continue the claim to being “America’s sports car.” The 2011 Corvette model year sees the same product lineup, one that includes the base coupe and convertible, the rejuvenated Grand Sport and the Z06 and ZR1 performance models. The base Corvette and the Grand Sport models are powered by the LS3 V-8, while the racing-inspired Z06 is equipped with the 505-hp LS7 engine and built on a lightweight chassis. The ZR1 gets a unique supercharged LS9 6.2-liter engine and is the fastest, most powerful car ever

offered by Chevrolet. The 6.2-liter LS3 small-block V-8 engine in Corvette and Grand Sport models is rated at 430 hp and develops 424 pounds-feet of torque with the standard exhaust system. An optional dual-mode exhaust system brings the power to 436 horses and 428 poundsfeet of torque. A standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional six-speed paddle-shift automatic are offered. The Grand Sport was a runaway hit in its debut last year, accounting for almost half of all coupe sales and 70 percent of convertibles. The Grand Sport returns for 2011 with Magnetic Ride Control as an option that includes Goodyear F1 Supercar Gen 2 tires when the car is equipped with a manual transmission. The Grand Sport has widebody styling that gives it wider fenders, a wider track, wider wheels and tires. It has revised shocks, stabilizer bar and springs, and specific gearing to deliver better handling, and it clocks 0-60 in a head-snapping four seconds. A launch control system is standard on models equipped with a manual transmission to optimize performance for full-throttle starts on a racetrack. In the competitive mode, the system will hold a predetermined engine speed while the driver puts the pedal

Corvette Grand Sport has a wider track with wide-body styling and wider fenders.

to the floor, allowing a quick clutch release. The system modulates engine torque 100 times per second to maximize traction. Corvette models offer two suspension choices that allow you to choose the setup that best suits your driving style. The standard suspension is tuned for a balance of ride comfort and precise handling. The optional Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension features magneto-rheological dampers that can detect road surfaces and adjust the damping rates to those surfaces almost instantly for optimal ride control.

The Corvette interior is inspired by the car’s dual-cockpit heritage. The instrument panel and doors are covered with cast-skin foam-in-place trim that looks like a leather panel. Pricing on the 2011 Corvette starts at $49,900. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.

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Kendall Gazette 12.28.2010