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AUG. 31 - SEPT. 6, 2010

Flinn and Bell ready for District 8 runoff BY GARY ALAN RUSE

E

ugene P. Flinn Jr. and Lynda G. Bell, who will face each other in the Nov. 2 runoff for the MiamiDade County Commission District 8 seat vacated by Katy Sorenson, are buoyed by their victories in the primary, besting at least four other candidates, and are focusing on the task ahead. Flinn, who is the outgoing mayor of Palmetto Bay, was happy with the outcome and looking forward to continuing. “It was a highly competitive field and it’s certainly an honor to be No. 1 coming out of that EUGENE P. FLINN, Jr. field,” Flinn said. “I’m proud of doing well in so many areas, and I did the best in areas where I’m known, which is where you want to do well. “What I’ll be doing in the runoff is work more in those areas where I’m not as well known so they’ll have a clear understanding of who I am and my goals and what I’ve accomplished, which I think is going to bring me to victory in this race. You can never take anything for granted. We’re going to continue to work hard on this.” LYNDA G. BELL Flinn thinks

––––––––––––––––––––––––– See

RUNOFF, page 4

Arenas brothers do well in World Pokémon finals

Student’s bat mitzvah project to help Ronald McDonald House BY NANCY EAGLETON

J

Juan Pablo Arenas (right) receives his prize from Pokémon CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara in Hawaii on Aug. 15. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY GARY ALAN RUSE

P

almetto Bay residents Juan Pablo and Andres Arenas, ages 9 and 11 respectively, had done so well previously at the 2010 Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) National Championship in Indianapolis, IN, in June that they both went to the World Championship in Kona, HI, on Aug. 13-15, with their parents, too, of course. They returned in time for the start of school, and with impressive finishes in the international competition. Juan Pablo took a second place, beating the national champions of Switzerland and

France and other world-class players as well. Andres placed 23rd out of the 128 players from all over the world, beating the national champions of Canada, United Kingdom and Norway. “I was kind of nervous, but I enjoyed being there a lot,” said Juan Pablo, who received a $5,000 scholarship and other prizes. “It was really fun.” His brother fully agreed with that viewpoint. “It was a wonderful experience,” Andres said. “I was very happy. Probably what I enjoyed the most was the honor of being amongst so many talented players.

––––––––––––––––– See

POKÉMON, page 4

essica Schwartzman, a Palmetto Bay resident and eighth grade student at Southwood Middle School, is on a mission to gather donations for the Ronald McDonald House of Miami. As part of her bat mitzvah project, Schwartzman has chosen to focus on the needs of the Ronald McDonald House in honor of her family friend, Faith Griffin, who lost her life to a brain tumor two years ago at age 5. “The Ronald McDonald House of New York helped Faith’s family so much when they spent time there getting treatment for Faith,” Schwartzman said. Faith’s mother, Sonya Griffin, said JESSICA SCHWARTZMAN ––––––––––––––– See

MITZVAH, page 4

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

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RUNOFF, from page 1 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– POKÉMON, from page 1 ––––––––– one of the biggest things is not to just telling people what county government is going to do, but to make sure there’s somebody in the office who listens. “My goal with my commission office is going to be to continue what I’ve done here [in Palmetto Bay] with having a lot of meetings — town hall meetings — to listen and to make sure that concerns are addressed,” he said. “I’m very resident service oriented, but we’ve got to address the core infrastructure issues. We’ve got to put money in the neighborhoods, not in the stadiums. We’ve got to keep our government running as efficiently as possible because we just can’t afford to raise taxes to cover any shortfalls.” He said it was necessary to be sure that core services, like police and fire, maintain the quality that they have and don’t suffer any decrease. “Parks have become even more important in this economy because people are staying close to home. We need the amenities here. People need to see a return on their tax dollars. To me, it starts with the letter ‘A’ — accountability,” he added. “We’ve been working on creating a ‘Green Corridor’ here, which addresses so many different concerns, and we eventually want this area to become a leader in green technologies, which will bring some high tech, high paying jobs to this area.” Bell, the former mayor of Homestead, also was pleased and ready to proceed with the race to November’s election. “I’m so excited,” Bell said. “I’m excited about the endless possibilities. I’m excited about the potential of winning and serving in the community again, since I love public service. “I had predicted it would be the two of us in the runoff. It’s a lot of work, and I’m a hard worker and was out there all the time,” she said. “The focus has to be on jobs. I’ve been

saying this since day one. If we’re talking about foreclosure rehabilitation, if we’re talking about getting people back in houses, all that’s wonderful but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have a job to pay the mortgage.” Bell thinks it’s important to create a workable atmosphere that allows small businesses to flourish, where you don’t hit a wall every time you go to the county. “Now, with all the red tape, if you want to open up a new business and get certified by the county, it takes six months,” Bell said. “I was talking with a gentleman who brought in every certification that was possibly needed to facilitate the progress, and he was told it was still going to take six months. That’s ridiculous. We had this type of gridlock in Homestead as well, so I set about saying how can we fix this, what can we do.” Bell said one of the first things she did back in 2007 was create a business developer workshop, bring in people and asking them, “what are we doing wrong; what do we need to fix?” “They told us you need to expedite the process, and we were able to do that. We need to facilitate business licensing here. We have a county office called Small Business Development, but it doesn’t do anything to develop small businesses,” she said. “We have to hopefully make this department what it’s intended to be so it can help small businesses. In my two years as mayor we brought in more than 2,000 new jobs to the city of Homestead. Let me tell you, if you’re feeding a family, any job is a real job.” Both candidates believe that their backgrounds as leaders of municipal governments and their experience of working with the county will serve them well on the county commission. District 8 covers Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, as well as parts of Pinecrest, Kendall, Homestead and the Redland.

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I liked the beaches in Hawaii, too. They were really beautiful. A few other tournaments are coming up and we’re probably going to participate in those.” Roberto Arenas, the boys’ father, thought the experience overall was wonderful. “We all enjoyed it very much, and when we were coming back the kids said it was their favorite vacation trip of their whole lives,” Arenas said. “They’ve done very well in the Florida and the national championships, but the big difference in this one was they had a chance to compete against kids from all over the world, and both of them had the chance to meet the national champions of many countries. “Being able to knock down five national champs and a few top 10 worldwide kids is no easy feat, so I’m very proud of them both. When you get to be the runner-up in the world, it’s something Juan Pablo will remember the rest of his life. I’m very proud of them, and the confidence they have gained in this competition will help them in school and throughout their lives.”

MITZVAH, from page 1 –––––––––––– that the Ronald McDonald House was their “home away from home.” “Thank God for the Ronald McDonald House,” she said. “It was such a comfortable, safe haven for us to return to each evening while Faith was being treated. They are there to provide shelter and support to every family who checks into that house.” Schwartzman’s bat mitzvah will take place in October at Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest and she is asking her guests to bring a much-needed item from the Ronald McDonald House Wish List. Schwartzman also will be collecting the items now through October and donations can be made by emailing her at <mitzvahproject@yahoo.com>. “The Ronald McDonald House needs everything that we use in our homes, but in larger quantities,” Schwartzman said. “Every little bit we collect will help them take care of families in need.” The Ronald McDonald House of Miami was established in 1982 with the mission to improve the health and well being of children. The 27-bedroom facility is located on the grounds of Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Every year more than 500 families from all over the world stay at this facility while their children receive

Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

Arenas’ wife, Gricelda, was very pleased as well. “I’ve never seen Roberto so happy in the life we’ve shared together for 20 years,” Gricelda said. “He was very proud and very happy. I was very proud of both of my sons, too. “One of the prizes Juan Pablo got was to be invited to be at the next championship in San Diego, and they’ll pay for the trip for him and one parent. “The good thing about the Pokémon tournaments is that they’re held on Saturdays and Sundays and the world competitions are during summer vacation, so they don’t interfere with school,” Gricelda said. Now they’re getting ready for future competitions and starting to save for the 2012 World Championships. Pokémon, launched in Japan in 1996, is one of the most popular children’s entertainment properties in the world, with the game, animated TV series, home entertainment and an official website. For more information visit online at <www.pokemon.com/us/organized-play>. If parents are interested in having their children join the local league, they may call Roberto Arenas at 305-790-6940.

treatment at area pediatric hospitals. “The Schwartzman family has gone above and beyond to raise awareness and gather essential items for the Ronald McDonald House,” said Ivan Ubierna, house manager of the Ronald McDonald House in Miami. “We are blessed by their actions and thoughts.” Griffin said she is honored that Schwartzman has made this worthy cause her mitzvah project. “The items Jessica collects will really make a difference to a family who is going through a very tough time,” she said. “Until you’re faced with this situation, you may not even realize the wonderful services that the Ronald McDonald House provides. They really deserve and need the community’s support.” Schwartzman is the daughter of Steven and Susan Schwartzman and is in the dance magnet program at Southwood Middle School. She also trains at Artistic Souls and enjoys contemporary dance and jazz. “Jessica chose this project to honor a life that was cut short and help an organization that was so important to her family and many other families,” Steven Schwartzman said. Ronald McDonald House in Miami is located at 1145 NW 14 Terr. and the phone number is 305-325-8369. For more information or to see the complete Wish List, visit <www.rmhsouthflorida.org>.


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 5

Fighting the Good Fight can be tough Michael Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR

AROUND TOWN Win n some, lose some. It sure can be a bitter pill for hard-working candidates to swallow as winning opponents celebrate results of last Tuesday’s primary. East Kendall’s Albert Harum-Alvarez, a popular civic do-er with strong backing of conservationists and Continental Park neighbors, ran a strong campaign but fell victim to a race with too many candidates for Katy Sorenson’s County Commission 8 seat. Expect a hard-fought runoff between Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn and exHomestead Mayor Lynda Bell, runoff winners who led a field of seven hopefuls. Flinn stakes a good part of his abilities on contacts in Tallahassee where he has waged a fight for community causes during legislative sessions. He wants to recover

$80 million funding Miami-Dade County lost by a new reapportionment of state revenue. “I am someone who doesn’t make promises I can’t fulfill,” he said in a postelection email. Bell has a track record in Homestead that includes innovative attempts to bring disparate groups together, such as contractors and government officials concerned on bidding and specification procedures. She also vows to continue a fight to downsize government. We’re pleased that Millie Herrera, a staunchly active community leader, won the Democratic nomination for a State Representative 114. She’s been an active Democratic leader in state political affairs, chairing the Hispanic Caucus for her party. Republican Carla Ascencio-Savola, once a colleague of Ms. Herrera on East Kendall Community Council, got a sizeable 40 percent of the District 115 vote but not enough to offset her opponent’s 60 percent as Jose Diaz garnered 5,610 votes. She says she’s not interested in anything more than a “good rest” from a summer of busy campaigning.

Not unexpectedly, Commissioner Javier Souto took a commanding 77 percent (13,152 votes) to Miriam Planas’ 23 percent (3,968 votes), retaining his seat for a fifth consecutive four-year term which may be closing on a longevity record for 20plus years of Commission service. As one TV commentator put it: the happiest folks in town were general managers of media who can’t wait to see Rick Scott’s wallet open up again! Byy thee way, Gene Flinn reports that he didn’t get much sleep last Tuesday night. First he, his family, friends and supporters stayed up late watching the coverage of August 24th’s election results, and then after the good news, when he finally did have a chance to hit the sack, he was too wired by all that energy to doze off. He probably made up for it later. We suspect a few other candidates experienced the same thing. Meighann Alexander, Palmetto Bay’s village clerk who is also in charge of elections, at least had an easier go of it, since it wasn’t a municipal election and

balloting was handled strictly by the county at the usual county locations. The November 2 election is another matter, though. Meighan says that the qualifying period for village council races is now closed, so we won’t be seeing any more entrants for the mayor’s or other council seats. Oh, and by the way, if you’re planning on voting in that election but you haven’t yet registered, you must do so before October 4. For more info, go to this web address: http://www.palmettobay-fl.gov/election11-2-10.htm Thoughtt for thee Day: I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. — Christopher Reeve

Gary Alan Ruse and Richard Yager contributed to this column. Got any tips? Contact me at 305-6697355, ext. 249, or send emails to <michael@communitynewspapers.com>.


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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

Random observations on primary races in Florida R. Kenneth Bluh KENNETH’S COMMENTARY Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson’s decision not to seek reelection to her District 8 seat brought a lot of attention to a commission race that we rarely see as most commissioners seem to hold office forever, always getting reelected, as long as they want the job. Being a mayor or former mayor seemed to meet the needs of the voters of District 8 as we find Palmetto Bay Mayor Gene Flinn and former Homestead Mayor Lynda Bell heading into a runoff. Sitting county commissioner Dorrin Rolle, who usually wins reelection to his District 2 seat with ease, is facing opposition for the first time as a result of his problems as the former head of JESCA, a county funded nonprofit, that paid him a very large salary while the JESCA employees

lost their jobs with bouncing pay checks that were never covered. Voters were asked to approve a charter amendment that would eliminate the office of county manager. The voters seemed to have taken out their anger on county government by voting 58 percent in favor of eliminating the position. Voters should have realized that someone, not the elected mayor, must run the county government. I am sure that a new title will be given to George Burgess and he will continue to run the administrative side of the county as long as Carlos Alvarez is mayor. Perhaps call him vice mayor? Voters also were asked to approve a county charter amendment giving the commission authority to abolish municipalities with less than 20 electors. Voters approved the amendment with 64 percent. I really don’t think voters understood what they were approving. Commissioners have been against incorporation for many years. Commissioners feel that that will lose authority and prestige when portions of UMSA incorporate. So, eliminating small

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–– VIEWPOINT –– municipalities is a move in that direction. Money can buy almost anything. It bought a spot in the race for Florida governor, but it did not work in the Democratic primary for the United States Senate. How either Jeff Greene or Rick Scott got as far as they did in their respective races is unbelievable. What money can buy in state races is a precursor of what will happen in national elections in two years now that the U.S. Supreme Court has okayed unlimited campaign spending by corporations. Talk about buying an office — watch out for who might be the next president of the United States. A job bought and purchased by corporate funds. The Senate race among Kendrick Meek, Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist will be the most interesting of all the contests this fall. Rubio must move toward the center, which

will anger his base, the Tea Party. Meek is not well known north of Orlando but might get financial help from the guy he just defeated in the primary. Crist must keep his position in the political center with Democrats supporting a former Republican candidate. Politics — what an interesting subject. If only elected officials would do what they promise during the campaign once they are in office. We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-662-6980 or email to <letters@communitynewspapers.com>. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

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Dueling headlines: Who is right about our real estate market?

Al Sunshine CBS MONEY WATCH It’s just the latest example of how confused South Florida’s real estate market is getting. On the very same day, South Florida’s two leading newspapers the Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald featured two very different headlines about the local housing market. The Miami Herald said it’s improving while the Sun Sentinel wrote about how it’s getting worse. So which is it? Let’s look at the headlines. The Miami Herald wrote, “The local housing market is in the first phase of a recovery.” The Sun Sentinel wrote that the market was “facing ominous new signs of even more properties being dumped at close-out prices.” Your thoughts on the real estate market might be different depending on which South Florida newspaper you read. The front pages of both newspapers also focus on South Florida’s inventory of unsold homes. The Miami Herald found a “recent uptick in number of homes for sale.” But the Sun Sentinel wrote that, “The number of homes for sale takes a dip.” I showed long-time Realtor Oliver Ruiz both newspapers. He told me, “I think there are fewer homes on the market now and prices are beginning to stabilize.” I asked whether that would be good or bad for the market? He answered, “That’s good for the market.” So who got it right? According to Ruiz, the Sun Sentinel got it right. The number of homes for sale is important because it’s a critical indicator as

to whether our real estate market is getting better or getting worse. The latest local real estate figures show deep discounts are starting to slow down in some markets, and properties are generally not taking as long to sell as a few months ago. That is good news, but Moe Veissi, incoming president of the National Association of Realtors says, “We are also going to see some declines through the fall in the amount and number of sales.” The latest foreclosure numbers from RealtyTrac shows thousands of new distressed properties that are still hitting the South Florida market. Foreclosure filings in July got worse in Broward, but showed some slight improvement in Miami-Dade. What is the one thing most real estate experts can agree on? Veissi says, “We’re in an economic malaise; the bottom line is that we need jobs.” Studies have shown that the housing market traditionally picks up in the fall. Nobody expects local home prices to see any real improvements for several years. There still is no easy answer on how to get unemployed homeowners back to work and able to keep up with their monthly mortgage payments. Yes, our market still is hurting. There has been plenty of spin to the contrary despite the fact that foreclosures are still dumping thousands of units on the market each month. The good news is that median prices are not falling as much as they were earlier in the year. Homes and condos are taking less time to sell. And many of those “great deals” we saw a few months ago are now harder to find, because investors began snapping up units in the market, making it impossible for the rest of us to find the same deals. Watch Al Sunshine’s “CBS Money Watch” Monday-Friday beginning at noon.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

County Property Appraiser mails 2010 TRIM Notices BY PATRICK SMIKLE

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Property Appraiser Pedro J. Garcia is urging property owners to carefully study the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (also called the TRIM — Truth In Millage — Notice), which his office recently mailed to more than one million MiamiDade property and business owners. In addition to the TRIM Notice, the package each property owner should have received contains a guide to help owners better understand the document, and a message from Garcia reflecting on the change in Miami-Dade’s real estate values. The TRIM Notice itself has valuable information about each individual property parcel, including: • Property values calculated as of Jan. 1, 2010, the statutory assessment date, using 2009 sales and market data; • Exemptions applied to the property; • Taxes calculated on the basis of the taxing authorities’ proposed millage rates, and • The dates, times and venues of budget hearings which taxing authorities (such as the municipal governments) and the school board are required to hold. The 2010 Certification of Taxable Value, which the Property Appraiser released to the taxing authorities on July 1, showed a 13.4 percent countywide decline in taxable values, with municipalities experiencing declines ranging from a low of 3.8 percent to a high of 31.2 percent. While individual properties are likely to show similar declines in market value, depending on their location, Garcia has

informed that some property owners, who have long benefited from the Save Our Homes cap on value increases for properties with Homestead Exemption, approved by Florida voters in 1994, may see a 2.7 percent increase in the property’s assessed value. This increase is mandated by Florida law, which requires raising the assessed value of homesteaded properties by three percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower. This only applies to homestead exempted properties with an assessed value lower than market value. Property owners wishing to dispute their assessments have until Sept. 20 to file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board (VAB). However, Garcia is encouraging property owners who have questions about their assessments or their exemptions to visit either the Downtown Miami (111 NW 1 St., Eighth Floor) or South Dade Government Center (10710 SW 211 St., Second Floor) offices of the Property Appraiser to discuss and resolve these questions in one-on-one interviews with his staff. They should bring to these interviews any documents such as appraisals, photographs and insurance claim paperwork, which may support their case for an assessment reduction. Questions about property tax rates, budgets, budget-hearings and related issues, should be directed to the respective taxing authority listed on the TRIM Notice. Property owners can contact the Appraiser’s Office by calling 786-3315321.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

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Letter to the Editor

Page 9

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Reader says county should roll back new highway tolls

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To the Editor: Thank you for the recent article on Open Road Tolling. I live in West Kendall and the distaste and feeling of personal violation is palpable. The Miami Dade Expressway Authority (www.mdxort.com) has promoted ORT like it’s a rock concert and Christmas all rolled up in one. Well, it’s not. It is, in fact, a sad day for Kendall and West Kendall residents. Highways 874 and 878 always have been primarily commuter roads. They offered a free alternative to back-street congestion and a way to hook into the Palmetto Expressway (at Bird Road) or a way to get to South Miami in less than an hour. If you live in West Kendall and want to go north or downtown, getting to Bird Road or S. Dixie Highway in South Miami is like the “trip before the trip.” Now there are three tolls in approximately three miles to get to S. Dixie. Each toll is 25 cents with a Sunpass and 40 cents without one, thus adding an extra $30 to $48 to the monthly work commute. This amounts to a tax, not a toll. One argument the authority makes is that of fairness. They claim that currently only 45 percent of the people pay tolls, but now with ORT, everyone will pay the tolls. Maybe that other 55 percent of the people just don’t want to pay tolls, so they simply avoid the expressway system. Launching the new ORT program in mid-July when many “power” residents are away on vacation was very clever. The big beautiful signs and upbeat music in the television commercial are sure signs that if this were a good thing they would not have to sell it so hard. It ain’t easy on a good day in West Kendall, but it’s home. The sense of being powerless and violated that I hear on the streets is anguishing. Our quality of life is taking a big hit here. Perhaps this will be the last straw and finally push Kendall and West Kendall into following the lead of our friends in Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay and form new municipalities. If Walmart can roll back prices, perhaps we can roll back these tolls. Miller Myers West Kendall

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

Children receive backpacks filled with school supplies

Knots of Hope creator Priscilla Suzal-Wright poses with backpacks at Transplant Foundation’s fourth annual Back-to-School Bash. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY LEE STEPHENS

School time can be difficult for parents as they prepare for added expenses to give their children the supplies necessary for academic success. The affect of these expenses are compounded when you consider that the child is a transplant patient. In order to assist transplant families lessen the burden, the Transplant Foundation organized the fourth annual Back-to-School Bash program. The program kicked off on Sunday, July 25, at the Miami Science Museum where transplant families enjoyed food, music, entertainment and complimentary admission to the museum, all to go alongside a backpack stuffed with school supplies for the year. “At Transplant Foundation, we recognize the challenges transplant families face with costly bills, so we’re looking to make the upcoming school year a little more carefree for pediatric transplant patients and fami-

lies,” said Melissa Chediak-Wetzel, director of development for the Transplant Foundation. “We were so pleased to serve over 20 families at the Back-to-School Bash, and are thankful to our gracious sponsors that we will be able to provide 136 backpacks to transplant families this summer.” Transplant families enrolled in the program who couldn’t attend the Bash picked up their backpacks at either the Miami Transplant House or the UM Pompano Beach Transplant Clinic. Transplant Foundation Inc. is a Miamibased 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to assist transplant patients in need, educate the community on the importance of organ donation and fund transplant research. For additional details, call 305-817-5645 or visit online at <www.transplantfoundation.org>.


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 11

KAPOW volunteers connect students to their futures in work — and life BY JOHN CASBARRO

Can seven one-hour lessons change the lives of 25 young people forever? Absolutely! More than 300 volunteers, from one-person businesses to major corporations and community organizations, are committed to this goal through the Kids and the Power of Work (KAPOW) program. KAPOW

exposes students to career opportunities and helps them connect what they are learning to their futures in the workplace. KAPOW is looking for new volunteers this fall to expand the program that currently reaches 6,500 students from 60 elementary schools from Homestead to Broward County. To participate, volunteers are assigned to one class at a local elementary school, vis-

TotalBank volunteer instructs students at the Palmetto Bay Office during their KAPOW work site visit.

Country Inns & Suites in Kendall puts Peskoe Elementary students to work during the KAPOW work site visit. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

iting about once per month for one hour to teach KAPOW’s fun and easy to use lessons. Before volunteers begin the lessons, a one-time training session will show how the lessons work, ensure that you will be

successful, and have a great time doing it. For more information, photos and videos about KAPOW, go online to <www.youtube.com/user/Jcasbarro> and <www.kapowlfs.org>.


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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Pitbull, DJ Laz visit patients at Miami Children’s Hospital

Amanda Arteaga, 14, was surprised with popcorn and a giant pink stuffed dog by DJ Laz and Pitbull. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY JEREMY KATZMAN

Pitbull and DJ Laz recently made a special visit to greet some patients at Miami Children’s Hospital and celebrate Radio Lollipop’s 14th birthday. The two celebrities presented a check for $144,000 to Radio Lollipop and Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, which came from proceeds from the fourth annual Radio Lollipop Radiothon on Power 96 (Miami) hosted by DJ Laz. The birthday party also featured appearances by Elmo, Cookie Monster and characters from Toy Story, including Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Radio Lollipop is an in-house radio station that provides care, comfort, play and entertainment to children during their stay

in the hospital. It broadcasts live four times a week thanks to the hard work of more than 60 volunteers who devote their time, treasure and talent to the children at Miami Children’s Hospital. Funds raised for Radio Lollipop go a long way toward providing prizes, updating the music library and providing special and unique activities for the children of South Florida and beyond. A former patient, DJ Laz is a big supporter of Miami Children’s Hospital and Foundation. Miami Children’s Hospital is one of 170 pediatric hospitals in North America affiliated with Children’s Miracle Network and South Florida’s only freestanding Hospital dedicated exclusively to children. To learn more about the Foundation and offer support, visit online at <www.mchf.org>, or call 305-666-2889.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

UW early education center earns APPLE accreditation

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These youngsters attend the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY YANET OBARRIO SANCHEZ

The United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, a national state-ofthe-art best practices teaching and learning center dedicated to elevating the quality of early childhood education in Miami-Dade and beyond, has received the prestigious Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE) accreditation. APPLE is a voluntary national early learning program accreditation awarded by the Florida Association for Child Care Management (FACCM). At the same time, the center, through a grant from the Early Learning Coalition, helped 15 other early learning centers prepare and apply for APPLE accreditation. After five months of preparations, all the centers applied and are well on their way to becoming accredited. “I am proud that all 16 centers have taken the initiative to surpass the standards set by local and state licensing bodies, and embrace higher standards of quality in early care and education,” said Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of MiamiDade. “These early learning centers are truly making a difference in the lives of South Florida’s children.”

An early learning center must be in service one year and one day to be eligible to apply for (APPLE) accreditation. During the process, a self study is followed by a verification visit, which is an evaluation of all components of a program, including: administration, classroom environment, parent and community involvement, advocacy on behalf of children and child care, staffing credentials, staff/child ratios, teacher/child interaction, literacy and curriculum. After a thorough verification visit, the center was awarded the APPLE accreditation, and is now a Gold Seal Quality Care Program. Next, the center is embarking on an even more rigorous and ambitious endeavor — the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation. Only about 8 percent of preschools and early childcare centers across the U.S. are NAEYC accredited. This process should take 18 months, but once again, United Way is looking for ways to enhance the quality of early care and education in the community and beyond, and is seeking grants that would help 10 very worthy centers begin the NAEYC accreditation process. For more information, visit online at <www.unitedwaycfe.org>.


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 15

Born Free Pet Shelter seeking more volunteer Born Free Pet Shelter is a no-kill, non-profit organization that has been helping homeless dogs since 1980. The shelter is located on a five-acre safe haven in the Redlands. Due to the economic decline and overwhelming foreclosure crisis, the number of homeless and abandoned dogs has increased significantly, and because of this, Born Free Pet Shelter has become overly crowded. Born Free Pet Shelter is seeking volunteers to help show dogs for adoption at the following locations: PetSmart, Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 3301 SW 22 St., and Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 13621 S. Dixie Hwy., and Pet Supermarket, Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 6824 SW 40 St. With the help of generous donations and tireless efforts of volunteers, there can be a difference in these dogs’ lives. For more information, visit online at <www.petfinder.com/shelter/FL299>. If interested in volunteering, adopting or donating, send email to <mdelange@fdlaw.net> or call Maria Delange at 786-205-6865. FREE ADMISSION DAYS AT FAIRCHILD TROPICAL GARDEN Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, one of the premier conservation and education-

based gardens in the world, wants to keep the free summer offers going. Fairchild has begun Free Days at Fairchild. Guests will receive free admission every first Wednesday of the month from now until December. The next Free Day will be Wednesday, Sept. 1. Come enjoy the Vine Pergola, a display of the most amazing flowering vines that can be seen in bloom year-round. Dine at Fairchild’s award winning café, or simply appreciate being surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of nature makes for the perfect day with loved ones. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. For more information visit online at <www.fairchildgarden.org>. LABOR DAY BLUES PICNIC SLATED AT DEERING ESTATE ON SEPT. 5 Enjoy great food and musical entertainment featuring the Blackstar Blues Band on Sunday, Sept. 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Deering Estate’s Labor Day Blues Picnic. The cost, including a picnic lunch, is $30 for adults and $20 for kids. The menu includes your choice of pulled pork, barbecue chicken, or a grilled hot dog. Side dishes include potato salad, corn on the cob, garden

COMMUNITY NEWS BRIEFS salad, and chips. Food will be provided by the Mango Café at Fruit and Spice Park. Guests also can bring a picnic basket with their own food and the cost for general admission is $15 for adults and $10 for kids. Tickets are available online for an additional fee. Tickets also can be purchased by calling the Deering Estate Ticket Office at 305-235-1668, ext. 233. The Deering Estate at Cutler is located at 16701 SW 72 Ave. For more information on the Deering Estate’s educational and cultural programs, visit online at <www.deeringestate.org>. FREE WOMAN’S EMPOWERMENT SEMINAR AT MIAMI DADE COLLEGE Miami Dade College’s Homestead Campus will host a “Woman of Empowerment Remembrance Day” event on Thursday, Sept. 9, at 11:30 a.m. The seminar will feature Michelle Rosado, motivational speaker and co-author of Pursuing Your Destiny, a book based on her

escape from the World Trade Center. With a successful business, professional speaking background, and coaching expertise, Rosado has inspired many people around the world with a message of hope and perseverance. She also is a proud recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from New York’s Madison’s Who’s Who. Women and men are urged to attend this life-changing seminar. Rosado will be available for questions after the seminar. Miami Dade College Homestead Campus is located at 500 College Terrace, Homestead. For more information about this event, contact Nicole Bryant at 305-237-5223. PIRATE ADVENTURE FOR KIDS SLATED AT DADELAND MALL Dadeland Mall, 7535 N. Kendall Dr., invites children of all ages to enjoy the Simon Kidgits Club’s “Pirate Adventure” on

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NEWS,

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

from previous page ––––

Friday, Sept. 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., in the Kay Jewelers area of the mall. Families will enjoy a pirate theme adventure with interactive shows accompanied by pirate characters. Along with live entertainment by My Dream Production, all Kidgits Kids Club members will receive a kid’s pirate hat, a pirate sword with eye patch, molded crown goblets, and a pirate necklace. Families may sign up for the Simon Kidgits Club during regular mall hours or online at <www.simon.com/kidgits>. For more information about this event or Kidgits Kids Club membership, visit online at <www.simon.com>.

MIAMI-DADE 4-H PROGRAM HOSTING ORIENTATION EVENT The Miami-Dade 4-H Youth Program will be hosting a “meet and greet” orientation for all new and returning adult members with 4H interest. The event will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at 4-H’s office located inside Miami International Mall at 1455 NW 107 Ave., Suite 906. Established in Florida in 1909, 4-H is a volunteer-led youth development program managed by Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension. Participants will have the chance to meet the 4-H staff and learn about educational pro-

grams and activities, review sample curriculum, ask questions and obtain all the necessary information to start one’s own 4-H club. To RSVP, contact 4-H secretary Liz Gonzalez at 305-592-8044 or via email at <liz1960@ufl.edu.> For more information on 4-H, visit <www.miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu>. BALLROOM AND LATIN DANCE COMPETITION AT FONTAINEBLEAU World-renowned dancers from all over the United States and Europe, ranging from all ages and dance styles, will compete in this year’s professional and amateur Sunshine State Dancesport Competition. The competition will take place on Sept. 24-25, at Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness stars in the making. A special professional show at the conclusion of Saturday evening will feature Professional World Latin Finalists Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova. Ticket prices are $25 for the day session and $50 for the evening session. For additional information, contact Andrew Phillips at 1-917-749-0012, send email to him at <sunshinestatedancesport@gmail.com> or visit online at <www.sunshinestatedancesport.com>. POLICE HAMMOCKS DISTRICT SCHEDULES CAC MEETING The Citizens’ Advisory Committee of Miami-Dade Police Department’s

Hammocks District will have its September meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Hammocks District Station, 10000 SW 142 Ave. This meeting is open to the public and any problem requiring special attention can be presented. All police matters will be assigned to an officer. For more information about the meeting, contact James Blough at 305-262-0086, ext. 257, or send email to <jblough@butlerbuckleydeets.com>. KOMEN FOR THE CURE EVENT AT BAYFRONT PARK ON OCT 16 From a simple promise between two sisters to the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Miami/Fort Lauderdale will host its 15th Annual walk on Saturday, Oct. 16., at Miami’s Bayfront Park 301 Biscayne Blvd. As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Online registration is now open. Race participants may register as individuals or form a team and are encouraged to take the One-Fifty Challenge. If every individual collects $150 in donations, Komen would raise $3 million in pledges alone. This

Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

year, Race for the Cure is expecting 20,000 participants and 1,000 breast cancer survivors. Race Day registration is at 6 a.m., followed by a Survivor Procession at 7:30 a.m. and a Survivor Ceremony at 7:45 a.m. The race (5K Co-ed Run & Walk) will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by a One Mile Fun Run at 8:50 a.m., and ending the day with a Tot Run (ages 2-7) at 9:45 a.m. For registration or donation information, visit online at <www.komenmiaftl.org>. NINTH ANNUAL MIAMI INTERNATIONAL WINE FAIR SCHEDULED OCT. 15-16 The Ninth Annual Miami International Wine Fair will open to the public on Oct. 15–16 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The Miami International Wine Fair is one of the largest wine tradeshows in America, featuring more than 80,000 square feet of exhibit space with nearly 500 producers showcasing more than 1,800 wines from 20 countries. Come get your taste on from 4 to 7 p.m. each day. This event will feature culinary demonstrations, special events and seminars for every plate, from beginner to expert wine lovers. There also will be an unlimited sampling of world-class wines. Tickets for Grand Tasting are $75 and $125 for VIP. For more information, visit online at <www.miamiwinefair.com>.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Baptist Hospital receives stroke center designation BY JO BAXTER

Paul Damski, MD, medical director of the Baptist Hospital stroke program, said Baptist Hospital, which treats more the Joint Commission evaluator â&#x20AC;&#x153;compared stroke patients than any other hospital in us favorably to academic centers of nationMiami-Dade County, has been designated al standing and called us a best-practice as a stroke center by the hospital.â&#x20AC;? Joint Commission, a The on-site certifinational organization cation process whose certification is involved evaluation by recognized as a symbol reviewers with expertof quality. ise in stroke care. After â&#x20AC;&#x153;This certification is one year, the welcome recognition,â&#x20AC;? Neuroscience Center said Sergio Gonzalezmust attest to its conArias, MD, medical tinued compliance director, Baptist Hospital with standards and Neuroscience Center. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It performance measuremeans weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made ment. To maintain cerexceptional efforts to fostification, the cycle ter better outcomes for repeats with an on-site stroke care. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good review conducted news for our team of every two years. experts, and great news The Neuroscience Sergio Gonzalez-Arias, MD for our patients and the Center, located on the â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; community we serve.â&#x20AC;? second floor of the Stroke is the third leading cause of death Victor E. Clarke Pavilion at Baptist in the United States, affecting 795,000 peo- Hospital, provides the most comprehensive ple each year. A stroke occurs when a blood and innovative techniques to diagnose and vessel that brings oxygen and nutrients to treat the brain, spine and nervous system. the brain bursts or is clogged by a blood Baptist Hospital is an affiliate of Baptist clot or some other particle. Because of this Health South Florida, the largest faithrupture or blockage, part of the brain does- based, not-for-profit healthcare organizanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get the blood and oxygen it needs. tion in the region. It also includes Baptist Baptist Hospitalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Stroke Team launches Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital, South Miami into action when contacted by Fire Rescue Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Homestead that a stroke patient is en route to the hos- Hospital, Mariners Hospital, Baptist pital. A multidisciplinary team cares for Cardiac & Vascular Institute and Baptist stroke patients from diagnosis through Outpatient Services. treatment and rehabilitation. Last year, Baptist Health Foundation, the organizaBaptist Hospital treated 762 stroke tionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fundraising arm, supports services at patients, more than any other hospital in all hospitals and facilities affiliated with Miami-Dade County. Baptist Health.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

W. Kendall Business Assn. to host fifth annual expo BY LOURDES BALEPOGI West Kendall Business Association will host its fifth annual business expo where local businesses and restaurants can exhibit their products and services. This event — scheduled for Oct. 14, 2-8 p.m., at Signature Gardens, 12725 SW 122 Ave. — is free to all attendees. Last year’s expo featured more than 110 exhibitors and 1,200 guests. This year’s numbers are expected to reach 150 exhibitors with 20 additional sponsors and

more than 1,500 guests. West Kendall is the fastest growing residential and business community in Miami-Dade County, with a population of over 300,000. The community has more than 4,900 businesses with over 41,000 employees. Truly an entrepreneurial and small business environment, 74 percent of West Kendall businesses have four or less employees. For more information, call 305-3864030 or visit online at <www.westkendallbusiness.com>.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

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Page 19

Miami Dade College among â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Great Colleges to Work Forâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; BY TERE ESTORINO

Miami Dade College (MDC) is one of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best colleges to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. For the second year in a row, the major publication has announced that MDC has been selected for its Great Colleges to Work For program. More than 42,000 college employees and nearly 300 institutions nationwide participated in the application process. This program is higher educationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version of the popular Fortune magazine survey, with one key difference: It does not rank institutions in one big list. Instead, the program recognizes select groups of colleges for specific best practices and policies, such as tenure clarity, collaborative governance, work/life balance, teaching environment, security, compensation and benefits, and others. The program results, including recognized institutions, were published in The Chronicleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Academic Supplement in July. MDC was recognized in three categories as part of the process. In the Work Environment category, the college was recognized for Respect and Appreciation. It also was lauded in the Diversity category. In the Institutional Policies category, MDC was recognized for Professional/Career Development. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am very proud of this distinction, especially during a time when many challenges continue in higher education. Our students, faculty and staff truly make MDC a great college to work for,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? said Dr.

Eduardo J. PadrĂłn, president of Miami Dade College. The process consisted of two online surveys: the ModernThink Institution Questionnaire (IQ) completed by one or more management representatives at each institution, and the ModernThink Higher Education Insight Survey (Climate/ Engagement assessment) completed by a random sample of full-time and adjunct faculty members, administrators, and professional support staff at each institution. Results from both of these surveys were used in the assessment process that included analysis of demographic data and workplace policies at each of the participating institutions. The program also is designed to help colleges improve as workplaces through the individual reports they receive, so The Chronicle names only those institutions that have scored well enough to be recognized in any category. There was no cost to participate and the program was open to all non-profit higher education institutions. The Chronicle is the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important source of news about colleges and universities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the Great Colleges program, the Chronicle can provide even more of the vital information our readers rely on â&#x20AC;&#x201C; unbiased reporting on which colleges are being innovative in their workplace practices.â&#x20AC;? said Jeffrey J. Selingo, the Chronicleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s editor. MDC joins Harvard, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, USC, Notre Dame and other prestigious institutions on list of colleges recognized.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend Archbishop Thomas Wenski

ARCHDIOCESE OF MIAMI Labor Day should mark more than the “official” end of summer. This holiday pays tribute to the workers who create our nation’s wealth and strength. At the same time, in honoring the working man and woman – and in recalling the contributions of the labor movement in our society – we acknowledge the inherent dignity and value of human work. Work allows us to participate in God’s own work of creation and affords us the means to support our families and contribute to the common good of all. This Labor Day finds us as a nation struggling with the difficult and important issue of immigration. Immigrants – whether they arrive through official legal channels or not – come seeking work and a better life for their families. And whether they come as skilled or unskilled workers, agricultural laborers, or to join family members already working here, they come, in part, because U.S. employers need their labor and our economy, even in these difficult times, depends on them. Agriculture relies heavily on them to harvest our crops. Our meat and poultry industry which offer some of the lowest paid and highest risk occupations in the U.S. has a workforce that is almost half immigrant. Our hospitality industry, not to mention our ever growing health care sector, relies extensively on foreign born workers. Without the immigrants’ labor our economy would have huge gaps. Our immigration laws have not kept up with this demand for labor which is why so many jobs are filled by those who come into the county without legal sanction. And despite their lack of permanent legal status, most of the estimated 11 million undocumented in our country are working – and these laborers contribute to the common good of our nation by the work they do and the taxes they do pay. While reasonable people may disagree on how our nation should respond, any effective response demands that we recognize that immigration is more than a “border security” issue but is essentially about our labor markets and the men and women who fill the jobs that continue to make America strong. As a son of an immigrant from Poland who as a priest worked most of my life with immigrants from Haiti and elsewhere, I have shared in the daily struggles and dreams of those who come to this land

seeking freedom and opportunity. I have witnessed their resolve to give their children a better life. And this is why I am convinced that America, founded on the ideals of liberty and justice for all, can and must find reasonable and responsible ways to welcome them. By helping those without legal status to come out of the shadows and contribute more fully to our communities, we can, at the same time, strengthen the security of our nation and the vitality of our society. The immigrants have come because they want to live out the values we celebrate this Labor Day – hard work, providing a decent living for one’s family, contributing to the community, a life of dignity and opportunity gained through honest work. We can honor these values by moving beyond the divisiveness and partisanship that has marked the recent debate on immigration. We need a comprehensive immigration reform – one which includes a path to earned legalization for those already working in our country, as well as one that meet future labor needs through a temporary worker program. Such a reform can help ensure that workers are not exploited and at the same time protect the rights of foreign born and U.S. workers. Everyone working in our country should have a safe workplace, wages and employment benefits to support their families, the protection of labor laws, including the right to organize and have a voice. The immigration debate this Labor Day challenges us to consider again who we are as a nation, how our economy treats all workers, how we welcome the “strangers” among us. Immigration is not just a political issue, but a fundamental human and moral issue. For the immigrant workers are not a faceless numbers – but human persons. They are our brothers and sisters; they are our neighbors and co-workers. Justice and prudence demand that we treat them with dignity and find a reasonable way for their contributions and presence to be recognized within the law. After all, Labor Day should honor the contributions of all the workers in this great nation. ARCHBISHOP WENSKI BIO On April 20th, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Thomas Wenski as the fourth Archbishop of Miami and Metropolitan of the Province of Miami (which includes the seven dioceses of the State of Florida). Born and educated in South Florida Archbishop Wenski returned to his hometown and beginning his tenure as Archbishop on June 1, 2010. For any questions or comments you can email at communications@theadom.org


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 21

SFYS offers playbook for back-to-school success BY ALEXANDRA SCHAPIRO

For parents creating a comprehensive back-to-school checklist with all of the essential tools for a successful school year, an impactful after school program is a must. Since its launch, South Florida Youth Sports (SFYS) has earned a reputation for its unique ability to educate, equip and empower kids for success through athletic, dance and martial arts training. South Florida Youth Sports partners with local schools and organizations to provide youth sports training opportunities with an emphasis on fun, fitness, personal growth and the seven habits of highly effective kids. Kids ages 4 and older receive training in a number of disciplines. All classes are safe and affordable, and taught by highly trained instructors who have undergone extensive background checks and screenings.

In accordance with South Florida Youth Sports’ mantra — “Confidence, Discipline and Respect” — kids who participate in the program learn to motivate themselves and others, set and achieve goals and communicate effectively and respectfully. As a result, they take a more disciplined approach to studying, get along better with peers and teachers, and accept challenges in and outside of the classroom with confidence. “Most of our country’s most successful people can recall a childhood experience that left an indelible mark on their lives and helped groom them for a life of exceptional achievement,” said Adam Lipkin, SFYS founder. “We are committed to creating those types of memorable, life-enhancing and life-changing experiences for kids in South Florida.” For more information about South Florida Youth Sports after school programs, visit online at <www.southfloridayouthsports.com>.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

Need Job Security? Create a Plan B Now School bus safety important By Rick Tonkinson

Certified Financial Planner CFP®

Job security for many occupations that 30 years ago promised a steady job for a persons entire working years are now empty promises. Whether you are a teacher, lineman or telephone tech, the current corporate policy is to make fewer people do more work. Technology has eliminated jobs and will continue to do so. Ask a travel agent what the internet has done to their income. The days of the company treating you like a family are gone. The rules of the employment game are drastically different and not for the better from the point of view of the employee. It is critical that all employees regardless of age or time with the company really start to get their financial act together now. Many people have their current employment as their plan A and they have

not created a plan B. Plan B is where you no longer work for your current employer. You should prepare yourself a “What if” scenario. This may include new employment, other income, go back to school, consider starting a contractor business, relocate, review your bills, etc. There is a lot to think about. Change in life is a certainty. Either you are reacting to it or proactively controlling your future. Now is the time to get proactive and develop a plan B in regard to your career, and we are here to help you. Rick and Steven Tonkinson are Certified Financial Planners who specialize in helping working people attain their financial goals. They are located at 100 Almeria Ave, Suite 310, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Tel # 305-447-6617

Securities offered through Securities America Inc member of FINRA/SIPC. Rick Tonkinson Registered Representative. Advisory Services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. Rick Tonkinson Investment Advisor Representative. Rick Tonkinson and Associates, Inc. & Securities America companies are not affiliated.

for student, parent or driver BY SONYA M. PEREZ

School bus safety is important for everyone to be aware of — whether you are a child, parent or driver. The start of the school year means children will be waiting curbside to be picked up, either by the traditional yellow bus or a private van. They undoubtedly will run across streets to make sure they are not left behind, and they almost certainly will be distracted by cell phones or conversations with friends. While protecting the child’s physical safety is foremost, parents who are considering using a private school bus service to transport their young ones should become familiar with the rules and regulations governing private vans. The Miami-Dade Consumer Services Department enforces laws that require chauffeurs to be licensed, trained and insured, and their vehicles registered, insured and inspected. All private motor vehicles used for the transportation of children to and from public and private schools, kindergartens, nursery schools and day care centers are considered private school buses. They must be inspected annually or semi-annually depending on seating capacity of the vehicle. Private school buses with a seating capacity of less than 24 must be inspected semi-annually, while those that seat 24 or more must be inspected annually. The drivers of these vehicles must have a chauffeur’s registration from the Consumer Services Department. COMMON RIPOFFS: • Unregistered private school bus operators. If you see a flyer or other advertisement for a bargain-priced private school bus service, be cautious before committing, because they may not be licensed to operate. Find out of you can trust the person behind the wheel with your most precious cargo — your child — by contacting the Miami-Dade Consumer Services Department. Before drivers are issued a license, they must meet eligibility qualifications such as driving record and criminal background checks. They also must pass training courses conducted by the Consumer Services Department. This is done to ensure the safety of children on board as well as the safety of others on the road. • Vehicle safety inspections. Don’t let your child hop into just any vehicle. Look for an inspection certificate attached to the windshield. The certificate states that the private school bus was determined to be

safe at the time of the inspection and provides an expiration date. Vehicles are inspected for compliance with specific vehicle standards contained in the County Code. These include, but are not limited to brakes, tires, headlights, turn signals, horn, brake lights, cleanliness, and other safety and cosmetic components, including first aid kits. To help prevent school-transportation accidents and to ensure a safe ride to school, here are some school bus safety tips provided by Safe Kids Coalition for both children and drivers. STUDENTS: • Look both ways before crossing the street and do so at a crosswalk or corner; • Don’t enter the street from between parked cars or from behind bushes or shrubs; • Avoid horseplay; • Arrive at the stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive; • While on the bus, remain seated at all times and keep the aisles clear; • Do not throw objects; • Do not shout or distract the driver unnecessarily; • Keep head and arms inside the bus at all times; • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before exiting; • Be aware of the driver’s blind spot (10 feet around the bus) when walking away from the bus; • Cross the street at least 10 feet in front of the bus, and • Never pick up items that fall under the bus; instead, ask the bus driver for help. DRIVERS: • Slow down in or near school or residential areas, and be sure to come to a complete stop at all intersections; • Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road; • Always stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students; it’s the law, and • Drive with your headlights on — even during the day — so children and other drivers can see you. For additional consumer tips, or to check the complaint history of a company, file a complaint or ask consumer-related questions, visit the Miami-Dade Consumer Services Department website at <www.miamidade.gov/csd>, call 305-375-3677 or send email to <consumer@miamidade.gov>.


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

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Gulf Coast Claims Facility Learn More at: www.GulfCoastClaimsFacility.com

WEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;RE HERE TO HELP YOU RECOVER. New Contact Information and Procedures for Individuals and Businesses to File Claims for Costs and Damages resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Incident of April 20, 2010 The Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg, has been established to assist claimants in filing claims for costs and damages incurred as a result of the oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Incident of April 20, 2010. Claims previously filed with the BP Claims Process have been transitioned to the new GCCF Claims Facility for review, evaluation and determination by the GCCF.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Emergency Exit Row August 2010

BY KAREN ARONOWITZ, President, United Teachers of Dade Steve Slater, the flight attendant who grabbed himself a couple of beers and slid into folk history, has become my imaginary pressure release valve. I can conjure up Steve, cursing out passengers, broadcasting his rage on the PA system, pulling the handle of an emergency exit for his own emergency escape, any time I must act better than the people around me. Steve, who has lost his job, his pension (twenty-eight years on the job!), and who faces a lengthy stay in the hoosegow, has provided a service to millions. He has provided a mental escape hatch when others are rude, disrespectful, arrogant, or just plain obnoxious. Who hasn’t wanted to open one’s mouth, let it rip, and flee through the emergency exit? Let the image of Steve be your own step back from the precipice of bad behavior. Let a Mona Lisa smile carry you through those times when the behavior of others is too much to take for even another second. As we prepare for the opening of school, how do we create an environment for children that teaches them the social skills needed to behave well? Of all the lessons learned by students, the most important one of all is called “Getting Along With Others.” “Getting Along With Others” has changed greatly, and yet, not a whit. Columbine and Virginia Tech changed our perception of the type of action students will take when they feel ostracized. Thirteen-year-old Megan Meiers took her own life after other stu-

dents ruined her reputation through cyber bullying. These chilling reminders of out-of-control behavior in our schools are reflected out of school as well. Their actions are not the sole province of mentally ill children. Who doesn’t know the meaning of going postal? As students head back to school, our teachers will provide a welcoming environment for all children in their classrooms. We will teach students to take turns, raise their hand to be recognized, wait in line, and share. We will work to provide a place of safety and respect for our students, and we will ask that they provide us with the same. Good schools provide safe, orderly environments for their students. Of course, our children live in the world. They bring to school the same behavior they see all around them. If they live in a world where people push and shove their way off of airplanes, disobey the rules to remain seated until the seat belt sign is turned off, ignore instructions to turn off all electronic devices, and who yell and curse at flight attendants, they will think this is acceptable behavior. Steve Slater lost his cool. He was unprofessional. He does not exemplify the behavior we expect of those who serve. But for a moment, as he made his escape, we cheered.

The United Teachers of Dade represents 38,000 teachers and school support personnel in MDCPS. The union is committed to being a leader in creating public school reform, fostering a quality public education for all students and elevating the professional status of teachers, paraprofessionals, office employees, and all school support personnel.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Beds to roll in the Grove for Labor Day Weekend BY MISCHELLA REED

The wildly comedic bed race is returning to the streets of Coconut Grove, this time with injury protection on its side. Teaming up with this year’s bed race is title sponsor 1-800-411-PAIN, whose attorneys are revved up for trial — timed trials that is. The 1-800-411-PAIN Great Grove Bed Race will take place during Labor Day Weekend, with the races starting on Sunday, Sept. 5. Spectators will witness fast-paced action and possible “bed-on” collisions. Luckily 411-PAIN will be on hand for damage control, including shattered egos and side-splitting pains from uncontrollable laughter. 411PAIN also will be getting plenty of “bed action” as a race sponsor for one of the participating teams. Prior to Sunday’s race, the weekend’s festivities will kick off with a Pajama Pub Crawl on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. On-site registration opens at 6 p.m. at Sandbar & Grill in Coconut Grove. Sunday events start with the Ford Motor Company Family Pajama Party, featuring musical performances, face painting, a petting zoo and story telling at 11:30 a.m. at The Bookstore in the Grove. The Pit Row Parade of decorated beds begins at 1 p.m. followed

by a 2 p.m. green flag for the start of the oneeighth-mile Bed Race in the heart of Coconut Grove. “The Great Grove Bed Race has reinvented bed racing in partnership with the Homestead Miami Speedway and Coconut Grove community, who have embraced this tradition with open arms,” said event director Daisy Lewis. “Last year’s race was a huge success and featured Miami’s threetime Indy500 Champ, Helio Castroneves, as the event’s grand marshal. “Thousands of spectators came out to support and cheer for their favorite team. We had 36 participating teams in 2009 and I’m expecting this year to be twice as crowdpleasing,” Lewis added. The race involves rolling beds down two village streets (Commodore Plaza and Grand Avenue) in Coconut Grove with the local South Florida community, individuals, businesses, organizations, and clubs sponsoring the beds. Comprised of five-member teams

Local women parody Obama’s “cadillac of healthcare plans” on their “GoBettyGo” bed during the 2009 Great Grove Bed Race.

(Photo Courtesy of Grove Merchant Group Inc.)

(one rider, four racers), each team will be racing against the clock until the fastest eight beds are determined. Those eight finalists go head-to-head in a race for the top position. Speed earns the ultimate checkered flag, but awards also will be presented for theme, creativity and décor. Similar to last year, the race will begin with a DUI checkpoint for all participants. However, this year, teams will

be up against a more grueling sobriety test known as, The Inferno Challenge. The 1-800-411-PAIN Great Grove Bed Race is produced by the Grove Merchant Group and proceeds benefit the University of Miami Sleep Program and Alonzo Mourning Foundation Charities. For additional information visit online at <www.thegreatgrovebedrace.com>.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Author Jeff Lindsay returns to promote fifth Dexter book BY LAUREN LAVELLE

Jeff Lindsay, the New York Times bestselling author of the Dexter franchise will be in Miami on Friday, Sept. 10, 8 p.m., at Books and Books in Coral Gables to promote Dexter Is Delicious (Doubleday; on sale Sept. 7) his fifth and most hilarious, macabre, purely entertaining novel yet and a new Dexter adventure that you can’t yet find on screen. With more than one million copies of his four previous Dexter novels in print, and the inspiration for the wildly popular No. 1 Showtime series, Lindsay has created a cultural phenomenon with his loveable serial killer and Dexter Is Delicious — in which Dexter finds himself the target of a group of cannibals — continues to showcase his biting wit and his endless creativity. Dexter Morgan always has lived a happy homicidal life. He keeps his dark urges in check by adhering to one stead–fast rule — he only kills very bad people. But now Dexter is experiencing some major life changes and they’re mostly wrapped up in the eight-pound curiosity that is his newborn daughter. Family bliss is cut Jeff Lindsay short, however, when ––––––––––––– Dexter is summoned to investigate the disappearance of a 17-yearold girl who has been running with a bizarre group of Goths who fancy themselves to be vampires. As Dexter gets closer to the truth of what happened to the missing girl, he realizes they are not really vampires so much as cannibals. And, most disturbing is these people have decided they would really like to eat Dexter. Lindsay’s bestselling, dark, ironic, and oftentimes laugh-out-loud hilarious novels

FOOTNOTES

about the lovable serial killer have gained a legion of fans and assumed a place in our culture. With his fifth novel that journeys through the dark recesses of Dexter’s lovably cold soul, Lindsay is at the top of his game. Dexter Is Delicious is a delicious dish indeed. Lindsay is the New York Times bestselling author of Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dearly Devoted Dexter, Dexter in the Dark, and Dexter By Design. He lives in South Florida with his wife and three daughters.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

Living Artist Concert Series returning to Deering Estate BY ROBERT HAMILTON

The Living Artist Concert Series (LACS) combines ensemble performances with lectures, visual art exhibits, environmental awareness and interpretive programs at the Deering Estate at Cutler. Concerts are performed in the historic Stone House Ballroom, which provides intimate seating for 125 guests, possesses superb natural acoustics for chamber music and offers a perfect environment for the exhibition of visual art. The members of the Deering Estate Chamber Ensemble and Founding Artists of the Living Artist Concert Series are Dr. JosĂŠ R. LĂłpez (pianist), Laura Wilcox (violist), Ross Harbaugh (cellist) and Scott Flavin (violinist). The Deering Estate Chamber Ensemble acquaints the public with the best of South Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s artistic spirit through collaborations with principal players of regional, national, and international professional orchestras, top youth performers and national and international guest composers. 2010-11 season highlights: Friday, Oct. 15, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unveiling;â&#x20AC;? Friday, Nov. 19, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Liszt and His Circle;â&#x20AC;? Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Elements of Air;â&#x20AC;? Friday, Feb. 18, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wind, String and Hammers;â&#x20AC;? Friday, Mar. 18, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Female Perspective,â&#x20AC;? and Sunday, Apr. 17, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Waters of Biscayne Bay.â&#x20AC;? Concerts begin at 7 p.m. with a meetthe-artist reception at 6:30 p.m. The cost for a season subscription is $120 (includes six concerts). Adult tickets are

Concerts are performed in the historic Stone House Ballroom, which provides intimate seating for 125 guests, possesses superb natural acoustics for chamber music and offers a perfect environment for the exhibition of visual art. $25 per concert and student tickets are $12 per concert (grades K-12 with student ID). Tickets can be purchased by calling the Deering Estate Ticket Office at 305-235-1668, ext. 233. For more information, visit online at <www.deeringestate.org>. The Deering Estate at Cutler, a MiamiDade County park, is located at 16701 SW 72 Ave. in Palmetto Bay. This 444-acre natural and archeological preserve and historic site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a center for education, culture and recreation. Historic house tours are offered daily with admission to the estate. EcoAdventure Tours also are offered throughout the year for an additional fee. For more information on the Deering Estateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s educational and cultural programs, visit online at <www.deeringestate.org>.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

PLAY BALL THIS FALL!

Come join us for a season of softball and baseball, a season just for the fun of it!

Season starts in September and ends in November. Baseball - 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U and High School Softball - 8U, 10U, and 13U.

• 16 game baseball schedule. • 2 games a week ( Monday thru Thursday). • 12 game softball schedule. • All games played at Chapman Field Park or Palmetto. •••Bonus Feature - the weekends are yours for other sports and activities!••• Register and get more information at www.howardpalmetto.com * WARNING! Playing ball this fall may significantly reduce your time in front of the television. The Surgeon General has determined that mixing kids and sports may result in fun.


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 33

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Twilight Timeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; again at â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Oldies But Goodiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; concert BY SHERRY MILLER

All the â&#x20AC;&#x153;oldies but goodiesâ&#x20AC;? songs of the past will echo again on Saturday, Sept. 25, amid the magical and spectacularly lighted new gardens of Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village. The evening offers both a fabulous concert from 8 to 11 p.m. preceded by a buffet dinner served from 5 to 8 p.m. for concertgoers desiring to dine under the stars. Talented maestro of nostalgic music Kim Bankston takes the stage performing cutting-edge Jobim Jazz and instrumentals on flute, saxophone and keyboard. Superstar friends will take the garden concert microphone and share center stage as the New International Platters and the New International Supremes perform songs such as Get Ready, Stand by Me, Great Pretender, Magic Touch, Harbor Lights, Only You, Forever Gold, Twilight Time, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and a medley of the best of the 1950s, â&#x20AC;&#x2122;60s and â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s as well as songs from Bankstonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Forever Gold Vol. II CD from Kimstar Enterprises. The oldies Top 10 melodies and tunes will be performed by Bankston and his artist colleagues: Tangela Flowers, Theresa Pryor and Nyann Young of the New International Supremes Revue and James Hazelhurst and Derek Hadley of the New International Platters, as well as Marvelettesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Carol Allen (Mr. Post Man and Heat Wave). Bankstonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weekly performances at Cauley Square have attracted a large following every Saturday night and every second Friday, 7-11 p.m., at the Village Chalet Restaurant. Cauley Square hosted a Bankston Concert in February for Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day and, by popular demand, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oldies But Goodiesâ&#x20AC;? concert will tale place on Sept. 25 and is scheduled additionally for Nov.

Pictured (L-r) are Kim Bankston, Tangela Flowers, James Hazelhurst, Carol Allen, Derek Hadley who will perform during the Cauley Square â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oldies But Goodiesâ&#x20AC;? concert on Sept. 25.

16, especially for families in time for the holidays. The concert buffet from the Village Chalet is being served adjacent to the concert area from 5 to 8 p.m. and is priced at $19.95 per person, one serving per person, plus tax and tip. A cash bar for beer, wine and beverages will be available for the entire night with free parking. Reservations for the concert buffet must be paid in advance by calling direct to the Cauley Square Administrative Offices at 305-258-3543 or to the Village Chalet Restaurant at 305-878-1410. Concert tickets are on sale in advance at $10 per person and may be purchased at the Village Chalet Restaurant, open seven days a week, and/or the Administrative Offices at Cauley Square located on the second floor of the main building in the village. Tickets will on

sale at the door at $12 per person. Cauley Square Village is located at 22400 Old Dixie Hwy. (Take US1 to SW

224th Street). For more information, call 305-258-3543 or visit online at <www.cauleysquare.com>.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

St. Stephen’s Art Show seeks artists for event BY DANNA PRPICH

Preparing for the highly anticipated event, the annual St. Stephen’s Art Show is putting out a call to artists nationwide to be one of more than 160 top artisans exhibited during South Florida’s premiere art weekend. Artists are sure to enjoy the event on the shady Coconut Grove campus of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, which runs from Saturday, Feb. 19, through Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, coinciding with the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Now entering its 23rd year, St. Stephen’s Art Show not only attracts thousands of art patrons, but also serves as one of the area’s top non-profit events that help to fund numerous outreach programs in Miami. Those interested in applying for the 2011 show should create a profile with Zapplication, the online jury system used by St. Stephen’s Art Show and many other major juried art shows and festivals. The jury and application fee is $45 with the final deadline Oct. 19. Applicants will be notified with selection results in late November. Artists are promised superb treatment from show organizers and more than 200 warm and welcoming volunteers who strive to make this one of the best fine art shows in the country. Numerous great amenities also will be provided, such as 24-hour booth security, daily complimentary danish and coffee, private artist restrooms, complimentary Sunday dinner, and blessing of the art by St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church staff.

Ranked top in the country by Artist and Sunshine Artist magazines, the show’s proceeds allow St. Stephens to offer a range of cultural, spiritual and entertainment activities to the community, as part of its vision to be “The Heart of the Grove, and Reaching Beyond.” A selected panel of judges will choose first, second and third place finishers who receive monetary awards, and another 10 artists receive awards of merit. 2010’s award winners came from all over the country to receive a total of $5,000 in prize money. First place in the show was Joe De Camillis (Alabama) for his mixed media work; Mark Mackinnon (New York) took second place for his photography and third place was given to Nolan Prohaska (Wisconsin) for his glass work. All artists interested in applying can visit <www.artshowss.org> and explore the Participant Resources for application information and show prospectus. Known as one of South Florida’s most popular outdoor art festivals, the SSAS only charges a $2 admission to adults and children over 12, and serves as a non-profit event that helps to fund outreach programs in Miami. Visitors can enjoy artwork from more than 160 renowned artists, an international food court, children’s activity area, an authentic English tea room and musical entertainment, all on the shady campus of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, located at 2750 McFarlane Rd., in the heart of Coconut Grove. For additional information, visit online at <www.artshowss.org>.


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 35

Beaumont Hotel offers page from history of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Old Westâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; BY RON BEASLEY

If you are planning a Colorado ski vacation this winter, then consider visiting the old mining town of Ouray and booking a stay in the historic Beaumont Hotel. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a gem of an inn that will sweep you back to the 1880s and the sizzling gold rush in the United States at the time. Built in 1886 and opened in 1887, the Beaumont was a lure for mining investors from eastern cities. It was the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s social and business center, and became known as the Flagship of the San Juans. In its heyday, it hosted such famous people as Sarah Bernhard and Belgiumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s King Leopold.

Lobby staircase

N E W S Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover once stayed in the Presidential Suite. In the early 1980s, the Beaumont was closed and boarded up for more than 35 years, and fell into such a state of disrepair that it was on the verge of demolition. But in 1998, it went on the auction block at about the same time that Texas physician and scientist Dan King was visiting the town. King became infatuated with the hotel, bought it and decided to restore it to its original grandeur, pumping about $7 million into the project. The Beaumont re-opened in 2002. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He just fell in love with the building and it became a labor of love,â&#x20AC;? said hotel general manager Tracey Roxby. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He bought it as an investment and was going to turn around and sell it, but eight years later heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still the owner. He never really had the intention of selling it.â&#x20AC;? The Beaumont originally had 30 rooms, but in the renovation the rooms were enlarged and modernized. There are now 12 elegant suites and plans call for opening two more in the coming months, all with spectacular mountain views. All suites are uniquely decorated with period furnishings and many have original restored hotel furniture. Each room is comfortably designed for two with a queensize bed, a large bathroom, a television with DVD player, tele-

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phone, wireless Internet connection and individual controls for heat and air conditioning. There are two 600-square-foot suites. One has a cathedral ceiling and a separate loft area with a bar, sitting area and full surround sound system. The other has a gathering area and bar, with windows that overlook the atrium and lobby. The Healing Touch Spa is located within the Beaumont Hotel, where you can relax and enjoy a rejuvenating experience, including massage techniques that range from Swedish and Deep Tissue to Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy and River Stone. Since its re-opening, the Beaumont has won numerous prestigious awards, including the Preserve America Presidential Award, the National Preservation Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Colorado Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award for Historic Preservation. It also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Special events take place in Ouray throughout the year and Roxby said the Beaumont regularly offers special rates to

coincide with them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For example, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re running a special in November called the 1886 Days,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you stay with us for two nights minimum, your room rate will be $86 a night. We usually close in November and April, so this will be something new for us. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to make it into a 365-day year-round establishment, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve just booked my first wedding in April.â&#x20AC;? Another popular event in Ouray is the annual Ice Festival in January. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s during the second weekend in January,â&#x20AC;? Roxby said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a really fun event. We have a world-renowned ice park and we get people from all over the world who come to climb and compete in an iceclimbing event, and there are constant parties going on.â&#x20AC;? The Beaumont Hotel is a non-smoking establishment and children under the age of 16 are not allowed as guests. For more information or reservations, call 888-447-3255 or go to <www.beaumonthotel.com>.


Page 36

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

Creative concepts in airport stores keep Newslink in the news BY NANCY EAGLETON

says that customer service is a key criterion. NewsLink consistently receives high rankFor the second year in a row, Miami-based ings in industry secret shopping reports. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We strive for service excellence everyday NewsLink Group, a group of leading airport stores under the direction of Pinecrest resi- and I realize that our success is due largely to dents, Raymond Kayal, Jr., and Christopher the talented individuals on the NewsLink Korge, was awarded â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best News and Gift team,â&#x20AC;? Kayal said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being recognized by Operator â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Small Retailerâ&#x20AC;? by Airport Airport Revenue News as a leader in our industry is truly a collaborative effort.â&#x20AC;? Revenue News, a national industry journal. Kayal was born in the Pinecrest area and NewsLink operates more than 30 airport stores in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York, attended Christopher Columbus High School. He received his bacheNewark, Boston and lorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree from the Cleveland. The company has University of Pennsylvaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s estimated sales of $40 million Wharton School of Business per year and competes against and his law degree from the companies that achieve hunUniversity of Miami. He was dreds of millions in sales an attorney with White and annually. Case in Miami for six years â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our focus isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily before joining his father fullto be the biggest in the industime in the family business in try, but to be the best at every 1998. level,â&#x20AC;? said Kayal, president Kayal is the third generation and CEO of NewsLink. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We in his family to run the airport spend a tremendous amount of concession company. His time and energy focusing on grandfather, Mitchell Sirgany, store concept, design and Raymond Kayal, Jr. began the family business, architecture, and we utilize â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sirgany Enterprises, in 1959, high quality finishes in our stores. This is pretty unusual in the industry.â&#x20AC;? and his father ran the business until 2004. â&#x20AC;&#x153;NewsLink is able to compete successfulNewsLinkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two newest stores, Shop Britto and Coco Bay, opened recently in the ly in this multi-billion dollar industry thanks Miami International Airport North Terminal. to the business foundation laid by my father Shop Britto was named one of Travel and and grandfather,â&#x20AC;? said Kayal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When my Leisure magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;10 Best Airport Hot father retired from the day-to-day operations Spotsâ&#x20AC;? worldwide. It features the artwork of of the business, I joined with Christopher Romero Britto on prints, souvenirs, casual Korge, a long-time family friend, and togethclothing and other collectibles. Coco Bay er we formed NewsLink Group. Both Chris offers airport travelers a collection of resort and I grew up around the business and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always been a big part of our lives.â&#x20AC;? wear and accessories. Kayal is married to wife Corinne and they Kayal reports that NewsLink has plans to open additional stores in Miami by the end of have three children â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Gabriella, RJ and the year. One new concept will be a news- Mitchell. Korge is married to wife Irene and stand in partnership with Ocean Drive maga- they also have three children â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Andrew, zine. NewsLink also will open a gourmet Kristina and Angela. The NewsLink corporate headquarters is market called PrivĂŠ and a womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fashion accessory store, based on the success of at 6910 NW 12 St. For more information, call 305-594-5754 or go to Coco Bay. Besides innovative store concepts, Kayal <www.newslinkgroup.net>.

Britto is one of NewsLinkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s successful new stores in the Miami International Airport North Terminal.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 37

2011 Lexus RX 450h offers a quiet, powerful ride Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS The RX 450h is Lexus’ best-selling hybrid model and, after a week behind the wheel, I can certainly understand the reason for its popularity — it’s quiet, comfortable and powerful. However, since the second generation was introduced last year, there is little change for 2011. Certainly, the RX 450h’s Lexus Hybrid Drive is the focal point, with its 3.5-liter V-6 Atkinson-cycle engine, electric motors, a small and light power-control unit, and several other fuel-saving innovations. Performance is similar to a V-8 powered vehicle, while delivering 295 hp and bettercombined fuel economy than the average four-cylinder mid-size sedan. The Front Wheel Drive (FWD) model gets 32/28 mpg, while the All-Wheel Drive (AWD) version gets slightly less at 30/28 mpg. As a full hybrid, the RX 450h can operate in electric-only or gas engine-only modes, as well as in a combination of both. Extended

electric-mode operation during low-speed or stop-and-go driving conditions helps reduce fuel consumption. A driver-selectable EV mode allows the vehicle to be driven short distances using only the electric motors. With the Atkinson cycle, the gasoline engine’s intake valves are closed late to delay beginning of compression, resulting in a higher expansion ratio. That reduces intake and exhaust energy losses for more efficient combustion and improved fuel economy. The gas engine alone produces 245 hp at 6,000 rpm and 234 pounds-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. The Atkinson cycle also reduces exhaust temperature. A cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system reduces it even more. A compact 288V DC Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack fits under the rear seat. A boost converter efficiently raises voltage to 650V DC and an inverter changes it to 650V AC for the front-mounted 123kw electric motor-generator. The boost converter and inverter are enclosed in the power-control unit, which also houses the condenser. The RX 450h FWD model’s hybrid powertrain employs two motor-generators: MG1, the engine-driven generator, is a starter and can charge the battery pack or power other electric motors as needed; MG2 is the frontdrive motor. Power from the gas engine and

Lexus RX 450h has unique grille and front bumper and optional LED headlights, hybrid blue front and rear emblems and hybrid logos. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– MG2 is distributed to the drive wheels via a As for styling, the RX450h looks very planetary gear-type continuously variable much like the gasoline-powered version. It transmission. When the RX 450h is coasting has a unique grille and front bumper, optionor braking, the electric motors function as al LED headlights for longer life and lower generators, capturing energy that would nor- energy consumption and hybrid blue front mally be lost as heat through the brakes and and rear emblems. transforming it into electricity to recharge the Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for batteries. RX 450h AWD adds a third, rear-mounted Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be motor-generator (MGR) to drive the rear contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, wheels, eliminating the need for power-trans- or by addressing email correspondence to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>. fer gearing or a driveshaft from the front.

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Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

Fatal February, Justice in June â&#x20AC;&#x201D; by retired Judge Levenson BY BOB LEVY

I have managed judicial campaigns in Miami-Dade County for over 30 years. There are many judges that we helped in their campaigns 30 years ago who are retiring this term, and even more in two years. Time flies when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re having fun and winning is fun. Losing? Well, there can only be one winner in each election. Because of the intense nature of campaigns, we often become friendly on a personal level with the candidate (and subsequently with the judge) and sometimes with the spouse. And so it has been with Bob and Judge Barbara Levenson. We have maintained contact even after Barbara retired. And so when she told me she was writing a book, I reminded her that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even more difficult than writing a legal opinion. She told me the real challenge was in getting more people to read your book than those that read your legal opinion. I told her there were those who had to read the legal opinion, but no one had to read the book. Having now written two books, I can tell you if you are from Miami-Dade and love fiction that is so real it jumps off the page at you, then you want to read her two books. Her first book is Fatal February, released in 2009, and her newest contribution is Justice in June. Let me urge you to read them in order, as the characters will develop for you in clearer detail (I think; of course I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t written a book review since college when I used my Cliff Notes to develop my report). The thing that makes these books so exciting to me personally is that if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re involved in the justice system, every single person in the book comes alive for you and you can picture that person as someone you literally know. When in Justice in June Barbara talked about the Clerk of the Courts, that person was Harvey Ruvin for me; didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter what his name was in the book. When Barbara talked about the chief judge, I saw Gerald Wetherington, Joe Farina and Joel Brown, who have spanned 30 years as chief judges. And when the story developed â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to give away too much of the plot here â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I knew the good guys and the bad guys in the book, but the lines were crossed and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only as the story develops that you learn who really â&#x20AC;&#x153;did it.â&#x20AC;? The stories about Guantanamo and how the system works today are as scary in the book as they are in real life. All one has to do is go to a Florida Association of Women Lawyerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meeting

BOOK REVIEW

and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll meet a dozen women like Mary Magruder Katz, the main character in the book. And when in Fatal February she meets a Hispanic male, well, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so Miami. And when they want to go for dinner and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s off to the Forge or when she talks about the excitement the first time she walked up the stairs of the Justice Building (73 W. Flagler Street or l35l NW l2th Street, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter which), one feels the book developing around you with familiar scenes. Carlos Martin, the boyfriend, is someone youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll meet and feel like you already know, because we all know Carlos and many like him. This is a duo of wonderful books that anyone living anywhere can enjoy, but if you are a Miami-Dade resident, it is must reading. I literally could not put either book down, anxiously awaiting further exciting developments in the daily life of Mary Magruder Katz. The scene where the two families meet for dinner is just hysterical and all of us have had similar experiences. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what makes these books great, you will feel like you are reading something you have experienced yourself; because most of us have.

Bob Levy is president of Robert M. Levy and Associates, a lobbying and campaign consulting firm with over 30 years of history in Miami Dade County and Tallahassee.


Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2010

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