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One of Miami’s Community Newspapers

Phone: 305-669-7355

ENDALL GAZETT E K www.communitynewspapers.com

JUNE 29 - JULY 5, 2010

EK Council approves building at contentious public hearing BY RICHARD YAGER

Pooches ‘paws’ to make their mark for posterity

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ast Kendall’s Community Council split ranks in a 3-2 vote after a contentious public hearing on June 22 that wound up recommending approval of a new eight-story apartment building at the Colony of Dadeland Apartments, 9355 SW 77 Ave. Council chair Elliott Zack and Jose I. Valdes were out-voted by the board’s three newest members — Jose Garciga, Alberto Santana and Angela Vazquez — during a controversial vote that took place well after many objectors to the project had left the meeting. Santana moved for approval, seconded by Garciga, after County Attorney Craig Coller said an earlier 3-3 tie vote did not automatically defer the application for a further vote on July 21, because the preceding motion did not specify deferment to a “date certain.” “It was confusing because the ruling he gave indicated that automatic deferral resulted only if the motion specified a date certain, which the tie vote did not,” Valdes said. Both he and Zack again opposed the project but participated in a discussion

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BUILDING, page 4

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MIAMI METRO

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Miami-Dade Solid Waste Dept. announces holiday schedule BY GAYLE LOVE

Grace Acosta holds on as her friend’s year-old Rottweiler, Gretchen, plants her paws.

BY RICHARD YAGER

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mmortalizing their front paws in wet cement tiles, 25 dogs from Kendall and nearby communities accompanied their owners to participate in a “Paw Print Fundraiser” on Saturday, June 19. The event took place at the recently opened two-acre lakeside dog park near the south entrance of Tropical Watching the fun at “Paw Print Fundraiser” with owner Patti Lieb of Park at Miller Road Palmetto Bay are collies, Amanda, 2, (left) and Alex, 3. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– (SW 56th Street). Embedded paw prints and inscribed Foundation program. Those wishing to supnames on 18- by 18-inch blocks will form a port dog parks can write checks to either future lakeside promenade while each Miami-Dade Parks or the Parks Foundation, owner’s $100 per tile contribution will pro- according to Donna Peyton, Purchasing and vide continued support for maintenance and Development manager. For information, call 305-755-7804 or enhancement of county dog parks through the Department of Parks and Recreation visit <www.miamidade.gov/parks>.

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ustomers of the MiamiDade Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) should note the following schedule for garbage and recycling collection services and disposal operations for the upcoming Independence Day holiday: CURBSIDE GARBAGE AND TRASH COLLECTION The day after Independence Day (Monday, July 5) there will be no collection of garbage or trash this day. DSWM customers who are served on Mondays are asked not to place their waste carts at the curb on Monday, July 5. Garbage collection for these customers will take place on their next regularly scheduled collection day, Thursday, July 8. Customers are reminded to place their waste at the curb by 7 a.m. that day. Note garbage collection on Thursday, July 8, may take place later than customers are used to; residents are asked to be patient as all garbage will be picked up that day. CURBSIDE RECYCLING SERVICE The day after Independence Day (Monday, July 5) recycling will be collected as normal on Monday, July 5. DSWM curbside recycling customers whose scheduled recycling day falls on July 5 should place their recycling carts at the curb either the evening before collection or by 7 a.m. on Monday, July 5.

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SCHEDULE, page 4


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

June 29 - July 5, 2010

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June 29 - July 5, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Residents form group for girls who want to have fun BY JASMINE BERRY

Sunset Dr., and Landis and Roth want to know, “What have you never done?” The Christine Landis and Mary Roth invite pair will be asking this question among the ladies of Kendall to others on a survey attenleave their husbands at dees are to fill out at the home and let their hair meeting. down with “Just Us “There’s really no place Girls.” here to do different, unusuAs members of a numal things,” Landis said. “I ber of clubs that do the wanted to come up with same activities every unique things to do and see month, Landis and Roth as women and just let our were in search of a little hair down.” more variety. Certain They have a number of that the sentiment activities planned and resounded with other want all members to come women of the area, the up with more, but Landis duo decided to do someadvises leave all seriousthing about it. That ness at the door. something is “Just Us “We’re not saving the Mary Roth Girls,” a group for world, we just want to ––––––––––––––––––––– women ages 55 and older have fun.” who meet once a month to just enjoy For more information on “Just Us themselves. Girls,” contact Mary Roth at 305-274The first meeting will take place on June 6072 or send email to Christine Landis at 30, 11 a.m., at the Elks Lodge, 10301 <justonelady@hotmail.com>.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

SCHEDULE, from page 1 NEIGHBORHOOD TRASH AND RECYCLING CENTERS On Independence Day (Sunday, July 4), the department’s 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers will be closed. The centers will be open regular hours on Monday, July 5. RESOURCES RECOVERY FACILITY, LANDFILLS AND TRANSFER STATIONS On Independence Day (Sunday, July 4) the department’s Resources Recovery Facility, Landfills and Transfer Stations

will be closed. These facilities will be open regular hours on Monday, July 5. HOME CHEMICAL COLLECTION CENTERS On Independence Day (Sunday, July 4) the department’s Home Chemical Collection Centers will be closed. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES The day after Independence Day (Monday, July 5) the department’s Administrative Offices will be closed. For more information on the DSWM’s Independence Day holiday service schedule, call 3-1-1 or visit online at <www.miamidade.gov/dswm>.

JUMPS FOR KENDALL GAZETTE

BUILDING, from page 1 when their colleagues “wanted to consider lowering building height to seven stories as a compromise to settle the matter, once and for all,” Valdes explained. Zack was unavailable for comment prior to deadline. The approving vote took place after Councilmember Peggy Brodeur had left the meeting, believing her opposition with Zack and Valdes in an earlier 3-3 vote had the effect of postponing action until the council’s next zoning meeting July 21. “I was horrified to learn the project was reconsidered and approved after I’d left the meeting due to personal tiredness,” said Brodeur during an interview the next morning (June 23). “I believed when I left that any further action would automatically be deferred until the board’s next meeting.” She said she is seeking an opinion from the county attorney on the validity of the 32 vote without her participation. Valdes said the decision to reopen the matter came after 10:30 p.m., approximately when Brodeur left the session after three hours were devoted to the Colony project during a four-hour meeting that began at 6:30 p.m. Holly White, president of the Continental Park Homeowners Association and representing East Kendall Homeowners Association, said the organizations would file a protest of the vote approval after she and other opposing residents left the meeting. “I was speechless when I heard the vote was taken up again and passed after many of us against the project left, right after Peggy [Brodeur] did, all of us thinking that the application would carry over to July 21,” White said. White had led a group of residents and association officers who rallied against the project, citing increasing density (up to 400 new residents), higher traffic throughout the nearby area, and disregard of East Kendall charrette guidelines to maintain the existing neighborhood without new high-rise development west of the Palmetto Expressway (SR 826). The application originally asked to modify an existing site plan to allow an eightstory apartment building, landscaping and renovation of seven existing buildings on the approximately 11-acre property by its developer, J. Milton Dadeland LLC. The developer was represented at the hearing by attorney Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a former Miami-Dade commissioner. The new structure as planned would add 92 new units to an existing 329 at the complex, an expansion that also drew protests

June 29 - July 5, 2010

from several neighboring homeowner associations — including Terra, Hampton Square, Kendall Glen, Woodlands — all of whom objected to increased density, neighborhood incompatibility and setting a precedent for new high-rise development that had been denied to Kendall Breeze, a project of six-story apartments off Kendall Drive, immediately west of the Palmetto Expressway, four years ago. In another unusual development, Carla Ascensio-Savola, who resigned to run for the Florida Legislature, formally addressed the board from the public rostrum at the outset of the hearing, voluntarily excusing herself from participation and her accustomed seat at the board table. “People accused me of being in the developer’s pocket because of my former favorable [May 13] vote for the development,” she stated. “I am purposely not taking part in this hearing as a board member to prove how wrong these misstatements are, both of my integrity and actions as a public official.” Savola-Ascensio said a letter from the State Elections Department would verify her eligibility to participate since the letter of resignation from the board was not to become effective until July 1. SavolaAscensio had participated in four separate votes taken at the May 13 session, all resulting in deferments to a hearing continuation on June 22, due to the late hour that closed the May meeting at 11 p.m. Additionally, De la Portilla questioned Zack’s eligibility, stating he had sent a letter to the County Attorney’s Office “not about his [Zack’s] integrity but his ability to render a fair decision in the matter.” De la Portilla said Zack’s association with McHenry “Hank” Hamilton, treasurer for Zack’s campaign for reelection to the council in 2010, raised a question of his participation without potential prejudice. Hamilton, a member of the board of directors of the East Kendall HOA, said he would file for an explanation of the procedure with the County Attorney on behalf of the association, adding rhetorically, “Can Mr. de la Portilla take away my right of free speech?” Zack initially said he formally would ask the county attorney for an opinion on his participation, “if only to absolve any problems that might arise over my participation, should a court appeal result subsequent to this hearing.” The county commission must still take a final vote to revise the site plan for the new building with conditions attached to the 32 vote requiring Colony to provide shade trees 12 feet in height at planting, every 15 feet around the property perimeter (instead of 30 feet) and that a southbound left turn on SW 77th Avenue align with a main development entrance, subject to Public Works Department approval.


June 29 - July 5, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Who’s serving who in Kendall? Michael Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR

AROUND TOWN Political shenanigans and accusations of prejudice aside, here’s what bothers us the most about that East Kendall zoning hearing last week when three Council members approved an eight-story building at Colony at Dadeland. If elected Council members represent voter interests, why did three Council members bend over backwards to get a new eight-story building approved when the voters they represent are so vigorously opposed to the project? Isn’t it the duty of those we elect to serve those who elect them? Those attending the hearings on May 13 and June 22 failed to report that the Colony ownership would undergo any special hardship if a new apartment building wasn’t built in the complex. With hundreds (if not thousands) of Continental Park and East Kendall voters signing petitions against the proposed expansion, what led Jorge Garciga, Alberto Santana and Angela Vazquez to work so diligently to get some kind of building approved — even to the point of suggesting a “compromise” to trade eight for seven stories, if that “solved an impasse” of past tie votes? Isn’t the purpose of the Council to protect neighborhood zoning as it exists? We suggest it is not the Council’s duty to find ways to circumvent the zoning code but to protect the ordinance as written for the people it is intended to serve. Latest buzzzz around Kendall: where will West Kendall Business Association hold its future meetings, now that Signature Gardens at SW 127 25 SW 122nd Avenue has been

sold for $6.25 million by a court-appointed receiver to J&B Importers, who plan to expand their neighboring bicycle and parts distribution business, now operating from a next-door warehouse. According to a J&B officer, commitments on the books will be honored through December 5 at the popular venue for Kendall Federation of Homeowner Association’s annual “Operation Turnaround” banquet, several organizational dinners and countless weddings and private celebrations. After that, people may have to hunt up a place for large-scale banquets and social events since none of the most recently built Kendall hotels (like the K-T Airport Holiday Inn) have facilities that can seat by the hundreds. While MetroZoo celebrates its 30th Birthday the weekend of July 4, Southern Cross Astros will celebrate its 24th Anniversary of safe solar viewing at MetroZoo! Weather permitting; July 3-4 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m., professional SCAS solar telescopes (with protective filters) will greet visitors near the kiosk at the waterfall entrance to the Zoo at 12400 SW 152 Street. Astronomy exhibits and information will also be available under the blue canopy where solar viewing is regularly offered every Saturday from 10 to noon at MetroZoo. For information, tel. 305-661-1375 or visit on-line: www.scas.org. ...and a happy, safe and red-white-andbluu e Fourth to all! Thought for the Day: A dream doesn't become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. — Colin Powell

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

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

www.communitynewspapers.com PUBLISHER .................................................................................................................................. Grant Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR .....................................................................................................................Michael Miller EDITOR.................................................................................................................................. David Berkowitz WRITERS, COLUMNISTS.............................................................. Ron Beasley, Kenneth Bluh, Robert Hamilton, Linda Rodriguez-Bernfeld, Gary Alan Ruse, Lee Stephens, Al Sunshine, Richard Yager ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES..........................................................Albie Barnes, Beatriz Brandfon, Roberta Bergman, Ana Caceres, Celia Canabate, Diane Chasin, Henry Chau, Sharon Christian, 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, Angie Gago PUBLISHER EMERITUS......................................................................................................................................... Ron Miller MIAMI COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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

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June 29 - July 5, 2010

Bloated pensions are killing government’s ability to survive R. Kenneth Bluh KENNETH’S COMMENTARY The other day, an 80-year-old Liberty City client of mine was commenting on an article she read in The Miami Herald stating that City of Miami firemen were earning $100,000 or more a year and were retiring at $90,000 a year. The senior wanted to know how this was possible. Before I could answer she reminded me that she has been living on a $772-a-month Social Security benefit. I started to tell her the history of such high salaries and retirement benefits. But, before I could get started, she reminded me that she is paying $1,270 a year in real estate taxes on her little Liberty City home. “Aren’t my taxes paying that fireman’s salary and his retirement, and all I live on is $772 a month?” she asked. I told her it is true. The primary source of income to the city is real estate taxes and that is what is paying the fireman’s salary

and putting money away for his or her retirement. “That sounds crooked to me,” she said. It’s not crooked. There is a story to how the big paychecks and retirement benefits came into existence. Many years ago, governments were having difficulty hiring employees because private business was paying much higher salaries and no one wanted to go to work for the government. They didn’t have the money to pay higher salaries so they promised their new employees that if they came to work at a low starting salary they would, at retirement, receive a “great” pension. The government didn’t need to spend a lot of money each week when the paychecks were cut. They really didn’t worry about the future cost of high benefit pensions as that was many, many years into the future. Someday, when the cities had a lot of money, they could fund the pensions. Workers accepted the idea of lower wages at the beginning because they would have great retirement benefits. They could look forward to spending vacations with the family and living a great life. After all isn’t that what retirement was supposed to be? As time went on government workers

–– VIEWPOINT –– realized that if they unionized they could push for higher wages. Management didn’t fight too hard. After all, what would the city do if the waste collection employees, the police or firemen quit? The city would be in turmoil. Voters would be upset and not return elected officials to office when they came up for reelection. How to resolve the problem? Pay higher wages. Today we have pension systems in place that will pay average government workers 80 percent of their last year’s salary. Fire/rescue and police could retire on 90 percent of their last year’s salary. To make financial matters even worse many workers are granted a great deal of overtime during the last few years of their employment, which swells the annual income and increases their retirement benefits. Do I blame the employees for taking the benefits? Not really, even though it doesn’t make financial sense.

But is it logical? No! No city or county government should place the cost of funding a swollen retirement program on the backs of taxpayers who in retirement are living on Social Security and the few dollars they might have been able to squirrel away. With 11.5 percent of South Florida unemployed very few can put anything away for the future. Remember, municipalities and county governments can file bankruptcy to cancel employment contracts and start negotiating more workable retirement programs. We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-662-6980 or email to <letters@communitynewspapers.com>. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.


June 29 - July 5, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Third Quarter Forecast: Some gains expected

Al Sunshine 4 YOUR MONEY As we are approaching the year’s halfway mark, we are about to pass a major turning point for 2010. The first half of the year is almost gone and now we head into the start of the third quarter. If we’ve been lucky and planned well, we have trimmed our expenses down to a bare minimum and cut back our credit card debt. We have reviewed our investments and moved them into a better balance of decent yields with acceptable risks. The Dow is holding fairly steady around the 10,000 mark compared to last year’s 8,764 level. We also have gone back into a period of volatility on Wall Street and should expect more moderate swings over the coming weeks. Hopefully, we’ve taken a serious look at our family’s financial bottom line and made some tough decisions about spending, saving and investing. That means we have double checked our home loans and crunched the numbers to see if it makes sense to refinance or buy a new home. We also have made some decisions about our summer vacations, and may have saved up a little nest egg to fund them while looking forward to getting some time off to enjoy summer sunsets while we think about the future. On the job front, we all probably are working harder than ever, while at the same time not enjoying much income growth as corporate and small business profits remain “challenged.” On the downside, private hiring remains stalled. The latest unemployment filings out of the U.S. Labor Department shows Florida now is the worst state in the nation for new unemployment claims with more than 3,400 new filings from earlier in the month. While the rest of the country is seeing some limited new hiring, we are not seeing much job growth at all around South Florida. The summer usually sees a solid business slowdown around Miami. So I would

not expect summer hiring to get any real boost anytime soon. But that should improve as we move into the fall and the start of the fourth quarter. Housing/real estate also should improve some in the fall as low interest rates continue to make home ownership more affordable. Prices on some prime South Florida properties also should improve. However, I expect we still are seeing the local real estate market bottoming out as long as more foreclosed properties keep entering the market. Nobody expects Florida’s foreclosure epidemic to end anytime soon, even though there have been some steady improvements. So what is the bottom line? South Florida probably will continue to see some positive economic gains. Retail sales will remain soft until the “back to school” season opens at the end of July. Consumer sentiment is getting better and now is at its highest level since January of 2008. Retailers will continue to cut prices to get shoppers to spend again, since the latest retail numbers showed seven months of gains dropping for the first time since last fall. Still, retail sales are up about 7 percent. Third quarter foreign trade and tourism should enjoy steady growth with the ports of Miami, Palm Beach and Port Everglades heading towards new record highs. Local hiring and new job growth will remain slow until later in the fall. Any employment gains may be offset by expected cutbacks in the public employment sector as municipal and school budgets face more layoffs. Property tax revenues will continue to decline as property values keep dropping. More than ever, we need to keep a close watch on our family finances and plan for more tough times. The economy may be getting better, even if it’s at the pace of watching paint dry. Still, with 2010 about half over, businesses locally and around the country have a good chance of improving through the end of the year. Watch Al Sunshine’s “4 Your Money” reports Monday-Friday beginning at noon. You may find Al’s blog at <www.cbs4.com/4yourmoney>.

Don’t Forget to Recycle

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June 29 - July 5, 2010

Now is time to register your children for VPK BY ANGELA ONETO

The time has come for parents to enroll their children in Florida’s Voluntary PreKindergarten program (VPK). This program is offered next school year to all children who turn 4 years of age prior to or by Sept. 1. The school-year program includes 540 hours of instructional time and begins in August. The summer program is available to all children who turn 4 years of age prior by Sept. 1, and consists of 300 instructional hours. In order for parents to register their child in the VPK program, they must obtain a certificate of eligibility (COE). This document may be acquired at the following registration locations: Frankie Shannon Rolle Neighborhood Service Center, 3750 S. Dixie Hwy., Miami, FL 33133, and Naranja Neighborhood Service Center, 13955 SW 264 St., Miami, FL 33032. Registration sites will be open throughout the summer, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parents also may register their children on Saturday, Aug. 7, from 9 a.m. to noon. Parents must bring the following documents to complete the registration process: Proof of Florida residency — A photocopy of a document verifying name and current home address. Examples include: Bank statement, insurance policy, utility bill, valid Florida driver’s license, pay stub, or government document. Child’s date of birth — An original document confirming each child’s date of

birth. Examples include: Birth certificate, passport, a certificate of arrival in the USA showing age, valid military dependent ID, immunization document, and baptism certificate or other religious record showing child’s birth date. If one wishes to register a child and he or she is not the biological parent, that person must show proof of legal guardianship. To expedite the registration process, parents also are encouraged to bring a copy of the original document proving their child’s birth-date. Additionally, they should bring their picture ID and social security card, as well as the social security number of each child. At the application site parents will receive: • A list of certified VPK providers in Miami-Dade County; • A COE that must be taken to the parents’ chosen VPK provider, and • A parent/guardian responsibility information sheet. Services are rendered on a first-come, first-served basis. Numbers will be distributed to the maximum number of parents that can be seen in the scheduled time allotted. Once these numbers are used up, the line will close. For more information, call 305-373-3521. The Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring children in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties receive high-quality early care and education. For additional information, visit the website at <www.elcmdm.org>.


June 29 - July 5, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Holistic health services, education are available at Rock Star Healing BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

A few years ago, Rev. Isis Martinez, owner of Rock Star Healing, was in a dark place. She said she had absolutely no self esteem, and had problems with anxiety, depression and even drug addiction. Today she owns her own business and she helps others who have issues with depression and self worth. “I was able to defeat that monster,” she said. “I have an incredible amount of faith in our own healing powers.” She was a journalism major who was skeptical of holistic practices, but became convinced of their value the more she learned about them. With the encouragement of one of her college professors she learned more about Reiki. She has studied Reiki since 1998 and began practicing holistic healing as a profession three years ago. She opened Rock Star Healing to help others achieve spiritual growth and healing of their inner selves. “We offer holistic healing services and education for healing the mind, the body and the spirit and earth,” she said. “I work with pain-related issues as well.” For her patients, Martinez offers Reiki combined with crystals and astrology. She often donates her Reiki services to chemotherapy patients. In fact, Baptist Hospital now refers oncology patients to her. “It offers relief from chemo,” she said. “It helps the numbing, the nausea and the depression.” About a year ago she opened her first office on Biscayne Boulevard but quickly had to search for larger quarters because she had so many clients. In March, she opened at 8363 SW 124 St., Suite 104. Martinez helps people who are having emotional and spiritual issues. “Usually my first session lasts about 90 minutes,” she said. “Then they come in again about three weeks later. Every time I work with someone, I feel incredibly blessed.” She said what we think of as alternative healing wasn’t an alternative method in the past. “It wasn’t the alternative until they created the antibiotic,” Martinez said. “They were used to doing the herbal remedies and healing with foods. What we use are the tools that God has given us.” She said we basically have forgotten where we come from.

Rev. Isis Martinez, owner of Rock Star Healing, wants people to help heal themselves. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“My vision is to eventually unite these two worlds so people have the tools,” she said. “I don’t want it to be the alternative. It should be the first choice.” What Martinez hopes is that everyone learns to balance the seven main energy centers in their bodies. “Reiki goes and it works where it needs to work. The body is incredibly genius in its own healing process,” she said. “By us clearing our own energy, it makes it possible for us to heal faster.” In July, there will be an acupuncturist on site. The acupuncturist using cupping (featured in the new Karate Kid movie) along with the acupuncture. Rock Star Healing has started a summer kids program that offers teen classes on Tuesdays and classes for younger children on Wednesdays. It also offers pranic healing, hypnosis for those who want to stop smoking and for weight loss. There are yoga classes for children and adults. Rock Star Healing also has Alternative Healing Happy Hours and Meditation sessions, Belly Dancing, and classes on the Laws of Attraction — How to Attract and Create Your Deepest Desires. By the way, holistic healing is not only for humans. Martinez offers Reiki for pets as well. For more information, call 305-9649696 or go online to <www.RockStarHealing.com>.

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June 29 - July 5, 2010

Metrozoo celebrates 30 years with a new name, new look BY CINDY CASTELBLANCO

Miami Metrozoo is thanking the community and out-of-town visitors for their faithful patronage of its park over the past 30 years by celebrating its 30th birthday, July 3-5, with $5 admission and much more. Supporters interested in giving the zoo a $5 birthday gift and supporting Florida wildlife conservation awareness can text “ZOO” to 501501. The new “Zoo Miami” logo and iconic zoo entrance (at SW 124th Avenue and 152nd Street), that reflects the transformation the zoo has undergone in the past 30 years, will be unveiled officially on the morning of Friday, July 2. In honor of its 30th birthday and in the spirit of 1980 when the zoo opened on July 4, the entire community is invited to enjoy the zoo during $5 days from July 3 to 5. During these three days, the public will be treated to the heavily discounted admission price, music, giveaways and a ton of fun. All weekend entertainment will include disc jockeys playing the best ’80s music. On July 3 and 4 at 1 p.m., best ’80s outfit contests will take place with prizes such as year-long memberships to the zoo. Zoo Miami lapel pins and collectible cups will be given to the first 1,000 people whoi visit the zoo on July 3 and 5 (one giveaway per day). Guests also will be asked to sign a large commemorative banner celebrating the zoo’s 30th birthday that will be displayed on that weekend. On July 4, the zoo will be giving away gifts, which include Zoo Miami T-shirts and birthday cupcakes, to its first 1,000 loyal guests. Oasis Grille, the zoo’s main dining area, will be serving an all-American barbecue feast complete with burgers, hot dogs

In honor of its 30th birthday and in the spirit of 1980 when the zoo opened on July 4, the entire community is invited to enjoy the zoo during $5 days from July 3 to 5. During these three days, the public will be treated to the heavily discounted admission price, music, giveaways and a ton of fun. and sides at one low price. The first 1,000 people who purchase the barbecue will receive a complimentary eight-pack of Orange Crush soda, courtesy of Pepsi. That same day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Blue Bell’s mobile ice cream parlor will be scooping away a variety of free ice cream to lucky zoo visitors as part of “Scoops for Conservation,” a new partnership between the Zoological Society of Florida and Blue Bell Ice Cream that encourages donations for wildlife conservation. Miami Metrozoo’s hours are 9:30 a.m.5:30 p.m.; ticket booths close at 4 p.m. For more information visit online at <www.miamimetrozoo.com>. On its 30th Birthday, July 4, the zoo’s official website will change to <www.zoomiami.org>.


June 29 - July 5, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Southwood earns certification for its drug prevention efforts BY AMY GOLDSTEIN

Members of Boy Scouts Troop 457 and the Southwood Student Council stood proudly while nine members of the Southwood Orchestra delighted guests with symphonic melodies during a recent recognition event at Southwood Middle School. The event formally recognized Southwood for being Red Ribbon Certified, a distinguished honor shared by only three other schools in Miami-Dade County. Red Ribbon Certified Schools, a program of Informed Families and the National Family Partnership, recognizes schools that improve academic performance by keeping kids drug and alcohol free, and engaging parents and the community. “Southwood Middle School is being recognized for dedicating time, energy and resources throughout the year to preventing substance abuse,” said Peggy Sapp, president and CEO of informed Families. “Red Ribbon Certified Schools is a unique program designed to honor schools who utilize effective prevention strategies, while engaging and involving students, parents, administrators and the community-at-large in the process — and Southwood Middle School does just that.” During the recognition ceremony on June 3, Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn, Miami Dade County Public School District Region V administrative director Robert Kalinsky, Maura Valeiras representing School Board member Dr. Larry Feldman and principal Deborah Leal congratulated the students, parents, faculty and administrators for their achievements. Mayor Flinn emphasized the importance of working together as a community to prevent underage drinking and youth substance abuse. Other participants at the event included

Pictured are (l-r, back row) Simone Brown Knight, National Director, Red Ribbon Certified Schools; Miami Dade County Public School District Region V administrative director Robert Kalinsky; principal Deborah Leal; Trust counselor Bob Lunior; Alain Roque, David Gerena and Andres Sosa of the National Guard; (front row) Maura Valeiras, representing School Board member Dr. Larry Feldman; Boys Scouts from Troop 457, and Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Simone Brown Knight, statewide director of Red Ribbon Certified Schools; Marisol Arceo, director of Informed Families Community Action Teams; PTSA president Karl Ellins, and David Gerena, Andres Sosa and Alain Roque of the National Guard. The event concluded with Leal, Mayor Flinn, Boy Scouts and members of the National Guard raising the Red Ribbon Certified Schools flag. To be considered for Red Ribbon Certification schools must utilize substance abuse prevention-related curriculum guided by best practices, work with parents as partners and engage in year-round Red Ribbon events. Schools selected for certification remain certified for a three-year period. The program originally was developed by Informed Families, The National Family Partnership and the Florida Center for Prevention Research at Florida State University, and funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the US Department of Health & Human Services. To find out how your child’s school can be a Red Ribbon Certified School, contact Simone Brown Knight via email at <sbrown@informedfamilies.org>, call 305-856-4886 or visit online at <www.redribbonschools.org>.


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Medical pioneer Dr. Katzen joins FIU College of Medicine BY MADELINE BARÓ

“He is a natural teacher whose decades of contributions have advanced our understandDr. Barry T. Katzen, whose many career ing of medicine and our ability to care for “firsts” include pioneering angioplasty, has patients, as well as enhanced the way we train joined Florida International University’s doctors. That makes him a perfect fit for our College of Medicine.” Herbert Wertheim College of Katzen, 63, has been a national Medicine as associate dean for site principal investigator for many Clinical Affairs for Baptist clinical trials in the study of Health South Florida. aneurysms, carotid artery disease, Katzen, who is founder and and peripheral vascular disease medical director of Baptist and has been involved in the develCardiac and Vascular Institute, opment of numerous devices for will facilitate the relationship less invasive vascular therapy. between FIU’s College of He is considered one of the pioMedicine and Baptist Health, neers of angioplasty, a technique for one of the medical school’s clinopening blocked blood vessels, and ical partners. Dr. Barry T. Katzen has performed numerous “firsts,” Katzen’s responsibilities include coordinating the clinical –––––––––––––––– including the first renal angioplasty education of FIU medical students at Baptist in the United States. Katzen is considered one Health facilities as well as the relationship of the founders of Interventional Radiology as between faculty at the College of Medicine a specialty of medicine. Katzen also pioneered the use of video and and the medical staff at Baptist Health. In his duties, he will be collaborating with Javier audio technology to enhance the process of Hernandez-Lichtl, corporate chief academic education for established practitioners and is affiliation officer and CEO of West Kendall credited with being the first to use live Baptist Hospital, who also serves as associate patient demonstrations in the United States. dean for Academic Affairs at the Wertheim This became the benchmark for procedural education in his own field of endovascular College of Medicine. “I am excited to have the opportunity to therapy, as well as many other procedural shepherd and optimize this evolving relation- areas of medicine. His distinguished academic career includes ship between FIU and Baptist Health,” Katzen said. “By combining resources and authoring or co-authoring four textbooks, maximizing our efforts in areas such as numerous book chapters, and more than 160 patient care, medical education and research, peer-reviewed scientific publications. Among his many honors, Katzen has we can build a partnership that will greatly benefit both institutions and our community.” twice been recognized as one of the 20 most Dr. John Rock, founding dean of FIU’s influential radiologists in the United States College of Medicine, said Katzen will play a and has been listed in Best Doctors in key role in one of the medical school’s part- America numerous times. Katzen is a native of Miami Beach who nerships and will help the medical school fulfill its mission of training physicians who has a medical degree from the University of will practice medicine in a compassionate Miami. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Judith Steinbook Katzen, and and comprehensive manner. “Dr. Katzen is not only a leader in his field, they have three daughters. The couple lives but a leader in medical education,” Rock said. in Coral Gables.


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Miccosukee Everglades Music and Crafts Festival, July 17 The Miccosukee Tribe will host its 35th annual Miccosukee Everglades Music and Crafts Festival on July 17 at the Miccosukee Indian Village, located at Mile Marker 70, U.S. Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail). Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. and the festival will last until 5 p.m. The event will feature performances by the Georgia Satellites, Indigenous and Saints on Fire. There also will be alligator demonstrations, airboat rides, a Miccosukee fashion show, authentic Indian food and Native American arts and crafts. General admission is $25. Kids ages 6 and under admitted free. All proceeds will benefit the Miccosukee Educational Fund. Shuttle services will be available from the Miccosukee Resort. For more information, call 305-9252555.

Peacock Park, 2820 McFarlane Rd. The celebration will feature a pig and boar cook-off challenge, a performance by Alto Reed, a Kid’s Fun Zone, dunk tank, hot dog eating contest, scavenger hunt and fireworks display. Events will begin at 2 p.m. Volunteers are needed at the information booth, liquor/soda booth, beer booths and dunk tank. The shifts are as follows: 1:30-4:30 p.m., 4:30-7:30 p.m. and 7:30-10 p.m. If interested, send an email with your name, phone number and shifts you would like to work to Michelle Alvarez at <michelle.alvarez@opco.com> or Lisa Shallenberger at <lmshall@hotmail.com>. Plan to arrive 15 minutes before shifts begin and if you sign up but must cancel for any reason, let Michelle or Lisa know.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR JULY 4 CELEBRATION AT PEACOCK PARK The Chamber of Commerce is looking for individuals who can commit to working at least one shift on Sunday, July 4, for Coconut Grove’s all day celebration at

FREE SMALL CLAIMS COURT CLINIC SLATED JULY 13 AT MAIN LIBRARY The Miami-Dade Consumer Services Department will host a free Small Claims Court Clinic on Tuesday, July 13, noon, at the Main Library, located at 101 W. Flagler

COMMUNITY NEWS BRIEFS St. in Downtown Miami. The clinic will assist those who have lost money during a business transaction involving a sum of $5,000 or less and want to take it to court without the assistance of an attorney. Attendees will receive handson help filing the appropriate paperwork and advice on what kinds of cases are worth pursuing. Visit the Consumer Services Department website at <www.800helpfla.com> for instructions on how to file in Small Claims Court. For questions regarding the clinic or filing a claim, call the Consumer Services Department at 305-375-3677. TWO FREE CONCERT PERFORMANCES SET FOR MOZART’S ‘THE MAGIC FLUTE’ Riuniti Opera and Alhambra Orchestra,

with conductor Alfred Gershfeld, will present two free concert performances of The Magic Flute. The first performance will be on Thursday, July 15, 3 p.m., at the University of Miami’s Gusman Hall, located at 1314 Miller Dr. The second performance will be on Sunday, July 18, 4 p.m., in the auditorium of Temple Beth Am, located at 5950 N. Kendall Dr. In collaboration with the Young Musicians’ Camp at the UM Frost School of Music, the July 15 performance will be a special 45-minute presentation geared towards children. All children from the community are invited. To RSVP for the July 18 performance, contact Michelle Cohen at 305-667-6667. For more information on the July 15 performance, call 305-668-9260.


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Cirque du Grove to take over Grand Avenue, July 2 and 3 BY MELISSA NOBLES

This year, Fourth of July won’t just be about watching fireworks — it also will be about watching fire eaters. The Coconut Grove Business Improvement District (BID) is bringing “Cirque du Grove: A Busker’s Carnival” to the streets of Coconut Grove on Friday, July 2, and Saturday, July 3. Busking is an American tradition on its own accord. Theater has taken the stage on sidewalks and in plazas across the country for many years, yet, Cirque du Grove is the first time a busking event of this size has ever come to Miami. Beginning Friday at 8:30 p.m., the group Supernova will entertain Grove audiences with a special evening show, displaying daring fire routines. A preview of Saturday’s performance will follow until midnight. On Saturday, July 3, the all-day circus will begin at 10 a.m. with performances by famed wire-walker Will Soto from Key West’s Mallory Square, and ex-Cirque du Soleil hand balancer Cory Tabino. A free-standing aerial rig also will cover

Grand Avenue, as the Rainbow Circus performs static trapeze, hoop and silks acts. Known as the South Florida School of Circus Arts, Rainbow Circus will showcase the talents of some of the industry’s youngest performers. Continuous shows will run until 7 p.m., including a variety of stilt walkers, magicians, balloon artists, face painters, jugglers and other buskers. Grand Avenue and Virginia Street will be closed from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. on Friday, July 2, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 3. Following Cirque du Grove’s main activities, event-goers can stop for some refreshments and view critically acclaimed art during the Grove Gallery Walk, another event presented by the Coconut Grove BID. The Coconut Grove BID exists to improve the quality and financial success of the Grove’s commercial core. It enhances Grove parking, lighting, sanitation, marketing, and safety, as well as supporting special events. For more information on the Coconut Grove BID, visit <www.coconutgrove.com> or call 305-461-5506.

June 29 - July 5, 2010

CocoWalk to celebrate the (hot) dog days of summer BY NAOMI EVANS

An all day celebration is taking place all over Coconut Grove on Sunday, July 4. Don’t miss the second annual CocoWalk Hot Dog Eating Competition at 2:30 p.m. judged by the lovely ladies of Hooters. The delicious hot dogs are provided by Paragon Grove 13 Theaters, CocoWalk’s new premium luxury theater. Fifteen competitors will eat as many hot dogs as they can in 10 minutes to win the title of CocoWalks Hot Dog Champion and a fantastic prize package. Last year’s winner ate 14 hot dogs to claim the title of CocoWalk Hot Dog Eating Champion 2009. The fabulous first prize package includes a Coconut Grove hotel stay and a variety of gifts certificates and prizes from CocoWalk’s merchants. Cocowalk is Miami’s ultimate destination for shopping, dining and entertainment. As the first lifestyle center in

Florida, CocoWalks’ unique grounds and buildings were carefully designed to blend seamlessly into the surroundings of Coconut Grove, a bayside village known for being eclectic, sometimes eccentric and always exciting. CocoWalk’s rows of shops and boutiques are a shopper’s paradise, while its 13-screen luxury movie theater provides entertainment for any taste. Restaurants and sidewalk cafes offer a kaleidoscope of flavor from every corner of the globe. Each night, CocoWalk’s variety of bars and live entertainment fill the center with sparkling lights, music and laughter. Recent renovations costing over $10 million and a contiguous large parking garage make CocoWalk a convenient retail, dining and entertainment destination. CocoWalk features convenient guest services such as 24-hour security, covered parking, ATM/cash machines and secure bike racks.


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Teachers recognized for devotion to environment and conservation BY SAMANTHA REGO

South Florida teachers were recognized for their contributions to environmental education and conservation during the recent 2009-10 Fairchild Challenge Educator of the Year Awards ceremony. Maria Francesca Violich of Hubert O. Sibley Elementary School, Marina Midence of Shenandoah Middle School, and Pamela Shlachtman of Miami Palmetto Senior High School, were presented with awards during the Teachers’ Luncheon celebration that took place at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG) in Coral Gables. The teachers were selected from a pool of highly qualified applicants and represent faculty from more than 150 Fairchild Challenge (FC) schools in South Florida. The FC is an environmentally based, interdisciplinary education outreach program that is provided by FTBG at no cost to participating schools every academic year. The program is comprised of a series of individual projects, contests and performances in which students participate. Some of the options include: writing opinion and research papers; performing songs and skits; creating school gardens, artwork and newsletters; collecting school energy, water and treecanopy data; designing solar-powered devices, and formulating “green” cuisine menus. Students are awarded points for their schools that count toward

their overall FC ranking. This year’s winning educators consistently proved their commitment to the program by helping their schools achieve a top ranking for several consecutive years. “We work with such an inspirational group of teachers who motivate students and ignite a passion within them to become environmentally conscious,” said Amy Padolf, director of education with the FTBG. “Our winners this year are role models who have successfully launched ‘green’ initiatives at their schools. We are proud to work with such a dedicated group of teachers who have the ability to significantly impact the future of our environment.” Pamela Shlachtman, high school teacher of the year, began participating in the FC eight years ago and consistently has placed in the top 10 high schools in the FC. She organizes Miami Palmetto High School’s annual “Plant the Pride” event, in which students plant trees and shrubs, mulch trees, trim bushes and pick up trash to beautify the school. The Fairchild Challenge, established in 2002 by South Florida’s 70-year-old Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, seeks to reconnect America’s youth with nature through a multi-disciplinary program available free to elementary, middle and high schools. For more information, visit <www.fairchildchallenge.org> or call 305-667-1651.

Pictured is Pamela Shlachtman of Miami Palmetto High School, Fairchild Challenge Educator of the Year, with Nancy Famulari, Education Outreach coordinator.


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World Cup’s final matches coming to theaters in 3-D BY EMMA K. MITTELSTADT

NCM Fathom, a division of National CineMedia, a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology, and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world governing body of association football (soccer), have announced that the 2010 FIFA World Cup semi-finals, match for third place and final match will be presented for the first time live in 3-D in 15 select U.S. movie theaters on July 6, 7, 10 and 11. Various AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holidings Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group movie theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Denver, Miami, Kansas City, and San Antonio markets will feature the historic tournament’s final four matches, part of the most-watched sporting event in the world. Locally the contests will be shown at AMC’s Sunset Place 24, 5701 Sunset Dr. in South Miami. Tickets for 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer Live in 3-D are available at participating theater box offices and online at <www.FathomEvents.com>. For a complete list of theater locations, times and prices, visit the Fathom website (theaters are subject to change). 2010 marks the first time that the FIFA World Cup has been broadcast live in 3-D in U.S. movie theaters. Fans will be able to watch all the action from halfway across the globe in the comfort of their local movie theater. With digital sound and 3-D picture, the experience will be the next best

2010 marks the first time that the FIFA World Cup has been broadcast live in 3-D in U.S. movie theaters.

thing to actually sitting in the stands in South Africa and will add 3-D elements exclusive to those attending in participating U.S. movie theaters. “The World Cup is a momentous occasion for soccer fans all around the globe,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of NCM Fathom. “We’re excited to introduce an unrivaled experience for this year’s games — shown larger-than-life on 40-foot screens, in the best movie theaters and biggest markets in the country.” For more information on FIFA and its competitions, especially the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, visit the official website at <www.FIFA.com>.

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Financial Planning for FPL Employees

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This is Part II of an article published in a previous issue. These suggestions are specifically geared toward FPL employees by Rick Tonkinson who has been working with FPL since 1991 (18 years). These suggestions should apply to all employees regardless of age or time with the company. (Go online to: www.communitynewspapers.com go to archives for Feb. 2, 2010.) 4th: Before you retire become debt free. This means getting the kids raised, educated and maybe married off. It also means a zero balance on the credit cards, car and truck loans, home equity loan and house mortgage. If you have a choice to reduce debt or save an extra dollar you should consider putting the extra dollar towards reducing the debt. This process of debt reduction should be a priority and it may take several years to attain. Proper use of your net pay will shorten the time to attain this. Extra money from an outage or overtime can be extra money towards your debt. Try to live on your straight time income only. 5th: If you can afford it and have family to take care of, then purchase the most group term life insurance.

You can purchase as much as 4x your salary. This benefit is often not taken full advantage of. 6th: Purchase the disability insurance. Your job is stressful and your work is often dangerous. FPL focuses on your safety but people still get hurt. The disability insurance is a must. 7th: Live where you want to but if Miami or Homestead is too expensive consider moving to a cheaper state. Miami is one of the most expensive areas to live in the USA.The homeowner insurance, property taxes and car insurance rates are so high that it chases retirees out of town. States such as Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina are much cheaper to live. People move to be with their families (grandkids) but these states are more affordable and often times a lot friendlier and a lot less congested. These are suggestions that apply to all FPL employees. Management has merit raises in March that we can discuss what to do with. Some managers have stock options that we can also discuss. Rick Tonkinson is a Certified Financial Planner (CFPâ&#x201E;˘). The family business office is located at 100 Almeria Ave, Suite 310, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Tel # 305-447-6617

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June 29 - July 5, 2010

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Blue Martini schedules July opening at The Palms Blue Martini interior view

BY MEGAN PALMER

Preparing for its grand opening in July, Blue Martini is excited to bring Kendall residents its collection of delicious martinis, tasty dishes and exciting live entertainment. Located in the newly renovated The Palms at Town and Country Shopping Center, Blue Martini is destined to become a center for entertainment and nightlife in the area. Blue Martini, the premiere martini lounge, has locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa and West Palm Beach. For its newest venture, Blue Martini chose Kendall, which has a demographic that fits with the primary customer base and a genuine need in the community for an entertainment location of a higher-caliber. “I’ve had so many people asking when we are going to open,” said Vania Giordano, special events manager for Blue Martini Kendall. “Blue Martini is definitely the most exciting addition to Kendall in years; we’ll no doubt bring a whole new dynamic to the area.”

Blue Martini prides itself on offering patrons an “upscale environment with a local bar mentality.” Designed for comfort, the lounge’s soft lighting creates a friendly environment while smooth lines provide a sexy backdrop. The 40-martini menu is all encompassing focusing on quality, with bartenders using only the best ingredients and keeping up with the latest cocktail trends to create palate pleasers, like the signature Blue Martini. A simple menu offers great food for a great value easily paired with one of their delightful drinks; favorites include the Seared Tuna and Beef Tenderloin. Located at 8405 Mills Dr. #205, Blue Martini Kendall will be open seven days a week. Blue Martini Kendall plans to launch a schedule of events soon after opening including an “In the Biz” night for the hospitality industry, a Ladies Night and a happy hour every night of the week. For more information visit online at <www.bluemartinilounge.com> or call 305630-2583.

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Fleming blends new ideas with long-time favorites BY NANCY EAGLETON “Fleming is still your favorite restaurant,” said Andy Hall, owner of Fleming in Pinecrest, a neighborhood favorite for over 25 years. “We’ve changed, but we haven’t changed so much that our longtime clients won’t recognize us.” When Hall mentions change at Fleming, he is referring to the transformation of the restaurant décor, kitchen and menu by Chef Gordon Ramsay and his crew as they taped an episode of Kitchen Nightmares for Fox. After the May 7 airing of the episode, Hall wants all of his faithful patrons and new clients to know that Fleming is now the perfect blend of new ideas and long-time customer favorites. “It’s important to remember that the show was taped nine months ago,” Hall said. “We ran with the new menu for about two months and quickly found out that our clients still wanted many of the traditional favorites. “Our menu now includes some of the new dishes introduced by Chef Ramsay, our best selling traditional dishes presented in an updated way and creative small plate offerings that match the way people are eating today.” New menu offerings that came from the Kitchen Nightmares crew include the appetizer Snapper Ceviche, Cuban Coffee Rubbed Rib Eye Steak served with cauliflower au gratin, and Coconut Macadamia Crusted Mahi served with a zesty orange marmalade sauce, pineapple relish and plantain chips. The traditional menu favorites, such as beef stroganoff and Wiener schnitzel, were brought back by customer demand. Many of the famous Fleming dishes now are served with a variety of sides, including the pan seared dolphin served with warm

Pictured (l-r) are Fleming’s crew members Julie Beltz; Cindee Lee; owners Suzanne Thomas-Hall and Andy Hall, and Doris Driscoll. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

tomato salad and basil vinaigrette; Snapper Francais served with lemon, butter, caper and parsley sauce over linguini, and grilled lamb chop served with spiced couscous, sun-dried tomatoes and mint chimichurri sauce. “We also returned to the concept of serving crudités when people sat down at their table and offering the soup of the day and Caesar salad with their meal,” Hall said. “The dessert display bar is also back. That was a tradition that our customers really missed.”

Hall continued: “We took the best of the best from the Kitchen Nightmares ideas and the process inspired us to make even more changes and updates.” Fleming’s new theme nights, which complement the regular menu offering, are a hit in the neighborhood. Wednesday is Wine and Tapas night, featuring small plate specialty dishes and half price wine. Thursdays feature a prime rib dinner complete with potato and vegetable for $19.95. “This offering is usually sold out by 7 p.m., so clients need to come early or call

and reserve the prime rib,” Hall said. Fleming Happy Hour is daily from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and the new “Economic Recovery Menu” is offered daily from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and includes 10 popular dishes served with soup, salad, potatoes, seasonal vegetable and a delicious dessert for $19.95. For clients who crave something unique, the Fleming chef offers two to three daily specials that are brimming with flavor, including a vegetarian choice. Fleming comes alive on Friday and Saturday nights with live dinner music from 6:30 p.m. to closing. It also has two private rooms with a new contemporary look to host luncheons, dinner events and parties. “The new décor is warm and inviting and everyone loves it. We are so grateful for the experience, the updates and the new kitchen equipment,” Hall said. “The show has caused a lot of talk and buzz, and that’s always a good thing. The night the episode aired, we held a Premiere Night and hosted over 180 people for dinner.” Hall and his wife, Suzanne, have owned Fleming since they purchased the restaurant from the original owner in 2002. They admit they hadn’t made many changes over the years. Hall said that now the restaurant has the right formula and they are poised for the future. “We still have great food, great prices, great value and great service,” Hall said. “We know who we are again and we are ready for the next 20 years.” Fleming opens Tuesday through Sunday at 5:30 p.m. The restaurant is located at 8511 SW 136 St. To make a reservation, call 305-232-6444. For information or to view the Fleming episode of Kitchen Nightmares, visit online at <www.flemingrestaurant.com>.


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Miami Heart Gallery features new portraits of foster kids BY YANEISY BLANCO

For the third consecutive year, The Children’s Trust is spearheading the Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery, an initiative promoting the adoption of foster children in Miami-Dade County. This year’s Art Deco themed exhibit is inspired by Miami Beach’s historic Art Deco district where all 44 portraits were photographed by some of the world’s top photographers. The exhibit has a nearly 50 percent adoption rate. The photographs will be on exhibit to the public through Friday, July 2, at HistoryMiami (formerly Historical Museum of Southern Florida), located at 101C W. Flagler St. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon-5 p.m., and on the third Thursday of the month the museum closes at 9 p.m. The exhibit subsequently will travel to different venues throughout Miami-Dade County. Many of the participating photographers are award-winning professionals who have received top honors for their art or are known for their celebrity status such as Johnny Núñez, who has photographed such superstars as Jennifer Lopez, Russell Simmons and Magic Johnson. Many others have worked for top publications such as: In Style, Vogue, The New York Times, Self, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Mademoiselle, Sports Illustrated, Cosmopolitan, and Ocean Drive. These

renowned photographers donated their time to the project. “Since the initiative began, nearly half of the children showcased have either been adopted or are in the process of being adopted,” said Modesto E. Abety, president and CEO of The Children’s Trust. “We hope to exceed this rate with the help of the community.” The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery is a partnership between The Children’s Trust and OurKids, the private agency responsible for foster care and adoption in Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys. According to the state of Florida, more than 1,500 foster children are eligible for adoption in Florida and approximately 150 of them live in Miami-Dade. These children have been removed from their biological parents for reasons of neglect or abuse with no possibility of family reunification. The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery is complemented by a comprehensive website at <www.miamiheartgallery.org>, which highlights the children’s portraits; videos of each child with information about hobbies, goals and dreams, as well as a video about the making of the exhibit. Photos of the 44 children being featured will be posted on the website in conjunction with the relaunch of the exhibit. Anyone interested in learning more about adopting a foster child should call The Children’s Trust Helpline at 2-1-1 or visit <www.miamiheartgallery.org>.

www.communitynewspapers.com

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2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is an awesome automobile Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS Ford is turning out some pretty awesome vehicles lately and that includes the new 2010 Ford Fusion mid-size sedan with its beautiful European styling and superb handling characteristics. The new Fusion is dimensionally unchanged from last year’s model, although it has been freshened with a new three-bar chrome grille and chrome-trimmed intakes at the base of the nose. It’s available in five variations — S, SE, Sport, SEL and Hybrid. Fusion S — The base model; lists at $19,270 and comes with a 2.5-liter fourcylinder engine, six-speed manual transmission (a six-speed automatic is optional), cloth interior, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power door locks, instrument cluster with message center, remote decklid release, capless fuel filler, trip computer, cruise control, speed-sensitive wipers, keyless entry and trunk release, AM/FM/CD/MP3 with four speakers, 16-inch wheels, body-color

bumpers and door handles, tinted glass, black power mirrors. Fusion SE — Priced at $20,545, although the optional 3.0-liter V-6 flex-fuel engine mated to a six-speed automatic will add $2,490. There’s also a six-speaker audio system, fog lamps, fold-flat passenger seat, body-color mirrors, six-way power driver seat, Sirius satellite radio, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, illuminated visor mirrors, and 17-inch wheels. Fusion Sport — Listed at $25,825; adds a 3.5-liter V-6 engine (0-60 in seven seconds), a sport-tuned suspension, six-speed selectshift automatic, 18-inch wheels, chrome trim, rear spoiler, dual exhausts, unique side rocker moldings and front fascia, SYNC communication system, auto-dimming rearview, eight-way power driver seat, unique interior trim and center console applique. All-wheel drive is available for $1,850. Fusion SEL — At $23,975, it comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (the 3.0-liter V-6 flex-fuel engine with six-speed automatic transmission is optional), leather seats, shifter and steering wheel; dual-zone temperature control, SYNC communication system, halogen headlights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, eight-way power driver seats, six-way power passenger seat, keyless entry pad and

2010 Ford Fusion has a new threebar chrome grille and chrometrimmed intakes at the base of the nose.

17-inch wheels. Fusion Hybrid — The one that’s getting all the attention; lists for $27,270 and comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine mated to an E-CVT electronic constantvelocity automatic transmission; a special 275-volt sealed battery, a magnet-electric motor and regenerative braking system, LCD graphic instrument panel, reverse-sensing system, and 17-inch wheels. The combined horsepower of the gas engine and electric motor is 191 hp. Driving the Fusion Hybrid is a different experience from driving the other Fusion models. Acceleration is quite good and the

EcoGuide instrumentation tells you in real time the exact mileage you are getting. The Hybrid can achieve an amazing 700 miles of city driving on a single tank of gas (an eye-popping 41/36 mpg average), thanks to the technologically amazing electric motor that powers the car up to 47 mph. If more power is needed, the gasoline engine seamlessly kicks in, quietly and instantaneously. 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>.

CELEBRATES ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY AND ANNOUNCES ITS NEW HIGH SCHOOL

ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN FOR PRESCHOOL TO 12TH GRADE CONTACT US TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR NEW, STATE- OF-THE-ART 10 ACRE CAMPUS FOR GRADES 6 THROUGH 12 RIVIERA DAY SCHOOL 6800 Nervia Street, Coral Gables, FL 33146 I RIVIERA PREPARATORY SCHOOL 9775 SW 87 Avenue, Miami, FL 33176 305.666.1856 I www.rivieraschools.com I Accredited by AISF, SACS, CITA, NCPSA


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Kendall Gazette - June 29 2010 Online edition  

Publishers of a group of 12 weekly tabloid newspapers. Articles, movie times, news, and local information. Including Kendall Gazette

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