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WHO’S WHO In City Government Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor 305-688-4611

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

Commissioner Rose Tydus 305-688-4611

Commissioner Timothy Holmes 305-688-4611

Commissioner Gail Miller 305-688-4611


his is not about the rehabilitation of an apartment complex, this is about the redevelopment of a neighborhood and the building of a community,” avowed Willie Logan, Founder and President of the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 11:00 a.m., during a historic groundbreaking ceremony at 15050 Duval Street, Opa-locka, FL 33054, where Logan together with Miami-Dade County District 1 Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, City of Opa-locka Mayor Myra Taylor, the City Commission, and a list of some of the brightest names in urban planning united, with hard hats and golden shovels, to initiate a new beginning for a community once infamously nicknamed “The Triangle.”


––––––––––––––––––– See

OLCDC, page 3

City Manager Bryan Finnie 305-953-2821

(Center) Miami-Dade County District 1 Commissioner Barbara Jordan surrounded by (Left to right) City of Opalocka Mayor Myra L. Taylor, Commissioner Rose Tydus, Commissioner Gail E. Miller and Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson.

City Clerk Deborah Sheffield-Irby 305-953-2800

City Attorney Joseph S. Geller 305-953-2808

Shovels held by key stakeholders involved in the community development project construction activity of the first apartment complex being revitalized in Opa-locka – (L to R) Marilyn Oliver Lopez, TD Bank, CFNMD Board Member; (Behind) Eli Bichachi; (L to R) Mr. & Mrs. Bichachi, ELCI Construction, Contractor (assigned for the rehabilitation of this building); Opa-locka Commissioner Gail Miller; Miami-Dade County District 1 Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan; City of Opa-locka Mayor Myra L. Taylor; Willie Logan, President/CEO, OLCDC; City of Opa-locka Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson; Leo Toca, Wells Fargo, Vice President, Sr. Community Development Officer; Ed Brow, OLCDC Board Member; Eugene Simmons- Citibank.

Willie Logan, founder and president of Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), presents a plaque to Miami-Dade County District 1 Commissioner Barbara Jordan as City of Opa-locka Manager, Bryan K. Finnie looks-on.

Photos by Shawn Williams

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OLCDC, from page 1


For years, “The Triangle,” in the City of Opa-locka, has had a renowned reputation for being one of Miami’s toughest neighborhoods. At the groundbreaking, citizens learned details about a transformation which the area is about to undergo, that will convert the neighborhood into one of the most aesthetically pleasing and potentially promising communities in South Florida, beginning with a rediscovered name, “Magnolia North,” and a vital investment by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). OLCDC is utilizing a portion of a $20 million HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP 2) grant to transform the old “Triangle” into the new “Magnolia North;” a safe and desirable place to live and work. The community development planning process, initiated last year, yielded a bold plan for the neighborhood and the first major project is about to begin, marked by the groundbreaking ceremony to showcase the redevelopment of the first apartment complex under the HUD NSP 2 grant. The neighborhood revitalization project presents great opportunity for South Florida with four buildings being revitalized in Opa-locka, over the next 12 months. OLCDC develops a holistic vision for neighborhood transformation, and the Magnolia North transformation will derive from rebuilt and repaired houses, beautiful new apartment buildings, streets, landscaping, parks and playgrounds for children, along with seven areas that have been identified to create public art, which celebrates Opa-locka’s history and people. The ambitious undertaking will literally change the face of Opa-locka for generations, and serve as a community development model for other US cities, in upcoming years, as they tackle similar challenges. Once com-

pleted, this “community of choice” will consist of green (environmentally friendly) buildings and free access to the internet for every resident. OLCDC board members believe that the physical changes will create new spirit within the Magnolia North community. “We are burning ‘the Triangle’ today,” exclaimed Commissioner Jordan! She suggested that the new blue print for Magnolia North will change the Horizon of the Community. Jordan, who “recaptured” an additional $2.5 million last year to assist OLCDC in the project, added, “You have what you have today, because NO ONE was selfish!” Admitting that this will have a long lasting, permanent effect on the community, she humbly asserted, “I am proud to be a part of the revitalization, the rejuvenation and the recreation of ‘Magnolia North!’” Additional major funders teaming with OLCDC in this effort include: Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, BB&T, AT&T, Wells Fargo, the Miami-Dade NSPII Consortium, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Among the community leaders, program participants and others attending the groundbreaking were, Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson, Commissioner Rose Tydus, Commissioner Gail Miller, Evangelist Mary Alice Brown, Armando Fana, US Department of Housing and Urban Development Field Office Director; Jessie Williams, Chairperson OLCDC Housing Committee; OLCDC Board member and Former Commissioner Ollie Kelley; Representatives from Jamii Builders; Community Fund of North MiamiDade; Affordable Home Realty; along with OLCDC Board of Directors and members. Music was performed by saxophonist Brian Wesolowski. Hi-Tech Air Service


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HUD Awards Opa-locka a $624,479 Grant On Monday, November 21, 2011, “The Great” City of Opa-locka received a $624,479 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The primary objective of the grant is to develop a long-term vision for the city’s revitalization, dubbed Sustainable Opa-locka 20/30. The plan will identify specific actions that will improve local housing and spur economic investment and development. The City has partnered with the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation to implement these funds, with both organizations providing matching funds that bring the total investment close to $1 million. Improved housing and reversing the devastating impacts of the real estate downtown, is a key priority. Efforts are underway to reclaim and renovate foreclosed and abandoned properties and to help current residents improve their properties. The plan will identify and seek to improve key “livability” factors, including jobs, transportation choices, housing, health indicators and open space. These efforts will improve the community for current residents and attract new residents seeking affordable housing in a strong, safe neighborhood. The plan will also identify opportunities to spur economic development in the area, by taking advantage of local facilities. The city boasts a large general aviation facility in the Opa-locka airport; a cluster on underutilized warehouse and industrial spaces; and 110 buildings throughout the neighborhood that feature historic Moorish revival architecture. These three assets are being explored as anchors for a bold strategy to attract business to the city and create jobs. “While many of our families are struggling through these tough economic times,

City and OLCDC Partnered for a $1 Million Revitalization Plan

we have an opportunity for generational change in Opa-locka,” said Opa-locka Mayor Myra Taylor. “This grand vision requires an equally bold plan. This generous grant from HUD will provide us with the resources we need to see the entirety of our community, engage our citizens, and smartly target our investments to make the largest impact.” In addition to the housing and economic development outcomes, the plan will also provide guidance on zoning code, design guidelines, a housing strategy, property acquisition and community engagement strategy. “Protecting and celebrating the unique Moorish architecture will be a critical focus of our efforts. While we recognize our heritage, we also look forward,” added Taylor. Another outcome includes improvements in energy efficiency and reductions in community energy use through community-scale energy strategies and green building code development. The comprehensive Sustainable Opalocka 20/30 plan is expected to be completed in 12 to 18 months with some elements being implemented concurrently.

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January 2012

“BLESSING IN A BACK-PACK” Annual Back-to-School Book Bag Give-Away BY CHRISTINA GORDON

“Say Thank You,” exclaimed Earl McKnight as he sternly addressed his three grandchildren, who in the core of their excitement, forgot to express appreciation after receiving what McKnight considered a true “Blessing in a Back-Pack,” which was the theme of this year’s City of Opalocka’s 13th Annual Back-to-School Celebration and Health Fair, hosted by Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson, Commissioner Gail Miller, The Mayor and City Commission, in partnership with the Office of the City Clerk and Auto Depot International, on Saturday, August 20, 2011 from 3:00 to 6:30 PM at Segal/Miller Park, 2331 NW 143rd Street, Opa-locka, Florida. Two-days prior to the on-set the new

Vice Mayor Johnson & Commissioner Holmes distribute Back-Packs at the City of Opa-locka 13th Annual Back-to-School Celebration and Health Fair. Mickey and Minnie Mouse have some end of the summer fun with Little Dejuan, 3 at the City of Opa-locka Back-to-School Celebration and Health Fair.

Long Lines and a large crowd filled Segal/Miller Park at the Opa-locka Back-to-School Celebration and Health Fair.

school year, in faultless weather, over 1000 City of Opa-locka youths arrived with either one or both parents or a guardian in unprecedented numbers for an enjoyable afternoon of live entertainment featuring Pipeline Records performers “Lil’ Bass,” “Dem Twins” and “T.J. The Hit Maker,” accompanied by FREE food, gift cards, uniforms and back-packs filled with school supplies, which provided assistance to

City Clerk Deborah Sheffield-Irby gives 10-year-old Clifton Nixon of Bethesda Christian Elementary his new Back to School Back-Pack.

community parents who were overflowing with gratitude for the support during the new school term. Mrs. Annie Holmes helps Linda Bracy from the Community The end-of-the-summer event was also enhanced through vendor participation by Jonathan Knight, 7, attending Renaissance Empowerment Team (CET), distribute program information during Florida International University School of School, did a “Happy Dance” after receiving his the Back-to-School Celebration and Health Fair. “Blessing in a Back-Pack” at the City of Opalocka 13th Annual Back-to-School Celebration and Health Fair.

Co-host Commissioner Gail Miller presents Cory Alexander 14, Volunteers Cecilia Salcedo, Kiera Ward and Cache Little Jamari, said he’ll be number one at Nathan B. of Dr. Michael M. Krop, Sr. High School with a Back-Pack. Royal set-up for the City of Opa-locka book-bag distri- Young Elementary, with his new Back-Pack from the Continued on page 6 City of Opa-locka. bution.

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City of Opa-locka’s Commissioner Rose Tydus Host ‘Wonderful’ Gospel Explosion with Beau Williams BY CHRISTINA GORDON & ASHLEY RIVERA

“WONDERFUUUL,” resonated the heavenly voice of recording artist Beau Williams while belting-out the first word of the lyrics in his signature tune, as he appeared through the theatrical effects of the fog, during the First Annual GOSPEL EXPLOSION, hosted by Commissioner Rose Tydus, sponsored by the City of Opalocka Mayor and Commission, in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department on Saturday, August 13, 2011 from 6:00 - 9:00 PM in Sherbondy Park, 380 Bahman Avenue, Opa-locka, FL 33054. With a resounding vocal power, from his first note, there was no doubt that it was the legendary Beau Williams, LIVE in conBeau Williams – Pub. Photo cert, in the great City of Opa-locka. Beau Williams and family Williams struck a note that commanded attention from Sherbondy Park, through for new and old-school gospel music. She neighboring communities and into realms said, “Each performer will share some of above the City and beyond. The elderly, the unique qualities and messages found in the young, the church congregation mem- gospel, with those who are listening bers, families and passer-bys were captivat- tonight.” Williams, who grew-up in Houston, ed as the sweet noise of praise articulated through song which transcended the air- Texas as the son of a Baptist preacher and waves, penetrating the battlegrounds of choir director, defined his participation as, spiritual warfare, while this inspirational “Doing (through his music, movies, and man of God with such a polished, mag- concert tours), what I have been called to nanimous stage presence (evidence from do.” In addition to enjoying his music, the years of performing), EXPLODED in Williams encouraged the audience to tunesincerity, as he humbly presented his gift to the people of Opa-locka. Beau Williams, smaller in stature than one would anticipate Gospel Explosion Committee Member Edna Hardy, Singer Beau Williams and Commissioner Rose Tydus from the publicity photos, was more gigantic in his vocal deliverance is also airing… “…on than any compact disc every Christian network or television appearance in the country, including has ever conveyed. At over 170 nations,” he the completion of his revealed, adding that title song, a 22-year-old “Gang Bangers around recent college graduate the world are getting attending the concert saved.” Artist “Sensere” perform at the City of Opa-locka Gospel Explosion with her mother and In addition to being grandmother, commentcelebrated for his award ed, “That was ALL winning Gospel Hits (in him… no ‘Milli-Vanilli’ recording here.” in to one of the many Christian stations the top 10 for 58 consecTo which her grandmother quickly infused, broadcasting his movie “Pain,” which is the utive weeks), as well as “It’s not like that stuff y’all listen to… story of two drug dealers, and the pain they different genres of THIS is the real thing,” she said of one of encompass ‘seeking that Ghetto fame.’” music, Beau Williams Gospel music’s all time greatest. Proof He said, “Our Young people are so influ- was known for defeating that part of Commissioner Rose Tydus’ enced by that lifestyle, and this (the movie) the 13 week champion goal for this First Annual Gospel is a tool that God is using mightily to ‘win Sam Harris in 1984, on Explosion, had been accomplished! In lur- young people to Christ, because they won’t the hit television show ing families to the event, Tydus had hope to come to your church!” He noted that the “Star Search” and Audience moving to Beau Williams music at the City of Opa-locka First bridge musical gaps and create multi-gener- movie is also currently showing on church Williams is also credited Annual Gospel Explosion ational dialogues, as well as an appreciation and public school tours on Friday nights. It for being among the top Continued on next page

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Many residents and visitors brought lawn chairs to the FREE event. Tydus stated that she is looking forward to the increase of participation over years to come.”

10 National Anthem singers in the U.S. The attraction to the Gospel Explosion, for both the seniors and the youth, was further enhanced by the Gospel Explosion committee’s choice to comprise a diverse assembly of multi-generational artists which included the talents of a band of young, talented musicians and vocalist called “Sensere,” a Spiritual Praise Dance group, Holly Hip-Hop Rappers, Poetry, Worship, and an appearance by the Youth Choir of Stanton Memorial Baptist Church. There was a rare style of humor by local stand-up Christian comedian “Grandma” Althea “The Bag Lady” Tate, who lifted spectators off-guard and out-of-their-seats Comedian “Grandma” Althea “Bag Lady” Tate with her jokes on subjects from “older entertains the audience as she approached the men” night-clubbing, laced-weaves/- stage. edges, self-bondage and stories about almost every item in her shopping cart, from the “Jesus Christ Stop & Save” store. In jest, Tate also sang about the “New Wave” churches, where young choir members wear khakis and “wife beater” shirts, while reaching-out to their peers through a “different” Stanton Memorial Baptist Church Youth Choir participate in the Gospel. type of “message in the music.” “Jesus is my homey, “ she sang, “… kicking it with me all the time. Thank you ‘Lawdy,’ for never asking me for a sip of my forty” … at which the crowd EXPLODED in laughter. During the concert, lightning and thunder made known its presence in surrounding municipalities. However, with the exception a few temporary light sprinkles that mostly just threatened the event for a short time, the night was clear. Commissioner Tydus acknowledged that after several days of rainy weather, she resorted to prayers. She praised, “I asked HIM (pointing one finger towards the sky) Florie & Commissioner Tydus “Get on the Love to hold back the rain for the night, so the Train” with Beau Williams at the Gospel Explosion. concert would be a success, and he did!”

Word” by Hakeen Rome and Assistant Praise & Worship by Linda Rodriguez and accompa- A “Spoken perform, “The Time is NOW” niment at the first Annual Gospel Explosion


January 2012

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Thank You!” In a loving voice Commissioner Miller responded, “We KNOW the babies are thankful, when we look at the expression on their faces… sometime they just get too excited to let the words out,” she laughed! As always, Vice Mayor Johnson was thrilled to know that the Commission could

Medicine, Teacher’s Choice Tutors, Civil Air Patrol, Rocket Learning Center, Celebrate Life Financial Services, Clover Leaf Chiropractor Service, TD Bank, Primerica Financial, Wing Stop/Devine Network, Grace Academy and VanKara School, all of whom shared valuable information on health, education, finances and/or other programs while distributing souvenirs, keepsakes, free learning books, brochures, other handouts and goodies to parents who geared-up for the year with informative Pipeline Records performer “Lil’ Bass,” entertained the audience at the City of material, while many of Opa-locka Back-to-School Celebration and Health Fair the youth amused themselves at the “Game Excite” Interactive Mobil Entertainment unit, and at the face painting, Cotton Candy, Snow Cones or Popcorn booths, provided by “Jackie’s Party Rental.” Barrett Catering prepared, on the spot, an endless flow of Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, French fries, Chicken Wings and a variety of The “Game Excite” Interactive Mobil Entertainment Unit stopped by to provide the kids with some Back-to-School fun. cold drinks. If that wasn’t enough to cap the end-of-summer break, Mickey and Minnie transformed Segal/Miller into a Magical Kingdom, as children, in breathless anticipation, waited to be photographed with their favorite Mice. While admiring the success of the day, City Clerk Deborah SheffieldIrby glanced the area at the countless number of families benefiting from the event, before noting, Rosy Delgado,1Lt, CAP Asst. Cadet Programs Officer of the Civil Air Patrol “This was one of the was one of many vendors at the Back-to-School providing parent with largest turn-outs we’ve valuable service and program information. had,” then smiled as she proceeded alongside event hosts Vice be of assistance to the residents of OpaMayor Johnson and Commissioner Miller, locka, especially during these rough ecowho were joined by Commissioner Timothy nomic times. Irby emphasized, “We want Holmes, in personally greeting each child as to alleviate the stress for parents, and lessen they presented them with their “Blessing.” the anxiety for students by providing them Like Mr. McKnight, another parent with some of the necessary tools and quickly reminded her child as he received resources for the start of the school term, his bag and immediately began probing enabling them to focus academically… and through it, “What do you say to the THAT is the ‘Blessing,’ WE are ‘thankful’ Commissioner?” He eagerly replied, “Oh, to share from the City of Opa-locka!”

January 2012


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January 2012

Heart Disease May Be In Our Genes WRITTEN BY: CORY MCLAUGHLIN Special Health Education Report to the Opa-locka Review Community Newspaper EDITOR: CHRISTINA GORDON Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Ominously, it looms over our heads as we age, making each successive trip to the doctor’s office, each blood pressure reading and each cholesterol measurement an anxiety-laden event. As such, the word has been well spread about preventative medicine and the importance of weight management, dietary choices and regular exercise for every able-bodied citizen. These are factors we know to lower the risk of heart disease. However, scientific breakthroughs in genetic research may be leading to a better understanding of the reasons some folks develop heart problems and others are unaffected. This has inevitably raised the question: Can our genes give us heart disease? The short answer is: Absolutely. There are a number of identified genetic conditions that lead to heart disease. For example, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is known to cause heart attacks in young athletes. Also, familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited form of high cholesterol which makes people more prone to heart problems. However, these conditions are quite uncommon and not typical findings in patients with heart disease. The truth is, there are a number of genetic factors which may be implicated in the development of heart disease and a patient’s response to treatment. Genome wide association studies are part of new, cutting-edge research that has attempted to find genetic commonalities amongst heart

patients. They look for unique areas of genetic code that are shared by these patients and attempt to identify the purpose of those genes. According to a recent article by Gregory Feero, M.D.-Ph.D. and Alan Guttmacher, M.D., in the New England Journal of Medicine, there are at least 30 unique areas of the genetic code that may be associated with heart disease. However, it is too early to distinguish which (if any) can be definitively used to assess risk or employ preventative measures. So what is the public to make of these findings? In the short term, it is unlikely that this type of research will make a demonstrable difference in clinical management of heart patients, but there are a number of positive outcomes that may be on the horizon. For instance, genome-specific dosing of certain medications (namely Warfarin) has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Essentially, this means that some prescriptions can be fine-tuned by your doctor, based on your genetic make-up. This type of personalized medicine is designed to allow the doctor to truly treat the patient, and not just the disease.

This column is presented in collaboration with the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Neighborhood Health Education Learning Program (HELP), which is dedicated to serving the Opa-Locka community. Did you like this article? Would you like to read about other health topic? To best serve the NeighborhoodHELP community, please send all feedback to Cory at .

January 2012


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‘Holiday Luncheon with the Seniors’ Hosted by:


City of Opa-locka Commissioner Gail E. Miller receives a Holiday Hug from her brother, former Opa-locka Mayor Alvin Miller.

(Top left- Clockwise) City of Opa-locka Commissioner Gail E. Miller boogied with Seniors at the Holiday Luncheon. Mayor Myra L. Taylor, Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson and Commissioner Rose Tydus celebrated with Commissioner Miller.

City of Opa-locka Commissioner Gail E. Miller, along with the Mayor and Commission, hosted a “Holiday Luncheon with the Seniors” on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 12:00 noon, on the second floor of the Opa-locka Municipal Complex, 780 Fisherman Street, joined by State Representative Barbara Watson, former Mayors Alvin Miller and Joseph L. Kelley, former Commissioner Ollie B. Kelley, Evangelist Mary Alice Brown, television personality Dorothy Morrison, City Clerk Deborah Sheffield-Irby, City Manager Bryan K. Finnie and a host of other special guests wishing to celebrate the Holiday Season with the Opa-locka Seniors. Participants grooved to music by Dr. Richard Strachan and the Psy-Phi Band. Commissioner Miller engaged the Seniors in dance, while Commissioner Timothy Holmes “took to the mic,” presenting an unrehearsed, impromptu, pitch-perfect outstanding vocal performance of “Stand by Me” (released in 1961 by Ben E. King) as the band accompany him, and Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson joined-in. The Seniors were indeed on the move, during this Holiday Luncheon hosted by Commissioner Miller, the City of Opa-locka Mayor and Commission!

Commissioner Timothy Holmes sang a heartfelt rendition of “Stand By Me” to a very surprised and satisfied audience.

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January 2012

It’s So Hard to Say Good-bye... WRITTEN BY: CITY OF OPA-LOCKA STAFF

When reflecting on photos from April 23, 2007 through January 4, 2012, one will not see this City of Opalocka staff member anywhere in the picture, because Shawn Williams was the man behind the camera… responsible for the aesthetic look of the “Great City” City of Opa-locka! Tall in stature, but almost invisibly quiet, Shawn’s artistic visual expertise could not help but be noticed on Opa-TV, in City brochures, in local and Community Newspapers. Shawn brought to the City a love for his work, a spirit of diplomacy, a pleasant attitude and a Cheshire cat smile that just warmed the hearts of everyone he greeted. His dedication, loyalty and professionalism was a model for a “picture-perfect” employee. His strength, encouragement, attendance, punctuality and overall contributions have not only been an example to others, but it has set the bar high for those who follow in his footsteps. This well-loved employee shared some “Kodak Moments” that will always be remembered by the City Officials, Management and the staff at the City of Opa-locka! GOODBYE and BEST WISHES, Shawn!

Shawn Williams on assignment with the City of Opa-locka Media Coordinator Shawn Williams (center) with co-workers who stopped in to say Good-bye on his final day of work (L to R) Olga Pichardo, Kierra Ward, Shirley Christina Gordon Freeman and Luz Natal

January 2012


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January 2012

New Year – New You Keep fitness resolutions with trainer Lynn Roden BY BARI AUERBACH

Just ask personal trainer Lynn Roden what she finds most rewarding about her commitment to fitness and although achieving top placements in the most challenging endurance competitions could top the list – she’ll sincerely answer: “I find it most rewarding to help people realize ‘It’s never too late to be what you might have been!’ – especially if you’re ready to keep a fitness-oriented resolution!” Looking at Lynn it’s hard to tell she wasn’t always in such optimal shape – so fit she’s now able to excel in marathons, triathlons and obstacle course races. “Having had a desk job for many years, one day I realized I wasn’t in the physical shape I wanted to be in,” she explains. “I worked hard to make the time to come to the gym and hired a personal trainer...I’ll never forget the first time I climbed a flight of stairs and wasn’t winded. It was a very empowering feeling that changed my life.” Since 2008, Lynn has been a personal trainer at Olympia Gym in Aventura, helping clients of all ages and fitness levels who adamantly agree she’s “Motivating, inspirational, caring, quirky, positive, passionate, intense and energetic!” “Specializing in ‘FUNctional’ training, cross-training, weight lifting and core work (for better balance and injury prevention), my personal training style is geared toward real life activities,” Lynn says. “Utilizing compound muscle movement can simulate how multiple body parts are engaged in every-day life activities – and ensuring the training sessions are diverse and fun is also a great way to keep motivation high and relieve stress.” When she’s not in the gym training, many of the competitions Lynn enters are geared towards heightening awareness about Parkinson’s disease. Lynn and her husband Roy Roden, an Olympia manager, have helped raise thousands for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and the University of Miami Miller School of

Medicine Parkinson’s Program by coordinating fitness benefits at Olympia Gym. “Roy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s shortly after we married,” Lynn said. “Watching his resolve with his own battle has also given me additional motivation.” Lynn always encourages her clients to “try something new” and many have started participating in biking tours and obstacle-type competitions. “I’m living proof that anything can be accomplished with the right training and attitude,” she says. Lynn is now inviting fitness enthusiasts to join in the Feb. 25 eight-mile obstacle course Spartan Race. “Last year, I took clients with me and some weren’t in prime condition,” she recalls. “But everyone crossed the finish line. It was a powerful experience and one I’m very proud to have been able to share. “Most people come in looking to become stronger physically - but leave being stronger mentally as well. Discovering how far you can push yourself to overcome anything life may throw your way is most inspiring. A strong mind can give you the resolve to make healthier choices in fitness and nutrition - and a strong outlook can carry you through when tough times come along.” Whether you’d like to lose a lot or just a little weight…If you’re ready to get in better shape or would like to push the limits and be “competition ready”- resolve to contact Lynn Roden today. For more information, phone: 305-932-3500.

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January 2012

‘Holiday in the Park’ hosted by Vice Mayor Johnson:

‘Winter Wonderland’ at Opa-Locka Historic City Hall BY CHRISTINA GORDON Bicycles, dolls and games were only a few of the surprises in store for the City of Opa-locka children, ages 3-13, on the grounds of Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-locka, Florida 33054, Saturday, December 17, 2011 from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m., at the 10th Annual “Holiday in the Park” Toy Give-Away hosted by Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson, The Mayor, City Commission and City Employees. In co-operation with local schools and the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, residents of Opa-locka preregistered their children for the toy giveaway, which was accompanied by an afternoon of FREE food, rides, arts & craft, the Game Xcite Mobile Unit, rock climbing, souvenir photos with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, music by Dr. Richard Strachan and The Psi-Phi Band, along with TEN TONS of SNOW, which presented the gift of authenticity to this year’s “Winter Wonderland,” theme. Piled into a mount at the start of the event by Florida Ice Manufacturing Corporation, surprisingly, the snow continued to sustain on the West lawn of Historic City Hall, even through 80 degree temperatures on Monday. When considering the snow for this event, Vice Mayor Johnson thought the wintery import would be a unique ‘seasonal contrast’ for many of the local children who have never experienced a “White Christmas” outside of South Florida. Many parents, targeted by their offspring during snowball battles, could either be seen running, laughing and dodging the cold white shaved ice as they converted back to their childhood, or simply sitting back enjoying the entertainment as they observed their young, frolicking in the snow. Either way, the snowballs were a “hit” among everyone! The City provided approximately five hundred Christmas gifts to the children during the give-away and bicycle raffle. Christina Paz was thrilled to have her Christmas off to a Merry start after three of her four children, Franklin, 8; Xavier, 6; and Yaniella, 3, won bicycles during the drawing. But, the children of Opa-locka weren’t the only gift recipients; parents could also be found indulging in the wealth of information distributed on City services, such as hardship for billing, public safety, recreation schedules, recycling timetables and other handouts on assistance that is available to residents, at one of twelve City of Opa-locka Department

City Clerk Deborah Irby, Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson Johnson, Commissioner Gail Miller and Mayor Myra Taylor presented volunteer group Miami Select Basketball club with a token of their appreciation for volunteering their time, to assist the City of Opa-locka at the “Holiday in the Park” Toy Give-Away.

Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson “Welcomes” Opa-locka residents to the “Winter Wonderland” 10th Annual “Holiday in the Park.”

Vice Mayor Johnson and Commissioner Gail Miller presented three siblings Xavier Acosta 6; Franklin Tijene 8, Yaniella Sierra 3 (all siblings) and Nigel Lee 7 with bicycles which they won during the “Holiday in the Park” raffle. “Mrs. Claus” (Sherine Bullock) and Riana embraced as they prepare for another “Holiday in the Park!”

booths. In addition to the gifts provided by the City, walk-in toy donations were droppedoff at the Parks Department by generous humanitarians who just wanted to contribute to the event and to the children of Opa-locka. Among other contributors were The Udonis Haslem Foundation, Lawrence Wright & Partners, Citrin Financial & Insurance, Waste Management, Greenspoon Marder, P.A., Auto Depot International and Michelle Village. Members of the Black Global Bikers Association, Inc.‘s (BGBA) and the Miami Select Basketball Club were more than eager to volunteer their time to dis-

Opa-locka children play in the snow on the West Lawn of Historic City Hall during “Holiday in the Park” hosted by Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson on Saturday, December 17, 2011. Shawn Williams - Photographer

Continued on page 19

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WONDERLAND, from page 16 –––––– tribute toys to the kids. In the spirit of Christmas, for the youth who were not pre-registered, but continued to assemble in record numbers, the Vice Mayor held an on-sight registration and joined forces with the City of Opa-locka Police Department to distribute stuffed teddy bears and hand-out the additional toys to those who did not complete the registration process to receive a toy during the give-away. Overall, officials,

management and staff were pleased to see everyone leaving the 10th Annual “Holiday in the Park” with a little something special for Christmas, from “The Great” City of Opa-locka. Opa-locka Police Department to distribute stuffed teddy bears and hand-out the additional toys to those who did not complete the registration process to receive a toy during the give-away. Overall, officials, management and staff were pleased to see everyone leaving the 10th Annual “Holiday in the Park” with a little something special for Christmas, from “The Great” City of Opa-locka.

Vice Mayor Johnson assist little Genisis Aguila, 3, in choosing her Christmas toy from the City of Opa-locka

Little Dheria Jackson 3 happily received her “Holiday in the Park” gift.

Cindy Cifuentes, 4, is one of the first to climb the snow mount at Rock Climbing was an enjoyable part of the “Holiday in the Park” event the “Winter Wonderland - Holiday in the Park” event.

The Residents of Opa-locka gathered for the distribution of the Toys at the Holiday in the Park event.

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2012 Scion iQ is a big idea in a small package Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS The new Scion iQ is the latest vehicle to join the growing list of micro-subcompacts that many auto manufacturers are offering American consumers. Measuring just 10 feet in length and with the capability of seating four people, Scion is billing the iQ as the world’s smallest fourseat vehicle. The iQ is a three-door hatchback with a geometric shape and it should give the Smart Car a run for its money. It has a strong, high beltline that runs from the large headlights, up the A-pillar and across the roof to wrap around the rear. Side mirrors with integrated turn signals accent the geometric design. The iQ is billed as a premium micro-subcompact and it is intelligently designed, with six engineering innovations basically responsible for its ability to be small in size, but large in capability. They are: • A compact front-mounted differential; • A high-mount steering rack with electronic power-steering;

• A compact air-conditioning unit; • A flat gas tank housed beneath the floor; • Slim-back front seats that optimize rear legroom, and • A 3+1 offset seating arrangement that allows one adult to sit behind the front passenger and a child or small package behind the driver. The iQ has a 78.7-inch wheelbase and a unique suspension design of MacPherson struts up front and a compact torsion beam in the rear. The combination allows the little car to maneuver through city traffic much easier than a larger vehicle. The overall length of just 120.1-inches and short front and rear overhangs allows the iQ to slip into virtually any urban parking space. At the same time, the iQ has a wide track of 66.1 inches for solid handling, much like a larger sports car. The 2012 iQ is powered by a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 94 hp and 89 pounds-feet of torque. It also has the latest dual VVT-i, allowing the engine to operate efficiently and deliver a broader powerband, yet requiring less fuel and generating fewer emissions. The engine is paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) for smooth acceleration and excellent fuel efficiency of 37 mpg. The iQ comes standard with safety features that consumers expect and demand. It has 11

Three-door hatchback Scion iQ has a high beltline running from the large headlights up the A-pillar and across the roof and wrapping around the rear. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

standard airbags, including the world’s first rear-window airbag, along with driver and front passenger airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags; side curtain airbags; driver and front passenger knee airbags, and (a Scion first) driver and front passenger seat-cushion airbags. All iQs have the Star Safety System, which includes anti-lock Brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRAC),

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Smart Stop Technology brake-override. A tire-pressure monitoring system also is standard equipment. Pricing on the Scion iQ starts at $15,265.

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 <>.

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January 2012

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Dining Out PAQUITO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT Orale! Come enjoy mixed flavors, colorful decorations, and variety of spices and ingredients, many of which are native to the country. Paquito’s Mexican Restaurant offers specialty drinks, one of a kind ‘cocina creations’ that will put you in the heart of Mexico, and lunch specials that will be sure to please your appetite. Adults can enjoy Happy Hour specials and Karaoke Nights. Paquito’s also offers events and private parties as well as catering. 16265 Biscayne Boulevard 305-947-5027 P.F. CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO At P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, you’ll enjoy American Chinese cuisine from a menu originally conceived and planned by Chef Philip Chiang. P. F. Chang’s is one of a few restaurant chains that offer a dedicated menu to diners that must follow a strict gluten-free diet. Come experience their newest wine program as they went “green” with the creation of VINEYARD 518, a new custom wine label with earth-friendly packaging. 17455 Biscayne Boulevard 305-957-1966 KITCHEN 305 Kitchen 305, located in the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort, it “is an exciting and unique dining experience that showcases distinctive gastronomic Americaneclectic fare at its best.” Featuring live music, Chef special prix-fixe or a la carte menu, and a weekly lineup of events. 16701 Collins Avenue 305-749-2110 TEXAS DE BRAZIL Bringing a true taste of Brazil to America, Texas de Brazil is well known for their elegant style, lively atmosphere, and exquisite cuts of meats. Begin the dining experience with a Brazilian favorite, Caipirinha cocktail, followed by endless choices of salad items, and fresh meat carved at your table side, finished with one of their delicious desserts. 800 Silk Run 954-843-7600 TIMO RESTAURANT Located in the heart of Florida’s Riviera, Sunny Isles Beach, Timo’s Italian-Mediterranean inspired cuisine, attentive, seamless service and a timeless, contemporary dining room, is the perfect place for a quick bite, an

intimate meal, or a fun meeting place to gather with family friends. Timo offers an exquisite menu with a strong emphasis on local fish, homemade pastas and brick oven pizza using only the highest quality and freshest ingredients available. 17624 Collins Avenue 305-936-1008 THE GRILL ON THE ALLEY The Grill on the Alley captures the ambiance of dinner clubs of the 1940’s, taking diners back to Rat Pack days. The knowledgeable, friendly staff will guide you through the 500-plus wine offerings and extensive menu featuring Kobe Beef, USDA Prime Steaks, fresh seafood and American classics. 19501 Biscayne Blvd 305-466-7196 BAR ROSSO Socialize by the Glass at Bar Rosso, Aventura’s newest neighborhood hotspot, where food, friends, and fun come together daily. This restaurant and Vinoteca offers upscale Italian fare with a Modern American twist and more than 100 varieties of wine by the glass, or more specifically the pour-a 3-ounce piccolo or a 9-ounce quartino. Dine at cozy tables for two, communal tables for 20, or al fresco in “The Park,” Bar Rosso’s special outdoor area. 19004 Ne 29th Avenue 305-933-3418 ACQUO 124 Acquolina (Italian for mouth watering) was created to provide guests an elegant, casual dining setting with excellent service and authentic Italian food. Guest can choose to dine at the bar, enjoy a meal on their gorgeous waterfront patio, or gather with family and friends in the main dining room. They promise you will always be treated like family. 124 S. Federal Hwy 954-454-2410 COPPER CHIMNEY INDIAN CUISINE Copper Chimney embraces the various influences of Indian cuisine alongside the country’s culture and traditions. Each dish contains numerous spice combinations and truly reflects the depth of Indian cuisine. Guests are able to enjoy a modern upscale atmosphere while pleasing their palates with authentic Indian flavors. 18090 Collins Avenue 305-974-0075

January 2012


Dining Out HARD ROCK CAFE HOLLYWOOD Seminole Hard Rock is the adult place to play offering live music, shopping, bars, gambling, nightclubs, and restaurants. Join the Player’s Club for the true insiders guide with discounts on hotel stays, dining, and more. It’s the place to have dinner with the family or happy hour with your friends! One Seminole Way 954-315-9112. OCEAN’S PRIME “Welcome to Ocean Prime, the Modern American Supper Club,” is the summation of world winning wines, award-winning, handcrafted cocktails, timeless elegance, and take your breath away service. As they say, “What better way to enjoy a night on the town than with prime steak or seafood, and live music.” 19591 Biscayne Blvd 305-931-5400. YES PASTA! This authentic Italian, casual dining, restaurant prides themselves on delicious cuisine for health conscious families and professionals on-the-go. Three easy steps get you in and out without skipping on the quality of your diet: choose from seven different pastas, (plus whole wheat and gluten free pasta) fifteen sauces, and poultry, vegetable or seafood add-ons. 14871 Biscayne Blvd 305 944-1006. MO’S BAGELS & DELI This New York-style deli serves everything you would expect, from soups, salads, smoked fish and deli meats to noodle pudding, challah french toast, homemade blintzes and potato pancakes. Bakery items are made fresh each day and bagels are hand-rolled. 2780 NE 187 Street 305-936-8555 OLIVE GARDEN Olive Garden is a family of local restaurants focused on delighting every guest with a genuine Italian dining experience. Delicious Italian Specialties freshly-made daily to pair with a wide variety of Italian wines that will complement your meal. 17985 Biscayne Blvd 305-932-6310

HOUSTONS Houstons offers a very diverse menu of American classics beginning with the freshest meats and fish. Experience the suburb quality and exceptional presentation of dishes prepared daily in a beautiful architecturally designed ambiance that helps heighten all your senses. 17355 Biscayne Blvd 305-947-2000 SNAPPERS FISH & CHICKEN Snappers Fish & Chicken offers some of the best chicken wings and shrimp in town and not to mention the delectable crab legs and oysters. After your meal try a piece of one of the several carefully prepared homemade cake. you won’t be able to get enough of their food. 17990 NW 27th Ave 305-621-8570 ANDIAMO BRICK OVEN PIZZA Being loyal to traditional pizza parlors in the North Eastern United States, Andiamo delivers an authentic pie with dough made fresh daily. The finest toppings are brought in fresh every day and prepared on site. A true Italian-American restaurant, Andiamo’s pizza will bring you back to New York City where every corner has “The Best” pie in town. 5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751 AZZURO When you’re looking for authentic Italian cuisine north of Miami, come into Azzuro’s and let their flavors take you all the way from Florida to Sicily. Located in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, Azzuro is a fine dining Italian restaurant and cocktail bar located right on the beach. Locals and visitors alike have come to know them for their delicious food, fine wines and creative cocktails. 17901 Collins Avenue 305-792-5500 GRAND LUX CAFÉ Grand Lux Cafe’s eclectic menu offers extraordinary variety and selection, with flavor profiles ranging from Thai, Malaysian and Caribbean, to classic American and European specialties. With every item prepared fresh to order in our exhibition-style kitchen, the focus remains on providing guests with the finest, freshest foods available. 19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-9113

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Effective Use of Social Networking Sites An increasing number of people are hopping on the social networking bandwagon. Whether Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or the newly minted Google+, this growing trend has the potential to help connect us as never before. Social networking can be useful for advertising, networking, and making your business more accessible in our tech-savvy generation. However, social networking presents many dangers to users. Photos, videos, and even simple messages that are posted and made available to the public can and will be used against you in a court of law. For instance, a public photo of a woman cheerleading while she claims to have severe back pain can be used to disprove her claim of debilitating, chronic pain. Pictures of a person partying and holding drinks can damage the credibility of that person in divorce proceedings or a job interview. The same can be said of publicly posting that your interests and hobbies include illicit activities or frequently “checking in” at bars and clubs. If you do not want the entire world to access your profile, remember to limit the privacy settings. Keep in mind that even information you have marked as “private” is not protected from court-ordered information requests. The safest approach to social networking is to exercise self-restraint. Consider what you post, and monitor what others post about you. Check your social networking profiles regularly to protect yourself. Don’t be afraid to use social networking to expand your business and personal relationships, but remain mindful that anything you post on the internet can become public knowledge very easily.

Panter’s Pointers for safe use of social networking sites: 1.- Only “friend” or add contacts you know and trust. 2.- Restrict the privacy settings for your profile so that personal information is not publicly shared. 3.- Do not post pictures or videos you would not want your employers or parents to see. 4.- Never post anything concerning your legal case or dispute without consulting your attorney first. 5.- When in doubt, leave it out. Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. is a Law Firm Dedicated to Protecting Florida's Families. We can be reached locally at 305/662-6178 or Toll Free at 1-800-PANTERLAW. Our office is conveniently located at 6950 N. Kendall Drive, Panter Building, Miami, FL 33156 (on the corner of Kendall Drive and US 1). Please visit our website at

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January 2012

Chevy Camaro — a car for kids from 8 to 80 Grant Miller Car Corner Wow! What a car, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro convertible; everyone looks at it as you drive down the street. The first thing I did when I took it out for a spin was to put the top down. It only took about 20 seconds, and off I went. The first stop was my son’s baseball practice and when he saw the car, he whipped out his cell phone and texted all his friends. “This car is unbelievable,” he said. All of the parents at practice came over to take a look at the Camaro. Most of them had to take a moment to sit behind the wheel and feel the leather seats or touch the dashboard. Later, after baseball practice was done, one of the players need a ride home. He sat quietly in the passenger seat as I drove him home on the 10-minute ride and he politely said goodbye when I dropped him off at his house. Fifteen minutes later, I got a text from his mother, Maria.

“Thanks Grant,” the text began, “for giving my son a lift home. He was so excited about riding in the car.” It is strange how riding in a shiny new Chevrolet Camaro can have the same effect on a teenager that it has on an adult 40 years older. I guess the love for a timeless automobile has no age limit. And the Camaro is a legendary car. The 2012 version is the fifth generation (it was introduced in 1967 as Chevy’s answer to the hot-selling Ford Mustang) and all indications are that it is the best one yet. It’s available with either V-8 or V-6 power and new this year is an improved version of the 3.6-liter Direct Injection V-6 engine. It delivers 323 hp at 6,800 rpm (11 more horses than 2011) and it’s about 20 pounds lighter and delivers an impressive 30 mpg on the highway. A pair of 6.2-liter V-8 engines are offered for the Camaro SS — the 400 hp L99 for automatic transmission cars and the 426 hp LS3 for cars with a manual gearbox. A six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with TapShift are available for Camaro. Camaro is again available in three models – LS, LT and SS – and the high-performance Camaro ZL1 will make its debut

2012 Chevy Camaro is the fifth generation of the legendary car. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

later this year. Advance publicity says it is “the most technologically advanced car ever developed in its segment.” There’s also a 45th anniversary Special Edition package available for the LT and SS models (my test car). It comes standard in Carbon Flash Metallic (black), with red and silver rally stripes on the hood and deck-lid, 45th Anniversary graphics, special fender badges, new 20-inch wheels in deep silver, a rear spoiler, HID headlights,

body-color roof molding and a specialtrimmed interior. Base price on the 45th anniversary Special Edition Camaro with V-6 power and an automatic transmission is $36,910.

Grant Miller is the publisher of Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or by addressing email to <>.

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January 2012

Opa-Locka Review 1.2012  

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