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Community Newspapers SERVING MIAMI-DADE COUNTY SINCE 1958

OPA-LOCKA REVIEW

THE OPA-LOCKA REVIEW

AUGUST 2010

WHO’S WHO In City Government Mayor Joseph L. Kelley 305-688-4611

Vice-Mayor Myra L. Taylor 305-688-4611

Commissioner Timothy Holmes 305-688-4611

Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson 305-688-4611

Commissioner Rose Tydus 305-688-4611

City Manager Clarance Patterson 305-953-2821

City Clerk Deborah Sheffield-Irby 305-953-2800

Interim City Attorney Joseph S. Geller 305-953-2808

Opa-locka Town Hall Meeting Judges present the facts BY CHRISTINA GORDON

e can’t give you legal advice, but we can give you information to use,” stipulated Judge Fred Seraphin to residents, at the onset of a Town Hall Meeting hosted by Mayor Joseph L. Kelley and the Opa-locka City Commission, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-locka, FL 33054. Judge Seraphin, with five of his colleagues from the MiamiDade Courts, and a team of legal service providers, volunteered to address citizen concerns based on “fact laws, not personal opinion,” pertaining to common issues regarding Landlord/Tenants, Mortgage Foreclosure, Domestic Violence, Child Support and the Drive Legal Program. Each Judge spent several minutes presenting an overview of his or her area of expertise before conducting an “open-mic” session for residents to seek clarification on the law and/or “next step” directions. “You pay, you stay… you don’t, you won’t,” declared Judge Abby Cynamon who translated the tenant law as simplistically as that. Judge Cynamon stated that a lease is a written binding contract, with the only exception being an “unconscionable provision” where a landlord included something that was unlawful. The Judge also outlined the landlord’s obligation to uphold good structural conditions, maintain a safe, clean environment, and give proper notices and reductions. As well, Judge

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Cynamon summarized the tenant’s responsibility to maintain sanitary conditions and follow other reasonable rules. “Don’t put the letter back in the mailbox like Fred Sanford,” joked Judge Peter Adrian in the only advice he offered while addressing foreclosure notices. Rather than ignoring it, the Judge suggested seeking a better solution through exploring options such as modification, refinancing and short sales. According to Judge Adrian, “There are currently 80,000 foreclosures pending in Miami-Dade County.” He provided location information and phone numbers to legal aid and legal services for those needing assistance. Specializing in Domestic Violence Cases, Judge Victoria Del Pino addressed restraining orders/injunctions that place restrictions on individuals who have allegedly committed acts or made threats of violence against

another individual. The four types of injunctions are DOMESTIC, REPEAT, SEXUAL and DATING VIOLENCE. The injunctions provide protection at home, school, on the job

Miami-Dade Court Judges Peter Adrian, Judge Fred Seraphin, Judge Victoria Del Pino, Mayor Joseph L. Kelley, Judge Rodney Smith, Judge Abby Cynamon, Commissioner Rose Tydus, General Magistrate Karl Brown at the City of Opa-locka Town Hall Meeting, Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-locka, FL 33054. _______________________________________________

and/or it awards temporary custody of minor children. Without discussing any particular cases, the Judge suggested it would be

available. She recommended utilizing services like the Coordinated Victims Assistance Center (CVAC) be for assistance.

helpful in determining a case if witnesses, text messages, photos and any other evidence is made

“You can’t get out, or back in the country, if you are in the rear for $2,500 or more and your

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

MEETING, page 2


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

June 2010

MEETING, from page 1 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Judge Fred Seraphin and Mayor Joseph L. Kelley chat with volunteers from Legal Services.

At a Town Hall Meeting, providing information on common issues regarding Landlord/Tenants, Mortgage Foreclosure, Domestic Violence, Child Support and the Drive Legal Program, Miami-Dade Court Judges Rodney Smith, Victoria Del Pino, Fred Seraphin, Abby Cynamon, Peter Adrian, G.M. Karl Brown and host Opa-locka Mayor Joseph L. Kelley.

City of Opa-locka Residents and Staff attend Town Hall Meeting with Miami-Dade Court Judges and Commission Members.

passport is revoked,” revealed General Magistrate Karl Brown in one of several surprising facts shared on non-payment of child support, where a trickle-down effect could result in incarceration, as well as the suspension of drivers and/or professional licenses. Magistrate Brown recommended that individuals with Child Support or Paternity issues continue to follow the law, but take reasonable action by filing with the court, “so your side will be heard.” He added, “I’m not here to punish, but to facilitate how you are going to pay.” Finally, Judge Rodney Smith, cautioned spectator from of a list of items that could result in detention, paying hefty fines or the revocation of driving privileges. Among them, the failure to pay SunPass fees, wear prescription glasses while driving, appear in court, pay child support, carry PIP, report switching insurance companies or report an address change within

10 days of moving. There are also penalties for violating a class restriction, driving with an expired license, racing on the highway, possessing two driver’s licenses, refusing to sign a citation and driving while unauthorized. The Judge stated that there are ways to reinstate driving privileges, but one must work within the law. Following the presentations, Opalocka residents waited in a line to step-up to the podium and inquire about various issues covered in the Town Hall Meeting. Mayor Kelley, satisfied with the turn-out and the amount of interest, stated, “It is important that we as Public Servants keep the community informed, so that as a people, “we do not perish for a lack of knowledge.’” For more information contact: Legal Aid at 305 579-5733; Legal Services 305 576-0080; and/or Coordinated Victims Assistance (CVAC) 305 285-5900


August 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Mayor Joseph L. Kelley ‘Promoting’ the best in Opa-locka BY CHRISTINA GORDON

“Be The Best of Whatever You Are,” encouraged Opa-locka Mayor Joseph L. Kelley at Nathan B. Young and Dr. Robert B. Ingram Elementary Schools during the 2010 promotion ceremonies, held in celebration of the fifth grade class transition into middle school. While addressing the youth, Mayor Kelley reflected on the time he spent in elementary school at Nathan B. Young, over 40 plus years ago, where he stated, “…that set me on course – shaped my future... They also had the best spaghetti and meatballs I ever ate,” Kelley said in jest! The Mayor also cautioned students on the harsh realities of maturation, as they approach the higher institutions of learning. From experience he

warned, “I can tell you that there WILL be trying times in middle school, but if you believe it, you can achieve it.” Kelley then recommended to the parents that they do their part. He affirmed, “ It is not an option, it’s a MUST that you get involved and stay involved in your children’s education, because everybody can’t be Kobe, Lil Wayne or Lil Kim… we want to see some more Hillary Clintons, Barack Obamas and even another Mayors of Opa-locka from this group of bright young ladies and gentlemen.” The Mayor then summarized his advice for success, with words from poet Douglas Malloch… If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail, If you can’t be the sun be a star. It isn’t by size that you win or you fail, Be the best of whatever you are!

Mayor Joseph L. Kelley addressed the newly promoted 5th Grade class and their parents, at Dr. Robert B Ingram Elementary school The 5th grade class of Nathan B. Young Elementary School.

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Photos by Shawn Williams

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 2010

‘Our Fathers:’ Celebrating Opa-locka DADS BY CHRISTINA GORDON

On Friday, June 18, 2010, in her second annual tribute to Fathers, Vice Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor began this year’s salute to the “proud papas” of Opa-locka, by literally escorting them from the front door, down a red carpet, to the second floor of the Municipal Complex building at 780 Fisherman Street, where “deserving dads” jam-packed the conference room for a special program and luncheon which honored and celebrated male parents who have dedicated their lives to raising children and providing for their families. According to the Vice Mayor, “It’s the celebration of ‘Our Fathers’ that brings us together,” …and together the Commission voted to support the Vice Mayor’s Father’s Day Initiative. “There are over 60 scripture references on ‘The Father,’” Taylor began. “…and that’s were we receive direction and instruction concerning ‘Our Fathers;’ the greatest being to ‘honor thy father… that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’” By contrast to many who believe the concept of Father’s Day was created by greeting card companies and the restaurant industry for commercial purposes, Father’s Day in the U.S. was actually the idea, in 1909, of Sonora Dodd who was raised by her father after the death of her mother. Dodd created the first father’s day celebration in Spokane Washington in 1910, during the month of her father’s birthday. From that point, several Presidents supported it, but it wasn’t until 1972 that a Presidential Proclamation was issued declaring Father’s Day a permanent national holiday on the 3rd Sunday in June. Vice Mayor Taylor pointed out that although there were no official holidays previous to that, fathers have ALWAYS been, throughout time, considered “the strong tower, the head, the anchor, the battleaxe, and a shelter, during the time of a storm!” She said, even when the prodigal son hit rock bottom, he decided, “I’ll go back to my father’s house,” where everything was

In a “Red Carpet salute to all the Fathers living and working in the City of Opa-locka, Vice Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor escorts Mr. Albert Jones into the Father’s Day Luncheon at the Municipal Complex in the City of Opa-locka, as other father fall into line and follow..

Master of Ceremony, Former Vice Mayor Terrence Pinder, Welcomes the Fathers working and living in the City of Opa-locka to the second Annual Father’s Day event, sponsored by Vice Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor and the Opa-locka City Commission. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

alright! In other sources, evidences was found tracing the significance of the father to the ruins of Babylon over 4,000 years ago,

when a young boy named Elmesu carved a message to wish his father good health and long life, on a card made of clay. As for

today, Taylor noted, “We are surrounded by exemplary, sacrificing, compassionate and inspiring fathers. They are fathers of discipline and influence. They are the super-glue that holds the family together.” She added that her examples of excellence have come through her own father, and in “my babies’ daddy.” As well, to pay tribute to “another ‘exemplary role model’ in our city,’” Taylor pinned a flower to the lapel of Commissioner Timothy Holmes, who found this Father’s Day particularly difficult to digest, while trying to contain his emotions during a performance by The Smiling Jubilairs of Ft. Lauderdale; a group which also sang at his wife’s funeral last year. The invocation was given in Spanish and English by Pastor Bobby Rosario of Capilla del Rey (Chapel of the King) and his interpreter, Taylor explained, “to assure that ALL attendees understood the importance of celebrating ‘Our Fathers.’” Local Clergy lit a candle in prayer to commemorate fathers, both past and present. Former Commissioner Terrence Pinder served as Master of Ceremony, and all male members of the staff and community were willingly served by eager volunteers. Mayor Joseph L. Kelley, a father himself, conceited in banter on the significance of Fatherhood, “you couldn’t have done it with out us … but, we get the better end of the deal!” In finalizing her “Words of Inspiration” to the fathers of Opa-locka, Vice Mayor Taylor concluded that few things are harder and more rewarding than being a father. She said, “We recognize you this day, and although we realize that fatherhood is not easy, we ask that you remain responsible, for we are counting on you; remain radical, although we might not understand your ways, we know what you do (popular or not) is best for the family; and lastly, remain real, because we rely on your strength, your honesty, your wisdom, your integrity and your straight-forwardness. Your children need you, your community needs and your City needs you… Never stop being ‘Our Father!’” Photos by Shawn Williams


July 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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‘Harambee’ inspires Opa-locka Commissioner Tydus BY CHRISTINA GORDON

tioning the origin of the word and the use of its application, during the summer Freedom School. “As excited as they were about the tournament, these young people remained balanced, well-mannered, and exceptionally interested in every word I read to them, but more importantly, they all displayed a tremendous amount of interested in each other;” something that became more and more apparent to Tydus during the “I have a recognition…” portion of Harambee, when these 12-18 year-olds began randomly raising their hands for recognition by “Servant Leaders,” so that they might be selected to “recognize” an accomplishment, a special occasion or any other important observation that related to a fellow classmate or staff member. “Was the conduct in behalf of my visit?” Tydus contemplated, until she learned that Harambee was a morning exercise that achieves the same results EVERY day at the school. In Kenya, Harambee began as a community self-help or activity development event. It may range from informal affairs, lasting a few hours, to formal multi-day events, as ways to build and maintain communities. In 1963, the first Prime Minister

Accepting an 8:30AM invitation to motivate a group of youth, by reading an “inspirational” story during the “Harambee,” in the process, Commissioner Rose Tydus became inspired herself on Friday, July 2, 2010 at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School, located at Teen Upward Bound (TUB), 3869 N.W. 125th Street, in the City of Opa-locka. With a passion for education, Commissioner Tydus arrived at TUB before the start of Harambee (pronounced hahRAHM-beh), Swahili for “lets pull together.” After the teens sang and welcomed her, Commissioner Tydus began sharing a meaningful message with the group, by reading aloud “Fire, Water, Truth and Falsehood,” which was, appropriately and coincidently, a short Ethiopian tale from Northeast Africa; after which the Commissioner would continue on to her scheduled routine. However, during the exercise, an exchange occurred which enlightened her curiosity and sent her on an expedition that kept her anchored and strapped to her seat through the remaining components of the “Harambee” practice at the CDF Freedom School. “Fire, Water, Truth and Falsehood,” was found in the book, “I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children,” by Marian Wright Edelman. Ironically, by the time Tydus finished reading the narrative, a “difference” had already been made in Opa-locka Teen Upward Bound Director Jannie Russell gives instructions to Commissioner Tydus, students, at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School during who was now inspired Harambee (a group-affirming celebration/preparation for the work ahead). ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– enough to change the course of her day. “I’ve never seen an atmosphere like it,” (later first President of Kenya), Jomo Tydus remarked, “with this many teens in Kenyatta adopted "Harambee" as a concept one room,” referring to the obedience, the of pulling the country together to build a behavior and the unification of the group. new nation; encouraging communities to As Opa-locka’s reining basketball work together to raise funds for all sorts of champions, today the “Freedom School” local projects. students were about to embark on a journey At the TUB CDF/Freedom School, to Ingram Park, to compete in a flag foot- “Harambee” is translated into a daily, 30 ball tournament sponsored by the Opa- minute tradition of informal sharing, where locka Police Department. For Tydus, this students and staff unite in a group-affirming meant the seriousness of the outing and the celebration and preparation for the work excitement it generated, would surely yield ahead. “Harambee” consist of five compoa less attentive audience during her story- nents (reading aloud, motivational songs, telling session, but to her surprise, the cheers/chants, recognition, moment of morning “Harambee,” appeared to provoke silence and announcements), which “kickattention, concentration and an unbeliev- starts” a positive attitude at the onset of able focus, which led Tydus to begin ques- each day.

Students at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School conduct one of their Cheers during Harambee, as they prepare for the day’s activities. Photos by Shawn Williams

Commissioner Rose Tydus reads an inspirational tale to students during Harambee, at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School, located at Teen Upward Bound (TUB) in the City of Opa-locka. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Currently in 79 cities, Freedom Schools began in the U.S. in 1964, during the Civil Rights era. Opa-locka has the only level four ‘school’ in the State of Florida. The CDF Freedom Schools program teaches tools and boost student motivation to read, generates optimistic attitudes toward learning, and connects the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities; platforms which Commissioner Tydus has always promoted during her initiatives. Playful, challenging, creative and motivational upbeat songs, claps, chants and/or cheers either proceed or follow each component of “Harambee,” offering congratulatory remarks or with the intent of encouraging constructive contribution, optimism, productivity and accomplishment. According to Chandra D. Russell, Assistant Program Director/Site Coordinator, “To work with the CDF Freedom School, each “Servant Leader Intern” is required to attend leadership training at the Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee” where they learn about Harambee. Like Commissioner Tydus, other community leaders and parents are encouraged to engage in “Harambee.” In fact,

Mayor Joseph L. Kelley reading to the students. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Mayor Joseph L. Kelley and Vice Mayor “Lady” Myra Taylor equally enjoyed the Harambee experience when they read to the students a few days later. “The moral of ‘Fire, Water, Truth and Falsehood,’ confirms that falsehood can rule, only if truth stops struggling to be heard,” Tydus concluded, before segueing to the truth about what she learned today during her visit to the Freedom School. “I’ve gained a priceless lesson on the effects of structured activities, harmony, communication, and on the ways an exchange of positive energy, through “Harambee,” can build a regime of organization, strength, discipline, agreement, understanding, cooperative learning and mutual respect among young people.” With reference to one of the exercises in “Harambee,” Tydus declared, “One does not have to win at a sport to be a champion team player. With that said, I’m inspired to ‘recognize’ Director Jannie Russell and her staff for their skills and professionalism in cultivating championship attitudes among these youth, through the superb operation of a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School at Teen Upward Bound, in the City of Opa-locka!”


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

July 2010

Oscar Braynon and Mayor Joseph L. Kelley Town Hall Forum in the City of Opa-locka BY CHRISTINA GORDON

On Wednesday, June 16, 2010 from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. District 103 State Representative Oscar Braynon II and Mayor Joseph L. Kelley along with the City of Opa-locka Commission, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Center for Faith Based & Community Initiatives and the U.S.CENSUS 2010, held a Town Hall Forum at the Opa-locka Municipal Complex, 780 Fisherman Street, to discuss first-hand, topics and resources that concern the community. During a question and answer period, knowledgeable professionals were equipped to address perspective issues related to each agency. Elaine Bryant from the Department of Homeland Security spoke on Building Resilience with Diverse Communities. She stressed the importance in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters. “We spend a lot of time in the ‘mist of,’” she said. “We need to understand, and collaborate, in order to maximize the potential of a community.” She elaborated on “expanding the contributions of established organization,” such as churches and other groups. Stepping to the podium behind Bryant, was Pedro J. Garcia of Miami-Dade County, who shed light on some of the changes in property taxes. He alleged that the City of Opa-locka has a reduction of approximately 15.4 % taxable value from last year, citing the biggest problem as “no new construction.” However, he planted “a glimmer of hope,” by encouraging the purchase of property now… because “it is the right time!” Following Garcia’s report was a U.S. Census update by City of Miami Garden’s Jay Marder, who shared positive statistics on the Census, with Opa-locka up from the year 2000, reaching a 64% mail in rate. Overall, he described a 72% rise in the country in Census mail-in responses. Terry Parker of the Miami-Dade County Grants Department, directed attendees on where to look for “FREE MONEY,” and how to be placed on a “Grant Mail” sign-up sheet at Miamidade.gov. As a result of the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which past in Feb. 2009, Parker stated that his office (along with other grant writers), brought in 300 million dollars to Miami-Dade County over the last 12 months for programs, housing, development, transportation, roads, highways, health and other services for the elderly,

City of Miami Garden’s Jay Marder, Florida State Representative Oscar Braynon and Opa-locka Mayor Joseph L. Kelley address Census questions at a Town Hall Forum in the City of Opa-locka on Wednesday, June 16, 2010. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

disadvantage and a number of other groups. Parker communicated that his Department also conducts grant training and provides grant tools, applications, opportunities and grant foreclosure information, on-line and through handouts. David Brown from “Sustain A Village,” located in Miami, talked about “Down to Earth,” a community-based environmental stewardship campaign providing environment education and alternative energy weatherization, with combining traditional methods of weatherization on residential units. This is a program which Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson brought to Opa-locka. Brown revealed that if the project is funded, the City of Opa-locka will be one of 10 cities expected to participate; providing a 75% energy efficiency increase, a 50 % reduction in carbon dioxide and a savings of up to $2000 a year on an average home, through environmental education and Weatherization, while providing homes and jobs to the community by “Going Green”. Also through the “Going Green” campaign, Commissioner Johnson announced that Nathan B. Young Elementary will be one of the first schools in the City of Opa-locka to have a Farmer’s Market. Representing Florida Power and Light, Hector Maestri, along with Mayor Kelley, reminded residents to “be prepared for the worst, and hope for the best,” during this hurricane season. He cautioned

Braynon highlighted the 2010 Legislative Session. Among topics of conversation were this year’s 74 billion dollar budget and last year’s three billion dollar deficit. He answered inquiries on the 2.3 billion dollar Federal stimulus package that Florida received, as well, he commented on drastic cuts to services, increased college tuition, the 15% reduction in bright future scholarships, and on Florida’s Republican controlled legislation which consist of almost 700,000 more registered Democrats. Braynon also took a moment to simplify some of the upcoming Amendments on Fair Districting, Healthcare and Education, along with other issues anticipated by voters this election year. Braynon indicated that he represents over 133,000 people, however, more would be reflected if there was a larger response. But on this night, the residents of both Opa-locka and Miami Garden responded well to the information presented at the booths and during the Town Hall Forum. They were especially please to have qualified and well prepared staff

Florida State Representative Oscar Braynon address questions on the 2010 Legislative Session from a City of Opa-locka resident, at a Town Hall Forum in the City of Opa-locka on Wednesday, June 16, 2010. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

that each household should have three-toseven days of supplies, including one gallon of water per person (children to elderly), per day. Executive Director of the Housing Finance Authority, Patricia Braynon, was also available to encourage the use of government programs to purchase housing through auctions during the next 60 days. Finally, State Representative Oscar

available to provide details, clarification, contact information and other assistance. Representatives from the Offices of Congressman Kendrick Meeks and MiamiDade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan were also accessible.

Photos by Shawn Williams


July 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Segal Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Marks Grand Re-opening BY CHRISTINA GORDON

After months of patiently monitoring construction and eagerly anticipating results, finally nearby residents of Segal Park, 2331 N. W. 143rd Street, Opa-locka, had the opportunity to join Mayor Joseph L. Kelley and other Commission members for a “play” date at the Ribbon-Cutting on Thursday, June 24th 2010, during a ceremony which marked the grand re-opening of this improved recreational facility. Shortly following the January groundbreaking, enthusiastic residents began overwhelming City Hall with inquiries about the opening date of Segal Park. The work, in an effort to maximize cost efficiency, was done in-house by the City of Opa-locka’s Public Works Department, with special assignments contracted out. The City received $200,000 from Miami-Dade County Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) and $150,000 from the Florida

Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP), to make-over the park. However, minutes before arriving at the ceremony, City Manager Clarance Patterson received “breaking news” that an additional $650,000 grant had just been awarded to the City from OCED;; funds that would be used towards phase-two of the project, which will include the restoration of the Helen L. Miller Center, located on the grounds of Segal Park. This was news that Mayor Joseph L. Kelley, Commission Members and others attending the ceremony, including former City Commissioner Gail Miller, daughter of the late Mayor Helen Miller for whom the Community Center was named, was overjoyed to hear. In reference to the work completed, State Representative Oscar Braynon II noted, “With rain clouds ahead, before these renovations were completed, we would have had a canal, but with the new drainage system in place, we now have a beautiful park.” Braynon was among the many guest

Among residents, former City Commissioner Gail Miller, Park Director Starex Smith, former City Commissioner Ollie B. Kelley, Mayor Joseph L. Kelley, State Representative Oscar Braynon, II., Mrs. Irma Skyles (seated), Vice Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor, Commissioner Timothy Holmes, Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson, Commissioner Rose Tydus, City Manager Clarance Patterson, Mr. Alvin Burkes and one of the many children that will benefit greatly from the renovated Segal Park. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Mayor Joseph L. Kelley pushes youth in the new swing.

Exercise Trail in Segal Park ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

to join the Commission for the celebration. During a brief summary, Starex Smith, Director of Opa-locka’s Parks and Recreation Department, presented an overview of the Department’s accomplishments, as well as a forecast of expected activities. With a focus on “Going-Green,” Smith demonstrated ways that youth, involved in park programs, would learn conservation by building artwork from “toss-away” items like balloons, while recycling pizza boxes to create solar ovens and other science projects. According to Smith, there was a 40% increase in after-school programs this year; a number which is expected to rise through better parks and programs. “We are just carrying out the vision of the Mayor and the Commission,” Starex added. Mayor Kelley, along with Vice Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor, Commissioners Timothy Holmes, Rose Tydus and Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson, were extremely thrilled with the new transformation of Segal Park, and even more satisfied that the City of Opalocka “did it themselves.” As each Member of the Commission stood at the podium, they

glanced across the audience and singled-out recognizable faces, which initiated or had significant contributions to many of the changes now occurring in the City of Opa-locka. Among the familiar were Representatives from the Office of District One County Commissioner Barbara Jordan, former Commissioner Ollie B. Kelley (the Mayor’s mother), Mrs. Irma Skyles, former Vice Mayor Terrence Pinder and, of course, the hard working staff from Public Works, Parks and Recreation, the Office of the City Clerk and all other departments. “We all want to see our City excel, and we come together in one accord on a project like this, especially when it involves creating a better environment for our children,’ said Commissioner Holmes. “Now our families can enjoy a scenic outing, where a tot-lot with new playground equipment, an exercise trail, upgraded pavilion and other park advancements and furnishings such as grills, trash receptacles, painted buildings, sodding and irrigation have put a new look and a new attitude to the neighborhood.” Smith affirmed.

Commissioner Timothy Holmes, Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson, Vice Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor, Commissioner Rose Tydus, Mayor Joseph L. Kelley, Starex Smith, Park Director (at the Podium) and State Representative Oscar Braynon, II. Photos by Shawn Williams –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


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August 2010

‘Think Big’ with Commissioner Dorothy ‘Dottie’ Johnson BY CHRISTINA GORDON

As one of four original founders of The South Florida Chapter of Blacks In Government (BIG), City of Opa-locka Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” accepted a proclamation from District One County Commissioner Barbara Jordan during the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration, on Friday, June 18, 2010, from 6 to 11 PM at The Rusty Pelican Restaurant, 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway on Key Biscayne. A rarely recognized holiday by many African-Americans, according to Ms. Connie Russell in her Reflections, “this 145th anniversary of Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day) is the oldest national commemoration of the abolition of slavery, which occurred on January 1, 1863 with the official signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.” However, news that the enslaved Africans were free did not reach Galveston, Texas until almost two and a half years later, on June 19th, 1865 (Juneteenth), once Major General Gordon Granger and his 2000 Union Soldiers arrived, after becoming strong enough to overcome resistance. Juneteenth is currently celebrated in 35 of the United States. Guest speaker for the BIG celebration of Juneteenth was Dr. Georgie C. Labadie, a native of Tallahassee, a Florida A&M University graduate and Professor Emerita at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, Coral Gables FL with a list of other accolades and accomplishments too numerous to mention. In her address, Dr. Labadie maintained there were several purposes for Juneteenth, but she highlighted only the three most important to her, which were Education, Celebration and Agitation. She commented that during Juneteenth, we must receive an Education by returning to our roots. She said, “We must reach back, to gather what the past teaches, in order to move forward to our full potential, which is the foundation

Members of The South Florida Chapter of Blacks in Government (BIG) at the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration, on Friday, June 18, 2010 at The Rusty Pelican Restaurant. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

for what was lost, forgotten or left out, but can be remembered, reclaimed, revived, reserved and perpetuated.” Labadie continued, “in celebrating Juneteenth, we must remember that it was the day when the last geographic area where slavery legally existed, before they (250, 000 slaves) learned of their freedom in Texas.” And finally, on Juneteenth, she added, “With diplomacy, we should cause Agitation through upsetting, disturbing and arousing interest, by stirring-up people to take a stand.” According to BIG celebration host Edward B. Harris, “Juneteenth is about Employer-Employee relationships… it was about slave owner and slaves. On Juneteenth ‘the word was heard.’ We must never forget ongoing employee relationships regarding Access, Equity and Inclusion in pursuit of economic empowerment for the African-Americans and other

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to confront workplace and community problems. BIG’s goals essentially are to promote Equity in all aspect of American life, Excellence in public service, and Opportunity for all Americans.” Organized in 1975 by black Federal Employees in the then Department of Health Education and Welfare in Rockville Maryland, but due to the government-wide problems, BIG was incorporated in 1976 as a National organization of government employees at the Federal, State and local levels, establishing more than 250 chapters across the country. It was announced that deserving students from three Miami-Dade schools (Homestead, Carol City and Northwestern) will be presented scholarships from this BIG fund raising event. The BIG organization received a Proclamation from MiamiDade County for its exemplary achievements, commitment to promoting excellence in government service, participation and hosting a variety of events honoring African-American heritage, providing

Services provided: Family Medicine EKG Pediatrics Podiatry OB/GYN Child Health Check Up Cardiology Immunization Dentistry Free Pharmacy Delivery Laboratory Board Certified Physicians X-Ray

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Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan presented a Proclamation to founding members of Blacks In Government (BIG) Mr. Edward B. Harris, Mr. Robert R. Walker (President), Opa-locka Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson and Dr. Larry Capp. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

disenfranchised groups of Americans. We must never forget the ravages of slavery and the devastating affect on every aspect of Black existence in this country. We must never forget the strong, the proud, and the irrepressible people that not only survived but prevailed.” Harris said, of today, “Mental slavery goes deep to the core.” Segueing into the significance of “Blacks In Government” as it relates to Juneteenth, Harris said, “BIG is a national response to a need for African-Americans in public service to organize around issues of mutual concern and to use their collective strength

employee support, and for being an advocacy and resource group for Civil Service. In accepting the Proclamation, in behalf of BIG, Commissioner Johnson commented that she was proud to be one of the founding members of “Blacks In Government (S. FL Chapter),” then she recited several lines from her signature poem, by Edgar Albert Guest, “Somebody said that It Couldn’t Be Done,” before closing remarks were given by the President of BIG, Mr. Robert R. Walker. Photos by Shawn Williams


August 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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August 2010

COMING SOON Opa-locka Seniors able to call anytime!

Caught at Miami Metrozoo! That’s right, just go to Miami Metrozoo and take a photograph of you and/or your family holding a copy of the Kendall Gazette, The Pinecrest Tribune or any edition of our Community Newspapers right outside the front door or inside Miami Metrozoo. Then send us the photo with the names of everyone in the picture and you might just win a 6-month membership to one of America’s Best Zoos! Send your photo to Michael@communitynewspapers.com. Be sure to include the names of everyone in the photo as well as the address where we can send your membership. If you have any questions, call Michael Miller at 305-669-7030.

Mayor Joseph L. Kelley and The City of Opa-locka Commission are in the process of devising a plan to distribute refurbished City cell phones to disabled and Senior residents. Information on the cell phone

Give-Away will be soon be available on Opa-TV (Comcast Channel 77), the City Website, in flyers and/or Senior residents may contact the Office of the Mayor, for details.

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Vice Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor and The City of Opa-locka Commission are in the process of collecting applications for the Senior “Roof Replacement Program” drawing on August 13th at 10 AM LIVE on Opa-TV. Applicants who have been chosen for the roof repairs will be

notified within a few days after the drawing. More information on the Roof Replacement Program will be available on Opa-TV (Comcast Channel 77), the City Website, and/or details on the drawing may be obtained from the Office of the Vice-Mayor.


July 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Opa-locka Police Department Motor Unit won First Place in category One Challenge BY CHRISTINA GORDON

Report contributed by: Adam Burden and Marcos Gonzalez of the Opa-locka Police Department In the Florida Law Enforcement Motor Unit Challenge, The Opa-locka Police Department won First Place twice, during 2009 competitions. The first win occurred in May, followed by another in November/December. The Department competed against all Florida Motorcycle Units, within the agency’s category, beating other units with higher numbers of motor units. The Department also won $4000.00 to purchase new traffic equip-

ment; a recognition received by the motor squad, for writing tickets. This year, the Opa-locka Police Department plans to participate in more events that will not only help the unit obtain equipment, but increase traffic safety. Since the start of the unit, traffic crashes have decreased, especially serious injury crashes. As a result, the City residents will be able to obtain lower insurance rates, due to the City becoming a low risk area. Although it will require some time, insurance companies will use this information to set rates. In Court, the unit has also been recognized and respected for producing and displaying quality, professional, hard, honest work.

Opa-locka Photo-enforcement program finally begins BY CHRISTINA GORDON

On Wednesday, September 1, 2010, The City of Opa-locka’s red-light safety cameras will finally begin issuing citations after photographing “red-light runners” at designated intersections throughout the City. Fines ranging from $150.00 for the initial infraction, then doubling to $250.00 for the next infringement and eventually reaching $500.00 for each violation afterwards - will begin. Photo-enforcement cameras will operate 24-hours a day, capturing still and video images of every vehicle running a red-light at selectedlocations, which to date, have been positioned at three (3) sites in two (2) intersections: Northbound NW 27th Avenue at Ali Baba Avenue; Westbound

NW 27th Avenue at Ali Baba Avenue; and Eastbound at NW 27th Avenue and 135th Street. The program is administered, and initially reviewed, by American Traffic Solutions, Inc. (ATS). More information on ATS is available at or www.RedLight www.atsol.com Camera.com or contact: George Hittner, Vice President for Governmental Relations & General Counsel 480-596-4704, george.hittner@atsol.com.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 2010


August 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 2010

Camp Shriver Miami Sports Camp concludes BY JOE GLICK

Special Olympics Volunteer

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Eddie Puig is the first blind Special Olympics athlete to compete at Camp Shriver. Despite his disability, Puig is a true athlete. He competed in all of the sports at Camp Shriver, including kayaking, golfing, bocce, basketball, soccer, softball and swimming. While this was his first year at the camp, he has been a Special Olympics athlete for six years and has won 23 medals in the shot put, discus, swimming, and track. “The camp was wonderful,” Puig said. “It taught us friendship, respect and honor. In high school, I was mistreated. Here, I received constructive criticism.” Puig, 21, is one of 85 camper athletes who competed at Camp Shriver, collaboration between Special Olympics MiamiDade County and the City of Miami. The camp has been in existence for five years and was one of six pilot camps started by Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the late sister of President John F. Kennedy. Miami-Dade’s version of Camp Shriver thrives for several reasons. First, there are 75 volunteers and coaches who tirelessly devote their summers to instructing the camper/athletes, who are intellectually disabled (Down Syndrome, autism or otherwise developmentally or intellectually delayed.). Second, the camp could not exist without the sponsorship of the City of Miami, headed by Nadia ArguellesGoicoechea, the program coordinator for the Sandra Delucca Developmental Center, Special Olympics Miami-Dade County, led by Miami-Dade Executive Director Mark Thompson, and the Dade Amateur Golf Association (DAGA). DAGA is headed by local golf legend Charlie DeLucca Sr., whose prized pupils included former PGA golfer Bruce Fleisher and current LPGA star, Christie Kerr. The camp, a free six-week program, is held at Kinloch Park and the adjoining Sandra Delucca Developmental Center. For his many years of contributions to the disabled, including over 20 years with Special Olympics, Delucca, a member of the Greater Miami Sports Hall of Fame, was honored at last Friday’s final day of camp. In a brief speech, Delucca emphasized the love the campers have for one

another. Just like a perfect tee shot down the middle of the fairway, DeLucca was dead on. While the athletes enjoyed honing their sports skills, the major factor in their enjoyment, and perhaps the success of the camp, was their love, friendship and respect for each other and the volunteers. Smiling five-year camper, Tyrone Harris, 17, said while he loves kayaking and kickball, he loves the camp because he has “plenty of friends” and the “coaches and volunteers” are “totally awesome.” “I love this camp,” said first-year camper Ricky Dager, 20. “I’m coming back next year. I made a lot of friends. Everyone is very nice, especially Evelys.” Dager was referring to Evelys Ubiera, the co-director of the camp, along with David Kaufman. “The kids improve athletically, but also develop social skills,” said Ubiera. “The camp helps alleviate people’s fears of the unknown, the intellectually disabled,” added Kaufman, 17 years with Special Olympics. “The campers form friendships, bond with the volunteers and everyone takes this back to their communities.” Special Olympics is the world’s largest program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities or closely related developmental disabilities. There are approximately three million athletes around the world who compete in Special Olympics. Founded by Shriver in 1968, it is headquartered in Washington D.C. Special Olympics Florida, incorporated in 1972, is headquartered in Clermont, Florida and is divided into 11 area programs, which cover 55 counties. Special Olympics Miami-Dade County was established in 1991 and includes over 3,000 athletes and 250 volunteer coaches representing over 90 elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, special education programs, municipalities and private agencies. Qualifying athletes and teams advance to state level competition and have the opportunity to advance to national and international competition. For the schedule of Special Olympics Miami-Dade County events, email <specialolympics@somdc.org>.


July 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Before You Leave --Make sure you have your route planned. Make sure you have the safest route planned, one that keeps you off the busiest of streets and uses intersections with crossing guards, if possible. --Be prepared before you leave. That means having a raincoat or umbrella if it looks like it might rain, and good shoes for walking. If you're allowed to have a cell phone for emergencies, make sure it's charged.

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Before You Leave --Make sure your bike is in good repair. There should be air in the tires, brakes and light working, and the proper reflectors so drivers can see you. --Make sure your helmet is in good condition. Only helmets that are in good condition and properly fitted are ready to keep you safe. --Know your route. Try to stay off busy streets, and never bike on an expressway. --Have your raingear ready. If you're allowed to carry one, make sure your cellphone is charged.

The Three Clicks When you prepare to leave home, no matter how you travel, you need to make things click! --In a car, you click your seat belt --On a bike, you click your helmet strap --As a pedestrian, your mind clicks as you remember to STOP and look L-R-L before crossing any street: Look to the LEFT for traffic Look to the RIGHT for traffic Then, look to the LEFT again. --Make sure no cars are coming before you cross. Remember, L-R-L keeps you well!

The Three Clicks When you prepare to leave home, no matter how you travel, you need to make things click! --In a car, you click your seat belt --On a bike, you click your helmet strap --As a pedestrian, your mind clicks as you remember to STOP and look L-R-L before crossing any street. On a bike, you need to be looking at all times for: --Cars --Pedestrians --Traffic Signals Remember, as a bike rider you have to SHARE THE ROAD with cars and trucks, and follow the same rules they do.

On Your Way When you leave the house, make sure you stick to your route and pay attention to the Walk Safe safety steps. --NEVER Cross in the middle of the block. --ALWAYS look for a corner or crosswalk --NEVER Cross without looking LEFT, RIGHT, and LEFT --NEVER cross until the street is clear. --ALWAYS look for a crossing guard if one is available and cross with their help!

On Your Way When you leave the house, make sure you stick to your route and pay attention to the BikeSafe safety steps and all the rules of the road. --NEVER ride on your bike without your helmet strapped on. --ALWAYS leave enough time to get to school safely --NEVER ignore red lights or crossing guards --ALWAYS stay as far to the right as possible. Don't weave between cars --NEVER forget the rules of the road! --ALWAYS ride with traffic when in the street

You're There!

If you Walk Safe, you'll get to school, and back home again, safe and sound!

You're There!

When you Bike Safe, you arrive feeling good from the exercise and ready to face the day. Oh, and one last important tip: --Make sure you LOCK YOUR BIKE, or you'll be remembering how to Walk Safe on the way home!


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

“I have always set goals to educate, unite and empower the Great City of Opa-locka,” stated Commissioner Rose Tydus as she began to explain her latest idea to usher in Cinema, to the City of Opalocka. “Why should we have to leave our City to get quality movies?” she asked. As a result, Tydus has begun an initiative, recruiting businesses to sponsor and promote strong family values, non-violence, social consciousness, health, hope, historical awareness and a combination of various other themes using movies to highlight these issues when she hosts “Lunch & Learn: Cinema Saturday,” on the last Saturday of every month at 12:00 PM, beginning on July 31, 2010 with “SUPER SIZE ME” (a feature film nominated for the Academy Award’s Best Documentary), at the Opa-locka Municipal Complex, 780 Fisherman Street 2nd Floor, Opa-locka, FL 33054. Commissioner Tydus is enlisting support towards covering the cost and supplies associated with putting on what she calls “FREE quality cinematic experiences” for the residents, particularly the youth, in the GREAT City of Opa-locka. Thus far, much interest has been generated towards Super Size Me which was chosen for the initial Lunch & Learn Cinema Saturday to address the increasing spread of obesity; something the Surgeon General has declared an "epidemic" throughout the U.S. The movie initially opened on May 7, 2004 and grossed over $20,641,054 worldwide, making it the 11th highest-grossing documentary film of all time, and it received two thumbs-up on “At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper.” Super Size Me was directed by and starred Morgan Spurlock, who ate only McDonald's food three times per day, eating every

item on the chain's menu and always choosing to "super-size" his meal, when offered, while documenting the drastic effects that the experiment had on his physical and psychological well-being as he explored the fast food industry's corporate influence, including how it encourages poor nutrition for its own profit. Consuming the equivalent of 9.26 Big Macs per day, the 32-year-old gained 24½ lbs, a 13% body mass increase, a cholesterol level of 230, and experienced mood swings and other dysfunctions while fat accumulated in his liver. It took fourteen months to lose the weight gained from this 30 day experiment. Does the same criticism leveled against the tobacco companies apply to fast food franchises whose product is both physiologically addictive and physically harmful? The movie “SUPER SIZE ME” allows viewers to decide for themselves! Tydus says she appreciates any financial and/or product support, but more importantly, “I hope to continue developing, within our own backyard, an appreciation and conscientiousness for movies with a message,” Tydus said. “Those who understand the value and importance of strong family, community relationships, unity, and opportunities to absorb education and awareness, will participate, benefit and value the movie going experience... and hopefully they will leave discussing the knowledge they’ve gained with others. Instead of the candy and sugar filled snacks offered at traditional movie theatres, Tydus will serve FREE healthy, yet tasty lunches to the audience. She asks that those planning to attend RSVP at 305 953-2821 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at least three days before the premier of each new movie, so she can assure there will be enough to feed everyone.

July 2010


July 2010

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Presented to...

Board d Members,, Committees,, Crimee Watch h Volunteers Ass a caringg Volunteer,, and d Becausee You u Makee Differencee in n soo Manyy Ways,, We’ree Gratefull Wee Can n Countt on n You u Manyy Thankss forr Alll thatt You u Do Presented

thiss 25th dayy off Junee 2010

Mayorr Joseph h L.. Kelleyy

The City of Opa-locka has a comprehensive plan to confront all potential hazards that may affect our residents’ safety and overall quality of life. It is essential for municipal government to prepare itself for any potential threat through organizational and strategic Mayor Joseph L. Kelley planning. Lessons learned from past Hurricanes have given City administration insight into the importance of Hurricane Preparedness as it relates to community involvement. The post Hurricane response and recovery effort should be a shared effort between government, faith-based groups, and volunteer groups such as the American Red Cross. The City of Opa-locka prepared a manual as well as other handouts that are intended to be helpful in identifying options before and after a storm. In addition to the information provided by the City, The State of Florida Division of Emergency Management recommends Florida residents visit http://www.floridadisaster.org and read important information regarding Hurricane Preparedness. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also has a website at www.fema.gov that can be very useful in determining what course of action is warranted before and after a hurricane strikes. The website will assist you in planning for your family’s safety during an emergency and rebuilding afterward. We hope that our packet will also serve as a guide to services offered by governmental agencies that will assist you in preparing your family for this Hurricane season.

Mayor Joseph L. Kelley, Vice Mayor “Lady” Myra Taylor, Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson, ,Commissioner Timothy Holmes and Commissioner Rose Tydus

Hurricane Names Alex Bonnie Colin Danielle Earl Fiona Gaston Hermine Igor Julia Karl

Lisa Mathew Nicole Otto Paula Richard Shary Tomas Virginie Walter

The City of Opa-locka is a great place to live, work and play. Our location is close to the Atlantic Ocean and some of the best beaches in the world. However, that proximity to the coast can also leave us geographically vulnerable to tropical systems. For this reason, the City has constructed a comprehensive guide to assure that our residents are equip with as much information possible to be prepared before, during and after a hurricane, in the event one makes landfall in our area. ast. Prepare yourself, your family, your home and your business for a hurricane. Get Information on medical needs, important emergency numbers, evacuation locations, pet management and much more, in advance. Use this material as a tool to learn how to cope with the aftermath of a hurricane. Be aware that the City of Opa-locka is working hard to keep you as safe as possible. The safety and quality of life for our citizens is our top priority.

To the residents of the Great City of Opa-locka, FL, the Mayor, the Commission and the staff have united in a Hurricane Preparedness Clarance Patterson public awareness City Manager campaign to provide information to ensure that all citizens in Opa-locka are prepared in the event of a weather emergency. As past hurricanes have revealed, massive property damage and loss of life can be a result of these natural disasters. History also teaches that a lack of awareness and preparation are common threads among all major Hurricane disasters. Preparedness is the key to protecting your family and property. Please do not become a casualty or develop a false sense of security by believing that “It won’t happen to me.” By knowing your vulnerability and the actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. Take heed and make plans now to ensure you and your family’s safety and survival through any hurricane that may threaten our area. The City of Opa-locka is doing its part to be here, and assist you in during this hurricane season.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 2010

Legislature gives governor’s Senate race a boost R. Kenneth Bluh –– VIEWPOINT –– KENNETH’S COMMENTARY Party vindictiveness raised its ugly head when the Republican-led legislature destroyed an opportunity to assist the residents of Florida when it chose to destroy the governor’s special legislative session rather than propose a Constitutional Amendment restricting oil wells off our shores. Gov. Charlie Crist called a special session of the Florida Legislature asking the members of the House and Senate to place a Constitutional Amendment on the November ballot prohibiting oil drilling within 10 miles of the Florida shore. Rather than help the residents of the state, the legislature chose to open the session with a motion to adjourn, hoping to embarrass the governor — never even considering the possible benefits of the session. House Speaker Larry Cretul, of Ocala, said that the state already has such a law

and that the only reason the governor called the special session was to gain points in his bid to be elected a U.S. Senator in November. The leadership in the legislature is still burning over the governor’s defection from the Republican Party to run as an independent. Yes, Florida does have a law prohibiting platform drilling for oil within 10 miles of our shoreline. But that is a legislatively passed law. And, it is very possible that an oil industry relationship with leadership in future legislatures could result in the law being repealed without any way for the citizens to object. Pass a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting drilling and only the voters of the state could change the law. Legislators don’t like giving such control to the public. I hope we, the voters of Florida, are smart enough to see that the aborted special legislative session did not help the state or its residents. The governor was correct in calling the special session and the leadership of the legislature was embarrassingly wrong is killing an opportunity to defend our state’s shores and our water-related industries. The logic behind Republican anger is

politically understandable. If Crist had stayed in the Republican Party he would have lost the primary to a “more” Republican candidate, Marco Rubio. Losing the primary, the governor would be out of the race. By going independent he put himself in a three-way race with Rubio and a Democrat. The polls show that his decision was correct as he is leading in every poll and, unless something extraordinarily bad happens, he will be the next U.S. Senator from Florida and Rubio will be an ex-elected official. To add to the interest in the race, Congressman Kendrick Meek, once the Democrat frontrunner, finds himself running way behind new-to-politics Jeff Greene who, it would appear, is buying himself a way into the November elections — with Meek, like Rubio, looking in from the outside. For years I have hoped that the voters of our state would open their eyes and realize that many of the men and women we send

to Tallahassee have little interest in protecting the interest of the residents of Florida. They are out to protect their personal fortunes and to give support to those that fund their election campaigns that keep them in office. To quote Juan Zapata, a Republican member of the Florida Legislature and chair of the Miami-Dade Delegation, there is “a shameful lack of leadership” among our elected officials in Tallahassee. Rep. Zapata sees the disgrace; why can’t those of us that elected them to office see that our interests are not well represented in our state capital? We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-662-6980 or email to <letters@communitynewspapers.com>. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.


August 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 2010

2011 Mustang GT gets new 5.0 liter V-8 engine Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS The Mustang is the most recognizable nameplate in the Ford family of fine cars, the “go-to” badge when the going gets tough. The Mustang, like the Eveready Bunny, just keeps going, and going, and going, and going. During a recent meeting in Miami, I suggested to a Ford executive that it would be nice to see a plug-in electric Mustang option. After the initial look of horror, he humored me with the comment that it might be a good idea. Instead, for 2011 we get the Mustang GT with an all-new aluminum 5.0-liter V-8 engine mated to either a new six-speed manual (17/26 mpg) or a new six-speed automatic (18/25 mpg) transmission. Ford says the engine uses advanced technology to deliver better fuel economy. The engine has fourvalve Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) and makes 412 hp and 390

foot-pounds of torque. The aluminum fourvalve-per-cylinder heads feature a compact roller-finger follower valvetrain layout leaving more room for high-flow ports for freebreathing performance. The head structure was designed to support higher cylinder head pressures and crossflow cooling for sustained high-rpm use, while head bolt size was increased from 11 to 12 millimeters to contain the higher combustion pressures. The aluminum block was developed for optimized windage and oil drainback under lateral conditions and high-rpm use, such as a track-day outing for an enthusiast owner or driver. Increased main bearing bulkhead widths and nodular iron cross-bolted main bearing caps with upsized bolts were also used to accommodate the healthy jump in performance. This new Muscle Car has specially tuned Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) for better driving dynamics, large vented disc brakes and suspension enhancements for better ride and handling, including revised damper tuning and spring rates for a smooth highway ride, new rear lower control arms and firmer stabilizer bar bushings to improve stiffness and handling for better cornering.

Mustang GT has sculptured front fender wheel flares, angled rear corners, a sculptured decklid and a prominent rear badge.

Additionally, the increased capacity and baffling of the deep-sump stamped steel oil pan to enable sustained high-rpm use and offer the convenience of 10,000-mile oil change intervals. Piston-cooling jets also were incorporated for performance-minded owners and for faster oil warm-up on cold start. Specially designed tubular exhaust headers were developed to maximize exhaust pulse separation and improve flow. Under the hood, curved intake runners are framed by an acoustic cover with the new 5.0 logo and “Powered by Ford” cam covers. As for styling, the front fenders have

sculptured wheel flares and a spear character line on the doors leads to an indication of rear fender hips. The rear end has aggressively angled rear corners, a sculptured decklid and a prominent rear badge. The interior is unchanged from 2010. Pricing on the 2011 Mustang GT starts at $30,495. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.


August 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

The insolvency of Jefferson, Madison and Monroe

Bob Diamond HISTORICALLY YOURS There is something mystifying about our third, fourth and fifth presidents: Thomas Jefferson (author of The Declaration of Independence), James Madison (Father of our Constitution) and James Monroe (author of the Monroe Doctrine). All three presidents from Virginia never freed their slaves (except for a few Jefferson freed related to Sally Hemings) and all three died insolvent, having lost their slaves and plantation estates to creditors. Jefferson owed money to numerous creditors throughout his entire life, essentially because he lived a life-style far beyond his means. In addition, through his wife, he inherited debt and several hundred slaves from his father-in-law. He used poor judgment in selling off many of the slaves to unreliable debtors who defaulted on their obligations. Poor management of

Monticello, his main source of income, proved inadequate to cover his debts. Near death, he requested the state of Virginia to conduct a lottery to sell Monticello to pay his debts; the state refused. After Jefferson died, his estate was auctioned off to pay creditors (including Monticello and his remaining slaves) and his surviving daughter was forced to rely upon the charity of others. At his “Montpelier” plantation, Madison suffered similar difficulties to Jefferson. Although he was a brilliant statesman and scholar, his business enterprises were rarely profitable. His correspondence during the Revolutionary War reveals his continual need to borrow money from “the Jew Chaim Salomon.” His step-son (son of Dolly Madison), a gambler, ran up massive debts that Madison absorbed and was forced to sell off half of Montpelier as well as numerous slaves, to pay off those debts. Monroe, at the end of his life, also ran his plantation into the ground. He petitioned Congress to relieve some of his family’s debts and was granted $30,000. It turned out to be insufficient and he was forced to sell his 3500 acre estate including his remaining slaves.

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August 2010

Curious George Live! coming to BankUnited Center, Aug. 6

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Curious George, the irrepressible little monkey who has captured children’s hearts for generations, jumps into action when he takes the stage in the inaugural tour of Curious George Live! Curious George swings onto the stage at BankUnited Center from Friday, Aug. 6, through Sunday, Aug. 8. Starring in his own original live musical stage production for the first time ever, Curious George is on a mission to help Chef Pisghetti save his restaurant by winning a world-famous meatball competition. With guidance from his friend, the Man with the Yellow Hat, George’s adventures take him to Rome and the Golden Meatball Contest. With every swing and flip, George takes the audience through a fun-filled, entertaining story filled with music, dance and follow-thatmonkey fun. Parents and grandparents who grew up with Curious George will enjoy it just as much as the kids. Children and parents around the world have delighted in Curious George’s adventures in books for decades. Created in 1941 by Margret and H.A. Rey, Curious George has provided the inspiration

for books, movies and a television series, and will continue to educate and entertain children in Curious George Live! by introducing them to a limitless world of exploration and discovery while offering wholesome family fun. Featuring original composition and familiar songs, as well as Broadway-quality stagecraft and professional singers and dancers, Curious George Live! is sure to captivate audiences of all ages. Shows are Friday, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. (Opening Night); Saturday, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and Sunday, 1 and 5 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $20. A limited number of $28 Premium seats, $36 Gold Circle seats and $65 Monkey Seats may be available. 0pening Night, all seats (excluding Gold Circle and Monkey Seats) are $12. A facility/parking fee of $3.75 will be added to all ticket prices. Additional fees and discounts may apply. BankUnited Center is located at 1245 Dauer Dr. For more information, call 305-2848686. To charge tickets by phone, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased online at <www.ticketmaster.com> or at the BankUnited Center Box Office. For information online, visit <www.curiousgeorgelive.com>.


August 2010

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August 2010

‘Fostering’ plays crucial role for rescued dogs BY CAROL CARIDAD Vice President, Paws4You Rescue

Paws 4 You Rescue has saved over a thousand dogs since it’s inception in 2006. A crucial role in ensuring that rescued dogs are adopted is being able to place them in foster homes. Being in foster care allows those dogs who are under socialized, previously abused, scared or simply too rambunctious for their own good to learn critical skills needed for adoption. It is amazing to see the most scared or sick dog be healed simply by having a warm bed and individual attention from a foster home. Healing an emotionally or physically injured animal doesn’t happen overnight, but the difference between before and after is as distinct as night and day. So what exactly is a foster home? A foster home is any home that can serve as a temporary shelter for an animal that is up for adoption until that animal can be permanently placed. Foster homes often have other pets, but some people who can’t commit to having their own pet long-term turn to fostering animals. Fostering is also a great way to find out more about a specific type of dog you’ve been considering adopting. A foster home is emotionally and financially responsible for daily care of their foster animal, including its meals, exercise, socialization, training and grooming, while Paws4You continues to be responsible for any medical costs that animal might incur during it’s stay in foster care. Additionally, since foster parents often spend more time with an animal than the rescue organization, they are often called upon to report on the behavioral tendencies and personality of that foster animal when potential adopters have questions. An ideal foster home candidate is anyone who is willing to take on the responsibilities of having a dog for a short period of time. This can range anywhere from one to

Paws4You four weeks. Foster homes will have to be up to the challenge of caring for and teaching a dog as it acclimates to a new environment. Patience is critical on the human’s part, as being a foster parent means being able to handle potential doggie disasters, like inappropriate chewing, housebreaking accidents, etc. The good news is that Paws4You has a dedicated volunteer staff that can provide you with the tools and resources needed to set you and your foster dog up for success! Paws4You Rescue also works to match foster dogs with foster homes through the same process that dogs are matched for adoption, meaning we’ll only assign you a foster dog we know you can handle. The biggest reason why more people aren’t willing to foster a dog is because of the deep emotional connection foster parents will make with their foster dogs. But, trust us, it’s better to have loved and lost, especially when losing your dog means that that dog has found its forever home and will never again have to feel pain, abandonment, fear or emotional distress. A potential feeling of sadness is expected when you sign up to be a foster home, but the feeling of knowing you were responsible for saving a dog’s life is well worth it! Plus, it does get easier with each and every new foster. Interested foster home participants can complete the Foster Care Application on the Foster Page of our website at <www.paws4you.org/>. Once it’s received, a volunteer will be in touch to set up a meeting to discuss in detail the Foster Care Program and answer any questions you may have.

Carol Caridad is president of Paws 4 You Rescue. She may be contacted by calling 786-242-7377, by addressing email to <carol@Paws4You.org> or by visiting <www.paws4you.org>.

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