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JUNE/JULY 2013 10th Annual State of the City Address

(305) 622-8000

Mayor Oliver Gilbert Declares: Miami Gardens is Strong and Getting Stronger BY JULIA YARBOUGH


he Honorable Oliver Gilbert, Mayor of the City of Miami Gardens delivered his first State of the City address Monday, May 13, 2013 to an audience of more than three-hundred including South Florida dignitaries, life-long City residents and television, radio and print media. Highlighting the success of the City of Miami Gardens, Mayor Gilbert outlined what he describes as a progressive and ambitious future as the community marks its 10th Anniversary. “This is our moment; our moment to decide whether we want to be as progressive as our thoughts, as prospective as our words. It is our moment to insure that tomorrow’s possibilities are more expansive than today’s opportunities,” declared Mayor Gilbert from the stage at Florida Memorial University. Mayor Gilbert told residents details of the City’s first General Obligation Bond; a 50 million dollar “Decade of Progress” ini-

Mayor Oliver Gilbert, City of Miami Gardens tiative aimed at increasing and improving City services and amenities. Mayor Gilbert laid out a vision to include a new senior center, modernized parks, a Science and

Technology complex, an Entertainment/ Art facility and culinary arts center; all designed to offer improved educational opportunities for City seniors and youths.

“Ten years ago, the incorporators of this City stood firm in the face of critics who said we couldn’t; but we knew that we could and we did, exclaimed Gilbert. Mayor Gilbert touched on key aspects for building a strong fiscal future for Miami Gardens, most notably, the confirmation of the City’s A+ bond rating by New York bond rating agencies. Additional increased economic development includes steps to create the first Community Redevelopment Agency. With the hiring of eleven additional police officers and implementation of new technology Mayor Gilbert touted continued efforts for crime reduction and described a firm commitment to City youth for increased opportunities in education and recreation. The State of the City address is one of a series of events marking the City of Miami Gardens 10th Anniversary including the opening of its new LEED certified Municipal Complex later this year the Mayor’s Ball and a series of Employee Appreciation events throughout the summer.

Decade of Progress - General Obligation Bonds Will Move City Forward


ur City has come a long way since we incorporated on May 13, 2003. Our Tenth Anniversary is a time to reflect on what have we accomplished in ten short years. Wall Street ranks our financial security with an A+ bond rating. Serious crime is down 40%


from 2007 to 2012. Our children enjoy seven new City playgrounds. Pedestrians enjoy over $5 million in upgraded and repaved sidewalks. The new $55 million City Hall/Police Headquarters Complex is almost complete. In addition, our signature entertainment event, Jazz in the Gardens, is bigger and better than ever, bringing over sixty thousand visitors to Miami Gardens and putting the City on the National and International stage. While critics labeled Miami Gardens as the City “destined to fail,” critics do not

count! The people that count are the residents that believe, the businesses that invest, and the community partners that collaborate. Ten years later, not only have we proven the critics wrong but now, with the help of City residents, we are poised to take our success to even greater heights. The Miami Gardens City Council has taken steps to seek approval from the voters for Fifty-Million Dollar General Obligation Bond (GOB). A General Obligation Bond is a loan (approved by Miami Gardens Voters) to be paid back over a period of

time. It is an agreement that we make with each other that says that we understand that there are things that we need as a city that we cannot afford to purchase unless we put our money together and take out a loan. In this case, the loan would be paid for over twenty (20) years and the revenue would be used to build and enhance the City’s Park system. Our Decade of Progress bond will make real the continued evolution of city

–––– See DECADE OF PROGRESS, page 4

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June/July 2013

Scenes from the State of the City

Photos courtesy of:

Nate Veal/Memories in Focus

June/July 2013


ON THE MOVE • ON THE MOVE Sonshine Communications has been retained to assist in providing marketing, production and creative support services to

the City of Miami Gardens. The first of many tasks the agency mastered included the development of video promotions in celebration of the City’s anniversary, which featured the Mayor and Council Members. The campaign, coined after the anniversary theme – “Cultivating Possibilities” - made its debut during the 2013 Jazz in the Gardens concert and celebration. “We recognize the need to move to the next level and looked for an agency that could help fulfill this ambitious initiative in a creative and meaningful way,” says Mayor Oliver Gilbert. “We’re pleased with the collaboration and know great things will come from it.” With an impressive 20 years in the business, Sonshine is a full service public relations, marketing and advertising agency. Owned and operated by Bernadette Morris, a lifelong resident of Miami, her company has implemented campaigns for clients and organizations around the country.

The City of Miami Gardens announces the appointment of Cameron Benson to the position of Assistant City Manager. Cameron Benson joins current Assistant City Manager Vernita Nelson in overseeing daily operations the City. Benson will manage several key depart-

ments including Building & Code Enforcement, Zoning, Community Development, Parks & Recreation, Information Technology and the School Crossing Guard program. With more than two decades of public policy management expertise and knowledge of South Florida, Benson brings a fresh new perspective to directing the next phase of development for the City of Miami Gardens as it celebrates its tenth anniversary. “The role of Assistant City Manager is critical in providing vision and direction for Miami Gardens, explains City Manager Dr. Danny Crew. “ Benson comes to us with a proven track record. He knows South Florida. He understands policy and I have no doubt he will make a significant and lasting contribution to the City of Miami Gardens.”

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Letter from the Editor SUMMERTIME: FAMILY, FRIENDS & A STRONG FUTURE TOGETHER MSummertime in South Florida means different things to different people. To kids in our community, it of course means school is out and it’s time for fun in the sun with friends, long lazy days with no homework and enjoying all the wonderful outdoor offerings we have at our disposal. Just when youngsters are winding down though, our team at Parks & Recreation is going into high-gear offering a host of programs and classes designed to keep our young people engaged, occupied, intellectually challenged and physically fit! From swim lessons, to art classes, to cheerleading and football – we’ve got it! With the heat of summer also come the all too familiar afternoon thunderstorms. (Can’t wait…) This time of year we are especially thankful and grateful to our Public Works Department. After all – SOMEONE has to make sure our streets, gutters and curbs are free and clear of debris so all that rain water flows where

and how it should. The Summer months are also time for all of us to stop and smell the roses; take stock of where we are in life and make necessary adjustments if need be to live out our fullest potential. In the City of Miami Gardens, we’re doing all of those things this summer and invite you to do the same. Enjoy the beauty South Florida provides, enjoy your children and families, give praise to youngsters and students who make us proud and give yourselves a pat on the back for all of your hard work to make our community the best that it can be. As Mayor Oliver Gilbert declared in his first State of the City Address, “The only limits we have are the limits we embrace. We were not meant to be ordinary or confined. We were not meant to be guardians of mediocrity or stewards of the status quo. We were meant to be imaginative and expansive in our thinking. We were meant to improve and invent with our actions.” ENJOY YOUR SUMMER! ~Julia Yarbough – Editor; Community Newspaper

IN THE NEWS • IN THE NEWS • IN THE NEWS Cultivating Possibilities is more than just a slogan for the City of Miami Gardens as we celebrate ten years of success, growth and progress. It is a culture not only for those in leadership positions but also City residents. And it’s a culture that is attracting the attention of news media throughout South Florida.

WFOR-CBS4 Coverage of State of the City Address, Monday, May 13th, 2013

Mayor Oliver Gilbert; WPLG, Sunday May 6th, 2013.

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DECADE OF PROGRESS, from page 1 services by making good on a promise to bring amenities to this area that have previously been absent. We will build a senior center on the archdiocese property, which has everything our senior population needs. We will modernize every football field, basketball court, and baseball diamond. We will evaluate, retrofit, and repair city pools. We will enhance our park infrastructure with modern lighting, and security features because when you are on a Miami Gardens park, we want you to be safe and feel safe. We will also build a Science and technology building on one of our parks so our students can address their science, engineering, technology, and mathematics interests. We will have an Entertainment/Art facility on one of our parks that is fully equipped with music and television studios so our residents can develop state of the art multi-media talents in front and behind the cameras. We will also have art studios because we understand that students who participate in the arts perform significantly better academically. With your help we will have a building dedicated to culinary arts, with a fully equipped commercial kitchen and a small seating area so that young people can develop a full experience

of what it takes to have a profession in the culinary field and we will also have a building that allows for gymnastics, dance/ballet, martial arts, and boxing because this community’s children will not be limited by the traditional sports offerings that are common in urban areas. How much will the General Obligation Bond cost taxpayers? It depends on the tax value associated with your home. According to the Miami-Dade property appraiser, the average taxable value for a Miami-Gardens home is approximately $77,000. Thus, the average cost per homeowner to finance the GOB over a twentyyear period would be approximately $56 a year or $4 a month. The question for City residents is this: What kind of City do you want? What facilities do you want for yourselves, your children and parents? What services and programs do we need in order to enjoy a positive and fulfilling quality of life? What services must we offer to make sure that our children have opportunities that we did not? This is our chance to say that we want, require, and demand something more; but we have to say it together as one Miami Gardens.

June 2013

Eye on Tomorrow: Miami Gardens Police Turn to the Chevy Tahoe

After exhaustive rounds of research, feature and price comparisons, reviews of expected maintenance costs and compatibility for law enforcement activity, City of Miami Gardens Fleet Service in conjunction with the Police Department has chosen the Chevy Tahoe as the new vehicle for the Police Fleet. 100 new vehicles are slated to become part of the Police rotation.

“A vehicle is not only transportation, it’s a work tool; an office,” says Fleet Manager David Motola. “After an extensive review, the Tahoe gave us the best bang for our buck,” explains Paul Miller, Deputy Chief of Police. “We believe this is going to be a good vehicle that’s going to be good for our officers.”

ARE YOU READY FOR HURRICANE SEASON? Batteries Plus® Offers Tips for Staying Powered Up and Connected in the Eye of the Storm

With hurricane season approaching (June through November), residents of South Florida should be prepared for widespread power outages and potential property damage. Batteries Plus, the nation’s largest and fastestgrowing battery and light bulb franchise, encourages consumers to take action now by stocking up on essential preparation and safety items. . “We recommend that consumers stock up on a variety of products that will maximize the battery life of items like flashlights and charging stations and keep communication lines open as long as possible so they can stay informed on breaking storm announcements,” said Chuck Kesl, owner of Batteries Plus in Miami Lakes, Fla. In preparation of the impending hurricane season, Batteries Plus Bulbs recommends stocking up on the following items. • Power Inverters –Power inverters

allow you to use a car’s battery to run a variety of electronic devices, including phones, laptops, cameras and other appliances. • Flashlights – As a general rule of thumb, have one flashlight per person in your household. • Backup Chargers for Mobile Devices – External, portable battery packs, including one solar-charged and one extended-capacity battery, can help keep a smartphone juiced up longer than its normal battery life. • Alkaline Batteries – Stock up on two to three sets of backup batteries, including AA, AAA, C, D, 9 volt, and 6 volt, for every device that requires a charge. • Generator Starting Battery – The battery for your home or business generator has been in storage and needs to be checked. Bring in your generator and other batteries to Batteries Plus for free testing.

• Emergency Lighting and Exit Signs – Make sure these are in working order and replace batteries regularly. • Solar charger for car, boat, mobility and more – This will help you recharge when the power is out. • Spare batteries – Consider spare batteries for laptops, mobility and certainly medical devices. • Radios – A battery-powered, twoway or hand-crank radio, plus a NOAA weather radio with tone alert to stay informed about weather and evacuation announcements. Other essentials – Stock up on water, non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods such as canned goods and food that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Batteries Plus is located at 5640 NW 167th Street in Miami Lakes (just off the Palmetto Expy (FL-826) and Red Road (NW 57th Ave), in the Home

Chuck Kesl

Depot center, next to AT&T), phone: 305-626-8700. You can also visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

June/July 2013


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FYI • FYI • FYI • FYI • FYI • FYI • FYI • FYI • FYI Where does the Stormwater go after it drains into a storm drain? By Tom Ruiz Public Works Director Stormwater is water from precipitation that flows across the ground and pavement when it rains. The water seeps into the ground or drains into storm sewers through what are known as catch basins. These are the drains you see on the sides of the streets. Collectively, these waters are called storm water runoff and are a concern to us in your neighborhoods because of the pollutants (oil, debris, trash, litter, etc.) it carries and flooding problems. During a storm in the City, stormwater runoff goes into our ground water supply and to our waterways by way of our storm sewer system. It is important to note the storm water runoff does not go to a treatment facility to be cleaned of pollutants. The storm sewer system is comprised of swales, drains and pipes and canals. Swales are designed to be a channel for major rainstorms to drain runoff away and prevent flooding. For minor storms, swales are designed to hold rainwater for up to 72 hours before percolating into our groundwater system and evaporating into the atmosphere. By delaying the flow of stormwater, it allows some pollutants to settle. In heavy rains, the stormwater reaches the drainage basins. The underground storm water sewer system mostly used in the City is called a French Drainage System. It is comprised of a basin grate, a concrete structure box and a series of perforated piping that is attached to the structure box. The Stormwater Runoff enters through the grate and rain water is captured in the structure box. The Structure box is where the rain water is treated before it goes into the perforated piping. This perforated pipe is connected to approximately the center of the box. The reason for this is that the debris

settles to the bottom of the box and the oil floats to the top making the center the cleanest place to capture the water that goes back into the ground through the perforated pipe attached to the structure box. Got that? The water that goes into the perforated pipe will percolate into the ground, recharging the groundwater (our drinking water). These perforated pipes also take up water capacity as the rain water comes into the system which reduces the flooding in the area. You need to also realize that sometimes water comes down faster than what the ground can absorb; therefore, a temporary flooding situation may occur. Right about now you might be wondering…okay now that the structure box has captured all these pollutants, who removes them from the box? The City’s Public Works Department has two vacuum trucks that are kept busy all year long cleaning these basins throughout the City. Routine cleaning reduces the amount of pollutants, trash, and debris both in the storm drain system and in receiving waters. The City goes a step further as to use a street sweeper to clean-up the debris on the curbed roads before the debris washes into the drainage basin. Cleaning storm water runoff ensures that our drinking water stays clean and keeps our cost to treat our water low, which in the end it will improve the quality of life of the community where we can live, work, and play together. Do not add to the pollution problem

CONGRATULATIONS – CONGRATULATIONS - CONGRATULATIONS The Greater New Bethel Baptist Church Family, community officials, area pastors, members and friends celebrate the unveiling of the co-designation street-naming of 175th Street between 27th avenue to 12th avenue as Reverend Dr. G. David Horton Boulevard. City of Miami Gardens officials recognize the years of dedicated service, contributions and positive impact Rev. G. David Horton has made to Miami Dade County, City of Miami Gardens and Opa Locka.

by pouring anything down the storm drain, and remember the drain is for stormwater only! Do not put leaves, dirt, grass clippings, or any materials in the drains. Doing so can cause flooding. It is against the law to dump any material into the drainage system.

To report illegal dumping into the drainage system, call (305)-372-6955. For more information on our storm drains, or to report clogged drains, contact the City’s Floodplain Management Program, at 305.622.8039 or Email:

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June/July 2013

COUNCIL CORNER • COUNCIL CORNER Miami Gardens Marks Memorial Day, 2013 In an inspiring keynote address, United States Army Colonel Morris Hatcher, dressed in full military uniform and projecting an air of confidence, grace and leadership joined City of Miami Gardens’ residents to mark Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2013. The annual tradition brought together almost one-hundred residents at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex for a morning program which uplifted, inspired and motivated participants to think about the blessings we all share as Americans. City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert welcomed celebrants with a warm message of thanks in recognizing and supporting the community tradition of marking Memorial Day. Photo Courtesy: Nate Veal/Memories in Focus

Fabulous Femmes

Vice Mayor Recognized for Years of Community Leadership

Leading her community as a successful, positive and influential female role model, City of Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Lisa Davis will join select honorees in receiving the 2013 Tafari Award at the two-day women’s empowerment FEMME FABULOUS WEEKEND fashion event and fundraiser and TAFARI AWARDS LUNCHEON Saturday, July 13 2013 at the Deauville Beach Resort in Miami Beach. The Tafari Award is given to women who serve as continual role models and inspiration to young women in the community through career service or professional and personal accomplishment. City of Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Lisa Davis joins a select group of distinguished South Florida women being recognized with the Tafari Award, including Tracy W. Mourning, Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower and Wendy Unger of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s Tafari Awards Luncheon recognizes women who exhibit perseverance, drive and motivation in all they do and in their desire to assist other achieve their goals and dreams.

U.S. Army Colonel Morris Hatcher –––––––––––––––––––––

City of Miami Gardens Mayor and Council’s Corner To contact your Council representatives, call 305-622-8010.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert III

Vice-Mayor Lisa C. Davis (Seat 2)

Councilwoman Lillie Q. Odom (Seat 1)

Councilman Rodney Harris (Seat 3)

Councilwoman Felicia S. Robinson (Seat 4)

Councilman Councilman David Williams, Jr. Dr. Erhabor Ighodaro (Seat 6) (Seat 5)

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CMG COMMITMENT TO KIDS City of Miami Gardens Police & Big Brothers Big Sisters partner for BIGS IN BLUE Mega Matching Opportunity


Councilman Ighodaro Leads Delegation on Scholarship Tour If you’re like many parents, convincing your children of the benefits of reading can sometimes be tough. Well, you might want to share with them a program which has offered a handful of Miami-Dade County elementary students an exceptional learning, travel and vacation opportunity, all thanks to the power of reading. It was Thursday May 16th, 2013 at approximately 5:00 AM – bright and early,

City of Miami Gardens BIGS IN BLUE

BY JULIA YARBOUGH As part of ongoing efforts and a commitment to hands on community policing programs,, City of Miami Gardens Police officers are taking the BIGS IN BLUE mentoring program to new heights. BIGS IN BLUE is a partnership with City of Miami Gardens Police Department and BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS of Greater Miami to provide one-on-one mentoring to at-risk youth. By teaming with a police officer role-model, BIGS IN BLUE gives children a unique personal, educational and professional perspective to build their lives in a positive direction. Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 11am at Brentwood Elementary School 191 St and NW 32 Avenue , a handful of Miami Gardens’ police officers were on hand to meet their matches – their LITTLE matches that is! Students had the opportunity to meet their new adult role-models and begin a relationship designed to offer the children additional emotional support, motivation to stay focused and excel in school and cultivate a vision for their

futures. “This is just one of many community policing programs we are expanding,” says Paul Miller, Deputy Chief of Police. “Our city is growing and I think we do a really good job for everyone, including our young people. We’re only five years old, but look at what we’re accomplishing.” Does the program work? According to independent research conducted by BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS, 46% of children matched through mentoring programs are less likely to use drugs. 52% are less likely to skip school and perform better in school. 64% report more positive attitudes about school and 58% achieved higher grades. With City of Miami Gardens Police Department committed to further strengthening its community policing initiatives, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring partnership is a proven effective tool to transform lives. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ research shows it costs more than $88,000 to incarcerate a young person in a juvenile facility for one year. On average, it cost only $1,500 a year to match a child with a mentor. BIGS IN BLUE… WHAT’S RIGHT in the City of Miami Gardens! For more information on the Bigs in Blue program, contact Adam Effertz, Community Partnerships Director at (305) 6440066 ext. 253 Miami Gardens Police Major Anthony Chapman; three year BIG veteran with “little brother”

that six Miami-Dade County elementary schools loaded up buses and headed out from Miami Gardens Parkway Elementary School embarking on an historic scholarship tour culminating at Islands of Adventures, Orlando, Florida. Thanks to the Read to Lead Program outstanding students and readers were treated to a 2 day, 1 night all-expense paid educational excursion to the historic St. Augustine and Islands of Adventures, Orlando, Florida. The Read to Lead program is the brainchild of former MiamiDade County School Board Member Dr. Robert B. Ingram. The program which has received the continued support of the School Board, Superintendent and Dr. Robert B. Ingram Foundation is a signature reading initiative and has become a district rites of passage program. “Since its inception in 2001 over 5000 elementary boys

and girls from Miami-Dade County Public Schools have received the annual scholarship award,” said Dr.Erhabor Ighodaro, Miami Gardens City Councilman and district program coordinator and Executive Director of the Dr. Robert B. Ingram Foundation. A total of thirty-six students from Ben Sheppard Elementary School, Biscayne Elementary School, Dr. Robert B. Ingram Elementary School, Fulford Elementary School, Lenora B. Smith Elementary School and Parkway Elementary School participated in the educational excursion as a reward for reading ten books in the course of a nine week grading period. During the trip students learned about the rich history of St. Augustine, spent a night at a world class hotel and spent a full day of fun at a premier theme park. “There is evidence in the research that suggests exposure is a critical element that drives the learning enterprise. Having served as the coordinator of the program for over ten years, I have seen first-hand the benefit of this type of exposure in the lives of all our children especially for those who would otherwise not have the opportunity,” said Dr. Ighodaro who is the leader of the delegation of students and teachers participating in this historic tour. So the next time your kids fuss about reading …just remind them there are no limits to the possibilities when you open a book!

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June/July 2013

Netted Youth Time on the Court BY CHRISTINE CARNEY While the Miami Heat was winning games and getting to the Eastern Conference Finals, the City of Miami Gardens Youth Basketball teams were also making their marks on the court playing their games. Over 170 youth participated in the 2013 Miami Gardens Youth Sports Basketball Program this year. The season was a 10 week game program for youth ages 5 thru 15 running from December through March with five competitive teams and ten recreational teams. Youngsters participated in both the Boys & Girls Club of Miami Competitive League and the City of North Miami Recreational League with games we played at various venues throughout Miami-Dade County including the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex here in Miami Gardens. Student athletes were dedicated with team practices held at various basketball courts throughout the City, including Bunche Park, Norwood Park, and Rolling Oaks Park. What’s the overall review of the season? SUCCESS with some of the team moving forward to the finals. To celebrate the season, a Basketball Banquet was held at the Betty T. Ferguson Gym where participants received a catered meal and trophies for participation and recognition. All of the coaches this season were volunteers who donated their time to ensure each

Youth Sports Basketball Participants. child learned the game, improved their skills, had playing time and overall enjoyed their experience! Turnout this season certainly exceeded our expectations which resulted in the need of additional volunteer coaches and referee’s from the prior year to handle the large volume of games and practices! – that’s an issue we LIKE having!

On behalf of the City of Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation Department, we would like to thank all of those coaches for their dedication and effort to ensure this season was a success. We would also like to thank the participants and parents for their enthusiasm and commitment. We encourage Miami Gardens residents to consider donating their time, as being a volunteer is a rewarding experience, as

you help to coach and guide youth in any of our youth sports programs. The City is already planning and preparing for the 2014 season, making it even bigger and better. We hope to see you then! To learn more about the City’s program and events, please visit the City’s website at or call the Parks and Recreation Department at (305) 622-8080.

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Suzette Speaks - Don’t Stop Believing BY SUZETTE SPEAKS MIf you ask my friends and family to describe me, they would probably say I am an ambitious, talkative, social butterfly. Some may even tell you that I have an “old soul,” or that I am “wise beyond my years.” I have an insatiable curiosity, and this curiosity often leads me to ask probing questions about the lives of my friends, colleagues, and sometimes even strangers. I am not a psychologist, but I do try to understand human behavior and why people do what they do. I try to extract life lessons from the experiences of others. My latest discussions with friends, (as well as a few random strangers) have led to the observations that many of us lack confidence in our own abilities. In particular I’ve noticed a lack of self-confidence often plays a role in our inability to accomplish the goals and dreams we keep hidden in our hearts. Of course this does not apply to everyone. I am speaking about the kind of self-doubt that is deeply internalized and makes it impossible for a person to believe they can succeed, much less flourish. No human being is immune from a periodic lack of confidence, but oftentimes our negative thinking deters us from actively pursuing our dreams. If not a lack of confidence perhaps the fear of making bad decisions or the memory of disappointing outcomes has had a paralyzing effect on us. Or maybe a combination of these thoughts and emotions keep us at a standstill. Exhibit A: I used to falsely tell myself that I had to choose between my law career and also exploring a career in journalism and all my other goals and aspirations, never giving myself the chance to explore my true passion. That is, until a couple of years ago, when I sent in a

resume and headshot for a local television position. From that day forward, my days of self-doubt were over (at least when it comes to my journalistic pursuits). My own lack of confidence manifested itself as somewhat of a delay in following my dreams. Yet, here I am, writing this article in hopes of one day becoming a renowned journalist. Exhibit B: In unguarded conversations, I have heard again and again how people convince themselves they are not talented or good enough to accomplish their goals. For example, I met someone whose lack of self-confidence compelled her to finance another person’s company, at the expense of not starting her own. I have also talked with another individual who never started a certification course because he does not think he will successfully pass the licensing exam. A friend of mine, who was a successful entrepreneur for many years, doubts that he can overcome a failed business venture that went belly up, threatening financial ruin. Now he is afraid to pick up the pieces and start anew. We cannot predict what will happen if we choose to apply ourselves and follow our goals and dreams, but we should never become subject to our own negative thinking. If we really want to achieve our goals, we have to let go of self-doubt. When we choose to overcome our fear of failure, stop our negative thinking, believe in our own abilities, and expect the best — we can live up to our fullest potential! Suzette Speaks, a talk show host, motivational speaker, writer, and broadcast journalist, grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is the host for the regional TBN television program for South Florida, “Joy in Our Town.” A multimedia journalist, Suzette is involved in the South Florida community, and enjoys mentoring, volunteering with women and children and public speaking. Suzette can be reached at

Barbara Buxton, J.D., LL.M. Florida Attorney

Nursing Home Medicaid • Elder Law & Estate Planning Florida Medicaid Planning & Eligibility Asset Protection • Wills, Trusts, Living Wills Powers of Attorney • Guardianships Probate: Estate Administration

Serving Dade, Broward & Palm Beach Counties Tel.: 305.932.2293 Miami-Dade County 954.760.7077 Broward County

Do you or someone you know have Facial Acne? FXM Research in Miramar is looking for males and females 12 to 40 years of age that suffer from Facial Acne, to participate in an four [4] study-visit clinical research study. Medical Insurance is not required for study participation. Qualified participants will receive: • Evaluation by a Board Certified Dermatologist. • Investigational Study Medication at no cost. • Reimbursement for time and travel up to USD $200.00.

¿Tiene usted o alguien que usted conoce Acné Facial? FXM Research en Miramar está buscando hombres y mujeres de 12 a 40 años de edad que sufran de Acné Facial, para participar en un estudio clínico de investigación que requiere cuatro [4] visitas. No se requiere seguro médico para su participación en el estudio. Los participantes que califiquen recibirán: • Evaluaciones por un Dermatólogo Certificado. • Los medicamentos bajo investigación sin costo alguno. • Reembolso por tiempo y transporte hasta $200.00. For more information please call:

Para más información por favor llame:

(954) 430-1097 Francisco Flores, MD. Board Certified Dermatologist FXM Research Miramar

FXM Research Miramar 3000 SW 148 Ave. Suite 216 Miramar, FL 33027

Do you or someone you know have Atopic Dermatitis (Also known as Eczema)? FXM Research in Miramar is looking for males and females 18 to 65 years of age that suffer from Atopic Dermatitis (dry, red, scaling patches throughout your body with or without itchiness), to participate in a nine (9) study visit clinical research study. Medical Insurance is not required for study participation. Qualified participants will receive: • Evaluation by a Board Certified Dermatologist. • Investigational Study Medication at no cost. • Reimbursement for time and travel up to USD $540.00.

¿Tiene usted o alguien que usted conoce Dermatitis Atópica (También conocida como Eczema)? FXM Research en Miramar está buscando a hombres y mujeres de 18 a 65 años de edad que padecen de Dermatitis Atópica (parches de resequedad, enrojecimiento, descamación en su cuerpo con o sin picazón), para participar en un estudio clínico de investigación que requiere de nueve (9) visitas. No se requiere seguro médico para su participación en el estudio. Los participantes que califiquen recibirán: • Evaluaciones por un Dermatólogo Certificado. • Los medicamentos bajo investigación sin costo alguno. • Reembolso por su tiempo y transporte de hasta $540.00. For more information please call:

Para más información por favor llame:

(954) 430-1097 Francisco Flores, MD. Board Certified Dermatologist FXM Research Miramar

FXM Research Miramar 3000 SW 148 Ave. Suite 216 Miramar, FL 33027

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June/July 2013

WINDOW TO THE WORLD Travel to Africa: Rites of Passage for Miami Carol City Senior High Students It could be described as a trip and adventure of a lifetime! Five academically outstanding students from Miami Carol City Senior High School are slated to travel to Sierra Leone, West Africa this coming August. The journey is all part of the Miami Dade County Public School’s Ingram Africa School Alliance (IASA) RITES OF PASSAGE program in partnership with the Foundation for Democracy in Africa. Created in 2001 by former Miami Dade County School Board Member Honorable Dr. Robert B. Ingram, IASA coordinates cross-cultural visits to Africa as a hands-on learning experience for local students as well as teachers. This year’s planned excursion will see students embark on a journey to the West African nation of Sierra Leone August 5 – 14th, 2013. Students will visit historical sites such as world renowned Laka Beach, Free-Town and Diamond Mine. Since the inception of the program, a total of twentythree Miami-Dade County students have had the opportunity to take part in the Rites of Passage Program. City of Miami Gardens Councilman Dr. Erhabor Ighodaro who serves as the Executive Director of the Dr. Robert B. Ingram Foundation describes the program as life transforming. “For over a decade this program has allowed our school district to live up to its motto of “giving the students the

Water, Women and Wealth: Journey to Africa BY JULIA YARBOUGH

world,” says Ighodaro, who hosted students in 2009 on a trip to Rwanda. To help garner greater awareness and financial support for this year’s Sierra Leone experience and the ongoing program, an awards scholarship banquet is slated for June 7, 2013 at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex. For more information on how you CAN become more involved in the scholarship dinner and how you become more involved with the Rites of Passage Program, contact Councilman Ighodaro at

Passport Processing Services for Your Convenience The City of Miami Gardens Office of the City Clerk accepts Passport Applications, Monday thru Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Miami Gardens City Hall, 1515 NW 167th Street, Building 5, Suite 200, Miami Gardens, Florida. No appointment necessary.

*Author’s Note – This article was originally published June, 2012; shortly after my return from a ten day journey to Nairobi, Kenya taking part in a production shoot to capture and tell the story of a small company - The HabiHut - seeking to make big changes in developing nations. One year later, the pilot program discussed continues to grow and make an impact on the lives of women and children in some of the poorest areas in Nairobi.* Jambo! It’s more or less the equivalent of “Hey, what’s up? How are you?” It is most often delivered with gusto and a warm, friendly smile. It was the greeting heard most often during 8 days spent experiencing a side of Nairobi, Kenya most tourists probably never see. How did I end up in Nairobi? The Bozeman, Montana-based company The HabiHut invited me to join their team to document the unveiling of a new product: a GE Solar Powered Water Kiosk station. What exactly is it and what does that mean? The kiosk is a lightweight, modular, portable structure which houses a GEdesigned water filtration system. As a journalist and a woman, I was instantly intrigued by this new concept, because the goal is to install HabiHut kiosks in locations throughout Nairobi and eventually across Kenya. The kiosk provides residents access to a manual pumping and filtration system which can offer clean, safe drinking water. Day one in Nairobi, a thriving modern city with skyscrapers, technology and development, quickly became an assault on my senses. Our driver snaked his way through one of the cities wealthiest communities, filled with oversized mansions and curved driveways. We then came to an unpaved, muddy road tucked between two

large brick walls topped with barbed-wire fencing. Smack dab in the heart of wealth, the dirt road opened up into one of the cities known slums, KAWANGWARE. Thousands of people call the area home. But not home like we think of home. We found small, cramped shelters devised from sheets of corrugated metal held together with wire. In other cases, dwellings were splintered wood topped with make-shift roofs. There is no solid flooring; simply clay, mud and dirt. Garbage and debris clutters the area and clogs the nearby creek. There is no electricity and the few sources of water trickle in from old, cracked and often contaminated pipes. Imagine paying to have access to unclean water? It is difficult to comprehend that in our day in age, in a world with such wealth, that individuals live in such squalid conditions. Water. Clean, SAFE water. A resource and commodity we here in the United States take as a given. The HabiHut is now like a beacon of hope. In Kawangware women are being trained how to filter the water and create their own water-selling businesses. To date, the women working to sell water are seeing some progress. For the first quarter of 2013 – J a n u a r y , February and March, water sales figures are reported at 43,249 Kenyan Shilling which equals a mere $513 U.S. Dollars. This Water-Kiosk project and journey to Africa gave me a greater appreciation for most everything we have here in the United States and the opportunities afforded us as American Citizens. It’s one of the many reasons I am a fan of international travel and encourage most everyone to venture beyond our borders for exploration, adventure and learning.

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City of Miami Gardens Staff Directory

NAME Name NAME Julie-Ann Smith SonjaK.K.Dickens Dickens Sonja Sonja K. Dickens RonettaTaylor Taylor Ronetta Ronetta Taylor DannyCrew Crew Danny Danny Crew Cameron Benson Daniel Rosemond Renee Crichton Vernita Nelson Vernita Nelson Daniel Rosemond TsashaiNelson Codner Vernita Tsashai Codner Tasha ShellieCodner RansomJackson Jackson Shellie Ransom Sharon Ragoonan PattiVarney Varney Patti Patti Varney MikeGabino Gabino Mike Mike Gabino TarenKinglee Kinglee Taren Taren Kinglee John Rebar John Rebar Kara Petty JayMarder Marder Jay Jay Marder O. Tom Ruiz Tom Ruiz Tom Ruiz Pam Thompson PamThompson Thompson Pam Ula Zucker-Williams MatthewBoyd Boyd Matthew Matthew Boyd HilaryMarshall Marshall Hilary Hilary Marshall TashekHamlette Hamlette Tashek Hamlette Tashek Lillie Odom DavidQ. Motola David Motola David Motola

DEPARTMENT E-MAIL Department E-mail DEPARTMENT E-MAIL Asst. to Mayor City Attorney City Attorney City Attorney CityClerk Clerk City City Clerk City Manager City Manager City Manager AssistantCity City Manager Assistant Deputy City Manager Manager Assistant City Manager Assistant City Manager Asst. City Manager KMGB Director Asst. City Manager KMGB Director KMGB Building Director Director Building&&Code Code Director Director. Building & Code Finance Director Finance Director Finance Director FloodPlain PlainAdministrator Administrator Flood Flood Plain Administrator HumanResources/Risk Resources/RiskDirector Director Human Human Resources/ Risk Director Parks & Recreation Director Parks & Recreation Director Parks & Recreation Director Special Project Administrator Planning Zoning Director Planning && Zoning Director PublicWorks Works Director Public Works Director Public Director Procurement Manager Procurement Manager Procurement Manager Events and Media Coordinator MiamiGardens GardensPolice PoliceChief Chief Miami Miami Gardens Police Chief AssistanttotoCouncil Council Assistant Assistant to Council (Odom, D. Williams, Mayor Gilbert) (Odom, D. Williams, Mayor Gilbert) (Vice Mayor Campbell, Davis, D. Williams) Assistant Council Assistanttoto toCouncil Council Assistant (Gilbert, Davis, A. Williams, Robinson) (Ighodaro, Davis, and Robinson) (Ighodaro, A.Harris Williams and Robinson) Community Outreach Specialist FleetManager Manager Fleet Fleet Manager

MAIN Main MAIN 305-622-8010 (305) 622-8055 (305) 622-8055 305-622-8055 (305)622-8003 622-8003 (305) 305-622-8003 (305) 622-8007 (305) 622-8007 305-622-8007 (305)622-8005 622-8000 x2740 (305) 305-622-8006 (305) 622-8008 (305) 622-8008 305-622-8005 (305) 622-8009 305-622-8008 (305) 622-8009 305-622-8009 (305) 622-8054 (305) 622-8054 305-622-8018 (305) 622-8000Ext. Ext.2780 2780 (305) 622-8000 305-622-8000 Ext. 2780 (305) 622-8039 (305) 622-8039 305-622-8039 (305)622-8030 622-8030 (305) 305-622-8030 (305) 622-8000Ext. Ext.2528 2528 (305) 622-8000 305-622-8080 (305) 622-8025 305-622-8025 (305) 622-8025O. 305-622-8004 (305) 622-8004 (305) 622-8004 305-622-8000 (305) 622-8000Ext. Ext.2490 2490 (305) 622-8000 Ext. 2490 305-622-8035 (305)744-1400 474-1400 (305) 305-474-1400 305-622-8000 Ext. 2793 (305)622-8000 622-8000Ext. Ext.2793 2793 (305) 305-622-8000 Ext. 2705 (305)622-8000 622-8000Ext. Ext.2705 2705 (305) 305622.8000 ext 2760 (305)622-8024 622-8024Ext. Ext.11 (305) (305) 622-8024 ext 1

Cityy off Miamii Gardenss Policee Department Usee thesee numberss too contactt us Operations Division

Support Services Division

Major Alfred Lewers . . . . . . . . . .305-474-1405 Broadcast Permits . . . . . . . . . . . .305-474-1406 ......................................

Major Frank Trujillo . . . . . . . . . .305-474-1418 Crime Watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .305-474-1407 Traffic Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .305-474-1391 Off-Duty Employment . . . . . . . .305-474-1412 False Alarm Questions . . . . . . . . .877-665-2980 Red Camera Questions . . . . . . . .866-225-8875

School Crossing Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cheris Asberry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .305-474-1526


Investigations Division Major Anthony Chapman . . . . .305-474-1382 Captain Rafael Suarez . . . . . . . .305-474-1430 Captain Gary Smith . . . . . . . . . .305-474-1511 Crime Watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .305-474-1407 Victim Advocate . . . . . . . . . . . . .305-474-1490

Professional Compliance Unit Internal Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . .305-622-8059

Dial 911 for emergencies Non-Emergency Police Communications & Information (305) 474-MGPD (6473) Thank you for your assistance

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COMMUNITY NEWS • COMMUNITY NEWS • COMMUNITY NEWS Attorney’s Compassion Helps Miami College Bound Seniors Gardens Homeowner in Foreclosure Received Awards


As ground zero for the foreclosure crisis in Florida, Miami courts are fast-tracking foreclosures for trial to clear the huge backlog of cases. Almost all of these “rocket docket” foreclosures get resolved without any lawyer defending the trial. Either the defense lawyer agrees to a judgment to avoid trial, the borrower represents themselves, or the Bank presents a witness that goes unchallenged. Bruce Jacobs, a compassionate Miami foreclosure defense lawyer and host of the weekly radio show “Mortgage Wars” on Miami’s Business Radio Station 880am, recently launched a pro bono Foreclosure Project homeowners

needing help. With a mission of making sure no bank got a “free pass” one day, the attorneys of Jacobs’ firm decided to show up at a rocket docket in Miami. “Banks often make a mess of their cases and a good trial lawyer trained in foreclosure defense strategies and tactics can win at trial,” states Jacobs. He won his last three trials because “the banks didn’t have the evidence they needed to prove their case.” On March 14, 2013, Miami Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Bailey presided over a routine rocket docket of foreclosure trials. The only people planning to fight their foreclosures were representing themselves with no legal training. One such homeowner was Miami Gardens’ resident Stephen Belle. He moved here from Grenada using his savings after working years on a cruise ship, to buy a home. As he waited in court with a friend, Stephen thought of how the loss of his job would cause him to lose everything he had worked for. And then he prayed. “At first I was suspicious when Mr.

Jacobs walked up and asked if he could defend my foreclosure trial free of charge,” says Stephen. “Then my prayers were answered. He looked at the bank’s paperwork for ten minutes and we went to trial. Two hours later, the Judge ruled the bank failed to prove its case and we won!” “Banks are using robo-witnesses to testify about things that would never come into evidence if someone raised a proper objection,” explains Jacobs. “bs. “Many of these cases have bad notices and bad loan paperwork that can stop a foreclosure dead in its tracks. You just have to know what to look for.” Jacobs’ started the foreclosure project with the idea that everyone should have a fighting chance to save their home from foreclosure. So he looked at the list of people set for trial on March 14th, went through the court files, found people like Belle who he thought he could help, and reached out. There are many others. “It was like a gift from above,” said attorney Mark Fladdell, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. “I was literally staring at my file about to give up defending the foreclosure when Bruce called offering to go to trial for me on the 14th.” My client and I met Bruce in Court and watched in amazement as the Bank hurriedly asked to take the case off the trial docket. It was clear Bruce was ready for trial and they wanted no part of it.” Jacobs trains with “Max Gardner’s Army” including some of the best attorneys in the nation fighting foreclosures. He’s travelled the country to train at seminars on cutting edge foreclosure defense strategies and tactics. Like many attorneys in Max’s Army, Jacobs is a former bank lawyer and former prosecutor with years of trial and foreclosure litigation experience whose office is located in downtown Miami and defends foreclosures throughout Florida. “I love what I do,” notes Jacobs. “When this foreclosure crisis is over, I get to remember all the people I helped and know that I made a difference in their lives.” If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Bruce Jacobs & Associates for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991 or you can tune into Bruce Jacobs and “Mortgage Wars” every Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. on 880am/TheBiz.

CONGRATULATIONS are in order to twenty Miami Norland Senior High School students preparing for college. As a reward for their hard work, focus and dedication to their education, City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert presented the twenty students with new Laptops – the Acer Chromebook – as they embark on their futures.

Denzil Blackwood, Steve Blain, Dystany Cunningham, Catdrel Daniels, Linda Decoste, Kishawn Estrill, Alexis Head, Kelcey Homilus, Diana Jean, Jennifer Johnson, Tiffany Kerr, Rohan Lawson, Kishondra Lovett, Britnee McCoy, Everton McLeod, Mithsuka Paul, Ashley Pryce, William Townsend, Nicole Turner, Jisera Walter – JOB WELL DONE!

Safety First! City of Miami Gardens Public Works crews are happy to announce the completion and opening of the pedestrian bridge at NW 17th Street and NW 42nd Avenue. The newly opened bridge is another commitment to keeping our kids safe.

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COMMUNITY NEWS • COMMUNITY NEWS • COMMUNITY NEWS Mayor Oliver Gilbert Challenges Residents to a Fitness ‘Spin-Off’ for ‘I RUN THIS CITY’ Campaign

As part of his “I Run This City” initiative, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert recently challenged city residents to a “SPIN-OFF.” SPINNERCISE instructor Tracy Clay led the Saturday, April 6, 2013 class. More than a dozen local residents joined Mayor Oliver Gilbert at

Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex for the morning exercise class. A typical hour SPINNERCISE class burns anywhere from 400 to 1000 calories. This cardiovascular exercise can help lower blood pressure, increase good cholesterol and improve heart function. PHEW!

Miami Gardens Proclaims May as Older Americans Month On May 8th, 2014, the City of Miami Gardens’ Mayor Oliver Gilbert and the City Council proclaimed May to be “Older Americans Month”. The proclamation was proposed by the Parks and Recreation Department in an effort to demonstrate the City’s commitment in honoring the elders contributing in City of Miami Gardens. For 50 years, May has been the month when the nation celebrates older adults. This year, the theme: “Unleash the Power of Age!” emphasizes older American potential for energy and activism and urges them to embrace it. The City of Miami Gardens has approximately 15,000 vibrant seniors, approximately 14% of the population, as per the 2009 U.S. Census Report. The City’s “Golden Gardens Seniors Program” has approximately 250 enrolled members. Seniors in the program participate in many activities and functions throughout the year. This year, the City hosted its first Senior Olympic Games on Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at the Miami Carol City Recreation Complex. The event consisted of a variety of athletic and recreational games and activities to showcase our active Older Americans. The event was a success and we look to expand it further next year.

We understand that there is no limit on the achievements of Older Americans, including the seniors in the City’s Golden Gardens Program, which are doing incredible things and playing important roles by continuing to contribute their experience, knowledge, wisdom and accomplishments. Staying active, engaged and healthy is good advice for everyone, but it’s especially important for older people. Miami Gardens’ Older Americans are active community members involved in volunteering, mentoring, and arts/culture and civic organizations. Our community takes great pride in providing opportunities to allow these seasoned citizens to continue to flourish. We strive to emphasize the importance of elders and their leadership by publicly recognizing their continued achievements; presenting opportunities for them to share their wisdom, experience and skills. Recognizing Older Americans as a valuable asset is known to strengthen American communities. The City of Miami Gardens’ Parks and Recreation Department strives to proactively identify and develop opportunities, programming and services for all our Older Americans as we recognize the value that they bring to our wonderful City.

Miami Gardens Commission for Women: 2013 Women’s Entrepreneurial Expo

Mark your calendars for the third Wednesday of every month; that’s when the Miami Gardens Commission for Women comes together. Just as the organization title indicates, this group is focused on researching and providing useful and actionable information for women in our community; from health & wellness, family, career, networking and much more. One of the most recent gatherings The Women’s Entrepreneurial Expo held

April 20th, 2013 at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex. Participants took part in a number workshop sessions designed to improve daily business practices including Branding Your Product or Service, Improving Customer Service, and Networking strategies. The Miami Gardens Commission for Women meets every third Wednesday, at Miami Gardens City Hall, 1515 N.W. 167 Street, at 6:30 p.m.

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South Florida Entertainment:

THE PULSE BY NATE BENSON MLet me introduce myself, my name is Nate Benson and I was born in Nassau, Bahamas but grew up in Miami and I LOVE Music. So much so, that I turned my passion into a career; finding, fostering and promoting talented musicians and performers here in South Florida. The pulse of the South Florida Entertainment scene is rapidly beating, and continues to grow in many directions. There was a time when South, Florida was primarily known for Bass music. We had that “bottom” in our music which was made mega-popular by groups such as Luke and the 2Live Crew and other local artist like Disco Rick and Crazy Legs. But course that list would not be complete if I didn’t mention DJ Uncle Al. South Florida is becoming a serious force to be reckoned with in the Music industry, particularly in the genre of Hip Hop, R&B and Pop. We can point to the Success of home grown talent such as Rick Ross, Flo Rida, Pitbull and Ace Hood. From the Producer side we have the mega talented duo Cool & Dre. I have had the pleasure of having a front seat to witness the evolution of the South Florida Music Scene. I was introduced to the

music scene via my profession as a camera operator at WSVN 7. I had the opportunity to cover various music artists when they would grace our community for tours, spot dates, or in-store promotions. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have friends in the industry like Yolanda Neely from Hot 105, Pamela Douglas from Warner Brothers Records and Ife Green from Arista/BMG. These connections were noticed by a few up and coming artists in the mid 90’s who then approached me about managing them. And THAT was how Livingstone Artist Entertainment was born. Now, my “work” allows me to keep an eye open for young talent and share those rare finds with all of you. It’s not just musicians who catch my eye, but those who perform for the camera as well. When I come across a talented actor, it’s almost my duty to try and garner them more attention and roles. Keeping a finger on the pulse of South Florida’s Entertainment Scene, with all the openings, premiers, concerts and auditions is a tough job but someone has to do it! Thank Goodness it’s me. Nate Benson is a recent graduate of Florida Memorial University. A seasoned production professional in local television, Benson spends his spare time leading Livingstone Artist Entertainment navigating the always exciting world of South Florida Entertainment. He can be reached at

Job Title: Executive Director To promote and manage special events and entice crowds to come out to these venues at a local and international level. Manage the production of promotional materials; flyers, emails and invitations. Prepare corporate budget, analyze local/international markets, review reports, cost estimates, permits and insurance issues. Develop and implement commercial guidelines and goals related to areas contract negotiation as well as implement marketing of club services. Exercise complete authority over personnel including; evaluating quality of services provided, initial interview, hiring, employee motivation, re-training, promotions, terminations and delegating responsibilities to other managers. Job is located in Miami Beach, Florida. Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Admin. or equivalent (+5 years experience). Please send resumes to: Aicha@theopiumgroup

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Miami Gardens Calendar of Events JUNE 2013 JUNE 10 Councilwoman Robinson’s Meet me on Monday Meeting Carol City Park @ 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

JUNE 11 Miami Gardens Excellence in Education Council 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:00 p.m.

JUNE 12 Junior Council Advisory 515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (Small Conf. Rm.) Miami Gardens, FL 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

City Council Meeting 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 7:00 p.m.

JUNE 18 Caribbean Affairs Advisory 515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:00 p.m.

Councilwoman Robinson’s Meet Me on Monday Meeting Carol City Park 6:00 - 8:00 p.m

JULY 9 Miami Gardens Excellence in Education Council 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:00 p.m


JULY 10 City Council Meeting 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 7:00 p.m.


Commission For Women 1515 MW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (Small Conf. Room) Miami Gardens, FL 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m


Nuisance Abatement Board 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 5:00 p.m.

JULY 17 Elderly Affairs Advisory 515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (Small Conf. Room) Miami Gardens, FL 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m

Commission for Women Affairs Advisory Planning Meeting 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (Small Conference Room) Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Parks and Rec. Advisory 15 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 6

Commission for Women Affairs Advisory Planning Meeting 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (Small Conference Room) Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Caribbean Affairs Advisory 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:00 p.m.

City Council Meeting 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 7:00 p.m.

Nuisance Abatement Board 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 5:00 p.m.

JULY 2013 JULY 8

JUNE 26 Special Master 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 9:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m

Commission For Women 1515 MW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (Small Conf. Room) Miami Gardens, FL 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

JUNE 19 Special Master Hearing False Alarm/Cry Wolf 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Suite 300 Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:00 p.m.

Elderly Affairs Advisory 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (Small Conf. Room) Miami Gardens, FL 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Special Master 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 9:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m.


City Council Meeting 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 7:00 p.m Commission for Women Affairs Advisory Planning Meeting 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (Small Conference Room) Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m

Parks and Rec. Advisory 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 6 Suite 300 Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:00 p.m.





Councilwoman Robinson’s Meet me on Monday Meeting Carol City Park 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Nuisance Abatement Board 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 5:00 p.m. Parks and Rec. Advisory 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 6 Suite 300 Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:00 p.m.

Caribbean Affairs Advisory 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:00 p.m.

AUGUST 13 Miami Gardens Excellence in Education Council 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 6:00 p.m.

AUGUST 21 Elderly Affairs Advisory 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (Small Conf. Room) Miami Gardens, FL

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Commission For Women 1515 MW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (Small Conf. Room) Miami Gardens, FL 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Special Master 1515 NW 167th Street, Bldg. 5 Suite 200 (City Council Chambers) Miami Gardens, FL @ 9:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m.

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City of Miami Gardens Mayor for a Day Essay Writing Contest

Pictured (l to r): City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, Maykel Lima; Miami Norland Senior High ____________________________________

Miami Norland Senior High student Maykel Lima; first place winner of the Mayor for a Day essay writing contest sponsored by City of Miami Gardens. Asked ‘two ideas they would implement to make Miami Gardens a better place to live’ students submitted their ideas and visions for the future of Miami Gardens. In a touching and heartfelt essay, Lima expressed a strong desire to crack down on reckless driving and reduce crime. Citing a tragic loss of a loved one due to gun violence, Lima’s proposes tougher motor vehi-

cle testing in order to earn a driver’s license and increasing the number of police officers on patrol. Mayor Gilbert has already put part of Lima’s vision into motion, with the hiring of eleven additional police officers to the City. Lima was awarded a laptop, courtesy the City of Miami Gardens and will serve as Mayor for a Day as part of his essay writing prize. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE STUDENTS WHO SUBMITTED ESSAYS!

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The Miami Gardens Police Department is committed to making our City a safer place for all who live, visit and play here. We are making strives to better communicate with our community by implementing our community policing model. With our new community policing strategy, we have, invited and involved our local businesses, churches and community organizations to participate in our community outreach efforts by supporting us with small donations or manpower for our upcoming event scheduled for June 5th, 2013. As we approach the end of the 20122013 school year, we have organized a “Stop the Violence Splash Down� event for the students of Miami Carol City Senior High School and Miami Carol City Middle School. This event is designed to promote ending the school year violence free in an effort to deter school violence. This plan is also designed to reduce crime and violence in and around our schools and community for the 2013-2014 school year. During the week of the event, we will be presenting statistical crime data to students that will be informative and preventive in an effort to promote participation in reducing violence and crime. Our goal is to empower students to decrease violence for the next school year and show our support

to the students who are violence free. To make our schools safer everyone must do their part, with the support of our businesses and communities, a safer walk to and from school and safety during school hours will be the norm for students in the City of Miami Gardens. With a support team of community involved faith and civic leaders, businesses, concerned residents and students we can build a safer community and safe schools. All are invited to do your part in supporting our efforts to keep young people safe and encourage them to become violent free and productive citizens. The Miami Gardens Police Department is committed to prevail against a small percentage of students that are responsible for crime as we work in partnership with the community to promote safer schools. Students will be encouraged to participate in reducing violence and crime. Our goal is empowering students towards success, not fighting to stay alive. Your support will ensure that our students understand that we have a community of leaders, businesses and organizations who care about their future. Rosita S. Clark, Police Officer Operations Division Rosita.Clark@Mgpdfl.Org 305-316-6765 305 474 6473

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Get Ready for Miami Gardens’ Hurricane Season NOW!

Since the hurricane season is here, we all should be ready to anticipate the possible dangers. One big thing is to be prepared and the time is, NOW! According to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center, which is a division of the National Weather Service, the Atlantic basin is expected to see an above-normal hurricane season this year, across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is predicting the following ranges this year: *12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which: *6 to 10 could become hurricane (winds of 74 mph or higher), including: *3 to 6 major hurricane (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). Remember, it only takes one of these storms to hit South Florida; therefore, we all must NOT let our guards down. In a major dis-

aster, emergency workers may not be able to reach everyone right away, and in some cases it may take 3 or more days for help to arrive. What would you do if you had no electricity, no gas, no water and no telephone service? Having a plan for your family and their needs will help ensure their safety and comfort during these difficult times. Remember, the best way to make your family and home safer is to be prepared before a disaster happens. By going to (for businesses: ) you will be able to create your plan which will only take about 10-15 minutes. In the website click on “Start MY Family (or Business) Disaster Plan!” and follow the simple instruction. You will be asked to provide information about your home, family, and pets. Using the information you provide, this website will create a personalized Family Disaster Plan that you can print out and save for future emergencies. After you have printed the personal plan, meet with family members and discuss the types of disasters that could occur. Explain how to prepare and respond to each event. The stress of an approaching storm can be lessened by everyone being prepared. Consider investing in commercial or home-made hurricane shutters, storm panels and security window film. These will prevent your windows from breaking. Update your

Homeowner’s insurance policy for adequate coverage. If you rent, obtain Renter’s insurance now. Take advantage of the National Flood Insurance Program for flood coverage as your Homeowner’s and Renter’s insurance does not cover losses from flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program is a predisaster flood mitigation and insurance protection program (for information: call 1-888CALL-Flood extension 445 or visit WWW.fema. gov/business/nfip ). As the storm approaches, the City of Miami Gardens has an Emergency Weather Alert Radio Channel on AM 970. This radio station is transmitting local weather and emergency information. The radio system is an “All Hazards” advisory system that will provide emergency information to the citizens of Miami Gardens during time of emergencies, disasters or other special situations, including flooding. On non-emergency days, the City will broadcast the National Weather Service Radio. The National Weather Service broadcast official weather service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit and Have it Ready Have enough emergency supplies to last for at least three days (72 hours). At a minimum, be sure to include: • Water (at least one gallon per person per

day) • Non-perishable, ready-to-eat food (manual can opener) • Disposable plates and utensils • Battery-powered flashlight • Battery-powered radio • Extra batteries • First aid kit • Cash • Prescription medication (two-week supply) • Eye glasses or contact lenses • Toilet paper, soap, wipes, personal hygiene items • Large plastic garbage bags • Change of clothes, gloves, sturdy shoes, rain gear • Blankets and pillows • Keys (home, vehicle, boat) • Tools (including rope, duct tape, tarp) • Unscented bleach • Supplies for those with special needs (infants, children, seniors and pets) • Important documents (driver’s license, birth certificate, insurance papers, medical records, etc. in a waterproof container) Get ready, have a plan, and be informed by monitoring the TV, radio or trusted Internet sites for information. When the time comes, stay calm, have plans ready, and listen for instructions from local officials as they prepare the City for the approaching storm in coordination with the County and other agencies.

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June/July 2013

Miami Gardens News June/July 2013  
Miami Gardens News June/July 2013  

Local Miami News