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TR R II B BU UN NE E T

Pinecrest Phone: 305-669-7355

ONE OF MIAMI’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

AUGUST 16 - 29, 2010

Village moves to increase use of Gardens Banyan Bowl

BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

P

inecrest wants to make better use of the Banyan Bowl, the 500-seat amphitheater in Pinecrest Gardens, and Mayor Cindy Lerner says the village commissioned a study that indicates there are plenty of music and theater groups that could come in and use the facility if it were upgraded. The study also proposed renovating the Banyan Bowl by adding a stage, lighting and a sound system. Lerner says the study was the catalyst for making Pinecrest Gardens its own department, shifting it out of Parks and Recreation. That led to the hiring of Alana Perez as Pinecrest Gardens director. “She’s got a lot of experience with programming and development,” said Lerner. One of the steps the village is taking is to seek financial backing from the philanthropic community. Another step is applying for grants. “We’re going to start a jazz series,” said Lerner. “It’s a really exciting initiative.” Years ago, when the Parrott Jungle wanted to host weekend events to boost revenues, neighbors organized and scuttled

–––––––––––––––––––– See BANYAN, page 7

Read in Paris

Miami-Dade Blue offers affordable healthcare BY GEORGE BURGESS Miami-Dade County Manager

Here’s Geraldine Spaeth, marketing director for the East Ridge Retirement Village in South Miami Dade County, on vacation in Paris and relaxing in front of the Notre Dame cathedral with a copy of her favorite hometown newspaper. Thanks for taking us along, Geraldine.

Positive PEOPLE

Miami-Dade County is a national model for making healthcare more affordable and more accessible to residents. A year ago, through a partnership with our Office of Countywide Healthcare Planning and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, we launched Miami-Dade Blue, a low-cost and comprehensive healthcare plan designed specifically with Miami-Dade residents and small businesses in mind. Nearly 3,500 people are now enrolled in this insurance program. That’s 3,500

–––––––––––––– See HEALTHCARE, page 2

in Pinecrest

These Positive People help add to the quality of life in Pinecrest. Look inside for their stories.

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PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

August 16 - 29, 2010

HEALTHCARE,

from page 1

people who may have otherwise denied themselves preventive care (that costs all of us in the long run), avoided seeing a doctor until it was too late, or unnecessarily clogged our already crowded emergency rooms because the ER was their primary care provider. Participants in Miami-Dade Blue can choose from among nearly 2,000 primary care providers and specialists. They gain access to Jackson Health System’s three hospitals and its primary care centers, as well as other respected medical centers throughout our community, including Baptist Homestead, Coral Gables, Memorial and Palmetto. With premiums starting as low as $112 for 35-year-old men and $124 for women, Miami-Dade Blue has exceeded all expectations and continues to offer so much promise. But even with all of its success, we know Miami-Dade Blue can’t reach all of the estimated 600,000 uninsured in our community. We know there are still those who fall through the cracks with incomes so limited they find themselves choosing between mortgage payments, car payments, food and health insurance. So we have found yet another way to enhance an

already successful Miami-Dade Blue program. With $500,000 from the state, we will now be able to cover a portion of the monthly insurance premium for approximately 400 low-to-moderate-income residents under an initiative named the Health Insurance Utilization Program (HIUP). HIUP provides assistance for individuals making a minimum of $16,000 and a maximum of $27,000 a year. This limited premium assistance will only go so far, but it is one more way Miami-Dade County is chipping away at our community’s healthcare challenges. Initial enrollment took place on July 1423, but individuals are encouraged to apply until all slots are filled. Miami-Dade residents who think they are eligible for Miami-Dade Blue and/or premium assistance, can learn more by calling 3-1-1 or visiting online at <www.miamidade.gov>. Remember, this is not free healthcare. Participants will still be responsible for paying a portion of their premium each month. We know there is no one answer to tackling our healthcare challenge, but this is yet another component that works with our initiatives on expanding primary care and reducing chronic diseases through our commitment in getting people insured and improving the health of our residents.

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August 16 - 29, 2010

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

Page 3

Read at the World Cup

Here are Pinecrest residents Steven Tonkinson (holding a vuvuzela) and his father, Rick, at the World Cup Games in South Africa. Of course they remembered to take along a copy of their favorite hometown newspaper and sent us back this shot. Thanks for thinking of us, guys!

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PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

August 16 - 29, 2010

Positive PEOPLE in Pinecrest

STACEY HARRIS Stacey Harris is a mother of four busy children, PTA president, office and project manager, personal fitness trainer and volunteer. When describing Harris, Bet Shira ECC Director Judith Gampel and her sister, Karen Berger, said “few people can juggle children, after-school activities, a home, work and volunteer positions as gracefully and as efficiently as Stacey Harris.” Harris will serve as Bet Shira ECC’s PTA co-president for the second year. As PTA co-president, her focus is to provide enrichment activities and programs for the school’s students and families, including book fairs, lunch programs, holiday events, carnivals, family education events and parent mixers. “The school wouldn’t be what it is without the PTA,” said Harris. “The parent involvement at our school is amazing. Almost 100 percent of our parents are PTA members. The parents meet and greet each other at our mixers and they become more vested. The school becomes more than just a place where their kids go to school.” Harris has two children who attend Bet Shira ECC — Aviva, 5, and Dahlia, 4. She also has two older children. Alyssa, 12, attends South Miami Middle School in the dance magnet program and is a Top Gun cheerleader. Brandon, 14, will enter the IB program at Coral Reef Senior High and plays football and basketball. To say that she and her husband, Jonathan, are busy with after-school activities and events is an understatement.

Harris is a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer, and for 10 years she has offered a Mind Your Own Body afterschool enrichment program at Bet Shira ECC. These classes cater to children in the local community, as well as Bet Shira students. Every Tuesday afternoon, classes are offered for children ranging from preschool through elementary school age. All classes include an aerobic workout, stretching exercises and yoga. This signature program fills up fast and there is always a waiting list. “We use games, exercises, relay races and a circuit format with trampolines, mats, hoops, rock climbing walls and slides to work on locomotive skills, visual perception, spatial awareness, and cognitive and motor functions,” said Harris. “We also focus on the development of basic movements such as running, balancing, jumping, kicking and catching.” Harris has worked for many national fitness clubs, including LA Fitness, Bally and Lady of America. As a personal trainer, she will work with clients in a facility or at home for personal or group training sessions. She also teaches adult Mind Your Own Body fitness classes at Bet Shira Synagogue on Monday and Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. The classes are $10 each and feature a cardio component, muscle conditioning, yoga and Pilates-based stretching. The classes are open to the community. “It’s a great way for adults to work out in a comfortable, upscale facility without the pressures of the gym scene and expensive gym membership,” said Harris. Besides being a mother, PTA president and fitness instructor, Harris’ full-time job is as business manager/project manager for S&B Interiors, an award-winning commercial and residential interior design firm based in Pinecrest. Harris has a master’s degree in marketing and management and for the past 17 years she has assisted S&B owner and principal designer Sandi Samole, who is also her mother, with the marketing and management of the business. Besides volunteering at Bet Shira, Harris also does volunteer work and fundraising with her son, Brandon, for the Friendship Circle, where he spends time with a special needs child each week. She has also volunteered at the Miami Jewish Federation and the Young Lions Leadership Program in South Miami. By Nancy Eagleton

SARAH FLANDERS Palmetto High School senior Sarah Flanders has accumulated about 600 community service hours. She earned many of the hours working at Camp Mustard Seed, a Christian-oriented camp at Kendall United Methodist Church. “I watch the kids and take them from place to place and supervise,” she says. “I love kids. I love being around them, especially little ones.” Flanders tries to work the camp for about eight weeks each summer, scheduling her vacation around the camp dates whenever possible. She has also volunteered at an after-school program for underprivileged kids at The Barnyard Children’s Center in Coconut Grove. She worked with the fourth graders there. “The parents can’t afford after-school care or babysitters,” Flanders says. “I volunteer once a week after school for three hours. I help them with their homework and they get snacks. They are involved in a steel-drum competition.” Working with kids, she says, has taught her patience. Flanders is also involved in after-school activities at Palmetto. She’s president of the Ecology Club because she cares so much for the environment. “It interests me,” she says. “I got really involved in the club during my freshman year. I was just trying to get more involved in the school and that was one of the clubs that caught my eye, so I went for it.” The Ecology Club participates in school

events and does other community events, including beach cleanups. “We schedule and organize our own cleanups and participate in the international events, including Baynanza,” she says. Club members were planning and organizing a beach cleanup over the summer. Ecology Club members also organized a petition drive last year protesting drilling in the gulf. “We circulated petitions and some of our members went to K-Mart and got people to sign them,” Flanders says. As a result of her interest in ecology, Flanders took Advanced Placement Environmental Science in her junior year. She’s also an officer in the Photography Club and participated in the Fairchild Tropical Garden Challenge. “We had to take pictures of people and edible plants, locally-grown fruits and vegetables,” she says. “Overall, we (Palmetto) got second place in the whole thing, with all the contests combined.” Flanders also took part in a fashion show at Fairchild. The outfits modeled had to be made of botanical materials. The skirt and top she modeled was made with meshed palm fronds. “We weaved the fronds and we glued them together with glue guns; it was hard,” she says. Flanders’ photographs have been entered in numerous competitions and her art has been put on display at the Miami Art Museum. “I mostly focus on people, playing with light and shadow,” she says. Flanders is also involved in the honor societies, including the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, the English Honor Society, Social Science Honor Society and she is vice president of activities for Mu Alpha Theta. As a member of the math honor society, she tutors students in math. Outside of school, Flanders plays the piano. She studied with a teacher for seven years, but now she plays on her own. As for college, she’s in interested in the University of Florida, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan and Boston College. Although she is not certain of her major, she’s considering biology, sciences, zoology and veterinary sciences. By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld


August 16 - 29, 2010

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

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Positive PEOPLE in Pinecrest

VINCENZO GUGLIUZZA Vincenzo Gugliuzza, an incoming senior at Palmetto High, has more than 500 community service hours. He earned those

hours by participating in many different community service projects. “I also volunteered at Miami Children’s Hospital; I was in ER registration,” he says. “That was a really interesting job. You can see what happens from behind the counter.” It amazed him that some children who were brought to the emergency room that were perfectly fine. “It was interesting to see that some parents bring their kids there for a check-up,” he says, adding that in a couple of instances only one child was ill, but the parents would have all their children checked, even though they were feeling fine. Gugliuzza will earn many more service hours this year serving as lieutenant governor of Key Club for South Florida. In that capacity, he has a number of Key Clubs to manage. Gugliuzza says he became a member of Key Club because of his uncle. “When I was younger, I wanted to run for any club possible. Then I found out that my uncle was a Kiwanis,” he says. “He recommended I run for lieutenant governor.” Before running for higher office, Gugliuzza was the class representative for

ninth and tenth grades, and as a junior he was the Key Club secretary. Once he was elected to the board, he couldn’t run for a high office in his school club, so he’s the historian for the 2010-11 school year. As lieutenant governor, Gugliuzza is working to get all the schools that he oversees to participate in a large community service project. He says the project could encompass almost anything, including a series of beach clean-ups. Along with being on the Key Club board, Gugliuzza is vice president of Amnesty International. The club writes letters on various issues. Last year, they wrote letters to African army generals about the use of children as soldiers. They also wrote to United Nations delegates. “We meet to write the letters,” Gugliuzza says. “Every month when we have our meeting, he (the teacher sponsor) gives us a topic to write about and we write our letters. Gugliuzza also plays violin in the school orchestra. “I’ve been playing violin for 10 or 11 years now,” he says. While he plans to continue playing during his senior year, he says he now plays

more for passion than expectation of continuing with music in college. He says he is not planning on joining a college orchestra, so if he does continue to play the violin, he will be playing solely for the love of music. Not only does Gugliuzza play music, he’s also a student athlete and plays lacrosse. “We did pretty well this year,” he says. In Miami-Dade Public Schools, lacrosse is not an official school sport, but a club sport. That means the kids who play have to provide their own funding. ‘To play this year, the cost was $500, and that didn’t include the equipment,” he says. “We’re trying to do really well so we can get the recognition of officials.” As for college, Gugliuzza’s top choice is the Air Force Academy. If he can’t get into the Air Force Academy, then he hopes to earn a scholarship to Georgia Tech to study aerospace engineering. He’s also considering schools in Texas and Louisiana, and he’s applying to a several Florida schools, including the University of Florida, Florida State and the Florida Institute of Technology, which has a strong aerospace program. By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld


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August 16 - 29, 2010

Bad Check Restitution Program aids local merchants BY KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE

Miami-Dade State Attorney As your State Attorney, I know the negative impact bad checks can have on local businesses. Millions of dollars are lost to merchants every year as a result of this ongoing problem. Bad checks affect everyone in terms of higher consumer costs that must be passed on to offset losses, and increased taxes to cover the additional costs for law enforcement and prosecution. In an effort to combat this serious problem, I created the Bad Check Restitution Program to assist our local merchants with bad check losses. The primary goal of the program is to obtain full restitution for the victim without adding to the financial burden of the criminal justice system. First-time bad check offenders are given the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by attending a mandatory eight-hour intervention class, in addition to paying restitution. All of this is accomplished without any cost to the taxpayers. Merchants’ interest and participation in this special program will benefit all lawabiding citizens and help businesses improve their bottom line.

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CUTTING YOUR LOSSES • Make personal contact with the check writer. If you are unsuccessful, send a statutory notice. The check writer has seven days to respond and remit payment. • If you do not hear from the check writer or receive payment, simply contact the Bad Check Restitution Program at 800832-1853 for a crime report.

LAW • Fill out the crime report, attach originals (you retain photocopies) of all checks and notification documents such as return receipts and bank notices, and mail to: Miami-Dade County State Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program P.O. Box 350160, Miami, FL 331350160. If you do not receive restitution within 60 days, contact the Miami-Dade County State Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program. CHECK ACCEPTANCE TIPS • Institute a check acceptance policy. A clearly posted check acceptance policy for your employees and customers can go a long way toward reducing your losses. • Accept checks written only with the current date. Post dated checks are civil matters and are not accepted in The Miami-Dade County State Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program. • Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, ask questions or ask for another form of payment. You are not obligated to accept a check. For more information, call 800-8321853 or go to <www.miamisao.com>.

Katherine Fernandez Rundle has been the Miami-Dade State Attorney for 15 years and is a pioneer in the creation of innovative programs to help prevent crime and provide rehabilitative opportunities to eligible offenders. For more information, call 305-547-0535.


August 16 - 29, 2010

BANYAN,

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

Page 7

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that plan. But that shouldn’t be a problem this time because the neighbors have been included throughout the process. “We brought in a consultant to do a lighting program,” said Lerner. “We had the neighbors on the lighting committee, so their needs were addressed from the get-go. Since the Parrott Jungle left, the village has put in a speaker system and we control the amplification, whether it’s for a private party or a wedding. It wouldn’t be as noisy or intrusive as the parties that used to be there for the Parrot Jungle. We are trying to be understanding and respectful.” Pinecrest Gardens Director Alana Perez says the study polled residents and the results indicated that more than 70 percent would like to see music, theater and other performing arts events at the Banyan Bowl. “They would prefer evening, and the weekends,” said Perez. “The lion’s share said Friday and Saturday night. They wanted to see it developed into a kind of cultural Mecca.” Perez hopes to build the same atmosphere as the Raivinia Festival in Chicago. Raivinia is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony. “You can take a very elegant neighborhood and have people embrace it if it’s the right kind of entertainment,” said Perez. “It is our intent to restore this iconic landmark and fulfill its mission as a valuable asset to the community, which provides diverse

cultural opportunities, family entertainment that is reasonably priced and attracts artists and patrons from the Pinecrest community and beyond.” Perez is looking to book jazz concerts, chamber music and smaller symphony works. “We would like to have plays and we are talking to a number of theater companies,” she said. “The garden lends itself to Shakespeare, soft jazz and Latin jazz that would appeal to the community and be supported by the neighbors once they understand that we are not going to do things that would upset their lifestyles.” Perez says she took the study and reduced it to what was most practical and determine what it would take to get a limited season of some sort of performing arts from November to May. That includes an ADA accessible stage, lighting, including stage lighting, egress lighting, stair lighting for safety reasons and basic house lighting, a basic sound system and ventilation; not air conditioning, but something to circulate the air to make patrons comfortable. The cost of the planned improvements is less than 10 percent of what the study suggested for Phase One. The amount of money she will have to work with depends on the budget meetings taking place this summer. For more information, call 305-6696990.

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A meeting in Washington Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen met with Carolina Vento from Miami during her visit to our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capitol. Carolina is a Carrolton School student who met with Rep. RosLehtinen to discuss federal funding for higher education initiatives.

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

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PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

August 16 - 29, 2010

Letter to the Editor

The Pinecrest Tribune welcomes letters to the editor. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and all letters must be signed. Please include your complete address and phone number. Send letters to:

Letters to the Editor, Pinecrest Tribune 6796 SW 62 Ave. • Miami, FL 33143 • Fax: 305-661-0954 email: grant@communitynewspapers.com

Reader has questions on bicycle safety Dear Editor;

305-595-2127 e-mail: koski@koski-insurance.com • http://www.koski-insurance.com 9875 Sunset Drive • Miami, Florida 33173 The National Flood Insurance Program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

I was thrilled to read Police Chief John Hohensee’s article Sharing the road with bicyclists (Pinecrest Tribune, Aug. 2-15). I was an avid cyclist for years and didn’t even own a car until I was 27 years old. My old Gitane 10-speed was my primary means of transportation. Perhaps you could persuade Chief Hohensee to write a follow-up article addressing the following questions: Are bicyclists required to signal that they are turning and/or stopping? Use a headlight when riding at night? Yield to pedestrians in designated crosswalks? Are bicyclists permitted to ride on the sidewalk when the street is navigable? Ride against oncoming automobile traffic? I’d also love to have him comment on

the following situation, which I frequently encounter: I’m in my car approaching a bicyclist. I wait until I can safely pass, signal that I’m passing, pull out, allowing at least the required minimum three-foot space between my car and said cyclist and, once I’m safely ahead of the cyclist, return to my lane. I come up to a red light, stop, and while I’m waiting for the light to change, that same cyclist catches up and passes me on my right with way less than three feet between my car and the bike. Are cyclists required to observe the three-foot rule, too? Thanks and keep up the good work, Paula Hamelik Pinecrest Resident


August 16 - 29, 2010

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority should be abolished

Page 11

If you live or work in Miami-Dade County Join University Credit Union Today! Your Hometown Credit Union

BY RON BEASLEY

I am at a loss to understand why there is not absolute outrage by the motorists in Miami-Dade County over the fact that we are being charged new and exorbitant tolls to travel on the various state and federally owned roadways in the county. Suddenly, with little or no warning, tolls are being charged for motorists to drive on portions of various highways in the county, travel that was previously free. Who gave these people the authority to levy a toll on a highway that has already been built and paid for, and should be free for to all people to drive on? Why are we accepting this? People, wake up! We have suddenly been slapped with a new tax that is taking money out of our pockets, money that we could use to feed our families and buy our kids new clothing. This is just not right. As I read the MDX (they don’t even use a proper name; they hide behind a bunch of letters!) statement on their website, they say that our esteemed board of county commissioners decided back in 2005 that the county was not getting its fair share of revenues from the state derived from collections at the various toll booths on expressways in the county. Our commissioners decided to create the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority which would override the State of Florida and directly receive the tolls collected in the county, and spend that money more equitably to maintain the roads and ease traffic congestion. What they have done is build new automatic tolling devices on virtually every expressway in the county and dramatically increase the cost of travelling on a highway. In essence, they have often tripled the cost of getting to work each day, while telling us in their advertising that the new Open Road Tolling system is a

OPINION faster and better system. It is not. People, we have already paid for the construction of these roads and the taxes we pay when we buy gasoline should be more than enough to maintain them. We should be eliminating tolls on our roadways; not creating new ones. The board of county commissioners is ripping off the taxpayers by establishing the new MDX to levy new tolls on our expressways. These highways already belong to the people! We cannot allow them to be taxed continuously after we have already paid gasoline taxes to maintain them. We are being taxed time and again for the same reason. We must protest this unjust taxation! Who approved the creation of the Miami Dade Expressway Authority? I, for one, do not remember voting on this item. Yet, we now have a new body telling us that we must pay as much as an additional $100 a month or more (depending on where you live) to get to work each day. Please! Stand up and tell your county commissioner that this is not something that you agree with or voted for. Call your commissioner and tell him or her that you don’t agree with this unjust taxation and that you want the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority abolished. Taxation without representation is tyranny! Ron Beasley is the executive editor of the Pinecrest Tribune. The views expressed in this column are his own, and not necessarily those of the publishers of this newspaper.

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PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

August 16 - 29, 2010

La Mela Italian Fusion, the apple of your eye BY NANCY EAGLETON

As the name implies, La Mela Italian Fusion Restaurant in Palmetto Bay offers a blend of traditional Italian dishes fused with global influences from cultures such as Latin America and Asia. Co-owner Federico Padovan revealed that La Mela in Italian means apple, as in forbidden fruit, and each dish on the extensive menu is as tempting as the next one. “My family has always had a knack for the culinary arts and our chef, Alberto Cabanas, is a stellar chef,” said Padovan. “He’s been a chef in South Florida for over 20 years and has a unique take on food. The variation of dishes on the menu creates a great offering. There’s something that will tempt and please everyone.” The menu offers traditional Italian favorites such as lasagna and homemade ravioli stuffed with shrimp, crab, salmon or lobster. From the wood oven come delicious breads, paninis and pizzas. Padovan says the grilled lamb with apricot balsamic glaze and the Sea Bass al Gran Marnier are customer favorites, and the desserts are all homemade. “And with a fine meal, there must be fine wine,” said Padovan, a Certified Specialist of Wine. La Mela has an extensive wine list and Padovan recently was in Italy visiting numerous vineyards, meeting local producers and

G N I N I D OUT discovering new Italian wines that will be added to the restaurant’s menu. Each month, La Mela features a white and a red wine, and offers them at a special price of $20.10. Monday through Friday at La Mela, early bird specials are offered featuring two-for-one entrées from 5 to 7 p.m. Lunch specials for $8.95 are available from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. “Our goal is to offer a fine dining experience without the fine dining price,” said Padovan. Padovan worked with his mother, La Mela co-owner Michele Estevez, and brother Oscar, from California, to renovate the space with warm, neutral colors and simple finishes. He describes the serene décor as “spa like.” “My two sons worked long hours to create the most simple and comfortable ambiance,” said Estevez. “It has been very rewarding to hear customers say they feel relaxed and at home at La Mela.” Customers enjoy dining at the casual, elegant bar. Others book a private reception or

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Global influences and creative flavor combinations make Palmetto Bay’s La Mela a dining hot spot. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– party in the VIP room. Some diners make a “It you appreciate nice ambiance, good reservation at the Chef’s Table. Only one food and good wine, you’ll enjoy yourself at Chef’s Table experience is offered each La Mela. Our goal is to become a special part night, so book early. of this community.” “The chef interacts with the guests at the La Mela, 14151 S. Dixie Hwy., is open Chef’s Table and prepare dishes to suit their Sunday through Friday for lunch and dinner tastes,” said Padovan. “He’ll also recom- from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Saturday mend the right wines that will compliment for dinner from 5-10 p.m. For reservations the meal. It’s quite an experience. and more information, call 786-206-1108.


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In our technologicallyadvanced society, we have a lot of advantages and conveniences. Unfortunately, technological advancements can also provide an avenue for law violators. Online businesses that deal in wildlife trade are an increasing concern for Florida’s law enforcement agencies. With merely a laptop, garage and mailbox, anyone can open a business dealing in Florida’s wildlife. These businesses could be exchanging dangerous species, such as conditional snakes and lizards, or venomous reptiles, which are a serious public-safety concern. Also, if released into the wild, these nonnative species can pose a threat to indigenous wildlife. The Internet needs to be monitored to protect Florida’s natural resources from exploitation. Fortunately, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is aware of this issue and has an effective tool on its side — the Internet Crimes Unit. The unit, a part of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement, is experiencing tremendous success. In the past six months, seven hardworking undercover officers have made 151 arrests and issued 51 warnings through covert Internet operations. This technique is

one of the latest evolving technologies to combat illegal captive wildlife sales. Legitimate businesses that follow FWC captive wildlife regulations are safe for the public and the environment. However, the FWC has uncovered many illegal businesses throughout the state. The presence of these illegal businesses undermines legitimate companies. Legal wildlife trade businesses obtain the appropriate permits from the FWC and operate safely, and these businesses are the ones with the right to operate in this state. The Internet Crimes Unit uses investigative measures that supplement our traditional faceto-face efforts. These online methods are effective in enhancing public safety, continuing conservation efforts, combating invasive species and ensuring fair business practices. One case in Central Florida has even led to investigations in six other states. The case involves a particularly large illegal import/export business that was shut down last year. FWC investigators are continuing to examine it, and six people have been charged with 121 criminal violations so far. The FWC remains active in its conservation efforts. Its Division of Law Enforcement is not only able to react to conservation issues, but, through efforts like the Internet Crimes Unit, it is protecting Florida’s future by pursuing proactive measures. The Internet Crimes Unit is actively working to protect our state by tracking down Internet crimes at their source. You can help the FWC in its conservation endeavors. To report wildlife law violations, visit <MyFWC.com/law/alert> or call 888-404-3922.


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Make the most of fall with JCC programs, classes Linda K. Landy ALPER JCC NEWS The one true indicator of the end of summer arrived in the mail: the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center’s fall program guide. The JCC Source, jam packed with more than one hundred programs and activities for all ages from pre-school to senior adult, should have already appeared in members’ mailboxes. Nonmembers can call the J for a complimentary copy. Registration is already underway, and classes begin Aug. 29. Exciting new classes for this fall for adults include Japanese Temari Thread Balls, Simple Hand-Stamped Jewelry Making and Metal Clay Jewelry Techniques. Temari is a folk craft that began in ancient Japan to entertain children as a simple hand toy. Today these beautiful

thread-wrapped balls are enjoyed as miniature works of art. Instructor/artist Karen Mallin will guide students in Japanese design, color, stitch techniques, and symbolism while creating several different Temari. Artist/instructor Marylin Reyes will introduce the art of hand-stamped jewelry. Learn how to stamp words, phrases, names or initials onto metal in order to create a unique pendant. Punch holes in order to hang your pendant or add charms. Metal Clay is not the neon colored clay of our youth. Learn how to design and create amazing pure silver pendants, earrings, bracelets, and beads quickly and easily with Metal. Bernadette Denoux, senior certified instructor, will cover texturing, forming with armatures, hollow forms, setting dichroic glass and CZs, toggles, making coils, using syringe and paste clay, copper clay, moulds, tips & tricks, elements of design, and more. There are tons of athletic choices for the elementary school crowd. Baseball, basketball, tennis and soccer leagues provide instruction with emphasis on player

development in a competitive environment where sportsmanship is emphasized. Have your child try Kung Fu or Tai Chi. Consider group and private swimming or tennis lessons for both novice and developed athletes. Check out Danny Berry’s new Flag Football League. The amazing selection of arts classes for elementary age children includes Art of the Masters, Brilliance of Enamels, H20 Colorists or ceramics instruction in a variety of techniques from hand building to potters wheel. The Dance Center at the J offers multi-level classes in classical ballet, jazz, hip-hop and tap. Miami Children’s Theater classes include a variety of acting and performance options for elementary and middle school students. Check the audition schedule for this season’s MainStage productions. Other activities for elementaryage children include Book Magic, which excites children about reading through improvisation, and Kids Cuisine. In addition to adult programs in tennis, swimming, water aerobics and martial arts the J offers an unbelievable array of fitness choices. Personal training creates

an individualized exercise including preexercise health screening, nutritional assessment, body composition, client goals and exercise prescription. Classes include 4-Ever Fit, Abs & Lower Back, Circuit Training, Lunch Bunch Circuit Training, Cardio Circuit Kickboxing, Mat Pilates with Mini-Ball, Boxing, Body Sculpting, Core Control on the Ball, Strength Training, Salsa & Zumba, Shabbat Aerobics, Pilates, Core Pilates, Low Impact with Aerobics, Step & Pump, Hatha Yoga and Spinning. The Silver Sneakers and Yogastretch program continues to be a popular choice for the over-65 set. Space considerations prevent me from listing the hundreds of other offerings. You owe it to yourself to get a copy of the Source Book and explore the myriad of classes available. Sign up for a class today. You’ll be glad you did. Registration is already underway. Classes are open to the community, but members pay a lower fee. For information on classes and membership, call 305271-9000, ext. 235, or log on to <www.alperjcc.org>.

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Remember when the only thing your child wanted was a video game or a Barbie doll? Now, at 16 years old, your child is the proud owner of a Florida driver’s license and is ready to take on the streets of Miami. Instead of wanting the latest toy, your teenager is pining for his or her own car, and after listening to complaints about the rusty family minivan and the endless speeches about being independent, you start to think that maybe getting your teenager a car isn’t such a bad idea. Owning a car is a great convenience, for the teen and the parent. You, the parent, don’t have to worry about picking your kid up from school on time. He or she can simply drive to and from school. And your child doesn’t have to worry about not having a ride to get to practice or to go to a friend’s house. Both parties are satisfied, and all is well. So, when deciding on a car, the most important feature to consider is safety. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, car crashes are the primary cause of death for American teenagers. You should not be frugal when it comes to providing a safe car for your teenager, as safety features like side airbags are a must. That said, newer cars are usually safer than older cars. The decision of choosing a brand new car or a used one is between you and your child, with regard to your budget. In my opinion, it is not wise to buy a teenager any car over $25,000. Your child is new to driving and, with Miami’s reputation, he or she is more likely to get into an accident and damage the car or even total it. Stick to a cheaper car that won’t cost an arm and a leg to repair if your teenager bangs it up a bit. Plus, if they have a brand new BMW at the early age of 16, what else do they have to aspire to later in life? The value of a dollar is always important to teach your teen. Fuel efficiency is another important factor to consider. With today’s economy and the unsteady gas prices, choosing a car with efficient gas mileage is a wise decision. Cars like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid are popular among teens as these green cars leave their pockets fuller. And while your teen saves gas and money, he or she is also helping the environment. A car’s reliability goes hand in hand with safety. A Cadillac boat from the 1970s may be a steal, but a lemon could leave your

TEEN TALK teenager in an uncomfortable circumstance and may end up costing you more in the long run. If you’re interested in buying a used car, make sure to get an accurate accident report. Style may be the last thing on your checklist for your teen’s car, but it’s most likely the first on theirs. No teenager wants to be seen in a clunker, and there are a variety of cars that are appealing to teens. When considering size, bigger is sometimes better. Sure it might be a pain to maneuver, but if your child can master driving a big car, driving any car after is a breeze. Some types of cars may be dangerous for your teen on the road. Volkswagen Beetles and Mini Coopers are very small models that are easily damaged in car accidents. SUVs and Jeeps, which teens tend to favor, have a tendency to roll over. The color of the car may have never crossed your mind as being important, but color is a safety factor. Black and dark-colored cars tend to be involved in more accidents at night, primarily because they are hard to see, as opposed to cars painted white or other bright colors. Many teenage boys desire Ford Mustangs and other sporty cars, but the horsepower is an issue. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, speeding is the top cause of car crashes. Horsepower is a great thing to have, but it may be too much power in the hands of your teenager. Moreover, the only way your teenager, or anyone for that matter, could unleash all that horsepower on the road is on the German Autobahn. It’s really not a bad idea to hand your teenager the keys to his or her own car, but selecting a car is a process that should be given a lot of thought and consideration. Communicate with your teen about what details are most important, as safety should be number one, and together decide on a car that’s appropriate for your child. Always remember that owning a car comes with rules and responsibilities, and that driving is a privilege. After all, your son or daughter’s car is supposed to make your life easier, so having your teenager drive to Publix to pick up some groceries every once in a while isn’t a bad idea. Colleen Wright is a junior at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy where she is a copy editor and business manager of the school newspaper. She may be contacted via email at <colleen.a.wright@gmail.com>.


August 16 - 29, 2010

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BETH AM TEMPLE TALK Come to 2nd annual ‘Rock’n Rosh Hashanah Under the Stars’ BY JULIE ZIMMETT

Imagine sharing apples and honey with your family in an open courtyard, listening to live music and joining in prayer to celebrate the start of a sweet New Year and enjoying the closeness of family and dear friends and the sense of community felt by worshiping outdoors. On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, you are invited to Temple Beth Am’s courtyard for Rock’n Rosh Hashanah Under the Stars. Many who attended last year recall the peacefulness, the camaraderie and the spiritual warmth of starting the New Year surrounded by family, friends and nature. My four- and eight-year-old daughters were ecstatic to learn that this service will occur once again! We encourage you to dress comfortably and bring your favorite food, beverages, picnic blanket and comfortable chairs (as well as bug spray!). Please join the Beth

Am Community as we begin the High Holidays to the sounds of Cantor Segal’s Rock’n Shabbat band and a special Rosh Hashanah prayer service designed by our clergy. Along with Cantor Segal, Rabbi Rachel Greengrass and Rabbi Judy Kempler will officiate. Rosh Hashanah activity books will be provided for young children. I hope to see you the first night of Rosh Hashanah so that our families can wish one another “L’shanah Tovah”. IMPORTANT INFORMATION Rock’n Rosh Hashanah Under the Stars Wednesday, Sept. 8, 5-7 p.m. Temple Beth Am, 5950 N. Kendall Drive Pre-registration is requested; visit <www.tbam.org to register>. For more information, call Rita Diaz, 305-667-6667, ext. 107, or email <rdiaz@tbam.org>. To learn about the many membership incentives, including the $500 “Get To Know Us” first-year discounted membership, call Rita Diaz.

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August 16 - 29, 2010

Read in Durango, CO

Here’s San Francisco auto journalist Arv Voss looking over a copy of the Pinecrest Tribune in historic downtown Durango, Colorado during a break in activities at the international press preview of the new Bentley Supersports Convertible automobile. Voss was one of about 100 auto writers from around the world who were invited to get an advance look at Bentley’s new supercar.

Summer Fashionistas Alter Ego Alterations Essence Boutique Hip.e Boutique Jossie's Couture & Fabric Design Olian Boutique Silvia's Corset Shoppe Sweet Boutique Hot Kicks Dulce You Gotta Wear Shades I. Designs Italian Eyewear For the Guys Bolado Clothiers Signori Guayaberas etc.

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August 16-20


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PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

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Robert Kuntz — candidate for 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge BY NANCY EAGLETON

After 30 years in the courtroom as a reporter and a lawyer, Robert Kuntz was inspired to run for circuit court judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit, the seat being vacated by retiring Judge Paul Siegel. “I’ve been before many wonderful judges, many of whom I would like to emulate,” said Kuntz. “After 30 years in courtrooms, it occurred to me that most people go to court on the worst days of their lives. So how do people have the strength to walk up those 20 steps of the Flagler courthouse? They have faith that when they get to court there will be a judge who is intelligent and compassionate, and seeks to understand them and their circumstance. Judges cannot have their own agenda. It’s a judge’s job to do justice in that particular case on that particular day. I think it’s a wonderful responsibility and an amazing calling.” Kuntz came to Miami in 1991 from north Florida to work as a journalist for The Miami Review. He covered state and federal courts, writing extensively on trials such as the “Court Broom” judicial corruption trial and the trial of deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.

In 1993, Kuntz left his 12-year journalism career to attend the University of Miami Law School where he was named the Paul B. Anton scholar and a Dean’s fellow. He graduated sixth in his class of 340 with the highest honors, summa cum laude, in 1996. Kuntz practiced with the national firm of Holland & Knight for six years before joining Devine Goodman Rasco & Wells where he has represented commercial clients for the last eight years. He is a partner with the firm and is an AV rated litigation attorney, the highest peer rating possible for competence and ethical conduct. “On the career side, I represent small companies and locally-owned businesses, and on the pro bono side, I practice in family law matters,” said Kuntz. “I represent victims of domestic abuse, help secure child support for single mothers, and assist in children’s advocacy cases and immigration cases.” Kuntz filed to run for office in December 2008 and says the campaign trail has been quite an adventure. “I’ve enjoyed the process of meeting so many wonderful people in our community,” he said. “I’ve been in 15 to 20 places each week because I need to visit all cor-

Robert Kuntz –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

ners of Miami-Dade County to reach the voters. In fact, you need to reach more voters to be elected as a trial court judge in

Miami than you need to become governor of Maine.” Kuntz is grateful for the tireless support of his family. He is married to Josefina Elisa de Varona, a Miami native and firstgeneration Cuban-American who is a high school teacher in Miami. They live in Cutler Bay and they have two sons, Nicholas, 17, and Joseph, 7. Kuntz often volunteers for good causes and says he “likes to swing a hammer or pass out a sandwich.” He has travelled to the Caribbean and Central America, leading groups of high school students on construction projects to build homes, a school and a summer camp. He has also been active in building homes with Habitat for Humanity in Miami. Kuntz is a past president of the Dade County Defense Bar Association and serves on the board of directors. He is a member of the Florida Bar, Dade County Bar Association, Cuban American Bar Association (CABA), Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL), and is a board member and author for the 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society. For more information, go to <www.electrobertkuntz.com> or send email to <info@electrobertkuntz.com>.


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PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

WOMEN’S HEALTH My family is the greatest thing ever! But I’m done having kids. What are my options for birth control? -Evelyn C., Pinecrest

Taking a birth control pill, or using a short-term method of contraception such as the Nuva Ring, are great options when you are considering pregnancy again within the next couple of years. But if you have completed your childbearing, it makes no sense to remain on a pill and rely on it for pregnancy prevention. Not only will you have to take the pill daily and rely on its “perfect use” for the rest of your reproductive life, but you will need to buy it every month from the pharmacy. This will likely cost you many thousands of dollars by the time you no longer need birth control. Perhaps the best method of permanent birth control for women is the Essure procedure. In the past, tubal sterilization could only be performed through an incision in your abdomen, and under general anesthesia in the operating room. Now, we can do it with no incision, no general anesthesia, and in the privacy and comfort of the doctor’s office. By painlessly positioning a small camera through your cervix and into your uterine cavity, we can place a tiny implant into the opening of your Fallopian tubes. Your body will heal over this implant and form a natural barrier to pregnancy. Best of all, there is essentially no down time, and your return to normal activity is immediate. There is no general anesthesia, no scar, and only an

office co-payment. We’ve helped hundreds of women with this minimally invasive technique. Not sure that permanent is right for you? An IUD (intrauterine device) is a very safe, highly effective, yet reversible form of longterm contraception. An IUD takes just a few moments to place, and a few seconds to remove when its time is up. The hormonal intra-uterine system, Mirena, lasts for 5 years, while the non-hormonal counterpart, Paragard, lasts for 10. Mirena treats only the lining of your uterus with a local dose of hormone, and has the advantage of decreasing the amount of menstrual bleeding you have by about 90%! The Paragard IUD is made of copper, which acts to kill sperm. It does not lighten your bleeding, but can last twice as long as the Mirena. Finally, Implanon is an option. Implanon is a tiny rod placed under the skin of your inner forearm. Many women like the idea of very effective, quickly reversible birth control, but are nervous to have something inside such as an IUD. Implanon can remain in place for 3 years, and as a result of the way it works, can produce some bleeding irregularities. It takes only a few seconds to painlessly place, and only a minute or two to remove. And don’t forget: vasectomy is also an option for the male partner. Dr. Randy Fink is the Medical Director of the Miami Center of Excellence for Obstetrics & Gynecology, and the Sky & Sea Spa. A Board Certified OB/GYN, he was named one of “Americaʼs Top Obstetricians & Gynecologists”, and is a recipient of the Patientʼs Choice Award. Have a question about womenʼs health? Email info@miamiobgyns.com and you will receive a personalized response, and one question per month will be answered in this column.

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August 16 - 29, 2010


August 16 - 29, 2010

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

Crime Report The following is a list of crimes reported to the Village of Pinecrest Police Department during the week of July 19 - 25, 2010.

ARSON None AUTO THEFT Case # 1003000 Location: 6700 Block of SW 88 St Sometime between July 20, 2040 hrs, and July 21, 0715 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole the victim’s 1998 Nissan Maxima. ASSAULT None BATTERY None BURGLARY (COMMERCIAL) None BURGLARY (RESIDENCE) None ROBBERY None

THEFT Case # 1002988 Location: 7800 block of SW 125 St Sometime between May 30, unknown time, and July 20, 1243 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole a pool pump from the victim’s property. The estimated value of the stolen property is $550. Case # 1003008 Location: 12729 S Dixie Hwy (Delicias Del Mundo) On July 21, at approximately 0427 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole a flag from the listed business. The estimated value of the stolen property is $100. Case # 1003013 Location: 11735 S Dixie Hwy (West Marine) On July 17, at approximately 1230 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole merchandise from the listed store. The estimated value of the stolen property is $619. The case is presently under investigation. Case # 1003023 Location: 7600 Block of SW 105 Terr Sometime between July 18, 2000, and July 21, 2000 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole a garbage can from the victim’s property. The estimated value of the stolen property is $50.

SEX CRIME None HOMICIDE None

VILLAGE CRIME BULLETIN CALL 305-234-5545 FOR

“HOT SPOT” CRIME BULLETINS

FROM

THE VILLAGE POLICE DEPARTMENT

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Crime Report The following is a list of crimes reported to the Village of Pinecrest Police Department during the week of July 26 - Aug. 1, 2010.

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ARSON None

ROBBERY None

AUTO THEFT None

SEX CRIME None

ASSAULT None

HOMICIDE None

BATTERY Case # 1003097 Location: 5900 Block of SW 120 St On July 25, at approximately 1930 hrs, after having a verbal altercation, a known offender body bumped the victim. Due to conflicting statements it could not be determined who was the primary aggressor. The victim was advised to contact the State Attorney’s Office to receive instructions on how to file a misdemeanor complaint.

THEFT Case # 1003088 Location: 11753 S Dixie Hwy (Vintage Liquors) On July 26, at approximately 1241 hrs, a known offender stole merchandise from the listed business. The offender was arrested and charged with theft. The estimated value of the stolen property is $22.

BURGLARY (COMMERCIAL) None BURGLARY (RESIDENCE) Case # 1003130 Location: 10300 Block of SW 58 Ct Sometime between July 19, 1600 hrs, and July 29, 1005 hrs, unknown offender(s) gained entry into the victim’s residence by shattering a rear window and stole a plasma television. The estimated value of the stolen property is $3,000. The case is presently under investigation. Case # 1003135 Location: 8200 Block of SW 128 St On July 29, sometime between 0400 hrs, and 0700 hrs, unknown offender(s) gained entry into the victim’s residence through an unlocked rear sliding glass door and stole a computer. The estimated value of the stolen property is $1,542. The case is presently under investigation. Case # 1003153 Location: 6000 Block of SW 92 St Sometime between July 26, 1800 hrs, and July 30, 0950 hrs, unknown offender(s) gained entry into the victim’s residence by prying open a rear French door and stole electronic equipment. The estimated value of the stolen property is $6,700. The case is presently under investigation.

Case # 1003094 Location: 11905 S Dixie Hwy (Best Buy) On July 26, at approximately 1705 hrs, unknown persons(s) stole merchandise from the listed business. The estimated value of the stolen property is $400. Case # 103118 Location: 5800 Block of SW 88 St On July 27, sometime between 1300 hrs, and 1700 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole a decal from the victim’s vehicle. The estimated value of the stolen property is $4. Case # 1003136 Location: 7700 Block of SW 129 St Sometime between June 22, 1409 hrs, and July 22, 1409 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole a decal from the victim’s vehicle. The estimated value of the stolen property is $4. Case # 1003194 Location: 11701 S Dixie Hwy (Whole Foods) On Aug. 1, at approximately 1738 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole currency from the listed business. The amount of currency stolen is $100. Case # 1003196 Location: 11295 S Dixie Hwy (Christ the King Church) On Aug. 1, sometime between 0800 hrs, and 1200 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole the victim’s purse. The estimated value of the stolen property is $66.

VILLAGE CRIME BULLETIN CALL 305-234-5545 FOR

“HOT SPOT”

CRIME BULLETINS FROM

THE VILLAGE POLICE DEPARTMENT


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• EDUCATIONAL AND TEEN ADVICE • Toby Rose ASK TOBY I’m a senior and I’m really worried about something. There’s a part of every application that your high school counselor must fill out and I’m very upset about this because my counselor doesn’t even know who I am. What do I do? Your counselor doesn’t know who you are because they are all overworked. They have way too many children. For those people who are in ninth and 10th grade, I suggest that you frequently meet with your counselors. Once a month, request a meeting. For someone in 12th grade, I sincerely understand the problem. Take an activities list (if you need help you can call me and ill tell you how to do it) and go into your counselor with that list and the paper from your application. It is very difficult for your counselors to sit and write recommendations for 900 kids. What do think about all the expenses that high school kids now have? And I mean across the board at Southridge, Killian, and every high school in Dade County, specifically, my daughter in her junior year wants a ring. The price of the ring is $500 and believe it or not all her friends are getting it. I do believe it and I don’t like it. Between the rings, graduation, prom dresses and everything combined, it’s an easy $1,500 that most people do not have. It’s up to the parents to get involved. Go to the school and do something about this. This can only be done if you speak with the officials and get a group of people together, because spending $500 on a ring is ridiculous. I know they do have them cheaper than $500, but most of the kids want the $500 one. I’ve seen three so far this week myself. I’m not doing well in AP History. I’ve got a C and I would like to switch to honors. What is your opinion of this? My counselor says that the colleges would rather see a C in an AP than an A or B in honors. What do you think? I used to teach AP History it is memorization and memorization and memo-

rization and, of course, the writing. You explained to me when I called you that you have trouble with the writing section. That you can get a tutor for, but if you find that you are far behind and really need to get out of the class, my rule of thumb is that colleges do not want to see any C grades. If you cannot make an A or a B, do not take the AP class. Please contact me if I can be of further assistance.

My parents want me to become either a doctor or a lawyer but I don’t think I’m interested in either profession. How do I deal with this? Everyone in my family is a doctor or a lawyer. I think you must understand that ultimately you have control your choice of a profession. Sometimes this can be very difficult. I would not fight, I would not argue and I would also keep an open mind and meet your parents half way. When you enter college, explore different courses and find out what you like. You may even find out that you like the idea of being a doctor or a lawyer. After you are in college and decide what you want to major in, you may have a problem with your family supporting you financially. You haven’t mentioned that in your question. If that does become a problem, you can go to another school where the tuition is lower. If you are in a private school, you may have to take the responsibility of putting yourself through college. Again, ultimately this is your life and you have to take hold of it and own it. I just received my grades, fives As and one B plus. My parents weren’t impressed and all they could talk about was that one B and why I didn’t get an A. I really am trying, but it’s even more difficult when they pressure me. Continue to try and do your best. It’s unfortunate that your parents can’t appreciate your high marks. As long as you know how hard you are working and giving your maximum, be proud of yourself. Toby Rose is president of Toby Rose’s College Prep. She is an independent college counselor, was a Dade County Outstanding Teacher and served as chairperson of the Dade County School Board Academic Advisory Committee. Rose may be contacted by calling 305-2387737 or via the Internet at <www.tobyrose.com>.


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August 16 - 29, 2010

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WANTED

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Attended by over 1,200 last year

October 14, 2010 2-8 p.m. at Signature Gardens

August 16 - 29, 2010

What a relief! Lynda & Mike

Morgan

REAL ESTATE This year’s tax filing season is behind us, but if you sell your home this year (or any other, for that matter), you’ll find your home will shelter your taxes as well as your family. Specifically, the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 provides a substantial exemption on your capital gains when you sell. In general terms, when you sell your home, the IRS allows you to keep capital gains – tax-free – of up to $500,000 (married filing jointly) or $250,000 (single taxpayers). That’s right, no taxes on your gains, if you qualify. It’s fairly simple to qualify, with the most important requirement being that you’ve lived in the home for two of the last five

years. And this is an exclusion you can claim again and again, theoretically every two years! There are even provisions if you are forced to sell before you satisfy the twoyear requirement, for reasons such as job change, illness, divorce, disaster or others. The exclusion on capital gains taxes is simply prorated in these cases. For example, if you live only one year in your home before being forced to sell early, you can exclude up to one-half of the normal limits from capital gains taxes (up to $250,000 instead of $500,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly). As always, consult your tax professional to discover how to maximize the benefits of homeownership. Mike and Lynda Morgan may be contacted at the Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Offices at 12155 S. Dixie Hwy., 305253-2800 or by email at <mmorgan321@aol.com>.

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August 16 - 29, 2010

2010 Mazda SPEED3 is a different kind of Mazda 3 Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS From a distance, the 2010 Mazda SPEED3 looks a lot like its Mazda3 siblings, with its five-point grille and sleek lines, but slide behind the steering wheel and step on the gas and immediately you will know the difference. The Mazda SPEED3 is a performance car for enthusiasts and that’s why it has become so popular with today’s younger consumers. It blends the five-door functionality of the Mazda3 five-door sedan with more aggressive styling and performance. With the hot new 263 hp MZR 2.3-liter DISI Turbo engine under the hood, the new Mazda SPEED3 builds on the performance of the original, but adds a new look and even better handling. Engine output is more consistent, thanks to the hood-mounted intercooler scoop that not only improves intercooler airflow over the grille-mounted intercooler duct, but also frees grille space for a fresh-air duct to feed the engine’s intake, improving efficiency and boosting power and fuel economy.

The gear ratios in the compact three-shaft gearbox have been revised, with second through fifth gear getting slightly taller to make better use of engine torque and provide a more seamless power delivery. The advanced torque management system also has been recalibrated to better minimize torque steer by adjusting torque output based on gear position and steering angle. As for design, the Mazda SPEED3 is distinguished from its siblings by a lower air dam and round fog lights that frame a metallic black grille. The hood houses an intercooler scoop to improve charge air cooling and the front fenders are flared to accommodate the wider tires. New 18-inch aluminum wheels are modeled on the lightweight forged wheels of the RX-8 R3, while sculpted side skirts and a lower stance intimate the vehicle’s performance capability. The rear is marked by larger dual exhaust tips, a metallic black valance and a larger roof-mounted rear wing. The Nagare-inspired design of the exterior continues into the cabin. Black is the keynote color throughout the interior, while the seats and trim fabric have an organic red graphic design. The design is distributed throughout, with red stitching enhancing the steering wheel, seats, door trim, shift lever boot and center armrest. The dashboard gives a roomy feel to the interior and gauges display infor-

Mazda SPEED3 has lower air dam and round fog lights that frame a metallic-black grille; functional hood scoop, flared front fenders and 18-inch aluminum wheels. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

mation high and close to the driver’s field of vision. The instrument cluster includes a new LED turbo boost gauge positioned between the meters. The Mazda SPEED3 is loaded with goodies for the driving enthusiast, yet stripped of anything that would add extra weight. Standard equipment includes variable intermittent windshield wipers, roof-mounted aerodynamic antenna, illuminated vanity

mirrors, electroluminescent gauges, aluminum pedals and dual-zone climate control. Base price on the 2010 Mazda SPEED3 is $23,195.

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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Page 39

Pinecrest Tribune endorses Carla Ascencio-Savola for House of Representatives District 115 Carla AscencioSavola is driven by a fundamental believe in honesty, hard work and commitment to public service. Ms. Ascen- cioSavola has led the fight and has stood up for area families to maintain and improve their quality of life. As a member of the Community Council Board she has been credited in securing a $750,000 grant that has beautified Sunset Drive (SW 72nd St.) from the Palmetto Expressway to the Florida Turnpike. She was instrumental in bringing municipal water for a residential area after a high level of arsenic was detected in private wells. She was recently recognized for having helped secure $350,000 in funding to build Sunkist Pineland Park. Carlaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contributions to numerous boards and committees are well noted and are a testament to her passion in serving others. She serves as Vice-Chair of the

Miami-Dade Attendance Boundary Committee for the Miami Dade County Public School system. She is member of the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), for the Kendall Police Department; The National Association of Female Professionals; Parents Fellowship Organization; ANF, a children's charity organization. Carla is a recognized business leader in the South Florida tourist and travel industry. Her vision and insight have helped her carve a unique niche in the area of corporate travel. She was selected to be the official travel agent for the Miami Heat in their inaugural year. In 1998, after eighteen years of serving her clients she sold her business. For House of Representatives District 115, Pinecrest Tribune recommends CARLA ASCENCIO-SAVOLA.

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August 16 - 29, 2010

Quintero Orthodontics uses latest dental technology BY NANCY EAGLETON

Dr. Juan-Carlos Quintero believes that excellent orthodontic treatment begins with excellent diagnostics. At his practice, Quintero Orthodontics in South Miami, 3D diagnosis is now the standard of care through the use of Cone Beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT). “A philosopher once said to see is to know, and now that I know I could never go back to utilizing two-dimensional x-rays,” said Dr. Quintero. “This technology will be the standard of care for all orthodontists and oral surgeons in the coming years. After all, there is no such thing as a 2D patient.” Quintero completed his master’s thesis on 3D imaging in orthodontics during his residency at the University of California at San Francisco 12 years ago, when the technology was early in development. Early in 2009, he began using 3D imaging and Dr. Juan Carlos Quintero become one of the first orthodontists in South Florida to acquire a

CBCT machine, known as an iCAT. “Cone beam CT technology is different from a medical CT because radiation levels on a CBCT are down to one-100th of a medical CT. This is even less than the radiation level of a full set of regular dental x-rays and is the equivalent amount of radiation to simply living for three to four days in a metropolitan area,” said Quintero. “In a 4.8 second scan, a cone beam CT shows all of the hard tissue structures, the anatomic parts that are important to an orthodontist. It also shows the soft tissue facial map, craniofacial bones, vertebrae, teeth, roots, sinuses and airways.” So, what does this mean to the patient? “It’s the ultimate crystal ball,” said Dr. Quintero. “With this technology, we don’t take impressions and x-rays as we did in the past. These older formats actually don’t correlate to each other very well geometrically and leave questions unanswered when formulating treatment plans because we are not seeing that third dimension. With a 3D cone beam scan, the guesswork is all but eliminated, surprises are reduced and the patient treatment time can be shortened.” The interactive CBCT data and treatment plan are reviewed with the patient and family during a separate treatment consultation. “This conference is so important. An integra-

State of the art 3D imaging is used at Quintero Orthodontics. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

tive approach to orthodontics is what we stress. We want to teach the patient and family about the science behind the treatment, as well as stress patient compliance. When patients are involved in their treatment, they make better patients and an educated patient is our best patient.” Quintero opened his orthodontics office in

South Miami 11 years ago after taking over the practice of Dr. Lindsey Pankey, who practiced in South Miami for 35 years. He says that he follows Dr. Pankey’s philosophy of knowing the patient. “Each patient is a whole person, not just a set of teeth,” he said. “We strive to learn about our patients and what’s important to them in seeking treatment. We learn about their overall attitude on health and aesthetics, their health concerns, a bit about what’s going on in their lives, circumstances that may affect their ability to comply with treatment.” Quintero received his dentistry degree from the University of Pittsburgh, his degree in orthodontics from the University of California at San Francisco, and holds a Master of Science in Oral Biology. He is the past-president of the South Florida Academy of Orthodontists. He has won many national research competitions, published over 14 articles in scientific journals, has been featured on several television news shows, including the Discovery Channel, and lectures both nationally and internationally. Quintero Orthodontics is located at 5712 SW 77 Terr. in South Miami. For more information, call 305-666-4642 or go to <www.quinteroorthodontics.com>.


August 16 - 29, 2010

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

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Page 44

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

Photo by Ella Woodson

Sonia Martinez, RPH

August 16 - 29, 2010

Proby named director of StormZone Pinecrest resident Lucien (Bay) Proby, president of Proby & Associates public relations, has been named director of StormZone, a school-based science and social studies education program for students in grades 6-12 in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County schools. The free online program teaches students about the science of hurricanes, the effects of climate change and how emergency management agencies work with local governments to prepare for and recover from weather disasters. The program also provides students and their families with safety and preparedness information, as well as how to become a Red Cross volunteer. To learn more about the program, visit <www.stormzone.us>.

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Page 46

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August 16 - 29, 2010


August 16 - 29, 2010

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

Page 47

Take a ‘Spin on the Energy Wheel’ WIREMASTERS

BY KENT CROOK

President, Wiremasters Electric

The “Energy Wheel” is a handy tool I give to others so they can calculate how much electricity is used in the average home. For those of you who haven’t seen the Energy Wheel, read on and do some calculations of your own. First, some basic definitions. A kilowatt is 1,000 watts of energy. A kilowatt-hour (kWH) is equal to 1,000 watts of power used for one hour. That’s equal to a 100watt incandescent bulb operating for 10 hours. A BTU (British Thermal Unit) is one kilowatt-hour of electricity, equal to 3,413 BTUs. One unit of horsepower is equal to 746 watts. Let’s start with the electric power you’re using in your kitchen. Your dishwasher, with one load a day that uses the drying cycle, uses 30 kWh. If you use your range oven at 350 degrees for one hour, that’s 60 kWh. A microwave oven uses between 16 and 40 kWh. Your coffeemaker (percolator and drip types) will set you back for 12 kWh. How about your refrigerator? A 17 cubic foot frost-free refrigerator with freezer, operating for 10 hours a day, uses between 500 watts and 1500 kWh. A manual defrost refrigerator uses 300 watts and 90kWh. If you do your laundry at home, the washer (with five loads per week), uses 7

kWh. The clothes dryer (with five loads per week), eats up 100 kWh. The hot water heater, that gives you those wonderful hot showers, consumes between 200 and 400 kWh for a typical family of four. This excludes the use of hot water by the laundry and dishwasher. Now here are some energy-saving tips, also found on the Energy Wheel. To save on hot water, use low-flow showerheads and faucets. For your refrigerator, keep it filled (including the freezer). Check for faulty door seals and replace them. Avoid frequent opening and closing of the refrigerator or freezer doors. In your kitchen, use the dishwasher for full loads and use manual air-drying for the dishwasher contents. Ensure that the door seals on your oven are in good condition. Thaw frozen foods before cooking to save energy. These are only a few samples of the valuable information on the Energy Wheel. But you can see that if you’ve been complaining about your electric power bill, there are many ways you can start attacking that expense. For more information, call 305-3859379 or email <kent@kcmiami.com>.

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• Certified Pet Care Tech

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60

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T H E

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

B US I N E S S

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Page 55

Para asistencia en Español llamar

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August 16 - 29, 2010


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