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Pinecrest Phone: 305-669-7355


JANUARY 17 - 30, 2011

Police department to expand Crime Watch program



he Pinecrest Police Department is looking to expand the neighborhood Crime Watch program in the Village in 2011, with the goal of setting up a program in virtually every area in the Village. The Crime Watch program was reestablished in Pinecrest and has been ongoing now for two years under the direction of Detective Alexandra Martinez, who also serves as the department’s crime prevention officer. She has been able to establish Crime Watch programs in four Village neighborhoods — Pinecrest (Gables) By The Sea, Palmetto Island, the Sunrise Point condominium community and the area bordered by 124th and 133rd Streets and 71st and 72nd Avenues – and a fifth is being set up. “My goal is to have as many areas in Pinecrest as possible to be Crime Watch areas,” said Martinez. “Even though Pinecrest is one of the safer communities in Miami-Dade County, if we can get the police department working in conjunction with our citizens through the Crime Watch program, we can virtually eliminate crime in the Village.” However, Police Chief John Hohensee says that setting up a Crime Watch pro-

–––––––––––––––––––––––––– See

WALK, page 6

Orange Classic champs!

Ante up for annual Bet Shira Poker Classic BY MELINDA WISER


Pictured are members of the Pinecrest Premier U-10 Orange Classic championship team. The are (front row l-r) Stephanie Diaz, Ceci Gaston, Alexis Diaz-Silveira, Annie Diaz-Silveira, Taylor Jauregui, Stephanie Cuan, Alexandra Fabregas, Rachel Seymour-Newton, Amber Tam; (back row l-r) Assistant Coach Rupert Seymour-Newton and Head Coach Alex Abaroa. Congratulations guys!

Positive PEOPLE

f you have ever dreamed about sitting at the World Series of Poker’s (WSOP) main event final table with $9 million in cash, the Bet Shira Congregation’s fifth annual No Limit Hold’em Poker Classic may be your best chance to realize that dream. Bet Shira will host this year’s poker fest beginning at 5 p.m. on Jan. 30. It’s a nolimit Texas Hold’em tournament with no re-buys or add-ons. Blinds will increase every 20 minutes in accordance with a schedule released at the tournament. The grand prize is one paid $10,000 entry into WSOP’s Main Event in July in Las Vegas. Additional prizes will be available for

–––––––– See POKER CLASSIC, page 6

in Pinecrest

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



Savings & Service Since 1950




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Car Boutique… 30 Years of Auto Excellence


cellent products and service,” added Morales. “They work with the customers to Car Boutique has been helping cus- choose products that best compliment their tomers improve the appearance and per- car brand and their personality.” Car Boutique offers a wide variety of formance of their vehicles since 1979. The family-owned company, which was origi- after-market wheels. Popular truck brands nally located on Le Jeune Road and South include KMC XD, Moto Metal and ATX. Dixie Highway in Coral Gables, has evolved High-end wheels include such brands as over the past three decades and now pro- Vertini and Asanti. A few sport wheel opvides auto enthusiasts expanded services in its location in the Falls Warehouse district. Car Boutique offers customers a wide variety of custom wheels, high performance tires, racing seats, lighting packages, window tinting and fine-tuned suspension options. The highly experienced Car Boutique team now provides professional installation services and wheel balancing and alignments in its 10,000 square foot facility, utilizing state-of-the-art equipment. “When Car Boutique was located in Coral Gables, we were not able to provide full installation services to our customers,” said Juan Morales of Car Boutique. “We still offer the highest quality products and are now able to take our service level one step further with expert installation in our top-ofthe-line facility.” When Car Boutique originally opened in 1979, it was one of the first companies to sell after-market auto performance accessories and quickly built the reputation for being the first to offer the latest trends and The Car Boutique team from left to right includes Jose Borges, Bill Hofmann, styles from Europe and around the world. Juan Morales, Karim Changai and Thatiana Rodriguez. When market trends changed in 2002, so did Car Boutique. The company moved its tions are Ruff Racing, Axis and MRR Design facility to the Falls Warehouse district and and custom wheels for compacts include began servicing customers nationwide with Rota, Traklite and Drag. Customers looking for high performance its online site, In 2009, the Car Boutique team decided tires will find Continental, Pirelli, Falken, that it was time to offer customers a level of Kumho, Hancook, Sumitomo, Michelin and service beyond what they could offer on the more. Car Boutique also offers a tire nitrointernet and added a retail showroom, serv- gen-fill station, which enhances tire perice and installation center and customer formance and improves gas mileage. waiting area to its facility, located on SW 85 Popular auto racing seat options available Avenue Road. Since then, Morales said that include Momo, Sparco and DAD. “Wheels, performance tires, suspension, many customers have remembered the racing seats…they all make a big difference business fondly. “We’ve had clients recognize us and ask in the appearance and performance of a veif we were the same company as the origi- hicle,” said Morales. Present this story and Car Boutique will nal Car Boutique,” said Morales. “We’re happy to have these customers come back provide you with a complimentary tire rotation. Business hours are Monday through to us.” Although the business has changed and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 evolved over the years, the company’s ded- a.m. “until the last customer is serviced.” ication to its clients remains the same. The The shop is located in the Falls Warehouse knowledgeable Car Boutique team has District at 13100 SW 85 Avenue Road and more than 75 combined years of experi- the phone number is 305-256-9995. For more information, go online to ence. “Our team is committed to providing ex- <>

January 17 - 30, 2011

Ileana counsels students on military academy options

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen met with students from Westminster Christian and Palmer Trinity School to advise them of their options should they choose to enter one of the U.S. Service Academies. Luke Murkowski, from Westminster Christian, and Aaron Fernandez, from Palmer Trinity School, are talented students interested in exploring career options in the U.S. armed forces.

PUBLISHER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Grant Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ron Beasley WRITERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Linda Rodriguez-Bernfeld, Gary Alan Ruse ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Albie Barnes, Roberta Bergman, Beatriz Brandfon, Celia Canabate, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Diane Chasin, Enrique Chau, Sharon Christian, Lori Cohen, Amy Donner, Cecile Fanfani, Dianne Maddox, Denzil Miles, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ann Robbins-Udel, Fara Sax, Diane Sedona Schiller, Georgia Tait, Walter White PROOF DEPARTMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Isabel Vavrek PRODUCTION GRAPHIC ARTISTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Isabel Ortega, Catalina Roca, Vera Salom, Marie Scheer, Isabel Vavrek, Sergio Yanes PUBLISHER EMERITUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ron Miller We will not return solicited or unsolicited editorial material including stories, columns and or photographs. If yoou send us anything, please make sure that you have duplicate copies of the material. Every issue of the Pinecrest Tribune is fully copyrighted, and all property rights, including advertisements produced by Community Newspapers and Miller Publishing. Using artwork and/or typography furnished or arranged for/by us, shall be the property of Community Newspapers. MILLER PUBLISHING and COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS are proud to publish the following newspapers: Aventura News, Biscayne Bay Tribune, Community Newspapers, Coral Gables News-Tribune, Cutler Bay News, Doral Tribune, Homestead News, Kendall Gazette, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Opa-locka Review, Palmetto Bay News, South Miami News, Sunny Isles Beach Sun. See us on the Internet:

January 17 - 30, 2011


Page 3

Learning to read it!

Pictured are members of the Bet Shira ECC Kindergarten class learning to read and using their favorite hometown newspaper as a teaching tool. They are (front row l-r) Benjamin Joseph, Aviva Harris, Olivia Gang, Jacob Harris; (middle row l-r) Noah Wildstein, Nicholas Dylewski, Sophie Fidanque, Lexy Banegas, Jordan Levy, Ryan James; (back row l-r) Carol Ravikoff and Marcia Unger. Thanks for thinking of us, guys.

World-Class Education in a Private Setting For PreK-8 admission information contact 305.666.3593. For 9-12 admission information contact 305.666.7937 or visit our website at

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January 17 - 30, 2011

Positive PEOPLE in Pinecrest

BRANDON KACER This year, Palmetto High junior Brandon Kacer wants to organize a fun community service project to raise money to fight cancer. He’s looking at the month of May for scheduling purposes. “It’s a volleyball tournament to benefit the American Cancer Society,” he says. “I have the basic idea with one of my friends because his brother did one with softball.” Kacer is working with Doug Halasz on the tournament. He says the plan is to charge teams to enter the tournament, charge spectators to watch and also make money on concessions. Details are still being worked out, including what kind of volleyball will be played. “I think beach volleyball, but we haven’t really decided yet,” Kacer says. The location will most likely be Coral Reef Park, which has two beach volleyball courts. While the park does not have a regular team volleyball court, they are considering having four-player teams in order to get more people involved. Thus far, they haven’t set a financial goal; Kacer just hopes to make as much money for cancer research as he can. He chose the American Cancer Society as the beneficiary because his grandmother has battled breast cancer.

“So it’s a little personal to me,” he says. “It’s partially because of her and because two years ago one of my friends did it and raised a lot of money, so I thought it would be a good idea to do it again with a different sport this time.” Kacer must wait until May because winter and spring are taken up by baseball. The season begins in February and until then he and the team practice every day but Sunday. Kacer is a pitcher and also plays outfield. He likes his chances for playing on the varsity this year. He also likes the team’s chances for making it to the playoffs. “I think we’ll be pretty strong,” he says. “This will be my second year on varsity and I think we have a chance to go really far this year.” Each year, Kacer participates in the annual President’s Day Clinic at Coral Reef Park. That day, the players teach elementary and middle school children about the game. “The younger kids, you try to teach them the basic fundamentals; as they get older, you teach them what we are learning at the high school level so they get better,” he says. Kacer enjoys teaching the kids how to play and gets satisfaction from watching them perform and doing things they didn’t think they could do. In a way, he’s paying it forward because as a child he attended the baseball clinics. “I found it useful,” he says. “The high school players were role models for what I wanted to be.” On the one day of the week that he doesn’t play baseball, he is an umpire for the Howard Palmetto Baseball Softball Association. Last year, he umped only one game a week, but this year he’s planning on doing doubleheaders. “Umpiring is really a test of how much you know about baseball and how well you know the rules,” he says. Aside from athletics, Kacer’s extracurricular activities include participating in the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. He’s also in Key Club, one of the school service clubs. Although still a junior, Kacer is already receiving letters of interest from colleges, including Florida State, Virginia, Georgia State and Barry. By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld

ESTELLE ATKINSON At the beginning of her senior year, Palmetto High School student Estelle Atkinson had already accumulated more than 1,000 community service hours. The majority of those hours came from Atkinson’s involvement in Interact, the service club sponsored by Rotary International. She has been involved since she was in the ninth grade and ran for president-elect as a sophomore. “We do a lot of community service work,” Atkinson says. “We do things like beach clean ups and the Santa Parade of the Elves at The Falls. We also did the first year of Panthers Got Talent and we volunteered at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival; and we do things with Neighbors for Neighbors on Channel Four.” That project called for the teens to adopt a family for the holidays. They donated gifts to the family and actually went to their home and celebrated with them. Atkinson was in charge of the project in her sophomore year. “It was such a warm experience,” she says. “They open the gifts with us. It was so nice to see their faces.” The club is now known as O Interact, having combined the O Ambassadors with Interact. O Ambassadors is a group sponsored by Oprah Winfrey. “We spread the knowledge that there is so much poverty in the world,” Atkinson says. This year, Atkinson is vice president, hav-

ing served as president-elect and then president during her junior year. She is also vice president of the National Honor Society. Another major role for Atkinson is her participation with the Variations dance team. “That’s like my hobby and it takes up most of my time,” she says. “I’ve been on the team since my sophomore year. We do a lot of fun things, like dance pep rallies, and we also do benefit shows at a homeless shelter and at a home for the elderly.” Last year the dance team was invited to dance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Atkinson says the trip was a blast, but it was cold! “We had to wear little feet warmers and little heating pads,” she says. “We had to dance and look like we were having so much fun, but it was freezing. And we had to walk the whole parade.” The dance team is invited to participate in the parade every year, but they don’t have the funding to go annually, so they make the trip every other year. Although she is heavily involved in extracurricular activities, Atkinson hasn’t slacked off on her academics. She’s a member of the English National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, the math honor society and the Social Science Honor Society. “Last year I was a math mentor,” she says. “I helped kids in geometry and we also tutored kids for the FCAT. I got an award in the mail for being an AP Scholar.” Atkinson was also named as an Advanced Placement Scholar. “It means you passed five AP courses,” she says. As a junior she took three AP courses. This year she has four on her schedule. “I have to manage my time,” she says. “I don’t want to remember my high school as studying all the time. But I do try to keep up with my grades.” Atkinson applied to a few colleges on the east coast and the schools in Florida and says she is leaning toward a major in something along the lines of business or communications. Her father is a banker so the family lived in Brazil and England before coming to Miami. Portuguese is her first language and she considers herself culturally Brazilian. Her father is American and her mother is Brazilian, whose grandmother came from Japan. By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld

If you know someonewho deserves to be a positive person in the Pinecrest Tribune, send us an email at:

January 17 - 30, 2011


Page 5

Positive PEOPLE in Pinecrest

SEAN RAMRAS Most teens love birthdays because they receive gifts. But for his birthday last October, Sean Ramras told his friends and family to forget about giving him gifts.

“I had a birthday party, but rather that have people give me gifts, I asked them to write a check to the Susan G. Komen Foundation,” Ramras says. “I raised more than $2,000. I thought that was pretty good.” The fundraiser was in honor of his mother, who continues to battle breast cancer. Her first bout with the disease was in 2008. This wasn’t the first time Ramras, a Palmer Trinity junior, has raised money for cancer research. His bar mitzvah project was a garage sale that raised $5,000 for the American Cancer Society. This past summer, Ramras spent six weeks in Israel with the National Federal of Temple Youth. While there, the students were able to train with the military and wear the same uniforms. The experience taught him humility and respect for soldiers and what they do. “They all have to serve,” he says. “They all become brothers. It shows the love they have for their country.” They spent time in a small Jewish community near Jerusalem located in the Muslim Quarter. “I built a garden and went and helped some soldiers,” Ramras says. “We planted

tomatoes, peppers, olives, and fruits and vegetables they can use.” The trip to Israel was quite different than the mission trip he took to Nicaragua last year. “It was really eye opening,” he says. “You see how poor people live and the conditions they live in.” Despite that, he says the hope he saw in the people was inspiring. “The poor in Miami have no idea how they (Nicaraguans) live,” he says. “It makes you more appreciative of what you have.” On the mission, the kids built a house for a family. “It wasn’t a big house, just four walls and a solid concrete floor,” he says, adding that the small house was a mansion compared to what the family had before. During that mission, Ramras and his companions visited the Managua dump. “People actually live in the dump,” he says. He found it amazing that people called the flimsy structures he saw there home. “They are not even houses, they are like boxes,” he says. The Palmer students visited a school located in the dump, a safe haven for the children

who live there. The school survives on donations and the Palmer Trinity community donates enough money for children to have one meal every week for a year. Ramras says that he’s not very talented in the language department, but that did not stop him from trying to converse with the children. “We played with them,” he says. “The smiles on their faces broke the barrier. They wanted to be with us. We wanted to be with them.” Back at Palmer Trinity, Ramras and a friend recently started a Jewish Culture Club to learn more about Judaism. One of the things he likes about Palmer is that the school gives students opportunities to express themselves. Ramras also expresses himself in sports. He plays three varsity sports – football, wrestling and track and field. He plays right tackle on the football team’s offensive line and he throws the shot put and the discus in track and field. One problem that Ramras hopes to tackle in the future is cancer. He wants to attend a school with a strong genetics or genetic engineering program so he can one day help cancer patients like his mom. By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld

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Police Chief John Hohensee and Detective Alexandra Martinez review plans for stepped-up Crime Watch program in the Village. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

gram in a neighborhood takes a lot of work and coordination. “It’s one thing to want to be in a Crime Watch area,” said Hohensee, “but the residents have to be willing to work at it and not everybody has the time or interest in putting a program together. For a group to organize a designated Crime Watch area, they must define a reasonable boundary and then have people within that boundary willing to step up into leadership positions. “The whole premise of Crime Watch is that all the neighbors are watching what’s going on in the neighborhood, have the means to communicate with one another and have a good method of getting in touch with of us, either through Alex or through our dispatch, to report any incidents in their community.” Hohensee says Martinez has done an excellent job of re-establishing the Crime Watch program in Pinecrest over the last two years, and he says he supports her goal of setting up new programs in the Village wherever residents


need or want them. “We want to get the word out,” said Hohensee. “We need to publicize the Crime Watch program and make more people aware of how it works and how they go about getting it up and running, and what the police department will do to assist.” Martinez says all residents interested in exploring the possibility of implementing a Crime Watch program in their neighborhood should call her at 305-2342100, ext. 383, or email her at <> or pick up a Crime Watch information rack card available at many area business. “I think there are many Pinecrest residents interested in a program like this, but they just don’t know how to go about implementing it,” said Martinez. “So we want to get the word out that the Crime Watch program is up and running in Pinecrest and it has been very successful in preventing crime. It’s very easy to put together and have it operational in no time at all.”

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

players at the final table. Entry is $275 per person and participants must be 21-years-old. Table sponsorships are available for $180 and all funds raised will be used to support Bet Shira’s programs and services. “This is really a unique opportunity for local players to write their own ticket to the most renowned poker tournament in

the world,” said tournament chairman Stephen Cain. “Whether you are a very skilled player or a beginner, we are offering a great evening of competition.” To register, go to <> or mail a check to Bet Shira, 7500 SW 120 St., Miami, 33156. Early registration is encouraged because seats are limited. For information, call 305-238-6201.

January 17 - 30, 2011


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Read in Ecuador

Pictured is the Panter Family — Sherri, Zachary, Mitch and Jordan – on a recent winter vacation in Quito, Ecuador. 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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January 17 - 30, 2011

January 17 - 30, 2011


‘Confessions of a Jewish Shiksa’ debuts in Coral Gables BY LEE STEPHENS

Back by popular demand, rising star Frannie Sheridan returns to Miami with her funny, dark, critically acclaimed play Confessions of a Jewish Shiksa…Dancing on Hitler’s Grave produced by Area Stage Company in Coral Gables running through Feb. 12. Directed by Shari Upbin, the play stars Sheridan in a groundbreaking solo 18-character performance. In Confessions of a Jewish Shiksa, she shares the true and humorous story of being raised to hide her Orthodox Jewish identity behind a cloak of Catholicism. The story is told from the perspective of young Frannie, a nice Catholic girl who grew up with dumpling soup and candlesticks on Fridays, Manischevitzspiked eggnog at Christmas and a score of other traditions unfamiliar to her Catholic friends. Frannie’s questioning leads her to discover her family’s truth: Her parents barely escaped the Holocaust and once in North America were brutally attacked and left for dead by anti-Semites. These incidents caused them to shroud their history in secrecy, hiding their Jewish heritage even from their children. ‘Confessions,’ which has been referred to as a “Modern Day Anne Frank Story but with a happy ending” reveals the performer’s family history through top-notch storytelling sprinkled with clever satire. A multicultural assortment of nosy neighbors and eccentric relatives round out the cast of characters of this one-woman show that will hit home with anyone who has struggled with questions of identity, family, and truth vs. appearances. The show has powerful crossover appeal, resonating with people regardless of faith, race or sexual preference. The reviews are in! “A gripping, powerful, story. From stand-up comedy to standout performing,” said Mario Betto of the Fort Lauderdale Theater Examiner. “A dramatic and comedic gem,” said Marla Schwartz of Around Wellington Magazine.

Frannie Sheridan ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“She moved me to tears and laughter expertly performing a seamless range of characters from her unforgettable one-woman show,” said Arthur Hiller, legendary film director of Love Story. Since its January debut in Boca Raton, ‘Confessions’ has been produced at the Colony Theater, the Kravis Center, the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center and Zinman Hall as a fundraising goldmine for half-dozen organizations. Sheridan has won numerous writing and performing honors, including the prestigious Gabriel Award for a CBC documentary based on her story and mayoral proclamations from West Palm Beach and the city of Miami Beach. Her earlier play The Waltonsteins was published in 1996 by IRT. She has written and acted in film and TV and completed a multi-cast feature film script based on her family story. For ticket information, call 305666-2078 or go to <>. Performances at the Area Stage Theater, 1560 S. Dixie Hwy., are on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 3 p.m. for matinees.

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L’Atelier Gourmet & AB Fine Wines have joined forces

L’Atelier Gourmet and AB Fine Wines have joined forces to satisfy my every desire… in the kitchen! They offer the best desserts and French wines in town. The store, open since August, is in an unassuming strip mall on US 1(Dadeland Plaza, 9563 South Dixie Hwy). They offer a wide selection of wines, wine accessories and every scrumptious dessert your imagination can dream of. AB Fine Wines offers a wide selection of French wines at very competitive prices. Wine accessories ranging from coolers to funny cocktail napkins! A friend of mine wanted to get her husband a wine cooler for Christmas. After searching the web and other local “big discount” electronic stores, she found better prices and selection at AB Fine Wines. The service is impeccable. Owner Alexandre Barrelier (hence “AB” in “AB Fine Wines”) will personally listen to your needs. He carries mostly French wines that he selects personally. He takes the guessing work out of buying wine. Regardless of your budget, Alexandre will guide you in

making the perfect selection for any occasion. When I went to the store, he let me taste a wonderful Bordeaux called “Chateau Rollan de By” (90 pts in the Robert Parker guide). He also has a very nice white Sancerre from the Loire Valley. AB Fine Wines will also come to your house or business to have your own tasting party or private event. Sharing the store with Alexandre Barrelier is pastry chef Franck Monnier. He has been making desserts for local hotels and restaurants since 2007. Clients include “George’s,” “Le Boudoir,” “Four Seasons,” and “Ritz-Carlton.” Franck Monnier was trained in his native France, under the most famous chefs of our times (Pierre Hermé, and Paul Bocuse, among others). Everything is produced locally, at l’Atelier Gourmet’s own workshop, using natural ingredients. No preservatives or artificial ingredients are ever used. Their specialty is the Parisian macarons… colorful, airy and delicious. If you’ve ever tried macarons from Ladurée in Paris, you know how addictive these cookies are. Don’t miss the frozen section filled with ice creams, sorbets, frozen cakes and profiteroles. They also have baguettes, croissants, and chocolates. I love to get individual cakes and ice-cream cups for dinner parties. It’s a lot of fun and everyone is happy. Special order or pick up from the store. You won’t regret it! L’Atelier Gourmet is also popping up in every local farmer’s market. I followed them on Sundays to the Pinecrest Gardens Farmer’s Market. They are also at farmer’s markets in Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, UM, South Miami, and Lincoln Road. 9563 South Dixie Hwy (Dadeland Plaza) 305-666-8696

January 17 - 30, 2011

Rotary Club fundraiser Jan. 22 BY LEE STEPHENS

The Rotary Club of Miami MetroZoo will host a fund-raiser on Jan. 22 to benefit Safespace Foundation, an organization that helps domestic violence victims. Homestead Mayor Steven Bateman is the event honorary chairman. Proceeds from the event will be used to help renovate Safespace’s South Shelter. The charity event is appropriately named Dine, Dance, Make a Difference. It will fea-

ture a sit-down dinner, live entertainment and a silent auction, and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Miami Elks Lodge 948, at 10301 Sunset Drive. The Rotary Club of Miami MetroZoo, chartered in 2009, seeks out worthy causes. In Safespace Foundation, it found an organization that aims to empower, educate and advocate for those victimized by domestic violence. Tickets to the event are $50 each. For more information, call Carol Nobles at 305661-5227.

January 17 - 30, 2011


Page 11



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8505 SW 109 St.

20000 Cutler Ct.

Unique home, total of 6 bdrm/ 4.5 bath, 4,565 sq. ft, essentially two separate homes connected. Perfect for family with in-laws or live in nanny. Screened pool/patio. 2 car garage.

3 bdrm/3 bath, updated kitchen, large family area with room to create fourth bedroom. 2,732 sq. ft, 13,019 sq ft lot, screened patio. 2 car garage.



20030 Cutler Ct.

6602 SW 56 St

Beautiful 3 bdrm/ 2 bath Cutler Bay home, 2,431 sq ft, large bdrms, very spacious family room/ kitchen area. Oversized lot with great backyard and room to park a boat. 2 car garage.

Live in the exclusive, gated community of Montebello. Spacious and elegant, 4 bedroom/ 3 bath home, built in 2001. Open family room/kitchen. Great location.


For rent $3,500/month


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January 17 - 30, 2011

Read at the Cape of Good Hope

Here are Linda and John Reed with their niece Heather and Jan Novar at the Cape of Good Hope on the tip of Africa, South of Capetown. Of course they remembered to take along a copy of their favorite hometown newspaper and sent us back this photograph. Thanks for thinking of us, guys.

January 17 - 30, 2011


Trinidad & Tobago

Th e ar t of . y a w a t e g t a e r g a

Come join us for Carnival, March 7-8, 2011

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January 17 - 30, 2011

Translating those energy guide labels BY KENT CROOK President, Wiremasters Electric When you go shopping for major appliances, you’ve probably noticed those big yellow tags attached to the new refrigerators or stoves. The tags look important with all those numbers and abbreviations, but you may have wondered just what the numbers meant. The yellow tags display important information on the energy use and efficiency of that particular appliance model. Overall, the tag estimates how much energy the appliance uses, compares the energy use of similar products and shows you the approximate annual operating costs. The energy guide label has five major parts. Part I tells you the manufacturer, the model number and the appliance type. Make a note of this in your comparative price shopping so you can refer back to it. Part II lists the features of the appliance, such as size, capacity, and other important features. Certain features can increase the energy cost of using that appliance. Certain features are ones you may not use, such as heat drying on a dishwasher. That would mean that the annual estimated cost would not be accurate. Part III on the energy guide label gives you an estimate of the annual energy use, measured

WIREMASTERS in kilowatts per year (kWh/year). The lower the number, the more efficient the appliance is. Part IV on the energy guide label shows where this particular appliance ranks among similar appliances. The measurement scale ranges from “uses least energy” (on the left end of the scale) to “uses most energy” (on the right end of the scale.) If you’re looking to save energy, the rating you want should be on the far left end of the scale. Part V gives you the good or bad news: the average cost to run this specific appliance for one year. This number comes from an average of kilowatt per hour costs for the nation and the estimated energy use for the appliance. This amount is only an estimate and can fluctuate, depending on where you live and how often you use the appliance. Understanding the five parts of the energy guide tag will make you a smart shopper, save you money in energy use and do your part in keeping the planet green.

Kent Crook is president of Wiremasters Electric. Contact him at 305-378-4011 or visit <> for information.

January 17 - 30, 2011


Your new neighborhood gym — Stratiform Fitness Your gym guys at Stratiform Fitness — owner Arthur Schlecht and certified personal trainers Pete Fonesca, Mo Soriano and Chuck Zies.


Arthur Schlecht, the new owner of Stratiform Fitness — formerly known as Flex — is passionate about fitness, nutrition and health. When the former Palmetto High School student and commodities broker learned that the gym, located at 8815 SW 131 St., was for sale, he jumped on the opportunity to take this family-friendly fitness place to a new level. “I know fitness,” Schlecht said. “I’ve been a member of practically every gym and spa in Miami. Stratiform is like a big, family fitness center. It’s like walking into a coffee shop, everyone is so friendly. There are no airs here.” Schlecht, a former University of Florida football player with a degree in finance from Florida International University, understands that being healthy is the key to living a good life. Always into sports and fitness, a few years ago Schlecht became out-of shape and said he felt “disgusted with himself.” He went to Flex to train with former friend, baseball player and personal trainer Pete Fonesca. Fonesca knew about the connection between healthy eating and proper form. Flex became Schlecht’s “home away from home” for the next few years. When Fonesca learned that the gym was for sale, he mentioned it to Schlecht. The timing was right. Schlecht, who had sold his national commodities firm five years earlier, was ready to clean it up and make it state-of-the art. “I wanted to do something meaningful with my life,” he said. “I have been so blessed and fortunate; I have a wonderful wife and two sons, now I want to make a real difference in other people’s lives.” Schlecht worked with many gym members who provided their professional expertise to retrofit Stratiform, which is now ready and open to help people reach their 2011 health

and fitness goals. Members old and new will enjoy newly, purchased state-of-the-art equipment, new Nike Grind rubber floors, video and audio monitors, a high-tech cardio deck and remodeled bathrooms with lockers. Mo Soriano, a 14-year personal trainer, says that he has seen families successfully incorporate fitness into their lives. “I’ve seen three generations of families grow up here,” Soriano said. “Families get to know each other and make working out a family affair. Stratiform offers something for every member of the family.” Schlecht has personally seen how fitness can help people overcome their troubles. “One member was having trouble with his teenage son,” he said. “I told him that they need to do things together, father and son. So they started training together. The other day he expressed his thanks for the advice and told me that is son is doing much better, that his boy felt so much better about himself. Helping people makes me feel really good.” The poor state of nutrition and general lack of fitness in the United States irks Schlecht and he hopes to do something about it. In addition to working with kids from local schools and colleges, one of Schlecht’s goals is to obtain grants that will enable him to create healthy fitness programs for underprivileged kids. “I want to make a positive difference in people’s lives,” he said. In addition to Wi-Fi, smoothies and health foods from Here Comes the Sun, Schlecht says his certified and insured trainers will offer complimentary sessions for an initial period and there is no rent for trainers and their clients who are members of the gym. Stratiform offers Spinning, Yoga, Pilates, Cross Fit, Boot Camp and special classes for seniors. Yearly membership is $325 and special rates are available for families, teachers, military personnel, firemen and police. For information, call 786-429-1025.

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Page 16


January 17 - 30, 2011

Paula Abdul selects Palmer Trinity School student and local dance group for Live Appearance on her Reality TV Show BY SUZANNE GOTTLIEB CALLEJA

Three months ago, Palmer Trinity School senior Katie DiFede and her dance team, Twitch, had the surprise of their lives. After months of auditioning for Paula Abdul’s new CBS show, “Live to Dance,” Paula herself visited Twitch’s Miami’s dance studio, Dance Attack, to announce that they had been chosen for the show, which premiered on Wednesday, January 5th at 8 p.m. on WFOR-TV, Channel 4. Twitch’s prerecorded audition in New York was shown. The team will travel to Los Angeles this week to prepare for their first live performance, which will air on Wednesday, January 19. If Twitch wins the first round, they will stay in LA and continue to compete. The most talented dancers, who make it through the callback process, will have the chance to perform in the semi-finals and finals, where they will battle for the right to be crowned “Live to Dance” champion and receive a $500,000 prize. Twitch will needs your votes on January 19th so stay tuned to follow the show. DiFede and her group have danced together for the past five years under the guidance and training of John Culberson and Cookie Ramos, owners and artistic directors of Dance Attack Studio for the past 16 years. Members, from nine different high schools in the Miami-Dade area include: Alexandra Betancourt, LaSalle High School; Brittany Borges, Coral Reef High School; Angie Cosculla, Florida Christian High School; Jessica Demilt, Stoneman Douglas High School; Katie DiFede, Palmer Trinity School; Melanie Fernandez,

Katie DiFede

Felix Varela High School; Anthony Gonzalez, Cooper City High School; Deisha King, American Heritage School; and Ivenise Ruidiaz, Sunset High School. Twitch had their first audition locally in mid-September. The second was in October in New York, where the dancers went to the Dome in downtown New York. Palmer Trinity is a coeducational, Episcopal day school, provides a rigorous college preparatory curriculum and promotes the ability to integrate knowledge, compassion and social responsibility, an essential goal of the school’s mission. Palmer Trinity School serves students from a broad range of socio-economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds in grades 6-12. For more information about the school visit w w w . p a l m e r t r i n i t y . o r g <>. Find Palmer Trinity School on Facebook: Click here <

January 17 - 30, 2011


Page 17

• EDUCATIONAL AND TEEN ADVICE • Toby Rose ASK TOBY My daughter does not want to have a roommate in college. What is your opinion? I think it’s important to have a roommate in the first year of college and, really, for all four years. You need to get to know and meet other people. Years ago, one of my students went to the University of Pennsylvania and didn’t have a roommate. His room was at the end of the hall. Because he had difficulty meeting other students, he wound up having a very unhappy freshman year. I’m really upset. I just took the SAT for the second time and did not do too well. I have a 3.9 unweighted GPA and a 4.86 weighted. How can I let the colleges know that I am academically oriented? I always ask my students to write a separate essay explaining their experiences with the SAT or other standardized tests. Colleges often will have the following in their questionnaire for guidance counselors: Is the applicant’s record a true index of his/her ability? Only that essay can state your problem in taking standardized tests, and it can state that you are truly prepared for college. The SAT is supposed to be a test that can predict a student’s success in college, but this is not always the case. Many students experience stress thinking about three letters: SAT. When they take the test, they freeze. I was suspended from school and got that taken off my record. There is a question on all of the applications I’ve seen that asks, “Have you ever been suspended, placed on probation, or dismissed from school for academic or disciplinary reasons?” Do I have to say yes, or can I just leave it blank? In my opinion, you must tell the truth and say yes. Explain the suspension was taken off your record. Explain that even though it was erased, you wanted to be honest. Do I really need to study for the Writing part of the SAT that adds an additional 800 points? I’ve heard that colleges don’t count this section. You’ve heard incorrectly. More and more colleges are insisting on a high score in the Writing section. Many use the Writing score to place the student in their freshman English classes or, better yet, to advance because the scores were high. Usually, if two students with the same record are in the running, the writing score makes a big difference. If one student’s score is several hundred points higher, then the college/university will take the student with the

higher writing score. The Writing section of the SAT was put there for a reason. It is a very difficult section. However, once you know how to complete it, it is very easy to score over 700. It’s like a math formula. You have to know exactly each step to arrive at your conclusion; that’s what we teach in the Writing part of our SAT courses.

How do I know if I need to take SAT IIs? After you have made your list of colleges, visit each one’s web site and it will tell you what SAT IIs are required. SAT IIs are becoming more and more popular. Each test is an hour long and you can do three in one sitting. Unfortunately, they are given on the same day as the SAT I. I recommend students take their SAT IIs after their AP exams. If they have excellent teachers who have given them superior reviews, then they are prepared for the SAT IIs. The SAT IIs are extremely difficult. Many colleges want to see at least 3, and some want to see up to 6. They definitely want to see English, History, Physics, Chemistry, Math I or Math II, and the list can go on and on. These are very important tests that will definitely help a student get into college. You will have an advantage in the admissions process, and you may also be eligible for scholarships by taking the SAT IIs, even if your colleges do not require them. By all means, take them seriously and plan accordingly. I will be going to college next year and have absolutely no idea what my major will be. Can you list possible majors I may consider? African Studies, Anthropology, Architecture, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Cinema Studies, Communications, comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Civilization, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, French Studies, Gender, Cultural and Society, Geology, German, Health and Societies, Hispanic Studies, History, Art History, Philosophy, International Relations, Italian Studies, Jewish Studies, Latin American Studies, Linguistics, Logic, Mathematics, Middle-Eastern Studies, Music, Near-Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Philosophy and Science, Politics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Romance Languages, Russian, Science, Technology and Society, Sociology, South Asian Studies, Theater Arts, Urban Studies, and Visual Studies. Many colleges, such as Brown and Reed and the New College in Florida, will help you develop your major and your own course studies. It’s a fantastic way to study, but this requires a student who is very self-motivated and directed. Rose may be contacted by calling 305238-7737 or via the Internet at <>.

An introduction to Judaism for children of unaffiliated families

Children from Kindergarten–8th Grade will discover the treasure of Judaism — from values to vocabulary, stories and holidays, tastes and sounds.

Five Saturdays 10:30 am–Noon beginning January 29th This program is open to all children in the community. Temple membership is not required.

For registration or information, contact Joy Schandler, 305.667.6667 ext. 123, or email

The Richard and Janet Yulman Campus • 5950 N. Kendall Drive, Pinecrest, FL 33156 •

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January 17 - 30, 2011

Larry S. Forman receives ‘Journey of Dreams’ award



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Larry S. Forman received the sixth annual “Journey of Dreams” Community Leadership Award by Parent to Parent of Miami during a ceremony on Nov. 6 at the JW Marriott. The award is bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated and sustained leadership practices in the community that have resulted in strong partnerships for the benefit of children and adults with disabilities. Forman, founder and director of Comprehensive Rehabilitation Consultants Inc. and Children’s Rehab Network, was chosen for the award based on his vision, leadership and perseverance. He is a longstanding advocate for people with disabilities making the difference in the lives of children and families. His work involving people with special needs is recognized on a local and national level and he has participated on various boards and committees including Shake-aLeg Miami, Florida Brain Injury Association, and President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. “Our goal is to work together to make sure individuals with disabilities are seen as people first,” Forman said in his accept-

ance speech. “People with unique needs should and can be treated fairly and equally. The goals still haven’t been reached and there are still battles for us to fight. “I know that Parent to Parent will continue to be the leader that it has been and will continue to embrace parents of younger children, bringing them into the fold and giving them the support that they need,” he added. “Larry’s heart is filled with love and compassion,” said Isabel C. Garcia, executive director of Parent to Parent. “Parent to Parent of Miami’s monthly support groups were blessed with his unconditional support. Larry is always a strong voice for children with disabilities and their families.” The Journey of Dreams Benefit Awards were created to recognize and honor individuals in Miami-Dade who are dedicated to improving and promoting initiatives that benefit children and adults with disabilities and their families. The awards honor three categories including the Community Leadership Award, Education Leadership Award and Excellence in Family Advocacy Award. For additional information on the awards visit <>.

January 17 - 30, 2011



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January 17 - 30, 2011

‘CHARLEE and Chocolate Factory’ fundraiser coming to Pinecrest BY KRISTIN SEIGWORTH

CHARLEE Homes for Children, a private non-profit agency that has helped thousands of children in the Miami-Dade foster care system begin a new life, has announced its second “CHARLEE and the Chocolate Factory” celebration and fundraiser. The fantastic family-centered event will take place on Feb. 27 at Evelyn Greer Park in Pinecrest, and promises to indulge the senses with delicious treats and games. Children and adults alike can enjoy an assortment of carnival fun, games and sweet treats — all for a great cause. All proceeds from this decadent and delicious fundraiser will benefit CHARLEE Homes for Children, the largest foster care provider in Miami-Dade County,

serving more than 1,000 children and youth each year. Dave Barry, humor columnist, is master of ceremonies. Fun surprises are in store for the whole family. Event chair is Shelly Dimitrijevic and honorary chair is Paula Brockway. Event hours are 2 to 6 p.m. Evelyn Greer Park is located at 8200 SW 124 St. in Pinecrest. Advance purchase tickets (before Jan. 28) are adults, $100; children, $50. To purchase, call 305-779-9793 or visit online at <>, and click on the CHARLEE and the Chocolate Factory banner. Ticket prices will increase after Jan. 28. For more information call Suzy Schumer at CHARLEE, 305-779-9600, ext. 641, visit online at <> or send email to <>.


NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART 10 ACRE CAMPUS FOR GRADES 6 THROUGH 12 RIVIERA DAY SCHOOL 6800 Nervia Street, Coral Gables, FL 33146 I RIVIERA PREPARATORY SCHOOL 9775 SW 87 Avenue, Miami, FL 33176 305.666.1856 I I Accredited by AISF, SACS, AI, NCPSA

January 17 - 30, 2011


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A first-time marathoner tells story in the New York City Marathon BY BRIAN LEBENSBURGER

Everyone who runs a marathon has a story. There has to be a story, a subtext, a cause to celebrate, or some other driving force that motivates a person to decide that running a 26.2 mile race is a good idea. Well, on Nov. 7, I ran my first marathon. And not just any marathon, the granddaddy of them all, the New York City Marathon; and this is my story. First, I am not an athlete. I am so slow, and run so awkwardly that during high school basketball try-outs, our team’s coach actually pulled me aside to ask me if I ever had knee surgery, because I ran “funny.” Mortified by the question, I lied and said that both my knee caps were replaced over the summer. To this day, I think my response actually landed me a spot on the team (albeit, through a sympathy vote), because I think our coach felt guilty about kicking-off a kid who was trying to play basketball “without kneecaps.” Okay, notwithstanding the fact that I am painfully slow, I love long-distance running. Running long distances is something that just appeals to me. For some strange reason, I love to wake up at early hours when everyone else is asleep, lace up my shoes, and hit the open road. I do my best thinking when I am running. It is so liberating and freeing for me. It seems as if all of life’s problems and dilemmas get solved and answered on a run. (By the way, I can attest to the potency of the legendary “runner’s high.” It is real, legal, and actually causes you to lose, rather than gain, weight). But this background, still does not explain how and why I chose to line up at the starter’s line in New York to tackle the world famous 26.2 mile New York City Monster/Marathon. My story actually began almost a year ago. I was sitting with my son, Jacob, at the Chabad Center of Kendall and Pinecrest listening to a Shabbat sermon given by Rabbi Yossi Harlig. Rabbi Harlig, who is very inspiring, was standing there passionately explaining to us that in life, a person needs to grow. He was explaining that in order to grow, you need to move out of your comfort zone. This was a very powerful and inspiring message for me. And I started to try to think of ways in which I could attempt to move out of my various comfort zones. After the services, over large bowls of Chabad of Kendall and Pinecrest’s famous Shabbat cholent, I told Rabbi Harlig how inspiring his message of moving out of your comfort zone was for me. It was at that time that he told me that he wanted to be a living example of this message. He wanted to do something that was so out of his comfort zone that it would literally inspire people to

move out of their own comfort zones. Just a side note, you need to understand that my entire life I have been fascinated and fixated on running the New York City Marathon. I don’t even know why. Maybe it was all the trips to the Big Apple that my mother (who grew up in those parts) took my younger brother and me on, where we would spend enjoyable hours just walking the streets of Manhattan taking in the sights and the energy of the city. Back to the cholent talk. When I sat there listening to Rabbi Harlig tell me that he wanted to do something big, something that people don’t normally associate with rabbis, the only thing that popped into my head was, “Why, not run the New York City Marathon!” Sheepishly, I suggested my great idea to him, not knowing what his reaction would be. Now, you have to understand, Rabbi Harlig is a phenomenal rabbi. He went to all of the top rabbinical schools, he knows the Torah and its laws inside and out. If you need help or spiritual guidance, Rabbi Harlig is your man. If you just need someone to laugh or cry with, Rabbi Harlig’s door is always open. But a Chabad rabbi running a marathon? Talk about moving out of your comfort zone! And sure enough, Rabbi Harlig just stared back at me in silence when I suggested this idea to him. The silence was so long, that I got embarrassed for even bringing up the idea to him. That is, until, his entire face broke out into a huge grin. “You are right, if I, as a rabbi, can go out of my comfort zone and actually run a marathon, then hopefully I will be able to inspire other people to go out of their comfort zones as well,” he said. So over a bowl of Shabbat cholent, our plan was formed, we were both going to run the 2010 New York City Marathon! The only problem with our great plan was that you actually have to get into the New York City Marathon in order to run it. Spaces are limited and unless you have a qualifying marathon time from a prior race, are running for a specified charity or meet the other ways to get in, your only real shot is to be one of the lucky ones who get picked in the lottery that they hold for the remaining spaces. Now, I don’t know how many people applied for these lottery spots, but let’s just say that my entry number was 543,276. The other kicker is that Rabbi Harlig and I applied for the spots in November, but we would not learn of the lottery results until April. This literally means that you are training for a race which you might not get into. Whenever I would bring up these facts to Rabbi Harlig, he would always smile and tell me not to worry, that we would both be there at the starting line, and that we should

The author crossed the finish line in the New York City Marathon. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

train confidently knowing that both of us would be in the race. As to be expected, training for a marathon requires dedication, commitment, and an unbelievable strength to be able to withstanding the temptation of hitting a snooze button on an alarm clock. However, training for a marathon is also a lot of fun, in a crazy way. You set a training program for yourself with an ever-increasing mile goal built into your training each week. Each week you have a different and longer goal, and every Sunday you go on a long run. The longest run I went on during my training was a run of 22 miles, and for the last three miles my pace could be best described as a shuffle, rather than as a run. As part of our training, both Rabbi Harlig and I decided to enter into some organized races, just so that we could get the feel for running in an actual race. So we ran the ING Miami Half-Marathon and the Fort Lauderdale A1A Half-Marathon. These races were great because I got to see runners of every shape, size, gender and age zoom past me. We also had the benefit of having great support. Apart from our respective families, one of our biggest supporters was our mutual friend, Michael Miller of Community Newspapers. Michael, who is a three-timeveteran runner of the New York Marathon, was instrumental in providing us with training tips, advice about the course and gave both Rabbi Harlig and I great encouragement during our training. Michael also showed up at the Miami Half-Marathon with his wife, Susan, to cheer us on.

Soon enough, April was upon us, which meant the big day for the lottery drawing was fast approaching. The day finally arrived, and I saw an email in my mailbox from the New York Road Runners. With great fear and trepidation, I opened the email which would tell me whether I had spent the last six months training for a race that I would never run. I read the first line of the email, and I started pumping my fist in the air as I read, “We’d like to congratulate you and welcome you to the ING New York City Marathon Class of 2010!” I was so excited. Then, I picked up the phone and called Rabbi Harlig. Just from his “hello,” however, I immediately knew that he had not made it. But, in true Rabbi Harlig form, he was still 100 percent confident that both of us were going to be at the starting line. He wasn’t sure how it was going to happen, but he trusted that it would happen. However, I was dejected. How could I run the marathon without him? Logically, I did not see how he was going to get in. At lunch time that same day, for reasons which I still can’t explain, I got the idea in my head to go get new running shoes at my favorite running store, The Runner’s High, in the Suniland shopping center. I didn’t necessarily need new running shoes, but there I was driving to the store. When I got in the store, I was greeted by Rabbi Harlig’s physical therapist, Bruce Wilk. Bruce had done an amazing job training Rabbi Harlig for the marathon and tending to his aches and pains at his office. Bruce was eagerly anticipating hearing whether his client, Rabbi Harlig, had gotten selected in the lottery. When I told Bruce that Rabbi Harlig had not got in, he told me that it was unbelievable that I had come to the store because just that morning he had been given an extra entry slot for the marathon because of his associations and professional involvements. He told me that it would be his honor to give the slot to Rabbi Harlig. So, just like that, Rabbi Harlig went from being out to being in. Fast forward to the 2010 ING New York City Marathon. As I made my way to the starting line, I was so excited and pumped up. I was about to accomplish something that I wanted to do for my entire life, and something for which I had worked so hard at over the past year. To finally be there, standing at the starting line, was truly a dream come true. The cannon thundered and we were off. The first challenge of the course is to run up the famous Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which is a beautiful suspension bridge that connects Staten Island and Brooklyn. As I set off, I could not believe that I was actual-

––––– Continued next page

Page 22

MARATHONER, ly running the New York City Marathon. To top it off, the day was beautiful, the air was crisp, the sun was shining and I was living my dream. When we came off the bridge, I was greeted by something I never expected and something I will never forget. On each side of the road were thousands of people packed six or seven rows deep of all different types of backgrounds, genders and ethnicities, cheering for me and my fellow runners. The energy of the crowd was amazing, and the only thing I wanted to do was to personally thank each one of them for coming out and cheering. New Yorkers are amazing. Families were standing together with cow bells and signs, cheering all of us on. And the crowds never died out. It was the closest thing that I will ever have in my life to feeling what a rockstar or a professional athlete feels like. I really got into the energy of the crowd. I would run along the edge of the crowd giving highfives to everyone. Around corners, I would give a fist pump in the air to the crowd, and the crowd would actually roar back with applause. At times I would just run down the middle of the road, and put up my hands in victory like Rocky Balboa, and the crowds would go nuts. Truth be told, for the first 13 miles or so I did not even pay attention to the distance, I just wanted to savor this experience with the crowds. Before the race, my Uncle Scott, a veteran of the event, gave me the best piece of advice. “Just let the crowds carry you,” he said. And carry me they did. Whenever I felt my energy draining, all I would need to do is look at the faces cheering for me in the crowd and I would get right back in the race. Around mile 20 there is the famous “Marathon Wall” that your body slams into on the course. The glycogen reserves in your body are essentially depleted. Glycogen is the substance in your body which provides it with fuel for athletic activities and at mile 20 you don’t have any fuel left in the tank. It is at that moment when a marathoner earns his or her “stripes.” It is at that moment, when you have to find the inner will (and energy) to run an additional 6.2 miles on an empty tank. The New York City Marathon Wall is particularly brutal because the course starts to go uphill around mile 22. One of the many mini-goals that I had set for myself during the race was to ignore the wall. At mile 20 until the finish line, I wanted to thrive. One of the things that I am most proud of, and one of the most important lesson that I took from the race, is that I have tremendous inner strength and will power, because I never hit a wall. From mile 20 until the finish line, I cruised. There I was, the kid who was always picked last on sport-


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January 17 - 30, 2011


ing teams, passing runners who were bigger and stronger than me. Each time I passed someone, I felt a sense of accomplishment. All of these months of training had paid off. I was strong. I had what it took to go the distance. I had tested myself and found that I had that “extra gear” which I could draw upon when times were tough. The last four miles or so had us running down Fifth Avenue to Central Park. As I was running down the famous avenue with crowds cheering for me on all sides, I was smiling and thinking to myself, “When does a regular person get to run down Fifth Avenue and have crowds cheering for him?” Once again, I felt like a rock star. My cousin Sally Meisner was waiting for me at mile 23. She had been standing there for hours, waiting for the chance to cheer me on. As I approached her, she had a big sign that said “Go Brian Lebensburger!” Seeing Above: Brian Ledensburger running the city streets during the New York City Marathon. Below: Brian gets his medal.

Above: Rabbi Harlig crossing the finish line... and finally... his well-deserved medal.

her out there and seeing that sign gave me the boost I needed to continue to speed my way towards the finish line. To get to the finish line, the course took us through Central Park, which was also packed to the brim with people cheering us on. Thankfully, it was mostly downhill running at that point and I enjoyed every step. As the finish line approached, a feeling of accomplishment and pride started to well up inside of me. As I got closer and closer to the end, I realized that soon I would be one of the few people who could say that they ran the New York City Marathon. I knew that after I crossed the finish line I would have accomplished something that no one could ever take away from me, something that one day I would speak about to my grandchildren. A year earlier, I set out to accomplish an impossible goal. I trained hard and suffered setbacks along the way, but always believed that I would have the will power to reach the end. And there it was. As I crossed the finish line, my emotions could no longer be contained in my body and they started flowing out of my eyes. As the officials put my medal around my neck, I felt as if I was on top of the world. The feeling was priceless. I had run the New York City Marathon. I had gone the distance. A kid who once was suspected of having knee surgery because he ran so awkwardly could now call himself an athlete, a marathoner. As for Rabbi Harlig, he finished right along side of me. He inspired me every step of the way. He had suffered a tremendous injury early in our training, but he kept on, refusing to give up. He inspired the community as well. People literally have changed their lives for the better after hearing his story. After all, if a Chabad Rabbi who never played a day of organized sports in his life could go out of his comfort zone to run a marathon, what could you do to go out of your comfort zones?

Brian Lebensburger is an estate planning and probate lawyer with Muller & Lebensburger. He may be contacted by calling 305-670-6770.

January 17 - 30, 2011


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JCC events include politics, sculpture Linda K. Landy ALPER JCC NEWS When they told me about the two very diverse events at the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center I would be writing about for this column, I started to laugh. A political conversation with former County Commissioner Katy Sorenson and a sculpture exhibit by an artist who, “experimented with different media throughout his life using what he found readily available.” I knew immediately how to connect the two. I first met Sorenson before her election at a party which featured a pumpkin carving competition. Having never carved a pumpkin in my life, I expected traditional jack-olanterns. I was way out of my league. These people were creating pumpkin sculpture and Sorenson’s family was among the best. So now that I have made an absurd connection between these two events, let me tell you about them.

KATY SORENSON UNPLUGGED If politics is your thing, check out Katy Sorenson Unplugged, an evening with former County Commissioner Katy Sorenson, on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m., in the Futernick Family Art Gallery. Sorenson recently retired after 16 years as commissioner for Miami-Dade County. She is known as an outspoken advocate who worked diligently to enhance the quality of the life of her community through economic and growth management policies, crime prevention initiatives and protection of the region’s environmental resources. She has also been a staunch advocate for human rights, a champion of regional cooperation, a leader in child welfare issues and a promoter of the arts. It will be an evening with no agenda driven by audience questions. Sorenson will discuss Miami today compared to 16 years ago; the biggest disappointments and the biggest triumphs of her 16 years as a commissioner; and her new appointment as a lecturer on excellence and ethics in government at the University of Katy Sorenson

Miami. Commissioner Sorenson is collaborating with the university to develop a community initiative on excellence in public service to foster leadership among people aspiring to run for public office at the state and local levels. This event is co-sponsored by Illuminating U and there is a $5 admission fee. For more information, contact 305-271-9000, ext. 264, or log on to <>. SIG LICHTERMAN SCULPTURE EXHIBIT If you are more into the arts, you must see Sig Lichterman’s sculpture exhibit. The exhibit opens Feb. 6 and continues through Mar. 20. A reception celebrating the exhibit will be held Thursday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. Lichterman learned the basic principles of sculpting — plaster impressions and casts, wax carving, gold casting, soldering, and ceramics — as a New York dentist. Upon returning from a tour of duty in the Medical Corps during World War II, Sig studied with Jose de Creft and Seymour Lipton at the New School of Social Research. Works from this period were created primarily from a variety of woods and stones, including marble, granite and alabaster. During the 1960s Sig took bronze casting, arc welding and design workshops. After retiring to Coconut Creek in 1984, he began to laminate wood, primarily

Sig Lichterman sculpture ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– marine mahogany, and create blocks from which to sculpt. Varied in media, style and approach, much of Sig’s early work was carved from the original tree stump or piece of stone which suggested subject matter based on its form. In casting he created from both idea and material. His later works were constructed from ideas that could be easily expressed in larger shapes. His total body of work shows a progression towards the more abstract. For information, contact 305-271-9000, ext. 268, or log on to <>.

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January 17 - 30, 2011

January 17 - 30, 2011


Not all Medications can be Crushed


When patients are unable to swallow tablets or capsules, caregivers are often instructed to crush medications to mix in yogurt, applesauce, etc. However, there are many medications that should not be crushed or split, actions which could significantly increase side effects by causing the medication to be released all at once versus over time if the drug is a sustained/controlled release preparation (often designated as SR, XL, CR), or result in a loss of the drug’s intended benefit in between doses. When a drug is crushed, a change in dose or frequency may be necessary. Destruction of the original dosage form can also lead to gastrointestinal irritation or create bad-tasting particles, and tablet coatings are difficult to mix or suspend in a liquid. Crushing or splitting some medications, such as cancer chemotherapy, can expose the caregiver to a potentially harmful substance, which is especially problematic for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. When a patient has difficulty swallowing medications, contact our compounding pharmacist. We will work with patients and health care providers to provide a customized dose and dosage form that will meet each patient’s specific needs

Photo by Ella Woodson

Sonia Martinez, RPH - Marco Drugs

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 multiviatimins. 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 • Fax: 305-663-3258 Email:marcodr <> This article is intended to provide information on health-related matters. The ideas expressed cannot be used to diagnose or treat individual health problems and should not be taken as medical advice or instruction.

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January 17 - 30, 2011

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


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January 17 - 30, 2011


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January 17 - 30, 2011

Soccer balls donated by Palmer Trinity boys soccer team Palmer Trinity School Boys’ Varsity Soccer team with the soccer balls they donated in Homestead.


Palmer Trinity School boys’ varsity soccer coach Julio Melean and his team decided they wanted to give back to the community by beginning a new tradition called “Project Kick Start Christmas.” So, on Dec. 18, more than 30 soccer balls were donated with a promise of more to come at the Parish Hall of Sacred Heart Church in Homestead. Coach Melean and his team have com-

bined education, athletics and charity with the hope of bringing joy to a group of underprivileged children by presenting each of them with a soccer ball for Christmas. Several team members presented the soccer balls to children whose fathers or mothers are in prison. It is an opportunity, says coach Melean, “to deliver some Christmas spirit to a group of children who might otherwise miss out. Perhaps one of the recipients might grow into a budding player and

find himself or herself playing for their high school or college, or even become a professional. One of these soccer balls might be a passport to salvation or freedom for one of these children and it might just keep them on the right path.” If nothing else, the PTS soccer team believes it will spark an interest by these children in the game of soccer that is both national and international, as well as providing them with exercise. Coach Melean

hopes Project Kick Start Christmas will promote both the game and a sense of giving, while fulfilling the Angel Tree’s motto: “From your hands to their hearts”. Project Kick Start Christmas is an offshoot of Angel Tree 2010, <> organized through St. John Neumann’s Catholic Church in Miami. If you are interested in donating to Project Kick Start Christmas, email Coach Melean at <>.

January 17 - 30, 2011


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January 17 - 30, 2011

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January 17 - 30, 2011

Pinecrest Tribune 1.17.2011  

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