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DECEMBER 22 - 28, 2009

Miami-Dade Aviation moves to reduce airport noise Santa ornament holds special Fruit and Spice Park set to host Redland Festival M memories for mom, daughter

BY RICHARD YAGER

iami-Dade Aviation officials indicated they will undertake a 14-point program in 2010 to reduce overhead noise by aircraft using KendallTamiami Executive Airport following a special meeting with a citizen’s committee on Dec. 14. Once implemented, a “substantial reduction of aircraft noise should help eliminate continuing complaints from nearby residents,” said Miles E. Moss, president of the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations (KFHA), who helped organize the study group. Norman A. Hegedus, aviation environmental planner, and Kendall-Tamiami manager Mike Handrahan, told the committee they would review initial steps within the next two weeks with Jeffrey R. Bunting, division director of General Aviation Airports. Once approved, action would begin to implement program recommendations, including those requiring subsequent review and approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Moss said. Among key solutions listed for noise reduction: • Expand Everglades jetport use for training flights; • Eliminate a $1,500 user fee by airport flight schools to help promote jetport use; • Raise flight levels from 700 to 1,000 feet, following take-offs; • Prohibit “intersection” takeoffs by requiring takeoffs from runway ends; • Minimize reverse thrust use by all aircraft; • Confine engine maintenance checks to areas creating minimal noise; • Install noise abatement signs, and • Create a “Fly Friendly” campaign among all airport users. “The elimination of the $1,500 fee would only need approval of County Commissioners,” Moss said. “Other changes at Kendall-Tamiami Airport will ––––––––––––––––––– See

AVIATION, page 4

BY EDITH TORRES

C

Betty Quinn (left) was Kristen’s Christmas gift.

Below right: Quinns’ Santa ornament BY RICHARD YAGER

A

jolly Santa face is a Christmas keepsake for a Kendall mother and

daughter. “We’ve hung the ornament on the tree every year since Kristen came to me,” said Elizabeth “Betty” Quinn of West Kendall, former director of the Special Care Unit at Miami Children’s Hospital. In November 1980, Betty held a gene-defective, unnamed baby girl who had arrived from Mt. Sinai Hospital for advanced medical care at MCH. “An unwed 14-year-old had just given birth to the little thing,” recalled Betty, then single while pursuing a nursing career following graduation

––––––––––––– See

ORNAMENT, page 4

elebrate the new year at the 33rd annual Redland Festival, Jan. 910, at the Fruit and Spice Park, 24801 SW 187 Ave. in Homestead. The Redland Festival, a Fruit and Spice Park staple event that draws crowds in the thousands, will have its traditional natural arts and crafts, more than 20 nurseries selling native plants and fruit trees, a children’s area, as well as a variety of entertainment for the young and old. Featured entertainers performing both on stage and impromptu throughout the park include Merlina, the magician and bilingual story teller, bringing her stories to life with audience participation and interaction; Redland Festival returning favorites Ed and Geraldine Berbaum performing old-time musicals and inviting children to join them in playing musical rhythm instruments; David Ballard performing comedy variety entertainment using puppets and clowns, and renowned guitarist James Kelly performing traditional Irish music. The Natural Selections of South Florida, with host and owner Joseph Wasilewski, will conduct live animal shows prompting educational discussion and teaching the audience about the environmental purpose of native Florida animals. Animals featured include alligators, crocodiles, snakes, turtles and other interesting creatures. Admission is $8 per person and children under age 12 are admitted free. Doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. For more information, call the Fruit and Spice Park at 305-247-5727. The Fruit and Spice Park, operated by Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department, grows more than 500 varieties of sub-tropical fruits, herbs, spices, vegetables and nuts from around the world on 39 lush acres in the agricultural Redland. The park offers daily botanical tours, fruit tasting and naturalist-led workshops.


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December 22 - 28, 2009


December 22 - 28, 2009

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Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe A. Martinez checks out some of the produce available at his first “Made in Miami-Dade” Farmers’ Market on Sunday, Dec. 13, at Wild Lime Park in West Kendall. (Photo credit: Ryan Holloway/Miami-Dade County) –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY ROBERT HAMILTON

More than 200 residents arrived at Wild Lime Park in West Kendall on Sunday, Dec. 13, for a taste of something different as Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe A. Martinez opened his first “Made in MiamiDade” Farmers’ Market. The event was developed by the commissioner to support local growers and encourage residents to spend their money on produce and other goods grown in the community. “We had a great response from people all over West Kendall who were waiting for something like this to take place in the area,” Commissioner Martinez said. “I hope this event’s popularity will spread so that our next market will garner even more recognition for our agricultural businesses.” This past July, Commissioner Martinez launched the “Made in Miami-Dade” campaign, intended to boost the local economy by having goods produced by Miami-Dade businesses highlighted, either with events

or with visible labeling. The Farmers’ Market not only featured ripe produce, but also freshly baked bread, plants, and crafts for sale. Residents also looking to maintain a “greener” lifestyle could exchange their old showerheads for new high-efficiency ones, thanks to MiamiDade’s Water and Sewer Department. Commissioner Martinez worked for nine months to bring the Farmers’ Market to life, collaborating with Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation, Dade County Farm Bureau, Redland Raised, Las Palmas, and the West Kendall Business Association. “Miami-Dade’s agricultural business is the second largest economic engine in our community, following tourism,” he said. “It benefits us all to support our farmers.” Scheduled Farmers’ Markets in the coming next year are: Sunday, Jan. 10; Sunday, Feb. 21; Sunday, Mar. 14, and Sunday, Apr. 11. For more information on these events, contact Commissioner Martinez’s district office at 305-552-1155.

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December 22 - 28, 2009

ORNAMENT, from page 1 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– in 1972 from the University of Miami School of Nursing. “Here I am, holding this very sick baby, born with Jeune’s Syndrome, an acute genetic disorder that’s medically described as asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy. It’s almost always fatal among the newborn. “Doctors said she might only live for a few hours. But she was so cute, I just fell in love with her,” said Betty, who later learned the teenager giving birth already had signed custody and adoption papers with an attorney. “While I wasn’t married, I had always dreamed of having a child of my own. Single mothers, you know, were not very well thought of at that time,” she said. “But the minute I first held her in my arms, I knew she was mine,” Betty smiled, recalling the moment she decided she would adopt the baby, if she could. Betty would eventually leave nursing, not only to provide the critical and constant care her daughter needed but, as Mrs. Paul Quinn, become mother of four other children, now the younger two brothers and two sisters of her adopted baby girl. Over the years, Betty and her “little thing” made countless trips to hospitals that included two kidney transplants followed by daily dialysis treatments needed to keep Kristen alive.

A cancer and heart bypass survivor herself, Betty well knew what it took to fight life-threatening battles and today displays a scrapbook of clippings recounting her little girl’s struggle to live, a story that could fill volumes. Kristen, who just turned 30, grew up to graduate from La Salle High School and earn her own degree at Barry University. As an administrative assistant at the Good Hope Equestrian Training Center, 22155 SW 147 Ave., she helps the rehabilitative center serve disabled individuals through a unique therapeutic program involving care for horses. “Kristen’s survival over and over again are true miracles,” Betty said. “Thirty years ago, everyone at the hospital wondered what ‘Baby Girl’ would be named when I would take her home,” laughed Betty. “I didn’t let everyone know then that I was trying to adopt her because of fear it may not work out. “After I found out the adoption was a go, I went to a holiday craft fair and had her name put on the Santa ornament, then placed it on her hospital crib at MCH so everyone who worked with me would know her name.” Two names, hand-lettered together on Santa’s white beard: “Kristen” and “Elizabeth.”

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need FAA consent, such as the 1,000-foot altitude for flight levels after takeoff. “In some areas, both the airport and Aviation Department officials can only encourage [airport] schools and operators to reduce noise,” Moss noted. “However, manager Handrahan and MDC aviation people work very closely with airport users and have a strong influence over their actions. “Altogether, by midsummer 2010, significant improvements in noise reduction should occur, providing most, if not all, of these programs are implemented,” he concluded. Officials plan to produce a comprehensive booklet detailing abatement practices for distribution to all airport fixed base operators, reviewing both new requirements and recommendations for noise reduction. The Aviation Department’s efforts have been “most impressive” Moss said. “Both

officials and staff gave an exceptional amount of their time and effort which is much appreciated.” In coming days, the KFHA president will seek program support by formal vote of the committee and by a separate resolution of the KFHA Board of Governors. The program is the result of a $96,226 “Noise Mitigation Evaluation” by ESA Airports, consultant to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, that produced an 88page document in August 2009, including a 24-point review of potential noise abatement methods at Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport. A 12-member committee was formed after citizens met with aviation officials on Oct. 28 and Nov. 5 to detail continuing noise complaints, largely from neighborhood residents along SW 120th Street, which abuts the airport’s northern boundary.

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December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Report from the Farmer’s Market Michael Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR

AROUND TOWN We missed the first West Kendall Farmer’s Market and our regular correspondent in that area was out with the flu December 13. However, just like The New Yorker’s roving reporters in the ‘Talk of the Town’ column, herewith a most reliable report: “Sorry you aren’t feeling well. I’m not either, down with a cold, tickly throat, ears and laryngitis, my usual. With this summerlike weather, I’m thinking it is a summer cold. Just confused. “There were about 10 to 12 vendors at the Market; one was Frank Irizarry with the Businessmen’s Group. Someone from the Health Department with info on H1N1 and preventative hand washing. Someone from the Water Department talking about exchanging showerheads. The woman from the U of F on water conservation said maybe we could do the Rain Barrel Workshop here next month. “Someone with plants, tropical and some fruit for sale. I bought a guava mini-tree for a gift for my folks’ yard. Some star fruit and tomatoes, too. A woman selling what looked to be yummy pastries, which I didn’t buy. Most of Joe’s (Commissioner Martinez’s) office was there, too. J. went later ‘cause she said things were all sold (I went at 9 a.m.). Plenty of parking. “Suggest next time they do a free tree give-away to attract more people, and maybe encourage some to come after church. Our Lady of Lourdes could have a little stall as a fundraiser. Feel better, drink fluids, work on home projects. Cheers and happy holidays!” — MB. A n o t he r r e p o r t on the big South Miami FPL meeting December 10 begins “Thanks to everyone who made the Town Hall meet-

ing a success. Feedback was that the evening was very professional. Great media presence and coverage. Looks like all three FPL people stayed pretty much for the whole meeting. We even had folks drive in from Key Largo, Naples and Palm Beach County. We are so grateful for the City of South Miami graciously making its excellent facilities and audio/visual professional and system available. W. arranged for copies of the DVD to be available soon. Nice scene for our group at Deli Lane; we are just too refined for Sunset Tavern. Enjoy the holidays, back to work in the New Year, peace and love.” — BW. C o nt ine n ta l P a r k busy reports still another Kendall correspondent with a December 12 Dice House Christmas party featuring Santa and home-baked cookies, announcement of best home decorations and survey of residents on how to improve Park area. Next up on January 19, 2010 is election of officers of CP Homeowners Association during a general meeting with guest speaker, Katy Sorenson, at the Dice House at 7 p.m. “Plan to be there!” reminds HW. J o b reminder from Commissioner ‘Joe’: The Census Bureau is accepting applications for temporary jobs helping with next year’s count of the United States population. Most assignments will last five to ten weeks, require U.S. citizenship, a driver’s license, use of a vehicle, and a background check. The ability to speak a second language is a big plus. For more information, call 866-861-2010 or visit <www.2010Censusjobs.gov>. T h ou g h t f o r t he Day:

A conscience which has been bought once will be bought twice. — Norbert Wiener 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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December 22 - 28, 2009

Medicare fraud capital — one more black eye R. Kenneth Bluh KENNETH’S COMMENTARY The United States Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson said approximately 2 percent of the nation’s diabetics live in Miami-Dade County. He also said that 50 percent of all moneys disbursed by Medicare in the entire nation for diabetic reimbursement are spent in Miami-Dade. Levinson said, “that it might indicate fraud.” Might! How expensive could diabetic medications cost in Miami-Dade? Medicare is spending approximately $500 million a year on diabetic care for seniors in Miami-Dade, with a population of 2.4 million, the same amount it is spending on the rest of the nation’s 305 million people. They call Miami the “Medicare Fraud Capital of America.” Medicare estimates that fraud is costing the American taxpayer $60 billion a year. If we could save that

money we would be well on our way to covering the cost of the expanded health coverage currently being debated in Congress. How is it possible that we are spending, on average, $5,964 a month on each diabetic patient under Medicare coverage in Miami while the national average is $378 a month? The federal government says “a big part of the losses are incurred by the government wanting to quickly pay claims without verifying the bill.” Who pays a bill without looking at it and asking, “Is this correct?” Medicare claims that in the last year it has shut down 33 agencies in Miami that have been billing Medicare illegally. Once closed down they then go across the street and open up a new store and are back in business. Put them in jail and that will put an end to their staying in business. Payment caps proposed to go into effect this year will, it is lamented, hurt the legitimate diabetics who require home care. The government says it will continue to pay for home healthcare for the needy elderly, insisting that their only goal is to stop fraudulent claims. If approximately 50 percent of the

Looking for Something Special for the Kids Stocking? Consider a Custodial Account I am looking for something special for my children’s or grandchildren’s stocking. What do you suggest? If you can afford it, and you feel motivated to do so, I suggest that you put a check in their stocking to be used to open or add to a custodial account. Who controls the money in the custodial account? Custodial accounts are registered under the minor’s name and social security, but the custodian (you) controls the money until the minor is an adult. Is the custodial account more flexible than the Florida Prepaid College Plan or 529 plan? Yes, the Florida Prepaid College Plan and the 529 plan are for educational purposes only. The custodial account can be used for other purposes besides education.

When should you start a custodial account? The sooner the better. The cost of education will continue to rise. I suggest that you get into the “tradition” of making this a yearly item for the stocking. You should have a review of your financial condition prior to investing including a clear understanding of your investment criteria. Rick Tonkinson is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP™) 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 # 305447-6617. 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.

––– VIEWPOINT ––– Medicare fraud is in Miami-Dade why not pour 50 percent of the Inspector General’s staff into our community and clean it up once and for all? So who is guilty? First, the fake service providers that are billing Medicare for services and equipment that are not provided seniors. Then, there are the immoral members of the medical profession that receive bribes for fake referrals. The unsuspecting seniors that are victims of medical identity theft — their Medicare numbers being used fraudulently to make claims. Lastly, there are the seniors who are accepting under the table cash from illegal providers in exchange for the use of their Medicare numbers to make fraudulent claims. They are as guilty as the illegal providers who are billing Medicare for reimbursement for services they have not provided. Seniors, check your “Quarterly Medicare Summary Notice” which you receive in the mail. If you find billings for services you

have not received, send what you have found to The Office of the Inspector General: By email to <www.HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov>; Call 1-800-447-8477; By mail to HHS TIPS, PO Box 23489, Washington, DC 20026, or By fax to 1-800-223-8164. If all seniors checked their Medicare Summary Notices and turned fraudulent claims over to the government for investigation, we would go a long way in saving the taxpayers billions of dollars every year. 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.

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December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Cobra health plan coverage may become much more expensive Al Sunshine 4 YOUR MONEY What do snakes and government have in common? The answer: A health plan called “Cobra Coverage.” The government-subsidized plan has become a major part of the federal safety net for millions of unemployed workers. It allows laid-off workers to keep their old company health insurance, but the catch is that they have to pay for most of the bill themselves. The latest version of the standard plan allows workers who were laid off after September 2008 to enroll in up to nine months of their old health coverage at a reduced rate. Thanks to a federal subsidy, the government absorbs about 65 percent of the total cost. Former workers have to pay the other 35 percent themselves. However, once the federal subsidy expires at the end of the month, millions of unemployed workers will have to find more money to keep their health insurance or find other alternatives. Under normal circumstances, the policy does not allow re-enrollment. Once the 90-day election period expires or the COBRA coverage is cancelled, there is no way to reapply. Even so, some people are trying to avoid possible conflict by purchasing a short-term plan. Unfortunately, short-term coverage has limitations. Unlike an individual or family health insurance plan, if there is a medical condition while on a shortterm policy, the insurer has the option not to renew the coverage once the preset term of the short-term policy ends. Short-term policies also won’t cover any current pre existing health conditions or medications. On the upside, short-term coverage provides an excellent safety net in case of unexpected emergencies or hospitalization, and it’s an especially effective option when you know that you’ll have access to another health insurance plan — like group health coverage through an

employer — within six months. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may find it slightly easier to qualify for a short-term plan than a standard individual and family plan, since short-term coverage doesn’t extend to pre-existing medical conditions. In addition, there are other alternatives to short-term coverage, month-to-month individual and family health plans. If the goal simply is to be able to cancel coverage at any time, both short-term and individual and family coverage are paid for on a month-to-month basis and typically, an individual or family plan can be canceled at any time. “It will hit thousands of local families with higher bills than they may be able to afford,” said local financial planner Matt McGrath. “This is a very big problem for South Florida families and any other recently unemployed workers around the state as a whole.” Today, a typical Cobra bill for a family of two would be about $529 a month. But take the federal aid away and it becomes more than $1,500 a month. In Florida, the full cost of Cobra family coverage equals more than the state’s monthly unemployment benefits. Congress is considering several bills to extend the federal Cobra funding. If they don’t come up with more funding before the end of the year, thousands of local families drawing unemployment benefits may not be able to afford any health insurance at all. According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, as many as 7 million people could be benefiting from the Cobra subsidy by the end of the year. Critics argue that the policy is making people more dependent on government assistance and less likely to try and find a new job or new health insurance on their own. With the health insurance debate still raging in the Senate, it is unlikely that any new bills will be rushed through congress anytime soon. Watch Al Sunshine’s “4 Your Money” reports Monday-Friday beginning at noon. You may find Al’s blog at <www.cbs4.com/4yourmoney>.

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December 22 - 28, 2009

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I’m wondering why most colleges appear to have their applications online. I have an application for Washington University and it’s in paper form and I don’t know which is worse. It has so many pages and I’m overwhelmed. I receive many questions on what to do on a college application. If the student had poor academic grades in the beginning and had a good reason for it, explain it. If a student freezes on tests or if there’s anything else that could hurt their chances of being accepted, explain that as well. There is a space on most college application to explain your child’s situation. I’m looking at WashU’s application and it says “Additional information: if there is any additional information you would like to provide regarding special circumstances, additional qualifications, etc., please do so in the space below or on an attached sheet.” I feel that this statement to a college is extremely important. Nine out of 10 children that I work with have had some special situation or experience in life that cannot be explained by test scores or essays. This particular section on the application can really help a student in that situation. It’s their time to really zoom in on the truth. Toby Rose is president of Toby Rose’s College Prep. She is an independent college counselor, was a Dade County Outstanding Teacher, a past president of the Pinecrest Business Association, and served as chairperson of the Dade County School Board Academic Advisory Committee. Toby Rose may be contacted by calling 305-238-7737 or via the internet at <www.tobyrose.com>.

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December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Tall cranes tower over bridge on 104th Street

Two 60-foot cranes towering above the SW 104th Street bridge over the Shula Expressway (SR 874) are keeping drivers alert to steer around obstructions and work crews at the $90 million project to widen the expressway. On weekends, drivers also slow for detour lanes on both sides as the bridge construction proceeds. The project eventually will provide a three-lane exit ramp from the Shula for westbound Killian Parkway motorists. Now in the 16th month of construction, completion is scheduled for “late 2011.” (Photo by Richard Yager)

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December 22 - 28, 2009

SMH’s CEO honored by March of Dimes

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Pictured (l-r) are WFOR CBS 4 Shannon Hori, South Miami Hospital CEO Javier Hernandez-Lichtl receiving 2009 Humanitarian of the Year Award, Peter Chevalier and Gustavo Berenblum. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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BY JOSE BOZA

March of Dimes named Javier Hernandez-Lichtl, CEO of South Miami Hospital, one of seven 2009 recipients of its prestigious Building Our Community Humanitarian of the Year Award during a recent recognition luncheon at Jungle Island. Hernandez-Lichtl was honored for his personal involvement and commitment to making a difference in South Florida. The Humanitarian of the Year Award recognizes individuals who exemplify excellence in their respective fields, as well as their commitment to community activities that enhance the quality of our lives. “It’s an honor to be recognized with this select group of individuals who truly embody the spirit of a humanitarian,” Hernandez-Lichtl said. “March of Dimes makes a huge difference in families’ lives. I am proud of their work —

past, present and future.” In addition to his role as hospital CEO, Hernandez-Lichtl has held various leadership positions within Baptist Health, South Miami Hospital’s parent company, since 2003. A resident of Coral Gables, he is active in the community with the Florida Sterling Council, Miami International University of Art & Design, Florida International University and University of Miami School of Nursing. He led the 2008 March for Babies campaign. The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency with a mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies. For more information, visit the March of Dimes website at <www.marchofdimes.com> or its Spanish website at <www.nacersano.org>.

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December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Experience the difference at The finest restaurant in Pinecrest-Palmetto Bay-The Falls has a fresh and contemporary new look with a new menu to match. Some new and exciting flavors like Snapper Ceviche and Cuban coffee rubbed Rib Eye Steak, Ginger Ahi Tuna with black bean-pineapple relish and plaintain chips or Coconut macadamia Crusted Mahi with a zesty orange marmalade sauce. Also some old favorites like Weinerschnitzel, Snapper Francais, Beef Stroganoff or Filet Mignon. We also have daily specials which have included our famous Roast Duck, Raspberrie Chicken or Honey Ginger Salmon. Call or email to see what specials we are doing today!

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

December 22 - 28, 2009

Goodyear at Cutler Bay celebrates grand opening BY ROBERT HAMILTON

Goodyear at Cutler Bay Tire and Auto Service Center, 20390 S. Dixie Hwy. (on the west side of US1 across from Southland Mall), celebrated its grand opening on Nov. 21. Formerly Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., it is now family owned and operated by Kevin and Michele Pedersen. “This is a great opportunity for us to serve the community that my husband grew up in (Palmetto High 1976) and we have lived in throughout the years,” Michele Pedersen said. “We have owned and operated the Goodyear at Homestead Tire and Auto for the past nine years and we wanted to expand to this location and provide a full-service state-of-the-art facility that provides automotive care to any type of vehicle on the road. “We have one of the largest selections of tires and provide complete auto care with the Gemini Nationwide warranty. From our

“We ha ve one of the largest selections of tires and provide complete auto care with the Gemini Na tionwide warranty.” — Michelle Pedersen staff to our waiting area we want to make sure our customers know we care about their needs and that our promise to them is to give them excellence service.” Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. For information, call 305-233-5241.

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December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Sunrise School of Miami — A Green School in Your Backyard

BY PATTIE RUSSELL At the Sunrise School of Miami — a Waldorf school — being “green” and teaching environmental responsibility is a key part of the Waldorf curriculum. Waldorf education has become the largest independent, non-denominational educational movement in the world, with over 900 schools and an additional 600 early childhood programs in 85 countries. What accounts for this widespread interest? The Waldorf approach is based on the simple but profound insight that children learn in distinctly different ways at different stages of their development. It cultivates academic, social and emotional intelligence, and connects children to nature and the arts. Encouraging students’ connection with the earth is seen throughout the school. Gardening, especially biodynamic farming, was part of Waldorf founder Rudolf Steiner’s original vision. Starting in the youngest grades our students learn to take care of our garden, complete with organic soil and seeds and a composter where all students dispose of their leftover food to create fertilizer that we add back to the garden environment. Materials in a Waldorf classroom are always made from natural products. In the earliest grades students feel the warmth experienced with wooden rather than plastic toys, and they use beeswax crayons and organic paints. They even use pure, plant-dyed wools when knitting and weaving to develop fine motor skills essential to writing and developing the focus that they will need in future grades. Even the paint on our classroom walls is milk-based to avoid toxins and create a calming effect. The Waldorf curriculum links students to the world around them through the required study of music, art and foreign language—subjects that have become expendable in many schools. First-graders move through a science curriculum that leads to zoology in grade

four, botany in grade six and chemistry, anatomy, physiology and physics by grade eight. Math and geography follow a similar trajectory. The program of study additionally integrates unique classes such as knitting, quilting and woodworking. Fifth-graders re-create the Greek Pentathlon. At Sunrise School of Miami the link students have with the natural world is important. Nature deficit disorder is a newly coined phrase for the negative ramifications from a dearth of outdoor experiences. The Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation have recently expressed concern that today’s children will not grow up to be environmental stewards since there has been such a sharp decline in national park visit rates and camping rates in the last 20 years. They even think a declining interest in the outdoors could result in fewer conservationists. At Sunrise School of Miami, we are confident our students will grow up at a minimum to hold a great respect for the natural world, and it would not surprise me if many of them become the environmental stewards and conservationists that will continue our country’s green revolution. Sunrise School of Miami is a Pre-K4 – 8th Grade school located at 8795 S.W. 112 St. For more information visit: www.sunriseschoolofmiamil.com.

December 22 - 28, 2009

Gulliver students develop water purification system

Gulliver Prep student engineers inspect the solar water purification system earmarked for Haiti. A second unit is being constructed as well. Pictured (l-r) are seniors Eric Tano, Martin Arostegui and Kyle Kurzner. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY BAY PROBY

Gulliver Preparatory School engineering and biomedical science students are addressing one of Haiti’s most pressing health problems — drinkable water. With support from a LemelsonMassachusetts Institute of Technology two-year grant, the Gulliver students recently completed a prototype ultraviolet (UV) water filtration system that will produce 500 gallons of safe drinkable water per day. They also are developing a reverse osmosis system to determine which approach is most effective in removing dangerous waterborne bacteria, viruses and protozoa from Haiti’s water supply. The success of the Haitian Water Purification System project is the most recent accomplishment for Gulliver’s unique pre-engineering program, which integrates hands-on learning through service projects and textbook studies in its curriculum. “We want our students to design and develop technology solutions that improve the quality of life for individuals and communities,” said Claude Charron, Gulliver’s Engineering and Biomedical Science Department chair. “That was the overriding theme for our Haiti water purification project.”

Friends of the Orphans, an international nonprofit that operates orphanages in Latin America and the Caribbean is partnering with Gulliver and MIT to install the solar water purification system at St. Damien Pediatric Hospital in Port au Prince where the water will be used for medical purposes and drinking. Since last fall, the pre-engineering students have been researching, designing, and engineering a prototype purification system that uses a 15-watt ultraviolet light bulb. One bulb can last between three to nine years, depending on the size of the filtration equipment, and can be powered using self-sustainable solar energy. “It is difficult to find fresh water in Haiti without contaminants that cause potentially fatal ailments like Hepatitis A and E, typhoid fever, leptospirosis, and diarrhea,” said Nikita Mayani, an 11th grade biomedical science student at Gulliver. In addition to Friends of Orphans, the Gulliver team hopes to partner with the University of Miami and an international organization such as Engineers Without Borders, in order to implement and maintain the most effective system for Haiti. “Our goal for the next school year is to compare the two water purification systems and send the better one to Haiti,” Charron added.


December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 15

First Everglades Sunset Bike Hike and Wine Tasting Tour Miami-Dade Parks Eco-Adventures is hosting its first Everglades Sunset Bike Hike and Wine Tasting Tour on Sunday, Dec. 27, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tour participants will meet at the Ernest Coe Visitors Center in Everglades National Park, 40001 State Road 9336 (Palm Drive/SW 344 St.) in Homestead. The evening will begin with a leisurely paced seven-mile bicycle ride along the Long Pine Key Nature Trail to Pine Glades Lake, led by experienced naturalist guide and author Roger Hammer. At Pine Glades Lake participants will taste an assortment of fine South Florida Tropical Fruit wines provided by Schnebly Redlands Winery, made from carambola, avocado, lychee, mango, guava and passion fruit, as well as sample an assortment of cheeses, while enjoying a picturesque sunset in the beautiful Everglades. The cost to take this tour is $50 and includes bicycles, helmets, wine, snacks and transportation into Everglades National Park. Space is limited. To reserve your seat, call 305-365-3018; the deadline to RSVP is Dec. 23. For more information, visit online at <www.miamiecoadventures.com>.

DADELAND MALL TO PRESENT ‘WOMEN’S HEART HEALTH FAIR’ In honor of American Heart Month, Dadeland Mall will present Sister to Sister’s “Women’s Heart Health Fair” on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Center Court of the mall, located at 7535 N. Kendall Dr. Dadeland Mall has partnered with Sister to Sister: The Women’s Heart Health Foundation, to recognize American Heart Month. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in women and this event will help educate them about ways to reduce the risk of getting this disease. For more information about attending this free event, contact Dadeland Mall at 305-665-6226 or visit online at <www.simon.com>. VIZCAYA MUSEUM AND GARDENS SEEKING NEW VOLUNTEER GUIDES Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is seeking volunteers interested in providing meaningful and interactive experiences for visitors by leading tours. Join on location at 3251 S. Miami Ave., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, from 7 to 9 p.m., for refreshments and a chance to learn more

COMMUNITY NEWS briefs about the program. New volunteer guides training is scheduled for every Saturday from Jan. 23 through Feb. 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and attendance at all sessions is required to become a volunteer guide. Guides will be selected based on application and interview process during this special open house. A completed application, received no later than Jan. 4 will serve as your reservation to attend. Space is limited, so candidates are encouraged to turn their applications in quickly. Visit online at <www.vizcayamuseum.org> for detailed information and an application. UM CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM PLANS CRAFT-INTENSIVE WEEKEND The University of Miami’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program will honor the 50th teaching anniversary of its founding professor and author of 14 books,

Lester Goran, by launching a weekend workshop series designed to engage the local writing community. The workshop will take place on Saturday, Feb. 27, and Sunday, Feb. 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the CAS Library, 1210 Stanford Dr. on the UM campus. Sessions at this program will span the breadth of creative writing, including memoir, poetry on and off the page and the development of what John Gardner calls “the vivid and continuous dream” in fiction. UM professors Jane Alison, Maureen Seaton, Walter Lew, Mia Leonin, Peter Schmitt and MFA program director M. Evelina Galang, joined by Lois Wolfe and R. Zamora Linmark, introduce narrative techniques, poetic traditions and hybrid forms of writing through lectures, demonstrations and in-class exercises.

––––––– Continued on next page


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

NEWS,

December 22 - 28, 2009

from previous page

For more information about seminars and breakout sessions with MFA students and alumni, visit the website at <www.as.miami.edu/english/creativewriting/lestergoran/writenow>. AWARD HONORS SMH UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD COLLECTION CENTER South Miami Hospital’s Public Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Center has won an international Stevie Award for

Women in Business in the “Best New Service of the Year” category. Denise Woods, RN, vice president of the hospital’s Center for Women and Infants, received the honor, chosen from among 2,600 candidates in 40 categories. The Stevie Awards were created to honor the positive contributions of businesspeople and companies around the world. The awards include the American Business Awards, International Business Awards, Stevie Awards for Women in Business and Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service.

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December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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World’s largest cruise ship exceeds expectations BY MIKE BERK When something is hyped as much as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas has been during the past few months, you expect that a visit on board might not live up to your expectations. Well, this grand lady, the largest cruise ship in the world, surpassed those expectations. Words and pictures, plans and drawings couldn’t do justice to the real thing. Designed with seven distinct “neighborhoods,” the 225,000-ton Oasis of the Seas sets a whole new standard of cruise ship design. The designers took advantage of its 208-foot width to open parts of the ship to the sky and create two of its seven neighborhoods — Central Park and Boardwalk — as well as greatly increasing the number of staterooms with balconies. “We wanted to create something that is game-changing. It is our tradition,” Richard Fain, chair of Royal Caribbean International, told a group of media members during a recent preview cruise from the ship’s homeport of Port Everglades. Dividing the ship into seven neighborhoods makes it much less overwhelming and finding your way around the 1,187-foot long liner is not nearly as daunting as one might expect. There are so many different areas on the ship, many quiet intimate spaces — inside and out — where you can conduct a quiet conversation or read a book, even with another 5,399 guests on board (based on double occupancy). The ships seven neighborhoods are: Central Park — Open to the sky, the unique lush tropical park at sea, complete with flower gardens and canopy trees, spans the length of a football field with paths and quiet rest spots. It also is home to some the

Sculptures like this one add an artistic touch to the gardens of Central Park.

N E W S ship’s premium dining and shopping venues. Boardwalk — For those who have spent any time near seaside piers such a Coney Island in New York, this may bring back fond memories. Complete with a carousel, it features a seafood restaurant, ice cream parlor, donut shop and Johnny Rockets, and is the gateway to the revolutionary AquaTheater. Royal Promenade — An evolution of the Royal Promenade found on the line’s Voyager and Freedom class ships, this center of activity features lounges, dining and shopping. During a cruise it is often the location of theme parades and other entertainment activities. Pool and Sport Zone — With pools galore, the Oasis of the Seas features the first “beach pool” at sea, the H2O Zone kids water playground, several whirlpools, an expanded adults-only Solarium, basketball court, miniature golf course, and two FlowRider surf simulators. Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center — This neighborhood includes several amenities that enhance healthy living including a spa, relaxation rooms, and a fitness center with all the latest exercise machines. Entertainment Place — This is the place to be after dark with a jazz club, comedy club, nightclub, casino and Opal Theatre. Youth Zone — There was a time when cruises were not family oriented, but the Oasis takes family cruising to a new level with more than 28,000 square feet dedicated to children, from tots to teens. There are age appropriate activities and facilities designed in conjunction with Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean program. Even with its great size and new features, guests who are regulars with Royal Caribbean will feel right at home with familiar place names. You’ll recognize many of the dining areas, lounges and recreational activities found on many other ships of the fleet. Fain said the concept behind the Oasis’ design was to incorporate a third that was familiar, a third evolutionary and a third revolutionary. If you liked the rock-climbing wall, there are two, as well as two FlowRiders, the popular surfing simulator. And if you like thrills, take a brief ride on the zip line nine decks above Boardwalk. Probably the most notable new feature aboard the Oasis of the Seas is the AquaTheater, a unique open-air amphitheater featuring a pool that can be used for syn-

Above: This view from above shows the Boardwalk with the Carousel (foreground) and AquaTheatre. Below: Video screens around the Oasis of the Seas shows occupancy at dining venues.

chronized swimming and diving shows, and when combined with giant video screens and dancing waters can create a multi-sensory experience unlike any other at sea. Another new feature of the Oasis is the Rising Tide Bar — the world’s first moving bar at sea. A feat of engineering, the bar rises and lowers as guests enjoy a cocktail as they slowly move between Central Park on Deck 8 and the Royal Promenade on Deck 5. This ship includes the latest 21st Century technology, much of which passengers won’t see, but there are some useful tools such as the touch screen video monitors that help you find your way to your stateroom or some other location on the ship. One unique high-tech feature is the video screens around the ship that give you up-tothe-second information about space availabil-

ity at any of the many dining venues on board. Each cabin’s flat-screen television offers access to the Internet, ordering room service, making reservations for activities on board and ashore, and keeping track of how much you spent in the gift shop or bar. With so much to offer onboard, you may not want to go ashore, but if you do, the Oasis of the Seas visits such ports in the Eastern Caribbean as St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau, leaving Port Everglades every Saturday. In the spring, the ship will begin alternating weekly with ports in the Western Caribbean. For more information and reservations on the Oasis of the Seas or any other Royal Caribbean ship, call your travel professional, visit <www.royalcaribbean.com> or call 1800-ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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December 22 - 28, 2009

Ocaquatics Swim School owner honored by national association BY ROBERT HAMILTON

Miren Oca, owner of Ocaquatics Swim School, was honored by the U.S. Swim School Association with its 2009 Humanitarian Award, which was presented in October at the organization’s 21st annual National Conference, in San Diego, CA. The award is given to an individual who provides outstanding service to the local community in some way related to water safety, drowning prevention or aquatic education. Since 1999, in conjunction with the University of Miami Wellness Center, Ocaquatics provides a week of free, daily swimming lessons during spring break for 85-100 underprivileged children. Oca serves on the board of the Swim for Life Foundation which works to prevent incidents of drowning and near drowning. She is the water safety chair of Miami-Dade Safe Kids Coalition and is a member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. Ocaquatics participates in numerous local child safety fairs, holiday parades and cultural festivals where she distributes safety information. During the summer, Ocaquatics Swim School celebrated the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art teaching swimming facility in West Kendall. This new facility allows infants from as early as 6 months, children and adults to enjoy uninterrupted swimming instruction year round in a safe indoor pool, even during severe lightning storms and the colder winter months. Equipped with an Ultraviolet Treatment System that kills harmful bacteria resistant to chlorine, the 30,000-gallon heated pool uses fewer chemicals to sanitize the water, thus creating a more pleasant swimming experience. The new pool also features Stage One Drinking Water Grade Filtration, which is the same filtration process that is EPA approved for single pass removal of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in municipal drinking water systems. It also features other “green” innovations. “We are very proud and excited about our new indoor facility, especially because we believe that if those learning how to swim practice once or twice a week for an extended continuous period of time, they will become better swimmers than those who take a week or two of intensive lessons during the summer time only,” Miren Oca said. “It’s a safer, comfortable and more convenient alternative for all,

Miren Oca ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

doing away with cancellations and reschedules resulting from South Florida’s inclement weather.” This family friendly facility offers all the amenities and conveniences including: ample changing rooms and showers, air conditioned area for parents to comfortably watch their children; kids play area, refreshments/snacks kiosk and plenty of parking. Already teaching more than 550 students per week, classes are offered seven days a week at convenient times. Ocaquatics Kendall facility is conveniently located at 13408 SW 131 St. (across from Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport with easy access from Florida’s Turnpike). For more information contact Miren Oca at Ocaquatics Swim School, office, 305969-SWIM (7946); cell, 305-390-6446, or visit online at <www.ocaquatics.com>. With more than 350 swim school members throughout the U.S. and abroad, the U.S. Swim School Association strives to support the aquatic education, water safety and drowning prevention efforts of its members through ongoing education. For more details visit online at <www.usswimschools.org>.


December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Florida Renaissance Festival coming to Miami-Dade County Welcome to ibeyond pilates!

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ibeyond pilates offers Private, Duet (semiprivate) and Reformer Group Classes. ibeyond pilates offers each client the utmost safety and challenge that pilates has to offer. Whether you are looking for core strength, relief of back pain, increased flexibility, postural changes, body awareness, and⁄or a total body workout, ibeyond pilates delivers! You deserve the very best your fitness program has to offer.

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This knight on horseback adds pageantry and excitement to the Florida Renaissance Festival. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY JOSE BOZA

Ponce De Leon explored Key Biscayne on his first mission to the New World in 1513 and claimed it on behalf of the Spanish King. The Florida Renaissance Festival, the only festival of its kind in South Florida, will commemorate Ponce De Leon’s legacy by showcasing its first Miami show ever near Key Biscayne. The Miami festival’s three consecutive weekend dates are Jan. 910, 16-17 and 23-24, at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. “It’s been more than five years since a Renaissance festival graced Miami and our yearly festival goers have been very passionate about bringing an event back,” said Bobby Rodriguez, executive producer of the Florida Renaissance Festival. “We feel that Historic Virginia Key Beach Park is the perfect location because it offers the environment that we recreate every year at our other events.” This 16th Century production features more than 100 costumed performers, five stages with continuous entertainment and stage acts from around the world. During the three family-themed weekends, guests will enjoy jousting tournaments three times a day, hearty food, human-powered rides and games for children that include the World’s Largest Rocking Horse, Giant Chess, Barrel Rides, and games of strength and skill.

The festivities will feature historical reenactments, sword fights, magical illusions and an abundance of authentic fare from freshly made kettle corn to roasted giant turkey legs, which can be washed down with a swig of mead or ale. The Florida Renaissance Festival is produced by the national, award winning Bobby Rodriguez Productions and strives to create an entertaining and cultural opportunity by making Renaissance history come to life for both children and adults. The event is hosted by City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department and Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. The Florida Renaissance Festival at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park will be open weekends from 10 a.m. to sunset. Prices are $20 for adults and $7 for children ages 6-11 and children under five are free. Season passes are $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12. Advance discount tickets are available online. The Florida Renaissance Festival in Deerfield Beach has been seen by more than one million people in South Florida. This 16th Century production features more than 100 costumed performers and stage acts from around the world. For additional information, visit online at <www.renfest.com>, follow on Twitter: @flarenfest or find the festival on Facebook: The Florida Renaissance Festival. The office number is 1-954-776-1642.

Details at sign up. Some restrictions apply.

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December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Local young adult author has successful book debut BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

When Danielle Cohen Joseph’s first book, Shrinking Violet, came out in May, it was an immediate hit. Not only was it popular with teens, the Disney Channel optioned it for a television movie. In fact, the book sold so well that it pretty much sold out its first printing by fall. She found out about the shortage when she went to order some for a conference she was attending and was told they didn’t have any more in stock. “They are all shipped out, all the 5,000,” she was told. Normally, selling out the first run is a good thing and a second run is ordered. But in today’s economy, things are different. Initially, the publisher, MTV Pocket Books, balked at ordering a second printing. That worried Joseph because she had a number of events scheduled where she needed to be able to sell her books, including the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Regional Conference, Jan. 15-17, at the Wyndham Miami Airport Hotel. In hopes of convincing the publisher a second printing is needed, “The printing ran on the first of she campaigned on December and shipped out a few days Facebook and through ago,” she said. “The Amazon rankings her Live Journal blog, Danielle Joseph since then have been good. When I was and she ran a “Save (Photo credit: running the campaign it was really good. Shrinking Violet” conMichael Sylver) test. Entrants had to post ––––––––––––––––––––––––– It seems likes it’s selling.” Her second book, Indigo Blues, comes a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. They also were supposed to blog, tweet or out July 1, to be published by Flux Books. Facebook about the Save Shrinking Violet She’s working on finishing another manuCampaign, and take a picture of themselves script called Graveyard Shift. Joseph is a stay-at-home mom with three wearing a sweater and mimicking the book’s children, two boys and an infant girl. Her cover. The contest ended Oct. 15. “I gave away four gift cards and then husband is a banker for SunTrust. Her older another book blogger gave away six advance son wants to write a book with her. He told reading copies,” she said. “A lot of people her she could put her name on the cover. She tries to find time to write whenever she just bought copies.” A number of fellow authors even ran con- can. She works primarily from home, but for a change of pace, she goes to Starbucks to write. tests in support of saving Shrinking Violet. Since the book came out, Joseph has been “People have been very supportive,” in demand as a speaker. She recently spoke at Joseph said. As a result, a number of children’s book the Florida Council of Teachers of English and the Miami International Book Fair on a bloggers reviewed her book. “I’ve had a lot of emails from people who young adult writers panel with fellow local have read it,” she said. “I had one girl who author Gaby Triana and Tampa author Alicia did a blog from the Philippines, telling Thompson. For more information about the Society everyone to buy.” Joseph’s savvy campaign got results, and of Children’s Book Writers and on Nov. 24 she received word the book Illustrators Conference, go online to <www.SCBWIFlorida.com>. would go to a second printing.

FOOTNOTES

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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December 22 - 28, 2009

‘Barefoot Christmas Eve’ to benefit Soles4Souls BY ROBERT HAMILTON

Soles4Souls has a simple mission to collect new and “gently worn” shoes to donate to victims of natural disasters and those living in extreme poverty. This year, Bay Community Church, 9855 SW 184 St. in Palmetto Bay, and hundreds of other congregations across North America are participating in “Barefoot Sunday,” except Bay Community Church will be participating on Christmas Eve, where people leave their shoes at the door to be donated to the poor. Barefoot Christmas Eve is a unique opportunity for people to remove their shoes and walk out of worship services barefoot. “Churches have always been incredibly responsive to our programs,” said Wayne Elsey, founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. “This engaging event will not only leave a mark on the hearts of your entire congregation, but it will also help Soles4Souls continue our mission to ‘Change the World One Pair at a Time.’” The efforts of Bay Community Church

and participating congregations will go directly toward helping put shoes on the feet of barefoot children around the world. The U.S. government estimates that 300 million children around the world don’t own a single pair of shoes. A sad irony is that Americans threw away the same number of shoes into landfills last year alone. Bay Community Church serves the communities of Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay and is conducting the shoe drive in conjunction with the National Karate and Fitness Academy, 20435 Old Cutler Rd. The National Karate and Fitness Academy is having the shoe drive throughout the month of December while Bay Community Church will focus its drive at its Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. To learn more about Soles4Souls and its upcoming charitable events, visit online at <www.giveshoes.org>, or call 1-866-521-7463. Churches also can email the Soles4Souls team at <sunday@giveshoes.org> to request more information on how to register for Barefoot Sunday.


December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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December 22 - 28, 2009

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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2010 Cadillac SRX redesigned with new engine options Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS Since better fuel economy tops just about every consumer’s list of necessities in a new vehicle these days, most manufacturers are trying to deliver, and that includes Cadillac. The luxury manufacturer has redesigned the SRX for 2010 and given it a pair of more efficient engine choices. The luxury midsize SRX is powered by Cadillac’s advanced V-6 engines, the smallest-displacement engines that the company offers in North America. A new 3.0-liter, 265 hp direct-injected engine (direct injection results in more power, 10-15 percent better fuel economy and lower emissions) mated to a new Hydra-Matic 6T70 sixspeed automatic transmission is standard, while a new 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6 is optional. Both have advanced technology that helps produce high performance typical of larger-displacement engines, but with greater fuel economy and lower emissions. They replace the 3.6-liter and 4.6-liter

engines of the previous generation SRX. The new turbocharged V-6 is derived from engines that GM uses in luxury European models and it delivers about 300 hp under full throttle, but gets the fuel economy of a smaller engine during lowerload driving conditions such as highway cruising. An Aisin AF40 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the 2.8-liter turbo and includes a driver-selectable “eco mode” that alters transmission shift points to maximize fuel economy. The new SRX seat seats five adults (the optional third row is no longer available), has ample cargo room, tows up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped and rides on a wide track that delivers responsive handling. It has the typical edgy Cadillac design of recent years, with minimal body overhang, and the wheels are pushed out to corners. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard and 20-inch wheels are offered. A multi-piece shield grille marks the face and vertical headlights blend into a sweeping body that tapers downward to give the vehicle a sporty, raked profile. A bold accent line dives across the body side and ends at a chrome front fender vent that incorporates a side marker light. An integrated spoiler on the rear edge of the roof extends the sleek

Redesigned Cadillac SRX has a shield grille, vertical headlights and a sweeping body that tapers down for a sporty profile.

design line and improves aerodynamics. On the inside, luxury abounds, with hand-sewn leather covering the dashboard and seats. An integrated center stack houses controls for climate and audio systems. The 2010 SRX has many advanced electronic systems, including adaptive headlights that swivel in synch with vehicle steering, a power liftgate with programmable height setting, an integrated hard disc drive for audio storage and a dual-screen

system for rear entertainment. Bluetooth compatibility is standard, as is OnStar’s Turn-by-Turn Navigation service. Pricing on the 2010 Cadillac SRX starts at $33,330. 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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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Kendall Gazette, December 22, 2009 Edition - Local, Sports, Columns, Newspaper - Miami, Florida