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Community Newspapers SERVING MIAMI-DADE COUNTY SINCE 1958

OPA-LOCKA REVIEW

THE OPA-LOCKA REVIEW

MARCH 2011

WHO’S WHO In City Government

‘The State of the City is Stable’ declared Mayor Myra Taylor

Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor 305-688-4611

Vice-Mayor Dorothy “Dotty” Johnson 305-688-4611

Commissioner Rose Tydus 305-688-4611

Opa-locka Express.

BY CHRISTINA GORDON Commissioner Timothy Holmes 305-688-4611

Commissioner Gail Miller 305-688-4611

ubsequent to the red carpet introduction which rolled out her grand entrance, City of Opa-locka Mayor, The Honorable “Lady” Myra Taylor, affirmed, “…the City is stable,” during the State of the City Address, Friday, January 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM, under a 40 x 80, filled to capacity, tent where the crowd over-

S

City Manager Clarance Patterson 305-953-2821

City Clerk Deborah Sheffield-Irby 305-953-2800

City Attorney Joseph S. Geller 305-953-2808 City of Opa-locka Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor gives the State of the City Address.

Photos by Shawn Williams

flowed into the street on Opa-locka Boulevard between Sharazad and Fisherman, to accommodate officials, clergy, staff, residents, and business owners, during an allinclusive ride on-board the symbolic “Opa-locka Express” departing for “The Dawn of a New Day!” Several roads from Historic City Hall to the Administrative Municipal Complex building were blocked, and traffic diverted, early in the day to prepare for the evening event. Dressed in her sig- City of Opa-locka Commissioner Rose Tydus with Mayor “Lady” nature “power color” red, Taylor’s Myra L. Taylor and City Manager (Train Conductor) Clarance arrival was proceeded with a pro- Patterson, after the State of the City Address. gram, led by the Miami Northwestern Senior High School Marching Band, the Bahamas-Miami Junkanoos, Opa-locka Honor Guard and several forms of protocol such as prayer, entertainment, greetings and finally an introduction of the Mayor. Acknowledging the diversity of the attendees, “Lady” Taylor verbally greeted her guest in three languages with, “buenas noches,” “bon soir,” and “asa lama lakum!” She then shouted to the seniors, “Hey y’all,” as she began to move “the train,” full speed ahead! Congresswoman Carrie Meek with City of Opa-locka Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor at the State of the City Address. –––––––––––––– See

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engineer that would drive the train attached with compartments of elected and appointed officials, City Departments, tools, investment and spirituality for the “Prayer warriors and intercessors whose Quoting from the Book of Isaiah 43, aim would be to keep the City lifted!” According to Mayor Taylor, the first “God gave the Prophet words to speak ‘life’ into a nation,” Taylor paralleled her open- stop of the Opa-locka Express was The ing statement as a mission to, “Speak ‘life’ Magnolia North revitalization project into the hearts and minds of the people of which is (due to the support of MiamiOpa-locka!” She referenced a time when Dade County Commissioner Barbara the City was known for “just driving Jordan, Habitat for Humanity and Mr. Willie Logan of the through to get someOpa-locka CDC with a where else” or “used to “THE STATE OF THE combined support of make a stop to purchase over 26.6 Million dolfrom our famous ‘pharlars), currently transmaceutical’ spot, called CITY IS STABLE,” forming the once forthe ‘Triangle.’” Taylor gotten neighborhood reflected on the days DECLARED MAYOR called “The Triangle.” when many businesses The Mayor listed the location of MYRA TAYLOR went on to disclose their company as plans for the 22nd “Miami,” in lieu of Corridor, “Opa-locka.” She said, THE OPA-LOCKA EXPRESS Avenue which she said will “The City had a lot of bring a “face-lift” to people, but no prestige; HEADED FOR the City’s downtown residents, but no area. She revealed that respect; churches, but Commissioner Jordan “THE DAWNING OF no charge; children, but also “kicked-in” two few champions.” She million dollars for the continued, “We walked A NEW DAY!” restoration of Historic into a room, but no one City Hall. Taylor then knew we were there. recommended, “We We were a city without character or influence.” She added, “Folk put away our differences that once retardcame into our city, told us what we need- ed our progress and blinded us to our ed; what we wanted and what we should future.” She suggested avoiding “Enginehave, but it was all for their benefit… not cloggers” who attempt to “slow-up the train with gossip and rumors; make it a ours!” The Mayor went on to acknowledge point to not “get derailed!” Taylor conthe City’s challenges by admitting, “Some cluded, “Opa-tisha-woka-locka is moving of our residents did not have their High on the right Track now, and is new world School diplomas; and even less had col- bound.” Among the list of distinguished guest lege degrees. Fewer with jobs, and four out of five people were receiving receiving The State of the City Address, Government assistance; living right at or were Congresswoman Carrie Meek, City just above the poverty line,” but, she con- of Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson; fidently confirmed, “The former images, School Board Members Dr. Wilbert T. ideas and ideals of this 85-years-old City Holloway, Mother Irma Skiles, and a long ‘Must pass away!’” Thus, declaring, “The list of other dignitaries. “From the engine to the caboose, Express is moving, to carry us to new destinations, where Opa-locka, has never under the leadership of Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor, there is unlimited seating gone before!” Taylor’s plan include an Express for business owners and the 16,000 memwhich is “driven by human energy, new bers of the residential community, many hope and a strong sense of determination, who will serve as advisors and Board with an engine fired by new attitude and members on-board the train, which is catsharp aptitude, to take us to a new alti- apulting the City from a position of “statude!” In a metaphoric tour aboard the bility” into rapid growth and development, Opa-locka Express, Taylor introduced as the Opa-locka Express heads towards City Manager Clarance Patterson as the ‘The Dawning of a New Day!’”

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Be smart, read a book!


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Commissioner Gail E. Miller Makes Early ‘Wake-up’ Call S. Fl Rises for Live Broadcast of Annual Opa-locka MLK Walk BY CHRISTINA GORDON Reminiscent of the 1960s when Civil Right leaders would race sunrise to organize, before marching peacefully through cities in protest and support of citizen rights, on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 5:30 AM, as a prelude to the official Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, Commissioner Gail E. Miller assembled colleagues, volunteer staff, devoted residents and a host of other followers at Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, to prepare for the City of Opalocka’s Annual MLK Walk and Parade, which began this year with several live telecast on WPLG Channel 10 with reporter Ben Kennedy. After the morning assemble at City Hall, the organizers joined other participants on 151st Street and 27th Avenue, where the parade/walk began at 10:00AM, then preceded back to Historic City Hall, where the program and celebration continued with local and visiting Officials, former Miami Dolphins player Brian Walker, several guest speakers and artists from PIPELINE RECORDS, featuring Billy Blue. As sponsor of this year’s MLK WALK, Commissioner Miller, daughter of the late Honorable Helen L. Miller (the first African-American Female Mayor in the City of Opa-locka, and in the State of Florida), stated, “Dr. King got up early, went to bed late and sometimes NEVER slept AT ALL, because he had a cause to further; a cause, not for himself, but for the good of communities like ours, all across the nation.” She continued, “Because he believed in doing right, he sacrificed his life to make it possible for THIS generation to get-up EARLY anytime or wait-up all night, outside stores to be first to purchase the newest IPOD, IPHONE or concert tickets or to gain access to amusement parks in cities they would ordinarily not be admitted. These Young people should never have a problem getting-up early to WALK in behalf of the person who paved the way for them to do that.” Miller reflected on other possibilities that Dr. King ushered in, like the right for all citizens to be able to obtain property on both sides of the railroad tracks in Opa-locka; to own and operate businesses; to attend integrated schools and swim in the same pools as their white counterparts. Weekend reporter Ben Kennedy, who is already on the beat while almost everyone is just rolling out of bed, commented that he was very surprised about the positive response to the “shoot” so early in the Continued on next page


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morning, in the dark. While observing the energy of the children, the community camaraderie, the cooperation of the Opalocka Police Department and other recent improvements to the city, Kennedy stated, “This MLK event was one of my better stories from the City of Opa-locka.” The broadcast aired at 6:30, 7:30, 9:00 and 10:00 AM; followed by edited reports at 6:00 and 11:00 PM, then again throughout Sunday’s newscast. Televised highlights of the Opa-locka MLK WALK/Parade and park festivities included cameos of Mayor Myra L. Taylor and other Commission members, the Alliance for Musical Arts Band, the Bahamas/Miami Junkanoos, as well as community organizers. Miller said “the LIVE broadcast with Channel 10 was also an opportunity for the City of Opalocka to showcase their efforts and show appreciation for Dr. King, across South Florida.” However, this declaration soon manifested itself into an understatement by the time the parade and festival was complete, because reports began pouring in via text messages and phone calls of NATIONAL “City of Opa-locka sightings” on CNN, as well as on other local stations such as Channels 4, 6 and Spanish television network Telemundo that also aired the event. While initially waiting for the LIVE record to begin, elder members of the crowd shared stories of the Civil Rights Movement. 78-year-old Florie Gordon told a story, which in itself has become a tradition for her to repeat to her daughter every King Anniversary, about the 76 year-old woman who once said with pride, in a weakened, grammatically challenged voice, after ending a long march with Dr. King…, “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested!’” Florie shouted, “Well, our bodies may be tired this morning, but our eyes don’t need to be resting when there is work to do.” She then flashed to the reporter an old, but treasured thumb printed photo ID badge, which she has possessed since the 1950s, then she revealed, “The only way I was allowed to enter Miami Beach was with this… but because of Dr. King, now I can go anywhere without it… he was a GREAT man!” Dr. Carroll J. Storr told a tale about the time he, as a member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Reserve (under the tenure of the Right Honorable Lynden O. Pindling), was responsible for Dr. Kings security while he was vacationing in Nassau Bahamas for two days. “Even on break, Dr. King stayed very committed to the Civil Rights Movement. He didn’t rest. It was on his mind and in his heart the entire time.” Dr. Carroll confirmed, “The effects of Dr. King traveled across oceans!”

According to Commissioner Timothy Holmes, “It was an early morning WALK in 1955, which ultimately lasted ONE WHOLE YEAR (through rain, snow, heat and hail) that brought the Birmingham Community to its knees.” He remembered, “Out of self-worth and pride Mrs. Rosa Parks and Dr. King lead that movement. Because of them, Black people don’t have to walk anywhere, anymore… we now OWN busses!” He quickly reminded the youth, “But each year, we NEED to have this MLK Walk in honor and respect of this man, and throughout the year, we NEED to WALK with our head AND our pants-up, in honor and respect for ourselves!” Commissioner Rose Tydus, the first African-American City Clerk of Opa-locka and in Miami-Dade County, noted, “The type of solidarity displayed today was representative of Dr. King’s Dream. The Commission, Dr. Robert B. Ingram Elementary School, members of the 5000 Role Models, other municipalities such as the City of Medley, the City of Bal Harbor’s Police Departments, the City of Hialeah and Miami-lakes, an more importantly, families from Opa-locka were on one accord with the meaning and the actions brought forth to make today’s activity a huge success.” Tydus commended Commissioner Miller for the role she played in “bringing us together so early in the morning and for sponsoring such a magnificent program.” As the stories as testimonies continued, the attendees were reminded about the children who stood in the front lines of water hoses and police dogs; about sit-ins at food counters, about bodies stretched across airport strips and other demonstrations and consequences of the Civil Rights movement. Commissioner Miller declared, “The cushioned lives we now lead, came with a price.” Commissioner Miller exclaimed, “We are a small city, but we are big in culture and tradition.” She continued, “The MLK Walk and parade is one tradition which we have been committed to since 1982, when we became the first city to celebrate it… a whole year BEFORE President Ronald Reagan even signed the King Holiday into effect.” The first MLK Walk in Opa-locka was organized by Mrs. Ollie Kelley (Former Commissioner). Miller affirmed, “We have ‘talked the talked,’ but now it’s time for us to ‘walk the MLK walk’ as a ‘community!’” On Monday January 17, 2011 the official “KING HOLIDAY,” the City of Opalocka Commission also took part in the Annual Liberty City MLK Parade. As did thousands of spectators who attended, Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson did not allow the rainy weather to cast gloom or prevent her from WALKING in the Parade in Liberty City to once again pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Proof, that nothing could hinder the celebration of an American Hero.


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Opa-locka Community Redevelopment Forum “Kick-Off” BY CHRISTINA GORDON The City of Opa-locka hosted a public Community Redevelopment Forum on February 25th and 26th, 2011 at the Opalocka Municipal Complex, 780 Fisherman Street, 2nd Floor, Opa-locka, FL 33054, where the redevelopment consulting team, Carras Community Investment, Inc., encouraged citizen input to improve Opalocka, particularly in the proposed Community Redevelopment Area (CRA), which includes Magnolia North, Magnolia Gardens, City Center, and the industrial areas. The Forum focused on Opa-locka’s Community Redevelopment Plan, and included opening comments from Mayor Myra L. Taylor. The Community Redevelopment Forum “Kick-Off” was held Friday,

February 25, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Jazz Café on the first floor, and continued on Saturday, February 26, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., on the second floor of the Opa-locka Municipal Complex. Carras Community Investment, Inc., a nationally recognized community development consulting firm, addressed citizens’ input and incorporated their concerns into the CRA Plan, scheduled for completion in Spring 2011. The community was encouraged to share thoughts on Opa-locka’s economic future and discuss various redevelopment strategies. FREE parking and refreshments were be provided, along with raffle prizes throughout the Forum on Saturday. For more information contact James Carras, 330 S W 2nd St. Suite 214, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 carras@bellsouth.net or call 954-415-2022.

Weed & Seed: Heart-Healthy, Happy Community BY CHRISTINA GORDON

Through a full introduction of diet/nutrition, information, exercise and resources, on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 6:00 PM the City of Opa-locka’s Weed and Seed program held a RED DRESS/RED TIE SOIREE to highlight “Heart Healthy Awareness,” on the second floor of the Opa-locka Municipal Complex, 780 Fisherman Street, Opa-locka Florida, 33054.

In its commitment to building a Heart Healthy Community, the Weed and Seed program invited keynote speaker Charlene Timothy, a stroke survivor, to share her experiences with participants. Program Director Dr. Lisa Jones, a heart attack survivor, received an award for her dedication and commitment in working towards building a healthy community. Residents and business owners were encouraged, with music and the insistence of a D.J., to move a minimum of 30 minutes a day.

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

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Opa-locka Commissioner Tydus host ‘SOHL’ Rally BY CHRISTINA GORDON When comparing the abortion rate to the 911 disaster, where almost 4000 (people) were “killed by ‘evil doers,” Guest Speaker Pastor Eric Jones of Koinonia Worship Center stated, “a day later, on Sept 12, 2001 and everyday afterwards, another 4000 lives were lost, totaling over 51 million since the 1973 Rode vs. Wade decision,” he continued at the “Sanctity of Human Life Rally,” hosted by Opa-locka City Commissioner Rose Tydus, to raise awareness about the inherent

with love, practical help and support, women and men are making life affirming choices. Pastor Eric Jones, who is also Mayor of the City of West Park, was the keynote speaker at the event. He joined Commissioner Tydus and Mary Lou Hendry, Sanctity of Human Life Director; Florida Baptist Children’s Home; local churches; Pregnancy Resource Centers; and members of the community at large during the rally, to celebrate lives, grieve for those who were lost and recommit to providing support to women and couples facing these tough situations.

Pastor Eric Jones of Koinonia Worship Center; Mary Lou Hendry, Sanctity of Human Life Director; City of Opa-locka Commissioner Rose Tydus; and Attendees of the Sanctity of Life Rally hold prayer. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Attendees gather to create “Prayer Circles” at the Sanctity of Human Life Rally.

Pastor Eric Jones, Mayor of West Park, was the Keynote speaker at the Sanctity of Human Life Rally. ––––––––––––––––––––––––

Commissioner Rose Tydus opens the Sanctity of Life Rally from the podium under the pavilion behind Historic City Hall, in the City of Opa-locka. –––––––––––––––––––––––

special nature of human life and steps the community can take to support women facing unplanned pregnancies. Commissioner Tydus said she believes the platform was important to address, especially because of its epidemic proportion in the African-American community. In testimony after testimony, guests approached the podium under the pavilion located behind Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-locka, FL 33054, to share their stories during National Sanctity of Human Life Month. Commissioner Tydus declared that ALL human life is valuable – from the unborn to the great-great grandparent – regardless of physical/mental challenges or economic status. She stated, “With the high rate of senseless fatal crimes, including gang related, domestic loss of life and massacres, the ‘Sanctity of Human Life Rally’ is an opportunity for the community to reflect on the intrinsic value of Human Life and the fundamental right to life.” Tydus said she also believed that it was a time to acknowledge that abortion tragically ends a human life, but

While listing the protected endangered species, Pastor Jones stated, “There are three amphibians, 29 fish, eight mammals, 21 reptiles, two snails, four plants, 56 birds, seven clams and two crustaceans… but, no babies.” He commented on laws for destroying endangered trees, which yield fines, as well as convictions costing $1360, along with 60 days in jail for destroying turtle eggs… “yet nothing happens to anyone destroying a human life,” said Jones.” He referenced Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 1:39 in the Bible, “Know you before I formed you,” then added, “Life doesn’t begin in the womb, it begins in the mind of God.” Throughout the rally, special emphasis was placed on the work of Crisis Pregnancy Centers and its successful efforts to provide practical help and compassionate support (including a variety of educational programs and services) to empower women to carry their pregnancy to term. Statistics available at the event, revealed that abortions in America are decreasing and the work of Crisis Pregnancy Centers is having an impact: • In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were per-

Information/ Display Table

formed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. Since 1973, more than 45 million abortions have occurred (Gullmacher Institute) • There are approximately 2,300 pregnancy centers in North America. Crisis Pregnancy centers provide practical help and emotional support to people facing unplanned pregnancies, to empower them to choose life. Nine out of ten women who visit a crisis pregnancy center choose to carry to

term. • According to Time magazine, pregnancy centers are playing a role in the reason abortion rates have fallen in recent years. “That would seem to be evidence that the quiet campaign for women’s hearts and minds, conducted in thousands of crisis pregnancy centers around the country, on billboards, phone banks and websites, is having an effect.”


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Sidewalk repairs: Coming soon to your neighborhood BY CHRISTINA GORDON

“We have to walk, before we can run” commented “Lady” Mayor Myra L. Taylor as she diligently labored with the Public Works Department, during their on-going Capital Improvement Program to repair sidewalks as a preventative measure for

remarked that when sidewalks located near schools are in great shape, it will also facilitate better access to the buildings. “The Commission recognizes the importance of this task from a safety, as well as an aesthetic point-of-view. If the concrete is in excellent condition, then the property value is enhanced. Therefore, we are

Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor working with the Public Works Department to repair City sidewalks.

Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor working Public Works Director Fritz Armand to repair City sidewalks. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

tripping hazards and to improve the quality of life throughout the City of Opa-locka. Mayor Taylor, who is concerned about the elderly, the children, the physically challenged, the visually impaired and everyone who uses the City of Opa-locka sidewalks, said she believes that “Public safety encompasses a wide spectrum, including protecting our citizens who like to take leisurely strolls on the walkways of their neighborhood.” She said, “We need to assure that our streets AND our sidewalks are safe, in every way.” Taylor

meticulously working to make repairs and restore the sidewalks,” the Mayor noted. As a part of their on-going Capital Improvement Program, the goal of the Public Works Department is to repair a minimum of 200 feet of sidewalk every month in order to continuously address the issues within the City. Mayor Taylor admitted, “It’s a process that will take a little time, but as many of our residents step outside their doors,” she smiled, “they can already see that progress IS being made!” Shawn Williams Photographer

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Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor finishing the concrete on the sidewalk.


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New ‘green’ machines making way into auto marketplace Al Sunshine CBS MONEY WATCH They’re the hi-tech cars of the future, and they slowly are making their way into the mainstream marketplace. Take for example, the Nissan’s AllElectric Leaf. It’s so revolutionary in fact that it doesn’t even have a tailpipe. And it’s not alone. General Motors’ electric hybrid also is a plug-in vehicle that uses batteries and a gas-powered engine to generate power for its electric motors. It literally plugs in overnight. Likewise, Ford has a model of its own, the new Focus Electric, and that’s in addition to a whole herd of new Ford hybrids. Still, the cost of “going green” comes with a stiff price. Chevy’s Volt carries a base price of about $41,000, but there’s also a $7,500 tax credit that buyers are entitled to once they make their purchase. The Volt has a battery range of about 50

miles and then it uses its gas engine to generate electricity for a range of several hundred miles more. A full recharge takes about eight to 10 hours using a regular 110 outlet. Nissan’s Leaf sells for about $33,000 and also is eligible for the $7,500 tax credit. It has a range of about 100 miles before it has to be recharged. However, it takes 18 to 20 hours to achieve a full charge. In addition, there’s a charger that can be purchased for an extra cost that provides a special high voltage line that cuts the charger time down to about eight hours. Unfortunately, no matter how badly we want to go green, we just can’t do it yet. That’s because we can’t get them anywhere in South Florida. As it turns out, Florida will be one of the last states in the country to get these cars. We may see them later this year, but that’s at the earliest. So what’s the problem? It seems that we don’t have an existing electrical infrastructure. That means there’s no place to publicly recharge the electric cars. And that’s because Florida, unlike other states taking part in the “green” revolution sim-

ply hasn’t prepared for them. That disappoints a lot of local consumers who want to go green right now, but can’t. There’s another problem as well. Anyone who doesn’t have a garage, including millions of Florida condo and apartment residents, currently has no way of recharging them, due to the fact that there’s no outside outlet that they can plug in to. Plus, with the economy as tough as it is, private businesses and condo associ-

ations may be reluctant to spend big bucks for public chargers. In other words, this is a dilemma — one that’s being debated all over the country. What comes first, the electric cars or their charger stations? Watch Al Sunshine’s “CBS Money Watch” reports Monday-Friday beginning at noon. You may find Al’s blog at cbsMiami.com.

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2011 Chevy Cruze: Compact car with midsize appeal Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS The Chevrolet Cruze has been a hit with compact car buyers in Europe and Asia and GM hopes that popularity translates to consumers in North America. The Cruze is Chevrolet’s newest commitment to build smaller more fuel-efficient vehicles using new small-displacement fourcylinder engines — in this case, the new Ecotec 1.4-liter inline-4 turbo with variable valve timing that gets 40 mpg on the highway with the Eco model. The Cruze has a globally influenced design complemented by quality construction and attention to detail, with precise tolerances between body panels and the use of premium materials in the interior. It also is roomy and the ride is quiet. At the same time, the Cruze has received five-star safety ratings in every market where it was sold. The Chevy Cruze has a wide stance and a bold face, with a two-tier grille and a sculpted hood. The headlight housings wrap around

the fender corners and sweep upward in the fenders. An arching roofline connects a steeply raked windshield and fast-sloping rear pillars that lead into a short rear deck to give the car a sporty coupe appearance. The Cruze is available in the following models: Cruze LS — starts at $16,995 and comes with the standard 1.8-liter Ecotec I-4 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. It has 10 air bags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing, traction control, anti-lock brakes, collapsible pedal system, power rear-door child safety locks, OnStar, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, driver information center, an auxiliary jack for personal playback devices and XM Satellite Radio with three-month trial subscription. Cruze LT — a step up at $18,895; has everything the LS does, but with a turbocharged Ecotec I-4 engine mated to a sixspeed automatic transmission and 16-inch wheels. Cruze 2LT — starts at $21,395 and includes a standard six-way power driver seat, leather seating surfaces, heated seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob Bluetooth phone connectivity, USB port with audio interface, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, remote vehicle start and 16-

Chevy Cruze has a sporty coupe appearance, with a short deck and an arching roofline that connects a steeply raked windshield and sloping rear pillars.

inch alloy wheels. Cruze Eco — starts at $18,895; includes standard 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo and six-speed manual transmission; standard 17-inch alloy wheels with ultra low-rolling resistance tires, and enhanced aerodynamic performance package. Cruze LTZ — Starting at $22,695; top-ofthe-line model includes everything on the LT and more; cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, USB port with audio interface, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and remote vehicle start; standard automatic climate control, auto-dimming inside rearview

mirror, and ultrasonic rear-parking assist; 18inch alloy wheels with four-wheel disc brakes. A special RS appearance package is available on LT and LTZ models for $695 and includes unique front and rear fascias, rocker moldings, front fog lamps and a rear spoiler. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.


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Enjoy the Live! Experience at The Fair starting Mar. 17 BY MICHELLE PALOMINO

The Miami-Dade County Fair (The Fair) reaches its 60-year mark Mar. 17 through Apr. 3. Spread across 18-days, The Fair ranks as one of the largest and most successful family events in the country offering more than half a million guests new ways of pushing the Live! Experience to the next level. On opening day, Thursday, Mar. 17, the Ultimate Live! Experience begins with Latin Grammy Award winners Chino y Nacho Live! in concert at 9 p.m. The Venezuelan duo made their album debut nationally in 2008 and later gained acclaim with their international chart-topping smash hit Mi Nina Bonita and Tu Angelito in 2010. Fans can purchase Ultimate Live! Experience packages in advance to Meet and Greet hot new artists slated to perform as part of Friday Nights Rock and new this year — Saturday Nights…Live! and SunDay

FunDays A-Live! Visit <www.fairexpo.com> for more details. Quantities are limited. Fairgoers receive the biggest savings (admission, POP and rides coupons) on tickets to The Fair 2011 during the Advance Sales Ticket window. Discounts of up to $7 per person are available until The Fair opens on Thursday, Mar. 17, by visiting <www.fairexpo.com>. Advance Sales single ticket prices are: • Single admission $8 (Good for admission for ages 6 and over any day including Opening Day, Mar. 17 (age 5 and under are free). Price during fair is $10. • POP $20 (Good for unlimited rides Monday-Friday only. Not good for school field trips or weekends. Price during The Fair is $25. • Any Day Ride Coupons $17 (Good on midway rides any day of The Fair including school field trips and weekends.) Price during The Fair is $25. Presented by Pepsi, Kia Motors America and Sedano’s Supermarkets, The Fair is

ranked the largest fair in Florida, attracting more than a half million visitors annually. This adrenaline-filled 18-day event includes live entertainment, state-ofthe-art rides, skill games, outrageous fair foods and livestock/agricultural competitions. The Fair showcases more than 50,000 local student exhibits, both artistic and academic, and generously supports Enjoy thrill rides on the Midway at The Fair. youth achievement pro––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– grams throughout the year. Fair is open weekdays 3 p.m. to midnight. The Fair is located at Coral Way (SW For more offers, show schedules, promo24th Street) and 112th Avenue. Hours are tions and additional information, visit noon until midnight on Thursday, Mar. 17; online at <www.fairexpo.com> or call 305Friday, Mar. 18 (last two days of spring 223-7060. Become a fan at <www.facebreak), and all Saturdays and Sundays. The book.com/miamidadefair>.


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Opa-locka Black History Festival BY CHRISTINA GORDON The City of Opa-locka Mayor and Commission presented an African Heritage/Fish Fry Gospel and Blues Festival sponsored by the Youth Crime Prevention Program combined with the Park and Recreations Department on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 2:00 PM, on the west lawn of Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-locka, Florida 33054, in honor of the Black History Month Celebration. While the band, “30 Deep,” under the direction of Anthony Randolph, performed a musical repertoire that spanned genres and generations, it was the powerful vocals of 20-year-old Sara Anderson that stole the audience’s attention, during her tribute to Mahalia Jackson with the song “How I got Over.” Anderson said she mostly sings Gospel music with “The Young Ladies of Integrity,” an organization she mentors. She added, “I’ve been singing since I was born, and I sing at my church, the Spirit of Christ Center and Ministries in Aventura.”

“Seniors on the Move” dressed in their Black History Month Attire, competed in during a Fashion Show at the African Heritage/Fish Fry Gospel and Blues Festival, Saturday, February 26, 2011.

L to R - Commissioner Timothy Holmes, Ms. Edna Hardy, City Manager Clarance Patterson stand behind the winners of the Fashion competition- 1st place winner Mrs. Luvenia Spears; 2nd place Mrs. Dorothy Randolph; and 3rd Place Mrs. Mattie Scott Shawn Williams Photographer

The young and the younger dressed in their most impressive African garb for the festival. The “Seniors on the Move” competed during the fashion show segment of the Black History event. Judges Edna Hardy, Christine Banks, Zonya Ray and David Chiverton found it almost impossible to choose only three winners, but ultimately the winners were chosen based on the overall attire. Third place was captured by Mrs. Mattie Scott who said her daughter Dorothy sent the red with white trim outfit from Atlanta, Georgia over four years ago.

The second place went to Mrs. Dorothy Randolph who wore a brown and gold garment which was a special order placed by her daughter Shavazon. The winner was Mrs. Luvenia Spears who purchased her burgundy and gold apparel over three years ago for Black History month. The ladies were all awarded trophies. In addition to the great music, guests and participants of the festival were treated to “down-home” cooking, consisting of fried fish, grits, hush puppies, bar-b-que ribs and chicken.

Sara Anderson, 20, and “The Young Ladies of Integrity,” sang a tribute to Mahalia Jackson with the song “How I got Over.”


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Miami Wind Symphony announces inaugural season preview concert BY DOROTHY STEIN

The Miami Wind Symphony, an ensemble of South Florida’s finest professional woodwind, brass and percussion instrumentalists, will present its debut performance on Sunday, Apr. 10, 4 p.m., at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St. in downtown Miami. Under the baton of artistic director Rodester Brandon, a career leader in music education who founded the 50-person ensemble in 2010, the Miami Wind Symphony is one of only two organizations of its kind in the United States. “A wind symphony has a unique sound that is very lush and rich,” said Brandon, a full-time music educator who is chair of the Music, Dance and Theater Departments at Miami Dade College. “Through this genre we can perform classical, contemporary, pop, show-type and Big Band music. It will be a concert experience never before presented on a professional level in South Florida. “This is ‘big music,’” Brandon added. “No strings attached!” The repertoire for the preview concert will

include Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait, narrated by WPLG-Local 10 news anchor Calvin Hughes. A lifetime achievement award also will be presented to Mel Baker, an award-winning director of bands with Miami-Dade Public Schools for 37 years. The Miami Wind Symphony’s 16-concert inaugural season will begin in September at the new Arquitectonicadesigned, $50 million South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay. In addition to entertaining thousands of music lovers each year in public performances, the ensemble will work with school programs and students throughout South Florida, forging a strong relationship with the community. “Our mission is to expand and enhance the cultural landscape of the Greater Miami area,” said executive director Allan Tavss, founding president of the Greater Miami Symphonic Band in 1979. “We hope to be respected for our musical excellence, service to the community and contributions to music education.“ Tickets to the Apr. 10 preview concert cost $25 for general admission; $15 for students; $50 for preferred seating, plus a preconcert reception. and $100 for preferred

seating, plus a postconcert reception. Tickets are available on the Miami Wind Symphony’s website at

<www.MiaWS.org>, or by calling the Miami Wind Symphony office at 305-514WIND (9463).

Read us online: www.communitynewspapers.com


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By: Christina Gordon

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Photos: by Shawn Williams

OPA-LOCKA – On Tuesday, January 25, 2011, The Opa-locka Community Development (CDC) held a ribbon cutting ceremony in the Magnolia North area to celebrate a resident’s purchase of a new home, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which allowed the Opa-locka CDC to acquire foreclosed and abandon properties for rehabilitation, then provide the homes to families that are 120% or below medium income. Lead by Mr. Willie Logan of Opa-locka CDC, Oliver Gross from The Urban League, along with other members of the NSP2 Consortium (representing six nonprofit developers and the City of North Miami), were joined by Commission Barbara Jordan, Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor, members of the Opa-locka City Commission, Dr. Wilbert “Tee” Holloway of the Miami-Dade School Board and other notables who took part in the strategic planning, collaboration and concerted effort to reach this first milestone in the overall goal “to make a difference in lives of the we seek to influence and impact,” stated Gross. Guest Speaker Mercedes Marquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, stated, “NSP2 was a two billion dollar program. We received 15 billion dollars worth of applications, over 450 applications nationally, but only 56 applications made it... and you’re one of them!” She continued, “To win a completion at that level, you had to have your stuff together!” She declared, “Relationships had to be tight, your vision had to be clear, your mandate had to be broad and your aspirations had to be universal… It seems to me, that what’s going on here is exactly what was intended…to get the money where it needs to be, for the people who need it most. This is a way to give Opa-locka a NEW future. The first piece of what a dream really looks like… a dream realized! ” Mr. Logan thanked the many partners including Home Depot who allowed the consortium to purchase supplies for the program at a 1/3 reduction. Right Top - Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor Center (1) - Commissioner Barbara Jordan Center (2) - Guest Speaker, HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development. Mercedes Marquez Botton (1 & 2) – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony


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Opa-Locka Review March 2011  

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