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JANUARY 12 - 18, 2010

New programming planned following survey by village

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BY GARY ALAN RUSE he Village of Palmetto Bay recently asked residents to fill out survey questionnaires regarding the kinds of additional programming for seniors and others they would like to see presented through the village parks and recreation program. As a result, several new programs have been announced and more are likely on the way. District 1 Councilmember Dr. Ed Feller and Vice Mayor Brian Pariser worked together on the project. “Some of the residents wanted exercise groups, some wanted athletics, some wanted book clubs,” Dr. Feller said. “We’re starting with some organized by Baptist Health that are health oriented. “We’re also trying to see if Dr. Ed Feller we can start up a garden club for residents, like those in some of the other cities, and we’re also contacting the National Park Service to see about having them present a lecture series.” Brian Pariser Feller Dr. –––––––––––––––––– said that the village is coordinating program plans with the new county library branch in Palmetto ––––––––––––––––––––– See

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Girl Scout organizes tennis event to benefit greyhounds

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Fundraiser offers discount cards supporting wildlife conservation

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BY ROBERT HAMILTON

BY CINDY CASTELBLANCO

ylan Schlesinger, a Girl Scout in Troop 424 based in Pinecrest, is organizing the Greyhound Open, a tennis tournament to benefit the Friends of Greyhounds (FOG) organization. The project is for her Girl Scout Gold Award. Friends of Greyhounds is a non-profit corporation with a mission to provide retired racing greyhounds with a caring environment and loving adoptive homes. They also strive to educate the public about these noble dogs. Greyhounds make great house pets and are very loyal and loving. They make wonderful companion dogs for old and young alike. Gentle and easygoing, the breed is known for its intelligence and quiet and polite demeanor. The funds raised through the tournament will be used to purchase a dog identification tag machine. The tag machine will identify every greyhound that is adopted from the FOG kennel with the new owner’s name and telephone number.

he Zoological Society of Florida (ZSF), with a mission to encourage an appreciation for the world’s wildlife and to help conserve it for future generations, invites those interested in saving wildlife and money to donate $5 for a “Save Money, Save Wildlife” discount card. With this small donation, participants will save more than $75 at retailers, supermarkets, restaurants and fitness clubs including: Whole Foods, Chicken Kitchen, Cold Stone Creamery, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Denny’s, LA Fitness, Subway, Supercuts and Wannado City. With an expiration date of September 2010, the promotional cards have 10 “one time use” detachable coupons and six “multi-use” coupons. This means that six of the coupons can be used over and over again for nine months. “These cards make great gifts for everyone, particularly eco-friendly people,” said Nestor Rodriguez, ZSF president and CEO. “There’s no easier way to contribute to the preservation of our wildlife and saving money than by buying these cards.” Printed on 100 percent biodegradable, sturdy plastic, these attractive gift card-like discount cards feature the zoo’s beautiful jaguar and are on sale now at <www.miamimetrozoo.com>

The event benefits Friends of Greyhounds.

Dylan Schlesinger

Troop 424 will host the tennis tournaments and evening events for adults and juniors throughout the weekend of Jan 22-24. There will be A and B divisions, round robin format with individual participation (participants do not need a doubles partner). Awards will be given to winners of each division. The tournament will be played at Coral Oaks Tennis Club, 10530 SW 57 Ave. Juniors play Saturday, Jan 23, 1-5 p.m. ($30 fee includes T-shirt, awards and entry to evening event) and adults compete Sunday, Jan 24, 1-5 p.m. ($40 fee includes T-shirt, awards and entry to evening event). Evening events will take place at the Schlesinger residence, 10102 Hidden Place and include an adult cocktail party/silent auction on Friday, Jan 22, at 7 p.m., and junior party/raffle on Saturday, Jan 23, at 7 p.m. Event information and registration contacts: For juniors, Dylan Schlesinger, 305458-1114; for men’s competition, Michael Schlesinger, 305-790-4290, and for women’s competition, Dawn Schlesinger, 305-803-1114.

–––––––––– See

CONSERVATION, page 4


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 12 - 18, 2010

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January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 3

Serviceman’s family receives ‘gifts’ to brighten the holiday BY ROBERT HAMILTON

Forgotten Soldiers Outreach Inc. joined with Florida Power and Light Company and GE in presenting Cutler Bay area resident Technical Sgt. Bucky Parrish and his family with energy efficient LED holidays lights, decorations and even a thermostat, as well as other “goodies” for the holidays, as a special thank you for his service. Sgt. Parrish of the United States Air Force returned home in May of this year after his third tour in Iraq. He currently is in active duty reserves and works at Homestead Air Reserve Base. Sgt. Parrish was quite surprised when Lynelle Zelnar, executive director and founder of Forgotten Soldiers Outreach Inc. (FSO) showed up at the Parrish home with her family on Tuesday evening, Dec. 15, with a large container full of holiday lights, and other goodies provided by FPL and GE. Zelnar now resides in Cutler Bay with her family and is reaching out to the surrounding communities to show their support of our troops overseas. “To bring joy to a soldier who has given so much to us, and has put his life on the line over and over again, is priceless. This was an honor to be able to present this sol-

U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Bucky Parrish is pictured with his family. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

dier and his family with a wonderful gift at this holiday season,” Zelnar said. “With the recent announcement of an additional 30,000 troops being called for duty in Afghanistan, we all thought it would be a great way to show our soldiers how much we support them and their families,” said Sarah Marmion, FPL spokesperson. “The gift basket is a way to say thank you and as it is full of energy efficient holiday decorations and other items for the home, it will help the family save money.” Using light-emitting diode (LED) lighting on trees, menorahs or any lighted holiday displays can save up to 90 percent in energy consumption compared to traditional incandescent lights. LED holiday lighting strands last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and they don’t heat up like traditional bulbs so they reduce the risk of fire and injury. Forgotten Soldiers Outreach Inc. is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization based out of South Florida, and has been sending monthly “we care” packages to United States servicemen and servicewomen serving overseas, covering all world theaters since 2003. For more information on FSO, visit the website at <www.forgottensoldiers.org> or call National Headquarters at 1-561-3692933 or locally at 350-378-6437.

Attention Small Business Owners Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson District 8

Mom and Pop

Small Business Grant Program Grant Funds available to Qualifying business owners

Up to $4,000 for Commercial business or Up to $2,000 for Home-based business Applications available for pick up From Monday, January 25 to Monday, February 8, 2010 Commissioner Sorenson’s District Office South Dade Government Center 10710 SW 211 Street, Suite 204, Miami, FL 33189 or

Online at: www.miamidade.gov/district08

For all applicants, there will be a Mandatory Information/Workshop Meeting explaining the application and requirements on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, 10:00 a.m. (Please be on time) at the South Dade Government Center 10710 SW 211 Street, Conference Room 203. Applicants not in attendance will not be considered for funding. After attending the Mandatory Information/Workshop Meeting, submit 1 original and 1 copy of the completed application in person to Commissioner Sorenson’s District Office, Suite 204, from February 9, 2010 to February 12, 2010 (last day by 5:00 pm)

(We suggest you keep a copy for your records) For more information, you may contact: Commissioner Sorenson’s District Office at 305-378-6677 Or Neighbors And Neighbors Association (NANA) Ms. Lawanza Finney at: 305-756-0605 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

SURVEY,

Happy New Year to all of our friends and clients. Thank you for a great 2009, we promise to make 2010 even better! 13615 S. Dixie Hwy #113 Miami Fl, 33176

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January 12 - 18, 2010

from page 1 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Bay to see if they can combine some of the programs. Three of the new classes will take place at Coral Reef Park, located at 7895 SW 152 St., with classes starting Jan. 18. They are the “All-Around Fitness Class,” “Strength and Endurance Class” and “Trim and Fit After 55” (a senior muscle toning class). Presented through Baptist Health, the first two weeks of the programs are free. For more information and to register, call 786-596-7044. Another new program is called the “Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction,” and begins on Thursday, Jan. 14, 10:30-11:30 a.m. It takes place at the Edward and Arlene Feller Community Room, second floor, in Ludovici Park, 17641 Old Cutler Rd. Carol Kaminsky, a Dance/Movement Therapist, is teaching the class. The program is free, but space is limited and reservations are required. Call 786-596-3812 or

CONSERVATION,

from page 1 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

and at the Zoological Society of Florida. Proceeds from the sale of the cards will go to the Miami Metrozoo Conservation and Research Fund and the Zoological Society of Florida in support of local and global efforts of conservation, education of children and zoo visitors, enhancement of exhibit space, enrichment for animals and other projects created and supported

The culinary staff and the service personnel of Romanza Trattoria are dedicated to making your dining a classic, unique experience. The highest quality of foods are perfectly blended with the meticulous care of the kitchen staff. For your meal to reach its ultimate richness of taste, it must be done in a manner that cannot be rushed. We pride ourselves on excellence.

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by both organizations. Miami Metrozoo is located at 12400 SW 152 St. General zoo admission is $15.95 per adult and $11.95 per child (312), plus tax. Hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; ticket booths close at 4 p.m. For more information visit online at <www.miamimetrozoo.com> or call 305251-0400.

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send email to <bhsfprogram@baptisthealth.net> for additional information and to make reservations. As part of Mayor Eugene Flinn’s recent New Year’s message, he stated that in 2010 there will be a shift from big capital projects to new activities and services, and that he strongly urged residents to share their views, engage with elected officials, subscribe to village communications, participate in the surveys and attend public meetings, since constructive and healthy debate is essential to the process, and participation is the key. “This is part of the year of transition,” Mayor Flinn said. “Basically, we’ve built some wonderful assets and now we’re moving into programming. As part of the huge public process we’ve always had, whether its town hall meetings or something a little more individualized, we want to continue to take public input and bring forward programs that reflect our community.”

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January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 5

The New Year brings a zoning hearing and a survey Michael Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR

AROUND TOWN By t h e t i me you read this, the January monthly Council Meeting will have taken place on Monday January 11, but there’s a zoning hearing scheduled for later in the month that you can still mark on your calendar. The Village of Palmetto Bay will conduct a zoning public hearing on Tuesday, January 25th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Deering Estate Visitors Center, located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue. Discussion and public input will be welcomed. One of the items on the agenda involves Van Orsdel Mortuaries, Inc. regarding a new business location at 16475 S. Dixie Hwy, in Palmetto Bay, right next to the Perrine Wayside Dog Park. The applicant is requesting a non-use variance of parking setback requirements to allow the edge of parking pavement to encroach 3.5’ where (5’) is required from the north and south interior property line on a property zoned B-2, Business District, under the Village’s Land Development Regulations. The other zoning applicant, DRE Holdings, LLC, A.K.A. Hole In The Wall Pub,?located at 14421 S. Dixie Hwy, is requesting a conditional use approval to allow the consumption of beer and wine with or without food to be served at a bar counter in conjunction with the existing permitted full service restaurant that allows the service of alcohol to persons seated at dining tables on a property

zoned B-1, Business District. If you have questions, call Village Hall at 305-259-1234. We ll , fol ks , it was about a year ago that the village launched its resident newsletter, called “e-Currents.” Now we have received an email from their PIO guy, Bill Kress, stating that while they have done a little tweaking from time to time, they now want to give it a better once over by having those on the email list, in other words, those who receive the newsletter, take a quick survey to find out what people think of it and whether Village Hall needs to make any more changes to provide “the best quality communications product possible.” We think the newsletter looks pretty nifty already, but we’re sure they will welcome any suggestions they receive from the residents. T h e C u t l e r Ri dge Uni te d Met hodist C h u rc h will have an indoor Flea Market on Friday, Jan. 22 from 8:00 a.m. to Noon and Saturday, Jan. 23 from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., according to Jean Welsh, who handles their publicity. “Early morning coffee and a hot dog lunch will be available,” says Jean. The church is located at 20740 Old Cutler Road. For information, call 305-235-0561 or 305-235-6651. T h i s s e e m s the appropriate spot to remind you that January 15 is the deadline for submitting ideas for new transportation studies to the MDC Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Those accepted will be included in the next “Unified Planning Work Program. For transmitting your ideas, contact mpo@miamidade.gov or call 305-375-4507 and ask for Oscar Camejo, MPO Project Manager.

H i s t o r y F l i g h t s return to KendallTamiami Executive Airport on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, January 16 & 17 when, if you are not a white-knuckle flyer, you can relive what World War II airmen experienced by taking a trip aboard North American’s B-25 Mitchell bomber, an AT-6/ SNJ Texan, or a Boeing N2S Stearman. You’ll board and take a brief flight from our local airports in vintage craft instead of just viewing them ground-bound. For details and price call Wings over Miami Museum at K-T Airport at 305-233-5197 (open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday thru Sunday). G overnment Operations Subcommittee of the County Commission meets at 9:30 a.m. today (January 12) to take up the Community Council ordinance for further tweaking. Just as interesting: the ordinance proposed by Commissioner Javier Souto directing that names, positions and salaries of all Miami-Dade county employees be updated annually and copies maintained at all Miami-Dade public libraries. Right on, Commissioner!

S t a r d u s t i n y o u r DNA? Dr. Kevin Huffenberger, UM astronomer, presents his exciting cosmology program on Friday, January 15, at 8 p.m. in CP-145, FIU Physics Building, Modesto Maidique Campus. The topic includes Big Bang theory, formation of cosmic structures, radiation afterflow, supernovas and dark matter. Southern Cross members host free astronomy programs with prizes, food buffet and more. Park in the public garage opposite the FIU Physics Building at SW 109th Avenue and SW 8th Street. For details, call 305-661-1375 or visit online at <www.scas.org>. Thought of the Day May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions. — Joey Adams

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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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 ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES..........................................................Albie Barnes, Beatriz Brandfon, Roberta Bergman, Ana Caceres, Celia Canabate, Diane Chasin, Henry Chau, Sharon Christian, Cecile Fanfani, Diane Maddox, Denzel Miles, Ann Robbins-Udel, Fara Sax, Lori Schwadron, Diane Sedona Schiller, Walter White LEGAL ADVERTISING ..................................................................................................................... Georgia Tait BOOKKEEPING ............................................................................................................................ Jesus Toledo PROOF DEPARTMENT....................................................................................................................Isabel Vavrek

GRAPHIC ARTISTS .............................................................Catalina Roca, Isabel Ortega, Angie Gago

PUBLISHER EMERITUS.......................................................................................................................................... Ron Miller

COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS Aventura News, Biscayne Tribune, Coral Gables News-Tribune, Doral Tribune, Kendall Gazette, Cutler Bay News, Palmetto Bay News, Pinecrest Tribune, South Miami News, Sunny Isles Beach 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.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 12 - 18, 2010

Prescription drug registry brings Florida into 21st Century R. Kenneth Bluh ––– VIEWPOINT ––– KENNETH’S COMMENTARY Joe Druggie walks into Doctor X’s pain relief clinic and pleads with the MD for pain medication. A prescription is written. Minutes later Joe Druggie walks into Doctor Y’s pain clinic and makes the same request. Another prescription is written. Ditto at Doctor Z’s clinic. Five minutes later Joe Druggie walks into a CVS pharmacy, a Walgreens pharmacy and an independent drug store and fills all three prescriptions. Can this happen in Florida? Today, yes. Can it happen in Georgia or 37 other states? No. Why? Because 38 states have prescription drug abuse registries in effect, some for almost 15 years. Last year, Florida’s legislators finally passed a similar law, which goes into effect in 2011. As far back as 2001, then Gov. Jeb Bush proposed a bill that would establish a computerized drug database to stop mis-

use of pharmaceutical drugs. The measure would have established penalties of up to 15 years in prison for doctors who “illegally” prescribe medication. The proposed legislation would have exempted everyone’s prescription drug records from public records’ law and make those records available only to doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement officers. Opponents of the bill stated the unintended consequence of the bill would probably be to expand the illicit drug trade by forcing pain patients and people addicted to prescription drugs to seek their medications from the illegal drug market place. Some expressed concern that such a database could violate people’s rights to medical privacy and making medical patients requiring prescribed pain medication vulnerable to drug abuse charges. Again, opponents to the bill cited that there are more effective ways to deal with prescription drug abuse that would include public education, training doctors and pharmacists in the identification and medical intervention procedures for people who may be abusing or addicted to prescription drug addicts.

They contend it would have been a serious mistake to extend the failed drug war policies that treat addicted people as criminals to individuals who may develop abuse or dependence problems related to prescription drugs. We frequently hear the fact that more lives are lost each year on Florida’s highways than are lost in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obviously many legislators never heard that two and a half times more people die from drug overdose, intended and not, than are lost on our highways each year. Beginning next year, the drug registry will enable a doctor to learn if a patient is abusing the system and give the MD the insight to better handle the drug request. It will enable the drugstore to prevent perpetuating illegal drug use. It will quickly permit law enforcement officers to separate legal and illegal drug users when facing an arrest.

Today, South Florida is considered the drug capital of America. Hundreds of pain clinics are in operation writing prescriptions for pain relieving drugs to undeserving patients. Starting next year we have a way of identifying the abusers of the system. Thanks to state Sen. Mike Fasano (RNew Port Richey) for filing the bill to create such a registry to make Florida the 39th state to enact such a law. Sorry it took almost 10 years to convince the objectors that the law is in the best interest in our residents. We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-662-6980 or email to <letters@communitynewspapers.com>. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.

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January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Mountains of debt make it tough for graduates Al Sunshine 4 YOUR MONEY It’s a tough time for graduates. Jobs are scarce and many of those who are venturing out into the workplace are facing mountains of debt. It seems that students are borrowing more than ever to go to school. In fact, some worry this could be the next economic bubble about to burst. For example, try to imagine a 22-yearold without a cell phone? It sounds crazy, but I spoke to one local girl who is in that exact situation because she needs every penny to scrape together payments on $60,000 in student loans. She’s working, but she still can’t afford her loan payments, which are about $400 a month. When this young lady graduated in May with a business degree from Becker College, she never imagined she would be living at home and making $11 an hour. Fortunately, she has her mother to help. “If I was alone, I’d be in big trouble,” she told me. “My total loan balance right now is actually close to $140,000.” That’s right — $140,000. Then there’s a nurse practitioner I talked to who has a well-paying job, which she loves. Unfortunately, her loans eat up so much of her salary that she has been forced to find a roommate. In fact, the payments themselves are almost that of a monthly mortgage. Figures from the U.S. Department of Education show the average debt for a graduate is now $23,000. That’s up from $13,000 12 years ago. This is exactly the opposite of the American dream. This is the American nightmare and, even if you don’t have kids

or loans yourself, that doesn’t mean it won’t impact you. It’s a problem that is so widespread it could very well be the next financial bubble to burst, affecting us all. For example, if you have more students graduating heavily in debt, they’re not going to be able to buy cars, or eat fancy restaurant meals, or even pay rent for a nice apartment. A recent survey of college grads found 44 percent delayed buying a house because of their student loans and 28 percent put off having children. To complicate matters even more, bankruptcy isn’t an option. Unlike credit cards and mortgages, student loans can’t be wiped out if the student gets into trouble. Not surprisingly, it’s the middle class that is most affected. At some point in time, the economic advantage of going to college for some part of the population is going to go down. Fortunately, experts say that the majority of graduates will be able to manage their debt. However, that could change as tuitions continue to rise. Experts say that ultimately, these college loans are inflicting substantial debt onto some people who are just starting off their life. It becomes counterproductive to them and counterproductive to us as a nation. One student I spoke with asked this question: “If the government can help out banks and can help out big businesses, why can’t it help out college kids. We’re the future.” Another student told me, “I feel like I’ve mortgaged my future to pursue my dreams.” It becomes a sobering reality for many college grads. To help offset the high cost of higher education, experts predict some colleges will offer more online classes and eliminate extravagant amenities on campus.

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Avoid the Rush Apply NOW for your 2010 Property Tax Benefits Now accepting applications for the following exemptions / benefits:

5 5 5 5 5 5

Homestead Portability Senior Citizens Veteran’s Disability Civilian Disability Widow/ Widower

Deadline: March 1, 2010

For more information and forms visit the Property Appraiser online at www.miamidade.gov/pa or call 786-331-5321

Watch Al Sunshine’s “4 Your Money” reports Monday-Friday beginning at noon. You may find Al’s blog at <www.cbs4.com/4yourmoney>.

Turn It Off... Conserve Water!

Sign up at miamidade.gov for direct access to news and services.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 12 - 18, 2010

Letter to the Editor City seemed to have spirit of the holidays To the Editor: While Kenneth Bluh’s columns of late have been rightfully lambasting government entities that deserve it. I thought it might me beneficial for your reputation to speak positively of something. With that in mind, I share this with you: A friend was recently holiday shopping in South Miami and came back to her car and saw that her meter had expired and there was a note under her windshield. Thinking it was a ticket she was elated to read the note, which, under the City of South Miami Logo, read: The meter was red, as time expired. In the rush of the season, we knew you’d be tired. A parking ticket would just make you blue, And in the holiday spirit this just would not do. So during this time of friendship and good cheer, Season’s greetings to you and best wishes all year. Definitely appears that the City of South Miami is in tune with the holidays. All the best to you for the new year, Edward A. Fischer Kendall

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January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 9

Miami-Dade Library officially opens new Naranja Branch BY VICTORIA GALAN

Residents in the South Dade area have easier access to the Miami-Dade Public Library System with the opening of the new Naranja Branch Library, located at 14850 SW 280 St. During the official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 16, County Commission chair Dennis Moss, Commissioner Katy Sorenson and county manager George Burgess joined library staff, members of the Community Redevelopment Agency and residents to officially inaugurate the library. The library project was designed and managed by the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s General Services Administration and uses a palette of soft, muted tones, terrazzo floors and an abundance of natural light. There are separate areas for young adults and children and the shelving is moveable to allow for re-configuration. Patrons can access a collection of 30,000 new books and materials, and free Internet through 20 computer terminals and several portable laptops utilizing Wi-Fi technology. The 15,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art library, is open Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and closed on Sunday. For more information, call 305-242-2290.

Pictured at the ribbon cutting is the staff of the new Naranja Branch Library. (Photo by Vinora Hamilton)

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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January 12 - 18, 2010

Teens bring holiday cheer to Heartland of Kendall

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• Deep Tissue Trained Professional Young Ladies to Help You Relax

Pictured (l-r) are Lauren Cote, resident Fred Sosnowski, Joel Santana and Monica Rosell. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY MARIA PITSOULAKIS Lic# MM23675

UNIVERSAL HOME HEALTH CARE is committed to providing highquality, compassionate care. Our medical training and health care background means that your loved one will be in good hands. Universal Home Health Care is Medicaid/Medicare certified. Located in Pinecrest. • Alzheimer’s Care • Medication Management/Teaching • Blood Pressure Monitoring & Care • IV Administration & Monitoring • Physical/Occupational/ Speech Therapy • Cardiac Care

• Bowel Care/Catheter Care • Neuro-Psych Care • Diabetes Care • Wound Care • Feeding Tube Support • Incontinence Support • Home Health Aid

Universal Home Health Care also supports families and friends with the following services: • Care Giving Education • Community Support and Resources • Planning of Care and Evaluation of Needs • Ongoing Assessment • Equipment, Medication, and Medical Service Referral

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Amedisys Home Health of Palmetto Bay recently collaborated with students from the Roxy Theatre Group (RTG) to perform for residents and patients at Heartland of Kendall. Lauren Cote, 16; Monica Rosell, 17, and Joel Santana, 17, members of the Roxy Theatre Group’s Senior Voice Troupe, volunteered their time and provided a musical performance to the residents and patients of Heartland of Kendall. The talented teens provided a spectacular performance of winter melodies comprised of The Prayer; Baby, It’s Cold Outside; Let It Snow, and The Christmas Song to an audience of about 30 elderly residents. At the conclusion of the musical performance, the students distributed get well cards to residents. The get well cards

were provided by students from three Kendall area schools — A+ Early Learning Center, Cypress Elementary and Riviera Middle School — who volunteered their time and made more than 200 cards for residents of the facility. The Roxy Theatre Group (RTG), a nonprofit organization, offers classes in drama, voice and dance to children ages 3-17, with year-round programs including after school care and a performing arts summer camp. For more information, call 305-226-0030, send email to <SusannePinedo@gmail.com> or online at visit <www.RoxyPAC.com> Amedisys Home Health of Palmetto Bay is a Medicare certified Home Health Agency providing Nursing, Therapy, and Disease Management Services to residents of Miami-Dade County. For more information, call 305-254-1610 or visit online at <www.Amedisys.com>.


January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Charles Rodriguez, 7, is thrilled to receive a surprise visit from Miami Heat players Mario Chalmers (left) and Jermaine O’Neal when they came to Baptist Children’s Hospital bringing gifts and smiles to the young patients. (Photo by Mabel Rodriguez)


January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Why hire an arborist to care for your trees? An arborist is a specialist in the care of individual trees. Right Tree – Right Place Arborists are knowledgeable about the needs of trees and are trained and equipped to provide proper care. Well-cared-for trees are attractive and can add considerable value to your property.

THE ARBORIST

Ser vices That Arborists Can Provide: Pr uning: An arborist can determine the type of pruning necessary to maintain or improve the health, appearance, and safety of trees. Removal: Although tree removal is a last resort, there are circumstances when it is necessary. An arborist can help you decide whether a tree should be removed. Emergency Tree Care: Storms may cause limbs or entire trees to fall, often landing on other trees, homes and other structures, or cars. The weight of storm-damaged trees is great, and they can be dangerous to remove or trim. An arborist can assist in performing the job in a safe manner, while reducing further risk of damage to property.

Planting: Arborists plant trees, and most can recommend types of trees that are appropriate for a specific location. The wrong tree in the wrong location could lead to future problems as a result of limited growing space, insects, diseases, or poor growth. Plant Health Car e: An Arborist keeps trees in good health by helping the tree to better defend itself against insects, disease, and site problems. How do I know if this guy with a chainsaw is an Arborist? Many people who love trees become ISA members for a small annual fee. Some unscrupulous tree trimmers pretend that this simple membership is the same thing as being a “certified arborist.” Every ISA arborist has an individual ID number and ID card that you can check on the ISA website: <www.isa-arbor.com>. Ron von Paulus is an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist (ID # Fl-5770A). He has more than 20 years experience working with trees in South Florida. He offers free consultations to homeowners and businesses. Please contact him at Big Ron’s Tree Service 305-588-3091 or by email at <ron@BigRonsTreeService.com>

Page 13


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Teaching Children “To Learn to Love to Learn”

January 12 - 18, 2010

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January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 15

Free lunchtime workshops offered at Miami-Dade Main Library The Miami-Dade Public Library System is offering a series of “Shape Up” workshops to help participants on a variety of subjects at the Main Library, 101 W. Flagler St. Workshops will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on the following dates: Wednesday, Jan. 13, Shape Up for the New Year: Organize It; Wednesday, Feb. 10, Shape up for the New Year: Get the Job You Want, and Thursday, Mar. 11, Shape Up for the New Year: Eat Healthy on a Budget. For additional information, call 305-3752665 or visit online at <www.mdpls.org>. MAGIC CITY CASINO INTRODUCES BAILAR MIAMI ON FRIDAY NIGHTS The all-new Magic City Casino, 450 NW 37 Ave., is hosting its first Bailar Miami Dance Competition which began on Friday, Jan. 8, and runs for 16 consecutive weeks every Friday from 9 to 10 p.m. A total of 15 contestants will be chosen to compete each Friday night. Each team of dancers will have two minutes for its performance. Contestants can select the music genre and/or song they would like to perform. Winners of the weekly competition will receive $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place. Each week’s

winners will advance automatically to the Bailar Miami finals on Apr. 30, where the prizes will be $2,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. A $500 prize also will be awarded to the winning team’s dance school, if applicable. For more information or to download the entry form and official rules for Bailar Miami, visit online at <www.magiccitycasino.com>. CELEBRATE THE ARTWORK OF JOHN LENNON WITH ‘WE ALL SHINE ON’ OPENING JAN. 15 Legacy Fine Art Productions, in conjunction with Ms. Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s widow, is pleased to showcase the artwork of Lennon in the “We All Shine On” exhibit scheduled on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 15-17, at Miami Beach Community Church, 1620 Drexel Ave. (corner of Drexel Avenue and Lincoln Road). The exhibit will be open from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday; noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday. For the past 17 years, the John Lennon Art Exhibits have been a place of refuge for John’s legions of fans to literally “come together” and share his messages of peace and love through his artwork. A $2 donation is suggested when you arrive.

COMMUNITY NEWS briefs For more information, call 305-674-4470. UNITY CENTER OF MIAMI OFFERS MINI SPIRITUAL RETREAT, JAN. 16 Join the Unity Center of Miami, 16320 SW 147 Ave., for a time of renewal and spiritual refreshment from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16. The day will include Native American spiritual cleansing rituals, incorporating nature in meditation/prayer and a nature prayer walk. Pre-registration costs $30 and includes a vegetarian lunch, fruit snacks and all retreat materials. All registrants will be provided with an “instruction packet” to prepare for this, primarily outside, retreat. For information, call 305-232-9503 or send email to <unitymiami@aol.com>. SOUTH FLORIDA HISPANIC CHAMBER TO HOST U.S. CENSUS 2010 FORUM The South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SFLHCC) is hosting a forum on

the importance of the participation of Hispanics in the 2010 U.S. Census on Friday, Jan. 22, starting at noon at Casa Juancho Restaurant, 2439 SW Eighth St. The U.S. Census 2010 Forum will take place during a general membership luncheon of the SFLHCC. The forum participants are Dr. Antonio Villamil, dean of Economics and Research at St. Thomas University; Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Group, and Ralph de la Portilla, Miami Team Leader for the Census 2010. The moderator of the panel is Luz Urbaez Weinberg, vice mayor of the City of Aventura and board of directors member of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO). The cost of participating in the lunch/forum is $45 for members and $60 for non-members. Reservations are to be made at 305-534-1903.

––––––– Continued on next page

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

NEWS,

Building Better Communities A Snapshot of Our Progress The Building Better Communities bond program has reached the five-year mark with a long roster of work completed or in various phases of planning, design or construction. Here are some of the projects leaving an imprint on our community. County Parks

Community & Human Services

A.D. Barnes - Aquatic Facility Amelia Earhart - New Facilities Black Point & Haulover - Marina Upgrades Crandon - Tennis Courts Re-surfaced Redland Fruit & Spice - Landscaping Greynolds - Facility Repairs Matheson Hammock - New Access Road Miami Metrozoo - Amazon & Beyond Exhibit Tamiami - Improved Sports Fields Tropical Equestrian Center - Phase 1

Allapattah YMCA ASPIRA of Florida Caleb Center Upgrades Daily Bread Food Bank Habitat for Humanity Hialeah Affordable Housing Homeless Trust Housing Complex New Victims’ Assistance Center Building Pierre Community Center Sunrise Community Training Center United Way Center for Early Education Wynwood / Allapattah Service Center

Neighborhood Parks Coral Reef in Palmetto Bay Dominoes in Sweetwater Doral Park and Sportsfields Grapeland Waterpark Little Haiti Soccer Lummus Park Miami Springs Recreation Milander Sports Fields Perrine Park Royal Oaks Activity Center South Pointe Park Sunny Isles Active Park West Miami Recreation Healthcare Facilities Jackson Memorial Hospital Emergency, Pediatric & Radiology Units Jackson South Community Hospital University of Miami Ear Institute Miami Beach Primary Healthcare Clinic Mental Health Diversion Facility Citrus Health Network Branch Libraries South Miami Renovations Miami Springs Upgrades Shenandoah (City of Miami) Improvements Northeast Regional Library - Design

The projects listed above are funded wholly, or in part, by the County’s Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program as approved by voters in a November 2004 referendum. The ambitious building program, launched in 2005, is scheduled to continue over the next 15-20 years.

Culture Cuban Museum Hispanic Ballet Theater Historic Hampton House Jewish Museum Lyric Theater South Dade Arts Center Vizcaya Museum & Gardens Restoration Public Works Bridge Repairs & lighting repairs Beach Renourishment - various locales Drainage Improvements - 87,196 LF (17 miles) New & Repaired Sidewalks - nearly 90 miles Road Re-surfacing - more than 50 miles Major Infrastructure Port of Miami Tunnel - Design Marlins Ballpark - Construction Miami Beach Convention Center - Pre-Design Museum Park - Design Countywide Water / Sewer Improvements Environmentally Endangered Lands Acquisition of more than 2,600 acres as part of Environmentally Endangered Lands Program

January 12 - 18, 2010

from previous page

ANNUAL WOMEN’S HEALTH DAY SCHEDULED AT BAPTIST HOSPITAL Proactively take care of your own health during the 19th annual Baptist Hospital Women’s Health Day set for Saturday, Jan. 23. The event, from 1 to 4 p.m., will take place in the Medical Arts Building, 8950 N. Kendall Dr. This year’s event, “Getting in Tune with Your Body,” will feature free screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar (diabetes), metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes), body fat ratio and bone density (osteoporosis). You do not need to fast. Also offered will be leg circulation screenings for those at risk for vascular disease, foot screenings by podiatrists and skin cancer screenings by dermatologists. Cosmetic surgeons will give mini-consultations. There also will be fitness demonstrations, chair massages and exhibits on a variety of health topics. Music and refreshments will be provided in the Tea Room. This event is free, and no reservations are needed. Free parking is available at the Baptist Medical Arts Building garage, 8950 N. Kendall Dr. For more information, call 786-596-5981.

LUNCHEON AT SYNAGOGUE TO MARK JEWISH ARBOR DAY The first in the Temple Beth Tov-Ahovat Shalom Holiday and Remembrance Series, a hearty lunch, followed by a unique Tu B’Shvat Seder (as dessert) will be served on Sunday, Jan. 24, at noon to celebrate Jewish Arbor Day. The cost to attend this event is $7 for adults; children are free. Also available is the honor of being a Patron ($50) or of being a Friend ($25). There will be music and a raffle. For more information, call 305-261-9821 or 305-205-3846. MIAMI-DADE SPONSORS FREE SPAY AND NEUTER DAY FOR CATS A donor-subsidized spay/neuter service for cats will be offered free of charge on Sunday, Jan. 31, at 10700 SW 211 St. Local veterinarians will be donating their time to perform the spay and neuter surgeries. The check in and pick up time will be provided when you make an appointment ahead of time, which is required, by calling 305-805-1603. This service is for Miami-Dade County residents only. Proof of a current rabies vaccination for cats over 4 months of age is required. A rabies vaccine can be obtained, free of charge, on the day of the surgery. The veterinarian may decline surgery due to health reasons. All cats will be ear tipped to identify them as sterilized.


January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 17

FWC seeks more data on rare Miami blue butterfly BY PATRICIA BEHNKE

Only the luckiest among us have ever seen the delicate blue of the Miami blue butterfly. But to save them from extinction, more than luck is needed. The Miami blue’s fragile hold on its diminished coastal habitat in Florida requires diligent work to increase its numbers to a safe level for future sustainability. For that reason, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will begin updating the management plan for this rare butterfly that calls Florida home. “We’ve received new information over the past few years, and management of the Miami blue must be revamped to address the best possible conservation measures for its survival,” said David Cook, the FWC biologist who heads up the Miami Blue Management Plan team. “More importantly, we want the Miami blue to thrive.” The FWC requests information on the status and conservation needs of the Miami blue. It also asks the public to comment on any economic, ecological and social factors that should be considered in the management of the species. Once, this thumbnail-sized butterfly fluttered as far north as Hillsborough County on the Gulf Coast and Volusia County on the Atlantic Coast. Suspected culprits, such as habitat degradation, fragmentation and loss, and pesticide and herbicide spraying, relegated the Miami blue to the Keys. After the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, scientists believed the butterfly was gone forever. Much excitement accompanied the discovery of a small colony of 50 Miami blue butterflies in Bahia Honda State Park in the Keys in 1999. The FWC listed the species as endangered in 2002 in an emergency action after the North American

Butterfly Association petitioned the agency. The FWC developed a management plan in 2003 to ensure a stable or increasing population to a level not requiring the endangered designation. Again, scientists were encouraged by the discovery of another population of blues in the Key West National Wildlife Refuge in 2006. A volunteer, on a walk with a refuge biologist, noticed the population. Ann Morkill, manager of the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, counts herself among the lucky few who have seen this unique butterfly. “It’s very exciting to see this population,” Morkill said. “We hope this species can persist in protected areas. This new discovery also provides butterfly researchers with the opportunity to expand their genetic studies on a population we didn’t know existed until just a few years ago.” The FWC has concentrated its efforts in conjunction with several partners, such as the University of Florida, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, to monitor existing populations and research the possibility of raising the butterfly in captivity and then releasing it into the wild. Since 2003, there have been inroads and some setbacks, but the work continues. The McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity at the University of Florida, with funding from the FWC and other sources, has been successful in breeding the Miami blue in captivity. “We keep a large captive colony,” said Jaret Daniels, assistant professor of entomology at UF and a conservation biologist. “We use the captive-bred Miami blues for research, reproduction and reintroduction.” However, disappointment has met the scientists when the captive-bred butterflies are released into the wild — they are unable to survive so far, but that doesn’t

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worry Daniels. “Conservation and recovery take time, trial and error and luck,” Daniels said. “If we do good work and good research, we can learn and apply it to other organisms as well.” Send comments to the Miami Blue

Management Plan Revision, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 620 South Meridian St., Mail Station 2A, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600, or email <MBB@MyFWC.com> until 5 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2010.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 12 - 18, 2010

Artwork of Dr. Ferdie Pacheco on display at Cauley Square BY LEE STEPHENS

Receiving honors and accolades locally, nationally and internationally, Dr. Ferdie Pacheco’s recently issued definitive stamp by the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) depicting Mahatma Gandhi, once again has escalated the treasured Miami artist to yet another level of artistic achievement. Gandhi was the leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. Headquartered in Miami, Dr. Pacheco and his wife/manager, Lusita Pacheco, spearhead an international program of Pacheco produced original paintings, limited edition prints, giclees and branded merchandisable items from posters to their personally authored books to artifact and now highquality Gandhi painting depicted T- shirts that are timeless and for all occasions. With the release in October 2009 of the Pacheco painted artistic rendition of the Mahatma Gandhi stamp, there has been a surge of unprecedented interest in colorful, uniquely Pacheco-produced memorabilia and artifact. “It seems people want to share in the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence,” Mrs. Pacheco said about her husband’s works. So in demand, the Pacheco-created merchandise will be available exclusively at Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village in south Miami-Dade County off S. Dixie Highway (US1) at 224th Street in the historic Island Colors cottage centrally located across from the world famous Tea Room

T-shirt with Gandhi stamp art created by Dr. Ferdie Pacheco –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Restaurant directly on the main street of the village. “Cauley Square is indeed an appropriate environment for Pacheco works with the artist hailing originally from Tampa’s Ybor City that he helped make famous,” said Sherry Miller, publicist for Cauley Square. “The environmentally preserved 10 acres of lush tropical Florida foliage, plants and flowers with birds and kitty colony similar to Hemingway’s in Key West, make the village a ‘natural setting’ for the world-famous artist’s works. “Cauley Square is the last official railroad village in Florida and one of the last in the United States, and Pacheco’s works are one-of-a-kind too,” Miller concluded. “We invited Dr. and Mrs. Pacheco to exhibit at Cauley Square as our village represents a diversified history since being built in 1903 by multi-cultured pioneers of the Flagler Railroad,” said Frances Varela, owner and operator of Cauley Square. “Our pioneers came to South Dade from all parts of the world and created their own enclave of a peaceful family lifestyle that seems synonymous with Dr. Pacheco’s beautiful works that we celebrate today,” she continued. The Pacheco items of Einstein, Muhammad Ali and Gandhi T-shirts, posters, books and memorabilia are on exhibit and available for sale daily, except Mondays, at Island Colors in Cauley Square Village at 22400 Old Dixie Hwy.; telephone 305-258-3543 or visit at <www.cauleysquare.com>. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. To order Pacheco memorabilia, call direct to Cauley Square executive offices at 305-258-3543 or visit Island Colors in Cauley Square Village.


January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 19

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 12 - 18, 2010

“Aged” is Not Dependent on Your Age One of our primal concerns is the ability to maintain ourselves financially for our entire lifetimes. Lifetime is directly linked to life expectancy and to the lifestyle that we are accustomed to.

9500 S.W. 97 Ave. • Miami, Fl. 33176 www.pinewoodacres.org Pinewood Acres School provides an educational environment designed to foster leadership skills and

1) Am I old? The category “senior citizen” seems to be pre-determined by some other person or group rather than our own decision to be “aged.” Social Security will have you believe that you are a “senior” at age 62. AARP will have you believe that you are “retired” at age 50. Now the securities regulators say that you are a “senior” at age 55. You can get pigeon holed far too early in their “senior” (aged) box if you let them. Let me stop right here and say that it is our personal decision to say when we are aged, senior, or out to pasture. 2) Where can I get an idea of my life expectancy? I strongly encourage you to be proactive in trying to live to age 100. This is really an assessment of your daily life including what you eat and drink, exercise, friends, hobbies and rest. Your genes may be engineered to have you live to age 85, but if you want to have a healthy, happy life until age 100, then it will

take a deliberate daily decision to add an additional 15 years to your life expectancy. 3) W ith my financial plans, how does my life expectancy deter mine my life style as a retiree now? No one can predict how long you will live. If you retire at age 55 and you worked 30 years, you could actually be a retiree for more than 30 years. Living to age 100 is more realistic as medical advances continue. You may be retired 45 years. Your withdrawals from your savings to live on now need to be low enough as to not deplete your balance. Try to live only off your investment earnings each year. Financial plans are adjusted to address current economic conditions, but keep an eye on the real long run. It is now even more realistic to have you live longer than you expected. Enjoy it and be young in heart and soul! Rick Tonkinson is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP™) who works with working people in your area since 1991. The family business, Rick Tonkinson & Associates, Inc is located at 100 Almeria Ave, Suite 310, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Telephone # 305-447-6617. Securities offered through Securities America Inc member of FINRA/SIPC. Rick Tonkinson Registered Representative. Advisory Services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. Rick Tonkinson Investment Advisor Representative. Rick Tonkinson and Associates, Inc. & Securities America companies are not affiliated.

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January 12 - 18, 2010

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Page 23

Award-winning films plentiful at Miami Jewish Film Festival BY SHEILA STIEGLITZ

The Miami Jewish Film Festival was chosen Miami’s Best Film Festival in 2009 and the 2010 lineup of films opening Saturday, Jan. 16, should live up to the accolades. The award-winning films from Israel, Argentina, France, Germany, Slovakia and the USA are comedies, documentaries and contemporary dramas that ironically weave a subtle theme — people having options and making significant life choices whether the characters are faced with life-threatening decisions, anti-Semitism, sexual orientation or marital issues. The 13th annual festival opens at the Colony Theater with the hilarious Israeli comedy A Matter of Size, which deals with personal battles and self-acceptance. Four overweight friends live in a small Israeli town and are fed up with diets and their dieting club. When Herzl (341 pounds), the main protagonist, loses his job and starts work as a dishwasher in a Japanese restaurant, he discovers the world of Sumo wrestling, a sport that involves “two fatsos in diapers and girly hairdos,” and finds a place where large people are honored and appreciated. This universally appealing story uses the richness of Jewish humor to reveal that selfacceptance and happiness come from within. On Sunday and Monday, the festival moves to the Cosford Cinema on the UM Campus. French film icons Gerard Depardieu (Alain) and Fanny Ardant (Gisele) star in Hello Goodbye, a romantic comedy about a Parisian couple who share a comfortable life, a beautiful home, a posh country club and a midlife crisis. Following a dream vacation to Israel where Alain explores his Jewish roots, Gisele insists they change their life and move to Tel Aviv. However, in opting for a fresh start not everything goes according to plan. Soon they’ll find out if the word shalom, means hello or goodbye. For My Father is a gripping yet sensitive film co-produced by Israel and Germany, about

choices people face living in a volatile place. Tarek is a young man who is sent to Tel Aviv for a suicide mission. When his bomb fails to detonate, he is forced to spend the Sabbath there and wait for further instructions. To his surprise, several Israelis who live on the fringe of society befriend him. When the weekend ends, Tarek must literally make the decision of his life. Rita Zohar received the Best Actress Award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, for her portrayal of Yolanda Moscowitz in the Israeli film Mrs. Moscowitz and the Cats. The beautiful and sensitive story deals with the loneliness, fear and limitations of growing old alone. Yolanda is a retired French teacher suffering from a broken hip and confined to a lengthy convalescence in a geriatric rehab center. There she discovers a new life when she makes two new friends who teach her to love again. Some of life’s decisions we bring upon ourselves. In the closing night film Coco, a nouveau riche Jewish Moroccan French businessman dazzles the public, politicians, and competitors with his flamboyant panache. After developing a heart condition along the way, (Gerard Depardieu as the cardiologist), he decides to throw an over-the-top bar mitzvah celebration for his son Samuel. Determined that the festivities will be the most fantastic event of the year, Coco alienates his entire family as he plans for the gala. This comedy about a son becoming a man and a father finally growing up is the perfect end to the festival’s 13th “bar mitzvah” year. National and international box office stars are featured in the Miami Jewish Film Festival, and include Catherine Denueve, Eli Wallach, Patrick Swayze, Carmen Electra and Lainie Kazan. Matinee and evening screenings are held at the Regal Cinema South Beach 18, the Sunrise Cinema at Intracoastal Mall, North Miami Beach, and the Cosford Cinema in Coral Gables. The Miami Jewish Film Festival is presented by the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education. Tickets, except for open-

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

SEEKING APPLICANTS FOR THE MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS REVIEW COMMITTEE Miami-Dade County is establishing a nine member Compensation and Benefits Review Committee to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of its standing personnel policies and to develop policies that will better manage the growth of costs while continuing to provide competitive wages, salaries and benefits. Members shall serve without compensation for a three year term and meet no less than four times a year. Qualified applicants should be Miami-Dade County residents and possess an outstanding reputation for civic pride, integrity, responsibility and business or professional ability and shall have no financial interests, direct or indirect, in the compensation paid to County employees. Members of this Committee should be representative of the community at large and should have demonstrated expertise in human resources, organizational design, public management, or related fields. A Nominating Council will recommend candidates to the Board of County Commissioners for appointment. Applications may be obtained from the County Executive Office, 111 NW 1st Street, Suite 2910, or online at www.miamidade.gov. All applications must be received by Diane Collins, Acting Division Chief, Clerk of the Board, at 111 NW 1st Street, Suite 17-202, Miami Florida, 33128. Applications can be emailed to clerkbcc@miamidade.gov or faxed to (305) 375-2484. It is The responsibility of the applicant to ensure electronic receipt of the application by calling the Clerk of the Board at (305) 375-1652. For additional information regarding the application process, please call Ms. Linda Weber (305) 375-2670. Background checks will be performed on all applicants selected for an interview. If selected, Committee members will be required to submit financial disclosure forms.

January 12 - 18, 2010

In-Office Hemorrhoid Treatment Provides Instant Relief BY EDUARDO RUAN, MD Board Certified Gastroenterologist

We are excited to announce that our office is now offering a new hemorrhoid banding treatment. This new system allows the treatment of internal hemorrhoids in the office setting, without surgery or pain. Although a frequently neglected area of healthcare, hemorrhoids affect more than 50% of the population over 30 years old. Prior to this procedure, definitive treatment for hemorrhoid was frequently avoided. Weary of the pain and discomfort associated with traditional hemorrhoid surgery, patients used to suffer for years with symptoms that would come and go, using countless creams, ointments

and suppositories, which only provided partial and temporary relief. The CRH-O’Regan ® rubber band ligation system consists of cutting off the internal hemorrhoids blood supply with a tiny rubber that is faster, more accurate, more comfortable and less likely to result in post-procedure pain and bleeding. This innovative technique is safe and effective. It does not require a preparation and, being virtually painless, can be done without anesthesia. It is done in three sessions, taking very few minutes each time. Patients are able to return to work immediately after the procedure. Dr. Eduardo Ruan is board certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine and has been in private practice since 1996 with Gastroenterology Care Center. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call 305-913-0666 or visit <www.gicarecenter.com>

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January 12 - 18, 2010

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Page 25

Gerald Hausman picture book based on song by Bob Marley BY HANNAH GREAUX

Author and storyteller Gerald Hausman will speak at Books & Books in Coral Gables on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 11 a.m. Children of all ages are invited to hear Hausman share tales from his book Three Little Birds, adapted with Cedella Marley, daughter of Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician Bob Marley. The colorful picture book, illustrated by Mariah Fox, is based on the song by Bob Marley and presents his personal vision of positive faith. The message is a good vibration if there ever was one: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every little thing gonna be all right!â&#x20AC;? Hausman has lived in Bokeelia, FL, since 1994. In addition to his many books about Native America he has written extensively about animal mythology and the Caribbean. His lively presentations, complete with many sound effects, have

FOOTNOTES earned him praise from storytellers, speakers, writers and listeners. He is a frequent storyteller at college writers programs, schools and at young authors conferences. He has delighted audiences of children and adults on National Public Radio, History Channel and at the Kennedy Center in Washington. For more information, visit online at <www.geraldhausman.com>. For more information about Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., visit <www.booksandbooks.com>.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Authentic Lebanese & Mediterranean at great prices! Catering, Outdoor Seating & Full Bar Available LUNCH & DINNER 7 DAYS

January 12 - 18, 2010

Acclaimed pianist Mei-Ting Sun to perform at Rosenstiel School

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Join the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science as it partners with the Chopin Foundation of the United States in welcoming critically acclaimed concert pianist Mei-Ting Sun. The recital will take place on Sunday, Jan. 17, 4 p.m., in the Rosenstiel School Auditorium located at 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway on Virginia Key (next to the Miami Seaquarium). Tickets, which are $25 and include a waterfront wine and hors d’oeuvres reception following the recital, can be purchased by calling 305-421-4061 or sending email to <clovinsky@rsmas.miami.edu>. Mei-Ting began his life on the stage at the prestigious Spring of Shanghai Festival at the age of 5. Since then he has performed in many of the world’s greatest concert halls and performing arts centers, such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Orchestra Hall in Minnesota, Auditorio

Nacional in Madrid, Tonhalle in Zurich, Filharmonia Narodowa in Warsaw, and Obecni Dum in Prague. In 2008 he was invited to perform for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland, in honor of an award presented to Nobel Laureate Al Gore. In total, his career has led him to celebrated performances in 19 countries on five continents. He has won numerous prestigious awards, including unanimous first prizes in the Chopin Foundation’s Seventh National Chopin Piano Competition in 2005 (USA) and the first Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition in 2002. Founded by Blanka A. Rosenstiel in 1977, the Chopin Foundation stemmed from the First National Chopin Piano Competition held in Miami in 1975 under the auspices of the American Institute of Polish Culture. For more information, visit online at <www.chopin.org>.

Hours: Tues.-Fri. 10-5pm • Sat. 10-2PM • Sun. - Mon. Closed

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January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 12 - 18, 2010

FWC: Boating safety education requirements change for 2010 BY LEE STEPHENS

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Boating-safety education requirements have changed in Florida effective Jan. 1. Boat operators who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, must pass an approved boating safety course and possess photographic identification and a boating safety education identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to legally operate a boat with a motor of 10 horsepower or more. “We want to encourage everyone, regardless of when they were born, to take an approved boating safety education course, because all of us can learn something new, even if we have been boating all our lives,” said Capt. Carol Keyser of FWC’s boating and waterways section. “For some, it is now required to take the course.” There are a few exceptions. For instance, a person born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, who operates a boat within 90 days after purchasing it, does not need a boating safety education identification card if a bill of sale, which meets the requirements of

“We want to encourage everyone, regardless of when they were born, to take an approved boating safety education course, because all of us can learn something new, even if we have been boating all our lives.” — Capt. Carol Keyser Florida law, is onboard. After the 90-day period ends, the boat operator needs to meet the educational requirements. Those who possess a current United States Coast Guard license also are exempt. For course information and educational requirements, visit MyFWC.com and click “boating,” then click “boating safety.” For inquiries, contact FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement at 1-850-488-5600, or send email questions to the FWC at <bobbercard@myfwc.com>.


January 12 - 18, 2010

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 29

Audi A5 Cabriolet is an exciting, sporty ragtop Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS Give Audi extra points for sticking with a fabric top on the new A5 Cabriolet rather than opting for a retractable hardtop. And the sporty A5 ragtop is an exciting automobile; it’s a four-seater with sporty lines, a lot of interior comfort and excellent everyday utility. The A5 Cabriolet has a long hood and sharp lines, a distinctive front end and large wheels that combine in a sensual design. The front end is dominated by the single-frame grille flanked by large air intakes. The can’tmiss LED daytime running lights of the optional xenon-plus headlights mark the front of the car, along with high-gloss aluminum on the windshield frame. The rear has broad, distinctive LED taillights, straight tailpipes and an unobtrusive spoiler lip. Audi engineers say they decided on a triple-layer fabric top rather than a retractable hardtop because it’s lighter and reduces the overall weight of the car, thus lowering its center of gravity. The top has a

large glass rear window that fits smoothly into the design profile and is available in a choice of four colors, while the inside has three colors. The top opens in 15 seconds and closes in 17, and you can do either as long as you’re moving at under 31 mph. The top folds down so compactly that very little trunk space is taken up, leaving 11.3 cubic feet of unused storage space. The rear seatback folds down and there is a large pass-through between the luggage space and the interior that increases the storage space to more than 26 cubic feet. The A5 Cabriolet lineup offers a wide range of power options, including three gasoline engines and two diesel engines ranging from 180 hp to 265 hp. All five powerplants are fueled via direct injection and four are turbocharged. Available power trains include a six-speed manual transmission, the continuously variable multitronic, and the seven-speed S-tronic. In addition to front-wheel drive, Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive is available for the higher-power engines. The innovative sport differential, which variably distributes power between the rear wheels, is available optionally to make Quattro even more dynamic and safer. Audi’s drive select vehicle dynamics sys-

Audi A5 Cabriolet has a long hood and sharp lines, a distinctive front end and large wheels.

tem is another option, which enables the driver to chose among three different engine maps controlling the characteristics of the fuel feed, the shifting points of the seven-speed S-tronic and multitronic, and the mode of operation of the servotronic steering system. If the MMI operating system is installed, a fourth, freely programmable level also is available. The A5 Cabriolet has a broad range of equipment, including 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, and an audio

system with a CD player. One optional highlight is the third-generation MMI operating system, which provides many nifty navigation and entertainment functions. Base price on the Audi A5 Cabriolet is $44,100. 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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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 12 - 18, 2010

“A Deal Too Good to Be True” January 2010 BY KAREN ARONOWITZ, President, United Teachers of Dade

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Last month, on behalf of United Teachers of Dade and our educators and children, I said I could not sign on the dotted line in order to possibly receive federal grant money through the Florida Department of Education. The money involved seemed huge -- up to $700 million, if Florida were to receive the maximum amount from the feds. I see you shaking your heads, thinking, ‘The woman must be off her rocker. Always complaining about not enough money and she’s saying no when they’re flinging dollars her way like beads at Mardi Gras.’ To restore my reputation for sanity, let me explain. There are some things that any of us will not do. For most of us, the list is pretty similar. I’m pretty sure no one reading this would commit murder for money. Or kidnap someone for money. Or sell ___________ (you fill in this blank.) You just wouldn’t do it. You wouldn’t do it for one dollar or a million dollars. United Teachers of Dade took a look at the grant when the federal government first started talking about it. We were excited. Race to the Top funds would be given to states that developed innovative, collaborative local proposals crafted by school districts and their teachers’ unions. It seemed, well, too good to be true. States chosen to apply would compete for the funding; points would be awarded to a state applicant based on the degree to which they demonstrated innovative, locally-developed program proposals, with a high degree of collaboration among all education stakeholders. A state’s application, called a Memorandum of Understanding, in fact was to be signed by the local district superintendent, the chair of the local school board, and the president of the local teachers’ union. Eureka! We teachers, the people who stand in front of students day after day delivering instruction, were finally being asked for our ideas and input. We said “yes” immediately. We began to work with the District on ideas that would make a difference in the lives of students living right here in Miami-Dade. Some good proposals were under way.

And then the Florida Department of Education sent us its Memorandum of Understanding, wanting us to sign an agreement that contradicted the intent and scope of the Race to The Top. The Florida Department of Education’s (DOE) proposed “agreement” was a prescriptive, non-collaborative, bureaucratic nightmare mandate. The DOE in effect said, ‘In order for you, local district, to receive this grant money, you must first do everything we put in Exhibit One. (Twenty-two pages long, small type.) That includes evaluating every teacher every year based 50% or more on the test scores of their students. The district must use a state assessment (FCAT) to evaluate teacher effectiveness, but if no state assessment (FCAT) is available because of grade level or subject area, the district must create a test for that grade level or subject area.’ For Miami-Dade schools, that would mean creating 2,300 new tests for our students, more or less. Not for the good of the student. Not to improve the instructional practice of the teacher. Do you know how much money that would cost? I do. More than any dollar amount we would win in this grant competition. Not only would there be no money left for the innovative, collaboratively developed local proposals, receiving this grant would end up costing our district money. There was much more in the DOE’s mandate, and it was as wretchedly bad as the bit I just shared. What’s in it for the teachers of Miami-Dade, if we had agreed to sign? Nothing. What’s in it for the students of Miami-Dade, if we had agreed to sign? Less time spent on learning. A lot more time spent on testing, and worse. I want you to know I would have said yes if I could. I wanted to say yes. We all wanted something wonderful for our students and our teachers right here at home. Instead, I said no. Because there are some things one just can’t do, and sometimes a deal can be too good to be true. The United Teachers of Dade represents 38,000 teachers and school support personnel in MDCPS. The union is committed to being a leader in creating public school reform, fostering a quality public education for all students and elevating the professional status of teachers, paraprofessionals, office employees, and all school support personnel.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

January 12 - 18, 2010

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Palmetto Bay News, January 12, 2010 Edition - Local, Education News - Miami, Florida  

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