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JULY 24 - AUG. 6, 2012 –––––––––––––– communitynewspapers.com –––––––––––– 305-669-7355

Vice Mayor Josh Liebman Around Town on his first six months in office No soccer BY RAQUEL GARCIA

W

hen recently elected Vice Mayor Josh Liebman arrived at his home on the Friday before his first city commission meeting, he had a special delivery from city hall awaiting him. The multi-inch thick binder he assumed was the city charter and perhaps development codes library turned out to be the back-up packet agenda for the next meeting. “My greatest surprise was the size of the agenda books,” said Liebman. “We have three to four days—- two of which are the weekend—-to review the three inch thick material and prepare for the next meeting. The back-up for the Murray Pool issue is another three inch binder.” Although criticized as a “flip-flopper” for leading the commission in a historic compromise to move the Murray Pool plan forward when he did not support the pool during his campaign, Liebman said he was standing up for a reasonable compromise on

Tibetan Monks from India visit Zen Village

Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Northern India perform a sacred ceremony before the dismantling of the sand mandala –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY RAQUEL GARCIA

I

Vice Mayor Josh Liebman on election night moments after winning announcement.

–––––––––––––––––––––– See

LIEBMAN, page 7

n the heart of Coconut Grove, on Main Highway just west of the downtown hustle and bustle, is a quiet unobtrusive building painted in bright reds and greens — Zen Village. To local area devotees, the Tibetan Buddhist Temple Center is a sacred space for community gatherings and meditation. Founder and director of the not-forprofit association, Master Chufei Tsai, recently welcomed six Tibetan monks visiting from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Northern India, along with Tsepak Rigzin, the monks translator and

Emory University scholar from Atlanta. The monks were invited for a week of educational classes, meditation, and special services. “Their visit came about after one of our members requested a blessing from the monks,” said Master Tsai. “Everything worked to bring them here for a week for the sand mandala and self-empowerment programs. The sand mandala represents the unshakable divine order. The purpose of the ritual is to bring peace and strength to the community.” The Tibetan Sacred Art Performance sand mandala creation was the highlight

–––––––––––––– See

MONKS, page 10

for you BY MICHAEL MILLER

Executive Editor Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Ellen Leesfield ruled “null and void” to South Miami United as the city’s continued soccer program operator in response to a law suit filed by Grey Ghosts Soccer. The Grey Ghosts approved request for proposal bid presented by the city manager was rejected at the June 12 city commission meeting by a 4 to 1 vote. It was later decided that South Miami United would continue to operate the program. Judge Leesfield said in her ruling: “the court finds that the manner in which the RFP process was handled violates Florida law. If the city is to have a managed soccer program at South Miami Park, the city shall issue a new RFP with appropriate time and procedure in evaluating a permit or contract for such program. The current permit issued by the city to South Miami

–––––– See

AROUND TOWN, page 8

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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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SOUTH MIAMI

SIGHTINGS g

Pictured are (l to r) Curtis, Gretchen and Charles strolling around downtown

FIU students Robert Benites and Valerie Canos enjoy an evening at 100 Montaditos South Miami resident Henry Smart takes a coffee break

Best friends Judi Baca and Esther Bejar “hanging out on Friday night”


July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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Elks Lodge resurrects First Wednesdays Social Club Gloria Burns GLORIA’S GAB First Wednesdays, a social club that used to meet at different venues the first Wednesday of every month, is being resurrected at the South Miami/ Coral Gables Elks Lodge, 6304 SW 78 St. On these nights, the public is invited for a donation of ten dollars that covers the DJ for dancing and free appetizers. If you love to dance, you know there are very few places other than expensive clubs that have that format; so, this Lodge not only offers inexpensive drinks but also a convenient location. Speaking of the Elks Lodge, the group recently hosted a non-partisan event, sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida, on June 16th, honoring all who served during World War II at the South Miami/Coral Gables Elks Lodge #1676. While the luncheon event was not sponsored by The Lodge, many of those honored were Elk members

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Miller Publishing • Community Newspapers 6796 SW 62 Avenue • South Miami, FL 33143 305-669-7355 www.communitynewspapers.com –––––––––––––––––––––––––––– PUBLISHER

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EXECUTIVE EDITOR Michael Miller Michael@communitynewspapers.com

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS David Berkowitz, Richard Yager

WRITERS Ron Beasley, Linda Bernfeld-Rodriguez, Kenneth Bluh, Nancy Eagleton, Robert Hamilton, Gary Alan Ruse, Richard Yager, Lee Stephens, Raquel Garcia

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GRAPHIC ARTISTS Isabel Ortega, Denise Cebrero, Cristian Ortiz

PUBLISHER EMERITUS Ron Miller

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– We will not return solicited or unsolicited material including stories, columns and/or photographs. If you send us anything, please make sure that you have duplicate copies of the material. Every issue of the South Miami News 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 is the property of Community Newspapers.

MILLER PUBLISHING AND COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS are proud to publish the following newspapers:

Aventura News, Biscayne Bay Tribune, Coral Gables News, Cutler Bay News, Doral Tribune, Kendall Gazette, Miami Beach News, Miami Gardens Tribune, Opa Locka News, Palmetto Bay News, Pinecrest Tribune, South Miami News, Sunny Isles Beach Sun

from the two participating Lodges. Those veterans, many of whom brought momentos to share and display, were honored with certificates and thanked for their service. During World War II, 250,000 Floridians served to protect our country. Among those attending the event from the South Miami/Coral Gables Elks Lodge #1676 were Gerard “Jerry” Jones, father of C a ryl Coker and Donna Queralto who landed on Joan Normandy; Mueller; Donald F. Harrington, Sr., and William O’Brien, to mention a few. The American Diabetes Association’s signature fundraising walk, Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes is in its 20th year and has raised more than $150 million to Stop Diabetes. Last year, about 120,000 participants came together for 135 events nationwide and raised in excess of $20 million. This year’s Walk in Miami-Dade County promises to be the best ever with a wonderful new venue at the new Marlins Stadium on Sept. 22, 2012. Join the fun and help support the efforts of ADA by registering as an individual or a team and look for Community Newspapers to be there too. Register as a Red Strider. The Alliance for Aging, Inc., the Area Agency on Aging for Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, will hold the 2012 Positive Living Awards Dinner on Thursday, November 15th 2012 at Jungle Island. They are currently looking for nominations among the many seniors who positively impact the quality of life in South Florida by “giving back” to their communities. Nominators may download the materials from their website, www.allianceforaging.org. The deadline for nomination submissions is Friday, August 17th 2012. South Miami Rotarians, Gulliver Interact, Coral Gables High School Interact, GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club and several other non profits are partnering with the Westin selling tickets to the July 26th Give Kids the World Ice Cream for Breakfast at the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables. Tickets are $10 and each of the non profits will keep $5 of that for the charitable programs. 100% of the proceeds from the breakfast will go to Give Kids the World, a non-profit that provides children with life threatening illnesses a free one week vacation with their entire families, and the partnering charities. Westin underwrites all

Left of Center- John Gabor (United States Army 1943-1945) 101st Airborne Division, Purple Heart Medal recipient Bronze Star Medal seated next to daughter, Donna Gabor, and at table with active members of 101st Airborne Division. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

the cost. Those interested in participating, may call the Westin’s Mike Wurster at 305 569-6530 or contact one of the aforementioned charities. Until next time, keep making each

day count.

If you would like to submit information for this column, please send your news via email to gloriagalburns@aol.com.

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Pop-up handmade Thai jewelry store open at The Big Cheese BY RAQUEL GARCIA

When Anyapreeda was growing up in the seaside town of Songkhla in Southern Thailand, she told her mom that one day she wanted to see the world. “Preeda” as she is known to her western friends, made good on that dream. For over a decade now the lithe and friendly artist with a captivating smile has enjoyed American citizenship while maintaining her Thai family roots. Today you might find Anyapreeda “Dao” Kanjanaphen presenting her handmade Thai Temple Jewelry Collection just outside the entrance of The Big Cheese Restaurant, 8080 SW 67 Ave. “If you are not lazy, you can achieve anything you want in this country,” said Preeda. “I have dual citizenship now and so I can work hard here and also help my family in Thailand.” Her sister arrived in the U.S. first and helped her settle in and find work. Preema works at Siam Palace Thai Restaurant in addition to running her own jewelry line. “I love jewelry and fashion. I keep up with fashion magazines and use colorful beadwork like you would see in the temples of Thailand. I designed an affordable modern collection. Those of us who cannot spend a lot of money on fashion want to look beautiful too. ” Judging by the frequent admirers at her Big

(L to r) Jody Gache and Sherry Briccolaj admire Preeda’s Thai Temple Jewelry Collection

Cheese display, it appears she has an appealing sense of style. Jody Gache and Sherry Briccolaj selected a coral red stone and brass drop necklace with matching bracelet. “I have never seen anything like this,” said Briccolaj. “It has a cultural flair and the detailed bead work is stylish and modern. I can make the accessories the center of my clothing so this will complete an outfit nicely.” The opera length necklaces, chokers, and drop styles with varied matching pieces in ear-

rings and bracelets in bold colors or subtle hues could be the centerpiece of any attire. Stone rings adjustable to fit complete the collection. From classic to trendy, they appeal to a variety of looks. Prices range from $5 to $55 for more elaborately stitched accessories. “I tell my customers to make sure the piece makes them happy before they buy it so it is money well spent,” said Preeda. “They will then appreciate it more when they wear it. I want women to feel joy when they wear the

jewelry; to look beautiful and be happy with their purchase.” Since opening her pop-up location at The Big Cheese in January, she has developed a following with return clients coming back for gifts. Preeda’s boyfriend, retired police officer Andy Dixon is a close friend of restaurant owner Bill Archer who welcomed the idea of her entrepreneurial adventure at the South Miami location. “They make me feel like family,” said Preeda. “They help me set up, bring me drinks and meals, you can see their heart and I am very grateful.” To find out more about Preeda’s Thai Temple Jewelry Collection and hours of operation call 305-910-5212 or email ThaiTempleJewelry@yahoo.com.

Thai Temple Jewelry Collection


July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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Nouveau Burger Stand Shake Shack opens on US1 BY RAQUEL GARCIA

Neither undaunted by lots of nearby burger competition nor the high turnover rate of shuttered eating establishments who tried to stay open on the same site, Danny Meyer’s Union Hospitality Group out of New York City recently opened its 16th Shake Shack location at 1450 South Dixie Highway. “Shake Shack is going to be a game changer,” said Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce President Mark Trowbridge. “Several restaurants have come and gone here and not had the staying power. But they have taken the building façade and slid it back (to include outdoor dining) and it is now very comfortable. It’s mid- summer and you have people outside enjoying burgers and fries; it doesn’t get any better than that.” The overflow crowd at the friends and family opening night seemed to ditto Trowbridge’s remarks as they enjoyed the endless platters of Shack Burgers, Vegetarian ‘Shroom Burgers, Hot Dogs, Bird Dogs, crinkle cut fries baskets and “Concretes” or frozen custard desserts delivered from the pristine open kitchen by an extraordinarily hospitable staff. Shake Shack waiter and University of Miami nursing student Chris Hill said “the hospitality is exemplary. Everyone treats everyone well, the culture here really spoke to me. It’s like a family.” Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti calls the business concept “a burger joint for the modern era.” Originally begun as a hot dog stand in Union Square in 1985, the first Shake Shack opened in 2001 in New York City and the first South Florida location opened on South Beach in 2004. “We have been looking for a new location

Shake Shack’s Aaron Diaz from New York City is all smiles –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

for two years,” said Garutti at the opening party. “We scoured this area and I can tell you what’s in every building around here. We wanted a community gathering place to bring people together and have fun like you are seeing tonight.” With the close proximity of the University of Miami at the Coral Gables location and the surrounding high traffic visibility, Garutti and his team believe they found the perfect home. “This is like a dream I had recently,” said Coral Gables resident and guest Alex Melcom. “Unlimited excellent burgers, fries and beer, this is heaven, what else can a guy ask for?” Added his wife Johanna while enjoying apple pie a la mode custard, “They have everything that makes me happy.” “All of our burgers are all natural patties with no hormones or antibiotics or trimmings,” said Garutti. “They are cooked to order after being ground fresh the night before. We sear them with a caramelized crispy edge to seal the flavor.” Reclaimed bowling alley tables made in Brooklyn are part of the “green materials and sustainable woods” décor and five percent of sales from the Coral Crisp concrete will go to support the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation. According to Public Relations Director Edwin Bragg, staff will visit the hospital monthly for custard socials with patients in continuation of a tradition begun at the South Beach location to “stand for something good.” President of the Red Sunset Merchant Association Ivan Mladenovic said “the power of their business and brand will allow them to succeed in a space previously challenged by business owners.”

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– (L to r) Head Chef Mark Rosati and CEO Randy Garutti at Shake Shack friends and family night

LIEBMAN, from page 1

Page 7

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an issue already moving forward, rather than championing the pool per say. “From previous meetings I knew the Murray Pool proposal was going to pass,” said Liebman. “The solution was to build the pool without raising taxes and allow us to use the revenue already secured for the project and not risk future loss of grant money. Too often people will not take a stand because they are too worried about getting re-elected. I chose to support it in the interest of compromise; to come up with viable solutions. Although I think the label of flip-flopper is much too presidential for me.” Sporting blue and white flip-flops at the following meeting along with his three piece suit, Liebman enjoys a degree of levity during commission meetings. “I like to engage the audience and incorporate a twist of humor in the meetings. It is not to make light of serious subjects but I think it can be refreshing. I have never heard these meetings described as anything but boring.” For the new commissioner who is about 15 to 20 years younger than his peers on the dais, he says humor is a part of the energy, passion and team spirit he brings to the discussion. “When the Miami Heat was playing during the NBA Finals, I made the comment that we should be more like a basketball team working toward a common goal rather than golfers independently out on the links.”

Liebman finds the apparent tradition of attempting to remove department heads from their jobs by elected officials as divisive and counter-productive. “I don’t understand why every time there is a new administration they want to bring in their own staff. Then you have no history and no experience when a new administration should rely on an experienced staff team.” Although his votes are usually in the minority, Liebman believes he and fellow commissioners get along well (notwithstanding the fact that three of them did not support his election). “When you consider the nature of political dynamics in South Miami and the fact that most of the time we are not in agreement, I still believe I have a good working relationship with the commission.” In terms of ongoing initiatives from his campaign platform, Liebman continues to work towards finding a home for the running track he envisions for the community, the beautification of area parks and increase in cultural events, improvements to the city website, and a greater alliance between residents and business owners. “As I said during my campaign, I hope my involvement in local government will motivate others to get involved in the city and run for office, that way I won’t have to.” Vice Mayor Liebman was recently accepted as a 2012 class member of former Miami-Dade Commissioner Katy Sorenson’s Good Government Initiative at the University of Miami.

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AROUND TOWN, from page 1 United is hereby declared null and void.” Grey Ghosts President Javier Rodriguez said in an interview following the decision, “The ball is now in their court. They can do the right thing and award the contract to the Grey Ghosts as they should have done at the June 12 meeting.” Rodriguez said the videotape of the meeting was played for Judge Leesfield. “After the mayor said ‘we will award it to the Grey Ghosts if they match the South Miami United bid’ and Commissioner Newman said ‘you cannot do that’ and the city attorney agreed saying ‘it violated the sealed bid,’ the judge seemed to say to herself, ‘I’ve seen enough.’” City Manager Hector Mirabile shared the following statement with South Miami News: “The city will comply with the order and issue out a new RFP as soon as practicable ensuring that we comply with the court’s order and best management practices regarding procurement. The city staff will continue ensuring that the process is fair, impartial, and in the best interest of the city and its residents. The city further understands the issue of timelines in the process so that the constraints posed by the soccer schedules are met and the children are not left without a program. We are committed to diligently fast track the process but simultaneously ensure that the time line and process is fair and impartial to all potential respondents of the RFP.”

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BOOMING RESTAURANT ROW Downtown is hoppin’ with the very busy 100 Mondaditos at the corner of SW 73 St. and 58 Ave., featuring those miniature sandwiches of all sorts of fillings called “baguettes” — along with lots of friendly camaraderie. Soon to be open directly across the street: a new hamburger spot named “ROK: BRGR Burger Bar + Gastropub.” Sign on the window says it’ll open this summer. Of course , lots of our beautiful people regularly visiting their nearby favorite watering holes, among them Bougainvilleas, Town, Carrabbas, Ra Sushi, Outback, Casa Lario’s, Khoury’s. and Miyako, a Japanese eatery. So c’mon down, folks, sit a spell and enjoy an evening in the City of Pleasant Living.

GUESS WHO... to win dinner for two at Sunset Tavern

WINN DIXIE’S DESTINY? Anyone know what the heck is going to happen if (and when) Winn Dixie on SW 73 St. closes? Where-oh-where will nearby folks go to buy groceries? City fathers claim they want a grocery store in the city, but what in the heck are they doing to entice the landowners to go after someone? Not too much, I’ve been told. BEWARE THE BOYS Since it’s been awhile without any arrests for pot dealing in the CRA area (the sanitized name for that part of town), I’m figuring it must be time for a collar pretty soon. So, dope dealers, start putting your bond money

GUESS WHO? together cuz’ you’re gonna need it... And BTW, I just can’t get that little tune out of my head from the COPS TV show: “What’cha gonna do when they come for you... Bad Boys, Bad Boys.”

ON THE BOB FRONT Bob Welch, who plays a city commissioner in his recent reincarnation, just paid a symbolic fine of $250 imposed by the Ethics Commission. Now Commissioner Bob,(aka Bobnoxious, Bicycle Bob, and a host of other little ditties) is basking in glory with all of the attention he’s recently been getting. Bob’s so good at attracting the limelight and so effective at getting others all worked up that his antics are becoming legendary. So, folks, as the song written by the Eagles goes: “Take it easy, take it easy, don’t let the sounds of your own wheels make ya crazy.”

July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

Speaking of wheels, the cops are rolling around town, awaiting you with pointed radar guns at what seems to be every corner in town. To cut to the chase, if you speed in South Miami, you’ll probably be caught by one of the cities finest one of these fine days. My suggestion, guys and gals: just obey the speed limit signs and mosey along your way.

KUDOS TO OUR STATE ATTORNEY Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has been selected Chairperson of the South Florida HIDTA, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, for Fiscal Year 2012-2013. HIDTA was established in 1990 after the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 was passed. The mission of the program is to enhance and coordinate America’s drug-control efforts among local, state and Federal law enforcement agencies in order to eliminate or reduce drug trafficking and its harmful consequences Fernandez Rundle in critical regions of the –––––––––––––– United States. “I am truly honored to have been selected to serve as Chairperson of the South Florida HIDTA by my esteemed colleagues from diverse agencies of law enforcement at the local, state, and Federal levels who make up our crime-fighting team. I look forward to continuing to work with our law enforcement partners to effectively address and combat drug trafficking issues in our community”, commented State Attorney Fernandez Rundle. State Attorney Fernandez Rundle assumed her leadership position effective July 1, 2012. Thought of the Day: Life is a combination of magic and pasta. — Federico Fellini

For news tips call 305-669-7030 or send emails to <Michael@communitynewspapers.com>


July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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Glass Artist Gail Alexander uses the elements to forge her creations BY RAQUEL GARCIA

Art education teacher Gail Alexander’s bold flamboyant style captivated the hearts and minds of her students for decades. Although recently retired, there is no slowing down her creative spirit as she embarks upon new challenges as a local glass artist and private tutor for gifted students. A four time teacher of the year recipient for Dade County Schools, her 36 year career (primarily at Allapattah Middle School) culminated in a promotion to magnet art program lead instructor and audition recruitment liason for promising artistic youth. As co-chair for the City of South Miami’s annual Martin Luther King Jr Celebration Committee, she has found a way to continue to promote young talent in the community as parade coordinator in charge of event performers. “I always had a principal that let me do what I wanted to do,” said Alexander. “And to see the way the kids responded to teach-

Blue Eyed Brother by Gail Alexander –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

ing them basic art concepts was a real highlight for me. They always wanted to be in my class and the parents wanted them to be in my class. I gave them the freedom artistically to do whatever they wanted to do.” To say Alexander has an artistic flair about her would be quite the understatement. She only recently clipped her long blonde dreadlocks to make it easier to wear a mask when she enjoys one of her favorite pastimes, snorkeling. Alexander believes it was partially that be-who-you-truly-are leadership style that endeared her to the children’s confidence. “They responded to lessons and techniques and we never had many problems in class. If there was something negative going on I would find ways to change the mood of the day and get them into the realm of everything-is-going-to-be-okay.” Alexander’s positive response to her Allapattah Middle School Principal Adolfo Costa’s suggestion that she take visual arts classes at the University of Miami helped the Bethune Cookman College graduate develop her latest passion for glass work. “I thought I would branch out and try something I’d never done before.” “At the university the instructor said ‘if you agree with the glass, it agrees with you and you have control’ I so happened to agree with it and became intense on learning the techniques. Once the heat touches the glass it changes from the original casting of what you thought you might have and evolves on its own.” “Blue Eyed Brother” is a glass mask sketched out by Alexander in the print making phase to purposely appear unique with one oval and one square blue eye and large sea green eyebrows. The multi-colored recycled glass atop his head resembles dreadlocks or natural style hair. “I wanted it to look different when I drew the face and features. The heat accents the color and the movement. When it cools

down (after the kiln and furnace stage) you get a chance to see what the heat did for it. It made himself a goatee as some of the fired glass moved down around the piece and mixed the colors to give his nose the true skin tone.” This organic unpredictable final outcome is part of the charm of the process for Alexander. She likens it to nature’s ever changing independent moods where water, sky, fire, and air work together to recreate life. “When I blow into a tube for a glass blown piece the air from my body is trapped in time in this hot molten form. The elements are all working together. Glass has its own identity where shapes are formed by light.”

Gail Alexander busy at her South Miami art studio ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Gail Alexander has shown her glass work at the Lowe Museum at the University of Miami, the College of Education at UM, Miami International School of Arts and Design, Ring Theatre, and The Grove House Gallery. To find out about her work or her art tutorial programs for future artists of tomorrow call 786253-2213 or email gcoachman@aol.com

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SMH ranks No. 1 in the region BY NANCY EAGLETON

U.S. News & World Report ranked South Miami Hospital, located at 6200 SW 73 Street, the No. 1 hospital in South Florida on its 20122013 Best Hospitals Rankings. The prestigious report also ranked the hospital the fourth Best Hospital in Florida. “We are ecstatic to receive this high-profile recognition for providing high quality, compassionate healthcare,” said Lincoln Mendez, CEO of South Miami Hospital, a part of Baptist Health South Florida. “Our employees and physicians pride themselves in the way they care for patients with high skill, kindness and strict adherence to safety protocols, and this acknowledgement by U.S. News validates the results of their efforts.” The annual Best Hospitals listing measures clinical data such as patient survival rates, patient safety and other hard measures with a direct link to the quality of patient care. The ranking also measures physicians’ views of a hospital’s reputation in the community. Nationwide, nearly 5,000 hospitals were analyzed to choose the best. South Miami

MONKS, from page 1

July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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Hospital is one of only 3 percent of hospitals in America to earn a U.S. News national ranking. South Miami ranked No. 42 in the country in geriatrics and No. 47 in orthopedics, marking the first time a Baptist Health hospital has earned a place on the U.S. News national ranking. The hospital also was listed as “high-performing” in nine other specialties. Three other Baptist Health hospitals ranked in the top 10 in the metropolitan area – Baptist Hospital was No. 5, Doctors Hospital was No. 8 and Homestead Hospital was No. 10 on the list. “This is a huge honor for us and highlights our commitment to excellence and patient safety,” said Thinh H. Tran, M.D., corporate vice president and chief medical and quality officer at Baptist Health. University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital placed second on the list of the area’s Best Hospitals and ranked sixth in the state. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami placed fourth in the metropolitan area and was ranked No. 1 in the nation for eye care for the ninth year in a row. To view the full report, visit <www.Health.USNews.com/Best-Hospitals>.

Tibetan Monk Chung Tsang Rinpoche begins the sand mandala dismantling.

The Sand Mandala is ceremoniously swept away.

BELOW: Traditional Tea Ceremony

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of the week’s activities. The monks worked on the mandala or symbolic circle of art every day for eight hours for an entire week. Using funnel, scraper and tubelike instruments, the sand is crafted into shapes like fish, monkeys, and designs suggesting the cosmos or universal realm. It is made with different colors of sand created on a unique table with precise geometrical measurements as to the placement of colors and depth of the sand on the complex work of art. “Each layer has its own meaning,” said Master Tsai. “Every grain of sand placed carefully by the monks in total concentration and prayer has energy and patterns of energy. It represents the land of heaven in a harmonic pattern design as an empowerment and blessed experience for all to benefit from.” After the completed sand mandala is formally presented, it is ultimately swept away

in a special ceremony and deposited in a nearby body of water to represent the intransigence of life and the impermanence of beauty so as to cultivate in the observer a spirit of detachment. Zen Village has been in its current home for eight years. The center provides wellness programs to support individual and spiritual strength for the community through yoga, meditation, healing qigong and ancient wisdom. To find out more about Zen Village, 3570 Main Hwy., call 305-5670165, visit zenvillage.org, heartforhumanity.org, or send email to <mchufei@zenvillage.org>.


July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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Childhood friends raising money, awareness through ‘hoop’ event BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

When a traffic accident took the life of Michael Sanchez and left Gabriel Maynoldi a quadriplegic, Julio De La Mata and his friends had trouble coping with the tragedy. They attended Sanchez’s funeral services and the annual mass honoring him, but found it difficult to leave the tragedy behind as they tried to go forward with their lives. Then last year De La Mata and his buddies realized they wanted to honor their fallen friends and organized the Hoop4Hope event, a three-on-three basketball tournament. “I decided with my business partner, Javier Perez, it’s time to turn our focus and our attention,” De La Mata said. “We should do what we can for Gaby. Last year was an enormous success.” The basketball event took place at St. Kevin’s Catholic Church and was so successful that this year it is being held on Aug. 4 at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School. The cost to enter is $150 per team. “Now it’s a one day event, maybe next year, if we get a large crowd, a two-day event,” he says. “Last year we had some big sponsors. We had Norwegian Cruise Lines, Hard Rock, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Sports Authority. We expect support from all again. Last year

Teams to play basketball to help the victim of a car crash. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– we had 150 participating and 500 spectators Kendale Lakes area, near the golf course and showed up.” their car ended up wrapped around a tree. This year they are expecting 300 particiThe money raised will go toward purchaspants and 1,000 spectators. ing a wheelchair accessible van for While De La Mata is reluctant to talk about Maynoldi’s use. the accident because there still are lawsuits “Basically we have it within reach,” De La pending, he does say it was one of Miami’s Mata said. “It’s going to be very possible for worst. The boys had left a party in the us to get it done.”

Putting on Hoop4Hope has changed De La Mata’s life for the better. He says giving back to the community helped him find himself. He and his partner started the Giving Much More (GMM) Foundation. The initials come from Mike, the friend that passed away, Mack, his partner’s little brother who also died in an accident on the way back from Disney World, and Gaby, their friend who is quadriplegic. “Since this is our second year, everything is generated toward Gaby,” De La Mata said. “This is just a stepping stone for the future.” He said they are starting with the basketball tournaments but one day they hope to also produce kickball or flag football tournaments. “After that, maybe galas, silent auctions, things like that that the community wants going on,” he said. “We’re going to be opening up the doors and look for other families [to help] — people who have been affected, as we have, by accidents. Young people are dying in cars. Not from drinking and driving, it’s from being young and dumb.” De La Mata said the accident that claimed his friend’s life caused a lot of dark years in his life. “It changed my life in the negative. You don’t have to go to the dark,” he said. “Other families could contact us and tell us their stories.” For more information, go online to <www.hoop4hope.com>.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

Metrorail extension to MIA to begin service on July 28 BY KARLA DAMIAN

Metrorail’s new service will make it possible for millions of Miami-Dade County resiFor the first time since it opened in 1984, dents, visitors and airport employees to have Metrorail will add a new rail line that will a reliable and seamless Metrorail connection provide easy access to Miami International to and from the airport’s MIA Mover, which Airport (MIA). On Saturday, July 28, Miami- will take transit riders directly into the airDade Transit (MDT) officially will open its port. It also will provide a boost to the local 23rd Metrorail station — the new Miami economy by creating jobs and facilitating work-related travel, reduce greenhouse gas International Airport (MIA) Station. Trains serving Metrorail’s new Orange emissions and improve travel time by taking Line will take passengers to all stations vehicles off local roadways. “With this new service between Dadeland South to the airport, every hotel and Earlington Heights, and business in downtown continuing west towards Miami, Coconut Grove, the new MIA Station. Hialeah, Kendall, and The 2.4-mile Metrorail everywhere else along the extension to MIA, which Metrorail system will runs parallel to State Road now be at the front door 112 and crosses the Miami of Miami International River, is considered the Airport — the largest ecocenterpiece of the People’s nomic engine in the Transportation Plan region,” said Ysela Llort, (PTP). The PTP, which is Miami-Dade Transit overseen by the Citizen’s director. I n d e p e n d e n t The new MIA Station is Transportation Trust a multilevel structure that (CITT), is the half-penny will provide passengers sales surtax approved by — Miami-Dade County with a central transfer Miami-Dade voters in 2002. Construction of Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez point to Metrobus and later to Tri-Rail, Amtrak, Metrorail’s extension and Greyhound, tour buses and station were funded with $404.7 million from the PTP surtax and other modes of transportation via the Miami $101.3 million from the Florida Department Central Station, which currently is under construction. The Miami Central Station is of Transportation (FDOT). “This is such an exciting project for our being sponsored and built by the Florida community, and it’s going to be a huge Department of Transportation. For information on the Orange Line and new benefit for our residents and visitors, alike,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor MIA Metrorail station, visit online <www.miamiCarlos A. Gimenez. “By directly linking dade.gov/transit> (on mobile devices, our airport to our urban center, we’re join- <www.miamidade.gov/transit/mobile>), or ing the ranks of the great world cities — call 3-1-1, Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. until 8 London, Paris, Tokyo — that already p.m., and on Saturday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. enjoy this kind of dynamic, game-chang- Closed on Sundays and during county-observed holidays. ing connectivity.”

“This is such an exciting project for our community, and it’s going to be a huge benefit for our residents and visitors, alike.”


July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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Miami Disc Golf Association president George Alvarez scores a basket. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY RAQUEL GARCIA

The Miami Disc Golf Association (MDGA) recently installed an 18-hole championship disc golf course at the Palmetto Bay Village Center in hopes the fast growing sport will continue to catch on in the community. Similar to golf, the game involves throwing a Frisbee-like flying disc into a basket from approximately 230 feet away on an average. Scores are based on the number of shots made into the basket. An 18-hole course generally is around two to three miles long with varied topography and “hazards” spread out about the fairway to challenge players. MDGA president George Alvarez founded the not-for-profit organization in 2011 and has since set up baskets in locations like Fuchs Park and Gibson-Bethel Community Center, but the Palmetto Bay course is the largest so far. “It is a great sport for anyone in any shape and any age,” Alvarez said. “With the exception of the purchase of the discs the game is free so it is an economical sport for families and the baskets generally last up to 20 years. It is also a great way to stay in shape as one round [18 holes] is generally about two to three miles.” The appeal of getting back to nature and spending the day outdoors seems to have contributed to the growth of a sport that has been around in various incarnations

since the 1960s. In the past decade, disc golf has more than doubled in popularity and is played in over 40 countries worldwide according to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) based out of Atlanta, GA. “When I lived in Charlotte, NC, there were only three courses. Now they have up to 33. The sport has exploded and we are hoping to do the same thing for Miami,” Alvarez said. The MDGA team has been around the community visiting nursing homes, the YMCA, Special Olympics, and other organizations to teach interested players and educate the public on the benefits of disc golf. Although the Palmetto Bay Village Center course opened a month ago, they still are in the installation stage. Funds are being raised to pay for baskets and keypads for scoring. To raise money for the course a “Miami Vivo” social will take place at the Palmetto Bay Village Center on July 26. Restaurants, retailers, and health-centered businesses will have booths and local music will be provided by “Van Gogh Listens” and DJ “Vibe.” The event is free to the public with prices ranging from $5 to $10 for food and drinks at each station. To find out more about the Miami Disc Golf Association and “Miami Vivo” fundraising events contact MDGA president George Alvarez at 786-457-6214 or send email to <Mdga1313@gmail.com>.

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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

Synagogue to celebrate Shabbat in a most delicious way, Aug. 10 BY REBECCA KLEIN

What better way to gather with fellow congregants and friends at a Friday night service than by devouring hundreds of pounds of milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. Members and friends of Temple Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom in Kendall will have the chance to find out at the synagogue’s 20th annual Chocolate Lovers Shabbat Service taking place on Friday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. The annual Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom Chocolate Lovers Shabbat service is the brainchild of congregation member Linda Hornik. “This is my 20th Chocolate Shabbat,” Hornik explained. “It began, I guess, as a lark, 20 years ago during a Temple calendar meeting, that the summer Friday theme Shabbats were being assigned. There were the educators, the lawyers, the doctors, the Sisterhood, the Men’s Club. “I said, I thought it was in jest, that I had long ago left teaching and while I am a mother and always will be a mother, a mother’s Shabbat did not have a real tug to it. My children were grown and on their own. So I said

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the next best thing to loving my children was my love of chocolate. And so it began. It has always been something done with love and the knowledge that everyone looks forward to this every year. Chocolate Lovers Shabbat is a sweet, sweet dream that I am allowed to pursue every year. After all, chocolate never goes out of style,” Hornik said. The Chocolate Lovers Shabbat has been popular right from the start, especially attracting families with young children to services. Temple administrators and Hornik are expecting more than 300 people to attend the special service on Aug. 10. Hornik is planning a display and tasting of more than 100 different chocolate candies. An abundance of homemade chocolate desserts such as chocolate cakes, pies, and chocolate-covered fruits and nuts also will be on display for sampling. Congregation Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom serves both Conservative and Reform congregants. Rabbi David Schonblum leads the Conservative movement and Rabbi Jaime Akelpi leads the Reform movement. The synagogue is located at 9400 SW 87 Ave. in Kendall. For more information, call 305-5951500.


July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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Nicolas Ortiz, 15, is youngest Formula 1000 racecar driver

Nicolas Ortiz –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY YANEIZA ECHEZARRAGA

Nicolas Ortiz, 15, of Miami, is the youngest person in the country to participate in the Formula 1000 racing championship series. His passion for speed and drive to succeed have led him to achieve a high level of driving experience by competing in difficult divisions, earning several wins and podium finishes since a very early age. During his latest race in May of this year at the F1000 Grand Prix of Motorsport in Canada, Ortiz, the youngest driver on the racetrack, finished in the top five. Ortiz started racing go-karts at age 13. Since then, his sole focus has been to continue advancing in the motorsport world and one day become a Formula 1 driver. His strong commitment to racing has not, how-

ever, affected his performance at school. Recently recognized for his academic achievements, Ortiz is an outstanding student involved in various extracurricular activities including volunteer projects with Key Club and Ventana de los Sueños, a local charity that supports autism research. Ortiz admits his family is part of the secret to his success. Racing is a family affair at the Ortiz’s household. His parents have committed not only long hours to accompany him to his training sessions and races abroad, but also all of their savings, as the investment for each individual race can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Native to Cartagena, Colombia, mom and dad are immigrants who came to the United States chasing the American dream and are now very proud of their young son with big dreams.

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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

Nicole Patrick attending Interlochen Arts Camp BY CATLEYA SORNMAYURA

cians to attend Interlochen Arts Camp, located in northwest Michigan. The Emerson Nicole Patrick of Miami has been named Scholars Award provides full tuition, private one of only 43 Emerson Scholars receiving a lessons, and room and board for the six-week full scholarship to attend Interlochen Arts summer program. This is the 23rd year Emerson has sponsored the Camp, the world’s premier scholarship program. summer arts program for “Every year, Interlochen Arts aspiring young musicians. Camp brings together some of Emerson scholars are the most talented and motivated selected to the competitive students from around the summer arts program from world,” said Interlochen presiamong the top applicants. dent Jeffrey S. Kimpton. Patrick, 18, is attending “Thanks to the generosity of Interlochen Arts Camp this Emerson, we are able to extend summer to study percussion even more opportunities to taland perform with distinented young artists by providguished youth ensembles. ing them with an experience She is the daughter of Chad unlike any other.” and Lori Patrick. Although Nicole Patrick To be eligible for the she spent her first three ––––––––––––––––––– Emerson Scholarship, stuyears of high school at Coral Reef High School (CRHS), Patrick dents must be in grades 9-12 and demongraduated from Interlochen Arts Academy in strate exceptional skill and proficiency on Interlochen, MI. She studies classical percus- harp, string, wind or percussion instruments. “To be recognized as an Emerson Scholar sion with her father and Sergio Carreno, and drumset with Daniel Susnjar. At the Arts puts these students in a most elite and prestiAcademy, she studied with Jeffrey Irving and gious group of talented people,” Kimpton said. “It is quite an honor, not only for the John Alfieri. Patrick has played in the pit for numerous students themselves, but also for the people musicals at Miami Children’s Theater and and places that helped them to become the Area Stage Theater Company. She has won promising young musicians they are.” Interlochen Arts Camp is part of the nonthe Young Artist Award and Senior Honors at the Academy as well as the John Philip profit Interlochen Center for the Arts, the only community in the world that brings Sousa Award at CRHS. Patrick will attend the University of together a 2,500-student summer camp proMichigan as a double major for Jazz and gram; a 500-student fine arts boarding high Classical Performance. In the future, she school; lifelong opportunities for arts educahopes to play professionally for Broadway tion and enrichment; two 24-hour listenersupported public radio stations, and one of productions or tour as a musician. “I am so happy I get to return to the nation’s largest arts presenters with 600 events annually. Interlochen after the best school year ever!” For admissions information, call 1-231Sponsored by Emerson of St. Louis, the Emerson Scholar Program provides the 276-7472, or visit Interlochen online at opportunity for outstanding high school musi- <www.interlochen.org>.

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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

Miami Dade College to host 10-year reunion for Honors College alumni BY SUE ARROWSMITH

Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Honors College will host a 10-year alumni reunion on Friday, Aug. 10, 6 p.m., at the college’s National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd. Honors College alumni are invited to attend. The event offers alumni an opportunity to see old friends, network and learn about all the new, innovative happenings at MDC. Dubbed an “Ivy Stepladder” in a major Time magazine report in 2005, the Honors College is a unique college-wide initiative within MDC that is designed to meet the needs of a select group of

high-achieving, academically talented students with demonstrated leadership ability who thrive from collaborations in an intensely focused, multi-dimensional learning environment in and out of the classroom. During the past decade, these remarkable alumni have excelled academically and beyond while serving communities locally, nationally, and internationally. They have gone on to obtain degrees from Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mt. Holyoke, Georgetown, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and New York University, among other top institutions. For more information or to RSVP for this event, call 305-237-7077.

See us online at: www.communitynewspapers.com


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Page 23

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue saves puppies from fire

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FPL CORNER FPL energizes STEM education in Florida schools

Throughout FPL’s service territory, teachers and students can tap into opportunities to enrich their curricula for the 2012-13 school year As students and their families enjoy the final weeks of summer vacation, the new school year beckons and Florida Power & Light Company has announced its plan for supporting STEM (science, technology, energy and mathematics) education in Florida schools for the 2012 - 2013 academic year. FPL’s commitment to STEM education has led the company to develop a comprehensive inventory of tools and programs to help schools provide excellent and dynamic STEM education to students. “Research shows that STEM education is critically important to ensure that today’s students are prepared for tomorrow’s competitive economy,” said Pam Rauch, FPL vice president of Development and External Affairs. “We know that many teachers reach into their own pockets to supplement their teaching and to help bring lessons to life. It is our hope that these programs will inspire additional creativity, ease burdens on our teachers and make a lasting impact on Florida’s students.” Here is a brief overview of the various programs: New traveling school assembly program, offered to schools at no charge • Designed for kindergarten through fifth grades in schools throughout FPL’s service territory. • “Men in Black: The Kilowatt Connection” is a live drama that will delight students, while teaching them all about energy conservation. • Show is produced by the National Theatre for Children. • To schedule a show, call 800-858-3999, ext. 1 Adopt-A-Classroom Matching Donation • FPL will offer 1,500 classrooms $25 donations through Adopt-A-Classroom (organization links teachers with community partners and funds to purchase supplies for the classroom). • Middle and High School Teachers working in STEM subjects in the 28 school districts FPL provides service. • To qualify for the match, a teacher must receive at least $25.00 donation through www.AdoptAClassroom.org/fpl <http://www.AdoptAClassroom.org/fpl> .

July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

Animal Services Dept. shelter designated a ‘no kill’ facility BY KATHLEEN LABRADA

The Miami-Dade County Commission adopted landmark legislation sponsored by Commissioner José “Pepe” Díaz during its July 3 meeting designating the MiamiDade County Animal Services Department Shelter as a “no kill’ facility. “Pet owners and animal lovers throughout Miami-Dade have been waiting for a ‘no kill’ policy to be implemented at our Animal Services Department,” Commissioner Diaz said. “The No Kill Equation provides alternatives to euthanizing animals by partnering with community organizations and reaching out to residents about the importance of sterilizing their pets to decrease our stray population. As a pet owner myself, I look forward to seeing this plan in action in the coming months,” he added. “As the proud owner of two wonderful pets, including a rescue dog, I’m pleased the county commission has adopted this policy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I hope this will further encourage residents to visit our shelter, adopt these loving animals and give them permanent, new homes.” Becoming a “no kill” shelter means having a 90 percent or better rate of animals saved at the county’s animal shelter due to specific programs developed by the “no kill” movement in the United States, which provides alternatives to animal shelter euthanasia. The resolution is modeled after the No Kill Equation, a program model which changes the way shelters operate and provides the animal-loving public an integral role in that operation. A forthcoming mayor’s report will be consistent with the No Kill Equation and include:

• Comprehensive Adoption Programs; • Free-Roaming Cat Trap/Neuter/Return Programs; • High-Volume, Affordable Spay/Neuter Services; • Large-Scale Volunteer Foster Care Programs; • Rescue Group Transfers; • Proactive Pet Retention Programs; • Proactive Pet Redemptions; • Medical and Behavioral Programs; • Public Relations/Community Involvement, and • Volunteer Programs. Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department director Alex Muñoz has embraced these ideas and wants to expand on the work already being done by the shelter, which last year saved a large majority of stray and abandoned dogs. “A lot more work is needed to reduce the number of cats brought to the shelter and increase the number of cats adopted,” Muñoz said. “The implementation of ‘no kill’ programs will require the development and implementation of new programs and the expansion of current efforts. The shelter cannot do this alone and like other successful communities, we need our residents’ help.”

Teacher Grant Programs • All public, private and charter school teachers in FPL’s service territory are eligible to apply for grants to create classroom projects focused on any form of energy education. • Grants are awarded in increments of $500 to $2,500 and the application deadline is November 15, 2012. Winners will be announced by the end of this year. • For more information, please visit www.fpl.com/community/learning/solarstations.shtml FPL’s 2012-2013 plans to support STEM education in Florida is part of FPL’s larger commitment to the state. This is the fourth year FPL has supported the Energy Teacher Grant Program, which has now awarded more than $122,000 for 120 teacher projects across FPL’s 35-county service territory. The awards come from the NextEra Energy Foundation, which is funded by shareholders of FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, Inc., the nation’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and the sun. Beyond the teacher projects, FPL has installed Next Generation Solar Energy Station arrays at 14 educational facilities across Florida and built three largescale solar power plants to supply power to its customers.

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The Falls to celebrate tax-free weekend with events, incentives

Youngsters enjoy 2011Back to School Splash at The Falls. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY ALICIA WHITLEY

With the 2012 Florida Tax-Free Holiday providing a bit of relief for parents during the back-to-school season, The Falls is ringing in the new school year in style with the eighth annual Back to School Splash. As the mall prepares for this busy time of year, several retailers are getting ready for an eventful weekend with the latest fall fashions, accessories, school supplies and electronics to start the school year off right. The three-day sales tax break begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, and ends at midnight on Sunday, Aug. 5. During this period, retailers will not be required to collect state and local sales use tax on most footwear, clothing, backpacks and school supplies priced less than $100. The Falls has once again aligned with South Florida Parenting to host the Back to School Splash, celebrating the start of the school year and taking place on Saturday, Aug. 4, and Sunday, Aug. 5, from noon to 5 p.m. each day. This free, family-friendly event will feature a trackless train that can transport families between Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, bounce houses, sand castle art, lunch bag decoration and other crafts, and a pirate treasure hunt. Additionally, Holtz Children’s Hospital

will present a Teddy Bear clinic and South Miami Hospital will showcase crown and pirate hat-making crafts. Young visitors will be able to enjoy a magic show presentation from James Changefield and dance performances as well as classes courtesy of Hip Hop Kidz. Back to School-themed vendors will be on-hand to present a variety of products and services to attendees. “The Falls is thrilled to partner once again with South Florida Parenting to provide a fun and convenient way for families to take advantage of the tax-free holiday,” said Dailen Rodriguez, director of marketing and business development at The Falls. “Our retailers are providing incredible deals this year on top of the tax-free discount which is sure to please parents, while our event elements provide activities for children of all ages to enjoy.” Shoppers will also find tax-free deals at Dadeland Mall, Shops at Sunset Place and Miami International Mall. Before hitting the mall, shoppers can check out even more savings by visiting the Simon Retailer Showcase where coupons and other retailer deals await at <www.simon.com>. Not sure what clothes are school uniform approved? Stop by Guest Services for a list of school requirements, which stores to find the appropriate attire and which stores have the best deals.

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Chamber announces recipients of Military Person of the Year Award BY STEPHANIE ROJAS The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce celebrated the accomplishments of outstanding local military personnel during its 25th annual Military Service Person of the Year Awards. The awards were presented on Wednesday, July 11, at the chamber’s monthly Trustee Luncheon at Jungle Island. The recipients of the 2012 Military Service Person of the Year Awards are: Petty Officer Second Class Dinorath Adams, United States Navy, United States Southern Command; Petty Officer Third Class Joshua Columbo, United States Navy, United States Southern Command; Petty Officer Second Class Eric J. Ernst, United States Coast Guard, Air Station Miami; Master Sergeant Francisco G. Gonzalez, United States Air Force, Homestead Air Reserve Base; Corporal Luchmy Luc, United States Marine Corps, Marine Forces South; Master Sergeant Eduardo Marin, United States Air Force, Special Operations Command South, and Sergeant First Class Marcos Vazquez, United States Army, Recruiting Command. The program also recognized Colonel

Pictured are (l-r) Petty Officer Second Class Eric J. Ernst, Master Sergeant Francisco G. Gonzalez, Sergeat First Class Marcos Vazquez, Colonel Lettie Bien, Petty Officer Third Class Joshua Columbo, Petty Officer Second Class Dinorath Adams and Corporal Luchmy Luc. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Lettie Bien, United States Army (Retired), with the Lifetime Contribution to Military Service Award, and featured remarks by Colonel Danny R. McKnight, United States Army (Retired), veteran of the raid in Mogadishu, Somalia as chronicled in the movie and book Black Hawk Down. The 2012 Military Service Person of the

Year Awards were made possible through the generous support from presenting sponsors: Florida National University, American Red Cross of Greater Miami & the Keys, Union Institute & University, and supporting sponsors: The Allen Morris Company; The Beacon Council/Miami-Dade Defense Alliance; The Conroy Martinez Group; Florida Blue, ios

Health Systems; Morrison Brown Argiz & Farra LLP; Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, District 12, and Show Technology Inc. For information about the chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, contact Reina Deleon at 305-577-5438 or by email to <rdeleon@miamichamber.com>.


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U.S. Century Bank hosts event for HACER Scholarship Awards BY ILEANA PORTAL

The Doral headquarters office of U.S. Century Bank, located at 2301 NW 87 Avenue, recently welcomed local McDonalds restaurant owner/operators and recipients of the 2012 HACER scholarships. Each year, the Ronald McDonald House Charities/Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources (RMHC/HACER) awards scholarships to high school seniors of Hispanic descent. Since 1985, RMHC/HACER has awarded more than $13 million in scholarships to more than 11,000 Hispanic students in the U.S. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic achievement, financial need and community involvement. Each year, HACER of South Florida distributes more than $20,000 to local high school students; each student received $2,000 to assist with his or her studies. “As a community bank headquartered in Miami, it’s important for us to

work with local organizations that are impacting our hometown,” said Armando Trabanco, senior vice president and regional manager for U.S. Century Bank. “At U.S. Century Bank we have embraced education as one of our most important causes and through the year, we support a number of initiatives that are enabling the youth of our community to attain their educational goals. We welcome the students who are recipients of these HACER scholarships and applaud the local McDonalds owners/operators who are making these students’ dreams become a reality,” he added. “The HACER scholarship program has grown and has helped thousands of Hispanic students pursue their educational goals thanks to the generous donations of McDonald’s owners/operators in Miami,” said McDonald’s owner/operator Yoyi Rodriguez. “We are pleased to have helped so many Hispanic students achieve their educational goals.”

RMHC of South Florida HACER Scholarship winners (l-r) Kevin Pardinas, Melissa Quintana, Priscilla Suzal-Wright, Xiaowen Wu, Nicolas Carchi, Pamela Saavedra, Lissette Noda, Elianne Vazquez, Kendrick Cancio and Emily Salvador are joined by Ronald McDonald at the 14th annual South Florida HACER Scholarship Award ceremony at US Century Bank headquarters. Pardinas and Salvador were chosen from among thousands of applicants across the country for the national $100,000 scholarship given to four students each year. Pictured in the back are Alejandro Krauskopf, David Beltran and Mathew Penna. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


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Further your fairway swing with club fittings at Planet Golf By Conchita Smith

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

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The pros behind the driver at Planet Golf are taking the game to new heights in South Florida. With the help of sophisticated technology like the Flight Scope launch monitor, precise club fittings are becoming a new local industry standard. Launch angles, ball speed, club speed, and spin can be improved substantially when outfitting a player according to Alfy Martinez. “The launch monitor is a fitting tool,” said Martinez. “It gives us the information we need to properly fit the right club shaft for a golfer. A client who swings at 78 miles an hour can substantially increase the speed of his driver and be swinging at 80, 81 miles per hour.” Store patrons are invited to invest an hour or so with one of the experienced staff members and swing at the in-store hitting bay to determine proper club fitting. The launch monitor and simulator will then take the data and formulate a profile for the right shaft and head club combination possibilities. “Getting fitted for the right clubs will help any golfer on a day to day basis,” said Fittings Specialist Nelson Mesa. “One of the most crucial elements on the course is to have the right lie angles of club head to ground for the best swing. You want to make sure you are entering the ground at the flattest and most efficient level.” Because grip will vary depending on individual body type and arm length, customizing the club for the best fit The Planet Golf Family: Nelson Mesa, Eddy is an indispensable feature option Martinez, Billy Baldwin, Alfy Martinez and for best game play. Standard measAlex Giraldi urements of arm length and height are also taken. “The days of just buying off the rack are over,” said Mesa. “If you are going to invest between $700 and $2000 on a new set of clubs you want to get something that will fit you for a while. We offer complimentary fittings for every club or set of clubs purchased.” Billy Baldwin estimates the savings to clients to be between $45 and $60 for the no charge fittings. “We customize for the client to suit his or her needs,” said Baldwin. “We are here for a long term relationship. We treat our clients like family and want them to feel secure so when they walk out of the store they are taking home what they really need.” The Planet Golf family has over 30 years combined experience in the business, all under one roof. “Launching the fittings to make the game easier and more effective for our clients has been a big part of our transition here in the past year,” said Alfy’s twin brother Eddy Martinez. “We are so happy to all be working together, our clients are finding us and we are making them happy as well.” “You come in the store and everybody is greeting you and in a good mood,” added Mesa. “People drive from all over Florida to visit Billy and the twins. They have done an incredible job helping golf evolve locally and state wide.” Planet Golf Headquarters at 7045 SW 87 Ave To find out more about Planet Golf, call 305-275-9070 planetgolf@att.net planetgolf1.com


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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Grateful Dead Movie Birthday Celebration on the ‘big screen’ BY ERIK STEIN

In celebration of what would have been the 70th birthday of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, NCM Fathom Events and Rhino Entertainment will present “A Birthday Celebration: The Grateful Dead Movie Event” on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 7 p.m., at Movies @ The Falls. During this special in-theater gathering, fans will be treated to the 1977 cinematic concert journey The Grateful Dead Movie, as well as a special birthday commemoration on Garcia directed by Justin Kreutzmann featuring the Dead’s Bob Weir and other surprise guests. Tickets for “A Birthday Celebration: The Grateful Dead Movie Event” are available at participating theater box offices and online at <www.fathomevents.com>. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change). The pre-show birthday commemoration features Weir and other luminaries reflecting on Garcia and also gives fans an inside look at Weir’s new state-of-the-art multimedia studio, the Tamalpais Research Institute (TRI). Audiences also will see a slideshow of rare photos of the band set to a previously unreleased live track. “Bringing The Grateful Dead Movie back to U.S. cinemas is the ultimate way for Dead fans to celebrate Garcia’s 70th birthday,” said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of NCM Fathom Events. “This one-night event will allow fans to gather at their local theaters to honor Garcia as they once again experience the music that made him a legend.”

This one-night event will be broadcast to more than 450 select movie theaters across the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. NCM Fathom Events and Rhino Entertainment recently teamed up for the highly successful cinema presentation of “Grateful Dead Second Annual Meet-Up At The Movies 2012” in April of this year, as well as “The Grateful Dead Movie Event” in April 2011. Recorded more than 35 years ago under the direction of Garcia and co-directed by Leon Gast, The Grateful Dead Movie was shot in October 1974 at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco prior to the Grateful Dead taking a two-year sabbatical. Debuting at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on June 1, 1977, the movie chronicles several different facets of the original Dead Head phenomena and includes band performances of U.S. Blues, One More Saturday Night, Casey Jones, Playing in the Band and Sugar Magnolia, among other Dead classics. The Grateful Dead Movie has become an iconic staple of popular culture for Dead Heads.

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Ocwen Loan Servicing Choosing Principal Balance Reductions over Aggressive Foreclosure Defense

July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

Last call: Miami’s Ultimate Bartender search underway

By Ann Lino • Owe more than your home is worth? • Not paying your mortgage? • Facing Foreclosure?

There may be good news if Ocwen Loan Servicing is handling your loan. Ocwen is taking a new approach to help underwater homeowners. They call it the “Shared Appreciation Modification" (SAM) Program. The test for the SAM program is whether principal balance reductions produce better results than fighting against an aggressive foreclosure defense. “It’s about time.” said Bruce Jacobs, a former bank lawyer who now represents homeowners in foreclosure, “since I started fighting foreclosures in 2008, I found banks rejected principal balance reductions. They only considered debt forgiveness if the homeowner moved out of the home." Ocwen recently started the SAM program and has settled with homeowners that are aggressively fighting their foreclosure in Court. These “SAM’s” reduce the principal balance of underwater mortgages to 95% of today’s fair market value. If the house goes up in value, the bank is entitled to a share of the profits when you sell. “I find many banks are still missing critical documents needed to show the right to foreclose on underwater mortgages.” Said Jacobs, who is also a foreclosure defense client. “I had five mortgages on two properties underwater by almost $500,000.00. I stopped paying and fought. Now I have one mortgage left on one property. It was originally with Countrywide Home Loan. I know they have serious problems with their paperwork. I wish Ocwen was handling my loan.” Jacobs is part of a national network of dedicated lawyers fighting back against Banks. They train at seminars in Las Vegas, Orlando, New York City and online to share resources and develop cutting edge foreclosure defense strategies. Many of the attorneys are former bank lawyers who, like Jacobs, fight for meaningful help for their clients. Jacobs has also lectured in real estate offices and at continuing legal education seminars for other attorneys. “There are reasons banks filed “robo-signed” fraudulent documents in foreclosures all over the country. Many tried to cover-up serious paperwork problems which made proving the right to foreclose in a courtroom difficult.” said Jacobs. “The goal for most of my clients is either a meaningful loan modification with a principal balance reduction, forgiveness of the debt, or to fight to remove the mortgage from the property.” For a FREE consultation with Bruce Jacobs & Associates, call (305) 444-2242 or watch his free webinar: “Strategies for an Underwater Mortgage” at www.negotiatefromstrength.com. It’s not a strategic default if you stop paying your mortgage unless you have a strategy. Advertisement

BY SANDRA RODRIGUEZ

Ultimate Miami LLC— creator of Miami’s hottest talent competitions showcasing local rising stars in the fields of mixology, music and culinary arts — currently is accepting entries for the ultimate Miami bartender through Tuesday, July 31. Participants will compete for a cash prize of $5,000 and the title of Miami’s Ultimate Bartender. The inaugural event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 29, 9 p.m., at Stage 305 inside Magic City Casino and will feature eight finalists competing for the grand prize. American pop-punk band, Bowling for Soup, also will be present for a special musical performance. “We are thrilled that Magic City Casino will be the home of the ultimate Miami bartender competition and look forward to witnessing the crowning of Miami’s Ultimate Bartender on Saturday, Sept. 29, in our newest venue, Stage 305,” said Scott Savin, chief operating officer of Magic City Casino. “It will be an incredible evening filled with great energy and entertainment including live music by Bowling for Soup. We invite the public to join us for this special occasion.” Ultimate Miami’s mission is to discover and support local talent by providing the competitive environment that allows them to shine. Phase One of the Ultimate Miami competition requires participants to complete a free registration form online at <www.theultimatemiami.com> or submit it in person at the Magic City

Casino Players Club by Tuesday, July 31. Phase Two of the competition involves an online fan vote that will determine the finalists. Phase Three completes the competition, when the eight finalists battle for the title of Miami’s Ultimate Bartender in front of a live audience on Saturday, Sept. 29. As a grand finale to the day’s competition, Bowling for Soup will take the stage. Bowling for Soup is an American pop-punk band, which originally formed in Wichita Falls, TX in 1994. The song 1985 from their Top 40 album, A Hangover You Don’t Deserve, reached No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2004. Their cover of the song Stacy’s Mom was recently released as part of a three-track single. In addition, the song, Girl All the Bad Guys Want earned them a 2002 Grammy Award nomination. UPCOMING ULTIMATE MIAMI COMPETITIONS: • Ultimate Miami Band, Nov. 10; taking entries starting Aug. 13. • Ultimate Miami Food Truck, Jan. 5, 2013; taking entries starting Oct. 8. • Ultimate Miami Voice, Mar. 2, 2013; qualifying events starting Nov. 1. • Ultimate Miami Dessert, May 4, 2013; taking entries starting Feb. 4, 2013. • Ultimate Miami Deejay, July 13, 2013; Taking entries starting Apr. 8, 2013. Magic City Casino, located at 450 NW 37 Ave. in Miami, offers free self parking with valet parking available as well. For more information about Ultimate Miami, visit <www.theultimatemiami.com> or call 305-631-4536.


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Miami Spice restaurant program to offer expanded dining options BY PAULINA NARANJO

The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has announced the 11th Annual Miami Spice Restaurant Program — the wildly anticipated summer celebration in which Greater Miami restaurants offer discounted three-course lunch and dinner menus. To make dining deals spicier, new to the program this year is a second option, which will be available simultaneously from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, offering Miami Spice fans more diverse and wide-ranging dining options. The expanded format of Miami Spice — presented by American Express and sponsored by Stella Artois and Bacardi rum — will consist of a two restaurant groups: Luxury Restaurants and Fine Dining Restaurants. • Luxury Restaurants will offer three course prix-fixe lunches at $23 per per-

son, dinners at $39. • Fine Dining Restaurants will feature menus at $19 for lunch, $33 for dinner. All Miami Spice menus include an appetizer, entrée and dessert as part of the fixed price, which excludes tax and gratuities. “Our 2012 revitalized Miami Spice program embraces the city’s ever-growing culinary scene,” said William D. Talbert III, CDME, president and CEO of the GMCVB. “The expanded program gives Miami diners more options and more opportunities to savor the region’s great restaurants.” For an up-to-date list of participating restaurants, menus and scheduled events, visit the Miami Spice Restaurant Program’s dedicated website at <www.iLoveMiamiSpice.com>. Restaurateurs who wish to be considered for Miami Spice should send email to <MiamiSpice@GMCVB.com> for information.


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Hector Wiltz Jr. MD, helps Immigration Law Firm put your best face forward Recruits Top Staff BY NANCY EAGLETON

At the three dermatology offices of Hector Wiltz Jr., MD, located in Kendall and Homestead, Dr. Wiltz collaborates with Eric Bussear, MPH, PA-C, to help patients of all ages achieve and maintain healthy and beautiful skin. They combine their knowledge and vast experience to offer patients a full spectrum of medical and aesthetic dermatologic procedures, including treatments to combat acne, skin conditions such as psoriasis, skin cancer and the signs of aging. Dr. Wiltz, who is board certified in dermatology, received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Pennsylvania and completed a dermatology residency at UMDMJUniversity Hospital in New Jersey. He has been practicing at his Bird Road office located in Kendall Regional Medical Center for 20 years, and specializes in medical dermatologic procedures. Eric Bussear, PA, began his medical career at the age of 19 as a Corpsman for the U.S. Navy. He received his Physician Assistant degree and then obtained a master’s in Public Health from Nova Southeastern University where he also served as a professor. Bussear has obtained vast experience in surgery throughout his medical career, and specializes in cosmetic dermatologic procedures and surgery. The pair offers a variety of treatments to help patients gracefully fight aging, including chemical peels, exfoliation treatments, Botox, injectable fillers and laser procedures. To determine patients’ goals and establish the best treatment plan, Bussear offers new patients a free cosmetic consultation. Botox, one of Bussear’s favorite treatments, helps combat forehead and brow lines and gives the eyes a lift. “I love the results my patients achieve with Botox,” he said. “It’s the No. 1 cosmetic treatment in the country and there’s a reason — it flat out works. When administered properly, it’s the perfect anti-aging remedy and it changes people’s lives.” For a one-two punch against aging, Bussear recommends partnering Botox treatments with filler — such as Juvederm, Radiesse or Restylane — to replace volume lost in the cheeks and lips and plump up laugh lines. “Lips are my specialty,” Bussear said. “I can help patients achieve the lips of their

Achieve healthy and more youthful looking skin at offices of Hector Wiltz Jr., MD. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

youth — lips that are fuller and have that natural edge.” Dr. Wiltz and Bussear offer a variety of lasers, which are effective treatments for fine lines and wrinkles, acne scarring, pigment disorders, blood vessels, vascular birthmarks, psoriasis, angiomas, vitiligo and unwanted tattoos and hair. “The CO2 laser remains the gold standard for resurfacing skin,” Bussear said. “With this treatment, patients need to plan for downtime. On the other hand, the CO2 fractional laser delivers powerful results without the harsh side effects. I typically perform this laser on a Friday and people are back to work on Tuesday.” In the age-old fight against acne, which can affect people at any age, chemical peels can be combined with pharmaceutical grade exfoliating products to achieve clearer skin. These same treatments also are successful to combat pigmentation issues common in Latino and Asian skin. Preventing, diagnosing and treating skin cancer is a priority for Dr. Wiltz and Bussear. They take time to educate their patients on the proactive and preventive steps they can take to keep skin healthy at all ages and stages. Dr. Wiltz also is a teaching practice. Students from Miami Dade College and Keiser University Physician Assistant program shadow Dr. Wiltz and Bussear to gain clinical knowledge from expert dermatologists. The offices of Hector Wiltz Jr., MD, are located at 11760 Bird Rd., Suite 451, 305227-9233; 7400 Kendall Dr., Suite 411, 305-670-0178, and 151 NW 11 St., Suite 201, Homestead, 305-245-1332.

By y Ann n Lino

A newly formed full service immigration law firm, The Hermanni Law Group, recently established offices in Coral Gables and has since recruited several new attorneys to provide clients with a full plate of immigration services. The impetus for creating this firm came from Kurt Hermanni, who had earned a great reputation as a skilled, honest and competent international lawyer dedicated exclusively to the practice of immigration law. Hermanni remembers a time when a client’s friend called from New York to help his detained nephew get a bond from an immigration judge in Krome Detention Center. Thereafter, the family only wanted him despite the added travel expenses. That level of trust and dedication has propelled the Hermanni Law Group to handle cases throughout the United States. That is not hard to understand given the number of cases in which immigrants have been victimized by less principled and trustworthy attorneys. Passionately committed to serve his clients, Hermanni has developed relationships that have dramatically increased his client base through satisfied client referrals. Seeing the growing demand, Hermanni has recruited a group of outstanding lawyers all of whom have a general competency in general immigration law but also have a focus in variety of critical areas. While Hermanni is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, his entire team his fluent in English and Spanish. The firm is currently comprised of five full-time house attorneys: Kurt Hermanni, Senior Partner; Norma Lorenzo, Managing Attorney; and Associate Attorneys Patricia Hernandez, Consuelo de le Ossa, Jenna McQuid and Greg Greenberg. The Hermanni Law Group currently represents numerous international companies throughout the world, with clients in Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, in support of their employees’ short-term or long-term placements in the United States. Additionally, the firm represents clients facing immediate removal from the United States and those seeking asylum, Cuban Adjustment and adjustment status. Successful representations have focused on defense of marriage fraud claims and cases involving violence against women. The firm’s distinguished clientele includes a former South American President and his family, several foreign dignitaries, a former military General, military attaches, professional athletes, and foreign investors from China, Serbia, Colombia, Venezuela, Spain and Italy. The Hermanni Law Group is located at 2655 LeJeune Road, Ste. 800, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Ph: 305 640-8222 or Mobile 786-271-6699. Visit our website at www.legalizationlawyer.com.


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SAMA’s ‘Topless in Miami’ features top convertibles BY PAUL BORDEN

It seems such a natural fit — convertibles and South Florida — you might think that it would have been the first thing to come to mind when the board of the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA), which is based in Miami, began mulling over ideas for another event to add to its yearly calendar. When the organization was formed in March 2007, the first thing it did was work with the South Florida Auto Dealers Association to coordinate an awards program for the South Florida International Auto Show. That fall, SAMA selected its first “Star of the Show” of the event, which draws more than 600,000 visitors annually in the fall to the Miami Beach Convention Center — the Cadillac CTS. The following year, SAMA held its first Rides-N-Smiles event, treating pediatric patients from Baptist Children’s Hospital who suffer from chronic childhood illness such as cancer, diabetes, Crohn’s and Colitis, and brain injuries, to a day of rides around the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course in luxury performance cars. In the past couple of years, that event has

Pictured (l-r) are the winners of the SAMA second annual Topless in Miami competition: Fiat500c Gucci Edition; Mercedes Benz SLS AMG; Chevrolet Camaro; Audi TT-S, and Jaguar XKR-S.

grown to add families from Miami Children’s Hospital and continues to grow thanks to the efforts of Bill Adam, SAMA vice president. The 2012 Rides-N-Smiles is scheduled for Nov. 10 at the HomesteadMiami Speedway. But always in the back of everyone’s mind was the idea of a third event for the spring to

balance out the schedule. It would be loosely based on the Texas Truck Rodeo competition that the Texas Auto Writers Association conducts in the Lone Star State, but featuring another automotive segment. Though pickups and SUVs are popular in South Florida, especially when it comes to towing boats, they don’t really fit into the area’s image. Consideration was given to luxury cars. After all, you can’t drive up and down Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive without encountering at least one and usually several exotics that make you stop and go “whoa.” That idea never got off the ground. Then thoughts turned to the evolving “Green Car” market of hybrids and electric vehicles. But that didn’t take off either. Finally, at a breakfast board meeting, someone broached the idea to feature a convertible competition, and that got unanimous and enthusiastic approval. Thus “Topless in Miami” came into being. From the name, you might think this meeting was held during cocktail hour, but coffee, orange juice and tea were the only beverages on the table. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne also was the unanimous choice for the headquarters as the hotel not only is in an exotic beach location, but has a big auxiliary entrance that would serve as a staging area for the cars. A convenient, short driving area along Crandon Boulevard that presents several great photo backdrops is available right there as well. It works this way: SAMA members take the cars out for quick spins and score them on design, driving experience, and the ease of raising and lowering the tops. One-button operations that secure themselves get high marks. Several factory representatives are in attendance to answer questions and ride along to offer additional information if the media member desires. The process begins in the morning and continues through late afternoon when all the scores are tallied, and winners in four

categories plus an overall Convertible of the Year are announced during a banquet that evening. It is a fun to participate, but it’s not exactly an easy task. The quality of the 17 vehicles entered in the most recent (June 14) second annual competition reflects the strides the industry as a whole has made in recent years in overall quality and design. The other difficulty is getting the vehicles into a proper category as well as defining the categories. Luxury, small and sports cars are somewhat obvious segments, but a fourth presented a bit of a challenge. The decision was made to classify convertibles with fourpassenger capacity as “family” vehicles. It worked out great in 2011 when the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet was the winner of the “family” category, but classifying the winning 2012 Chevrolet Camaro as a “family convertible” might be stretching things a bit. But those are details that are to be worked out in the future. The turnout of 71 SAMA members for 2012, nearly 20 more than the number of members who took part in the first year’s event, would seem to be evidence of the enthusiasm SAMA members have for Topless in Miami. Other winners for 2012 are the MercedesBenz SLS AMG Roadster as Convertible of the Year; the Jaguar XKR-S as Luxury Convertible of the Year; Camaro as Best Family Convertible; Audi TT S-Tronic Roadster as Best Sports Car Convertible, and the Gucci edition of the Fiat 500C as Best Small Convertible. The Fiat was a repeat winner in the category from the inaugural event in 2011, when the Audi R8 Spyder won the voting for 2011 Convertible of the Year. Other winners in 2011 were the BMW 650i, Chevy Corvette, and, as mentioned, the Murano CrossCabriolet. But considering the support from the manufacturers and the turnout of the membership, a sixth winner on a bright, sunny South Florida day was SAMA itself.


July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Dadeland Mall welcomes variety of new tenants BY ALICIA WHITLEY

Dadeland Mall has announced an exciting array of retail and dining options joining the property including Misaki, King Kone Hand Rolls, Strive and Crepe Maker. Additionally, Zara has expanded its store and added a Zara Children section and Koko & Palenki has moved to a larger location within the mall. “Dadeland Mall is always striving to enhance our exciting mix of retailers,” said Maria Prado, mall manager. “We are pleased to welcome each of these vibrant new tenants to the property.” Misaki, a luxurious, high-end jeweler specializing in pearls opened its doors in the spring. The brand, which has been spotted on celebrities such as Julianne Hough, Nicole Scherzinger and Sarah Hyland, strives to combine the timeless and classic beauty of pearls along with contemporary design. The 508-square-foot space is located next to Michael Kors. Zara, the popular international fashion company offering on-trend looks for women, men and children, has expanded its collection, which became available to shoppers in May, to include a Zara Children. The Zara Children line offers sizes for boys and girls that range in age from 2 to 14. The 16,499-square-foot store is located next to Saks Fifth Avenue inside the mall. Strive, a retailer specializing in footwear, recently opened 1,556-square-foot store

next to Nordstrom inside the mall. Strive offers a wide selection of Crocs. A Miami staple, Koko & Palenki expanded to a 3,147-square-foot space between the Apple Store and Victoria’s Secret earlier this month. The shoe and accessory-focused store offers designer looks in familiar names such as Elie Tahari, Mystique, Pelle Moda, True Religion and Boutique 9. Stylish shoppers also can find apparel and looks from Alice & Olivia, DVF, Rebecca Minkoff and many more. King Kone Hand Rolls just opened inside the food court and offers a healthier, unique dining option. The “kone”-shaped packaging allows customers to enjoy their selection on the go, forever changing the way sushi is consumed. A large selection of “kones” including spicy tune, ceviche, Mexican, crunchy salmon, dragon and more are available along with traditional rolls and a variety of sides, desserts and “kombos.” C repeMaker, a delicious addition in the east mall area near Aeropostale and scheduled to open mid-July, offers a wide variety of sweet, salad and savory crepe combinations. Kids’ crepes and breakfast crepes also are available. The CrepeMaker conception came from the Parisian street cart vendors, and after opening its first location in 1992, the CrepeMaker now boasts locations from coast to coast. For more information, visit the Simon Property Group website at <www.simon.com>.

CUSTOM SUITS • EXPERT ALTERATIONS At John the Tailor our mission statement is “to produce high quality men’s custom suits and shirts that fit as close to perfect the very first time. Also, we know how important alterations are to you, and we offer the best alterations Miami has to offer.” We have served the Miami community for over 28 years, Call us to schedule an appointment, at:

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www.johnthetailor.net


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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

Organization brings hope, opportunities to urban youth BY LEE STEPHENS

After piloting its programs locally for two years, UrbanPromise Miami officially kicked off its services in the South Florida community recently with an inaugural celebration at the Coral Gables Museum that drew nearly 300 attendees and raised $60,000. UrbanPromise Miami, a non-profit organization serving children in high-risk urban areas in Miami-Dade County, is based on the successful program model of UrbanPromise Camden in New Jersey that works to help youth graduate and succeed in what has been called “one of America’s most violent cities.” For its success in Camden, UrbanPromise has been featured on ABC’s 20/20 and the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). “We were inspired by the difference UrbanPromise has made in Camden, and we’ve replicated that model here,” said Dr. Ana M. Ojeda, co-founder and executive director of UrbanPromise Miami. “Although Miami is often depicted as a tourist’s paradise, the truth is Miami is one of the poorest big cities in the country. The youth in our urban areas face overwhelming hurdles, and our role is to provide them with opportunities and support that might not otherwise be

available to them.” Through its after school and summer camp programs, UrbanPromise offers tutoring, academic enrichment activities, professional coaching in reading, professional psychological counseling, and arts and sports activities to youth ages 5-18 at no cost. Its unique StreetLeader Program also provides teens with vocational and leadership training, as they are taught to serve as mentors and camp counselors to younger children in the program. UrbanPromise Miami’s mission is to equip children for academic achievement, life management, leadership, and spiritual growth. Its after school and summer camp program site currently is located in East Little Havana. During the inaugural celebration, UrbanPromise Miami StreetLeaders shared their experiences from participating in the program. “The UP staff and interns taught me what it meant to trust somebody for the first time,” said one 17-year-old in a written testimonial displayed at the event. “They were patient with me and accepted me for who I was. I felt welcomed and loved from the moment I walked in, despite the walls I had put up around me.”

Pictured (l-r) are Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and UrbanPromise Miami co-founder Kristy Nuñez, Esq. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Another event highlight included the “Chen Medical Challenge” issued by Dr. Gordon Chen, ChenMed senior vice president, who also serves on the UrbanPromise Miami board. Dr. Chen called on attendees to pledge a dollar a day to sponsor a child for a full year. Many attendees stepped up to the challenge, filling out pledge cards to sponsor children for a full year of after school and summer camp programs with UrbanPromise. The celebration featured a live performance of classic rock hits by local band People You Know and a silent auction. Guests included Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Judge Andrea Ricker-Wolfson, Judge Jorge RodriguezChomat, Judge Deborah White-Labora, Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens, and Judge

Don Cohn, School Board vice chair Dr. Lawrence Feldman, and Coral Gables Commissioner Frank Quesada. Major event corporate sponsors included ChenMed, Mayoral Dermatology, and Cantera & Associates. “We’ve started with a site in East Little Havana, and we plan to continue growing to other under-served neighborhoods,” said Kristy Nuñez, Esq., UrbanPromise Miami co-founder. “The need is so great; we can’t work fast enough to meet it. Our vision is to equip children to avoid negative life choices such as dropping out, drugs, and crime and give them the guidance and tools to graduate and succeed.” For more information, visit <www.urbanpromisemiami.org>.

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Miami-Dade agriculture helping feed the nation

Pictured are row crops growing in South Miami-Dade County. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

Farms in South Miami-Dade County produce most of the winter vegetables for the nation. In the summer, other crops take center stage, including mangos and other fruits. Tom Rieder, a member of the Dade County Farm Bureau, said farming is the county’s second largest industry. “It’s not just a job, it’s a way of life,” Rieder said. “Some of them [farmers] have gone to college, some have PhD’s. It’s become difficult because of the free trade agreement and with the price of rents.” Rieder should know, he’s a Realtor at Rieder Realty, specializing in agricultural real estate, working the agricultural side of the business from Orlando south. “I’ve been doing this for a little over 40 years,” he said. “Agriculture has always been my focus. There are some real problems they are having now. This free trade with Mexico…” Another problem is who is going to pick the crops. The anti-immigration rhetoric and strong anti-immigrant laws passed in Alabama and other Southern states have scared away many migrant workers. Crops are often picked by undocumented immigrants who are willing to do jobs that Americans won’t. “There are a lot of people who physically can’t go out there and pick crops for 8-10 hours a day,” Rieder said. “The farming down here is different from the rest of the state. Most of our fields down here you get two crops a year.” Those crops can be beans, tomatoes, squash and zucchini. Rieder said they are starting to see some farmers growing sugar cane on land that ordinarily wouldn’t be used for farming but does very well for sugar cane. Along with vegetable and fruit crops, the Redland and Homestead areas also are home to land and container nurseries.

“One of our nurseries, Costa is probably one of the largest in the country,” Rieder said. “We have a type of soil named marl. It holds the moisture and, because it does not have much rock in it, it’s easy for the farmers to root prune.” The soil clings to the roots, which helps keep the plants and trees alive and thriving while in the containers. It also helps when the tree is transplanted. However, the nursery business is tied to construction. “When construction fell off, so did the inground nursery business,” he said. “The container nurseries, they are shipping them all over the world. They’ve created a market.” The advantages of farming in South Miami-Dade include access to water and land that is less susceptible to frost. Rieder said the Farm Bureau is encouraging farmers to look at the idea of selling produce directly to the consumer. “We’re trying to come up with a method of being able to sell direct, trying to contact restaurants and clubs,” he said. “We can provide fresh fruits at a better price.” There also are bus tours available. Those tours take the people to packing houses and they can buy fruits and vegetables right there. “Most produce goes to Lakeland and is packed and brought back down to Miami,” Rieder said. Farmers work closely with the Farm Bureau and the Farm Bureau works closely with the agriculture extension offices of the University of Florida on a variety of issues, including pesticides. One of the most recent issues farmers have been alerted to is the Redbay Ambrosia Beetle, which is harmful to avocado trees. Rieder said farmers in the region are trying to get federal funding for experimenting with new types of farming, like hydroponic farming, that could allow row crops to grow year round.

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Gulliver’s Mark Schusterman named National HS Softball Coach of Year BY MELISSA LICHTENHELD

Mark Schusterman, athletic director and softball coach at Gulliver Preparatory School, is this year’s National High School Softball Coach of the Year, an award presented by the National High School Coaches Association. Schusterman is a 32-year coaching veteran in five sports. During his 26th season directing the Raiders girls softball program, the team won its third consecutive state championship. Gulliver Prep, the first high school in the county ever to take back-toback state titles, won 3A state titles in 1998, 2001, 2010, 2011 and 2012. “In receiving this award, my thanks go out to my outstanding staff and coaches for all their hard work that allows me to devote time to this team of fantastic student athletes,” Schusterman said. “This award also belongs to the softball coaching staff, which has worked so hard to make all this possible.” This is Schusterman’s second consecutive national award for coaching softball. In 2011, ESPN Rise awarded Schusterman its National Coach of the Year title. Schusterman, who began his coaching

career with Gulliver Schools in 1985, was named Gulliver Prep athletic director in 2007 after serving 13 years as athletic director of Gulliver’s Middle School. He has coached softball, cross country, football, boys basketball and girls basketball. He led Gulliver to its first state title in 1998. In 2009, he was inducted into the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. A graduate of Florida International University with a degree in history, he began his coaching career at Miami Killian High in 1980, then became head basketball coach at Miami LaSalle High in 1984. The next year he moved to Gulliver Prep, where he taught history classes for his first 10 years along with coaching. In 2001, the Miami Herald named him Miami-Dade County Male Coach of the Year. He currently serves as Florida Athletic Coaches Association’s state softball chair and is a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association softball advisory committee. The NHSCA is a nonprofit organization that provides leadership and support to coaches and administrators and their programs. For more information about Gulliver Schools visit online at <www.gulliverschools.org>.


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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

Cutler Bay Business Association Luncheon NETWORKING on July 12, 2012

Photos by: Gary Alan Ruse

In the Palm Room of Palmetto Bay Village Center.

A luncheon of barbeque burgers, hot dogs, fixings and treats.

CBBA Vice President Darryl Boyette (right) and his wife Elizabeth provided the meal.

A good turnout of members networking despite the rainy day.

CBBA President Cyndi Rogg (center) with other members.

Sally Sims, VP Marketing and Business Development, University Credit Union.

Wade Nembhard gave a presentation on social media marketing for business.

CBBA member Jean Tong Noon is pictured enjoying the meeting.

Cyndi Rogg and Wade Nembhard draw business cards for prizes.

Ivonne Cuesta (right), who is running for County Judge, receives a doorprize.

Cyndi holds pictures as Darryl tells about his new granddaughter.

Alva R. Royston, President of A. Randall Financial (left) and Sue Cruz, CEO of Playville Party Rentals.

Summer Social Tuesday, August 14th 6:00 - 8:00pm at Sunstate Bank 14095 South Dixie Highway, Palmetto Bay


July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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Page 49

Popular Audi ‘allroad’ returns in 2013 model lineup Ron Beasley LET’S TALK CARS Audi has become a major player in the U.S., and a recent report that it sold more vehicles in June than in any month since entering the market 42 years ago only served to solidify that fact. Audi set a new all-time monthly U.S. sales record with 12,664 vehicles sold, a 26 percent increase over June 2011, and the 18th consecutive monthly sales record. On the heels of those figures came the announcement that Audi will bring back the iconic “allroad” in the 2013 lineup, a popular model discontinued in 2004. Audi honchos believe the time is right for the return of a station wagon type of vehicle with allweather capabilities and great driving dynamics. The new allroad does that and improves on the original by combining the best elements of a rugged crossover and an executive sedan. It’s faster and more fuel efficient, and with 7.1 inches of ground

clearance, it meets the outdoor lifestyle needs of today’s consumer. The allroad has a sleek design and a taller profile, rides on 18-inch wheels (19-inchers are optional), and has a unique single-frame grille design with vertical chrome struts and angled upper corners. Stainless steel skid plates and side sills, contrasting body trim and aluminum raised roof rails highlight the profile, while matte-finished lower bumpers and wheel arches are standard. Sleek headlights and circular fog lights finish off the front, while circular dual-exhaust openings polish the rear. The allroad is wonderfully responsive with its 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged, directinjected four-cylinder engine that delivers 211 hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque, mated to a fuel efficient eight-speed automatic transmission. It clocks 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds; Quattro all-wheel drive is standard and a new electromechanical steering system saves weight, improves fuel economy and refines performance. On the inside, the allroad is spacious, with plenty of front-seat headroom and 27 cubic feet of cargo space, almost double that with the rear seats folded flat. A panoramic sunroof is standard, along with

Audi allroad has a sleek design and a unique single-frame grille with vertical chrome struts. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

eight-way power seats, a choice of three wood inlays and a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 14 speakers. The allroad is loaded with technology, including adaptive front lighting and Audi side assist, which uses radar to monitor the space behind and beside the car and detects any vehicles in adjacent lanes. An optional Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control, which keeps the vehicle at a constant distance from the vehicle ahead. Allroad also offers Audi Connect, a Google Earth integration to navigation that

gives panoramic high-resolution 3D satellite views and aerial imagery. Audi Connect also provides a factory vehicle integration of Wi-Fi service, allowing connections for up to eight devices. Base price on the 2013 Audi allroad is $39,600. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.


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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

RIVIERA HEALTH RESORT NEWS - July 2012 -

Riviera Health Resort Now Open Accepting Medicare and Select Insurance Plans Combining post-acute care and rehabilitation services within a luxury boutique hotel environment, Riviera Health Resort is proud to announce that it has welcomed its first guests to the state-of-the-art, 223-bed facility. Poised to redefine the way healthcare is delivered to South Florida, Riviera Health Resort features an array of complex care services that cater to the needs of guests that require short and long term care as they transition from the hospital to home, with an emphasis on post-stroke and hip and knee replacement recovery. Riviera Health Resort’s multi-faceted team of trained specialists assist guests in expediting their recovery process and restoring function through a highly-focused, personalized program of integrated therapy. Call us today to schedule a visit. You and your loved ones could not be in better hands.

Dr. Ismael Roque-Velasco Named Chief Administrative Officer

Congratulations to Alina Richardson

Dr. Ismael Roque-Velasco, one of the area’s most respected professionals in the arena of post-acute care and rehabilitation, is the Chief Administrative Officer of the newly-opened Riviera Health Resort. Earning accolades for his visionary approach, Dr. Roque-Velasco brings 20 years of success to the one-of-a-kind facility. “Dr. Roque-Velasco will be an instrumental figure in achieving the facility’s goal of redefining the way healthcare is delivered,” said Richard Stacey, CEO of Riviera Health Resort.

Our first post-elective surgery guest, who is now up and about, and back home after rehabilitating from a total hip replacement. Thank you for your faith in Riviera Health Resort.

(L-R) Dr. Israel Cabrera, Medical Director, Riviera Health Resort; Julissa Diaz, MSPT, Clinical Liaison/Business Development, Riviera Health Resort; and Ms. Alina Richardson.

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Riviera Health Resort is located at 6901 Yumuri Street in Coral Gables. For a consultation and tour of the facility, contact Riviera’s guest services team at 786-5176999 or visit www.rivierahealthresort.com

Riviera Health Resort’s post-acute care and rehabilitation offerings are designed for individuals who have experienced a recent injury, illness, procedure – such as joint replacement – or suffered an impairment. Riviera provides guests with an intensive, highly-focused program of integrated therapy, including physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapy; neuropsychology with cognitive therapy; and IV therapy; wound care; cardiac recovery; sports medicine rehabilitation and more. The facility’s Outpatient Rehabilitation offerings promote the continuum of care and wellness and include services such as functional assessments, physical therapy, audiology, vestibular rehabilitation, back/spine programs, women’s specialized wellness, post-joint replacement programs, and sports medicine rehabilitation among numerous others.


July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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County’s arts and culture sector Hawk’s Cay Resort creates generates $1 billion for economy Heroes Welcome Program BY KELLY ALLOCCO

The most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, was announced recently by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Miami-Dade County’s Department of Cultural Affairs participated in tandem with 181 other communities and regions across the country representing all 50 states, focusing on two areas: (1) the economic impact of spending by cultural organizations, and (2) the impact of eventrelated spending by these organizations’ audiences. Miami-Dade County’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations represent a significant business industry in Miami-Dade County — one that generates almost $1.1 billion in local economic activity, an almost 17 percent increase over the last study released five years ago. This spending — $673.95 million by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and an additional $402.2 million in event-related spending by their audiences — supports 29,792 fulltime equivalent jobs. Attendance at cultural events also shows an increasing trend, demonstrating that Miami-Dade’s audiences are growing, representing over 13.5 million cultural attendees annually as compared to 12.7 million five years ago when the last study was conducted. These results put Miami-Dade County among the top tier of comparable

metropolitan areas and demonstrate how the arts are effective catalysts for strengthening the economy and making MiamiDade County more competitive nationally for business, tourism and the arts. “This landmark study confirms what we all know to be true — the arts and cultural industry in Miami-Dade County is a major force in making this a world-class metropolis for business and a great place to raise our families,” said Adolfo Henriques, chair of the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council. “Our outstanding cultural community is putting us on the map as one of the newest and most culturally vibrant places in the world and as the ‘go-to’ destination for economic and cultural innovation and diversity.” The rapid rise of Miami-Dade County’s arts and cultural industry is a national success story. Today, there are more entertainment and educational opportunities for families and children than ever. Miami’s vibrant cultural life is a direct contributor to the county’s resurgence as a center for international tourism and commerce. Culture helps to understand and celebrate the community’s remarkable diversity and history. Investments in arts and culture industry continue to enhance the quality of life for Miami-Dade County’s residents and visitors, strengthen the local economy and play a strategic role in developing, attracting and retaining creative people, and nurturing creative industries. The full text of the local Miami-Dade County study is available online at <www.miamidadearts.org>.

Community Newspapers

BY HOLLY ZAWYER

In recognition of the bravery and dedication of America’s heroes, Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys has announced it will once again honor military, fire and rescue, law enforcement and medical personnel through its Heroes Welcome Program. Running Aug. 20 through Nov. 18, the annual program features starting rates at just $99, special discounts on resort activities and a series of tribute events. A portion of proceeds of each room booked will benefit the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and, through a unique partnership with renowned artist Guy Harvey, additional charity organizations dedicated to assisting our heroes and their families. “Hawks Cay is a place for families to reconnect and bond through unique and fun activities,” said Sheldon Suga, Hawks Cay Resort managing director. “We are honored to be able to host America’s heroes and their loved ones with tributes, celebrations, and the relaxation they deserve. “This is our fourth annual Heroes Welcome and we’ve expanded the programming this year to include events and activities each weekend throughout the season that honor the various divisions of our heroes — from police and fire to military and medical personnel,” he said. “This is our way of giving thanks, paying homage, and above all celebrating our heroic guests.” The highlight of the Heroes Welcome program is the resort’s weekly “Heroes in Action” tribute ceremony that takes place every Saturday night at sunset around the Resort’s famous Fire Pit. The heartwarming slideshow and video presentation feature pictures provided by guests and iconic imagery that is followed by a lighting ceremony as a tribute to all fallen heroes and those currently in action. The evening continues with live music under the stars. Additional events planned throughout the program includes a touch-a-truck experience; fishing tournament, and the resort’s Down at the Docks celebration, a dockside evening event featuring Coast Guard demos, local ven-

dors and live entertainment. Visit www.HawksCayHeroes.com for a calendar of events. For the first time in the history of the program, the resort has partnered with renowned artist Guy Harvey who will create a souvenir shirt commemorating this year’s Heroes Welcome and honoring its participants. A portion of proceeds from the program will go to a collection of charities selected by Guy Harvey, including Birdies for the Brave, which supports members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Another portion of the proceeds will go to Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, an organization created by Firehouse Subs, a fast-casual restaurant with 508 locations, to better equip, educate and fund public safety entities. While the $99 starting rate is limited to American heroes, all resort guests can receive a special 20 percent off the best available rate by making a donation of $2 to supported foundations. For Heroes Welcome reservations, visit <www.HawksCayHeroes.com> or call 1888-313-5749. Hawks Cay Resort, located on Duck Key in the middle Florida Keys, is the premier destination in all of the Florida Keys for outdoor fun. Alongside the emerald water of the Atlantic Ocean, guests enjoy offshore, flats and backcountry fishing; diving; kayaking; kiteboarding and standup paddle boarding programs; Cliff Drysdale tennis program; Segway tours and the only resort-based Dolphin Connection program in the continental U.S. The 60-acre resort boasts 177 guestrooms and 225 two- and three-bedroom villas, a fullservice marina, five signature restaurants, saltwater lagoon, five swimming pools, kid and teen clubs and the award-winning Calm Waters Spa. A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts and a AAA Four-Diamond Award recipient, the resort is owned and operated by Northview Hotel Group, which completed a $35 million resort renovation in 2008. The resort has been rated by local brides and voted The Knot Best of Weddings 2012 Pick.


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 HELP WANTED

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OPERATIONS RESEARCH MANAGER

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5 yrs exp. & BA in Business Adm. Req. Prepare management reports defining & evaluating problems & recommending solutions. Mail res to: Brefaroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nobile Food LLC 5340 NW 165 Street Hialeah, FL 33014

BA in Business Ad. & 5 yrs exp. Req. Prepare or direct preparation of financial statements, Business activity reports, annual budget required by Regulatory agencies. Mail res to: USA Laminates LLC 200 W. 24 Street Hialeah, FL 33010

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OPERATIONS RESEARCH ANALYST BA in Bus. Adm. or Industrial Relations. 5yrs exp. req. Prepare management reports defining & evaluating problems and recommending solutions.

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Mail resume to: Coral Sun Marine Cons, LLC 2800 Biscayne Blvd, Suite 333 Miami, FL 33137

EASY FUN JOB

Kendall area Female preferred Must have a valid driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s license occasionally to drive a 2012 car Part time available Salary/Days/Hours open Must be personable Contact Herb at 786-242-8878

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Featured Listings PINECREST

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6131 SW 128 St, Pinecrest ...................Short Sale........ .$2,199,000 7/9 Mansion with the best schools, elaborate everything 10903 N. Kendall Drive, Apt. 112 ................Only..................$125,000 3.2 at Castle Condo’s - 2 steps from pool 9390 W. Flagler Street, Apt. 221B................Only................. $99,000 Gated community - open layout/tiled

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3024 Center St .........................................Pending...............$199,900 Coconut Grove - 2/2.5 with roof top patio 9055 SW 73 Ct, #1009, Metropolis ........Short Sale..........$199,000 3/2 Granite Kitchen 13231 SW 105 ave, Falls Area ............................................$474,000 4/2.5 with 2 car garage/pool/large yard/Updated . 11048 SW 154 Pl ..................................Pending...................$149,000 Fabulous 3/2 Townhome with Garage, screened patio, tankless water heater

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13231 SW 105 AVE - $474,000 Updated 4/2.5 home that is 2700 sq ft and 18000 sq ft lot. Really great layout-granite kitchen, breakfast area, 2 car garage, inside laundry area, tile and oak wood floors, hurricane shutters, great street centrally located to jump on turnpike extension or US 1. Everything is done! Just move in!

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I work with Buyers, Sellers and Rentals! Please look for more details on these wonderful homes at Pammayers.com

List with the best! EWM sells a million dollar home every 18 hours! You can’t afford to list with anyone else!

Should you buy a short sale? or Shoot yourself in the foot. It might feel the same at times. So here is what you should expect in a short sale-the good, the bad and the evil.

T

he good--First you see this updated home on the Internet. Eighty-five percent of buyers preview their home on the Internet. The people bought it in 2005 or they took out an equity line on top of their mortgage and now they are upside down and need to sell. It has updated baths, granite kitchen and they moved the pool to build a wrap around porch that is amazing for parties. The price is great and even your husband is excited. You both leave work early so the back yard can be seen in the daylight. You love it!!! (Short sales are better priced than regular homes but not as good as foreclosures. ) I put in a contract right away. What should you pay? Depends if you get in a competition. If that happens expect to pay full price or more. The seller usually has a lawyer they insist you use-so they now pay your title because they are the escrow and title agent. Which does save you big money. You get the house and now are thoroughly confused what the time line is. Be assured

friends will tell you horror short sale stories—all factual of course. You only have to put $1000 down. There is no money spent on inspections or an appraisal right away. How bad can it get? The Bad-So the money is sent to the sellers title and escrow lawyer. I recom-

Great for investment as a rental or to live. Has screened in porch going along property that looks directly at pool. On ground floors with no steps too. Freashly painted 3/2 with huge rooms and huge closets. Located at Castle Condo's out Kendall and 109th.

mend my customers to hand drop it by to see the law firm or title company. If it is a PO Box that is not a good sign. These are the people who are negotiating the short sale. A short sale is much more about the seller than the buyer. Now the seller must give extensive records showing they qualify for a short sale. Then the bank that holds the mortgage does an appraisal to see if the price is true market value. If they want more money the bank will counter. ( I just had a condo that was bought for $48K get a counter of $67K .) If the bank changes the price you can cancel the contract. (So what is an Approved short sales?--homes that already have the appraisal and the bank has approved the sellers financial situation-RARITY) Did the sellers mention there are two mortgages? A much harder short sale. That is a question to always ask!! Both mortgage companies can agree on the short sale but the first has to okay the payoffs for the second. Maybe they want the second mortgage to get $3000 and the second mortgage wants $5000. Yes, this is usually the pay off price even if the second mortgage is $75K. The first mortgage can nix it because they are in control. This after 6 months of waiting. The Evil-the bank approves the short

9390 W FLAGLER ST - $99,000 Wonderful 2/1 at super price. Modern, clean, regular sale and in gated community with pool. Located between Palmetto and Turnpike - super investment or live there.

sale. Usually the bank gives 30 days but the paralegal was on vacation and no one told you-- now you have 25. The contract is LIVE and all dates start quick. Time for that much bigger second deposit-ouch. The banks give exact dates with specifics and the sellers have to sign this. Make sure you get a copy. So now your mortgage guy has to jump on the appraisal and you need to have the inspection lined up yesterday. Don't forget to do the insurance inspections at the same time! If a problem is found with the home the seller usually doesn't have money to fix it but maybe the bank does. One of my customers got a free roof--but that is a rarity. Are you excited to close and move in? Remember, the owners are living there free. Do you think they want to move fast? Would you? Actually I work with a short sale lawyer, Dania Fernandez, and we do this all the time. No short sale is perfect but you can find great deals. It is truly a lesson in patience. My sister, Christy found out she was pregnant in June. Went into short sale contract in July. Life was good. She closed last week on her short sale. She delivers in two weeks. Then we are going to have an amazing party under her wrap-around-porch by her moved pool.


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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

TWOCHEFS restaurant.com

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July 24 - Aug. 6, 2012

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Page 63

Restaurant Corner For advertising information call (305) 669-7030

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7.24.2012 South Miami News