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Pinecrest Phone: 305-669-7355

ONE OF MIAMI’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

JUNE 18 - JULY 1, 2012

James Choi awarded $2,000 PBA scholarship

BY LEE STEPHENS

P

almetto High School senior James Seungyeon Choi is the 2012 winner of the annual $2,000 scholarship awarded jointly by the Pinecrest Business Association and the Village-based law firm Panter, Panter & Sampedro. Choi received a symbolic check at the association’s May luncheon. The scholarship is payable to the student’s designated college or university. To qualify for the scholarship, students must attend either Gulliver Prep or Palmetto Senior High, hold a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and provide recommendations from at least one teacher and a guidance counselor. They also must write a comprehensive answer to an essay question, submit transcripts, a complete resume and a community service record. “Every year it amazes me what these students have accomplished during their high school career,” said attorney Mitchell Panter. “Not only are they brilliant, but they are also extremely invested in their community, providing hundreds of hours of service. It is an honor to help fund their collegiate career. We look forward to all that Mr. Choi will accomplish throughout college and beyond.” Panter, Panter, & Sampedro has been

–––––––– See SCHOLARSHIP, page 6

Read in Washington, D.C.

WCS students earn top awards in alternative energy research BY LEE STEPHENS

W

Here’s Danielle Spiegelman, executive director of the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami, in Washington D.C. with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Spiegelman joined 25 other Cancer Support Community leaders from around the country for the inaugural Advocacy On the Hill Day. Of course she took along a copy of her favorite hometown newspaper snapped this shot for us. Thanks for thinking of us, Danielle

Positive PEOPLE

estminster Christian School (WCS) juniors Jack Erdozain, Jr. and Eric Riehl recently won top honors and high praise for their alternative energy research projects at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh, the largest pre-college fair in the world. The WCS students competed against 1,500 high school students from 70 countries and their INTEL ISEF showings followed on the heels of consecutive wins at this year’s regional, state and international science and engineering competitions.

–––––––––––––– See RESEARCH, page 6

in Pinecrest

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

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June 18 - July 1, 2012

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June 18 - July 1, 2012

Positive PEOPLE in Pinecrest

GRACE De WITT Palmetto Senior High School junior Grace DeWitt combined her skills in public relations and her passion for sports to create the creative slogan for her campaign for 2013 senior class secretary: “Just DeWitt.” DeWitt says she loves Palmetto and wants to make an impact during her senior year. Since she plans to study communications, marketing and public relations in college, she felt the position of class secretary was a good match with her skills. Her classmates obviously agreed; she won the election. It’s important that DeWitt’s college choice not only offers a strong program in her major, but also has a Division I sports program. Her top school choices include the University of Southern California, Syracuse, Tulane, Boston College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Florida. When DeWitt graduates next year, she will have 12 AP classes listed on her resume. “I’ve taken the most demanding course load to demonstrate to colleges that I’m responsible and well prepared to handle their courses,” DeWitt said. As a senior next year, DeWitt will play varsity soccer for the third year. She’s been playing since she was four and now serves as assistant coach for her brother’s Pinecrest Premier recreational league soccer team. She loves sports, goes to the gym regularly and watches football with her family. She is also an avid fan of the Palmetto Senior High baseball team. “I have many friends on the baseball

team and I’m always their loudest cheering fan,” she said. Since her freshman year, DeWitt has been actively involved with BBYO. She served as her chapter’s vice president of communications during her sophomore year and held the same position at the regional level this year. “I’m responsible for communication to the region’s 230 members,” said DeWitt. “I communicate to everyone through Facebook, Twitter, email, text messages and more.” This summer, DeWitt will attend BBYO’s Impact: Chicago on the campus of the University of Chicago for 12 days. “I’ll attend seminars presented by community leaders and college professors and participate in community service projects in the inner city,” she said. DeWitt has been involved with the Girl Scouts since she was five years old. She and her troop members earned their Girl Scout Bronze Award when they created a garden at Howard Drive Elementary School and their Silver Award when they renovated and restocked The Depot at CHARLEE Homes for Children. To earn her Gold Award this year, DeWitt organized a book drive at Palmetto Middle and Senior High Schools to gather the students’ used language arts required reading novels and recycled them for use in the coming school years. “These required reading books are in high demand and sometimes are hard to find,” DeWitt said. “I’ll donate them to the Pinecrest Library so students throughout Miami-Dade can check them out from the library system instead of buying new ones.” Because cancer has had an impact on DeWitt’s family, she has been an active participant in the Pinecrest Relay for Life. For two consecutive years, she has raised more than $1,000 for the American Cancer Society, while walking to remember loved ones who lost their battle with cancer and honor those who have beat the odds. By Nancy Eagleton

If you know someone

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MONICA DYCHES Monica Dyches, who recently graduated from Palmetto Senior High School, has had a wonderful high school career. She was Palmetto’s Silver Knight nominee in Science and won Honorable Mention at the Silver Knight ceremony in May. She also won the girls doubles district tennis championship (with Hannah Lutz) and is the girl’s doubles GMAC champion. To cap off her year, Dyches was accepted for admittance by the University of Florida, Florida International University, Vanderbilt and Boston College. However, she has decided to go to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania Over her four years high school career, Dyches earned more than 2,500 hours in community service, many from extracurricular actives and others because of her involvement in her church. Dyches was treasurer for the Student Council Senior Class. She was also president of the Women of Tomorrow Club, a mentoring group for at-risk girls at Palmetto. “We have mentors come in, successful women in our community,” she says. “My friend and I slipped into the club. I had a couple of friends that were involved and I just stuck with it.” Being in the club exposed the girls to information about women’s health and helped them in their quest to go to college. “Women for Tomorrow is a scholarship organization,” Dyches says. “Every year

they give multiple scholarships to the girls in our group.” Dyches says she was nominated for the Silver Knight in Science because she became the green ambassador at Palmetto. She helped institute Trayless Tuesdays as a way to help the environment. “The deal is, our school lunch trays are made of Styrofoam,” she says. “It’s harmful to society. It’s not a good substance to use. The purpose of Trayless Tuesdays is to cut back.” They looked at other types of trays, but Styrofoam is so cheap the food service department could not switch. However, with the Trayless Tuesdays, Dyches says they cut Styrofoam consumption by 20 percent. Dyches contacted many Miami-Dade schools to urge them to start a similar program and found there was interest from several of the high schools. She also started a Green Council to focus on working with the Student Council on green initiatives. Last year, she worked on a program to help re-forest Haiti. “It’s used to be forested, but now it has only one or two percent of forested land,” Dyches says. “I found an organization, Yele Haiti-Yele Vert. They are supposed to educate the Haitian people about the importance of trees and farming techniques. Last year we organized a fundraiser for Yele Haiti.” In sports, Dyches was the captain of the varsity badminton team. She not only won the GMAC, but also the Youth Fair Badminton Tournament. She is the current and a past GMAC badminton champion. The Palmetto team was second overall in the GMAC tournament. Outside of school, Dyches is very involved with her church. She helps with the confirmation classes for middle and high school students. She also helps with catechism classes for elementary school kids. “I’m involved in Disciples in Motion, which is a dance group,” she says. “We minister different events. During mass, during special masses, Christmas and Easter, we’ll dance. And we dance at special events.” As for what she’s going to do for a career, she is not quite sure, but she does want to continue to give back to the community. “I want to be the person who changes the world,” she says. By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld


June 18 - July 1, 2012

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Positive PEOPLE in Pinecrest

BIRAAJ MAHAJAN Graduation from Palmer Trinity. Check. Acceptance to Boston University. Check. Enjoying summer before going to college?

Priceless. This summer, Biraaj Mahajan is enjoying his new status as high school graduate. He’ll relax and get ready for his move in August to Boston to attend college. His path was paved with strong academics and strong community service. He volunteered at Baptist Hospital, working in the errand service department. “As a volunteer I would transport patients, deliver food trays and deliver medical supplies,” he says. “Mostly it was taking specimens to the lab or bringing patients their food trays or transporting medical equipment.” Mahajan would transfer blood from the nurses’ station to the lab and sometimes be sent out to the pediatric center to babysit if the parents had to step out. He says he would talk to the patients he was transporting. “I think the lord has graciously equipped me to help lift people from their deepest despair,” he says. One way he would do that was by making them laugh. He admits to being a class clown. But while he may help people see the funny side of things, he’s serious about medicine. Mahajan is interested in neuroscience

and hopes to pursue a career in medicine with the goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. “The brain fascinates me,” he says. “It’s the command center. The fact is that neurology and neuroscience is the frontier of medicine.” He says his fascination with medicine comes from what has happened in his family. “On my mother’s side of the family we’ve had relatives who have had medical problems, specifically with the brain,” Mahajan says, adding that his family has been supportive of his interest in medicine. At Palmer Trinity, Mahajan also participated in the drama program. “I have acted in every production that was put on by Palmer this year,” he says. “Those productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Little Princess and Once Upon a Mattress. We’ve performed well at competitions, getting superiors in scoring,” he says. Mahajan received an excellent for his part in an ensemble scene two years ago. This year, he was named an Honor Thespian at the Upper School Awards Ceremony. Mahajan was a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (the math honor society), Spanish National Honor Society, and he was vice president of student

government. “We organized homecoming and according to the campus everyone loved it,” he says. As vice president Mahajan was in charge of the inter-club council. Clubs go to the meetings to report on their activities and their plans for future events. “I wanted to make a difference before I left Palmer,” he says. “I wanted to get involved and see if my ideas made it.” He was involved with student government before, starting in the sixth grade as a class representative. “I sort of used high school to discover new things,” Mahajan says. “I tried lacrosse, but found out it was not my cup of tea. I tried different things.” He also played soccer in ninth and 10th grades and all three years of his middle school tenure. At the end-of-the-year awards ceremony, Mahajan also won the Science and Theatre Arts Senior Book Awards and the Palmer Trinity Ambassador Award because he “embraced the unique nature of our diverse school community.” By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld


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RESEARCH, from page 1

June 18 - July 1, 2012

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“It is unheard of to have the kind of success these students have achieved,” said WCS science teacher Lisa Garrido. “As I traveled with them to competitions, teachers from all over the world were congratulating them on their projects and Westminster for having two students achieve at this level.” Erdozain’s project — Electrochemical Effects of Saccharides on the Voltage Output of a Microbial Fuel Cell Using Penicillium Chrysogenum — created a battery that generates energy from a fungus that consumes sugar. The project is unique because it has, in effect, discovered a new use for an organism that provides an alternative source of energy by using waste products. “I first stumbled upon microbial fuel cell technology in ninth grade,” said Erdozain. “It seemed a little known wonder to me that harnessing of electrical energy through the metabolic cycles of organisms could be possible. Without having taken my first chemistry class, little did I know I had started my first research into electrochemistry and bio-electrogenesis.” At the INTEL ISEF, Erdozain’s research won first place in chemistry, earning him a $3,000 prize. He was also presented with $500 from the Lanxess Corp., a $60,000

Westminster Christian School Juniors Jack Erdozain, Jr. and Eric Riehl placed first and fourth in their categories at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

scholarship from the Florida Institute of Technology and a certificate from the

AWARD, from page 1 –––––––––––– active in the Pinecrest Business Association since it was founded in 2000. Brett Panter is a co-founder of the organization, while Mitch Panter is a past president and serves on the board of directors.

For more information on the firm, go to <panterlaw.com>. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– James Seungyeon Choi (left) accepts symbolic check from Mitch Panter .

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American Chemistry Society. This was his second trip to the international competition; as a sophomore he earned third place in the chemistry division and $1,000. Classmate Riehl earned fourth place and $500 in the energy and transportation category for his project Street Smart, a physics/engineering product he designed to harness energy from moving vehicles to help alleviate the energy crisis. It was also his second time at the competition, having been the first Westminster student to ever be invited to attend when he was a freshman. “There is an intense focus now on energy, where it can be obtained, its cost effectiveness and whether it is environmentally friendly,” said Riehl. “I decided to focus on an area where energy is typically ‘lost’ and then formed my project around that.” Riehl’s Street Smart also earned a silver medial/second place award in engineering at the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering and Environmental Project Olympiad in Houston, an international competition that showcases innovative ideas from high school students interested in global sustainability. The only representative from Miami-Dade County and only one of four in Florida, his project competed against 455 others from 68 countries and 44 states. “Since I was in elementary school, I have had a natural inclination for building, innovations and inventions,” said Riehl. “My project combines all of these elements. It takes advantage of engineering principles and most importantly it solves a problem.” Erdozain and Riehl first caught the attention of judges at the South Florida Regional

Science and Engineering Fair, where both students earned superior ratings and the opportunity to compete at the INTEL ISEF. Among other special awards, Erdozain received the award for most outstanding 11th grade exhibit in computer science, engineering, physics or chemistry by theYale Science and Engineering Association and the FIU Agroecology-BioenergyScience Excellence Project Award. Riehl received the Outstanding Sustainability Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers and certificates of achievement for an outstanding science or engineering fair project from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Naval Academy. From the Regional Fair, the projects then competed at the 57th annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida where both Erdozain and Riehl again stood out from the competition. Erdozain was the Grand Award-Ying Scholar winner, as well as Best in Fair in the physical sciences category, the most prestigious award presented at the state level, which included a $1,000 cash prize. He was awarded a $20,000 Rollins College Cram Scholarship, and a New World College of Florida scholarship for $8,000. In addition, his project earned a first place award in the chemistry category. Riehl placed second in the engineering category, earning him the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Award, an award reserved for a student withoutstanding technical prowess on a mechanical engineering inclined project. He was also awarded a $40,000 scholarship to the Florida Institute ofTechnology. Both students received a Distinguished Scholar Award from the U.S. Navy. “The awards are just mile markers in the journey,” added Erdozain. “The true enjoyment as any scientist would agree is in the process of bringing new pieces to the natural puzzle to light.” Both Erdozain and Riehl plan on pursuing careers in engineering that will allow them to make a positive difference in the lives of others. “I love science and math,” said Riehl. “I want to invent something that will have a positive impact on human needs.” “I have always been a multifaceted scientist, keeping my hand in everything from biology and physics, to chemistry and engineering,” said Erdozain. “I believe it helps me think outside the box to accomplish a more ideal solution to a problem.” “I am so proud of what both of these young men have accomplished,” said Garrido. “Their talents are many, their work ethic astounding and their passion for science remarkable. I believe this is just the beginning of all they will accomplish and believe they are blazing a trail for a very strong science research program at Westminster.”


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Planning for summer vacations – make sure yours is a safe one BY KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE State Attorney, Miami-Dade County

As we begin the summer season, many South Florida families start planning their highly anticipated summer vacation. For those whose plans involve leaving town, the last thing you want to worry about is the security of your home. Here are some tips that will help secure your home while you and your loved ones enjoy a fun and safe vacation. • Be sure to notify your local police agency about your departure and return dates, and give a name and telephone number of a neighbor, friend, or relative to notify in case of a burglary, fire or other emergency. Officers who routinely patrol in your area will periodically check your home. • Contact the post office and request your mail not be delivered during the days you will be away. Your carrier will deliver your “held” mail upon your return or you may choose to pick it up at your designated post office branch. • Newspaper deliveries should also be placed on hold while you are away so that they do not pile up and alert any passersby that your house is unoccupied. • Make arrangements to have your grass

cut and watered while you are gone. Have someone check daily to remove outdated papers and circulars from your doorway and yard. • If you have valuables in the house, take them to the bank for storage in your safety deposit box. Deposit extra cash that you are not taking with you in your bank account. • Move valuables so they can’t be seen from the windows. Be sure you have a list of all your appliances, furniture, and valuables. • Make sure to repair any broken windows, door locks or window locks before your trip. • Put any lawn furniture, bicycles, and other moveable objects away before leaving. Items left out while you are gone can easily be stolen. • Arrange with a neighbor, friend, or relative to watch over your house. Give them a key and let them know where or how you can be reached in case of an emergency. • Make sure you take their telephone number with you so you can check with them during your trip. • Give them your car description and license number. It is important that they know how to reach you at all times while you are away. Stay safe and have a very fun-filled vacation!

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June 18 - July 1, 2012

Gulliver student sponsors daycare facility in Nicaragua

Andrea Perez is pictured with two children at the daycare center in Nicaragua. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

Imagine being stopped by a crying mom who tells you she has to tie up her toddler and tape his mouth so he can’t yell just so you can go to work. What would you do? When it happened to Andrea Perez, she took action. Perez was visiting Nicaragua at the time, helping her brother Alejandro with his pet project, a school for poor teens in a rural area of the country. After being confronted by the woman, Perez decided to start a day care so women like that could have a safe place to their children while they worked “She would tie him to the chair and leave the door locked with tape over his mouth,” Perez says. “It wasn’t because she wanted to mistreat the child, but she needed to go to work. It was the only option that she had.” The daycare was named after her grandmother, Anita Holmann, and is located in her grandmother’s house. When her grandmother passed away, Perez asked her grandfather if they could use the house and he said yes. It’s hard enough to start a business as an adult, but Perez is still a teen – she’ll be a senior at Gulliver Prep next year. However, after helping her brother in his community work, she’s already learned how to marshal resources to accomplish things. “I started noticing the women had trouble with their kids,” Perez says, “The ones that weren’t old enough to go to school and they didn’t have a place to leave them. It took a little while to get her dream daycare up and running. First, she needed to raise money and she needed to find a place to house the daycare. She started an errand service to raise the money. “I made up a business card with my

name on it. I handed it out the card around the street and the school,” Perez says. “It started to make a good amount of money and I thought maybe the day care can actually happen.” Once she secured the house, she was able to open the center with the help of friends and family. “I had the money and I had the house, so I got donors,” she says. “I have a lot of family and friends. They match every dollar I make and, with that, I have enough money.” The daycare was established in July and has 60-65 children. They are allowed to care for up to 100. The school has two teachers and plans call for hiring a third. Perez and her friends earn $600 a month with the errand service. Coupled with income from funds from donors who match her earnings, the free daycare became a reality. If there are shortfalls, her grandfather steps in to help. Opening the day care is just the first project. “Right now I’m too young to start it, but I’m planning to open an orphanage,” Perez says. The orphanage concept came about when two children were dropped off at the daycare and then the parents disappeared, leaving no contact information. One of the teachers is taking care of the children, but can’t afford the additional costs without help. Perez says she needs more time to figure out what to do about the situation. Because of her commitment to the children, Perez has been honored with a plaque by the Ministry of Family in Nicaragua. For more information, go to the Anita Holmann Day Care Center in Nicaragua page on Facebook.


June 18 - July 1, 2012

PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

Pinecrest pediatrician works to support Syrian rebels

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With every day bringing new horror stories about atrocities against the people of Syria by government forces, Dr. Doured Daghistani desperately wants to help the people in his homeland. He is waging a campaign in Miami-Dade to increase local awareness of the tragic situation in Syria and to raise money to aid his countrymen who are involved in a civil uprising. Daghistani has lived in the United States since 1982 when he came to this country for post graduate training with his medical degree from the University of Damascus. He spent three years in pediatrics at the University of Miami and another three years in pediatric oncology at the UM. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor before taking a job at Baptist Children’s Hospital in 1996. He is on the national board of the Syrian American Council and is a member of the local organization. Because of his position with SAC, he was invited to the White House in April. “The reason I went was to learn what they are doing in general for Arab Americans and what they do for South Florida Arab Americans,” Daghistani says. “They were to hear from me about our priorities.” He says they discussed the Syrian situation with a high-ranking official from the Obama administration. However, they did not meet with the President because he was busy governing and campaigning for reelection. Daghistani is critical of the administration’s response to the Syrian issue. “This has been going on for 15 months,” he says. “The longer it goes on, the longer it is going to take to solve. How many massacres is it going to take before people stop this atrocity? Twelve-thousand people killed so far by United Nations count.

There are a lot of people unaccounted for, more than 25,000 people.” Daghistani wants President Obama to use targeted aerial strikes as President Clinton did during the Bosnia conflict. “It’s all talk, talk, talk and it’s frustrating,” he says. “We say never again and never again.” In the meantime, the organization is working to raise awareness with events like the rally held this spring in front of the Torch of Friendship on Biscayne Boulevard. They are looking to plan another rally in the next few weeks. Daghistani wants to get the public involved in hopes of forcing U.S. action. “We went to Washington for the first anniversary of the Syrian crisis,” he says. “We did fundraising a few weeks ago from our local community.” The group is also trying to build bridges with the Cuban community, believing that Cubans can understand what Syrians are going through because of Castro. “Hopefully, we can get some politicians involved,” he says. “We have a few local congressmen and we’re hoping to meet with Sen. Marco Rubio.” Recently the Syrian Sunrise Foundation raised $230,000 for the cause at a banquet at the Signature Grand in Broward. Daghistani says they’ve raised $6 million so far. “They have a way to get the money to the needy people,” he says. “These people have no income. There has to be constant infusion of money. Right now it’s getting done by individuals and foundations. Eventually it has to be done by United Nations.” Individuals that want to help can go to <www.ssfusa.org> and adopt an orphan for $50 a year. The SSF has an IRS number,” Daghistani says. “The government has this organization under the microscope and everything is legal.”

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Pool champs!

The Pinecrest Warriors won the 2012 American Pool Association’s Dade County Championship recently in a tournament at Bird Bowl Billiards. They go on to the national APA tournament in Las Vegas in August. The Warriors play their home games at Little Hoolies on Southwest 136th Street. Pictured (l-r) are Warriors teammates Daniel “7 Slayer” Clarin, Jason “The Doctor” Levine, David “Cowboy” Stallings, Allison “Alleycat” Perlman, Greg “Mascot” Maynes, Marisol “Ms. Puerto Rico” Maldanado, Curtis “The Hawk” Osceola and Charles Urra, who was named the team’s most valuable player. Congratulations, guys, and good luck in Las Vegas.

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Local gym supports Olympic triathlete Manny Huerta BY RAQUEL GARCIA

Pinecrest Fitness recently hosted a spinning class fundraiser for Olympic-bound triathlete and Little Havana resident Manuel Huerta. Local athletes and friends hope to raise enough money to help Huerta take his family with him to London in August so they

Olympic triathlete Manny Huerta interviewed by NBC News at Pinecrest Fitness.

can watch him compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games Triathlon at Hyde Park. “It would be awesome to look up at the stands and see my family there,” said Huerta. “They are the key to my success. I hope they can see me compete at the biggest sporting event in the world.” On May 12, Huerta finished in ninth place at the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon in San Diego, California. He finished the 1,500 meter swim, 40 kilometer bike and 10 kilometer run in 1:49:31. Huerta was a promising triathlete in Cuba, but defected to the United States at 13 years old in 1997. Huerta told the New York Times that because his grandmother left the island during the Mariel boat lift he was stigmatized and therefore Cuban dictator Fidel Castro would never have allowed him to represent Cuba at the Olympics. “To have been able to move to a free country where my dreams could become a reality is because of my mother,” said Huerta. “She got me into sports at a young age and dedicated her life so that I could get ahead.” Huerta’s mother has been battling cancer for the past three years. Witnessing her go through the surgeries and chemotherapy treatment was very tough he admits, but her resilience and strength have continued to serve as an inspiration.

Pinecrest Fitness Owner Mike Estevez (left) and Olympic Triathlon hopeful Manuel Huerta with fellow athlete Michael Nunez in the background.

“For the past year-and-a-half, the pet scans have been negative and so it looks like she is overcoming the melanoma” said Huerta. “To see her fight has been such an inspiration for me to keep pushing myself to follow my own dreams.” Fellow triathlete and friend Michael Nunez said it is Huerta’s humility and passion that has endeared him in the athletic community, which has supported his goals for years. “We started in triathlons together about five years ago,” said Nunez. “To see him grow throughout the years as a modest and extremely passionate triathlete with such a big heart has been wonderful. Everything happened so quickly (making the Olympic cut) and we thought it would be good to do some type of fundraiser so his mother and sister and girlfriend could be there at the games to support him.” Huerta’s father succumbed to colon cancer in 2009. Pinecrest Fitness owner Mike Estevez and Nunez joined forces to earmark spin instructor Steve Brookner’s class to raise the necessary travel funds. “A few years ago, he didn’t have a bike,” said Estevez. “Now he is going to the Olympic Games to compete in the triathlon, which is

super cool. He made the news everywhere when he qualified and a bunch of us went to the airport to welcome him home from San Diego. It is very expensive to go to London, especially during the summer games, and most of the hotels are already booked. They need a lot of help to all get out there, so we decided to team up to raise money to help him out.” So far Pinecrest Fitness has raised $2,450 towards Huerta’s family Olympic travel fund. Donations will be accepted at the gym until June 30. Wells Fargo Bank has also created the Manuel Huerta Donation Fund to support the family trip. “I want to thank the Miami community for its support and help,” said Huerta. “Since I was a kid I have had so many people that have helped me out. They never gave up on me. The most important thing for me to do right now is to be confident and continue my training program. Now I get to go to the biggest sporting event in the world and represent the United States.” To donate to the Manuel Huerta Donation Fund, send checks to 9255 SW 158 Lane, Suite D, Miami, FL 33157; visit Pinecrest Fitness at 9549 S. Dixie Hwy. or call 305-233-4896.


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JCC preschool earns top marks Linda K. Landy ALPER JCC NEWS My siblings joke that mother couldn’t make a decision to save her life. After agonizing over the choices for an eternity, she makes a decision. But, wait a minute, maybe she should do this other thing. Of course, option one does have its merits. And, around and around we go. Making an important decision is much easier when you have defined benchmarks on which to evaluate one option with the other. In choosing an early childhood education program, it is impossible for a parent to do an in-depth assessment of a school’s potential. Parents need meaningful, consistent standards to evaluate a program’s quality. That’s why the many organizations that assess schools and report on their findings are so valuable in assisting parents in making informed choices about the best care and education for their children. The Dave and Mary Alper JCC early

childhood learning center (ECD) has fared quite well in those rankings this year. The school earned the five-star early learning award from Quality Counts, a voluntary rating system that evaluates early learning centers and family child care programs and offers service and financial support to help providers reach their goals. This recognition puts the school in the top ten percent of early learning programs in South Florida. But the JCC preschool leadership was not content to rest on its laurels. The school also completed the rigorous process that culminated with the prestigious A.P.P.L.E. Accreditation (Accredited Professional Preschool Environment) through the Florida Association of Childcare Management. A.P.P.L.E. Accreditation provides valuable insights into how a pre-school or child care program emphasizes learning, along with good health and safety. But wait, there’s more. ECD earned the Florida Gold Seal Award as a result of achieving national accreditation. And last but not least, the school has completed the implementation and training for the transition to the High Scope Curriculum, a new approach to learning which views children as active learners who learn best from activities they plan, carry out and reflect upon. The role of the adult in the High Scope approach is to plan activities based on the children’s interests, facilitate learning through encouragement and engage in positive adult-child interaction strategies. The Alper JCC offers the Voluntary PreKindergarten program

(for four-year-olds), with a focus on the High Scope Curriculum. In this year’s graduating class, the children are academically ready to enter kindergarten this fall, and many of them are reading on a first grade level. There is no registration fee and JCC membership is not required for the Pre-Kindergarten program which runs daily from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1pm to 4pm. Reduced rate full day care (7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and extended day care (9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.) are also available. Many parents of three- and four-yearolds, have chosen the JCC ECD program because it includes water safety swimming classes in the extended and full day program. Toddler and preschool programs are offered half-day (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.), extended-day (9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.) and full day (7:35 a.m. to 6 p.m.). There are also a wide

variety of after school enrichment classes for preschoolers including swimming, baseball, basketball, kickers, dance, Spanish, art and movement. Infants eight weeks to 12 months are lovingly cared for in the state-of-the-art infant room week days from 7:35 a.m. to 6 p.m. The program is designed to help infants feel safe and protected, in a setting that is warm and homelike. The experienced, nurturing staff offers the best quality care available outside your home. The J’s early childhood development program encourages growth, curiosity, confidence and a life-long love of learning as well as an appreciation of Jewish heritage in a warm and caring atmosphere. Registration is now open for the 2012-13 school year. Confidential financial assistance is available. For more information, call 305-271-9000, ext. 301.

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June 18 - July 1, 2012

The process of closing on your home sale Wendy and Adam Levy REAL ESTATE When buyers and sellers get involved in real estate transactions, everything is captured in the contract of sale. Once you have that contract in your hand from the sale of your home, it is time to start planning for your closing day. One of the first details you need to attend to is making sure that your new home will be ready either prior to or immediately after you have closed on your current home. The worst thing you can do is be homeless because of the timing of your closing. Your attorney will arrange for the closing date for you and let you know the date well in advance. Once you have the closing date, you need to make sure that all of your new living arrangements are in place. Once the sales contract is signed, your real estate selling is supposed to end. But things can happen that will cause a closing date to be moved or even void the closing date completely. If the buyer cannot secure financing, then your closing date is lost. The best way to avoid this is to only deal with buyers who are pre-approved for their

mortgage. When you deal only with preapproved buyers, then you eliminate the possibility of losing your closing date due to financing. Remember that you will have to scramble to make changes to your new living arrangements if your current home cannot be sold. Save yourself the hassles of a lost closing date by dealing only with pre-approved buyers. After your closing date has been confirmed and everything is ready to go, then it is time to start packing. You need to make arrangements with your movers as soon as possible to make sure that you have movers in place when the closing date arrives. As you are packing, start making arrangements to disconnect the utilities in your current home and turn on utilities in your new home. Work with your utilities companies to make sure that you get your disconnections and connections timed right so that you do not pay for something that you are not responsible for. Closing day on your current home can be exiting. As you get ready to complete this important real estate transaction, be sure that have all of your arrangements taken care of so you can make the transition to your new home as smoothly as possible. For information, contact the Levy Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate at 786-581-1134, via email to Adam@MiamiHomesAndLand.com or visit at <www.MiamiHomesAndLand.com>.


June 18 - July 1, 2012

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Gulliver student is two-time National Latin Ballroom Dance Champion BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

“Because I’m Cuban and it’s natural to me,” she says. Ashley Sanchez, soon to be a senior at At 17, she is still an amateur with the Gulliver Prep, is such a talented ballroom ambition to go pro. But she says she’ll wait dancer that she actually opens for the and hopefully win a few more titles first. Dancing With the Stars tour. Sanchez is a “The smart thing to do is win titles in the two-time Latin Ballroom National amateur division,” Sanchez says. “I have Champion in the Youth Division. She also the title in the youth division. I can win it placed third in the World Championship. A one more time this year.” year earlier, she finShe can continue to ished fourth in the compete in the amaworld competition. teur division until she Sanchez dances in turns 21. Sanchez pro-am events with practices often, usually Andre Paramonov, a making the drive to Canadian champion Coconut Creek daily with his wife Natalie. as the day of competiParamonov is also tion gets closer. Sanchez’s coach at the “If I’m just training Gold Coast Ballroom on my own or just in Coconut Creek. practicing, I go three Sanchez has also or four times a weeks,” trained with Dancing Sanchez says. With the Stars champ These days, she also Karina Smirnoff, who teaches ballroom dancAshley Sanchez won the Mirror Ball ing at the University of –––––––––––––––––––––––– Trophy last year with Miami. actor J.R. Martinez. “They have a ball“She comes once a month just to do a room dancing team,” Sanchez says. “Every workshop in our studio,” Paramonov says. Thursday I go and teach them. I hope to use Sanchez started dancing at a young age, that to get into UM. I want to study sports taking lessons in all types of dance. But at medicine.” age 12, she decided that she wanted to purOne of the reasons she likes ballroom sue ballroom dancing. She ended up at the dancing is that it is not limited by age. Goldcoast Ballroom in Coconut Creek, “I think that with ballroom dancing, you where she takes lessons from the can dance forever,” Sanchez says. “You Paramonovs. can be seven years old or 80 years old and Andre Paramonov is her dance partner in still be on the dance floor.” the pro-am competitions that she enters. At Gulliver, Sanchez dances with the “He’s the pro and I’m the amateur,” school dance troupe, the Sundancers. She Sanchez says. has incorporated some of the Latin ballParamonov is a staunch believer in room moves into the dances they do at Sanchez’s ability. school. But she is happy that the dance “She totally deserves all the attention she group performs all types of dances because gets,” he says. “She is quite a special girl. being able to dance jazz, ballet, hip hop and She’s been a wonderful student and her modern dance is a plus for her ballroom family has been extremely supportive.” routine. He adds that she has won so many com“I feel like it’s actually helping me now petitions, he can’t remember them all. in what I do,” Sanchez says. “You need to Luckily, Sanchez remembers the moves for have the core dances. I’m learning to all the Latin dances. Her favorite is the Cha appreciate it now that I’m older and I see Cha. this helping me in the future.”

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Estrogen Dominance BY SONIA MARTINEZ, RPH

The following problems can be signs of estrogen dominance: fibrocystic and tender breasts, heavy menstrual bleeding, irregular menstrual cycles, uterine fibroids, decreased libido, mood swings, vasomotor symptoms, weight gain (hips, waist, thighs), foggy thinking, forgetfulness or increased levels of triglycerides? Estrogen Dominance occurs if you have a relative deficiency of progesterone relative to estrogen. Without progesterone supplementation, most women will experience estrogen dominance at some point in their lifetime, the extent of which will vary based on genetics, nutrition, emotional stressors and exposure to environmental toxins. Men also make estrogen and progesterone, and these hormones need to be balanced in men, also. It has been proposed that increased estrogenic stimulation of the prostate in the aging male may lead to reactivation of prostate growth and cancer. Ask our pharmacist for more information.

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Marco Drugs and Compounding will provide you with compounded medications prepared with the highest standards and with high quality bulk materials, traditional prescriptions and high grade nutraceuticals, supplements and multivitamins. We provide to you health information in a clean, comfortable, fun and safe environment. Make us your doorway to total health. Marco Drugs & Compounding is located at 6627 South Dixie Highway, Tel: 305-665-4411 â&#x20AC;˘ Fax: 305-663-3258 Email:marcodrugs@bellsouth.net <www.marcodrugs.com> This article is intended to provide information on healthrelated matters. The ideas expressed cannot be used to diagnose or treat individual health problems and should not be taken as medical advice or instruction.

June 18 - July 1, 2012


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Grand Prize Chevrolet delivers customers winning experience BY NANCY EAGLETON

Taking care of the customer is not a new thing, but at Grand Prize Chevrolet, owner Ralph Sifford and his team take customer service to the next level. “I want people to have that Grand Prize experience — the feeling you get when you’re winner,” said Sifford, who has owned the dealership since 1992. “That’s why I chose the name Grand Prize Chevrolet. And that’s what we do here – we deliver that winning experience.” This commitment to going above and beyond customers’ expectations has paid off with used car sales at Grand Prize up 44 percent and new car sales up 11 percent over last year. Sifford said the key to success is delivering excellent customer service every step of the way — from the customer’s shopping experience to sales, service, operations, financing and product delivery. High standards are top priority at both of Sifford’s privately owned dealerships. He also owns a Chevrolet/Cadillac and GMC/Buick dealership in Nanuet, NY. His vast business experience of 37 years operating General Motors dealerships, 20 years running a service station, and experience in commercial banking, commercial real estate and community political service, has molded the savvy business owner. But Sifford isn’t complacent. He looks forward and changes with the times. The service experience at Grand Prize Chevrolet often begins before the customer even visits the showroom. A highly proactive Internet department maintains inventory listings online and connects with customers 24/7 on Facebook, Twitter and at GrandPrizeAuto.com. “Customers begin their search online, so it’s important that we reach out to them and start the service process at this time,” Sifford said. “We are always looking for new ways to provide our customers with

Grand Prize Chevrolet recently completed an extensive renovation to better serve customers. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

excellent service.” Once at the dealership, customers will find an updated, state-of-the-art facility. Grand Prize Chevrolet was one of the first in the country to complete a renovation to meet the new GM brand standards. The dealership is sleek, modern and comfortable. The customer waiting area features a computer lounge with Wi-Fi, TVs, snacks and a playroom for children. Grand Prize now has a new building entirely devoted to pre-owned vehicle sales, which are seeing an upswing during this economic downturn. “Our pre-owned vehicles are all certified and come with a maintenance plan and extended warranties,” Sifford said. “It’s like getting a new car, but it’s more economical.” Sifford is especially proud of the Chevy lineup. In recent years, Chevrolet has introduced more vehicles that get 30 mpg or more than any other brand — an important feature considering the rising gas prices. All new vehicles have three- to five-year warranties, with 100,000-mile

powertrain warranties. On Star — the high-tech system that provides drivers with automatic crash response, navigation, roadside assistance, remote unlocking and hands-free calling — comes standard on all new vehicles. “In my 37 years in the automotive industry, On Star is one of the most revolution-

ary developments I’ve seen,” Sifford said. Grand Prize offers new car owners free maintenance for one year, including tire rotation, oil change and filter. Vehicles are serviced by GM certified technicians in one of the dealer’s 44 modern service bays. The collision center repairs all makes and models and works with customers’ insurance companies to make the process simple and easy. And when customers’ vehicles need repairs or maintenance, Grand Prize offers free drop-off and pick-up. “That’s how we create the Grand Prize experience,” Sifford said. “We treat our customers like family.” It’s important to Sifford to support the community that has supported his business. Grand Prize is the sponsor of the Sunshine Corvette Club and the Dade County Farm Bureau. The dealership proudly supports youth sports programs such as the Kendall Hammocks Optimists Club and educational programs at Robert Morgan Educational Center. Grand Prize Chevrolet is located at 11701 SW 152 St., right off Florida’s Turnpike. For more information, call 305235-8200 or visit online at <www.GrandPrizeAuto.com>.


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Advice for getting through a divorce BY DEBBIE MARTINEZ

Divorce Coach

I’ve been divorced for four years and have a teenage son. I work freelance, but my support is my alimony. My concern is, should I go back to work during this difficult teenage time or should I stay home and take advantage of my situation until I have no other choice financially? Returning to the work force “when you have no other choice” will be too late. If you are relying on alimony with no other means of support, I would invite you to come up with a serious financial plan. Yes, teenage years can be challenging, but those years also free you up because your child is becoming independent. I do believe you can be a responsible mom and continue to guide your son even if you work. You will have some restructuring to do, but in the end you will have financial security. One thing to look at is whether your alimony is modifiable. If you go back to work, can your ex take you back to court to lower your alimony and/or child support? If so, calculate if it is financially in your favor to work outside the home. Factor in what you will make, what if anything you will lose if the alimony is modified, taxes, etc. As moms our priority is always our children, but you also have to take your future into account. You’re not being selfish, you are being smart. Financially, I am a disaster; I can’t seem to get a handle on my finances. I can’t figure out why it’s so hard for me since I took care of all the finances when I was married. Any suggestions? Since you managed the finances

before, it’s not a matter of knowing what to pay or organizing your bills, it’s a matter of mindset; you are still living in the old one. Maybe when you were married you could get manicures every two weeks and belong to the country club or go out to dinner twice a week. You need to step back and look at your budget now. Women get into trouble with their finances for many reasons. Perhaps they don’t want to adjust their lifestyle or their kids put pressure on them to continue with vacations as before and guilt sets in. Or, quite simply, they don’t know how to live on a budget. The figures you see in front of you are exactly what you have. No checkbook gremlins are going to come at night and add zeros to your balance. Be honest about your situation now, as painful as reality may be. It will save you tons of stress later caused by debt. NOTE TO SELF I am willing to let go of old ways that are no longer to my benefit. DEBBIE’S LIBRARY The Road to Wealth by Suze Orman

Debbie Martinez is a Certified Divorce Life Coach. She has given workshops on divorce and women’s issues and has offices in South Miami. For more information, call 305984-5121 or go to <www.thepowerofdivorcecoach.com>


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It’s summertime and the livin’ is (relatively) easy! BY CARL RACHELSON

It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. Mosquitoes are bitin’, and the grasses are high. Your daddy’s rich (in some cases) and your kids are good looking (or so we like to tell our friends). So hush little suburban baby, don’t you cry. One of these mornings, you’re going to wake up on holiday, then you’ll spread your wings, pump up your tires and take to the streets. Until that morning, you can prepare for the sultry weather by dreaming of another ride through the green thicket that wraps its vines around us every summer, as you drip happily with sweat and pleasure. Years ago when I first moved here, I complained to new friend and current Ransom Everglades Athletic Director Claude Grubair about summer’s oppressive humidity as he picked me up on a warm June evening with his windows rolled down. “Summer’s the best time of the year,” said Claude simply. After thinking about it – no kidding – I was transformed and converted. Last week, I bumped into Claude while I was on my bike and he was running, and I reminded him of the story and said that I have loved the summers here ever since. The earlier the better, but as long as one avoids the lightning, riding in summer is all good. You don’t need a plan as residential streets in Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, South Miami, Cutler Bay and Coral Gables overflow with things to look at. Yes, some of it may not be what you might choose to see in front of homes if indeed you had the power of choice – a big pair of badly carved lions, gilded gates, stars and stripes on poles – but there is a feast for the vigilant eye. You can make a little checklist if you like. Pink

BIKE MIAMI flamingos in the flower beds – check. Ceramic dolphin above the garage door – check. Lighthouse mailbox – tick it off. Shells embedded on a wall – got ‘em. There is no end to the kitsch. For all who recoil at this — shall I call it art? — just look at the giant, graceful Poinciana trees. Architectural quirks lie just around every bend, decades of design shaped by the times and the shapes of our lives. We all know that homes keep getting bigger and bigger, c’est la construction. These days, you can still see the ’50s bungalow which George Jetson may have loved next to the new McMansion which the one percent love. This love, of course, trickles down to contractors, real estate agents, tax collectors and gardeners. I’ll leave it at that. If you are on a bike, the former is cool, like Americana, and the latter grand, like Downton Abbey. Depending on your route, a brain freezing smoothie is just a few revolutions away. Aside from all the knowledge dropped by the big guy at Smoothie King, the faded, grandfathered-in glory provided by the chatty staff at the Wayside Market and the proximity to Whole Foods and Fresh Markets along the way, South Miami’s Sun Juice has been my favorite for years, keeping my hypochondria at bay with the Cold Curer. More and more of us in South Florida have taken to the streets on our bikes, riding with friends and family, rolling back the years. It’s summertime and the livin’ – as long as the hurricanes mind their manners – is easy. Carl Rachelson is a teacher at Palmer Trinity School and a regular contributor to the Pinecrest Tribune. He may be contacted by addressing email to <crachelson@palmertrinity.org>.

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June 18 - July 1, 2012

Tootsie Rolls champions of Beth Am Jr. League

The Tootsie Rolls are winners of the basketball playoff championship at the Beth Am Junior League. This championship, the first for all of the eight girls on the team, was the perfect closure to an amazing, undefeated season (12-0). Pictured after winning the championship are Isabel Solorzano, Alexa Ucar, Jessie Berman, Coach Paul Berman, Abby Siegel, Klara Solar, Sofia Iglesias, Coach Rich Siegel and Ilana Reiser. (Not pictured is Chloe Cohn.)


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PINECRESTTRIBUNE.COM

Do ghosts walk among us?

HAL FELDMAN If you’re looking for a different way to view South Florida, it is hard to argue with The Original Ghost Tours of Coconut Grove. On most Friday and Saturday nights, proprietor Sandy Walker offers a unique view of the Grove to 25 or so adventurous souls. From the moment the two-hour walk around downtown Coconut Grove begins, you know you are in the hands of a skilled and eclectic storyteller. Dressed in (mostly) black Victorian-era clothing and a flowered hat, Sandy starts her tour at the doors of the Coconut Grove Playhouse (shuttered for six years now) and immediately orients her guests to the possibilities of what could be. “How many believers do we have here?” Her hand goes up along with about half of the group ghost seekers. “And, how many skeptics?” Again, her hand goes up. “That’s great! Because skeptics should observe to prove themselves right, but they might find themselves surprised with the results.” Beyond the paranormal stories, discussion of energy fields and other ghostly phenomenon, Sandy provides a great history lesson. “We are standing on oolitic limestone, 22 feet above sea level,” she says. “This high ridge of limestone occurs again in Aventura and down in Goulds, but is rare elsewhere in South Florida. Coconut Grove is the grand-

Grave of Eva Munroe, early Coconut Grove settler.

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mother of Miami, having preceded it by many generations. Ponce de Leon landed here before he went to St. Augustine. Many believe that his search for the Fountain of Youth most certainly brought him to what is now Venetian Pool in Coral Gables.” Once she sets the not-too-serious and nottoo-kooky tone of the evening, we are walked to the south side of the Playhouse. “Built in 1926, this building has a somewhat negative energy line. If you look to the third floor windows, you’ll see the curtains flow in an unnatural way. That’s ectoplasm.” I can see the curtains move, but don’t think it odd. Yet, seconds later another ghost hunter gasps, claiming she’s caught a face in the window with her digital camera. We all look at her pixeled screen and draw our own conclusions. Moving across the street of Old Main The Coconut Grove Playhouse was built in 1926 on energy line. Highway, Sandy suggests we might capture orbs and odd light in our cameras if we snap enough shots. The history lesson and suggestions of what we might see continue for 90 more minutes. We visit The Barnacle State Park, stand outside St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and make our way to two existing businesses where our guide recounts stories of recurring hauntings. Everything from disembodied mid-day shadows of a murdered woman to a playful mask-wearing disembodied spirit and walkways charged with energy are discussed. More than a few times fellow guests claimed to capture odd things on their cameras. I honestly didn’t see anything otherworldly, but it was fun to see others believe they had. The crux of the tour centers on the story of the Peacock and Munroe families. These neighbors were the first to settle the area and Eva Munroe, who had tuberculosis, died on the banks of the Miami River. The Ghost seekers feel for energy at Coconut Grove Sandy Walker and Hal Feldman near gravesite. group is asked to see things on their estate Playhouse entrance. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– grounds, including shadowy figures, light As the tour winds down we are taken to HAL’S HOMEOWNER HELP orbs and odd glows. the foot of the Coconut Grove public Hurricane season is upon us, so I suggest library where, surrounded by iron fencing, that anyone with storm shutters check them we find the gravesite of Eva Munroe. now and make sure everything is in working Spooky? No, but odd to know that I have order, instead of waiting until we have a passed this area thousands of times without storm heading our way. Do the accordion knowing what was located just a few feet shutters close and lock correctly? Do you away from me. And the Mason-built struc- have the right number of shutter panels? Are ture just to the west of the gravesite has they numbered and matched to your home? opened and closed numerous times as a Do you have all the bolts and wing nuts? nightclub over the last 30 years. Haunted? I’m always looking for interesting people Or is it just a bad location? You decide. and events for consideration in upcoming Believers and skeptics alike who want to do issues. Contact me with your ideas at something different with a weekend night < w w w . M i a m i H a l . c o m > , are encouraged to check out this “hidden” <Hal@MiamiHal.com> or <www.faceattraction. I’d suggest taking along a drink book.com/MiamiHal>. to round out your evening. A few before Hal Feldman is a Realtor with RE/MAX might heighten the experience. Advance Realty. He is always available for Book a tour with The Original Ghost any real estate questions you may have. On Tours of Coconut Grove by going to Sundays, from 10 a.m.-Noon, he is outside A flashlight-look into coral wall hole toward former <www.ghostgrove.com> or calling 786- Wagons West in the Suniland Shopping cemetery site. 236-9979. Center to talk real estate.


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June 18 - July 1, 2012

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• EDUCATIONAL AND TEEN ADVICE • Toby Rose ASK TOBY I am a senior and have had four difficult years of high school. My mom has been very physically ill and my dad is very emotionally ill. Thank God he is going away on business for two weeks, so I can relax and be myself. I feel that I am always under stress from one of them. How can I cope? How do I get the energy to complete college applications and complete my senior year? Thank you for writing and for trusting me. We need to talk privately, I have several ideas. The first option involves seeing a psychologist who is qualified to guide and help you finish high school. Don’t worry about the money; it won’t cost a cent. I will gladly help and I know several psychologists who can help.

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I am bulimic and need your advice. My parents caught me throwing up and became hysterical. They took me to the pediatrician; he advised I see a psychiatrist so I can be on medication. As you probably know, you can’t force someone to stop this behavior. What do I do? You are absolutely right when you stay you can’t stop someone from engaging in this behavior. Bulimia is an extremely serious and life-threatening problem. Bulimia involves control issues and that is why they wanted you to see a psychiatrist. I assume the medication is relieving some of the stress. I always advise students not to give up if the psychologist or psychiatrist they initially see fails to be a compatible match. You may have to see five or six doctors until you find someone relatable — someone who is the right fit. I would like to

meet with you privately. In addition, I want you to meet some of my students who are bulimic. Some are on the way to recovery, some have recovered, others have relapsed. I sincerely believe that fighting bulimia is a lifelong challenge. The illness skews selfimage and perception. The media is probably the main culprit; none of us look like the skinny, petite girls on TV.

I feel embarrassed and humiliated. In my Asian culture, most families do not get divorced and I’m deeply hurt by my father’s absence. I was sitting on the carpet when my dad was leaving. I crawled over and hugged his legs so he wouldn’t leave; he just pushed me away and announced that he was going to be with his other family. I don’t know what to do; how do I face the world? First of all, divorce is not your fault; please do not think it is. Thousands of children, regardless of ethnic origin, think they are to blame when parents divorce. Your parents divorce is an issue between your mom and your dad. I understand your cultural predicament. I don’t know of any divorces among the Asian families I work with. Sometimes parents stay together and remain in an unhealthy environment; they avoid divorce because it brings shame upon the family. I would like to meet privately; you need to talk to someone. I can honestly say that you haven’t brought any shame upon your family. When you return, let’s talk; I want to refer you to someone at your school. This way, help will be within reach. Toby Rose is president of Toby Rose’s College Prep. She is an independent college counselor, was a Miami-Dade County Outstanding Teacher and served as chairperson of the Dade County School Board Academic Advisory Committee. Rose may be contacted by calling 305-238-7737 or via the Internet at <www.tobyrose.com>.


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FPL CORNER Summer Savings Tips: Keep your cool and make the most of your A/C

Summer is really heating up! As the temperatures start to rise, customers sometimes notice their electric bill rise as well. Fact is, the two are linked, but there are simple things you can do to keep your bill low during the summer months. Weather is the main cause of higher electric bills As outside temperatures go up, your air conditioner works longer to get the inside temperature down to a comfortable temperature, causing an increase in energy costs. In the summer time, air conditioning can account for half or more of electric bills, with outside temperatures directly affecting how often and how long systems must run to cool homes. How to keep your summer electric bill low FPL customers have the lowest electric bill out of all 55 utilities in the state, but it’s nice to know that you can make your bill even lower by using some energy efficiency tricks to counter the effects of warmer weather. For example, did you know that for every one degree higher you set your indoor temperature, you can save about 5 percent on your monthly cooling costs? Check out these additional tips to help keep out excess light and heat: Shade window and glass doors that face east and west, as they are the most prone to letting unwanted heat into your home. Consider shading those areas with mature size plants (with proper distance away from power lines), awnings and window coverings. Weather stripping is an inexpensive solution to help reduce the amount of air that enters or escapes your home through doors and windows. Types of weather stripping include V-shaped vinyl, adhesive-backed foam, spring metal and door sweep. Caulking is another way to reduce unwanted airflow. It is only worthwhile when done as part of another project. Use silicone or siliconized-acrylic caulk because they have the longest life span, work well on most surfaces and will maintain their elasticity. Adding insulation to your home can help reduce heating and cooling costs. Homes built after 1982 are required to have R-19 insulation, which is the level we recommend. However, if your home was built before 1982, you may benefit from adding insulation. For more tips and programs to help manage energy costs this summer, visit www.FPL.com/toolkit <http://www.fpl.com/toolkit> . There you will find the top 10 energy-saving tips, an interactive house with room-by-room tips and information on savings when purchasing a new air conditioner. Additionally, you can get a personalized energy-savings plan by completing an Online Home Energy Survey at www.FPL.com/ohes <http://www.fpl.com/ohes> .

June 18 - July 1, 2012

Summer health tips BY CINDY MAGNOLE

It’s that time of year again – school’s out, no more homework and children have lots of free time to have fun. But during summer, with the constant outdoor play – including water activities and, of course, the hot weather – parents should be extra cautious about the hazards to their children’s safety. Here are some important safety tips that can help keep your children out of danger, and out of the emergency room. WATER SAFETY • Never leave a child alone in the water or near the water, not even for a minute to answer the telephone. Children should swim only with adult supervision – even if they are good swimmers. • Floatation devices and inflatable toys are just that – toys. They do not replace adult supervision in the swimming pool, a kiddie pool or a bathtub. It only takes seconds for a child to drown. If you have a backyard pool or live on the water, you need to have layers of protection to protect your children. These include: window or door locks/alarms, self-latching pool fencing; a Shepherd’s Crook or rescue ring should be available, have a telephone nearby and post emergency numbers and your address by that telephone. • No diving into the water – always go in feet first to protect the head and neck. • Select swimming sites that have lifeguards available. Never swim in unguarded lakes or canals because there may be many dangers lurking just beneath the surface of the water. • Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Due to the time it may take for paramedics to arrive, CPR skills can make the difference between life and death. • If you see someone in trouble in the water, “Throw Don’t Go.” Do not jump in any body of water to rescue someone because they may pull you under. Throw them a rope or rescue ring. BIKE SAFETY • Always wear a helmet when bike riding. It’s the law, and it can prevent head injuries and even death from a bicycle accident. Helmets and other safety gear should also be worn when skateboarding, skating, riding scooters and ATVs. • Stay in control, be predictable and do

JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM not let more than one person ride a bike; no towing! • Watch out for hazards, such as loose gravel, potholes, broken glass and stray dogs. • Make sure your children wear bright colors when biking. Teach them that just because they see the driver, that does not mean the driver sees them. • Observe all signs, traffic lights and street and sidewalk markings; ride single file; and use a steady front white light, a steady red rear light as well as reflectors when riding after dark. SUN PROTECTION • The sun is strongest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., so try to keep your children out of direct sunlight during this time of day. • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to all children over six months old – and reapply it every two hours or more if swimming. Use sunscreen even when you’re in the shade. • Children should drink plenty of fluids; they are susceptible to heat exhaustion and dehydration. BUG BITE SAFETY • Keep your children safe from bug bites by applying safe and effective insect repellents, such as those with DEET, citronella and soybean oil to the outside of clothing and exposed skin. • Never apply the repellent directly to children’s hands and faces. Rub it into their necks and ears, staying away from their mouths and ears. • Dusk and dawn are the worst times for bugs, so stay indoors during these times or wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. For more information on summer safety, visit online at <www.jhsmiami.org/injuryprevention>. Cindy Magnole is the injury prevention coordinator at Jackson Memorial Hospital, a registered nurse in the pediatric emergency room at Holtz Children’s Hospital and chair of the Miami-Dade County Injury Prevention Coalition. Contact her by email at <cmagnole@jhsmiami.org>.


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First National Bank of South Miami celebrates 60 years BY LEE STEPHENS

In recognition of its 60th anniversary, First National Bank of South Miami (FNBSM) hosted a Family Fair and Block Party on April 28th in the heart of South Miami. Everyone in the community was invited to join in celebration of this great milestone. The family-oriented event featured included free carnival games and locally prepared food from Khoury’s Mediterranean Restaurant, Sports Grill, Hot Cookies and Flip’s Country Kettle Corn. Performances by local schools such as Mile High Karate, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, Gulliver Academy, Gulliver Prep and Riviera Preparatory School wowed the crowd. Vintage cars from the 1950’s were on display for everyone to enjoy. And the evening’s grand finale was a live performance by the band “People you Know,” who took everyone back in time to the fabulous 50’s and 60’s with their super sound and style. In spite of the rainy weather, the event was well-attended. Nearly 50 bank employees and officers volunteered to serve for the day. FNBSM’s chairman, Bruce W.

MacArthur, his lovely wife Susan and adorable dog Stanley enjoyed the event from start to finish. As part of the celebration, the bank sponsored an essay contest about the advantages of bike riding for the students of the Somerset Academy and the City of South Miami Afterschool Program. The first place winner from each school received a new bike, courtesy of FNBSM, along with a party gift certificate from Splitsville. Second and third place winners received a backpack full of school supplies, provided by the bank, as well as a gift certificate from Cool de Sac. FNBSM celebrates 60 years as an independent community bank under the same ownership. The bank is locally managed with headquarters in the heart of South Miami and offices in Kendall, The Falls and now in Coral Gables. FNBSM takes pride in its approach to relationship banking and provides the highest quality customer service with a combination of products and services tailored to meet the needs of its clients. With assets over $400 million, FNBSM has been awarded the prestigious recom-

Magician Robert Herman of Magic Camp wows some of the children.

mended rating by BauerFinancial, Inc., for 90 consecutive quarters. This indicates the bank’s strong financial soundness and stability. Only one percent of banks in the state of Florida can claim this honor.

For more information about the services at First National Bank of South Miami, visit <www.fnbsm.com> or call 305-667-5511 and speak to one of the professional bankers.

Just some of the 50 volunteer staff members from FNBSM posing for a picture.

The young ladies of Our Lady of Lourdes Academy (OLLA) Glee Club performing. Veronica B. Flores, EVP of FNBSM officiating over the program.

A couple of the performers from the Lourdes Academy Glee Club with Veronica Flores of FNBSM and the teacher sponsor, Michelle Garcia.

Some of the essay finalists from SOMI Academy and the After School proThe stars of the Phanton of the Opera from Gulliver Preparatory School gram await to hear the names of the winners along with SM Comm Bob pose with the Chairman from FNBSM, Bruce Wirtz MacArthur and EVP, Welsh, SM Comm Walter Harris, BIKE SOMI Pres. Mari Chael and Vice Rene Aldonza, VP, and Veronica Flores of FNBSM thank Mayor Phil Veronica B. Flores. Stoddard and his daughter for attending. Mayor Josh Liebman.


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June 18 - July 1, 2012

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Are the Marlins over-extended? BY PRESTON MICHELSON

Believe it or not Miami, there is another local professional sports team currently playing. Your Miami Marlins have been playing winning baseball for the majority of this season — apart from a recent skid. And, as Miami Heat fans know very well, losing causes some widespread panic. Some of this panic has been directed at Marlins management for giving out undeserved long-term contracts. As an organization, the Marlins have long been reticent to dole out these long-term contracts. However, with the dawning of the “Marlins Park era,” their philosophy has shifted. This offseason, the Marlins and shortstop José Reyes agreed to a rich 6-year, $106 million contract. Reyes was coming off of a year with the New York Mets in which he led the National League in batting average and triples, and also put up the highest OPS of his career. Despite the fact that his stolen base total and his home runs have been on a steady decline, Reyes nonetheless continued to be a dominant force. While Marlins owner Jeffrey

CORNER Loria dug deep into his pocketbook to fork over an average annual value of $17.6 million to the then-28-year-old middle infielder, Reyes has proved why he is worthy of that contract. Although his offensive output so far this year has been less than expected, his career trend would claim that this is nothing more than an aberration or a slow start. For more perspective on what Reyes has and will bring to this team, look no further than the possibility of Matt Dominguez as the Marlins’ everyday third baseman, which would have been a reality had it not been for the signing of Reyes. While long-term contracts have plagued many an organization (see Barry Zito, Vernon Wells, and Mike Hampton), abstaining from these contracts would leave out the very real possibility of a positive outcome. Although Marlins ace Josh Johnson has had his struggles this year, he looks to be rebounding to his usual form. When Johnson

and the Marlins signed his 4-year, $39 million contract extension, he was coming off of a 15-5 and 3.23 ERA season. In his first contract year, 2010, Johnson continued to improve. He finished the season 11-6, and had a National league-leading ERA of 2.30. His next season promised to be immensely successful, but it was cut short after only nine starts due to injury. If one word can be assigned to another recent recipient of a Marlins long-term contract Mark Buehrle, that word would be “consistent.” From 2001-2011, he has started more than 30 games and has had an ERA less than 5.00, and in some cases, much lower than 5.00. The Marlins rewarded him with a 4 year, $58 million contract. So far in 2012, this contract has paid off. Although the Marlins have not had any long-term contracts that could be considered “major busts,” there have been some that have not lived up to their expectations. Hanley Ramírez’s 6 year, $70 million contract has surely not been fulfilled. Likewise, while Ricky Nolasco has been decent, decent doesn’t equate to 3 years and $26.5 million. In a similar fashion to how Florida Marlins fans called out for the extension of Miguel Cabrera, Miami Marlins fans are now calling for the extension of power-hitting extraordi-

naire Giancarlo Stanton. He has become very well-known for hitting home runs to distances previously thought unreachable. Although he will not reach free agency until 2017, the best time to extend his contract would be right now. Wait any longer, and the potential cost to keep him a Marlin will skyrocket. A fitting comparison to Stanton’s potential cost would be Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos González. After three seasons in the MLB, González was signed to a 7 year, $80 million contract. In addition, González may have put up even more impressive statistics than Stanton has, so far. If the Marlins were to extend Stanton, his price may be even lower than $80 million. His contract would most likely be in the Hanley Ramírez range, a range that even the stingy Marlins management of years past was willing to enter. Long term contracts can be risky, but without risk, there is little to no chance for a positive outcome. Marlins management, don’t abstain from giving out long-term contracts, just be careful.

Preston Michelson is a junior at Palmer Trinity School where he is the public address announcer for all varsity sporting events. Contact him on Twitter at @PrestonMich or by email at <michelsonpr@gmail.com>.


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June 18 - July 1, 2012

Crime Report The following is a list of crimes reported to the Village of Pinecrest Police Department during the week of May 28 - June 3, 2012

ARSON None AUTO THEFT None ASSAULT None BATTERY Case # 1202182 Location: 8200 Block of SW 128 St On May 29, at approximately 2041 hrs, after having a verbal altercation, a known offender pushed the victim with open palms. The known offender was arrested and charged with simple battery. BURGLARY (COMMERCIAL) None BURGLARY (RESIDENCE) Case # 1202160 Location: 12800 Block of SW 71 Av Between May 25, 0930 hrs, and May 28, 1715 hrs, unknown offender(s) gained entry into the victim’s residence by smashing a rear glass French door that is connected to the master bedroom. Once inside the residence the offender(s) stole jewelry. The estimated value of the stolen property is $9,800. This case is presently under investigation. Case # 1202226 Location: 6000 Block of SW 108 St On June 1, between 1130 hrs, and 1300 hrs, unknown offender(s) gained entry into the victim’s residence through an unlocked rear kitchen door. Once inside the residence, the offender(s) stole jewelry, collectible pins, and collectible U.S. coins valued at $50,000, along with two iPads. The estimated value of the stolen property is $67,787. This case is presently under investigation. Case # 1202236 Location: 10900 Block of SW 68 Av On June 1, between 0700 hrs, and 1915 hrs, unknown offender(s) gained entry into the victim’s residence by throwing a brick through a glass kitchen window and attempted to steal a suitcase, silver hair clips and pearls. The offender(s) fled the scene without the victim’s property. This case is presently under investigation. Case # 1202238 Location: 7400 Block of SW 132 St On June 1, at approximately 2210 hrs, unknown offender(s) gained entry into

the victim’s residence by prying open a sliding glass door located at the rear north side of the residence. Once inside of the residence, the offender(s) stole two firearms, and jewelry. The estimated value of the stolen property is $13,156. This case is presently under investigation. ROBBERY Case # 1202190 Location: 9800 Block of S Dixie Hwy On May 30, at approximately 1036 hrs, an unknown offender dressed in a brown police uniform pulled over the victim in what resembled a police vehicle. The offender instructed the victim to step out of her vehicle and then demanded the cash in her front pocket. The offender told the victim not to look back or do anything because he knew where she lived. The offender then fled the scene prior to police arrival. This case is presently under investigation. SEX CRIME None HOMICIDE None THEFT Case # 1202173 Location: 12900 Block of SW 61 Av On May 27, at approximately 2200 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole a decal from the victim’s vehicle tag. The estimated value of the stolen property is $4. Case # 1202223 Location: 11735 S Dixie Hwy (West Marine) On June 1, at approximately 1000 hrs, and 1129 hrs, an unknown offender was observed taking merchandise and exiting the store making no attempt to pay. The estimated value of the stolen property is $800. This case is presently under investigation. Case # 1202257 Location: 11100 Block of Killian Park Rd On June 3, at approximately 0110 hrs, a unknown offender asked to borrow the victim’s cell phone with the intent to steal and deceive the victim of his property. The unknown offender then fled the scene prior to police arrival. The estimated value of the stolen property is $300. This case is presently under investigation.


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Crime Report

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Here’s the Deal: Get ‘em while they last!

The following is a list of crimes reported to the Village of Pinecrest Police Department during the week of May 21 - 27, 2012

ARSON None AUTO THEFT None ASSAULT None BATTERY None BURGLARY (COMMERCIAL) None BURGLARY (RESIDENCE) Case # 1202113 Location: 6300 Block of SW 96 St On May 24, at approximately 1334 hrs, unknown offender(s) gained entry into the victim’s residence by smashing a glass rear living room French door. At the time of the report the victim’s were out of town and could not provide an inventory of the stolen property. This case is presently under investigation. Case # 1202130 Location: 8200 Block of SW 130 St On May 25, between 0930 hrs, and 1710 hrs, unknown offender(s) gained entry into the victim’s property by prying open the front door and stole jewelry. The estimated value of the stolen property is $2,035. This case is presently under investigation. ROBBERY None SEX CRIME None HOMICIDE None

THEFT Case # 1202080 Location: 7000 Block of SW 110 Ter On May 22, at approximately 1548 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole a decal from the victim’s vehicle tag. The estimated value of the stolen property is $4.

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Case # 1202092 Location: 10943 S Dixie Hwy (Kendall Toyota) Between May 21, 0200 hrs, and May 23, 1407 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole cash from a vending machine inside the listed business. The estimated value of the stolen property is $200. This case is presently under investigation.

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Case # 1202093 Location: 12200 Block of Pine Needle Ln Between April 23, 1515 hrs, and May 16, 1515 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole a decal from the victim’s vehicle tag. The estimated value of the stolen property is $4. Case # 1202114 Location: 13400 Block of SW 69 Av On May 24, between 0000 hrs, and 1000 hrs, unknown offender(s) stole a garbage bin from the victim’s property. The estimated value of the stolen property is $50.

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Case # 1202124 Location: 12651 S Dixie Hwy (The Florida Bar) On June 13, 2011, at approximately 0000 hrs, a known offender was given money to be held in a trust for the victim. The known offender disbursed the funds with the intent to steal, deprive and deceive the victim of their money. The estimated value of the stolen property is $124,235. This case is presently under investigation.

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6.18.2012 Pinecrest Tribune