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DECEMBER 11 - 24, 2012

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communitynewspapers.com

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305-669-7355

New vice mayor, village councilmember sworn in BY GARY ALAN RUSE

ewly elected Vice Mayor John DuBois and Seat 2 Councilmember Tim Schaffer were formally sworn into office at the Palmetto Bay Village Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 3. DuBois, when contacted before the meeting, said he is pleased to be able to serve as vice mayor. “Obviously I’m very appreciative to the people of Palmetto Bay and humbled by their support for me in this election,” DuBois said. “It was a tough election running against an incumbent, but it worked out okay and I’m looking forward to representing the interests of the residents of Palmetto Bay to the best of my ability.” DuBois said that he will seek to get past the divisiveness of recent months and work toward achieving common objectives. “I think the big overreaching issue is that we had a very contentious campaign season and now I want to move on to higher things and get the community working together in the same direction to achieve the same goals,” DuBois said. “One specific I want to focus on is fiscal responsibility. Also customer service and customer friendliness, an attitude that I believe we can improve upon for residents, both on the part of the village council and the village itself. I’m looking forward to providing input that’s a reflection of what I’ve heard from the community during the campaign.” Schaffer, who will be representing District 2 in the village, also was modest about the election outcome. “I don’t see this is a personal competition amongst the candidates,” Schaffer said. “I’m not better or worse than anybody else that was running. For me it was an opportunity to represent my village and do some-

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VILLAGE, page 6

Howard and Brian, thank you for your service BY GRANT MILLER

ABOVE: John DuBois is pictured being sworn in as the new vice mayor by village attorney Eve Boutsis. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BELOW: New District 2 Councilmember Tim Schaffer is sworn in by U.S. Federal Court Judge Joe Martinez with Schaffer’s wife, Elena, holding the Bible. (Photos by All Star Event Photos)

Publisher

Thank you, Howard and Brian, for your service to Palmetto Bay. The expression goes that people hate Congress, but love their individual member of Congress. Each election year sees a staggeringly high number of incumbents reelected, despite the abysmal institutional approval rating. But things are quite different in Palmetto Bay. Not one, but both incumbents up for reelection were turned out by the voters in 2012. The runoff in District 2 was between two challengers and the incumbent vice mayor lost in the runoff to a challenger promising new leadership. Many opine that there would have been a clean sweep of all five incumbents had all five been up for reelection in the same year. 2012 was a year of firsts in Palmetto Bay. Earlier in the year, the current

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MILLER, page 6

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

December 11 - 24, 2012


December 11 - 24, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Greater Miami Chamber kicks off ‘Good to Great’ Awards process Pictured (l-r) are Joe Hovancak, Comcast Business Class (South Florida Good to Great Awards cochair); Phillis Oeters, Baptist Health South Florida (Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce chair); Danette Gossett, Gossett Marketing (South Florida Good to Great Awards cochair), and Barry Johnson (Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce president and CEO).

BY LEE STEPHENS

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce kicked off its South Florida “Good to Great” Awards application process on Monday, Nov. 12, with a luncheon onboard the Norwegian Sky cruise ship honoring the past 31 winners. BankUnited is the sponsor of the awards

that celebrate those businesses that have demonstrated success in the community. Applications now are available from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and open to all for-profit businesses. Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2013. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to be recognized. Visit online at <www.MiamiChamber.com>.

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December 11 - 24, 2012

Palmetto Bay Village Center site of Disc Golf Tournament BY GARY ALAN RUSE

The growing sport of Disc Golf got a boost in South Florida when a tournament took place on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Palmetto Bay Village Center. Hosted by the Miami Disc Golf Association (MDGA) and starting at 9:30 a.m., the event attracted area residents interested in learning more about the sport. Outgoing Vice Mayor Brian Pariser attended and threw the first disc into the basket to begin the tournament. “We had about 36 players,” said MDGA president George Alvarez. “We had periodic groups of families who would come, and we gave them free discs and some free lessons from the World’s Disc Golf Champion, Paul McBeth, who was here. It was set up throughout the whole property. It was in and out around the buildings and open areas, in the woods, around the lake and different areas. To walk the whole thing is roughly two and a half to three miles.” Rookie of the Year Ricky Wasocki also was there to help promote the sport of Disc Golf in Miami. Not just a one-time event, the Disc Golf course is intended to be an ongoing feature

Pictured is the group of participants at the start of the tournament. (Photo by Manuel Bazzanni) –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

at the Palmetto Bay Village Center and other locations around South Florida. “We’re creating these courses to go into local community parks so everyone can start using them and have a family activity they can play basically for free,” Alvarez said. “Once they buy their disc they can go play anytime they want and as much as they want. You don’t have to pay greens fees, it’s good exercise walking the whole course, and it’s a game, a sport, in which you’re trying to shoot the best score.” Alvarez said that the Village Center location truly plays like a championship Disc Golf course.

“It’s the most challenging course that we have in Miami available right now,” he said. “We’re doing this as a wellness activity, which is great for the seniors. We work with the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, local schools, Special Olympics, a lot of people. We have people in wheelchairs playing indoors.” Alvarez said that Disc Golf, which started in 1969-70 in Berkley, CA, is the fastest growing sport right now. It’s in 33 different countries so far. “I left Charlotte, NC, with a Disc Golf community growing there, 13 years ago to start International Technology sales in Miami,” Alvarez said. “Now they have

over 35 courses and have just finished having the World Tournament there, which brought in tens of thousands of people in for one week.” Alvarez said the sport could be an economic boost for Miami and local businesses. He said that McBeth and Wysocki loved the Palmetto Bay Village Center Course and feel it can have national and A Tier events. “Our next event will take place at historical Virginia Key Beach Park,” Alvarez said. “This course has nine permanent holes and we are working on getting funding for 9 more baskets to have our tournament for Feb. 16 and 17. Any business or personal sponsorship is welcomed to help our sport grow in Miami. “All we really want is for commissioners and mayors to help us to try to put more courses in where people can get off their cell phones and electronic gadgets and get back to nature, get into the parks.” For information about Disc Golf outings, sponsorships or volunteer work contact George Alvarez at 786-457-6214 or by email at <mdga1313@gmail.com>, or on Facebook under Miami Disc Golf Association.


December 11 - 24, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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It’s always a good time to ‘shop local’... specially now Michael Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR

AROUND TOWN Holiday shopping? Here’s something to keep in mind. Although the ‘Small Business Saturday’ on November 24, which followed on the heels of ‘Black Friday’ the day after Thanksgiving, was a one day event sponsored by American Express in many cities across the country, the idea behind it is worth remembering the rest of the year as well, especially now as we look for gifts for friends and loved ones during the holiday season. Created in 2010 as a day to support local businesses, which tend to create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods, the nationwide event has grown so much in just a few year’s time that close to 90 million consumers decided to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. “At the root of it, people really want to support small business in their community,” said Doria Camaraza of American Express. “The small businesses are one of the largest

job providers, and the profits that they make stay right in the community.” So rather than splash your cash in the “big box” national chain stores, why not support the small independent stores owned and operated by your friends and neighbors? Speaking of big stores... that big proposed Publix Supermarket that’s planned to go into the “potato field” property in Cutler Bay along with other shops and restaurants will be in limbo a little bit longer it seems. The decision to accept or deny the developer’s application for the big complex was due to be made at the last Town Council meeting on November 28, but the applicant’s presentation took awhile, as did a lot of public comments and the council’s discussion of each of seven variances requested, so by 1:30 a.m. (yikes!) the bleary-eyed council members who were one short anyway decided to postpone the vote until January of next year. It’s still likely to be approved, but as they always say, the devil’s in the details. And in Palmetto Bay there seemed to be some devilish goings-on with the TV system that broadcasts the meetings that looked as if it might impede coverage of the swear-

Palmetto Bay News

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PUBLISHER ................................................................................................................................... Grant Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR ......................................................................................................................Michael Miller EDITOR................................................................................................................................... David Berkowitz WRITERS, COLUMNISTS............................................................... Ron Beasley, Kenneth Bluh, Robert Hamilton, Linda Rodriguez-Bernfeld, Gary Alan Ruse, Lee Stephens, Al Sunshine, Richard Yager

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Aventura News, Biscayne Bay Tribune, Coral Gables News, Cutler Bay News, Doral Tribune, Kendall Gazette, Miami Beach News, Miami Gardens Tribune, Palmetto Bay News, Opa Locka News, Pinecrest Tribune, South Miami News, Sunny Isles Beach Sun, West Park We will not return solicited or unsolicited editorial material including stories, columns and or photographs. Please make sure that you have duplicate copies of the material.

ing in of the new vice mayor, John DuBois, and new seat 2 councilman, Tim Schaffer. There were enough tech problems to give village PIO Bill Kress an ulcer, but after some frantic moments he saved the day by tracking down the misaligned cable connections and getting the hook-up working again. Supporting the troops. Also in Palmetto Bay, Bill James, the post manager of American Legion Post 133, tells us that as part of the recent Veteran’s Day observances, the students of Redland Christian Academy and Southwood Middle School made hundreds of special posters and cards honoring area service men and women, and the hand made artwork was on display at the post. It certainly made the significance of the day more real and personal to those students, and was appreciated by the veterans of Post 133. Musical chairs update... We hear from a reliable source that former Cutler Bay Town Manager Steve Alexander has been hired as Temporary City Manager of South Miami, a municipality that has displayed rather mercurial feelings and support for the recent string of managers holding that position in the “City of Pleasant Living.”

Newest World of Beer franchise opened Dec. 3 in The Palms at Kendall’s Town & Country Center, raising over $1,000 to benefit Sylvia’s Angels, recently-established non-profit to help employees in service field with medical and life expenses connected with breast cancer. The Foundation is named for a 33-year-old South Florida woman who underwent double mastectomy for survival. Can’t find enough to eat in Kendall? Next opening appears to be Shulaburger at the Kendall Market Square shopping center at SW 117 Avenue and SW 104 Street. Job application sign is on the door and workmen are preparing the premises for what appears to be an early-2013 opening. Thought for the Day: Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. — Ralph Waldo Emerson 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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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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thing for the community. For me it’s an honor to serve and to do this for the residents of Palmetto Bay. “Going forward, my responsibility is to the 16,000 total registered voters. I’ve got to build that confidence in them. I’ve got to listen to what the residents want.” Schaffer, who has a background in police work both in Miami-Dade and Portsmouth, VA, said he also knows what he wants to focus on in the months and years ahead. “In the campaign I had the opportunity to walk around and meet a lot of different people and hear their message, and over all they love living in Palmetto Bay, with the old style village that used to be and many people in other places wish they had,” Schaffer said.

“People want the police protection to continue and improve. What we have here is excellent, and that needs to continue. I really want to spend a lot of time focusing and making sure of that. There’s a lot that goes on in a council meeting, but not a lot that can save lives, and good policing can save lives.” And like DuBois, Schaffer said that he hopes to get everyone moving past the conflicts that have marred previous council meetings and policies. “I’m looking forward to getting into the responsibilities of the job,” Schaffer said. “I want to avoid getting caught up in tug of wars and, if I see that happening, I won’t be afraid to tell everyone to just step back and take a look at it and try to do what’s best for the community.”

Go Green...

RECYCLE!

MILLER, from page 1

December 11 - 24, 2012

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mayor, Shelley Stanczyk, became the first mayor to use police to remove a speaker from a council meeting. Later in that same year, the voters remove from office the only two incumbents up for reelection. Many argue that both Howard Tendrich and Brian Pariser were victims of an election that became a referendum on the current mayor rather than their own individual performances and the widely held view that the council was dysfunctional. Regardless, the elections are over and it is time to look toward to restore civility and progress to Palmetto Bay in 2013. Best wishes to both Howard and Brian, who should be remembered as dedicated to their positions. Both were original founding members of the Palmetto Bay incorporation effort. Howard Tendrich, was a member of the Palmetto Bay municipal advisory committee, a village volunteer and just the second person to represent District 2. Howard worked hard on green issues, such as the tree programs, the green Web page, parks and community spaces. Prior to election, Howard also served the community in the Zoological Society of Florida and the Trust for Public Land. Far too few people know that the Powers

property on Old Cutler was saved from development and became part of the Deering Flow-way project in large part due to Mr. Tendrich. While on the council, he pushed for greater government accountability, seeking greater transparency in the form of posting the check register for all to view. Howard genuinely loves Palmetto Bay and volunteering. Look for him to resume his passions on the Deering Estate Foundation. Prior to his election as Palmetto Bay’s second vice mayor, Brian Pariser served on the steering committee to incorporate Palmetto Bay. He also recently served on the second Charter Review Committee as well as having served on the first Charter Review Committee (2006) and the Village Hall/Police Complex Advisory Committee. Mr. Pariser’s legacy should not be judged solely on the Palmer litigation, but on being part of the next step of Palmetto Bay as it moved from infancy to current established local government. All Palmetto Bay residents should appreciate the hard work of those who are willing to step forward to serve in public office. 2010 through 2012 were difficult years. Brian Pariser and Howard Tendrich should be thanked for their service to Palmetto Bay.


December 11 - 24, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Councilmember Patrick Fiore hosts 2nd annual Palmetto Bay food drive BY GARY ALAN RUSE

Palmetto Bay Councilmember Patrick Fiore conducted his second annual food drive to benefit low-income families in the village on Nov. 22 with help from Publix and Christ Fellowship Church. “I had my first one last year and I do it in conjunction with Christ Fellowship’s Thanksgiving food drive, where they prepare food boxes,” Councilmember Fiore said. “Mostly it’s dry goods and canned goods, mashed potatoes in a box, vegetables, stuffing, which the volunteers at the church collect and prepare. Then I worked with the local Publix to get the turkeys donated.” The councilmember got an assist from Vice Mayor-Elect John DuBois and from Dale Danks, one of the food drive coordinators of Christ Fellowship Church. Fiore said that he, DuBois and Danks visited about a dozen families in Palmetto Bay and the deliveries took a little more than an hour and a half to make, mostly in apartments and a few private homes. “I provided the names of the families, some I knew from last year’s drive,” Fiore said. “I try to concentrate on low-income

and fixed-income people, a lot of them seniors. All of them in Palmetto Bay.” Fiore said that when DuBois heard about the project he asked to go along and help out with the deliveries. “John is involved in a lot of charitable stuff,” Fiore said. “He’s on the board of Camillus House, Educate Tomorrow and other organizations. John does a lot for the less fortunate in not only our community but all of Dade County.” Danks, who with other volunteers of Christ Fellowship Church, delivers food boxes with turkeys bought by the church to about 600 people around Miami-Dade County, said he was glad to work with Fiore to reach those in need in Palmetto Bay. “He wants to help his community and we were more than willing to give him a hand with that,” Danks said. “I do a food ministry every month to more than a hundred families.” Fiore said that seeing the appreciation of the people receiving the food boxes made the effort worthwhile. He noticed that many of the people, especially those living in apartment complexes, tend to feel left out or forgotten this time of year, so the

Pictured (l-r) at Village Hall, Vice Mayor-Elect John Dubois, Dale Danks of Christ Fellowship Church and Councilmember Patrick Fiore pack Publix-donated turkeys into food boxes.

Councilmember Patrick Fiore (center) and Vice Mayor-Elect John Dubois (left) deliver a holiday food box to Palmetto Bay resident Emma Perez at Royal Coast Apartments. (Photo by Bill Kress.)

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food drive is important to him. “It’s something that I started doing to give back to the community and help the less fortunate people,” Fiore said. “When I

was campaigning in 2010, walking around, I got to see areas of the city that a lot of people don’t know exist or ever go to, and I saw where there was a need.”


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

December 11 - 24, 2012

ALF problems: Much said, little done in Tallahassee R. Kenneth Bluh KENNETH’S COMMENTARY In 2011, the Miami Herald ran a series of exposés on the neglect taking place in many of the assisted living facilities (ALFs) in Florida. Patients walking out the door and never seen again; patients sleeping in their own excrement; patients with bed sores from lying in the same position for days on end, and patients denied their medications for unstated reasons. The community uproar was so intense that Gov. Rick Scott created a panel, as stated in The Herald, to help fix the deadly abuse and neglect in many of Florida’s assisted living facilities. The panel was to visit facilities around the state, conduct public hearings and make recommendations to the governor and the legislature on how to correct the breakdown in care of the elderly and disabled. The results should have been anticipated. Gov. Scott loaded the panel with a majority of ALF owners, operators and contractors

who benefit from ALF operations. The panel’s report was issued two weeks ago. Rather than recommend to the legislature that the laws governing ALFs be rewritten to include severe penalties, both loss of license and financial fines, the panel suggested the state more strongly enforce existing laws. The panel even went so far as to recommend that the state give more money to ALF operators in order that they could better serve the elderly and the sick. It would appear, from reading the existing law and the panel’s recommendations that they are going backward rather than toughening the law with teeth to close down improperly run ALFs. Criticism of the report came from many directions. “[Providers of services to the elderly and the sick] are probably doing cartwheels right now,” said Brian Lee, director of Families for Better Care. Over the objections to the panel’s recommendations, Gov. Scott said he would see that the state enforced the existing laws and call for another round of panel study. The governor said he would appoint a greater percentage of ALF residents and advocates this time around. However, critics of the governor’s actions said the opposite is true.

• • • VIEWPOINT • • • In 2012, the Florida Legislature took up the issue. Result? The legislature softened the already softened recommendations and then ended up not passing any legislation. Pressure from the industry and probable fear of loss of election contributions resulted in nothing happening. Pat Lang, lobbyist and director of the Florida Assisted Living Association, endorsed the proposal that the legislature limit resident lawsuits. In other words, if an elderly or sick ALF resident is hurt, they will be limited in how much they can collect through legal avenues. But, what else would you expect from someone hired by the owners and operators of ALFs? Final observation: Rep. Matt Hudson, RNaples, a member of the panel stated he “fears that lawmakers will forego patient welfare and cherry pick proposals that favor the industry. These individuals whose very lives, not to mention the quality of their lives, depend on the facility, the administrator and the staff not only to keep them safe but to make them feel like they

are a member of the family.” Two things: (1) Do you have a family member living in an ALF? Yes? Then visit frequently, keep your eyes open and report irregularities. (2) Tell your elected legislators, both house member and senator that you demand stronger legislation to protect the residents of the state’s ALFs. Remember, a high percentage of us will end up in an ALF or similar facilities as we age. So, the life you save might be your own. P.S. The Miami Herald’s DailyQ, on Dec. 2, asked: Are the recommendations by a panel appointed by Gov. Rick Scott charged with looking at fixing abuse and neglect at assisted living facilities too soft on the industry? Results: Yes, 91 percent; No, 9 percent. We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-6626980 or email to <letters@communitynewspapers.com>. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.


December 11 - 24, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

A holiday wish list for the new Palmetto Bay council BY EUGENE FLINN

There is an opportunity for new and positive beginning in Palmetto Bay. There are two new members and three current members who saw voters recently turn out both incumbents. It is time to return to public inclusion and, most importantly, time to move forward in a positive manner in 2013. Here are some suggestions for the two new council members: Meet with the manager along with all department heads to obtain a full briefing as well as to establish a working, not an adversarial, relationship. Ask what business remains of the current agenda and ask for (and study) all official minutes related to the projects. It is time to play catch up and be well read on the topics. You need to be ready to hit the ground running. By now both should have met with the village attorney and been briefed on the Florida Sunshine Law and Records Retention rules. This is the law and it is your responsibility to comply. Suggestions for the entire 2013 council: This is a five-member council. Each member has the same right to make or second motions, to agenda and sponsor or cosponsor resolutions and/or ordinances. There are five votes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one per member, each equal to all other votes. It is time for a village workshop on governance. This workshop needs to be inclusive and a true roundtable, not dominated by current members. Seniority does not allow for dominance over agendas. I suggest that the procedures ordinance be reviewed and the entire council, new members included, discuss how to properly address violations of the decorum ordinance as well as how fellow council members can do their part if the mayor fails to maintain decorum. Discussion should be held on current projects. My concerns that I would like to see finally addressed include: The status of two fire stations that the original Palmetto Bay Village Council worked on with federal, state and local (county commission and fire department) officials. Good work should not be squandered. Committee reports should not be placed on shelves to collect dust. What is the status of the implementation of the new permit fee

schedule and other recommendations of the Palmetto Bay Building and Permitting Advisory Committee Final Committee Report? Should Palmetto Bay purchase bayfront land that is currently available? This may be the last time Palmetto Bay may ever be able to add waterfront access. It is time again for a village-wide strategy session. Goals need to be set â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and not just in a single workshop. There should be real attempts made at obtaining fresh opinions from all residents. There should be a neutral and professional facilitator in place to direct the topics. It is time to access the true nature of the wants and needs of the entire village. Palmetto Bay kicked off its incorporated life with a huge series of public meetings, workshops and visioning session. We held planning workshops on the CDMP, zoning code and parks master plan. Committees were used; surveys were taken. Pinecrest recently completed a major update to its strategic plan. It is time for Palmetto Bay to do the same. A public meeting needs to be held on the Franjo Triangle and US1 Island zoning district. Staff should give a public report on where the village stands on the infrastructure (the EDC fought hard for this water and sewer project; repaving and updates to Franjo road itself). I would like for each council member to give a written report on where they stand on revitalizing this area and plan for the future. The future of committees needs to be discussed. Where are quarterly presentations of what they are or are not accomplishing? Is the council providing proper scope of work and are there indicators in place to measure whether there is progress? It also is time for transparency on appointment to village boards and committees. All applications should include a spot for more than just prior service. Applications should disclose whether the applicants worked for or donated money to council members. The public needs to be assured that service is based upon merit and not political patronage or are appointed merely to drive the specific agenda of the council member who appointed them. Happy holidays to all and letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all work together for a positive Palmetto Bay in 2013. Eugene Flinn was the first mayor of Palmetto Bay.

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December 11 - 24, 2012

New Burial Mound Boardwalk now open at Deering Estate BY SHEILA STIEGLITZ

During the past 12,000 years, Native American cultures including Paleo-Indian, Tequesta, Seminole and Afro-Bahamian inhabited South Florida. The Tequesta once canoed the waters of Biscayne Bay and hunted on the high grounds of the Miami Rock Ridge, part of the land known today as the Deering Estate at Cutler. Although their way of life vanished long ago, their archaeological remains form the Cutler Burial Mound and help to create a comprehensive record of the earliest human habitation of Miami. To visit the Cutler Burial Mound one follows a dirt path that leads off the manicured main grounds of the Deering Estate and onto the original Old Cutler Road (Ingram Trail) through hundreds of acres of protected natural areas. Wild coffee plants and pigeon plum trees fill the first environmental zone. The next region is a tropical hardwood hammock, and there tucked into a forest are the remnants of a Tequesta habitation site and burial mound. It is believed that 12 to 18 Native Americans, including women and children, are buried there in a circular placing, much like the spokes of a wheel. A 400to 600-year-old oak tree looms over the burial mound, with its roots extending arm-like to cradle those buried beneath. Today, the Deering Estate Foundation’s staff and board of directors work hand-inhand with the staff of the Deering Estate at Cutler to fulfill their mission, one part of which is to secure funds to support education, research, exhibits and collections, and historic preservation. When it came time to replace a beloved, yet aged, wooden boardwalk circumnavigating the Cutler Burial Mound providing appropriate public access to the sensitive site, Mary Pettit, executive director of the foundation reached out to the community for private funding. Through the generosity of the Batchelor Foundation and John and Suzuyo Fox, a sturdy new wooden boardwalk has been constructed.

Pictured with plaque to be installed at boardwalk entrance are (l-r) John and Suzuyo Fox, Daniel J. Ferraresi, Sandy and Jon Batchelor. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“The boardwalk, originally built by Eagle Scouts, served us well for so many years, becoming a centerpiece for our archaeological programs tours,” Pettit explained. “But over time, the rope handrails and wooden planks became weakened.” After taking Sandy and Jon Batchelor on a tour of the estate’s historic and natural areas, they asked the foundation to submit a proposal for a new Cutler Burial Mound boardwalk. Shortly thereafter, the Deering Estate Foundation received a challenge grant from the Batchelor Foundation agreeing to fund two-thirds of the project if the remaining one-third could be raised from other sources. That challenge was immediately and graciously met by John and Suzuyo Fox, and allowed the project to move forward. From the onset, it was obvious that this construction would be a delicate project due to the sensitivity of the land and the regulato-

Deering Estate Foundation board member Lynn French and Tom French try the new boardwalk. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

ry and stewardship responsibilities inherent to it. Building the new boardwalk became the most substantial collaborative effort since the

reconstruction following Hurricane Andrew, with archaeological and environmental issues and building codes to meet. Two years have past since the initial plans began to build the boardwalk, and now, with the structure completed, a vibrant level of activity exists at the site. “The Cutler Burial Mound boardwalks allows us numerous teaching and learning opportunities,” said Jennifer Tisthammer, assistant director of the estate. “We talk about our culture and man’s interaction with his environment present day, in context of the lessons we learn from people in our past. We also look to the future and address some of the most critical issues facing our society.” The Deering Estate at Cutler offers a variety of nature-based recreation and environmental education programs that include field study trips, monthly Tequesta Trail special tours, a monthly lecture series in partnership with the Archaeological Society of Southern Florida and daily natural area tours to the Cutler Burial Mound. “These gifts and grants give us an opportunity to ensure the sustainability and importance of education and interpretive elements at the estate, “ said Bill Irvine, director of the Deering Estate. “The boardwalk is a dynamic, exciting and sustainable model for what the community can accomplish when working together.” The Deering Estate Foundation is a volunteer driven community-based charitable 501(c)(3) Florida corporation that was founded in 1989 by members of the community for the sole purpose of preserving, protecting and enhancing the Deering Estate at Cutler for this and future generations. To join in their efforts and become a member, call 305-235-1668, ext. 266. This 444-acre natural and archaeological preserve and historic site is located at 16701 SW 72 Ave. in Palmetto Bay, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Historic house tours are offered daily at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.; natural areas tours depart at noon with admission to the estate.


December 11 - 24, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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A unique evening of art and dining scheduled on Dec. 18 BY LEE STEPHENS

Internationally collected artist David Schor, a resident of Palmetto Bay, and Pasta Del Giorno Restaurant, located at 8739 SW 136 St., across from The Falls, have combined to present a unique evening of art, cuisine and a special mixture of fun, entertainment and excitement. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, the dining room of Pasta Del Giorno Restaurant will become a combination art gallery, auction house and, of course, private dining room. As many as 30 couples, wine glasses in hand will circle the room, examining artist David Schor’s original paintings, making notes on their programs as they go: the coast of southern France, waves breaking on the rocky shore of Italy, a Key West sunset, impressionistic paintings that capture the artist’s love of sailing — and many others. David Schor — whose collectors are from as varied locations as Italy, France, Australia, Germany, Holland, and throughout the USA — has assembled an array of his paintings from many loca-

tions, worldwide, which will fascinate the attendees. Once a sumptuous four-course meal with wine has begun, each piece of art will be brought to the spot-lit main easel where the artist will explain the painting and its history. Before the first of the delicious courses will be served, the excitement will begin. Announcing that live bidding would take place for the painting on display, the artist will launch into a humorous, yet effective imitation of a professional auctioneer. The bidding on each painting will end with a very excited winner being cheered with enthusiastic applause from everyone. Schor is the artist who created the original paintings for the YMCA of the USA’s “Four Values” and for the Rotary International’s “Four Way Test” as well as the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, all of which have been published worldwide. For information regarding the upcoming dinner showing or to make a reservation, contact Pasta Del Giorno at 305969-0075.

Artist David Schor is pictured with his painting, Boy on the Rock.

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December 11 - 24, 2012

Palmer Trinity senior has ‘hand’ in scoring 8 goals

Palmer Trinity’s Lucas Pagano pictured in action. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY SCOTT DU FEU

Palmer Trinity’s senior Lucas Pagano had a “hand” in every one of the eight goals scored in the boys varsity soccer team’s recent win over Archimedian School — a feat that might never be equaled by any player in the future, and has possibly never been achieved before. Pagano scored the first three goals himself and then assisted on four goals and got the double assist on the remaining goal. Pagano actually could be credited with the the assist on remaining goal as well, except the player he passed to had his shot saved by the keeper. The rebounded then was

scored by another player — hence Pagano got the double assist on this goal. It is rare for any player to score three goals in a game, but for a player to also get four of five assists on the other goals and a double assist on the remaining goal is amazing. And, Pagano also sat out for a considerable time during the game. Pagano could easily have scored more goals himself had he not decided to “share the wealth.” He definitely had opportunities to score, but instead chose to pass, and at other times sat back just behind the front two, and looked for ways to create goals rather than go to goal himself and try to score.


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EDGE hosts awards luncheon to thank those who helped BY GARY ALAN RUSE

The EDGE Charitable Foundation hosted a “thank you” luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 29, to acknowledge those sponsors and volunteers who helped with the recent “Green Masquerade Ball” and other projects to raise funds for the organization’s education mission in various parts of the world. The awards event took place at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in South Miami and was attended by 35 guests. Mercy Hernandez, Priya Nembhard and Irma Gomez, the founders of the Early Development of Global Education (EDGE), took turns speaking about their mission.

“We are educators, environmentalists and humanitarians,” said Mercy Hernandez, president of EDGE and director of Old Cutler Academy in Cutler Bay. Hernandez explained that in helping underprivileged and abused children in South Florida and in other countries one of their goals is to teach the young about the importance of preserving the environment so that they will grow up to lead others in making the world a better place. Interns Raquel Hernandez, Joslyn Fabian and Yesenia Gutierrez were acknowledged with plaques, as were other volunteers. Event sponsors that were recognized were Ray Price, Allied Paper; Ed Gallagher Photography; Jose Martinez, Parties by Pat; James Rogers, Cutler Auto Repair;

Pictured (l-r) are the board members of the EDGE: Mercy Hernandez, Irma Gomez, Ray Price, Priya Nembhard and Flor Arzuaga. (Not present were Jose Martinez and Betty Vinson.) ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Interns Raquel Hernandez (left) and Joslyn Fabian were presented plaques by (l-r) Mercy Hernandez, Priya Nembhard and Irma Gomez. (Not present was intern Yesenia Gutierrez.)

Pablo Mejia, Group M; Bob Drinon, Premier Beverage; Ralph Rodriguez, Southside Productions; Willie Gonzalez, Hispanic Police Officer Association; Jon Wilson, DJ Johnny 5; Heather Harricharran, Dance Culture; Jair Acevedo, Dripnatic Design; Pablo Gonzalez, Carrabba’s Italian Grill; Lily Clark, Fast Bartending; Rod Ruple, LagasseSweet; Denessia Ramsundar, Starbucks; Steven Rodriguez, Speedy Bacon Film; Lucy Ojeda, WEPA; Community Newspapers; Evadine Rampersaud, UM GEAR Team; Bobby Fortige, Upinsmoke Cigars; Alberto Santos, BMW; Glen, Rays of Light, and Barry Schimer, Balmar Trophies.

Special volunteers and supporters included Mr. and Mrs. Bender, Bill Hernandez, Vince de la Vega, Wade Nembhard, Jessie Gomez, Betty Hegland, Kristy Hegland, Raquel Hernandez, Joe Gallagher, Patrick Khoury and Chamber Next. The next project of EDGE is its annual toy drive on Dec. 19 for local children who are domestic abuse and human trafficking victims, and migrant families. Their goal is to provide more than 1,000 children with toys. For information about the EDGE, call 305-232-7225 or visit the website at <www.theedgeeducation.com>.


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December 11 - 24, 2012

Middle school students present research on ‘plant superheroes’ Students from South Miami Middle School participate in the Fairchild Challenge Performances.

BY BRITTANY NGUYEN

More than 800 students, parents and teachers attended the Fairchild Challenge Performances for middle schools on Oct. 17 and 18 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. It was the kickoff event for Fairchild Challenge schools and students in Miami. On two nights the students presented their research on their “plant superheroes”

(i.e. plants that can feed, cloth, heal or harm). Gumbo Limbo, Aloe, Passion fruit were some of the plants chosen. Their properties were turned into a skit or mini musical performed by the creative students and their teachers or administrators. The winners of the performances will be announced in May 2013 during the annual awards ceremonies and end of the school year.

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December 11 - 24, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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December 11 - 24, 2012

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Open Table Diner’s Choice Winner for French Cuisine, Best Brunch & Notable Wine List 2012


December 11 - 24, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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December 11 - 24, 2012

Sensory Friendly Everyone’s welcome under our umbrella The sensory-friendly access symbol indicates that a theater event or performance is specially designed for individuals with Sensory Processing and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Miami-Dade County’s Department of Cultural Affairs is delighted to provide inclusive arts experiences through its All Kids Included programs. Here’s what you can expect at a sensory-friendly, live-theater performance: “Going to the Show” pre-show guide Modifications to sound and lighting Accepting environment Noise-cancelling headphones “Quiet room” Autism specialists on hand to assist, remote closed circuit viewing and/or other accommodations may be available per venue.

MIAMI CHILDRENS THEATER PRESENTS DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID Sat., Dec. 22, 2PM Russell Theater at the Alper JCC $10 General Admission 305.274.3595

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December 11 - 24, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Musicians Discount Center Provides Everything Musical By Donna Shelley Music holds a special place in our lives: celebrating events, marking milestones and generally lifting the spirit. Upon entering the Musicians Discount Center you are immediately reassured that this is a place that is serious about music, musicians and music-making—very serious. Owner Mike Cohen has been in the music business one way or another for most of his life. His store, located in Cutler Bay, has Mike Cohen been catering to amateur and professional musicians alike since 1989. “I owe a large debt of gratitude to all my customers over the years; they have been loyal to me for all this time,” said Mike Cohen. To celebrate his more than two-decade long success, Mike Cohen presented a “Battle of the Bands” contest and event at the store on November 17th. Like any astute businessman, Mike Cohen learned early from his days as a record store owner that diversification and great customer service were the keys to success. In addition to stocking just about every kind of guitar available, there is an entire section of the store devoted to percussion instruments, as well as horns and woodwinds. Electronic gear is in full bloom, with amps, speakers, microphones and miles of cable. All the essentials are available here, too: strings, picks, that extra set of drumsticks, and sheet music. And then there is the “vinyl.” Musicians Discount offers a large collection of long-playing record albums with cover art to stir the dimmest of memories with artists that range from The Kinks to Glenn Campbell. He can sell you the turntable and any other equipment you’ll need to enjoy great musical blasts from the past. “There has been a renewed interest in records; they have a sound quality that simply isn’t captured in digital recordings,” said Mike Cohen. Mike serves a wide range of customers including professional musicians, schools and churches; particularly in the arena of loaned instruments for studio gigs and seasonal events. Additionally, Musician’s Discount offers music lessons at a reasonable price for guitar, bass, piano, strings, winds, drums and voice. His teachers have degrees in music and/or are college students enrolled in the discipline of music. In fact, most of the employees, like Mike, are professional musicians. The future of the business of music-making includes increasingly sophisticated computer recording devices for disc jockeys and others. An arena in which, Musicians Discount Center can assist. “We push and strive for good customer service. It is what has kept us in business and why I like coming to work in the morning,” said Mike. And if you want to hear great jazz, look for Mike’s group, the Jazz Connection. Mike is the one behind the drums. Musicians Discount Center is located at 19405 South Dixie Highway in Cutler Bay; call 305-255-9466 for more information about your musical needs.

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D’Cata Wine Shop expanding just in time for the holidays BY RICHARD YAGER

A West Kendall wine entrepreneur is expanding the D’Cata Wine Shop, just in time for the holidays. “We’ve designed a place where people can both shop and enjoy wine parties with live entertainment, all year long,” said Hammocks resident Felix Rosario, retired from a 15-year career in beverage distribution, specializing in wines. Rosario’s long association with a former sales representative, Ramon Munoz, led the pair to open a third D’Cata Shop in August with Munoz as co-partner, having successfully opened two such shops in Doral as D’Cata Wine Club. “We’ve been friends in the wine business for many years, and Ramon had been urging me to give store ownership a try after he established the D’Cata name in Doral,” said Rosario, adding that “D’Cata,” comes from the word “decatar” Co-owner Felix Rosario and manager Armando Barba display a holiday gift package. meaning to taste or sample. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– “This year felt like just the right time to begin a new career in wines, only “That’s why a veteran wine man like dealing directly with customers,” explained Armando Barba (at 69) was chosen as manRosario, standing amid the handsome dark ager for the new D’Cata. “Wines have always been our business wood interior of West Kendall’s D’Cata. Ceiling-high shelves are lined with but for many years; Miami was nothing but imported and domestic wines and a half- a scotch and beer town,” he said with an dozen fashionable high-top tables are avail- insider’s knowledgeable air. “With the blossoming of South Beach able for customers to sample a choice vinabout 20 years ago, we ‘got culture,’ and tage, or a rare beer import. Located in Hammocks Plaza, 11735 SW with it came a new appreciation for fine 147 Ave., the shop already has become wine. Now, newcomers are learning how to known among local wine aficionados for go about making choices. “People often have misconceptions about Friday evening wine-tasting events. wines so I tell them the simplest rules are “There’s more to come,” Rosario promised in mid-November preparing for a Jan.1 the best to follow, and my Rule No. 1 is that Grand Opening of an adjoining lounge with pricing doesn’t guarantee quality.” For that a large-screen TV and equipped to host live reason, Rosario will urge customers to try entertainment for socializing and special different basic types of wine before choosing a favored taste, like that of a tangy rose events. “We’re going to have ‘Wheels Nights’ to or dry Chablis. “Then, having settled on the wine, try the attract bikers, classic cars and Jeep owners, same wine as made in different countries. people who enjoy getting together with those of like hobbies and tastes,” added Really fine and inexpensive wines are now Rosario who bikes to his 4,000-square-foot made all over the world, not just in France emporium just five minutes from his or California. Countries like Chile or Spain have outstanding wines and the fun is in the Oakwood home in The Hammocks. When completed, D’Cata will include a search until finding the wine and country cigar shopping area with accessories and you like best — price aside.” With 225 different selections at D’Cata, humidors for the connoisseur smoker. sampling not only vintages but origins The success of D’Cata is based on having “people who have worked in the wine busi- makes a search that much more enjoyable, ness and can provide answers without push- Rosario concluded. For information, call 786-251-0997 or ing a particular product when people ask visit online at <www.dcatawineshop.com>. about choosing wines,” Rosario explained.


December 11 - 24, 2012

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December 11 - 24, 2012

Goldie Hawn headlines United Way Women’s Leadership Breakfast BY LEE STEPHENS

Academy Award-winning actress, producer, director, best-selling author and children’s advocate Goldie Hawn offered the keynote address at the 12th annual United Way Women’s Leadership Breakfast on Nov. 7 at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami. Since 2001, the community’s most powerful women gather at this annual breakfast, bringing together hearts and resources in support of United Way of Miami-Dade’s work in education, financial stability and health. This year’s event included inspiring words from Breakfast chair and former United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Sue Cobb; Women’s Leadership chair Kathleen WoodsRichardson; longtime supporters of United Way, Sue Miller and Leslie Miller Saiontz; University of Miami president Donna Shalala, and United Way board chair Jayne Abess. Two themes resonated throughout the morning program — the power of women to effect change and the importance of instilling the values of service and philanthropy in the next generation. Following are some highlights from the breakfast: Hawn, who founded The Hawn Foundation in 2005 to equip children with the social and emotional skills they need to

Pictured (l-r) are Nanci Hellinger, Lisa Mendelson, Goldie Hawn, Arlene Mendelson, Kim Mendelson and Tammy Hellinger.

lead smarter, healthier, and happier lives noted, “The private sector is an extraordinary group to belong to, because we have the power to change. “If we don’t innovate and if we don’t support the innovators, then we will never make change or create a better future. All of you sitting here today are vital to that process. This is extraordinary what we do — we give,

to create,” Hawn said. “United Way’s Women’s Leadership group has a life of its own,” Ambassador Cobb said. “Women just intuitively understand what it means to live united, where we can, when we can and how we can. Women want to give back.” Shalala said, “It all comes back to us. So many of us have employees who take advan-

tage of United Way programs. That is why the University of Miami is pleased to be one of the leaders in the community raising money for United Way.” In her opening remarks, WoodsRichardson, who currently chairs the Women’s Leadership group, thanked the 1,300 women in attendance. “We have a packed house. This is our largest breakfast ever,” Woods-Richardson said. A short video told the story of Hannah, a 5-year-old who was born with a speech disorder. With the help of a United Way-funded program at Hearing and Speech, Hannah has learned to speak and today attends kindergarten. Hannah’s mother, Naomi, thanked the audience for giving to United Way and in doing so, helping Hannah overcome her speech challenges. “You have given my family a most precious gift. You have given our Hannah her voice and with that a lifetime of opportunity,” she said. United Way Women’s Leadership unites women in the spirit of philanthropy and service through advocacy, volunteer opportunities, professional development seminars and networking, and social events. Members each give $1,000 or more annually in support of United Way of Miami-Dade. To learn more, give, advocate or volunteer, visit <www.unitedwaymiami.org>.


December 11 - 24, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Pinecrest artist’s design wins Obama campaign art contest BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

There are no red states or blue states, just the United States. That was one of the most memorable lines in President Barack Obama’s Nov. 6 speech after winning re-election. That line also is the tag line for a T-shirt design done for the Obama campaign by Pinecrest artist Phil Fung back in June. “It’s a unifying message, especially after such a partisan fight this election was,” Fung said. “It’s something we should all remember. We are in all this together.” Fung submitted his winning art design and tag line for the Obama campaign “Runway to Win” art contest in June. “They had a bunch of designs come in,” Fung said. “I believe only three designs were chosen.” The winners were chosen via popular vote. The votes were based on the quality of workmanship, creativity and how well the designs captured the spirit of the Pictured is the winning design for the Obama art contest by Pinecrest artist Phil Fung. campaign. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Fung’s winning design image of Obama.” at FSU he fell in love with painting. was put on shirts that There were 1,200 entries “I got the bug and I couldn’t let it go,” he were sold online at the from around the world — five said. “I’m very thankful for that.” successful Obama were chosen as grand prize He moved to New York for a time and then Runway to Win fashion winners. His painting was sent relocated to New Orleans to create his art. store. The program raised to the Democratic National more than $40 million Convention in Denver for disfor the campaign. The play and then it was auctioned line included clothing off for charity. The art from and accessories designed that competition was featured by luminaries such as in the book, The Art for Tory Burch, Marc Obama. Jacobs, Jason Wu and Fung’s shop is in the Vera Wang. The idea was Suniland Plaza, next to conceived by Vogue ediPhil Fung Flannigan’s. He grew up in tor Anna Wintour. –––––––––––––––––––––– south Miami-Dade and spent a This is the second time Fung has won an Obama campaign lot of time in the Homestead area, part of a vibrant Chinese Jamaican community. art contest. “In 2008, they had a bigger competi- Fung moved to Tallahassee for college, gettion,” Fung said. “Manifest Hope. It was ting a degree in fine art from Florida State an international art competition. The art University. His original intent was to get competition was to illustrate or create an into computer animation but his senior year

“A friend was a street artist in New Orleans,” he said. “I planned a two-week trip and I stayed in New Orleans for two years. It’s fantastically rich and culturally diverse.” His studio was blown away by Katrina, so he followed his girlfriend to Orlando, became a teacher and took advantage of a program that enabled him to get a master’s in art education at the University of Central Florida. When the economic bubble burst in 2008, his teaching job was eliminated so he moved back to Miami to become a fulltime artist once again. But he hasn’t left teaching behind. “I teach art classes to kids and to adults,” he said. Classes are scheduled around the art festival season. He participates in 25-30 art festivals a year, including the St. Stephens show. “Every weekend I was somewhere else doing my art, Only a couple of years ago, I got to open my studio.” He often is asked why he opened his studio in Pinecrest instead of a place like Wynwood, which is known for its art community. But he’s happy in Suniland because his studio is close to home.


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December 11 - 24, 2012

Volunteers deliver 125 Thanksgiving baskets to S. Dade families in need

Students from Concordia Lutheran School in Kendall help distribute Thanksgiving food baskets to those in need. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY LEE STEPHENS

Pictured are the new owners of Lots of Lox (l-r) Steve, Jimmy and Nick Poulos.

THE ORIGINAL LOTS

OF LOX • Catering Available • Dine In or Take Out

BREAKFAST SPECIAL

$6.45

INCLUDES COFFEE OR TEA MON. THRU FRI. 7AM TO 11AM

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NEW HOURS Open Monday thru Friday 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM Dinner Specials from 4:30 PM - 9:00 PM Saturday and Sunday 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Some 125 families from South MiamiDade County enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal thanks to a group of volunteer parents, teachers and young children at Concordia Lutheran School in Kendall who are learning that through their hard work and generosity they can make a difference. “Angel Share Charity was born to inspire our children to develop and execute simple fundraising projects in an effort to help local families in need,” said Concordia’s principal, Suzanne Cohen. “Our students are excited and involved in this wonderful project and all that it has taught them. Basically even the youngest of our preschool age kids can sum it up in a few words: help others.” This is the third consecutive year that Angel Share volunteers have created

Thanksgiving baskets for families in need at Laura C. Saunders Elementary in Florida City. Since 2010, the organization has raised more than $10,000 for this local public school. With these donations, the school’s staff has implemented several incentive programs intended to reward students for academic success and hard work. “Once again the children of Concordia Lutheran School and Church, their team of fantastic teachers and staff as well as our local partners — Winn-Dixie and the UM women’s tennis team — came together to make a huge impact in the lives of 125 families in South Dade this Thanksgiving. I am very proud of their hard work,” said State Rep. Frank Artiles, who co-founded the Angel Share charity in 2008 with his wife to help teach their own children about the importance of giving back to those less fortunate. For more information visit online at <www.angelshare.us>.


December 11 - 24, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Alpha Phi Alpha delivers food to the needy for the holidays BY LESLIE ELUS

The Iota Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and the students of Devon Aire K-8 Center in Kendall recently collaborated to help needy families in Homestead prepare a memorable Thanksgiving meal. The chapter and partner school collected a truckload of canned food items, desserts, and holiday essentials. Brother Brian Davis, a teacher at Devon Aire, helped to organize the event. In total, more than $3,000 in food items were donated to this event. As a result the fraternity was able to distribute more than 60 Thanksgiving baskets which were donated to families whose children attend Leisure City K-8 Center.

Brothers of Iota Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity stand among student volunteers from Devon Aire K-8 Center prior to food basket distribution.


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Musicians Discount Center Provides Everything Musical By Donna Shelley Music holds a special place in our lives: celebrating events, marking milestones and generally lifting the spirit. Upon entering the Musicians Discount Center you are immediately reassured that this is a place that is serious about music, musicians and music-making—very serious. Owner Mike Cohen has been in the music business one way or another for most of his life. His store, located in Cutler Bay, has Mike Cohen been catering to amateur and professional musicians alike since 1989. “I owe a large debt of gratitude to all my customers over the years; they have been loyal to me for all this time,” said Mike Cohen. To celebrate his more than two-decade long success, Mike Cohen presented a “Battle of the Bands” contest and event at the store on November 17th. Like any astute businessman, Mike Cohen learned early from his days as a record store owner that diversification and great customer service were the keys to success. In addition to stocking just about every kind of guitar available, there is an entire section of the store devoted to percussion instruments, as well as horns and woodwinds. Electronic gear is in full bloom, with amps, speakers, microphones and miles of cable. All the essentials are available here, too: strings, picks, that extra set of drumsticks, and sheet music. And then there is the “vinyl.” Musicians Discount offers a large collection of long-playing record albums with cover art to stir the dimmest of memories with artists that range from The Kinks to Glenn Campbell. He can sell you the turntable and any other equipment you’ll need to enjoy great musical blasts from the past. “There has been a renewed interest in records; they have a sound quality that simply isn’t captured in digital recordings,” said Mike Cohen. Mike serves a wide range of customers including professional musicians, schools and churches; particularly in the arena of loaned instruments for studio gigs and seasonal events. Additionally, Musician’s Discount offers music lessons at a reasonable price for guitar, bass, piano, strings, winds, drums and voice. His teachers have degrees in music and/or are college students enrolled in the discipline of music. In fact, most of the employees, like Mike, are professional musicians. The future of the business of music-making includes increasingly sophisticated computer recording devices for disc jockeys and others. An arena in which, Musicians Discount Center can assist. “We push and strive for good customer service. It is what has kept us in business and why I like coming to work in the morning,” said Mike. And if you want to hear great jazz, look for Mike’s group, the Jazz Connection. Mike is the one behind the drums. Musicians Discount Center is located at 19405 South Dixie Highway in Cutler Bay; call 305-255-9466 for more information about your musical needs.

December 11 - 24, 2012

Dr. Alexis Martinez takes over as superintendent for South Region BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

In the interest of efficiency and cost savings, Miami-Dade Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho reorganized the district’s regions and appointed Dr. Alexis Martinez as superintendent of the South Region. The region covers 99 schools, 430 square miles and 100,000 plus students. “In numbers alone it would be the 27th largest school district in the U.S.,” Dr. Martinez said. “We are the biggest region ever in the history of Miami-Dade County Schools.” Previously, he was the region superintendent with South Central area. And before that he was a regional director in the south, so he’s knowledgeable about the needs of the school in the area. Because of continued funding issues with the state, the school system has learned how to do a lot more with fewer resources, Martinez said. “He [Carvalho] really does believe a central office and central administration should be downsized to give students and teachers the maximum funds and resources available,” Martinez said. “This superintendent has really honed down on the fact that we have extremely capable individuals that are multi-talented and we can wear a lot of hats.” Martinez said that even with the cutbacks, Miami-Dade Schools is the answer for parents seeking a quality education for their children. “We built a lot of schools in the south. They are thriving. We have a lot of competitors,” he said. “My goal is to offer better solutions to parents in the selection of schools; to offer more programs.” Basically the school system wants to create a one stop shopping system for parents. Instead of having to worry where a child is going next, parents will be able to make that choice before pre-school. For example, if they start at a Cambridge school such as Greenglades Elementary, they will be given information about that the Cambridge program feeds to W. R. Thomas Middle, then on to G. Holmes Braddock, a Cambridge High School. “We want to map for children from their entry point, all the way to their destination high school,” Martinez said. Even with the consolidation, parents

South Region superintendent Dr. Alexis Martinez –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

will find a region office in their area. Martinez said offices are located in the Dadeland area, one at Robert Morgan and one in the Homestead/Florida City area. “That way parents aren’t inconvenienced by having to drive to Robert Morgan,” he said. “This is tied to customer courtesy. Parents are our customer; children are a priceless commodity.” Martinez said he hopes to win back some of the students who have moved to charter schools, which studies have shown aren’t always a better choice. “I’m a firm believer that no one can do it better than Miami-Dade County Schools,” he said. That includes the new I-Prep programs. “I have five I-Prep schools. It’s not for every child. It’s open classrooms, very rich in technology. It’s a lot of virtual work. There are nice lounge chairs, coffee tables. They use electronic devices, all tied to instruction.” Martinez said the students in these classes need to be self-directed. “It really is looking deep into the future of education,” he said. “You see more online courses. “I was one that thought that online courses were going to be just for a few, but students like them. It’s a new type of student.” Parents will be able to attend informational expos so they can learn about the multitude of choices available to their children.


December 11 - 24, 2012

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KRMC awarded an ‘A’ for patient safety by The Leapfrog Group BY PETER JUDE

Kendall Regional Medical Center was honored recently with an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. The A score was awarded in the latest update to the Hospital Safety Score, the A, B, C, D or F scores assigned to U.S. hospitals based on preventable medical errors, injuries accidents, and infections. The Hospital Safety Score was compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is designed to give the public information they can use to protect themselves and their families. “We are proud to have been recognized for this accomplishment, as it is a true reflection of the hard work and dedication of our physicians, nurses and staff. Quality and patient safety are our utmost priority.” said Scott Cihak, CEO of Kendall Regional Medical Center, located at Bird Road and Florida’s Turnpike. “Hospitals like this that earn an A have demonstrated their commitment to their patients and their community,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “I congratulate Kendall Regional Medical Center for its safety excellence, and look forward to the day when all hospitals will match this standard.” To see Kendall Regional Medical Center’s scores as they compare nationally and locally, visit the Hospital Safety Score website at <www.hospitalsafetyscore.org>, which also provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved

The A score was awarded in the latest update to the Hospital Safety Score, the A, B, C, D or F scores assigned to U.S. hospitals based on preventable medical errors, injuries accidents, and infections. ones during a hospital stay. People also can check their local hospital’s score on the free mobile app, available at <www.hospitalsafetyscore.org>. Calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors. Kendall Regional Medical Center is a 412-bed, full-service hospital providing the residents of southwest Miami-Dade County with 24-hour comprehensive medical, trauma, burn, surgical, behavioral health and diagnostic services, along with a wide range of patient and community services. For information, call 305-222-2200, or visit <www.kendallmed.com>.

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Giving Thanks In a show of holiday spirit and giving, the team at South Miami Hospital displayed its commitment to serving the South Miami community during several events last month. A Feast to Remember To ensure our neighbors at the City of South Miami Virgilio Martinez was grateful for the warm greeting and Senior Center enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal delivered by South Miami Hospital bountiful Thanksgiving, employees Rooney Brodie and Elvis McIntyre. members of the hospital’s Employee Activity Committee visited the Center on Tuesday, Nov. 19, to spread holiday cheer and deliver Thanksgiving meals to the 100 residents. The delicious meals, made possible by donations from hospital employees, included traditional favorites such as turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cornbread, apple and pumpkin pie and beverages. “This heart-warming annual event is a favorite among the hospital’s employees and the Center’s residents,” said Rooney Brodie, manager of community relations and special programs at South Miami Hospital. Light The Night More than 300 South Miami Hospital employees and their families participated in and raised nearly $29,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk of Miami-Dade County, held Saturday, Nov. 10. Baptist Health was a presenting sponsor of the unique fundraising event that benefits research, education and support for blood cancer patients and their families. Activities included fireworks, music and other family activities for walkers, friends and blood cancer survivors during an illuminated evening at Bayfront Park. In total, Baptist Health Day of Caring As part of Baptist Health’s Day of Caring for Our Community held Saturday, Nov. 3, 40 South Miami Hospital employees and their family members partnered with City of South Miami officials to clean up All America Park, located at 6820 SW 64 Ave. Donning shovels, rakes and clippers, the group worked for four hours to remove invasive plants and vines, trim plants and hedges, clear leaves and debris and beautify the park. “Giving to the community by contributing funds or donating time is a vital part of how our employees support each other and the community they live in,” said Lincoln Mendez, chief executive officer of South Miami Hospital. “These efforts are a natural extension of our mission at Baptist Health. We’re dedicated to the health and well-being of individuals, both inside and beyond the walls of our hospital.”


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December 11 - 24, 2012

American Cancer Society announces Laureate Society of Miami foundation

Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez (standing) introduce the Laureate Society to prospective donors. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY CARMEN PILES

The American Cancer Society has announced the formation of the new Laureate Society of Miami. On Nov. 13, more than 40 guests gathered for an Inaugural VIP Cocktail Reception and Presentation at the home of founding chairs Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq. The American Cancer Society Laureate Society recognizes the Society’s major contributors to the fight against cancer. This nationwide program, inaugurated in Palm Beach in 2004 is intended to honor those individuals who continue to significantly invest in the hope of a future without cancer. Vidya Gopalakrishnan, PhD, associate professor, Department of Pediatrics Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, presented at the Nov. 13 inaugural reception. Dr. Gopalakrishnan, a highly respected brain tumor specialist, has focused her research on identifying alterations in gene expression in brain tumor tissue that may contribute to their ability to evade normal cellu-

lar regulatory mechanisms. Members of the Laureate Society enjoy exclusive benefits such as access to personalized resources and services, invitations to special events, and more. Current members of The Laureate Society of Miami include Mr. and Mrs. Fausto Diaz Oliver; Mr. and Mrs. Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq.; Mr. and Mrs. David Martin; Mr. Steve Smith, and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dickinson. Honorable Laureate members include Mr. and Mrs. Michael Haskett; Mr. and Mrs. Gus Machado; Munilla Family Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Felipe Valls. Membership is available by pledging an annual gift from $10,000 to $1M (for a lifetime membership). All $10,000 gifts made before Dec. 31, 2013 by an individual family or family foundation establish the donor as a Founding Member of the Laureate Society. As an added benefit, donations also may be applied towards participation in the upcoming 2013 American Cancer Society Centennial Gala, which will take place on Apr. 27, 2013, at the Trump Doral Golf Resort and Spa Miami.


December 11 - 24, 2012

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Wayside Baptist Church presents: “THE ORNAMENT” Saturday, December 15th at 7:00pm Sunday, December 16th at 9:00am Free to Attend Christmas brings people together. Family members trek from all corners of the globe to gather ‘round the holiday table, exchange gifts, share tall takes, and, last but certainly not least, sing! What would Christmas be without music? We cannot imagine it. Christmas music comes in all varieties, from the classical strains of The Nutcracker to reverent carols and playful pop songs. The Ornament brings all of these seasonal sounds together with a drama presentation, bound by the central desire to joyfully proclaim the birth of Jesus Christ. The main messages of this musical drama are that, while circumstances in our lives may change, the one constant we can always depend upon is found in the love, grace and presence of the Lord Jesus and that God is always faithful to lead us through the unique journey He has for each of us. The Children’s Choir will also be participating in this program. WAYSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH 7701 SW 98 Street, Miami, FL 33156 305.595.6550 www.waysidemiami.com

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December 11 - 24, 2012

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Deirdre Capone details how she grew up with ‘Uncle Al’ BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

When Deirdre Marie Capone was 7, her beloved Uncle Al died. She knew him as this fun man who taught her how to swim at his Miami Beach home on Palm Island. He taught her how to ride a bike and how to play a mandolin. It was after that she learned he also was Al Capone, the mobster. She learned that being related to a man once called “Public Enemy No. 1” had consequences. Her classmates weren’t allowed to play with her. She was fired from her first job. “My grandfather was Al’s oldest brother and his business partner,” Deirdre Capone said. “My grandfather had one child, who was my father. My father took his own life before my 11th birthday because he couldn’t live up to the Capone name.” Now, the last living member of the Capone any tax gained illegally. She said family, Deirdre Marie they didn’t know they had to file Capone honored her income tax because their money grandfather’s request came from bootlegging and other not to publish the famiillegal activities. ly’s secrets until she “They both offered to pay the was the last one standDeirdre Capone fine, to pay the tax,” Capone said. ing. Her book, Uncle Al ––––––––––––––––– “Was Al Capone a mobster? Yes, he Capone: The Untold Story From Inside His Family, details life was. Was Al Capone a monster? No, he was not!” as a Capone. In this case, the federal government did “My grandfather started to teach me about the family business — it actually the wrong thing, torturing a witness to lie was a family business — and about how on the stand so that Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years. Her grandfather, Ralph, things worked back then.” Deidre Capone said the Capones were was sentenced to three years. “My grandfather, before he died, said no not as bad as the media portrayed. In fact, they were the victims of a vendetta that child’s life was ever in danger. No woman was started by a group called the Secret ever did anything she did not choose to do Six. The Secret Six were Chicago busi- on her own and no innocent person was ever nessmen who headed up the corporations harmed,” Capone said. “He ran the operaand they wanted the Capones to be a part of tion; Al was the flamboyant one. My grandfather was very recluse and very private. He it because of their money. “My grandfather didn’t like the organi- ran everything. At one time, he was running zation and he didn’t like banks,” she said. over 300 different establishments.” By the way, in 1991, the American Bar “There was an organized, concentrated effort [to get rid of the Capones]. At one Association, at a convention in Chicago, time my uncle told the media, you would held a mock re-trial of Al Capone based on blame me for the Chicago fire if you the original transcripts. Capone said this time, he was found innocent. could.” Capone is working on scheduling a book Despite the vendetta and being the target of the feds, the crime they were convicted signing at Books and Books in January or on was tax evasion. Capone said that is February. She also has scheduled signings because when the tax code was first writ- on cruise ships and at several Costcos in ten, is said that you didn’t have to declare Florida. She lives in the Ft. Myers area.

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What to look for when choosing a merchant processor BY GONZALO RUIZ National Director & CSO, US & Caribbean Credomatic Merchant Services

Congratulations! You are an ambitious business owner that is ready to open the doors for customers or have already been in business for a while. Being able to accept credit cards as a major form of payment has become a priority for you. In order to do so, you need to open a Merchant Account through a Merchant Processor. There is a wide selection of Merchant Processors in the marketplace and choosing the right one can be a challenging task. The following is a list of main factors to consider when selecting a merchant account provider: PAYMENT SOLUTIONS: What services does the merchant processor offer? Most processors begin with the most basic services including credit and debit card processing. This means that your customers can use major credit cards as a form of payment. Processors also offer other business solutions such as Check Services and Gift Card Programs. Also, ask the processor about their pricing structure and cost per transaction, and ensure that it is as transparent as possible. Be sure to inquire about all fees including any setup fee, application fee or monthly statement fee. PROCESSING SOLUTIONS: Now that you can actually accept credit cards as a form of payment, you need the appropriate hardware through which you will swipe or enter the credit card information. If your business is mostly “card present”, you

BUSINESS

December 11 - 24, 2012

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honors Simply Healthcare Plans

can use a credit card terminal or a virtual terminal with a credit card reader that connects to a computer. If your business will be on the road, then you will need a mobile processing solution such as credit card readers that attach to an iPhone or Android. Finally, you may want to use a Point of Sale solution (POS), which is popular for restaurants. MERCHANT PROGRAMS: Merchant Processors offer an array of additional programs tailored to business owners’ needs. These can include Next Day Funding, Cash Advances and Terminal Placement programs. In addition, processors also offer Fraud Prevention programs, such as ensuring that customers have PCI in place. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that merchant that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. You can also ask the processor about their Chargeback Management program in case a customer charges back a sale to your business. PERSONALIZED SERVICE: This should be one of the most important elements to take into account when choosing a merchant processor. You can choose a local processor that assigns a Relationship Manager to your business and acts as a consultant that guides you through account set up and ongoing business needs. For more information, call 305-372-3000, ext. 237 or go to www.credomaticmerchant services.com. 9150 South Dadeland Blvd., Ste 800 Miami, Florida 33156 www.credomaticmerchantservices.com

Pictured (l-r) are Nery Linares, Holly Prince, Lourdes Rivas, Pam Gadinsky and Daisy Gomez. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY BRITTANY NGUYEN

Simply Healthcare Plans has been named the “Company of the Year” by the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as part of its 2012 Sunshine Awards. “In just two and a half years, Simply Healthcare has become the fastest growing minority-owned company in Florida,” said Lourdes Rivas, chief operating officer of Simply Healthcare Plans, who accepted the award for on behalf of Simply Healthcare’s chair Miguel B. “Mike” Fernandez. “This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our highly knowledgeable staff of more than 400 employees.” More than 350 people attended the awards event at the Four Seasons Hotel in

Miami celebrating the contributions and achievements of Hispanic entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners in South Florida. Simply Healthcare Plans Inc. is a Florida-licensed health maintenance organization headquartered in Coral Gables. Established in 2010, the plan provides health benefit plans to Florida’s Medicare and Medicaid recipients. For more information, visit <www.simplyhealthcareplans.com>. The South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce promotes the continued growth and development of the Hispanic business community and to serve as a resource center and forum to advocate for Hispanic and Minority owned businesses. For more information, visit <www.sflhcc.com>.


December 11 - 24, 2012

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FPL shares tips to get your bill even lower this holiday season BY KRISTY KENNEDY

The holidays can be an expensive time of year with plenty of gift giving, houseguests and festive décor, making an impact on the wallet. While FPL customers already have the lowest energy bills in the state, the company is helping its customers make their bills even lower with 10 Ways to Have an Energy Fit Holiday. “Getting ready for the holidays can require a lot of energy, but most people probably aren’t thinking about the energy costs when it comes to entertaining, gift buying and decorating,” said Tim Fitzpatrick, vice president of Marketing and Communication for FPL. “The holidays are all about traditions, so by adding these energy-efficient changes FPL customers can be energy fit for years to come.” 1. Deck the halls with LEDs. When it comes to holiday lighting, LED lights are the bright choice to get you more for your money. The amount of power it takes to operate just one 7-watt incandescent holiday bulb could power two 24-foot LED strings — enough to light a six-foot tree. Additionally, LED light strings last about 10 times longer. 2. Set time on your side. Set timers for your holiday displays to turn off before bedtime so there is no need to burn the lights all night long. 3. Switch your non-holiday lights. Before overnight guests arrive, switch out guest room and common area lighting to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Each CFL bulb you install will save you about $50 in energy costs over the life of the bulb.

4. Turn it off. Remind guests to turn off lights and fans when they leave the room. Stopping one ceiling fan from running all the time and turning at least one light off when you leave the room can save you more than $7 a month on your electric bill. 5. Stop peeking! Ovens lose a lot of heat when opened and require significant energy to heat back up to the appropriate temperature. Instead, when you have to sneaka-peek, turn the oven light on and look through the interior window. 6. Choose glass or ceramic pans for the oven. These pans heat faster than metal ones and allow you to set the temperature 25 degrees lower than a recipe suggests for the same cooking time. 7. Don’t forget your crock-pot. Use smaller appliances such as crock-pots, microwaves and toaster ovens when possible. These can be much more energy efficient for side dishes or small meals. 8. Select energy-efficient electronics. When it comes to buying gifts for your loved ones, opt for a laptop computer over a desktop computer. Laptop computers require 50 to 80 percent less power than a desktop computer. 9. Let the star be your guide. Look for the ENERGY STAR logo when purchasing larger electronics or appliances. Newer ENERGY STAR models meet stricter requirements and can save up to 40 percent on energy over standard models. 10. Give the gift of light. Use solar-powered pathway or security lights for your home or as a gift to the person who loves being outside in the evening. For more ways to get energy fit yearround take an Online Home Energy Survey at <www.FPL.com/energyfit>.

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Learn how to grow your own vegetables for 2013 BY ADRIAN HUNSBERGER

The Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteers are hosting a free vegetable gardening workshop on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 4 to 5 p.m., at the Coral Reef Library, 9211 SW 152 St. in Palmetto Bay. Learn organic and sustainable vegetable gardening for South Florida. It’s easier than

you think. No registration is necessary. The class is taught by University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Extension Master Gardener volunteers Jennifer Shipley and Ellen Book. For more information, visit the University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension website at <http://miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu/>.

Family Dollar chain teams up with Habitat for Humanity BY BRYN WINBURN

Family Dollar, one of the fastest-growing discount retail chains in the country, recently announced it is joining with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami for a four-week holiday fundraising initiative to benefit the non-profit organization. This special program is taking place at Miami area Family Dollar stores through Dec. 19. “After learning how many Miami area residents are assisted by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami each holiday season, we wanted to lend a hand,” said Howard Levine, chair and CEO of Family Dollar. “We are thrilled to be teaming up with such an incredible organization, and I know, together, we can help provide a happier holiday season to many in the Miami region.” Since Nov. 26, guests visiting their Miami area Family Dollar stores have

had the opportunity to make a donation to the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami. All donations will go to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami to aid in its assistance programs. “Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami is honored to be partnering with Family Dollar, which has a proven track record of helping families in the communities they serve,” said Habitat for Humanity CEO Mario Artecona. “All funds raised through this collaboration will go directly towards addressing housing needs in these communities.” To learn more about Family Dollar’s charitable giving program, the FamilyHope Community Foundation, visit online at <www.familydollar.com>. Also, stay up-to-date on the latest happenings, contests and sales at your Family Dollar store on Facebook at <www.facebook.com/familydollar> or Twitter at <@myfamilydollar>.

December 11 - 24, 2012

How brain functioning affects learning By Fabian Redler, PsyD, LCSW Learning involves filling our knowledge bank with information, and teaching does just that. However when a student is struggling to learn or when students want to expand how much they can learn, teaching has its limitations because it does little to expand the brain’s capacity to hold more information. It’s like trying to fit six gallons of water into a five-gallon tank. A more logical approach should involve increasing the brain’s capacity to handle information in terms of quantity and even speed. Brain training research is exploding in the area of education and neuropsychology, and educators are finally starting to understand the role that overall brain ability has on our children’s education, specifically as it relates to mathematics, reading fluency, comprehension and the student’s overall motivation to learn. But brain ability is not so much about what they learn, as much as it is about how much they can learn. Processing skills, also known as brain skills, are the “muscles” of the brain. They are responsible for how information enters the brain, which information enters and how much of it enters. Therefore the development of these underlying brain skills are an essential part of every student’s learning potential, yet teaching or tutoring alone do little to influence growth in these areas. Attention and memory are just some of the brain “muscles” responsible for how kids (and adults) learn. Consider what difference it would make in your own life if you were able to increase your focus and memory capacity by three years in just weeks. When these muscles are weak, they limit a student’s academic performance and are the cause of most learning deficits, but when they are strong, they can make the difference between being an average student or an above-average one. Teaching is essential in the learning process, but it is often limited in the way it can help students reach their potential. Next time your youngster is studying their spelling words, practice having them spell the words in their head backwards. This will do more than just challenge them, it will force them to visualize the words with more intensity, since without visualizing the words it would be close to impossible to do. This is a brain skill known as visual processing that is essential for good reading comprehension. Since “brain muscles” determine how much a student can lift, it makes perfect sense to have a professional measure your child’s brain skills at the start of the school year so they can identify cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and create an individualized training plan to strategically improve their ability from the start. Dr. Fabian Redler is president of What’s On Your Mind, Inc. (LIFT Learning Centers), helping kids reach the stars since 2000. He may be contacted by calling 305-937-6463.


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Very popular S. Florida History Country’s Jake Owen to rock class returns to MDC in January Discover Orange Bowl halftime BY TERE ESTORINO FLORIN

The very popular Miami and South Florida History (AMH 2079) class at Miami Dade College (MDC) is available once again for history buffs on Thursday evenings beginning Jan. 10 through April 25, 2013 at the Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. Notable historian and MDC faculty member Dr. Paul George will teach the class, which will include classroom lectures, visits to historical libraries, repositories and exhibits, video and slide presentations, and tours of Greater Miami’s historic neighborhoods. During the 16-week course, students will learn about the Bahamian settlers who developed Coconut Grove; the Homesteading Era; Julia Tuttle and Henry Flagler and the entry of the Florida East Coast Railway; impact of the Great Depression on South Florida; backstory of Miami’s historic places and other pioneers; Tequesta Indians’ significance to the city of Miami, and the Seminole wars; roaring 1920s and the great real estate boom of the 1920s; Key West’s role in the region’s history; Depression Era in Miami and South Florida; Cuban refugee success story; Miami’s emergence as an international city, and much more. Additionally, Dr. George will teach a History of Florida (AMH 2070) class that offers a stirring account of the Sunshine

State in all of its eras, including the native populations of more than 10,000 years ago to the present. This class also will include lectures, videos, and tours. Among the topics being covered are: Florida, Native populations, and Conquistadors until 1565; First Spanish Period (1565-1763); British period from 1763 to 1784; second Spanish period from 1784 to 1821, and the American period from 1821 to the present. This class will be offered on Tuesday evenings beginning Jan. 8 through Apr. 23, 2013. Both courses account for three credits toward teacher recertification. Dr. George is widely recognized by the media and the South Florida community as the region’s foremost historian. He is often interviewed regarding key historical facts about the region and beyond. Classes: Miami and South Florida History (AMH 2079), Thursdays, Jan. 10-Apr. 25, 2013, 5:40-8:10 p.m., MDC Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Bldg. 3, Room 2217, $258.57 for the entire course. History of Florida (AMH 2070), Tuesdays, Jan. 8- Apr. 23, 2013, 5:40-8:10 p.m., MDC Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Bldg. 3, Room 3222, $258.57 for the entire course. For more information or to register for the courses, visit <www.mdc.edu> or contact Dr. Paul George at 305-237-3723, or by email to <paul.george@mdc.edu>.

BY LEE STEPHENS

Adding to the tradition of one of college football’s premier bowl games, platinum recording singer-songwriter Jake Owen will headline the Discover Halftime Show, while Xenia, participant on NBC’s hit show The Voice, will perform the National Anthem during the Discover Orange Bowl Countdown to Kick off at the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium. Owen joins a long-standing tradition of top entertainment showcased during the Orange Bowl halftime show, which has included Train, the Goo Goo Dolls, Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Simpson, Ciara, ZZ Top and the Doobie Brothers in recent years. Owen, who was nominated for a Grammy for his revival of Life in a Northern Town with Sugarland and Little Big Town in 2008, became a star so quickly that he didn’t have time to memorize any country music rule book — which made it that much easier to toss it out the window. Guided by sheer musical instinct, a drive for self-improvement and a willingness to experiment, the singer-songwriter has crafted Barefoot Blue Jean Night, his third album, as one of the most innovative and refreshing country collections of the year. To date, the album has launched back-toback, multi-week No. 1 hits with the platinum-selling title track and the gold-certi-

fied Alone with You. His current single from the album, The One That Got Away, is Top 5 and climbing at country radio. Owen was named 2009’s Top New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music, and earlier this year, Entertainment Weekly’s music issue ranked him among “The 30 Greatest Artists Right Now.” Xenia joins a distinguished list of musicians to perform the National Anthem during the Discover Orange Bowl Countdown to Kickoff. Xenia gained national fame as a participant of the inaugural season of NBC’s hit television show The Voice, making it to the Final 8 and placing second on Team Blake. Xenia, whose debut EP, Sing You Home, was released in December 2011, joins the likes of fellow The Voice contestant Javier Colon, Little Big Town, Nicole Henry, Arturo Sandoval, Katherine McPhee, Cece Winans, Ruben Studdard and Yolanda Adams to perform the National Anthem at the Discover Orange Bowl. The 2013 Discover Orange Bowl, to take place on Jan. 1 at 8 p.m., will feature the ACC Champion against a BCS at-large team. Both the Discover Orange Bowl and Discover Halftime Show will be broadcast by ESPN. For tickets, log on to <www.orangebowl.org> or call 305-3414702. Discover card members can visit DiscoverOrangeBowl.com for access to premium tickets and an exclusive Orange Bowl experience.

Friends of the Library schedule annual Book Sale, Dec. 12-15 BY VICTORIA GALAN

Book lovers and bargain hunters, get ready for the Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library’s Annual Book Sale. The sale starts on Wednesday, Dec. 12, and runs through Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Main Library, 101 W. Flagler St. in downtown Miami. Hours of operation are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Perfectly timed for holiday gift giving, the four-day event is South Florida’s largest book sale, with tens of thousands of donated books, DVDs and CDs. The Book Sale

is the Friends’ most important event of the year and proceeds help to raise funds for many important library cultural and literary programs. The Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library is a nonprofit, charitable organization created in 1974 to support the Library System. The Friends assist the library by promoting library interests within the community, supporting volunteers in the branches and raising funds to sponsor library programming. For more information about the Friends, visit <www.friendsofmdpl.org> or call 305-375-4776.


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Giraffas offers fast, casual Brazilian dining BY JESSE SCHECKNER

High quality and affordable “fast-casual” Brazilian dining is only a short distance away for Pinecrest residents thanks to the arrival of Giraffas Brazilian Steaks and Burgers at 9459 S. Dixie Hwy. The company began 31 years ago in Brasilia as a side endeavor by 19-year-old Carlos Guerra, an engineering student and culinary whiz kid who fine tuned his business over the next 30 years and turned it into the internationally successful company it is today. When Guerra decided to branch out into North America, he considered Miami the ideal place for expansion. “We knew South Florida’s diverse population would be immediately receptive to our unique concept,” says Carlos Vanegas, director of U.S. marketing. So far, their instincts have been spot-on as the Pinecrest location is the third to open locally and a fourth is being planned. First time customers are impressed by the restaurant’s thoughtful design, which won an award from the Retail Design Institute earlier this year. The interior has many bold, contrasting colors that make it unlike anything else in the area. There is every seating option available in several

different combinations. A handful of televithem as your guest.” sions are spread around the dining area and The food is a revelation. In line with tradisplay live news and food-based twitter ditional Brazilian fare, dishes are prepared feeds. The restaurant is very brightly lit and fresh in an open, visible kitchen and all clean, with adorable giraffe-themed touchitems are separated. A delicious assortment es and an open aesthetic. of sauces is brought to the table on the side “When Juscelino Kubitshek ordered and the customers decide how they the construction of Brasilia in 1956, he want to dig in. In the rare instances envisioned a city built around tradition, where the sauce is integrated into the but with an eye to the future,” says food, such as with the filet mignon tips Vanegas. “When Carlos Guerra and his stroganoff, it is expertly crafted to yield team commissioned FRCH, an awarda robust, mildly tangy flavor with a winning Cincinnati-based architectural pleasant aftertaste. and design firm, he laid out the road “We believe in the inherent taste of map for a similar approach.” each food, that it is better to bring out Once customers decide what they the natural flavor rather than attempt to want to eat and finish paying, they are modify it with sauces or spices,” says handed a numbered card, asked to put it Vanegas. in a giraffe-shaped card holder at a table Giraffas is pursuing its share in the of their choice and their food is brought market with a passion. In the next three to them. The restaurant is well-staffed months, they will open two more and the employees are knowledgeable, stores, one in Pembroke Pines and then helpful and outgoing. Although there is a one more at another Broward County tip jar in the front by the register, the location. In 2014, new restaurants are employees do not rely solely on tips. Victor Vazquez (left) and Carlos Cotto manage Giraffas in Pinecrest. planned for Orlando and Tampa. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Their enthusiastic nature is indicative of Giraffas is open Sunday to Thursday, an employer who treats the staff well. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and “We let the people we hire know that Saturday 11 a.m. to Midnight. For immediately after graduating from Le this is their home,” says manager Victor Cordon Bleu. “It’s like when you invite more information, call 305-728-8833 or go Vazquez, who was recruited by Giraffas someone to your house, you’ve got to treat to <www.giraffas.com>.

DINING OUT


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Boat Parade and Tree Lighting Greater Miami Symphonic Band set for Bayfront Park, Dec. 15 to perform 2 holiday concerts

BY ROBERT HAMILTON

Bring the whole family and join in kicking off the holiday season as some 100 boats will take part in the 15th annual Holiday Boat Parade on Dec. 15 with Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., as the official viewing location. Activities continue from 6 to 10 p.m. In addition, enjoy gourmet food trucks, bounce houses, a deejay and the grand finale will feature a fireworks show shot from barges located in Biscayne Bay. At 7 p.m., the “official” lighting of Bayfront Park’s Holiday Tree will take place. Sing along to your favorite holiday music and get into the spirit as you witness the striking, 50-foot tall artificial tree being lit for the first time this season. The tree is located in the middle of the park on the Flagler Promenade and will remain in the park through early January. This year’s Holiday Boat Parade also is helping the community. Unwrapped toys

will be collected at the Miami Outboard Club and other sponsor locations to benefit the children of Centro Mater. The Holiday Boat Parade is an integral part of Miami Outboard Club’s family and community activities. During the past 15 years, the Holiday Boat Parade has grown in size and scope and has attracted club members and non-club members alike. The donations and toy collections, benefiting the children of Centro Mater Child Care Services, also have grown with last year’s parade donating over 1,000 toys. Later, the children will be treated to a visit by Santa. Other community events include the Holiday Gala Poster Contest (partnering with Miami Dade School Board Member Raquel Regalado and Citrus Grove Elementary School), which marks the third annual Poster Contest within the MiamiDade County school system. For donations and participation contact Tony Hernandez by email at <tonyh@ispdj.com>.

BY ALLAN TAVSS

Join the Greater Miami Symphonic Band (GSMB) for “A Celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah” featuring your favorite holiday music presented in two concerts at two different venues. The first concert is Sunday, Dec. 16, 3 p.m., at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57 Ave. The Family Holiday Concert will present many holiday favorites and will only be one hour long. This concert will be perfect to bring your young children or grandchildren. Enjoy wonderful seasonal music in the beautiful Banyan Bowl at Pinecrest Gardens. The second concert is Tuesday, Dec. 18, 8 p.m., at Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Dr., on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables Campus. This will be the GMSB’s 34th Holiday Concert featuring the most popular seasonal music such as Sleigh Ride and A Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson and

Festive Sounds of Hanukkah. Many of your holiday favorites will be featured at this festive seasonal concert. This is one of the most popular concerts of every season so get you tickets early. The Gusman Hall concert is sponsored in part by the City of Coral Gables. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 students and children over 5 years of age. Tickets will be available at the Gusman Concert Hall Box Office and Pinecrest Gardens starting an hour before each concert. There should be plenty of free parkinmg at both locations. You can purchase season and individual concert tickets for the 34th season using a major credit card at <www.gmsb.org>, or mail your ticket order and check to: GMSB, PO Box 16-1233, Miami, FL 33116. For additional information regarding concerts, tickets and how you can help support the GMSB, go to <www.gmsb.org> or call 305-273-7687.


December 11 - 24, 2012

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Popular Naples Inn on Fifth gets facelift, new 32-room addition BY RON BEASLEY

Travelers who regularly stay at the Inn on Fifth in Naples may not recognize the popular hotel on their next visit following a $2 million renovation that took three months to complete. While the exterior facade remains much the same as it was in 1948 when it was built to house a bank, the upgrade transformed the interior from a Mediterranean décor to a modern lifestyle appearance. Later this month, on Dec. 20, the Inn on Fifth will add 32 new luxury suites with the completion of construction on a new building directly across the street. A Chase Bank branch and a women’s clothing store will occupy retail space on the ground floor of the new building, but upper levels will house two Presidential suites — each with two rooms, two bathrooms and large balconies; six rooms with queen-size beds and 24 rooms with kingsize accommodations. The new suites offer varying views, but all have balconies. Nick Fallon, the Inn on Fifth’s assistant director of sales, said the reconstruction of the interior of the old hotel was no small task,

N E W S and it remained open for business during the entire process. “Every room was gutted and reduced to bare concrete,” Fallon said. “And we put in new bathrooms with new plumbing, new carpeting, new furniture, everything. All 87 hotel rooms were completely renovated and refurnished, along with the lobby, to give us a whole new brand. Before we were a Mediterranean-inspired property, and now we are modern-lifestyle boutique hotel.” Fallon said the owner of the property determined that the hotel industry was evolving and the decision was made that the Inn on Fifth had to adapt. “It was getting to the point where we needed a change,” he said. “The way the market is going right now, the boutique hotels are going from being the old type of hotel to

All 87 hotel rooms of the Inn on Fifth in Naples have been renovated and refurnished, along with the hotel lobby and interior common areas.

Popular Inn on Fifth in Naples originally was built in 1948 to house a bank. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

being modern, clean and sleek looking, and that’s what we have achieved.” The Inn’s new design showcases an elegant contemporary décor featuring warm grays, creamy whites and crisp black with bold splashes of red. The renovation added custom-made furniture, carpet and artwork, fresh paint, crown molding and new draperies in the guest rooms. The ballroom and meeting spaces also were updated to reflect the new look and feel of the property, and the lobby and common areas were transformed with new paint, bold wall coverings, new furniture, custom artwork and decorative LED color changing lighting. Fallon said the popular Terrace Suites located on the front of the hotel that overlook busy Fifth Avenue were given a complete makeover. Each has 550 square feet of luxurious space, with a separate living area and sleeping quarters, as well as a Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. “They definitely are the favorite rooms in the hotel,” Fallon said. “We do have nine other suites in the hotel, but the views vary.” The Inn on Fifth, 699 Fifth Ave. South,

located in the heart of Naples and just a few blocks from the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, also has a beautiful rooftop swimming pool with an on-deck hot tub, and there are nine rooms adjacent to the pool deck, so guests may step out of their room into a sunny chaise lounge at poolside. “These rooms are also very popular with our guests,” Fallon said, “particularly in the summer months.” The Inn on Fifth also houses an awardwinning, full-service spa, a fitness center open 24-hours a day and ample meeting space. Two restaurants are located on the premises — McCabe’s Irish Pub & Grill, one of Naples’ favorite watering holes, and Truluck’s Seafood Steak and Crab House. The Inn on Fifth also provides complimentary WiFi and valet parking. In season, November-December, room rates range from $380 to $600; the starting price falls to $239 in May, then from June to October the rate is $179 a night. For more information and reservations, call 1-888-403-8778 or go to <www.innonfifth.com>.


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Kendall Hyundai sponsors first annual Miami 500 Road Race BY MARY PORTELLA

Kendall Hyundai will be sponsoring the Formula Automobile Racing Association’s (FARA) First International 500K Road Race at Homestead Miami Speedway on Dec. 16. In advance of the race, a special open house took place at the dealership, 15895 S. Dixie Hwy., on Sunday, Dec. 2. Guests received two complimentary tickets for the Inaugural FARA Miami 500 Road Race. Attendees also got a chance to mingle with international professional race car drivers like Miami Grand Prix 1989 third place finisher and Kendall Hyundai Pace Car Driver, Al Rocca. The 2013 Hyundai Pace Cars: the Genesis Coupe 2 Door Sports Car Track Model with six cylinders and over 300 horsepower, and the 2013 Veloster Sensation three door (non-hatchback) also were on site. Beyond the road race sponsorship, the Kendall Hyundai team and FARA are donating 1,000 tickets to a local elementary school in honor of first grader, 7-year-old Evangeline Nieves. Evangeline was diagnosed with leukemia two and a half years ago and currently is in

Kendall Hyundai Pace Car Driver and professional racer Al Rocca hugs the road. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

remission after recently completing her chemotherapy treatment. “This is our way of saying thank you to the community that supported the Nieves family during one of the most difficult times of their life,” said Steve Gutstein, Kendall Hyundai general manager.

Gutstein, a father of four, has been with the Potamkin Auto Group for over 15 years. “Evangeline will be our honorary guest on race day. We also will be making a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They have been an incredible resource for the Nieves family and for chil-

dren everywhere struggling with blood cancers,” Gutstein said. The philanthropic spirit of the event matches the goals of Kendall Hyundai and FARA executive director Tico Almeida and assistant director Alberto de las Casas to offer a family-friendly community event for all to enjoy. With more than $25,000 in contingency money for the first place finisher, more than 40 teams and over 100 racers from North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe already are registered. “Nothing like this has ever been done before,” said de las Casas. “FARA is a sanctioned body that can present races nationally. We have been doing so since 2007. We wanted to offer an international event that showcases the diversity of South Florida.” More than 30,000 tickets have been distributed. The Miami 500 will open with a parade and car club corrals followed by four hours of racing by the “best of the best” for the grand prize. “We appreciate the support of the community, the City of Homestead, and the tremendous support of Kendall Hyundai,” said former racer and instructor Al Rocca. “We hope to see as many people as possible at the track.”


December 11 - 24, 2012

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December 11 - 24, 2012

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Kia Sorento gets more standard features, technology Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS The 2013 Kia Sorento is a good looking, compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) and it just keeps getting better; it’s reasonably priced, has good power and fuel efficiency, and comes with an expanded roster of standard comfort, convenience and safety features. Sorento is offered in three trim levels — LX, EX and SX — and there are three engine options — an advanced 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder that develops 191 hp and 181 pounds-feet of torque and 32 mpg/highway; a 3.5-liter V-6 that gets 276 hp and 248 pounds-feet of torque, and a 2.4-liter Multi-Port Injected (MPI) fourcylinder engine producing 175 hp and 169 pounds-feet of torque. All are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Kia’s Sportmatic shifting control. There is a choice of front- or allwheel-drive, the latter with a locking center

differential that evenly distributes power to all wheels while operating at low speeds during severe weather. Sorento uses a compact, light MacPherson strut front suspension and a fully independent multi-link rear suspension for a better ride. Sorento has a deceptively compact exterior and a spacious interior that comfortably seats up to seven passengers. The front end is defined by the signature grille and wraparound headlights found on all newer Kia models. The overall design is aggressive and sleek, with a swept-back profile, an angled window line, prominent fog lights and a rounded nose. The rear is rounded and the taillights are set into the rear lift gate. Sorento comes equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels and body-color, heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators. The EX trim has 18-inch, five-spoke hyper finish wheels, fog lamps, roof rails and a rear spoiler. EX also offers an optional panoramic sunroof (V-6 models only). The more upscale SX adds mirrorfinish 10-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome-tip exhaust pipes, body-color wheelwell molding, stainless steel underbumper trim accents and step pad, sleeker body-color front and rear bumpers and

Sorento CUV has a rounded nose, an angled window line, signature Kia grille, wraparound headlights and prominent fog lights.

LED taillights. Sorento is spacious in both five- and seven-passenger seating configurations, yielding 142.5 cubic feet of space in the five-seat arrangement and 149.4 cubic feet in the seven-seat version. For 2013, Sorento has added standard leather seating for the mid-level EX trim and a third-row seat for the LX V-6 trim. The base LX trim now offers the optional UVO powered by Microsoft voice-activated infotainment system based on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform. Sorento also has an impressive slate of

standard technology features, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SiriusXM Satellite Radio, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting personal MP3 players, and Bluetooth wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls. The Kia Sorento starts at $22,695. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.


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Palmetto Bay News 12.11.2012