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Dec 27, 2011- Jan. 9, 2012

Commissioner Palmer reflects Around Town and considers re-election Flores gets

BY RAQUEL GARCIA

C

ommissioner Velma Palmer strides confidently into the room. Her classic outfit accentuated by a Versace scarf and scholarly spectacles seem to magnify an apparently all-knowing glance that must come from over 30 years of teaching youth. Before she has a chance to sit down, supporters try to pull her aside to confirm she is planning to run for re-election. After serving eight years as city c o m m i s s i o n e r, Palmer has decided to meet with Community Newspapers as the seasoned commissioner contemplates whether or not to commit to another Commissioner Palmer campaign. outside city hall “I never considered myself a politician and I still don’t. This all began nearly 10 years ago when I would help citizens fill out paper-

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COMMISSIONER, page 5

The Great Toy Give Away

Key to the City BY MICHAEL MILLER

Executive Editor

A

(Center to right) Friends Kashif Majid and Jaden Huergo pick out a set of transformers and a football as their chosen holiday present at the Toy Fest Give-Away sponsored by Interval International at the Gibson Bethel Community Center. (See story page 9)

hearty congratulation is in order for stalwart community leader Executive Vice President of First National Bank of South Miami Veronica Birch Flores. Flores was recently given the key to the city by Mayor Philip Stoddard for her tireless efforts to make certain the Parade of Elves went off this year without a hitch. Flores convinced the city manager to not burden the business community with the $10,000 outlay required for police and street closings. She also rallied past volunteers and supporters to come together to ensure the 29th annual parade adored by parents, kids and locals all over would actually materialize. There

Santa’s DUI Checkpoint BY RAQUEL GARCIA

T

he largest multiagency DUI sting operation in South Miami history was conducted on a recent Friday night on US1 near Sunset Drive. The police department’s “Santa’s DUI Checkpoint” yielded 34 arrests made (17 for DUI), 256 summons issued, and 1844 community contacts or conversations initiated between patrolling officers and vehicle operators. For four hours from 10pm to 2:30am on D ecember 9, police officers from 13 different agencies such as the City of Officers on the ground work the DUI Checkpoint Miami, Pinecrest, Coral Gables, University on both sides of US1 of Miami and Florida Highway Patrol were stationed along with SMPD officers ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– See page 7 between 63 and 64 Avenue on US1. “It

DUI

Mayor Philip Stoddard presents Executive VP at First National Bank of South Miami Veronica Flores with a key to the city

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– See KEY, page 3


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Have a Healthy New Year! It has been said that the first wealth is health. At Baptist Health, we’ve known for more than half a century how true that is. As we begin a brand-new year, we wish you and your loved ones a wealth of health for 2012.

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

KEY, from page 1

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were doubts in November as to whether or not this long standing tradition would happen due to a late start and the unavailability of long time Parade of Elves coordinator Barbara Acker. New Year’s Eve in SoMi Why drive all the way to downtown or South Beach and risk sharing the road with unenlightened drivers for New Year’s Eve? How about staying in hometown and bringing in the year among area friends while supporting neighborhood establishments. There is a plethora of party possibilities downtown at Shula’s 347 or perhaps George’s or Town Kitchen and Bar. Try Splitsville for an original family celebration or Segafredo after a nice dinner at RA Sushi? Bouganvillea’s is planning a special night and Old Lisbon and Fox’s Lounge are sure to please. Then there are some new haunts where you can help bring in their inaugural New Year such as Sports Grill and Buffalo’s. Sunset Tavern and Deli Lane will be cranking up the fun and pumping up the volume with live music and special entrees and elixirs to help you forget your resolutions for the night. So, Happy New Year to all and make it a safe and special affair to remember.

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Save the date for UM tradition The University of Miami 61st Annual Beaux Arts Festival is coming up the weekend of January 7 and 8 from 10am to 5pm at the Lowe Art Museum. Bring your family and friends to stroll around the beautiful campus and peruse the extensive collection of a wide range of art. The juried exhibition will also include live music, children’s entertainment--including art for kids, and the gourmet food trucks will be ready to serve. To find out more visit: beauxartsmiami.org or call 305-668-8499. Dangerously Out of Touch Seven months ago attorney Henry T. Courtney received a “Civil Infraction Notice” from the code enforcement office for cracks and potholes behind his business at 5801 SW 72 Street. Ten different potholes, three of which were at least 30 inches long and five inches deep were ruining the tires of cars driving by and creating potentially serious liability hazards. The only problem was that the potholes were actually property of the City of South Miami. Courtney proved this when he presented a letter from former city manager Maria V. Davis from 2004 stating as much immediately after he received the infraction notice. Courtney wrote letters and personally attempted to contact everybody and anybody at city hall to resolve this increasingly dangerous problem. Said Courtney about the futility of his attempts to fix the problem

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after trying to reach the city for months: “If the shoe were on the other foot and it was our property, we would have already been issued a fine and a lien put on our property. Unfortunately it does not work the other way when it is the property of the City of South Miami.” Finally Courtney decided to go before the commission at the last meeting to attempt to resolve the matter. After an animated presentation during citizen comment when a clearly exasperated Courtney tried to make sense of seven months of delays on an obviously scary situation, the potholes were fixed the next day. Go Gianna! Congratulations to eight year old Gianna Conterio who recently received an Ipad computer from Informed Families and the administration of SoMi Somerset Academy. She took on the challenge to decorate her mailbox in honor of Red Ribbon Week’s photo contest with the theme “It is up to me to be drug free.” Gianna got the most votes for her creative display in Southern Region 6 and Informed Families matched the students win with a $1000 donation to the school. Election Update The beauty contest is gearing up as declared candidates primp and poise for the February election. So far former mayor Julio Robaina is vying for another mayoral term, running candidate Josh Liebman has hit his own

Vivian and Greg Conterio with their daughter Gianna after winning her Ipad _______________________________________________

stride as he hopes to unseat real estate extraordinaire Brainy Brian Beasley, and Armando Oliveros is out and about around town. Mayor Philip Stoddard has confirmed his re-election bid and Sally Philips is also giving it a shot as well. So far no confirmation as to whether or not Commissioner Velma Palmer will run for re-election. New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time. James Agate Got Tips? Contact me at 305-669-7030 or Michael@communitynewspapers.com


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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

61st Annual Beaux Arts kicks off 2012 GloriaBurns GLORIA’S GAB The weekend of Jan. 7-8, kicks off 2012 with the 61st Annual Beaux Arts Festival of Art held on the grounds of the Lowe Art Museum on the University of Miami campus from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival to view and purchase art from 240 juried exhibitors from 30 states and abroad. Recognized as one of the great outdoor exhibitions in the region, the festival offers artists cash awards of $20,000 across eleven categories. Visitors will enjoy live music,

children's entertainment – including free art activities for children ages 4-12 in the "Art Park" – and food from Miami's gourmet food trucks. As an added attraction, the Lowe Art Museum will be open to the public free all weekend. Admission and parking are free. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Lowe Art Museum. For additional information visit www.beauxartsmiami.org. In other news, South Miami Rotarians Holiday Party at the Coral Gables/ South Miami Elks Club on Dec. 10, uncovered some real talent. Club President Horace Feliu, wife Seida, were among those enjoying a DJ and karaoke as the evening’s featured entertainment. Several amazing voices were discovered that evening as members took the mike. Past President Pansy Graham sang an incredible duet

Roxy Theatre Group performs at holiday party for employees and physicians at Kendall Regional Medical Center. From left to right: Veronica Diaz, Charles Sothers, Sasha Mangarre-Rodriguez, Christopher Rojas, Chloé Cordle, Gabriel Bonilla, Lauren Cote, Fidel Urbina. ________________________________________________________________________________________

(L to r)Kendal Regional Medical Center’s Peter Jude, Chamber South President Mary Scott Russell, KRMC CEO Scott Cihak, Chamber South Chairman Joe Corradino, and Trustee Rick Tonkinson seen here at December Trustee luncheon. ________________________________________________________________________________________

with daughter, Opal, while Past President Roy Gonas’ wife, Roselyn, sang an impressive solo. Others seen enjoying the affair included Dr. Michael Newman and wife Patricia; Bob and Yvonne Straile; John Sorgie and Annie Goodrich; and Ed and Ann Fischer, to mention a few. South Miami Rotarians take a meeting break for the holidays and will not be meeting again until Jan. 10. After that, they will resume meeting every Tuesday, for lunch at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in South Miami. Visiting Rotarians are always welcomed. Also at Carrabba’s on Dec. 15 was Chamber South’s Trustee Luncheon sponsored by Kendall Regional Medical Center. Chamber South Chairman Joe Corradino joined other trustees and the elected officials especially invited for this annual luncheon. KRMC’s CEO Scott Cihak addressed the crowd speaking of the Kendall Regional’s recently launched Provisional Level II Trauma Center. Speaking of Kendall Regional, KRMC employees and physicians were entertained by young performers from the Roxy Theatre Group at their holiday party. This provided the hospital with an

opportunity to support this non profit youth organization now celebrating its 10th anniversary while exposing its staff to yet another community arts group showcasing young talent. Fans of New Theatre will be happy to learn that they have found a new home for the upcoming season at Roxy’s location at 1645 SW 107th Ave. just across from FIU. New Theatre needed another venue since their 100-seat was scheduled for demolition in Jan., 2012. Established in 2002 in a renovated movie-house, Roxy is best known for their children’s performing arts programming and is thrilled to provide New Theatre with a headquarters for the 2011-2012 season. This collaboration of an educational performing arts program housing a resident theatre ensemble promises to strengthen Miami Dade County’s cultural network and is certainly a win-win for both groups.. Finally, wishing all of our readers a “Happy New Year”. Until next time, keep making each day count. If you would like to submit information for this column, please send your news via e-mail to gloriagalburns@aol.com.

communitynewspapers.com


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

COMMISSIONER, from page 1 –––––– work in order to connect them with local resources through the Community Action Agency. I got stopped by two residents at city hall one day who said they were looking for a strong commissioner to run for local office and that ‘I was the one.’” While Palmer sought the disavowal of such a preposterous idea from family and friends, she got a different response. “I talked to dear friends and my husband and kids and instead of agreeing with me that it was ludicrous, everybody encouraged me to proceed.” And proceed she did, overcoming her own trepidations to visit nearly 10,000 residents over a year’s time with a simple message. “My name is Velma Palmer, I am a teacher. I do not have anything to give you but I will be your voice and I will represent you fairly in office if I become your commissioner.” The overwhelming reception and accompanying votes she received gave her the encouragement to go on and serve with authority and confidence. “You have to say what you mean and mean what you say. Be truthful and consistent and speak up to probe things before making a decision. My voting record shows a consistent pattern. You

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

have to be willing to compromise and not bring a one sided activist perspective to office. Without compromise you cannot achieve anything. We have to serve and protect the citizens and community as a whole. If you are not willing to work together and sometimes make concessions, nothing gets done.” Palmer contends that shortcomings of the current commission stem from a myopic activist mentality that prevents issues from moving forward. “It is no secret that citizens are very disappointed with our leadership. Very little has been accomplished and it seems like we are spinning our wheels and even moving backward instead of forward. In some cases this commission has sought legal reasons to hold someone responsible for particular issues which have even expired under the statute of limitations.” Calculated delay strategies meant to derail projects from taking shape are some of the impediments behind the limbo status of the Murray Pool and Madison Square according to Palmer. “There is a silent movement in my view preventing these projects from moving forward. Changing the date, changing the design, going back to the drawing board, and constantly redefining projects mean no progress. The pool has suffered constant setbacks from this approach as has Madison Square. How are we going to get

Commissioner Velma Palmer greets the community at the recent (Photo courtesy of SOMIMAG Denis Williams) Parade of Elves ______________________________________________

developers interested in Madison Square with only two stories for building? I am not a developer but this project was intended as a mixed use commercial and residential development to draw business and it seems to need at least three stories to make it profitable. The original spirit of the project has faded out.” Palmer attributes the lack of citizen participation at city hall to be a result of

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community fatigue when critical long term objectives like Madison Square flounder over the years instead of coming to life. “I hear people say, ‘I’m going to the soap opera tonight’ when they actually do come to meetings at city hall. Sometimes it is a perceived personality handicap that certain people are just not heard no matter what they say. You have to go beyond the personal and evaluate opportunities professionally while respecting other people and their unique ideas for change. As commissioners we need to be willing to make sacrifices and changes to accomplish what is most needed for our unique and wonderful city.” A South Miami resident for over 24 years, Palmer’s zeal for her hometown comes from a love of the small town feel she gets here where people are warm and friendly, so unlike the mega-metropolis anonymity of most of South Florida. “It is such a pleasant environment, a walkable community where you can stroll to the post office or library and the hospital is just around the corner. The festivals and events we enjoy throughout the year are one-of-akind, and residents cherish their homes, making it also a lovely green oasis in a concrete jungle.” Commissioner Palmer can be reached at 305-668-2483 or by email at palmer2007@gmail.com


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Fashion Q & A with KR Personal Style BY KIM RODRIGUEZ

Q: Where should I shop for unique, good quality gifts under $100? Kim: This is easier than you think. There are a millions of websites, but if you like to see and touch as do I, these are my suggestions: if you are heading to Dadeland, visit Arango and the gift and home furnishings department at Nordstroms. At Merrick Park try Neiman’s gift area, William’s Sonoma and L’Occitane En Provence. My personal favorite is Anthropologie, where they have many gift giving items and wonderful vintage glassware. In Coconut Grove, the indoor antique market in Mayfair on the weekends has lots of great finds. For South Beach shoppers there are great stores along Lincoln Road. Two of my favorites are Base and Books and Books. In South Miami try Cream, Margeaux Interiors and Paper Boutique.

Q: Can I wear holiday outfits after the holidays, and if so how? Kim: Of course. You should never buy anything, ever, for just one occasion. When shopping, always ask yourself “will I wear this again?” Sequins are a classic holiday hit

Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

Preemo excels in computer support and repair

but they can be worn all year round as well. Just pair a sequin top or cardigan with something simple on the bottom like jeans or colored corduroys. Skip the big jewelry, fancy shoes and think simple. Sequin dresses can also be worn all year. For spring or summer, stick with lighter sequin combinations like cream, white, or gold. The tuxedo pant with a satin/silk trim is a bit more festive looking but you can get away with it for the winter months (however not in spring or summer).

Q: I am going on a ski trip followed by a visit to the windy city, what do I pack (I always overdo it)? Kim: Well at least you are going to the same climate. The ski trip obviously requires ski gear. Some of those layering pieces like turtlenecks and long sleeve teeshirts can also be worn in the city under cashmere cardigans and coats. Thermal leggings are perfect under pants or use as leggings with a long sweater and coat and good boots. The key is to pack neutral colors like gray and black that will mix and match with everything. The Sorel winter boots style looks hip and trendy for both ski towns and city walking. A parka, if kept simple (and in neutral colors) is perfect for both as well.

Kim Rodriguez is a personal stylist who has worked in the fashion industry in New York and Miami for over 15 years. She can be reached at 305-989-1671, or by email at Kim@KRpersonalstyle.com and at www.facebook.com/KRpersonalstyle.com

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Pictured (l-r) are the Team Preemo members Christian Gomez, junior technician; Elias Guanchez, chief technology officer; Ivan Mladenovic, President/CEO; Anthony Lopez, support technician; and Jovary Hill, lead Technician. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

When Ivan Mladenovic moved back to Miami, he started a technology solutions company and called it Preemo. It only took six months for Preemo to grow from a homebased company to one that needed to move into an office space. “We’re five times bigger than last year,” he says. “I think we’ll be a million-dollar business sometime in June of next year. I think what we bring to the table is our quality of people.” He attributes his company’s rapid growth to relationship building and networking. “I’m on the board of the Red Sunset Merchant Association,” he says. “I’m also on the executive board and on the ambassador team for the Pinecrest Business Association.” Mladenovic opened his shop in South Miami across from Sunset Place and has taken on several technicians to help him with his expanding business. “Our primary service is IT support for small to medium-sized businesses,” he says. “We have about 200 clients. Our second service is a computer repair shop. We do a lot of Mac repair.” They also help people with hard drive problems. “It’s a fixed priced service,” he says. “Our third service, we also do website development and search engine optimization for a few clients. We have 20-25 clients that we have done online work for.” But the core of Preemo’s service is Virtual IT. “Instead of a paying for IT on a reactive basis, we set up a monthly cost. They shift their IT services to us. We serve as a help desk for any technology questions. They rely on us,” Mladenovic says. “We can do that for a company of up to 100 users.” He says Preemo will do remote support as well as onsite support. Technicians will also track and monitor everything for their clients. If a client gets an error message on their system, Preemo can help them deal with that problem.

“We do a lot of service maintenance,” he says. “We do host email for clients as well as an online back-up solutions.” Plus, the Preemo techs follow approved repair procedures. “If you have an Apple product, we do it the Apple way,” he says. “We’re in the process of becoming an apple certified consultant. They get technical training through the manufacturers.” In addition to Mladenvoic, Preemo has a chief technology officer and three techs, “We coach them to be a technician as well as an account manager,” he says. “The business owner knows which tech they are communicating with.” They also document everything for those times when the tech isn’t available and someone else has to step in. “There is always someone at our offices, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and then we offer after hours and emergency support,” he says. “That’s for our business clients. We do have a few non-business clients.” The company’s client base includes 300 individual realtors. They set up wireless networks for their clients and they have done complex network connections in large homes. “We have the in-store services where some of our clients will come to us,” he says. Sometimes clients will get a new phone and come to the store so a tech can help them figure out the features. “We take this very personally. I think each one of us is a nerd at heart,” he says. “If we can’t figure out a problem or something is repetitive, we team up (to figure it out).” That’s one of the reasons that in just two and a half years, Preemo has become the highest rated computer repair service in Miami on Google and Yelp. Preemo Technologies is located at 5815 SW 68th Street, South Miami. For more information, call 305-669-6049 or go online at <www.preemo.com>.


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

SOUTH MIAMI SIGHTINGS Red Sunset Merchant Association Holiday Party at Splitsville

The Gents of RSMA: General Manager of the Shops at Sunset Place Alein Cadalso (Left) and RSMA President and Footworks Co-Owner Hans Huseby. ______________________________________

(Left to r) Ivan Mladenovic, Miguel A. Perez, Ann Goodrich, Hans Huseby, and Rene R. Alonza of RSMA. _____________________________________

DUI, from page 1 –––––– went like clockwork,” said Chief of Police Martinez de Castro. “We worked the north and south sides of US1 simultaneously and in the middle medium we had a generator

Alein Cadalso, Co-Owner of Buffalo Wings Seth de Kanter, and former RSMA President Amy Donner ______________________________________

(L to r) Hand and Stone Massage co-owner Rick Griffiths, SOMI Mag Publisher John Edward Smith, and city commissioner candidate Josh Liebman. ______________________________________

very uniform process. We have 10 cars at a time in the shoot, we look in the vehicle for one to two minutes tops before determining if they require more attention,” said Chief Martinez de Castro. The operation was publicized days ahead of time through press releases and two days prior to the checkpoint electronic

Chiefs and Majors from all over South Florida joined forces with the SMPD at the recent DUI Checkpoint __________________________________________________________________________________________________

set up with two officers on computers running licenses and tags.” The meticulously coordinated operation is known as a “shoot” process whereby the outside far right lane is reserved to keep traffic flowing. The center lane is the “shoot” where officers are systematically checking vehicles for inebriated drivers along with standard requirements like a driver’s license, insurance and registration. The inside lane or work lane is reserved for suspect vehicles requiring more officer attention such as conducting sobriety tests. “This is a very mechanical process because you cannot stop traffic. We do not arbitrarily pull people over but rather it is a

(L to r) Hans Huseby, Mayor Philip Stoddard, Veronica Birch Flores, John Sorgie, Rooney Brodie, Mary Scott Russell, and René R. Aldonza celebrate Veronica’s Key to the City. _________________________________________________________________________________

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signs on US 1 announced the imminent operation. As required by law an exit is situated prior to the checkpoint to allow vehicles to leave the area. The prevention aspect of the operation is just as critical as the operation itself according to Major Rene Landa. “Whether you were planning on drinking and driving that night or whether you managed to avoid the checkpoint, the message is the same and has been for years and years: do not drink and drive. How do I know that one of those 17 DUI arrests that night would not have gone on to commit a tragedy in some families life if they were not caught?”

Stay up to date at: communitynewspapers.com


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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

New Years Resolutions Success strategies

BY Y FRANK MAYE, DOM, (NMD)

A New Year is here along with the opportunity to take steps to turn ambitions into reality. It is a time to reflect on what has been working and what areas of life need improvement. This time of year is a great chance to fully tap into where you are in your life and make effective strides for a better and happier you. Read on to find out ways that you can connect internally and externally with spirit to make this year uniquely beneficial to you and yours. Doctors who are trained in Chinese medicine and naturopathic medicine see the health education of patients as one of their top responsibilities and priorities. Viewing patientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs holistically translates into treating the mind, body and spirit. Instrumental to this holistic healing is the relationship the patient has to his or her family and environment. The ideal 2012 body is one that feels good, looks good, and functions well. Exercise, diet and an annual physician physical will help achieve this goal. The ideal 2012 mind is one free of stress, anxiety and depression. Emotional freedom is necessary to achieve this goal. The ideal 2012 spirit is a faithful person in touch with the deepest part of their creative soul. When I see a new troubled patient, I wonder where, when, and how they lost their way. In other words, how long ago did this person decide to just go through the motions of life without truly living. When were they last able to fully be in touch with their inner spirit for outward success? How specifically did their environment and outlook change to morph into an anxious, depressed and unfulfilling outlook on life? I help them

find that lost passion to rediscover the creative, blessed life. Their newly captured emotional freedom reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Exercise and diet become exciting when viewing the world in a happier and positive promising light. Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural doctors participate as life coaches for preventive healthcare. Suggestions on how to get your new year off to the right start and make resolutions work for you include: 1) Scheduling a visit with your primary care physician. Ask for a comprehensive set of blood tests. Go over the results personally with your doctor. 2) Exercise aerobically 190 minutes per week. 3) Diet for weight loss and inflammation reduction. 4) Sleep 6 to 8 hours a night, ideally without medication. 5) Meditate 30 minutes per day. 6) Reduce stress through acupuncture, herbal pharmacology and/or homeopathy. 7) Recapture your passion and creativity. Affirmations can help. 8) Remove the emotional obstacles of childhood that can hinder stress. We at Maye Holistic Med wish you a happy and prosperous New Year. Dr. Frank Maye, DOM (NMD) is a Diplomate of Naturopathic Medicine and a Diplomate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Maye graduated from Community School of Traditional Chinese Healthcare, Inc. Dr. Maye continued his studies at American Naturopathic Medical Institute where he was awarded a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a designation of (NMD). Along with his private practice, Dr. Maye currently researches for Scintilla Software Industries in the field of Bio-energetics, Resonance Homeopathy, and Nutritional Nano technology.

Dr. Maye can be reached at 305-668-9555 or email: mayeholisticmed@aol.com. Visit us at: mayeholisticmed.com

communitynewspapers.com wishes you a

Happy New year


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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Page 9

South Miami Kids celebrate the holidays at the 18th Annual Toy Fest Interval International and the City of South Miami recently co-sponsored the 18th Annual Holiday Toy Fest benefitting more than 350 deserving children in the community. Each child had a chance to visit

with Santa Claus and select a holiday gift. Other highlights from the day at Gibson-Bethel Community Center included face painting, arts and crafts, holiday music from DJ Dex, and lunch.

The line grows outside as the neighborhood community awaits their turn to receive toys. ____________________________________________________________________________

Santa Claus (Rafael Monteiro) and his happy elves (Interval International employees) create holiday cheer for neighborhood boys and girls with their annual toy give away. _____________________________________________________________________________

The big boyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toy table. The entire gym was aligned with tables full of toys of all kinds for boys and girls categorized by age group. ________________________________________________

The after school program kids from the community center check out the merchandise while eagerly awaiting the launch of the toy fest. __________________________________________________

Graphic Designer for Interval International Jasmin Henschel facepaints a whimsical design for five year old Zahara. __________________________________________________

Families and friends enjoyed hotdogs, chips, cookies and a drink after picking out their special toy. __________________________________________________

Girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toy table ages 1 to 4 ____________________________________________________

Leonardo Gonzalez and six year old son Leoniel found the perfect toy. __________________________________________________


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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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Zinc Lozenges in Adequate Doses May Shorten Duration of the Common Cold BY SONIA MARTINEZ, RPH

Zinc stimulates the immune system and zinc deficiency increases the risk of infections. An analysis of 13 placebo-controlled studies showed strong evidence that adequate doses of zinc may reduce the duration and intensity of the common cold. Contradictory results in various studies can largely be explained by the formulation of the lozenges or the variation in the total daily dose of zinc that the person obtained from the lozenges. Many trials with daily zinc doses of over 75 mg have found significant reductions in the duration of colds. Zinc lozenges have caused side effects such as bad taste and constipation that stopped when lozenge use was discontinued, but there is no evidence that short-term occasional use would cause longterm harm. Ask our compounding pharmacist about the most appropriate preparations for your family.

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

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

Are you among many Kendall motorists avoiding SunPass and wondering why traffic is heavier on local roadways? Three major East Kendall roadways showed increases in 2011 ranging from 2 percent to 12 percent in segments between S. Dixie Highway (US 1) and SW 110th Avenue, compared to 2010 counts when the Sanpper Creek Expressway (SR 878) and a busy section of the Don Shula Expressway (SR 874) were toll-free. Vehicle counts by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) showed corresponding increases in 2011 traffic on Sunset Drive (SW 72nd Street), Kendall Drive (SW 88th Street) and Killian Drive (SW 112th Street) since the establishment of Open Road Tolling (ORT) on SR 878 and SR 874. Once ORT began in July 2010, use dropped by up to 21 percent on five of those former toll-free segments monitored through July 2011 in the same area frequently used by eastbound and westbound motorists. Brian Rick, public information officer for FDOT, said reduced expressway use may or may be attributed to the result of many factors including the economic conditions of recent years “I can also understand people may not want to pay tolls if they’ll be slowed down by new construction,” Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe A. Martinez said, referring to reconstruction on the Shula Expressway in 2011. Recognizing Kendall traffic remains a major issue, Martinez said “the countywide need to improve transit is the best way to get people moving again. “We need to take the entire county into consideration by utilizing existing rail lines to establish routes that can accommodate four-car commuter trains that can safely move commuters at speeds of up to 50 miles an hour.” Tracing FDOT website counts back to 2009, each of the three Kendall roadways “show steadily increasing number of vehicle trips,” said Miles E. Moss, traffic engineer who served as president of Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations for 15 years through 2010. “But there is obviously a correlation of increased numbers with the falloff of traffic on SR 878 over the same periods,” he added after his study of FDOT and MDX

tables, and comparing vehicle counts in July 2010 and July 2011. The Snapper Creek Expressway showed the largest drop of 10,300 vehicle trips during 2011 as against 2010, Moss pointed out. “In that same period, directly north of SR 878 on Sunset Drive, there was a gain of 5,000 vehicle trips,” he observed. “On Kendall Drive, the count was up by 4,400 vehicle trips and on Killian Drive, trips increased to 1,900,” he noted. “By adding the increased vehicle trips on all three roads over the same 2010-11 period, you have a total of 11,300 new vehicle trips over and above the counts in 2010,” he said. “Naturally, Sunset and Killian were the highest, being located directly north and south of SR 878.” Moss agrees that such findings tend to bear out the often-heard complaints of commuting motorists that paying daily tolls on the Snapper Creek at $1 per roundtrip becomes a significant annual expense. “What is important is that FDOT may face consequences of heavier east-west use of arterials,” he added. “That compounds the problem that already exists, as well as the potential of higher maintenance, safety and other factors that go along with increased usage of any roadway.” Martinez’s proposal for an East Kendall commuter line using FEC tracks was defeated by resident opposition two years ago but today, he said he is continuing to explore rail system routes to establish a viable commuter service. “There has been no vision to improve transit since Metrorail expansion has become just about cost-prohibitive,” he concluded. “It’s a shame because the FEC is not only willing but eager to reach an agreement to utilize its tracks.” The still active “Roll Back Tolls” movement in 2010, headed by Kendall residents Carlos Garcia and Miller Myers, was based largely on the MDX decision to convert free roads to a ORT revenue source for the agency’s maintenance and system expansion. “While that’s true, we’ve concentrated on the new Shula construction during the past year,” Garcia said. “Primarily, we’re still concerned about the SW 104th Street intersection where so many accidents at the rebuilt Killian Drive interchange have occurred since last August.”


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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Bric Peeples’ photography captures life in Galapagos

Photographer Bric Peeples greets Jo-Ann Gardner at opening of exhibit. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY RAQUEL GARCIA

Although yacht captain Bric Peeples has been around the world, when he talks about the images in his photos it is as if he were a child making new discoveries on his first quest beyond the family front stoop. Peeples, a Palmetto Bay resident, recently celebrated the opening of his first photography exhibit on the Galapagos Islands at the First National Bank of South Miami’s Kendall Branch. “I fish for a living, love boating, and get to see some of the most amazing places in the world,” Peeples said. “I would Great Sapphire Wing by Bric Peeples always take pictures and got so –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– many compliments it inspired “We spent a full day driving around the me to keep at it. The Galapagos is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. To see the rain forest outside and around Quito and natural progression, the wildlife, the flowers there are 40 churches within one square mile, and the interesting rock formations, it was 40 churches. In one of them, the entire interior is covered in gold leaf,” Peeples said. just incredible.” His next adventure will be an Amazon trip Incredulous indeed are the images captured of sea lions in mid-kiss, a giant tor- to fish for freshwater piranha and to capture toise’s face smothered in his banana meal, a a whole new series of images for his collec“King Lizard” with his rooster head regalia tion. The Galapagos Photography Art and the “Great Sapphire Wing” humming- Collection will be on exhibit through January bird in mid-air. But Peeples finds beauty not at First National Bank of South Miami’s just in classical images of nature but also in Kendall Branch, 7887 N. Kendall Dr. To find out more about Bric Peeples, visit civilized works like the interior rotunda views looking up from an area church cap- online at <www.bricpeeplesphotography.com> or call 305-282-1006. tured in Quito, Ecuador.

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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givers help others.

Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 15

In a season of giving, we thank the who help us

South Miami Hospital has been a source of care, comfort and healing in our community for more than 50 years. It is where our neighbors come in an emergency, where their children are born. Throughout their lives, we are here for them. This is a time of year when we express our gratitude for the individuals who generously give their time, money and talents so that we may carry out our faithbased, not-for-profit mission. We thank the South Miami Hospital Associates — business leaders who serve as ambassadors and friend-raisers for the hospital. And we thank the members of the South Miami Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, who are responsible for fundraising for the hospital and are dedicated to carrying out the mission and work of the Foundation. We know that you give of yourselves with no thought of recognition. Nonetheless, we thank you one by one for all that you do to help us help others. You are a gift to our community.

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

Rachel Allen playing soccer for USA at Maccabi Games BY ROBERT HAMILTON

Rachel Allen, daughter of Steve and Debbie Allen of Miami (Steve is executive director of Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom synagogue in Kendall), has been chosen as one of only 16 girls to represent the United States on the Women’s Open Soccer Team. The Pan American International Maccabi Games are taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil through Jan. 2 with Jewish athletes from all over the United States representing this country in international sports competition. Rachel, 21, currently is a senior at the State University of New York (SUNY), Oswego in upstate New York, majoring in Early Elementary Education. She graduates in May 2012 and plans on moving down to Florida and pursuing her teaching career here. She was an all-state soccer player in New York during her high school years, a member of the New York State Olympic Development program in soccer, and participated for five years in the Maccabi Games in the United States captaining the team for three years and earning a silver medal in Vancouver, Canada, in 2007.

Rachel Allen –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Young music lover gets acquainted with violin Don Slesnick, former mayor of Coral Gables, (left) and granddaughter, Olivia Kauffman, 5, are pictured with Manuel Berberian, proprietor of Allegro Music Center, 6869 SW Eighth St., prior to the Dec. 11 Sunday Afternoons of Music for Children program at Gusman Concert Hall on the University of Miami campus. Allegro Music Center brings the “Instrument Petting Zoo” to each event of the Sunday Afternoons of Music for Children series. For more information on the season’s series, call 305-271-7150 or go online to <www.sundaymusicals.org>.

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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Page 23

Casino Night raises $50,000 for Friends Forever shelter BY CHERYL TAYLOR

Williamson Automotive emptied its beautiful, glass-enclosed showroom on Dec. 3 to host a benefit Casino Night for the Friends Forever Humane Society. Friends Forever is a “no-kill’ organization that believes every animal deserves a forever, loving home. It is a non-profit organization funded solely by generous contributions and events such as this. All personnel are strictly volunteers. A casino and holiday marketplace were created on the Williamson Cadillac showroom floor and hundreds of guests in their finest attire turned out to play poker and blackjack, as well as roll the dice at the gaming tables, all provided by Casino Party Nights Florida. The “gaming” was all in fun and the “winners” walked off with generously donated prizes. If you weren’t the gaming type, there was a festive holiday marketplace, with local vendors providing great gifts such as hand-made pins, handbags, sunglasses and ladies’

wear. And, of course, there was fine jewelry available from Maurice’s Jewelers of Pinecrest. Many local restaurants were on hand, including Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Wagons West, Kris’s Restaurant and Grill, Captain’s Tavern and Roasters ‘n’ Toasters. Food catering was provided by Francine Powers of We’re Having a Party and delicious desserts came from You Oughta Taste My Mamma’s Cakes. The evening was beautiful and the Williamson Cadillac venue, at 7815 SW 104 St., was a perfect location for the mock casino, as almost $50,000 was raised for the Friends Forever organization. Founder Dee Chess said she was delighted with the success of the evening and thankful for the community support. “We are truly thankful for Ed, Carol and Trae Williamson’s generosity and for making this event a huge success,” she said. “Please think of them when it’s time for your next vehicle purchase.”

Williamson Cadillac showroom was converted into a casino for the evening. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

Community to ‘Come Together’ in fight against hunger, Jan. 12 BY DURÉE ROSS

Members of the South Florida community are invited to join the fight against hunger and attend Feeding South Florida’s (formerly Daily Bread Food Bank) “Come Together” evening event on Jan. 12, 2012. 7-10 p.m., at The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, 591 NW 27 St. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Feeding South Florida is hosting the soiree that will feature food, spirits, incredible artwork, live entertainment, some of South Florida’s top chefs, and more. Proceeds/sponsorships will benefit Feeding South Florida, a notfor-profit organization that feeds South Florida’s hungry in order to improve their lives. Individuals and corporations are Feeding South Florida’s main sources of financial support. For every dollar donated, seven lifesaving pounds of food and grocery items are provided. Event sponsorships are available ranging from $25,000 (175,000 pounds sponsor) to $1,000 (7,000 pounds sponsor). Additional packages and sponsorship opportunities may be tailored to specific individual, corporate and community objectives. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Any and all donations are welcomed and needed. Attendees should dress for the “Come Together” event however they feel comfortable — from jeans to tuxedos. “Come Together” event chairs are Maria R. Millares, president of the board of directors for Feeding South Florida; Chef Allen Susser, one of South Florida’s top chefs, and Terry Zarikian of China Grill Management and New York’s City Harvest.

Current event sponsors are JM Family and Millares & Company; in-kind sponsors are The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, VSBrooks Advertising, Panache Party Rentals, Le Basque, Bacardi, Southern Wine & Spirits and Shutter Box Photo Booth. Also participating in “Come Together” are some of the South Florida’s top restaurants including China Grill, Asia de Cuba, Egg & Dart, City Hall, Mercadito, Ortanique on the Mile, Chef Allen, D Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean, Scarpetta, The Forge, La Palme D’Or Restaurant at the Biltmore, Makoto, 1500° at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach and Whisk Gourmet Food & Catering. Feeding South Florida’s mission is to feed South Florida’s hungry in order to improve their lives. It does this by distributing food and groceries through its network of not-for-profit organizations, educating the public about the issue, and engaging our community in the fight to end hunger. In South Florida alone, 936,000 individuals are food insecure; 36 percent of those served are children. Feeding South Florida provides approximately 29 million pounds of food annually to over 700 agencies throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. Recently, Feeding South Florida’s agencies are reporting a 39 percent increase in the demand for food services, due to the current economic climate. Individual tickets are $125 per person. RSVP are required. To RSVP and/or for sponsorship information, contact Jessica Diaz at 1-954-518-1839 or send email to <Jdiaz@feedingsouthflorida.org> or visit <www.feedingsouthflorida.org>.


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Violinist Markov to debut Rock Concerto at benefit BY ADRIENNE JACOBY

Alexander Markov, one of the world’s most accomplished virtuoso violinists and passionate musical mentor to students across the world, will light up the lawn of the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Coral Gables with his critically acclaimed Rock Concerto on Jan. 27, 2012. The concert will begin at 9 p.m. following SpendforEd’s first annual gala supporting education. Markov, known for his masterful and dazzling performances, will debut his masterpiece to South Florida, which includes a variety of classical music followed by his original, musical epic — the Rock Concerto — featuring his six string, golden electric violin with lighted bow. Showcasing his world-class talent and technical skill, Markov brilliantly arranges and composes orchestrations to combine his love of classical and rock music into one musical experience. The Rock Concerto has astounded audiences in sold-out arenas around the world. The performance is divided into two parts and explores the depth and diversity of his classical background and rock music expertise. In Part 1 of the performance, Markov will present a variety of his Virtuoso Classical Masterpieces including Vivaldi and Schubert and his signature Paganini, with conductor Alfred Gershfeld. Part 1 also will include the New World School of the Arts Orchestra and renowned pianist Heike Doerr. A Gold Medal winner at the Paganini International Violin Competition, Markov’s reputation for performing this romantic 19th Century repertoire is hailed as second to none. He has performed as a soloist with some of the world’s most celebrated orchestras and conductors.

Virtuoso violinist Alexander Markov performs for 600 students at Gulliver Prep Academy’s Coral Gables Campus. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Markov’s thrilling, flawless performance guarantees to bring audiences to their feet. Part 2 will introduce the new audience to his sophisticated and highly evolved piece of music featuring brand blending, innovative original compositions and a combination of melodic, rich harmonies of classical symphony with the Gothic sounds of a chorus and a rock-n-roll group. The Rock Concerto features renowned rock musicians Neal Coomer (vocals), Ivan Bodley (bass and synth), Gregg Gerson (drums) with the new addition of Juanito Pascual on guitar, the New World School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra, and the students of Gulliver Prep Academy

and Coral Reef High School choruses. An original composition by Alexander Markov and James V. Remington, with lead vocal melodies and lyrics by Neal Coomer, the Rock Concerto brings classical and rock audiences together with tuneful melodies and breathtaking solos that open into a colorful, triumphant wall of sound. Playing the world’s only gold-plated, electric violin and wielding a glowing, lighted bow, designed by co-composer James V. Remington, Markov leaves audiences breathless. The Rock Concerto is a richly textured work, years in the making, featuring the violin’s enormous range of tone and mood, from quiet and sweet, to

playful and humorous, to dark, gothic and powerful. In Markov’s words, “The Rock Concerto is a musical fusion of contrasting classical elements, harmonies, melodies and counterpoints mixed with the contemporary sounds of rock n’ roll.” Markov was inspired to create the Rock Concerto when he observed the decline in the number of young people attending classical concerts. The result is a body of work that attracts a young, rock music audience without alienating traditional classical music fans. By performing both this original, modern work and a classical Vivaldi and Schubert violin concerto in the same concert, he has created a unique concert experience that bridges the gap between classical and rock music fans of all ages. Alexander Markov was born in Moscow, and studied violin with his father. By the time he was 8 years old, he already was appearing as a soloist with orchestras and performing double concertos with his father. Markov grew up in Darien, CT, where his love affair with rock ‘n’ roll began and eventually evolved into his Rock Concerto masterpiece. In 1987, he was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Markov received his U.S. citizenship in 1982 and now resides in New York. The Rock Concerto, sponsored by D’Addario, will be performed at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. Tickets are available online at <www.spendfored.org> or by calling 1866-811-4111. Ticket prices range from $20 for general admission lawn seating to $75 for premium orchestra seats. For more information about the Rock Concerto visit online at <www.rockconcerto.com>.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

MDC’s tax program offers free help to low-income residents BY TARNELL CARROLL

Miami Dade College (MDC) is continuing its long-standing commitment to help low-income, elderly, and non-Englishspeaking residents complete their 2011 taxes with the always-free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The VITA program is administered and staffed by faculty and MDC business students who volunteer their time to help the public in preparing their tax forms. Students are trained beforehand and must pass an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exam of basic rules, regulations, and tax preparation skills before they assist taxpayers. Divided into three groups, their functions are administrative, tax return preparation, and quality review. The VITA program was started decades ago by the IRS in an attempt to help those who need specialized attention in preparing their tax forms. All MDC VITA sites have the ability to file electronically. Now in its 19th year of providing this tax service to the community, MDC administrators believe the program’s success is due to the staff’s attention to quality. “MDC faculty supervises each tax assistance site to make sure tax returns are accurate and properly filed with the Internal Revenue Service,” said Dr. Ana M. Cruz, department chair of MDC’s School of Business. Federal income tax returns must be in the mail and postmarked no later than Apr. 17, 2012. Individuals interested in having their taxes done through the MDC VITA program must bring the following documents to the center with them: • Social security card and the social security cards of any dependents to be claimed.

• Picture ID. • W-2 earnings statement. • 1099 MISC (for self-employed individuals only). • 1099 INT (interest income). • Any documents pertaining to expenses to be claimed (receipts, etc.). This year’s IRS/MDC VITA tax service locations in the area, their schedules and contact information are: MDC HOMESTEAD CAMPUS 500 College Ter., Homestead 33030 Room D-307 2 to 5 p.m. Mondays, Feb. 6 through Apr. 9, 2012 305-237-5143 Additional information: Languages spoken — English and Spanish. Service is available by appointment only. MDC KENDALL CAMPUS 11011 SW 104 St., Miami 33176 Room 6343 (Business office in Room 6319) 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb. 7 through Apr. 10, 2012 305-237-2375 Additional information: Service is available by appointment only. Languages spoken — English and Spanish MDC WOLFSON CAMPUS 300 NE Second Ave., Miami 33132 ETCOTA Center, Bldg. 7, Room 7109 9 a.m. to noon; Saturdays, Feb. 4 to Mar. 31, 2012 305-237-3151 Additional information: Languages spoken — English and Spanish. The center will be accepting customers until 11:30 a.m. and will serve a maximum of 30 customers per Saturday, whichever comes first.


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 27

Palace residents send touch of home to troops overseas BY KERRY GREEN-PHILLIPS

The Palace’s senior living communities are paying tribute to the U.S. military, veterans and their families by participating in the fifth annual American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. The Palace Royale’s Make A Difference Club, comprised of assisted living residents, recently collected and assembled more than 150 Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa cards which the Red Cross will deliver to military bases and veterans hospitals during the holidays. Each card was personally signed by club members and included notes of encouragement and gratitude. “We’re honored to support such a worthwhile cause,” said entertainment director

Marjorie Bonien, of The Palace Suites, spent Saturday mornings creating one-of-a-kind cards for troops stationed overseas. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

The Palace Royale’s Claire Caveny is part of the Make A Difference Club, which participated in the fifth annual American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign

Pamela Parker, who organizes the service club. “Residents sent a ‘touch of home’ and were moved knowing their words would be read by the brave men and women who protect our freedoms and sacrifice so much for our country.” The Palace Suites, which offers independent living, also participated in the campaign. Residents dedicated their Saturday mornings to creating and decorating one-of-a-kind holiday cards. The Palace’s Kendall campus offers a continuum of care and includes The Palace Royale, The Palace Suites, The Palace Renaissance and The Palace Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. For more information, call 305-270-7000 or visit online at <www.ThePalace.org>.

Effective Use of Social Networking Sites An increasing number of people are hopping on the social networking bandwagon. Whether Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or the newly minted Google+, this growing trend has the potential to help connect us as never before. Social networking can be useful for advertising, networking, and making your business more accessible in our tech-savvy generation. However, social networking presents many dangers to users. Photos, videos, and even simple messages that are posted and made available to the public can and will be used against you in a court of law. For instance, a public photo of a woman cheerleading while she claims to have severe back pain can be used to disprove her claim of debilitating, chronic pain. Pictures of a person partying and holding drinks can damage the credibility of that person in divorce proceedings or a job interview. The same can be said of publicly posting that your interests and hobbies include illicit activities or frequently “checking in” at bars and clubs. If you do not want the entire world to access your profile, remember to limit the privacy settings. Keep in mind that even information you have marked as “private” is not protected from court-ordered information requests. The safest approach to social networking is to exercise self-restraint. Consider what you post, and monitor what others post about you. Check your social networking profiles regularly to protect yourself. Don’t be afraid to use social networking to expand your business and personal relationships, but remain mindful that anything you post on the internet can become public knowledge very easily.

Panter’s Pointers for safe use of social networking sites: 1.- Only “friend” or add contacts you know and trust. 2.- Restrict the privacy settings for your profile so that personal information is not publicly shared. 3.- Do not post pictures or videos you would not want your employers or parents to see. 4.- Never post anything concerning your legal case or dispute without consulting your attorney first. 5.- When in doubt, leave it out. Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. is a Law Firm Dedicated to Protecting Florida's Families. We can be reached locally at 305/662-6178 or Toll Free at 1-800-PANTERLAW. Our office is conveniently located at 6950 N. Kendall Drive, Panter Building, Miami, FL 33156 (on the corner of Kendall Drive and US 1). Please visit our website at www.Panterlaw.com.

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

KRMC hosts students for ‘Day in Life of a Nurse’

Kendall Regional Medical Center nursing staff meets with students in the Medical Assistance Program at Miami Senior High for the annual “Day in the Life of a Nurse” program. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY GLORIA BURNS

Kendall Regional Medical Center (KRMC) hosted 20 students from Miami Senior High School on Nov. 10 for a “Day in the Life of a Nurse” program. Mayra McCoy, RN, BSN, MS, KRMC’s director of education, partnered with Natasha Turner, head of the Vocational Department at Miami High, to provide the inspired learning experience. The students enjoyed interacting with and listening to presentations by people who understand the nursing field like few others including Marcia Causa, RN, MBA, MSN, CCRN; Sehnie Talisayon,

RN, BSN; Zenaida Ferro-Rodriguez, RN, BSN; Carmen Hamilton, RN, BSN, MSHSA, and Estela Carmona, RN, BSN. Those presentations, along with department tours, gave these students a true feel for the profession. All those participating are part of the Medical Assistant Program offered at Miami High, one that promises to inspire many to go into the medical field as they move onto college. For Kendall Regional Medical Center, this has been an annual activity for almost 10 years. Best of all, it gives the KRMC staff an opportunity to share their passion for nursing with the next generation.


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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‘Dancing with the Seniors’ big hit with SAS students BY DENNIS P. LINDSAY

The Salsa Club at School for Advanced Studies (SAS) took its fancy moves to the Joy of Life Adult Daycare Center in West Kendall for a December holiday celebration. The students were welcomed by a very friendly staff and a lively group of elderly members of the facility. The salsa group started by dancing one of its most invigorating routines. After dancing to a few songs, they asked the elderly to join in and each student invited a resident to dance. At first many of the students and residents were shy and a bit hesitant, but before they knew School for Advanced Studies student Vanessa Chaparro enjoys a salsa with it, they were all dancing Ventura Acosta. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– and having a good time. After a few dances, the students helped ed the students of their kindergarten days. She had the students singing their ABCs, serve lunch and took part in congratulating four residents whose birthdays were being Mary had a Little Lamb, and La Cucaracha among other old-time hits. After listening to celebrated. The SAS students joined the staff in many stories and dancing along with everysinging Happy Birthday, and after a healthy one, the students joined the elderly in their lunch, three of the students took turns playing favorite game of dominos. After a few hours at the center, no one was ready to leave. A the guitar and singing songs. When the students were done performing, bond was built and the students felt as if they it was their turn to be entertained. Many of were leaving their grandparents behind. the elderly in the center were very talented Many of the students’ eyes were filled with too. One of the center’s Chinese members, tears and sadness. One of the ladies ran after the group to find Cay Sen, taught the students some basic Thai martial arts moves and everyone was amazed out when the students would be coming back. by his ability and knowledge. Mercedes was The Salsa Club at SAS hopes to return to the the last member to entertain the students. In center to “Dance with the Seniors” in the near her youth, she was a teacher and she remind- future.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

Billy The Marlin reflects team’s new look, colors BY CAROLINA PERRINA

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After some colorful modifications, South Florida’s favorite fish, Billy The Marlin, has returned better than ever. Standing eight-feet tall, this new and improved Billy will reflect the Miami Marlin’s new colors and new logo. The new Billy The Marlin will feature the team’s colors — blue, red-orange, yellow and black. “The new look of Billy perfectly complements the new look of the Miami Marlins,” said Sean Flynn, Marlins senior vice president of marketing. “By utilizing the same color scheme, which represents Miami and its diverse cultural and geographical mix, we are confident fans will embrace Billy’s new style. Just as they have embraced our new brand by buying Miami Marlins tickets and merchandise at record-breaking numbers.” Billy The Marlin, an icon representing baseball in South Florida for more than 18 years, has been ranked as one of the most popular mascots in professional sports. The new Billy is making his first appearances as part of the Marlins’ fourth visit to U.S. military personnel stationed overseas. The Marlins organization is visiting U.S. troops stationed in Japan, Guam and Hawaii through Dec. 15. Billy The Marlin was handpicked not only for his skill, cunning and great competitive nature, but most of all for his outstanding sense of humor and great rapport with baseball fans of all ages.

Standing eight-feet tall, the new and improved Billy The Marlin will reflect the Miami Marlin’s new colors and logo. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

www.communitynewspapers.com


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Miami law firm welcomes kids for lunch, gifts, Santa Claus

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Need a New Years Resolution? Consider Finding a Financial Advisor I wantt too startt shoppingg forr a financial advisor.. Whatt shouldd I bee lookingg for? Someone you can trust and feel comfortable with. A person who has several years of experience in both good and bad times. A well educated person. Someone who really listens to both the husband and the wife. Someone who provides objective advise to you and who is legally and morally obligated to serve your best interest at all times. Someone who does not have a sales quota of investment products to sell to you. Rick Tonkinson Someone who has malpractice insurance for your protection. Someone who is regulated and supervised by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). Someone who is not a sales rep but an actual money manager. How w manyy financiall advisorss shouldd I interview? The more the better, but make sure you ask the same questions to each one. Ask for their credentials, experience, investment process, references and code of ethics. I suggest that you talk to each advisor one on one. Consider talking to at least 3 advisors before you decide.

Robert Josefsberg, as Santa, provides holiday cheer to (l-r) Carl Dominic Juste, Arsenio Marrero and Stephanie Barradas. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY JAMI BAKER

Miami-based law firm Podhurst Orseck transformed its office into the North Pole on Monday, Dec. 12, complete with a festive Christmas tree, gifts and decorations. ‘The entire firm got into the Christmas spirit for its annual “Gifts for Kids” event

serving lunch and dessert to 17 children from the pre-kindergarten special education class (ages 4-5) at Air Base Elementary in Homestead. Even Santa Claus made an appearance — played by partner Robert C. Josefsberg — to give the children presents that were donated by the firm’s staff and lawyers.

Theree aree a lott off credentialss thatt advisorss use.. Aree theyy alll thee same? No. Each credential has a different level of course content and time requirement to attain the credential. Some credentials focus on life insurance such as the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) and a Charter Life Underwriter (CLU). The CLU is more of a Masters Degree in the area of insurance. Some credentials focus on mutual funds such as a Certified Funds Specialist (CFS). The credential that focuses on comprehensive financial planning is the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). It is more of a Masters Degree in personal financial planning. Ask the advisor for details of their skills and education. Rick Tonkinson is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner who started his first job as a paperboy at age 12. Rick Tonkinson and his family focus on the financial planning needs of working people. Tonkinson Financial Inc. is located at 2398 South Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL. 305-858-1628. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services offered by Tonkinson Financial Inc. are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth.

Happy New Year! from Tonkinson Financial


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

Biscayne National Park photos by Brian Trainor at City Hall BY BEGOÑE CAZALIS

Councilmember Stephen Shelley, who started the “Art in the Chamber” program, Fine Art photographer Brian Trainor inaugurated the exhibit during the presented his Biscayne Wednesday, Dec. 14, National Park photography Homestead City Council exhibit at the December’s meeting, and invited the Homestead City Council community to visit the counmeeting. The pieces will be cil chamber and enjoy exhibited at the Homestead Trainor’s photography of City Hall Council Biscayne National Park. Chambers through January. Trainor, who has practiced photography for more than The photos, which were 30 years, does not digitally captured during his monthmanipulate the pictures, but long artist residency at the focuses on the process of National Park that surphotography from conceprounds Homestead, present tion to life. His Everglades themes of conservation and Photographer Brian Trainor National Park artist in resisustainability. –––––––––––––––––––– dency work also will be “In some of the pieces I focus on the beauty of our national park,” exhibited at the City of Homestead City said Trainor, who recently completed an Hall Council Chambers later in 2011. For more information on Brian Trainor’s artist residency at Everglades National Park. “In others I isolated garbage I saw in fine art photography visit online at the park to bring attention to the issue of <http://briantrainorphotography.com> or him by email at pollution and destruction of our unique contact <briansgallery@bellsouth.net>. South Florida environment.”


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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

Exhibition of photos zooms in on Israel’s Galilee region BY ELIZABETH AMORE

The University of Miami Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Judaic Studies will present the photographic exhibition “Window to My World — Winds of Change in Galilee.” The exhibition will be on view Jan. 6-27, 2012, at the UM College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Gallery, located at the Wesley Foundation at 1210 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables. A closing reception will take place on Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. “Window to My World” is a photograph competition that is conducted annually by ORT Braude College of Engineering in Israel. It is open to all people residing in Israel. The theme of this year’s competition was “The winds of change in the Galilee.” Participating in the competition this year were 63 Arab and Jewish photographers from a broad spectrum of ages and from all parts of Israel. They used the medium of photography as a tool for transmitting their own personal stories, their weltanschauung, and their individual points of view regarding the changes that are taking place in the north of Israel, the Galilee, and the influence of these changes on the landscape and the resi-

dents of this region. In recent years Israel’s Galilee region has undergone many changes that find expression in all spheres: social, cultural, technological and ecological, as well as in various projects and initiatives. ORT Braude College which stands in the heart of the Galilee in Karmiel attributes great importance to the development of the Galilee by its encouragement and support for the changes occurring in the region in various spheres and has therefore chosen to give its patronage to this project. The competition and exhibition were the result of the initiative and direction of Effy Omiel-Pedida in collaboration with Shlomi Schvartsberg, curator and director of the Lady Roslyn Lyons Gallery at the ORT Braude College. The three previous “Windows to My World” exhibitions were held in the Lady Roslyn Lyons Gallery in the ORT Braude Academic College of Engineering in Karmiel, and parts of these exhibitions were shown in Pittsburgh in 2007. Before coming to UM, the exhibition will be shown at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). For more information, call the Miller Center at 305-284-6882, or visit online at <www6.miami.edu/miller-center>.


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

InterContinental Miami brings ice skating Downtown for holidays BY AURELIA VASQUEZ

The coolest place to be in Miami for the holidays is InterContinental Miami Holiday Ice Rink Presented by CocaCola, Miami’s only hotel ice-skating destination offering guests and residents a timeless holiday tradition in the hottest destination in the U.S. True to the hotel’s promise of creating unique and authentic experiences, the InterContinental Miami Holiday Ice Rink is packing six inches of real ice and will be located on the hotel’s outdoor Bayview Patio with stunning views of Biscayne Bay. The rink is operating daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Jan. 15, 2012. The InterContinental Miami is located in Downtown Miami at 100 Chopin Plaza. Ice Rink Events, the company responsible for New York’s Bryant Park rink, and the InterContinental Miami’s in-

house production partners, Deco Productions, Bayfront Floral Design and PSAV, have designed the winter wonderland. Presented by Coca-Cola, the InterContinental Miami Holiday Ice Rink also is sponsored by IHG Latin America, IHG World Class Beverage Program, Evian, Moet & Chandon, Rioja, Bacardi, Absolute Vodka, The Patron Spirits Company, Valley Crest, Engineered Comfort Systems, Waste Management and Worldwide Transportation. Cost is $20 per hour for adults; $10 an hour for ages 18 and under. Price includes ice skate rental and special-rate validated parking. Group and family packages are available, as well as ice rink rental for private and special events. For more information and reservations visit <www.ICmiamihotel.com/IceRink> or contact the InterContinental Miami Holiday Concierge at 305-372-4787.

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

Redland: Its history and pioneers topic of next Bea Peskoe lecture BY BOB JENSEN

When it comes to the history of Redland (not the Redland and not Redlands) George Grunwell is the senior local chronicler of everything Redland. He will be the Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture series speaker on Jan. 9, noon, at the Redland Fruit and Spice Park, located at the corner of Redland Road (SW 187th Avenue) and Coconut Palm (248th Street). The lecture is open free to the public. The Mango Café at the park will serve a lunch at 11:30 a.m. for $10 by reservation only at 305-230-9185 made before 2 p.m. on Jan. 6. The history of Redland is interesting and important to understanding Redland of today. Grunwell has spent all of his life here except for the first six months in Key West and 1943-46 when he served in the U.S. Navy. A licensed architect and Homestead’s first non-political appointee postmaster (1972-80), Grunwell has spent a lot of time paying attention to detail. The special purpose maps he has drawn for this presenta-

tion will themselves be an important addition to local history. Those attending will learn of the first two homesteaders, the first woman homesteader and who the other six single women homesteaders were. Contrary to what we remember of the rush of homesteaders into new territories out West, here the inflow was much less harried and more orderly. The planned community of Aladdin City also will be highlighted. Photos from Grunwell’s personal collection will add to the appreciation for life in early Redland. Grunwell will take questions at the end of his presentation. Ample free parking is available at the Fruit and Spice Park. The Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture Series is presented by the Homestead Center for the Arts in honor of the late Homestead activist for justice, education and the arts and is presented free to the public with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners.


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

RayPrinciotta ON REAL ESTATE Once a popular selling method in California, non-distressed Residential Auctions are showing up here in Florida. The recent Auction Sale of two Golden Beach mansions sold in tandem set the local real estate market talking. The sellers decided to auction their properties at an Absolute Auction, which means the properties would be sold to the highest bidder regardless of price. The two properties sold for $12.4 million...the sale was fast, fair and satisfying to all concerned. If you are interested in selling your real estate at auction, you will need to work with an auctioneer who is a licensed Florida real estate broker. Based on your situation, there are various types of Auctions, the most popular are Absolute, Reserve, and Minimum Bid. Also, there are both Live and Online Auctions as well a hybrid Live and Remote, which is used to facilitate bidders from around the world.

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Sell your condo at auction? It just may be your best option Each method produces results that compare with, and in many cases, exceed traditional brokerage methods. The properties are sold AS-IS with no contingencies, and can include all furnishings if desired. With an Auction, you set the date your property will sell. An Auction generates excitement by sending a clear message that you, the seller, are serious and highly motivated. Remember, motivated doesn’t mean desperate. It means that you want to sell and move on to the next chapter. We all know the feeling of relief when your property goes into contract … and the pressure and anxiety when your home lingers on the market. Every passing month you are carrying the property, and if you have already bought a new home, you are carrying two..Ouch! Auctions bring Buyers to the point of decision quickly. In preparation for the Auction, the Bidders must bring a Cashier’s Check in order to bid; and the winning Bidder must make a deposit of 10% of the contract price at the signing of the contract. This significant earnest money deposit means the property is far more likely to close. Another major difference between an

auction and a traditional brokerage sale is there is no inspection period after the “Purchase and Sale agreement is signed by the Buyer and Seller. Prospective Bidders conduct their due diligence inspections before the auction. So the day of the auction, everybody is set and ready to deal. Live “On-Site” Auctions create spirited bidding, producing higher sale prices. The Auction will quickly bring the true market price. (The True Market price is the price a buyer is willing to pay for the property on that day.) As you can see, there are pro’s and con’s to selling your home at Auction. Built in to the Auction experience is the Buyer’s expectation that they will get something at a low price. This may or may not happen. Promoting and advertising the Auction through Target Marketing increases the visibility of the property. A larger audience sees the property and more potential bidders attend the Auction, on-site or on-line. For the Seller, the speed of the Auction is a major advantage. The home will sell

very quickly and the sale will be completed more rapidly than selling through the traditional methods. The waiting and worrying come to a quick conclusion. If you want to or need to sell in a set period of time, an auction may be your best option. Ray Princiotta is a licensed Florida real estate broker. If you have any questions, contact me - ray@rayonrealestate.com.

For more detail, visit www.rayonrealestate.com. Ray Princiotta is a licensed Florida real estate broker. Contact him at 305.494.4101 or ray@rayonrealestate.com.


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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

MDC aviation students help Santa spread holiday cheer BY ROBERT HAMILTON

This year was the Miami Dade College Eig-Watson School of Aviation’s ninth annual Holiday Flight to Remember. Students from the school raised money so they could host a party for less fortunate children from the Family Resource Center of South Florida. Santa Claus was flown in from the North Pole to an awaiting party of more than 200 people at the hangar of the Wings Over Miami

Air Museum. The students invited 10 children, but were quick to adjust their plans when more than 15 arrived. Santa had determined that each child behaved exceptionally well this past year so he presented them with more toys than they could carry home. The student were quick to adjust to this unforeseen event as well by helping the foster parents transport big boxes and bicycles back to their homes.

Students from Miami Dade College’s renowned Eig Watson School of Aviation spread holiday cheer during a recent toy drive and celebration at Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport, part of a longstanding tradition. Santa delighted the children by arriving by airplane. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Dodge Charger SRT8 balances power and performance Ron Beasley LET’S TALK CARS The Dodge Charger SRT8 was a hot seller last year for the resurgent automaker, so it is no surprise that it returns to the performance car market in 2012, but with several improvements for even better performance and more power for the popular four-door fastback coupe. New for 2012 is a 470 hp 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 with 45 more horses and 50 more pounds-feet torque across a wider rpm range. There’s also new exhaust system technology for improved fuel efficiency, new paddle shifters on the steering wheel and adaptive damping suspension for better handling and driver control. The new 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 clocks 0-60 mph in the high four-second range; notches a quarter mile in just under 13 seconds; 0100 mph in less than 16 seconds, and tops out at 175 mph. And, oh yeah, it will brake to a stop from 60 mph in a remarkable 120 feet. Even with the extra power, Dodge engineers have been able to coax an extra 21 per-

cent in fuel economy (up to 23 mpg) on the highway with the addition of a new active valve exhaust system that allows the standard Fuel Saver Technology (four-cylinder mode) to engage over a wider rpm range for improved efficiency or the use of all eight cylinders when the extra power is needed. The new active valve exhaust system also allows for straight through mid and rear mufflers for a really cool throaty exhaust note. The 2012 Charger SRT8 has an active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing to provide maximum low-end torque, including an additional 80 pounds-feet of torque at 2,900 rpm for jack rabbit standing starts, while optimizing high-end power. The five-speed automatic transmission may be operated manually by new steering wheelmounted paddle shifters that join the center console mounted Auto Stick. Both provide the ability to manually select specific gears. A standard adaptive damping suspension (ADS) system is new for 2012 and tuned specifically for the Charger SRT8. The ADS system uses a wide range of on-road and driver inputs, such as vehicle speed, steering angle, steering speed, brake torque, throttle position and lateral acceleration to automatically tune the suspension for specific conditions. When drivers manually choose

Dodge Charger SRT8 four-door fastback coupe has high-gloss black grille and a new performance-sculpted hood with a black engine air exhauster. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

between the “Auto” and “Sport” settings, the shock damping characteristics are quickly changed from an everyday performance ride to a much firmer racetrack capable damping for more challenging driving situations. As for looks, there is no mistaking the high performance Charger SRT8 with its highgloss black front grille, grille surround, Dodge crosshair, signature SRT badge and the HEMI badges on each fender. A new per-

formance-sculpted hood has a black air exhauster for added engine cooling. Base price on the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 is $46,660. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.


COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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t Atlantis Academy Miami, the student as an individual is the primary concern. Individualization in curriculum, academic expectations and socialization are the foundation of our program. The primary elements of our school program include an academic curriculum that accommodates each studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s individual skills, social skills development and school to work transition.

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ATLANTIS ACADEMY HAS THREE LOCATIONS: Miami Â&#x2122;Ă&#x2C6;ääĂ&#x160;-7Ă&#x160;£äĂ&#x2021;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x203A;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x2022;iUĂ&#x160;/iÂ?\Ă&#x160;Ă&#x17D;äx°Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2021;£°Â&#x2122;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x2021;ÂŁ Coral Springs £ä£Â&#x2122;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x160; 7Ă&#x160;Ă&#x17D;ÂŁĂ&#x160;-Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;iiĂ&#x152;UĂ&#x160;/iÂ?\Ă&#x160;Â&#x2122;x{°Ă&#x2021;xĂ&#x201C;°Ă&#x2021;xĂ&#x2021;ÂŁ West Palm Beach ÂŁÂ&#x2122;xäĂ&#x160;*Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;iĂ&#x160;,Â&#x153;>`Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;/iÂ?\Ă&#x160;xĂ&#x2C6;£°Ă&#x2C6;{Ă&#x201C;°Ă&#x17D;£ää

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Dec. 27, 2011 - Jan. 9, 2012

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Protecting Your Young Athlete Against Sports Injuries Balancing Common Sense Against the Desire to Play By Gautam P. Yagnik, M.D. Orthopedic Surgeon, West Kendall Baptist Hospital More than 38 million children in the U.S. participate in organized sports, enjoying vigorous physical activity as well as the social aspects of team play. But, there is also a downside: the risk of sports-related injuries. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that more than 3.5 million sports-related injuries in children under age 15 are treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers and hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. each year. Sports injuries are, by far, the most common cause of musculoskeletal injuries in children. Sports injuries have consequences that extend beyond simply missed time on the field. Young athletes may suffer from anger and depression following an injury. Parents may need time off from work to devote to doctor visits and personal care. And, of course, these injuries place a financial burden on families and an additional strain on our healthcare system. Parents can protect the health and safety of children while enhancing their enjoyment of sports by learning the basics about sports-related injuries. What are the most common sports-related injuries? Typical injuries are minor sprains and strains caused by twisting the ankle, knee or shoulder. They often happen when an athlete twists or gets hit in a particular way on the playing field. These injuries usually heal without surgery if the standard R-I-C-E treatment (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) is followed. We also often see repetitive-use injuries when a particular muscle group is continually overworked or over trained. What’s the difference between a sprain and a strain? A sprain involves injury to a ligament, which is the tissue that connects bone to bone, such as in the knee and shoulder. A strain affects a tendon, which connects muscle to bone. A good example is the Achilles tendon, which connects the big calf muscle to the heel and can be strained. When is surgical treatment required for a sports injury? Certain ligament injuries do require surgery. One example is a torn or ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), a critical component of the knee structure that aids in rotation. ACL injury is greatly feared by professional athletes as it is often a season ender, if not a career ender. ACL injuries do not heal on their own; reconstructive surgery is required to replace the ligament. Healing time may be as much as six to ten months. Interestingly, ACL tears affect a disproportionate number of female athletes, with such injuries happening five to 10 times more often to girls than boys. How can concussions be avoided? Gone are the days when an athlete simply shook off a mild concussion. Now referred to as “traumatic brain injury,” even a mild concussion requires medical evaluation and treatment. Thanks to greater public awareness of the dangers of concussions, positive changes are being made in the sports world. Improved head equipment for “collision sports” such as football and ice hockey is helping to reduce injuries. Rule changes at all levels are being enacted to avoid unnecessary hits to the head. And, teams are being more protective about returning athletes to play after a concussion. How can young athletes minimize the risk of sports-related injuries or heal more quickly? Proper training techniques are critical. Athletes should always do a proper warm-up and cooldown. Incorporating strength and agility training into the regimen helps protect bones and muscles as well as enhances performance. Previously injured limbs may benefit from a prophylactic brace (such as a knee or ankle brace) to ward off injuring it again. Today’s young athletes tend to become focused on a single sport at an ever-younger age, to their detriment. Playing multiple sports through the seasons allows body parts to rest and recuperate from repeated stresses. When an injury does occur, common sense dictates that the athlete stop the activity, rest and evaluate the situation. The “no pain, no gain” philosophy can cause needless complications. Medical attention is required when an athlete experiences swelling or severe pain that does not improve with rest. Pushing through the pain may make an injury much worse and create a need for surgery. Athletes are naturally driven people. Parents, coaches and teammates can add even more pressure to perform. Medical professionals play an important role in protecting young athletes— even if it is from themselves—by not allowing play to resume until they are fully healed. Gautam P. Yagnik, M.D., team physician for the Florida Panthers, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon at West Kendall Baptist Hospital. He specializes in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, elbow and knee.


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South Miami News 12.27.2011