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Community Newspapers SERVING MIAMI-DADE COUNTY SINCE 1958

JANUARY, 2011

INSIDE THIS

ISSUE JAZZ IN THE GARDENS

Miami Gardens The Miami Gardens Police Department Needs YOU

BY CHIEF MATTHEW BOYD

• • • • • • • • • IN THE COMMUNITY

• • • • • • • • • SHOPPING WITH THE COPS

As we enter 2011, the Miami Gardens Police Department is committed to providing you a safer community in which to live. Together with our fellow City Departments, we will provide service that reflects excellence and dedication to you, our Citizens. Since our inception in 2007, the Police Department has achieved a reduction in Part One Crimes of over 40%. The City, which was previously ranked as the 13th Most Dangerous City by CQ Press is now ranked 40th, a significant decrease, and we expect to do even better in the coming year. This reduction in crime has been accomplished through the use of progressive and innovative policing techniques, and by educating our citizens about issues related to criminal conduct. During 2011, the Department will continue to operate anti-crime initiatives and programs designed to detect and prevent criminal activity. We will be focusing on improving our Neighborhood Watch Programs to foster more community involvement and enhancing our partnerships with our Community

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Goodbye 2010 and Welcome 2011

Enrichment Team. Finally, we will continue our efforts in enhanced community policing through our Police Explorer Program and collaboration with our business community and homeowners groups. These programs are an integral part of our law enforcement philosophy and efforts to further reduce crime. The Department needs your commitment to "Stay Alert, Stay Safeâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;GET INVOLVEDâ&#x20AC;?. This is our quest in 2011 and we need your help. Please follow the simple guidelines in the picture below and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Get Involvedâ&#x20AC;?. Make plans to visit a Neighborhood Watch Meeting in your community and always report any and all suspicious activity that you see. Please take personal precautions when traveling and be sure to always lock your doors and windows at home and store valuables out of sight in your vehicles. Please join your Police Department in "Building a Safer Communityâ&#x20AC;?. Together we can achieve great success and excellence in our effort to create an environment of safety for our residents, business owners and visitors to our great City.

Yes itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s excitingâ&#x20AC;Śa year gone by and a new year is ahead leaving us with vast opportunities to accomplish new goals and rise to even greater challenges and come out on top! A look at the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s past highlights the fact that the City of Miami Gardens is as innovative as they come! The Mayor and City Council, and the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s staff, are and have always been on the fast track when it comes to making the City of Miami Gardens a safer, friendlier and more livable community for current and future residents and businesses. During the 2010 year, the City claimed many achievements, and yet faced many difficult challenges. The nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic recession certainly confronted the City, presenting many financial challenges. However, the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mayor, Council and staff worked diligently in pursuit of structuring a budget that would continue to preserve City services, programs, activities and jobs. While the economic downturn could not be avoided, the City still managed to overcome and charge ahead with many projects that would improve the overall quality of life for the community. Projects such as the 2010 Census count, a first for the City, and the opening of the long awaited Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex proved to be winning. Thanks to the labors of the Miami Gardens Police Department, the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crime rate decreased, and afforded the City a national ranking of 40th in crimes being committed in metropolitan areas, dropping five places from the 2009 ranking of 35th in the nation, according to CQ Press of Washington, D.C.,

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who publishes the annual Crime in Metropolitan American report. The City received an “A” rating from Fitch Ratings, stating the City is financially stable. The 5th Annual Jazz in the Gardens music festival became the bright light of South Florida, earning the credit of being “South Florida’s 2010 Best Music Festival’, according to the Miami New Times publication. Some of the most talented performers, Mary J. Bilge, the late Teena Marie, Robin Thicke, and John Legend, just to name a few, entertained 45,000 festival attendees , from all over the nation during the two-day weekend event. Miami Carnival returned to its original home is Miami Gardens, bringing a tasteful variety of Caribbean people, cultures, music, entertainment and food to the City. Over 25,000 people attended the party, honorably displaying Caribbean pride and reviving that pride for Caribbean residents

in the City. The City continues to show leadership an innovation in the area of Community Development, by being one of the leading entitlement cities in the nation with respect to purchase, redevelopment and resale of foreclosed homes for low-income families. The 2011 forecast is bright and sunny! While there will always be obstacles, and challenges, having the right team at the helm can make the difference in whether to fail or succeed. The Mayor and City Council and staff at the City of Miami Gardens have always dedicated their services to improving the overall quality of life for the Miami Gardens community. The leadership and determination has set a competitive standard, making success the only option at the City of Miami Gardens. The 2011 New Year certainly presents newer and greater opportunities and we look forward to your support in helping us achieve all our future endeavors.

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Miami Gardens Calender of Events January 2011 JANUARY 15 •MLK Oratorical Contest - FINALS Application Deadline: 12/17/2010 Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex 3000 NW 199th Street, Miami Gardens, FL @ 12:00 Noon JANUARY 16 •Progressive Young Adults 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Council Chambers @ 3pm-5pm JANUARY 17 •Unity In the Community Miami Carol City Park 3201 NW 185 Street Miami Gardens, FL @ 11:30 am – 5:00 pm •MLK Art in the Gardens Contest Judging Application Deadline: 12/20/2010 Miami Carol City Park 3201 NW 185 Street Miami Gardens, FL

JANUARY 18 •Caribbean Affairs Advisory 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Council Chambers @ 6pm JANUARY 19 •Elderly Affairs Advisory Committee City Hall Small Conf. Room @ 3pm – 4:30 pm •Commission for Women Board Meeting 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Conference Room @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm JANUARY 20 •Nuisance Abatement Board 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Council Chambers @ 5pm •Parks & Rec. Advisory 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 6-300 Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:30pm

JANUARY 24 •Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Police Dept., 1020 NE 163 Drive Miami Gardens, FL @ 7pm *TENTATIVE* JANUARY 26 •Special Master Code Cases 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Council Chambers @ 9am-3pm •Junior Council 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Miami Gardens, FL Council Chamber @ 4pm •City Council Meeting 1515 NW 167 Street, bldg. 5-200 Miami Gardens, FL Council Chambers @ 7pm


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Councilwoman Lisa C. Davis Recognized For Going Above And Beyond To Become A Better Leader

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Councilwoman Lisa C. Davis On December 8, 2010, at the City of Miami Gardensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Council Meeting, The Honorable Lisa C. Davis, Council member representing the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Residential Area, Seat 2, was acknowledged and presented with a Certificate of Completion, by the City Clerk, for her participation and completion of The Institute for Elected Municipal Officials program for elected municipal officials. During the presentation, the City Clerk, Ronetta Taylor, stated, â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to recognize those who go above and beyond to become better leaders in our communities.â&#x20AC;? Sponsored by the John Scott Dailey Florida Institute of Government and the Florida League of Cities, The Institute for Elected Municipal Officials, is a

three-day intensive program for newly elected city officials. The weekend long curriculum, held on October 1-3, 2010, in St. Augustine, Florida, provided an educational experience for Councilwoman Davis to gain an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals and inner workings of municipal government. The program of study consists of six sessions: Structure and Function of Cities in Florida; Effective Council Member Techniques; Taxes and Other Sources of Revenue; Accounting and Budgeting of Cities; Intergovernmental Challenges in Florida; and Understanding the Ethics and Sunshine Laws in Florida. Participants receive a certificate after completing the 18-hour program. Speakers/Instructors for the program are furnished through the League and the Florida Institute of Government. Councilwoman Davis stated, â&#x20AC;&#x153;this first-rate developmental program provided excellent insight for being innovative and utilizing available resources to address pressing issues confronting residentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and business ownersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs during these tough economic times. The program also offered a great opportunity to network with other elected officials and share ideas and information beneficial to the success of my role as a leader and public servant.â&#x20AC;? The League and Institute started this training program in 1992, which is offered three times each year, in varying locations. Although attendance is not mandatory, most council members in the City of Miami Gardens have attended this and other training programs offered by the Florida League of Cities.

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City of Miami Gardens Staff Directory Name Julie-Ann Smith Sonja K. Dickens Ronetta Taylor Danny Crew Renee Crichton Daniel Rosemond Vernita Nelson Tasha Codner Sharon Ragoonan Patti Varney Mike Gabino Taren Kinglee Kara Petty Jay Marder O. Tom Ruiz Pam Thompson Ula Zucker Matthew Boyd Hilary Marshall Tashek Hamlette

Department Asst. to Mayor City Attorney City Clerk City Manager Deputy City Manager Asst. City Manager Asst. City Manager KMGB Director Director. Building & Code Finance Director Flood Plain Administrator Human Resources/ Risk Director Parks & Recreation Director Planning & Zoning Director Public Works Director Procurement Manager Events and Media Coordinator Miami Gardens Police Chief Assistant to Council (Vice Mayor Campbell, Davis, Pritchett) Assistant to Council (Gilbert, Williams, Robinson)

E-mail jsmith@miamigardens-fl.gov sdickens@miamigardens-fl.gov rtaylor@miamigardens-fl.gov crewd@miamigardens-fl.gov rcrichton@miamigardnes-fl.gov drosemond@miamigardens-fl.gov vnelson@miamigardens-fl.gov codner@miamigardens-fl.gov sragoonan@miamigardens-fl.gov pvarney@miamigardens-fl.gov mgabino@miamigardens-fl.gov tkinglee@miamigardens-fl.gov kpetty@miamigardens-fl.gov jmarder@miamigardens-fl.gov truiz@miamigardens-fl.gov pthompson@miamigarders-fl.gov uzucker@miamigardens-fl.gov hmarshall@miamigardens-fl.gov

Main 305-622-8010 305-622-8055 305-622-8003 305-622-8007 305-622-8006 305-622-8005 305-622-8008 305-622-8009 305-622-8018 305-622-8000 Ext. 2780 305-622-8039 305-622-8030 305-622-8080 305-622-8025 305-622-8004 305-622-8000 Ext. 2490 305-622-8035 305-474-1400 305-622-8000 Ext. 2793

thamlette@miamigardens-fl.gov

305-622-8000 Ext. 2705

City of Miami Gardens Mayor and Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Corner To contact your Council representatives, call 305-622-8010.

Mayor Shirley Gibson

Vice-Mayor Aaron Campbell Jr. (Seat 1)

Councilwoman Lisa C. Davis (Seat 2)

Councilman AndrĂŠ Williams (Seat 3)

Councilwoman Felicia S. Robinson (Seat 4)

Councilwoman Sharon Pritchett (Seat 5)

Councilman Oliver G. Gilbert III (Seat 6)


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January, 2011

City of Miami Gardens Notice to the public Vacancy in Seat 5 Of The City Council A vacancy has occurred on the City of Miami Gardens City Council for Seat 5 (atlarge) due to the resignation of Sharon Pritchett. Pursuant to Article 2.5, Section (C)(2) “If six months or more remain in the unexpired term, the vacancy shall be filled by a nomination of the Mayor made within 30 calendar days following the occurrence of the vacancy, subject to confirmation by the Council. The nominee shall fill the vacancy until the next regularly scheduled Miami-Dade County-wide election at which time an election shall be held to fill the vacancy for the balance of the term.” The City Clerk has been informed by the Dade-County Supervisor of Elections that the next County-wide election is scheduled for January 31, 2012. Any City of Miami Gardens resident interested in being appointed to this seat until January 31, 2012 will need to provide the following to

the Office of the City Clerk no later than Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.: 1) Introductory Letter 2) Resume 3) Proof of residency for one year prior to January 27, 2011 4) Current Voter Registration Card 5) Current Florida Driver’s License 6) Take an Oath as provided by the City Clerk 7) Complete “Financial Disclosure Form”, which can be obtained from the City Clerk Mayor Shirley Gibson intends to present her nomination to the City Council for confirmation at the March 9, 2011, City Council Meeting. Inquiries concerning this matter can be directed to the Office of the City Clerk (305) 622-8003.

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(USPS 699-310) (ISSN 1060-782) 6796 S.W. 62 Avenue, South Miami, FL 33143 • Phone (305) 669-7355, Fax (305) 662-6980 PUBLISHER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Grant Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Michael Miller SALES MANAGER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Walter White WRITERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ron Beasley, Robert Hamilton, Gary Alan Ruse, Lee Stephen, Al Sunshine, Richard Yager ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Albie Barnes, Roberta Bergman, Beatriz Brandfon, Celia Canabate, Diane Chasin, Enrique Chau, Sharon Christian, Lori Cohen, Cecile Fanfani, Dianne Maddox, Denzil Miles,m Ann Robbins-Udel, Fara Sax, Diane Sedona Schiller, Georgia Tait, Walter Whitem LEGAL ADVERTISING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Enrique Chau PROOF DEPARTMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Isabel Vavrek PRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Isabel Ortega, Vera Salom, Marie Scheer, Isabel Vavrek PUBLISHER EMERITUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ron Miller POSTAL INFORMATION: Community Newspapers is published by Your Hometown Newspaper, Inc. 6796 SW 62 Ave., S. Miami, FL 33143. Periodicals Postage Paid in Miami, Florida, and additional mailing offices. Published weekly. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Community Newspapers, P.O. Box 43-1970, South Miami, FL 33143. Subscription rates: $27.50 a year. GENERAL PROVISIONS: Every issue of Community Newspapers is fully copyrighted, and all property rights, including advertisements produced by Community Newspapers. Artwork and/or typography furnished or arranged for/by us, shall be the property of Community Newspapers. No such ad or any art thereof may be reproduced without the prior consent of Community Newspapers. Editorial e-mail: cneditor@gate.net • www.communitynewspapers.com


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January, 2011

Miami-Dade County League of Cities Appoints Councilwoman Lisa C. Davis to the Legislative Committee At the close of last year, the Hon. Michael Blynn Councilman, City of North Miami and President of the MiamiDade County League of Cities (MDCLC) appointed Councilwoman Lisa. C. Davis to serve on the MDCLC Legislative committee. Councilwoman Davis will serve on this committee with fellow colleague Councilman Oliver Gilbert, III. MDCLC was formed in 1953 for the purpose of uniting the common interests of all municipalities within Miami Dade County for the purpose of assisting its

members in cultivating and maintaining the most proficient ways of administering government for the general welfare of the residents and businesses in the county. Please join the Mayor and City Council in congratulating Councilwoman Davis with her civic role in assisting and shaping legislative policies that will benefit all residents in Miami-Dade County. For information about on MDCLC and its role in the community visit www.mdclc.org, or call (305) 416.4155.

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City of Miami Gardens Police Department Use these numbers to contact us Operations Division Major Steve List Captain Athena Skellion Patrol Division

305-474-1406 305-474-1380 305-474-1406

School Crossing Guards Cherise Asberry Traffic Concerns Neighborhood Watch Report Truants

305-474-1526 305-474-1391 305-474-6473 305-474-6473

Investigations Division Major Anthony Chapman Captain Rafael Suarez Captain Frank Trujillo Auto Theft/Pawn Unit

305-474-1382 305-474-1430 305-474-1418 305-474-1428

CST/Narcotics Unit Support Services Division Major Alan Mandelbloom Captain Alfred Lewers Jr Communications Center Court Liaison Off Duty Police Employment Records Unit

305-474-1427 305-474-1381 305-474-1405 305-474-MGPD (6473) 305-474-1412 305-474-1412 305-474-1413

Professional Standards/Training Unit Background Investigations 305-474-1409 Captain Marilyn Gongalez 305-474-1410 Training Unit 305-474-1674 Non-Emergency Police Communications & Information (305) 474-MGPD (6473)


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â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ COMMUNITY NEWS â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ The Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex is Officially Open! The City of Miami Gardens is proud to be the hone of the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex, located at 3000 NW 199 Street - just two (2) blocks away from Sun Life Stadium, is officially open to the public. The 56,000 square foot facility is home to a state-of-the-art gymnasium, dance studios, an indoor aquatic center with a pool slide and spa, a computer lab, auditorium, fitness center, meeting and rental space and more. The facility sits on 24 acres of pristine land; a scenic lake sits adjacent to the center and provides a beautiful backdrop to a worldclass running track, artificial turf athletic field, future outdoor amphitheatre and nature sanctuary for burrowing owls. The community center provides a safe, clean and exciting space and environment for

local youth, seniors and adults. The center currently offers a wide variety of programs and activities for all ages such as aerobics, personal training, swim lessons, dance, computer classes and art, just to name a few! There are fees associated with using the facility. Fees vary for use of facility amenities and space rental. For more information, please call the center at 786279-1222. Funding for the Miami Gardens Community Center was made possible by the Office of Safe Neighborhood Parks, Better Building Communities General Obligation Bond, Quality Neighborhood Improvement Program, NFL Youth Football Fund, Miami-Dade County and City Funds.

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January, 2011

Page 9

Mike McKenzie and Rick Ross Charities Host 5th Annual Holiday Winter Wonderland BY JANEY TATE The line wrapped around the Scott Park Rec Room stretched out for what seem like a mile. The over 1000 excited faces anticipated the new toys and holiday food that would be given to them shortly. The Mike McKenzie 34 Ways Foundation and Rick Ross Charities Inc. hosted the 5th annual Holiday Winter Wonderland on December

22 here in the City of Miami Gardens.McKenzie and Ross, natives of Miami Gardens, teamed up to give away toys and holiday food to people in their community. In attendance wereDuane Starks, Jerrod Daphins and Earl Little from the ‘Canes 4 Life’ organization which consistsof former University of Miami football players. Maybach Music Group artists Triple C’s,

Young Breed, and Duce Pound were there as well. Florida House of Representatives Oscar Braynon II, who helped sponsor the food items given to the residents, showed up to give his support to this worthy cause. The 34 Ways Foundationwas founded in 2002 to give encouragement to children through football camps, activities and programs. McKenzie thinks it is pertinent to host this event in the City of Miami Gardens because hegrew up in the community. A graduate of Miami Norland Senior High School and Super Bowl XLIV Champion with the New Orleans Saints; McKenzie knows the importance of having a strong foundation to help lead to success.He strongly believes that helping people in any way that he can is very important. “Reaching families 34WAYS! This has always been my one and only goal. The goal is to foster an environment that not only creates positive individuals, but also instilling pride in one’s self and community” said McKenzie. Their focus is to make the current conditions in inner city communities better for not only the youth, but also their parents. “We want to insure the parents that our programs are safe and beneficial to their children in order to build a trust level with our foundation” McKenzie said. When the 34 Ways Foundation began hosting the Holiday Winter Wonderland event, McKenzie paid for all items to be given away from his personal finances. Since then, the event has gain notoriety and has gained sponsors from groups and organizations such as the Eastern Stars and Seminole Chapter 10. The event has become something that residents of the Scott Lake area look forward to each year. Mechelle Murray, 34 Ways foundation Program Director and Miami Norland Senior High school graduate, said the continuousgrowth of the event is due to people wanting to contribute their time and effort.

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Vernita Nelson, the City of Miami Gardens Assistant City Manager for General Services, helped to organize the event. The ‘Canes 4 Life’ organization and Maybach Music Group artists passed items to the residents as they traveled through distribution line. Murray, who is also McKenzie’s sister and is a former professional women’s basketball player, is filled with pride and gratitude to host an event such as these in her home town. “It just gives u a better appreciation of

coming back to your area and giving back to the community where u are from… They [residents] respect you for that” said Murray. In the month of March, McKenzie and the 34 Ways Foundation is planning a four day event which will include a Bowl-a-thon and Flag Football game, and will be held here in South Florida. McKenzie said all the details are still a work in progress. For more information on the event and McKenzie’s foundation, visit 34waysfoundation.org.


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January, 2011

CENSUS 2010: The Unites States Census releases preliminary numbers. It was just about a year ago when we started to see Census 2010 marketing campaigns surface, reaching out to remind and motivate citizens that on April 1st, 2010, every man, woman and child needed to be counted! City’s all around the nation started to design their own campaigns directed towards specific populations within their community in hopes of counting citizens, especially hard to count populations. The City of Miami Gardens, created its own Census 2010 Campaign: “Stand Up, Be Heard, and Be Counted!” Since this was the first time the City of Miami Gardens would be officially counted in a U.S., Census. The City collaborated with various civic organizations, churches, schools, Miami Dade County, other city municipalities and the local U.S. Census office with one goal in mind, to get every person living within the City of Miami Gardens counted! With much success, over 76% of its household s in the Miami Gardens mailed in their completed Census forms. The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The data collected by the decennial census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities. Preliminary numbers released by the Census last week have gained Florida 2 new House seats. According to the new data, Florida’s population increased by 18.9M since the 2000 Census, a 17.6 % increase.

In March 2011 the Census Bureau will release 2010 Census city population through their American Factfinder web site. The American Factfinder currently provides a wide range of data estimated for 2009. According to the US Census’ 2010 Census Data Products, the first planned release of detailed 2010 Census data will be February/March 2011 of Census Redistricting Data. This data will be by the smallest Census geographic unit, the Block. It will include population counts for race and Hispanic or Latino categories broken down into great detail, as well as housing unit counts by occupancy status (occupied units, vacant units). Once we obtain the redistricting data and put it into our computerized map system, we’ll be able to count the number of persons in each of our four City Council districts. To see Miami Gardens on the American Factfinder, click on the following: http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ADPTa ble?_bm=y&-context=adp&qr_name=ACS _2009_1YR_G00_DP2&ds_name=ACS_2 009_1YR_G00_&-tree_id=309&redoLog= false&-_caller=geoselect&geo_id=16000U S1245060&-format=&_lang=en For more information, please visit the link below to an interactive Census 2010 data website .http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/ The City of Miami Gardens will continue to update you on Census numbers, especially for the City. In the meantime, we thank each and every resident for participating in the City of Miami Gardens 2010 Census Complete Count Campaign and for making it a successful one!

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January, 2011

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City of Miami Gardens’ Employees Bring Christmas Cheer Over the past three years, the City of Miami Gardens employees, spearheaded by Tamilla Mullings, Administrative Assistant for the City’s event and Media Division, have made it a part of their Christmas tradition to provide toys for underprivileged children of Miami Gardens. Each year local organizations and schools that provide social services for youth in the local community provide Ms. Mullings with a list of needy children, from newborns to teens. With the assistance and collaboration of the Kiwanis of Miami Gardens, City employees made 183 youngsters very happy for the 2010 holiday season. The

generosity was all too obvious when bikes, dolls, clothing, electronics, games and gift cards for every “Star” on the “Holiday Wall” began pouring in. Some employees went above and beyond; making sure their “Star” had two or more gifts. All gifts came wrapped and were distributed to partnering organizations and schools before Christmas, making certain each child would have at least one gift under the tree, thanks to the efforts of the City of Miami Gardens family! It just goes to show that working in the Miami Gardens community is not just a job, but it being an employee is being part of a village raising many children.

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Jazz in the Gardens Tickets are on sale now! Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait until last minute to purchase your tickets! The 6th Annual Jazz in the Gardens music festival is quickly approaching. Each year, Jazz in the Gardens offers something amazing, better, bigger and definitely more exciting as it continues to grow as the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature event. The 2011 line-up will feature exhilarating performances on Saturday, March 19, 2011, with Lauryn Hill, Charlie Wilson, Al Jarreau, Jazmine Sullivan, and Heads of State (Bobby Brown, Johnny Gil and Ralph Tresvant, all formerly of New Edition). Sunday, March 20, 2011, will feature R&B legend Gladys Knight, EnVogue, El DeBarge, Lalah Hathaway and Branford Marsalis performing their classic hits. Joining the star-studded cast, and adding his unique and internationally renowned mixing skills, is Miamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own

bright star, D.J. Irie, the official DJ for The Miami Heat and now â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jazz in the Gardensâ&#x20AC;?. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget there will be lots food and shopping at the festival. Mouthwatering ribs, fried crab and the best conch salad youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever tasted! Then thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the unique art, jewelry, hats and anything you can think of available in the merchandise shopping area. Ticket prices range anywhere from $45 to $70 for a one day ticket or $75 to $125 for a two-day ticket which can be purchased at www.jazzinthegardens.com, Ticketmaster locations and Ticketmaster online, and at the Sun Life Stadium Box Office. For more information about, visit www.JazzintheGardens.com. Please not all vendor booths have been sold out for the 2011 event.


COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January, 2011

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•• EDUCATION ••

The City Of Miami Gardens honors Program will provide paid Internships for Local Students Opportunity, Education, Mentoring and Financial Support for Students Aspiring To Be Future Leaders in Government In an effort to provide valuable professional and personal development opportunities to the youth in the City of Miami Gardens, Councilman Oliver Gilbert, III collaborated with South Florida Workforce (SFWF) to obtain funding in support of the Miami Gardens Honors Internship Program (Honors Program). The goal of this program is to provide an opportunity for ten (10) high performing young adults, five (5) college students and five (5) high school seniors seeking exposure to a professional career in government with an opportunity to intern with the City of Miami Gardens. The Honors Program would be an opportunity to gain practical work experience in the field of public administration by working alongside administrators in the City of Miami Gardens. “We need to redefine what success is in

the minds of our youth. A lot of our children think of success as being a rapper, athlete or entertainer. In the City of Miami Gardens we have well paid highly educated executives who dedicate their lives to public service and the betterment of our community. These are the careers to which I would like to expose our students, says Councilman Oliver Gilbert. The Miami Gardens Honors Internship Program will begin in January 2011, and will target young adults age 16 -21 who are eligible to work in the United States. The honors program participants must comply with all City of Miami Gardens employment requirements, and meet household income requirements set by SFWF via their federal grants. Qualified applicants will earn anywhere from $10.00 to $12.00 per hour.

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Program Narrative – College Students College students will be selected by virtue of an application process, which will include interviews with a committee comprised of City staff. Students need not be Public Administration majors to participate in the program. Once selected, each student will work approximately 20 hours per week, depending on scheduling availability. Students will work a maximum of 1040 within a 1-year program period. Program Eligibility- College Student • City of Miami Gardens Resident • Household income cannot exceed levels set by SFWF • 16-21 years old • Must be enrolled in college • Must be physically able to work in administrative office setting • Must be able to work approximately 20 hours per week Program Narrative – High School Student The high school students will also be selected by virtue of an application process. Selected students will be able to either earn a stipend or earn community service hours. Participating students may work up to a full workweek (40 hours) during the summer or during the regular school year, if the student participates in their schools’ on the job-training program. The total hours worked will be subject to the student’s class schedule/workload. The maximum stipend to be earned by each student will be $5,000 for the year (based on a total of 480 hours worked). High School students that exceed the income limits will receive community serv-

ice hours in lieu of a stipend. Program Eligibility – High School Student • City of Miami Gardens Resident • Household income cannot exceed levels set by SFWF • 16-19 years old • Must be a high school senior with a minimum GPA of 3.5 (weighted) • Must be physically able to work in administrative office setting Funds for this program will be provided by SFWF. Therefore, participating students must meet the income eligibility standards set by SFWF as imposed on them by the funding source, the U.S. Department of Labor. The City of Miami Gardens Community Development Department agrees to perform the required screening and eligibility compliance functions for applicants into this program. Additionally, the City of Miami Gardens through its non-profit entity the, Friends of Miami Gardens, will seek to raise monetary support for this program. Funds raised through Friends of Miami Gardens will be used to fund a scholarship for participating students in this program. Scholarship funds can be used toward tuition and books and will be paid on a reimbursement basis. Applications for the Honors Program will be available January 2011. Once the applications are available, the City will distribute a notification throughout the local community. Students interested in the Honors Program should contact the City of Miami Gardens Community Development Department for more information and details at (305) 622-8041.


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January, 2011

•• HEALTH & FITNESS ••

City Of Miami Gardens Kicks-Off its Citywide Health Empowerment Series to improve the Health of its City The City of Miami Gardens and Mayor Shirley Gibson have partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Move It!” campaign to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. The City will host its first annual Family Fun and Fitness Festival to kickoff its commitment to improving the health of youth and adults in the City on Saturday, January 15, 2011, from 8:00am – 4:00pm at The Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex (BTFRC) located at: 3000 NW 199th Street; Miami Gardens, FL 33056. The event is free and open to the public. All ages are encouraged to participate. As a “Let’s Move It City,” the City of Miami Gardens will embark on a one year campaign known as the Health Empowerment Series to (1) promote physical activity, (2) help parents make healthy family choices and (3) provide access to healthy and affordable food. The event will feature the first annual Mayor’s 5K Walk/Run Fitness Challenge. The walk will be led by the City of Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson who will distribute free pedometers and also propose a challenge to the City of Miami Gardens residents to get physically active in 2011. Throughout the day there will be a farmers market, blood pressure screenings, healthy food and beverage samples, free massages, prizes and healthy cooking and exercise demonstrations. There will be something for everyone! The Health Empowerment Series will bring civic leaders, health experts and com-

munities together to discuss practical strategies for reversing this public health crisis affecting adults and youth in our communities. In addition, the third Wednesday of each month, the BTRC will host a free Wednesday Wellness Workshop. A special guest speaker/presenter will address topics such as: healthy nutrition, oral health, financial wellness, diabetes awareness and stress management. The following is a schedule of monthly wellness topics: list of monthly topics: a) January – Self Care Month b) February – Heart Health Month c) March – National Nutrition Month d) April – Oral Health Month e) May - Health and Fitness Month f) June – Maintaining Healthy Balance Month g) July – Healthy Back Month h) August – Healthy Communication Month i) September – Childhood Obesity Awareness Month j) October – Lung Cancer Awareness Month k) November – Diabetes Awareness Month l) December – Stress Management Month All of the above workshops are free and open to the public. For more information about these workshops and other health & fitness workshops at BTFRC, contact Tanya James, Fitness Director, at (786) 279-1237 or email her at tjames@newfitnessconcepts.com.

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January, 2011

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January, 2011J

“Shop with a Cop”: Miami Gardens Police Embraces the Spirit of Giving BY JANEY TATE Captain Alfred Lewers Jr, a member of the Miami Gardens police department, shopped with a little girl from the community at the 3rd annual “Shop with a Cop” event. He and the little girl picked up many items, but to his surprise, not all of the gifts were for the little girl. With an exception of one item, all of her gifts were for her cousins. “She said ‘I really like my cousins and this is for them’” said Captain Lewers with a smile. “They recognize that Christmas is a time for others…It’s not just kids buying toys for themselves.” The “Shop with a Cop” is an event where members of the Miami Gardens Kiwanis Club take deserving kids shopping for the holidays. Although many cops are members of the Miami Gardens Kiwanis Club, other workers from the police department and city employees were involved as well. On December 4,2010, 124 students from the community, grades kindergarten to 8th grade, were given $75 gift cards and a companion to shop with. The shopping started at 8 am

and the children were done by 11am. The kids could get anything that they wanted, but like the little girl who shopped with Captain Lewers; many kids used their gift cards to buy presents for others. Deputy Chief of Police, Paul Miller, found the entire experience to be very rewarding. He is the president of the Miami Gardens Kiwanis Club and looks forward to the event every year. He likes when the Miami Gardens Police Department participates in events such as this because it shows the community a positive side of the police department; a side that they really prefer to show. “We have to show the community that we are not just crime fighters. It’s about showing that the police have a sensitive and caring side” said Deputy Chief Miller. “We don’t want people to be afraid of the police we want people to be a partner with the police.” The Kiwanis Club of Miami Gardens is the main sponsor of the event along with Wal-Mart, located at19501 NW 27Th Ave. Kiwanis is a civic group that gives year round to people in the community

and cities throughout the country have their own chapter. The Miami Gardens Kiwanis group gives away thousands of dollars each year from the $75 gift cards to scholarships for high school seniors entering college. Paulette Weems, whose daughter encouraged her to partake in the event, last year, says that “Shop with a Cop” is a fun yet rewarding and important event that she is involved in. “This is something I will do every year” said Weems, an Administrative Assistant at the Miami Gardens Police department. Sergeant Bob Williams also shopped with his daughter Sarah Williams, a student at Cooper City High School. They were assigned two students to shop with. Every time they finished with one group, Sergeant Williams said his daughter was eager to pick another group. They spent the day giving back. Shortly after the “Shop with a Cop” event, Sergeant Williams and his daughter helped deliver appliances to less fortunate families in living in Miami Gardens. “For her to see that there are people less fortunate really made her see reality”

Sergeant Williams said about his daughter who loves volunteering her time to worthy causes. The appliance give away took place right after the “Shop with a Cop” event. The Miami Gardens Kiwanis Group team up with the Miami Gardens Public Works Department and Brandsmart USA to give away appliances. Many people who volunteered with “Shop with a Cop” also volunteered in the appliance give away. Twenty two brand new appliances worth $10,000 in retail value were given to families living in Miami Gardens. People were to fill out an application withthe Miami Gardens Community Development Department. The applicants are then screened to see if they are really in need of the appliances. From there, they choose the 22 recipients. “We have had people whose refrigerator was an Igloo cooler and to give them a new refrigerator is really a good thing” said Deputy Chief Miller. To volunteer or contribute financially to the Miami Gardens Kiwanis Group, please call Deputy Chief Miller or Steve List at 305-474-1400.


January, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 17

President of Christian Theological Seminary to serve as Keynote Speaker during Florida Memorial University’s Third Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Prayer Breakfast Breakfast to kickoff University’s Religious Enrichment Week taking place January 16-22

Rev. Dr. Edward L. Wheeler The Rev. Dr. Edward L. Wheeler, president of the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana, will serve as this

year’s keynote speaker during Florida Memorial University’s third annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. CommUNITY Prayer Breakfast on Monday, January 17, 2011 at 8:00 am in the Smith Conference Center on campus. The breakfast also serves as the University’s kickoff to Religious Enrichment Week scheduled from January 16 to January 22, which is hosted on campus by University Chaplain Rev. Wendell H. Paris, Jr. and the Campus Ministry. Dr. Wheeler is a highly regarded preacher, lecturer, and speaker. Prior to holding his current position, he has served as Dean of the Morehouse School of Religion and Senior Pastor of the historic Zion Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We are fortunate to have Dr. Wheeler attending this year’s breakfast,” stated Rev. Paris. “After hosting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Rev. Dr. Harry S. Wright last year, I await the message that Dr. Wheeler will share regarding Dr. King’s legacy and the ways in which we can incorporate his teachings into

our daily lives. Dr. Wheeler is not only one of the most respected theologians in the country, but he has also served as my personal mentor since college. Everyone in attendance should be able to extract something meaningful from his words and wisdom,” he continued.

Florida Memorial is located at 15800 NW 42nd Avenue in Miami Gardens. Tickets for the breakfast are $12.00, and tables of eight can be purchased for $80.00. For more information, contact Rev. Wendell H. Paris, Jr. at (305) 626-3762 or wendell.paris@fmuniv.edu.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January, 2011


January, 2011

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The City of Miami Gardens presents the 7th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration! On Monday January 17th, 2011, join the City of Miami Gardens Mayor and Council, and the City of Miami Gardens MLK Advisory Committee for this free fun-filled event at Miami Carol City Park, from 11:30pm to 5:00p.m., at Miami Carol City Park, 3201 NW 185th Street, Miami Gardens, Florida 33056. What to expect at this event? You can expect great concert entertainment, dance performances, and tributes to Dr. King.

There will be free rides for children, food and merchandise vendors along with other exciting events taking place throughout the day. Leading up to the main celebration, the City of Miami Gardens has programmed several events, including an annual oratorical contest, poetry contest and break out artist contest, which members of the Miami Gardens community are urged to participate. • 1-8-2011 Break-Out Artists

Competition • 1-8-2011 Oratorical Preliminaries • 1-13-2011 Poetry Contest • 1-15-2011 Oratorical Finals • 1-17-2011 Art in the Gardens contest • 1-17-2011 Annual MLK Holiday Celebration NOTE: All contests will follow a theme: “With Liberty and Justice for All” Interested in participating? There are

many ways to be a part of this celebration other than being a guest. Enroll in one or more of the contests, become a volunteer, or become a food or merchandise vendor. Visit www.miamigardensmlk.com for all contests deadlines applications and vendor and volunteer applications. There are so many ways to honor Dr. King Martin Luther King Jr., and a community celebration where everyone comes out to honor this great American hero is one of them.


Page 20

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Homeowners Are Saving Big Money on their Flood Insurance Thanks to Miami-Dade County!

BY LUIS ESPINOZA

Communications Manager Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM)

0 #!/. -! /%#$/ "+- )*4 ,!+,(! 0-%*# /$%. $+(% 4 .!.+* 0/ . 2! (++' "+-2- /+ +*-!/! %),-+1! )!*/. %* /$! !+*+)4 / (!./ "+*+2 /$+0.* . +" $+)!+2*!-. * !*&+4 /$! !*!"%/. "-+) * **0( .1 %*#. +* /$!%- "(++ %*.0-*! ,+(%%!. /$*'. /+ /$! $- 2+-' 4 %)%  ! +0*/4 $/8. -%#$/ %)%  ! -!.% !*/. .1! +1!-   )%((%+* (./ 4!- +* /$!%- "(++ %*.0- *! ,+(%%!. /$*'. /+ /$! 2+-' "-+) /$! +0*/48. !,-/)!*/ +" *1%-+* )!*/( !.+0-!. *#!)!*/  * +/$!- (+( #!*%!. $/8.  .1%*#. +" +0/  +* !$ "(++ %*.0-*! ,+(%4 "+- -!.% !*/. %* .,!%( "(++ $5- -!. +" 0*%*+-,+-/! %)% ! +0*/4 !.% !*/. %* (+2 -%.' "(++ 5+*!. +.+)! )0*%%,(%/%!. )4 $1! -! !%1!  (+2!- %.+0*/ $%. %.  $0#! !*!"%/ /$/ +0- -!.% !*/. -!!%1! /$*'. /+ /$! +0*/48. %(%/4 /+ )%*/%* * !3!((!*/ -/%*# +" "%1!  %* /$! +))0*%/4 /%*#. 4./!)  "-+) /$! ! !-( )!-

#!*4 *#!)!*/ #!*4  6 ) ,-+0 +" /$! 2+-' 2! $1! +*! 2$%$ $. !*(! 0. /+ +/%* /$%. .%#*%"%*/ "(++ %*.0-*! %.+0*/ "+- /$! ,-+,!-/4 +2*!-. +" %)%  ! +0*/4 ! $1! !!* (! /+ )%*/%* /$%. !3!((!*/  (..%"% /%+* "+- /$! ,./ .!1!* 4!-.7 .% -(+. .,%*+.  %-!/+- 6*4 .1%*#. /$/ 2! -! (! /+ ,.. +* /+ +0- -!.% !*/. %. !3/-!)!(4 %),+- /*/ /+ 0. !.,!%((4 0-%*# /$! 0- -!*/ /+0#$ !+*+)% /%)!. ! 2%(( +*/%*0! /+ 2+-' 2%/$ %)% ! 0(% +-'. * +/$!- #!*%!. /+ %),-+1! +0- (+( ./+-)2/!- "(++ +*/-+( .4./!) %* +- !- /+ )%*/%*  #++ -/%*# "-+)  * ,-+1% ! /$%. "(++ %*.0-*! ,-!)%0) -! 0 /%+* /+ +0- +))0*%/47  ! - . ,%*+. %)% ! +0*/4 -!!%1! * !3 !((!*/  -/%*# +" "%1!  "-+)  %* ,-/ 0! /+ %/. !""+-/. /+ %) ,-+1! * )%*/%* /$! (+( ./+-)2 /!- "(++ +*/-+( .4./!) $%. .4./!) %. +),-%.! +" )+-! /$* /$-!! )%( (%+* (%*!- "!!/ +" ./+-)2/!- -%*#! ,%,%*# +1!-   /$ .%*. * )+-! /$*  )%(!. +" .!+* -4 *(. $! 0--!*/ +0*/4  -/ %*# -!.0(/. %*   %.+0*/ +* "(++ %*.0-*! ,-!)%0). "+- ,-+,!-/%!. %* .,!%( $5- "(++ -!. +" 0*%*+- ,+-/! %)% ! +0*/4 -!)% 0). "+- ,-+,!-/%!. +0/.% ! /$! .,!%( $5- "(++ 5+*!. -!!%1!   %. +0*/ For more information on the Miami-Dade County CRS Program, please contact DERMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Water Management Division at 305-372-6529 or log onto www.miamidade.gov/derm. For questions about flood insurance coverage and rates, residents can call 1-800-427-4661 or visit www.floodsmart.gov

January, 2011

â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ PUBLIC WORKS â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘

State Rd. 7/ Nw 2nd Avenue Roadway Project in Miami Gardens On Monday, January 3, 2011, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began a roadway project at State Road (SR) 7/NW 2 Avenue from NW 176 Street to NW 209 Street. This project will last about 10 months and will cost an estimated $4,085,609. The project includes: â&#x20AC;˘ Repaving and restriping the roadway â&#x20AC;˘ Replacing existing damaged sidewalks, pedestrian ramps and curb and gutter at certain locations and installing new sidewalks at the south end of the project limits on the east side of the road â&#x20AC;˘ Installing brick pavers in the traffic separator throughout the project â&#x20AC;˘ Replacing existing drainage tops at a few locations â&#x20AC;˘ Rebuilding some driveways and closing certain driveways permanently â&#x20AC;˘ Relocating some landscaping that is being impacted by traffic separator con-

struction â&#x20AC;˘ Installing new traffic signals at NW 191 Street and NW 207 Street â&#x20AC;˘ Minor signal work at Miami Gardens Drive â&#x20AC;˘ Installing decorative pedestrian crosswalks â&#x20AC;˘ Replacing the traffic railing along the bridge over Snake Creek Canal (C-9). To complete this work safely, it will be necessary to close traffic lanes at times. Tasks will be done in stages, and lane closures will be scheduled to avoid special community events. At least two lanes will be open at all times. The department will make sure that traffic continues to flow safely through the work zone. To learn more about lane closures and project details, visit www.fdotmiamidade.com.

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January, 2011

•• PUBLIC SAFETY ••

Code Compliance: Get to Know the Rules! People often view a City’s code enforcement efforts as a nagging pain that just won’t go away, but really and truly, code enforcement, especially the City of Miami Gardens Code Compliance Division exists to protect residents and businesses from potential dangers. Property Maintenance laws are designed to promote neighborhood integrity, prevent property value decline, reduce visual blight, and preserve quality of life. State building codes were created to protect the health; safety and welfare of citizens by ensuring buildings are properly constructed. Additionally, local ordinances exist to protect citizens’ overall quality of life. The City of Miami Gardens Code Compliance Division is committed to maintaining an overall healthy and safe environment for all citizens. The code compliance process regulates certain aspects of the building code (e.g. unsafe structures), zoning code (e.g. property uses and setbacks) and minimum housing standards. Citizens who violate city ordinances and codes often have no idea they have done so until they receive a warning or a fine. Most people are willing to play by

the rules as long as they are aware of the rules. This is why the City of Miami Gardens Code Compliance Division created “A Citizen’s Guide to Code Compliance” to inform community members about code compliance and to educate them about the do’s and don’ts. The comprehensive guide offers information about code compliance, common code violations, the inspection process, and the City’s lien amnesty program, the special master hearing process and citizen involvement. Please visit the link below to obtain an electronic copy of the guide or visit the City’s Code Compliance office for a hardcopy. . In addition to the guide, you can visit the City of Miami Gardens’ website, www.miamigardens-fl.com to learn more. Forms, applications and other documents are on available on the website to help you navigate through the process. If the website or the guide does not offer answers to specific questions, please call 305-6228000 and request to speak to the Code Compliance Division or the Building Division. The City of Miami Gardens is working for you!

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January, 2011

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January, 2011

Sponsorship Award Coping with Middle for the SFYS School Stress

The South Florida Youth Symphony proudly announces the sponsorship for their String Training program for children, by the FASE,( Foundation for the Advancement of String Education). The foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of string training for students and teachers promoting the philosophy of Dr. George

Bornoff. The South Florida Youth Symphony classes are held each SUNDAY afternoon at Miami Dade College, North Campus under the additional sponsorship of Miami Dade College Administrative Services Dean Christina Mateo . For more information on the program call Mrs. Hahn at 305-238-2729 or visit the organizational web site www.sfys.net.

Here are some of the things that can cause MIDDLE SCHOOL STRESS: • Walking to six different classes each day, • Getting homework from six different teachers, • Trying not to be tardy to class, • Trying to focus on your work while your friend is talking to you, • Not getting enough rest Stress is a body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental, or emotional adjustment or response. Did you know that children often lose confidence in themselves when they are stressed? They tell themselves that they are not good or that they will probably fail or blow it. This usually makes things worse. Students can handle bad moments by believing in themselves. They need to learn to be their own best friend. Sometimes you are trying to do your work and your “supposedly” best friend is trying to talk to you, or ask you for answers when you spend so much time on your work trying to get a “A”. Stress can come from any situation, for example; when your friends are trying to talk to you while you are trying to do your work or a thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous or anxious. Wow, Six different classes and teachers. Here are some of the ways to avoid stress

when you have six different classes and teachers. One way is to try to do the most important work, first or see which assignments are the easiest or shortest and get them done right away. Do not waste your time, get your work done. The most difficult assignments can be completed when you have more time. I know it is hard to be on time, especially when I have to the bathroom or my lockers. My advice is to get more than one book from each class from your locker. Keep folders and paper in your bookbag. Sometimes it even helps if you ask your teacher if we will be using the book. All teachers understand if you forget your book or you need to make a trip to your locker and get the materials that you need. I also feel that rest is a real stress maker. So make sure you eat well and get enough sleep. If you stay up late watching television or playing video games, it will only add to your stress. So students, you need to stop making yourselves frustrated, nervous, and every other thing. Be your own best friend! Lastly, try to get use to middle school as much as possibl, and try to do your best. Sincerely, Bre-yanna Cameron The City of Miami Gardens is working for you!

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

There are a lot of credentials that advisors use. Are they all the same? No. Each credential has a different level of course content and time requirement to attain the credential. Some credentials focus on life insurance such as the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) and a Charter Life Underwriter (CLU). The CLU is more of a Masters Degree in the area of insurance. Some credentials focus on mutual funds such as a Certified Funds Specialist (CFS). The credential that focuses on comprehensive financial planning is the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). It is more of a Masters Degree in personal financial planning. Ask the advisor for details of their skills and education. Rick Tonkinson is a Certified Financial Planner (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 # 305-447-6617. Securities offered through Securities America Inc member of FINRA/SIPC. Rick Tonkinson Registered Representative. Advisory Services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. Rick Tonkinson Investment Advisor Representative. Rick Tonkinson and Associates, Inc. & Securities America companies are not affiliated.

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Miami Gardens 1.2011