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One of Miami’s Community Newspapers n tio ec S H ALTge 39 E H pa

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Connecting local business-


Cutler Bay l cia e Sp

Happy Hanukkah

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NOV. 26 - DEC. 9, 2013

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Town of Cutler Bay plants its 2000th Live Oak tree BY GARY ALAN RUSE

s part of the town’s ongoing effort to beautify the community and add to Cutler Bay’s “green” initiative, its Public Works Department on Nov. 15 planted the 2000th Live Oak tree in front of property owned by pioneering original Cutler Bay owners, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ketchum. Since Cutler Bay’s incorporation in 2005 a major effort of the town council has been to repair the damage to the area’s natural beauty caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005. With the establishment of a “Street Tree Master Plan,” with its goal of planting more than 270 trees along the swale areas of Cutler Bay each fiscal year and a decision by the town council to appropriate $150,000 per year as a financial commitment toward that goal, the town has made steady progress. “The planting of these trees is just another example of the mayor and town council’s commitment to their mission of making our town an excellent place to live, work and play,” said Rafael G. Casals, town manager. “It is personally satisfying to me when homeowners call to thank the town for improving the character of their neighborhood and creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment.” On Oct. 28, 2010, the town council and staff commemorated the planting of the 700th tree, which was considered quite an accomplishment for a “young” municipality. Cutler Bay earned the Tree City USA designation in 2008 and received the Tree City USA “Growth Award” for meeting the Nebraska-based organization’s specific criteria. Since the 2000th tree was added in the

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TREE, page 6

MacDougall touches on town’s accomplishments in past year

‘Small Business Saturday’ reminds us to shop local BY GRANT MILLER


Pictured (l-r) are Mayor Edward P. MacDougall; Alina Philipp, PIO for Caribbean Blvd. Roadway Improvements Project; Rhoda Sochin and Vice Mayor Ernest N. Sochin. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY GARY ALAN RUSE

ome 100 Cutler Bay residents attended Mayor Edward P. MacDougall’s State of the Town Address on Thursday, Nov. 14, in the sixth floor penthouse of the Town Center Building. Mayor MacDougall welcomed everyone and in an unscripted address touched on the accomplishments of the past year for what he called the newest incorporated municipality within Miami-Dade County. “Our Town has one of the lowest millage rates in the county, at 2.57 per $1,000 of assessed property value,” MacDougall

said in an introductory statement. “We have a bright outlook of our future growth in both commercial and high-end residential units. This growth will produce a positive economic impact by creating both new permanent jobs — 500 — and construction related jobs — 655 — with a total capital investment of $70 million.” Also attending were Vice Mayor Ernest N. Sochin and his wife, Rhoda; Councilmembers Peggy Bell and Mary Ann Mixon, and town staff. Councilmember Sue Ellen Loyzelle was –––––––––––– See

MacDOUGALL, page 6

Black Friday sales at the big chain stores and Cyber Monday sales online are getting a lot of attention these days, but something called Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30 should be even more important to shoppers and the communities in which they live. Small Business Saturday, with its slogan of “shop small,” was created in 2010 by American Express to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods. Think about it. It just makes sense. Much of the money you spend at the big national stores goes out of the area, but the money you spend here at the little

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SHOP LOCAL, page 6


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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


SMDCAC, Miami Youth Ballet to present The Nutcracker BY NICOLLE UGARRIZA

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC), 10950 SW 211 St. in Cutler Bay, and Miami Youth Ballet present The Nutcracker on Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $36 and $26. For tickets the public should call 786-573-5300 and for information visit online at <>. This classic ballet is a perfect holiday spectacle for children and adults alike. Don’t miss a little girl’s dreamlike journey to the magical Land of the Sweets, the Sugarplum Fairy, dazzling costumed characters, and of course, Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score. Based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nutcracker is a timeless production that will entertain and delight the entire family. Miami Youth Ballet unites local dance students with professional guest artists for this annual production of The Nutcracker is a timeless production that will entertain and delight the The Nutcracker in collabora- entire family. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– tion with Mencia-Pikieris School of Dance. Experience this amazing Reyes (Miami City Ballet principal production choreographed and directed by dancer). Miami Youth Ballet is a non-profformer Miami City Ballet stars Marielena it organization with a mission to create opportunities for local young artists to be Mencia and Yanis Pikieris. Performance features guest artist mentored, grow and ultimately present Maribel Modrono (former Miami City their work for the enjoyment and cultural Ballet principal dancer) and Reyneris enhancement of our community.

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Turnpike expansion hearing reset in Homestead, Dec. 21


A public hearing to discuss adding express lanes to planned expansion of Florida’s Turnpike in South Dade, originally scheduled for Nov. 21 in Cutler Bay, has been rescheduled in Homestead on Dec. 1. The change of date and a new hearing location at the Hampton Inn, 2855 NE Ninth St., was announced in a press release dated Nov. 13. The release stated the hearing “will also serve as a Public Information Meeting” for six-lane widening of the turnpike between SW 288th and SW 216th streets. The action was the apparent result of a letter seeking postponement dated Oct. 31 and written by Cutler Bay Mayor Edward MacDougall to Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, executive director of Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise. However, the date change and new location “was news to me,” said MacDougall when asked to comment. “I never received a response to the letter sent after finding out the meeting involved adding potential new vehicle costs by express lanes. “Both the route expansion and costs are important issues for everyone in South Dade,” he said. “You would think they might at least have the courtesy of replying to a concerned town official’s letter.” MacDougall wrote his request for postponement “due to the seriousness of the

matter concerning the proposed turnpike express lanes issue,” noting prior meetings with turnpike officials did not indicate express lanes were a subject for the Nov. 21 session. Express lanes within turnpike expansion raised such strong protests in Kendall that the FDOT has dropped a plan to build exit and entry ramps at the SW 104th Street overpass opposite Devon Aire Park and K8 Center on SW 122nd Avenue. A release dated Nov. 14 headlined “FDOT Responds to Citizens Concerns Regarding Killian Direct Access Ramps,” including comment by Turnpike Enterprise secretary Ananth Prasad that “FDOT recognizes the importance of listening and responding to the concerns of the local communities.” In South Dade, the Dec.  hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an “Open House” for public information, followed by a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m. and subsequent time for public comment. The 11-mile project will “add roadway capacity and future travel demand for the year 2040,” the FDOT stated, adding, “Express lanes will be added with the study limits of the project.” An FDOT spokesperson had said earlier that plans for the Nov. 21 presentation did not include entry or exit ramps for proposed express lanes. Information about the turnpike projects is available on the FDOT website at <>.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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And the winner is... The Polar Express (for Movie Night) Michael Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR

AROUND TOWN Well folks, Parks & Recreation Director Alan Ricke tells us that the voting is closed regarding the selection of the Town’s next Movie Night, and the film chosen by the Cutler Bay residents who cast votes is The Polar Express, which sounds like a great choice for a family Christmas movie to us. It received 41 percent of the votes, with the movie Elf getting a small but sprightly 29 percent. How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Fred Claus tied at 12 percent, and director Tim Burton’s somewhat creepy holiday flick, The Nightmare Before Christmas, paled by comparison with a mere 6 percent of the votes. The movie will be presented on Friday December 13th at 7:00 p.m. at Lakes by the Bay Park, located at 8551 SW 216 Street, behind Whigham Elementary School. Admission is free, but bring your own lawn chairs and blankets, and maybe a sweater if that cold front makes it through. You can bring food if you want, but the Perrine Baseball & Softball Association will be selling concession food and drinks throughout the night. For information call the Parks and Recreation Department at 305-238-4166. What’s in a name? Cutler Bay students say ‘less is more.’ We hear from Councilwoman Peggy Bell, who along with Lead Teacher Justin Koren of the town’s new high school, serve as Council Liaisons to the new Youth Council, that the students of the new High School and Middle School are requesting a change of names. “Currently the name of the high school is ‘Cutler Bay Academy for Advanced Studies, Centennial Campus’.” says Peggy.

“The middle school is ‘Cutler Bay Academy for Advanced Studies, Cutler Ridge Campus’.” The students feel that not only are the names too long, they don’t really reflect the fact that one is a high school and the other is a middle school. They’re suggesting ‘Cutler Bay Academy High’ and ‘Cutler Bay Academy Middle,’ respectively, which does seem to make sense. The Town Council unanimously voted to send a resolution to the members of the Miami-Dade County School Board requesting the changes, but there will have to be a public hearing and a committee appointed to review potential changes. Mark your calendar... Ooops, now erase it! Debra E. Eastman, the Town Clerk, says that the regular town council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 18, at 7 p.m. in Cutler Bay’s Town Hall, Town Council Chambers has been cancelled. So, since the council just had a meeting last week for November, that means the next meeting won’t be until January, sometime after the ‘Chili Day in Cutler Bay’ event. Free Workshops on the Affordable Care Act are being hosted by the Miami-Dade Public Library, presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Enroll America, and the Health Council of South Florida. Got questions? The workshops on the Health Insurance Marketplace are November 26, 5:30 p.m., Palmetto Bay Branch; December 4, 6-8 p.m., Golden Glades Branch; December 7, 1– 3 p.m., Homestead Branch. For a complete list of participating branches near you, visit <> and click on the Calendar of Events. Change of plans... The Public Hearing by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on proposed improvements (widening) to the Florida’s Turnpike (S.R.

Cutler Bay News

6796 S.W. 62 Avenue, South Miami, FL 33143 • Phone (305) 669-7355, Fax (305) 662-6980

PUBLISHER .................................................................................................................................. Grant Miller EXECUTIVE EDITOR .....................................................................................................................Michael Miller EDITOR.................................................................................................................................. David Berkowitz WRITERS, COLUMNISTS.............................................................. Ron Beasley, Kenneth Bluh, Robert Hamilton, Linda Rodriguez-Bernfeld, Gary Alan Ruse, Lee Stephens, Al Sunshine, Richard Yager

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821) from Campbell Drive to South Dixie Highway has been rescheduled from November 21, 2013 to December 11, 2013 and will be held at a new location, the Hampton Inn – Miami South/Homestead, 2855 N.E. 9th Street, in Homestead. The Public Hearing will begin as an open house at 5:30 p.m., with a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m., followed by a public comment period. This Public Hearing is being conducted to give interested persons an opportunity to express their views concerning the location, conceptual design, social, economic, and environmental effects of the proposed improvements. Wishing everyone a Happy and Bountiful Thanksgiving.... Thought of the Day: I will prove by my life that my critics are liars. — Plato Gary Alan Ruse contributed to this column. Got any tips? Contact me at 305-6697355, ext. 249, or send emails to <>.

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SHOP LOCAL, from page 1 individually owned stores and businesses stays here in your community and helps fuel your local economy. Those little “mom and pop” businesses — the specialty stores and non-chain restaurants that are owned and operated by local folks — your friends and neighbors — not only deserve and appreciate your business, they also spend what money they earn right here in the same town, which helps support other local businesses.

Local small businesses, independent of the chains, tend to be the largest job providers throughout the nation, so their value to fighting unemployment is important. They also, being highly individual, give a unique flavor to the community and often provide goods and services not available at the “big box” stores. So on Nov, 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, support the local businesses in your area by “shopping small.” In fact, that’s not just an idea that’s good for only one day a year, but year round. Shopping local is good for your community all the time.

TREE, from page 1

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ketchum are pictured “helping” the Public Works crew plant the tree in front of their property. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

swale of property owners Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ketchum, they were invited to symbolically shovel some of the dirt at the completion of the planting process. The “Street Tree Master Plan” fits into the town’s Comprehensive Development Master Plan, which calls for enhancing the aesthetics of the community and encouraging pedestrian activity. According to Public Works Department director Alfredo Quintero Jr., “A significant component in implementing these goals is providing ade-

MacDOUGALL, from page 1


quate tree canopy throughout the residential neighborhoods. Providing several environmental benefits, the native trees will protect water quality, reduce air and noise pollution, provide energy saving shade and are a habitat for wildlife. Trees also are known for increasing property values and are aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, trees provide stormwater runoff prevention by reducing the overall volume of water pollutants affecting area canals and Biscayne Bay as much as 12 percent.”


unable to attend. The mayor introduced Justin Koren, the lead teacher at Cutler Bay Academy for Advanced Studies, Centennial Campus and a number of the ninth and10th grade students. MacDougall mentioned that Cutler Bay is the first and only local government in Miami-Dade County to have achieved the Florida Green Building Council’s Silver Certification and praised the town’s encouragement of the use of renewable energy sources “in order to diversify the state’s energy supplies, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and mitigate the effects of climate change.” In mentioning accomplishments the mayor included new restaurants, such as the Olive Garden, and businesses like City Furniture that have been attracted to

Cutler Bay. Another accomplishment is the town’s flood mitigation plan, which is intended to reduce flood losses and help lower flood insurance rates for residents. The finance department repeatedly has won awards for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. The Parks and Recreation Department has implemented a number of programs for adults and senior citizens as well as special programs and bike safety events for children. The Cutler Bay Policing Unit’s Neighborhood Resource Unit has conducted numerous presentations at area schools. The mayor stressed that Cutler Bay an excellent place to live, work and play. “Cutler Bay’s government is creative, responsive and respectful in providing innovative and cost effective services to the community,” MacDougall stated.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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State Dept. approving Russia building monitoring stations in U.S.? R. Kenneth Bluh KENNETH’S COMMENTARY The New York Times headline Nov. 16, read “A Russian GPS Using U.S. Soil Stirs Spy Fears.” Fears, I guess so. The story, in brief, stated that the State Department wants to approve the Russian space agency, Roscosmos’ request to build a series of guided missile tracking and monitoring stations across the U.S. states. That’s right — Russian facilities on U.S. soil. The official Russian name, Glonass (Global Navigation Satellite System), would permit Russia to monitor their space agency activities in outer space. Russia proposes to build six such facilities, secured behind electrified fences, in various locations around the U.S. They already have such monitoring facilities in Brazil and what other counties I have not been able to determine. The word monitoring is what gets me. What else will

they be monitoring? Remember the story about the building of the U.S. embassy in Moscow? Back in 1986 we built a new embassy in Moscow. It was built to our specifications, construction managed by Americans and built with Russian labor. The end result? The building was loaded with bugs so Russians could monitor every word uttered by our ambassador and staff. We had to rebuild the facility to save our mission. Russia says the proposed facilities will improve the joint Russian/American space exploration making monitoring more accurate and therefore they should be approved for construction. And our State Department believes this? Sure it will improve monitoring joint space agency launchings. But the question is how do we stop it from monitoring our government’s every other move? We might just as well give them a few offices, secretarial staff and their needed electronic equipment in our State Department building in Washington, DC, and get it over with. The Obama administration said that it will assist in improving U.S.-Russian relations that have been damaged in recent months with our opposing positions on

VIEWPOINT handling the conflict in Syria. I guess so. Are we that gullible? Could we conceivably believe that Russia wouldn’t take advantage of our joint space activity monitoring and expand it to include everything we do down to the purchase of toilet paper used in every federal government office building? I have a question that wasn’t addressed in the several articles that appeared in the New York Times and the Miami Herald. Would the space occupied by the six monitoring facilities have the same immunity that is enjoyed by the world’s embassies in Washington, DC? If that is the case, we would be prohibited from entering their six facilities and inspecting the station’s devices to guarantee that they are restricting their activities to monitoring our joint space activities. The CIA, Pentagon and members of Congress are deeply concerned, as they

should be, and are asking the administration to explain what is really motivating the possible approval. If the answer is to improve relations with Russia I would suggest that we then ask Moscow permission to build like facilities all around Russia. I can see that happening! What is wrong with our administration? What is Obama thinking? Or will he say that he wasn’t aware of their request? I can’t think of anything more important that resolving this matter — now. We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-662-6980 or email to <>. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Chinese emperor created an army of terra cotta soldiers BY ERNIE SOCHIN

Vice Mayor The main thing I wanted to see in China was the Terra Cotta Army. This was an entire army of full-sized soldiers, each with his own individual facial characteristics. Even the horses had their own faces and colors. It was something thousands of years old ordered by Emperor Qin to protect him in the afterlife. He also had 10,000 concubines, most of whom had to commit suicide when the young monarch died. My wife would not allow me even one concubine. And you thought only their food was strange. The whole thing was discovered in 1974 by a local farmer drilling for water. He is still alive and I have his autograph and a photo with him. The souvenir and street vendors everywhere were something else to behold. I bought a beautiful Rolex watch for $4. It lasted until I got on the bus before the wristband broke, but I now have my own Rolex. We got to visit and climb on the Great Wall of China. Having heard about it all my life it was unbelievable that I was actually standing on it... of course, with a million or so other people. It is one of the only structures visible from outer space. Visiting a hutong, which is a well preserved old city existing very much as they did in ancient times, was truly exciting. There of course was no indoor plumbing and showers were taken in the kitchen where the only water drain was. We rode in a rickshaw and visited a native whose family actually lived in a house there for many generations. We learned that this shamble

of a house is worth a fortune due to some old government regulations. The city of Chongquing amazed me. I knew something about it from WW II days when the Flying Tigers were based there and it was called Chunking but didn’t know it was the third largest city in China, population 29.2 million. Just imagine moving all the people in Florida, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana to Miami, and that is what it is like in almost any Chinese city. THE GORGES: I hardly knew what a gorge was before this trip and I am still not sure, but one thing is certain, they are magnificent. You see steep walls of rock as perfectly sliced as a Sunday bagel, yet strayed through with uniform lines probably indicating millions of years of tectonic upheaval. You have to see it to believe it. They rise into the sky everywhere you look and then out of nowhere you spot a house. How do the residents get there? Damned if I know but somehow they must. You see some time ago the Chinese government had to flood the river valleys to build a dam, the largest in the world, to control flooding and provide electrical power, and to do so they had to move all of the people living there to higher ground. Too complicated for this article but true as can be. I got to see all of this and still can’t figure out how these people who were running around in rickshaws just a few years back became one of the most sophisticated and advanced countries in the world. They do all this but can’t make decent Chinese food. Really, nothing that I had on this trip even compares with an average U.S. Chinese restaurant nor have they figured out how to make their water drinkable. Our next stop was Wuhan, another Chinese city of over eight million people

The Terra Cotta Army

Crowds at the Forbidden City

LEFT: Riding in a rickshaw

BELOW: My $4 Rolex

and more construction cranes than any of the previous towns we had visited. All of the residents seem to own cars but are only allowed to drive in one city. Depending on their license plate they also are restricted from driving at least one day per week and auto sales in most cities are limited to 20,000 per month and purchases are based on a lottery system. This of course makes a big difference on the roads. Take your worst nightmare traffic jam, multiply times 10 and you will get some idea of an average drive in China. Their birth control system allowing only one child per family seems to be working well. If it weren’t we would all have to move to Mars to allow room for more Chinese. Abortion is a no brainier here. Without it there would probably be babies starving in the streets. More on the So-Chin Dynasty in next

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


Brian McGann inducted into SUNY Oswego Athletic HoF

Former SUNY Oswego All-American wrestler Brian V. McGann of Cutler Bay (right) receives his plaque from former coach Jim Howard during Nov. 2 induction ceremonies for the SUNY Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


Brian V. McGann of Cutler Bay, a 1970 alumnus of the State University of New York at Oswego, joined the ranks of 78 other accomplished individuals who have been voted into the SUNY Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame, forever solidifying themselves in the college’s athletic history. Standout wrestler McGann and three fellow Oswego alumni were inducted officially into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Nov. 2 in Sheldon Hall ballroom on campus. Others inducted were baseball player Bob Brutsch (’71) of Crested Butte, CO; swimmer Anne Sarkissian DeRue (’04) of Oswego, NY, and soccer and lacrosse player Kathryn “Kat” Stead (’04) of Clifton Park, NY. “This year’s honorees represent some of the best athletes in Oswego State’s long athletic history,” said event organizer Laura Pavlus, interim director of alumni and parent relations. “We are honored to recognize them today.” McGann served as a four-year co-captain on the wrestling team from 1965 to 1969. He earned NCAA College Division All-America honors in 1969 at 130 pounds following a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. He was crowned SUNYAC Champion in 1966 at 123 pounds and in 1969 at 130 pounds, while finishing second in 1968. “He’s the only wrestler I know who was captain all four years,” said McGann’s former coach, Jim Howard, who presented the award. “He’s always smiling and a very per-

sonable guy, and his laugh is delightful.” During his freshman season, McGann was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Eastern Championships hosted by Army after winning the title at 115 pounds against competitors across all NCAA divisions. He also posted an undefeated record of 22-0 as a freshman and sophomore. “My first two years at Oswego I did very well on the wrestling team, 22-0,” he said. “But that wasn’t good enough for Oswego. They said we do have some academic standards. And I learned that it’s not just about sports. It’s about the whole person.” He left Oswego, served in the U.S. Marine Corps and returned to Oswego to complete his degree and compete in wrestling again. “Oswego taught me that I was actually a good teacher,” McGann said. “SUNY Oswego and wrestling had a direct effect on me, and I had an effect on all the students I’ve taught during my career. SUNY Oswego gave me my education and helped mold me into the man I am today.” McGann continued to be involved with education after graduation, as he became a technology education teacher and was named the 2004 Miami-Dade County Technology Education Teacher of the Year. The Alumni Association established the Hall of Fame in 2001 to honor those persons who have made outstanding contributions to Oswego athletics. Its purpose is to perpetuate the memory of those who have brought honor, distinction and excellence to Oswego in athletics. For more information, visit

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

SMDCAC to present Seraphic Fire in holiday season concert, Dec. 8 BY NICOLLE UGARRIZA

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC), located at 10950 SW 211 St., in Cutler Bay, presents a holiday concert by Seraphic Fire on Sunday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Tickets are $37.50-$20. For tickets the public should visit <> or call 786-573-5300. Free parking is available. This is a spectacular holiday program by South Florida’s acclaimed “All Star” ensemble of professional choral singers. Last year’s concert was sold out, so get your tickets now. Seraphic Fire has become one of South Florida’s most important performing arts organizations and has a national reputation for choral music excellence. Led by founder and artistic director Patrick Dupré Quigley, Seraphic Fire brings the best ensemble singers from around the country to South Florida to perform repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to newly commissioned works. The ensemble’s recordings of Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem and A Seraphic Fire Christmas were nominated for two 2012 Grammy awards. Seraphic Fire was the only choir in North or South America to be nominated, and the only classical ensemble in the world to be nominated for two separate projects.

Seraphic Fire has become one of South Florida’s most important performing arts organizations and has a national reputation for choral music excellence. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Menorah lighting set Dec. 3 at Homestead’s Losner Park BY LEE STEPHENS

The sixth annual menorah lighting in Losner Park in Homestead will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 5:15 p.m. As a twist to this annual event, there will be shown a live demonstration as an Ice Menorah will be carved out and then will be lit by dignitaries from Homestead City Council and Cutler Bay. The event will include music, gifts for kids, Hanukkah cookies, Latke’s, doughnuts, a raffle and fun for all ages. The event will begin with an Ice Menorah demonstration at 5:15 p.m., followed by the Ice Menorah lighting at 5:45 p.m. “This menorah is the ultimate display of joy and unity,” said Rabbi Yossi Wolff, director of Chabad of Cutler Bay/Homestead, who is erecting the menorah. “The holiday of Hanukkah is a festival of a historic victory and celebration for all times, highlighted by the kindling of menorahs each night of the holiday. Yet it also contains a universal message for people of all faiths — that ultimately, good will triumph over evil, freedom over

oppression, and light over darkness.” Chabad, with over 3,000 offices and establishments around the globe, is by far the largest network of Jewish religious and social services in the world. There currently are more than 1,000 public menorahs planned to be lit by Chabad this Hanukkah worldwide. Chabad sponsors the “National Menorah” standing in front of the White House, and “The Largest Menorah in the World” (32 feet high) which stands in New York City’s famed Rockefeller Center.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


Miami Children’s Chorus welcomes the holidays with concert, Dec. 15

Miami Children’s Chorus ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


The Miami Children’s Chorus shares the magic of the holidays in its Voices of Angels concert on Sunday, Dec. 15, 4 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables, 536 Coral Way. The annual holiday concert, which has become a staple of Coral Gables holiday cultural offerings, will feature all three ensembles of the MCC. With a cappella singing, piano accompaniment, and orchestral accompaniment, each group — Inizio, Intermedio, and Avanzato — will perform arrangements of recognizable holiday favorites, the likes of Ding Dong

Merrily on High and Silent Night, as well as multicultural choral pieces representative of many holiday traditions. These include Dodi Li; Bidi Bom, and A la Nanita Nana, an 18th Century Spanish holiday carol. Voices of Angels beautifully captures the spirit of the holidays, which shines most powerfully when a chorus sings as one. Tickets are on sale: adults, $20 (in advance), $25 (door price); students and seniors, $5 (in advance), $10 (door price). For tickets call 305-662-7494, email <> or visit online at <>.

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Bernard Jennings brings his human touch to mediation BY JESSE SCHECKNER

For Bernard W.H. Jennings, the course of his professional career was determined by a deep personal loss. He was in graduate school finishing up his master’s degree in public administration at Florida A&M University and his mother had a foreclosure on her property. “She had this obligation to pay the bank and it was very stressful for her,” he recalled. “She actually suffered from a hemorrhage and passed away one morning. She was a very young woman, only 52, and it was because of the stress that was upon her due to her situation that this happened. After leaving school, I decided I wanted to help people similarly situated because I couldn’t help my mom at the time.” Jennings, who holds certifications from both the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a champion of foreclosure rights. He endeavors daily through his loss mitigation company, IKJ Government Affairs Consulting, to work out agreements between homeowners and lenders that stop foreclosure proceedings permanently, allowing the homeowners to stay in their home and protect their credit history.

Through detailed financial analyses on the property in question he has been able to stave off what would have been catastrophic losses for families in financial peril. He claims that many people who wait for something conditionally to relieve them of their troubles often are left much worse off than they would have been if they had come to him sooner, incurring further debt and unnecessary lawyer fees. “I think attorneys are great people — they’re just trying to help out — but a lot of them have been unscrupulous for a lot of the people who have come to me, who have given these attorneys money and would have lost their house,” Jennings said. “There’s no defense for foreclosure, and attorneys advertise foreclosure defense. There’s only one thing you can do with a foreclosure: come to an agreement with your lender.” Former clients of his, now in good standing with their lender, thanks to his efforts, are eager to sing his praises. Esther St. Paul, who cares for her diabetic father, was facing bank lawsuits and foreclosure actions. The stress, she claims, led to her father having his leg amputated. When she sought Jennings’ help, however, she says everything changed. “The situation was severely stressful and

With more than 18 years of mediation experience, Bernard W.H. Jennings has saved countless families from the tribulations of foreclosure. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

we didn’t know what to do,” she said. “You constantly watch the mailbox, hating when the mailman comes to your home. Honestly, I didn’t see how I could come out of the situation. I put my faith in Bernard and when I received that modification it was a blessing.” Sylma Ivette Schoenlank, a self-

employed single mother, was a month away from selling her house due to foreclosure when U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson referred her to Jennings. After deflecting the initial foreclosure, he led negotiations that resulted in more than $100,000 being dropped from her loan and more than $1,000 off of monthly payments. “He was just a really cool, down-toearth, loving and caring guy,” she said. “He said, ‘don’t lose any sleep over this, we’re going to get this done.’ He really held my hand through the whole thing, and I really needed that.” A husband and father of two, it is this human element and caring approach that has forged lifelong bonds between him and those he has helped. “When I see a mother or a couple before me and they’re having a problem and I’m able to tell them, ‘listen, I’m looking at the formula and you qualify,’ I feel the sense of, ‘Yes, another one I can help,’” he said. “They’ve gone through this for so long, they come to me and in such a short time I help them, they’re just overwhelmingly happy. They become friends.” For more information, call 786-4867217 or visit <> or <>.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


Real estate executive Tere Blanca becomes chair of City Year Miami BY STEPHANIE SERIANE-CONSUEGRA

CEO of commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm Blanca Commercial One of Miami’s most impactful educa- Real Estate, will continue the momentum tion-focused nonprofits soon will benefit of her predecessor, former board chair and from the leadership of one of the city’s City Year Miami co-founder Brad Meltzer. most successful businesswomen, as Tere “For many students, City Year Miami Blanca begins her term as chair of the City corps members are the only reliable Year Miami Board of Directors. resource to turn to,” Blanca said. “With With chapters in 24 cities across the City Year’s involvement, struggling U.S., City Year partners with public schools have the necessary power to supschools to help keep stuport the growing numdents in school and on ber of students who track to graduate. City need a little extra attenYear is driven by a comtion. City Year Miami’s mitted corps of memstaff and volunteer leadbers and volunteer leaders have done a tremeners who tutor, mentor dous job growing the and serve as role models organization over the in the community. past five years. I am City Year Miami hopeful that we can launched in 2008 with expand our reach even the goal of placing fullfurther over the next time, trained young five years.” adults in Miami-Dade Now entering its sixth County Public Schools, fiscal year, City Year where they provide indiMiami has more than vidual attention to stutripled its annual operatTere Blanca dents. It has since grown ing budget since launch––––––––––––––––––––––– to become the nation’s ing. More than one-third fifth-largest City Year site. The 2013 City of these dollars come from private philanYear Miami program involves 203 corps thropic sources who see value in helping members serving approximately 3,000 stu- the nonprofit expand its reach into the pubdents at 17 Miami-area schools. Plans are lic school system. currently underway to expand City Year “City Year Miami’s impact extends far Miami’s impact to 300 corps members beyond educational enrichment, helping to serving students at 30 schools annually. break the cycle of poverty and enhancing “We are tremendously fortunate to have quality of life in our community,” said Saif Tere Blanca leading our board in Miami,” Ishoof, executive director of City Year said Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO Miami. “As one of Miami’s preeminent of City Year. “Her remarkable combination business leaders, Tere understands the relaof business acumen and passionate civic tionship between education and economcommitment will help City Year Miami ics. Our city’s ability to continue attracting grow so that it can help more students and new investment, new companies and new schools succeed.” residents hinges on our ability to provide Blanca, who serves as president and an exceptional education to our children.”

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Gulliver taps Frank Steel as new head of schools BY JEANMARIE FERRARA

Gulliver Schools’ Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Frank Steel as the new head of schools, beginning July 1, 2014. Steel joins the Gulliver family after a 30year career at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, where he held several positions, including head of school, head of Upper School and associate admissions director, as well as teacher, advisor and coach. “Following a national search, I am confident that Frank is the perfect choice for the head of schools position with Gulliver as we begin our 61st year. He will work closely with John Krutulis, director of Gulliver Schools, and with the board of trustees,” said Emilio Nunez, president and chair of the Gulliver Board of Trustees. “Frank brings effective leadership skills to the job — having worked with parents, students, faculty and staff, administrators and boards of trustees,” said John Krutulis, Gulliver’s current director and head of schools. “His integrity, drive for academic excellence and management skills will ensure that the Krutulis legacy, established six decades ago, lives on. “Our Gulliver community should be assured that this management change solidifies our unwavering dedication to honor our traditions, as well as a commitment to plan for the continued growth of our great school.” Steel’s academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (history) from Yale University and a Master of Arts in history from the University of Pennsylvania. His professional career has been marked by excellence both inside and outside the classroom. He has taught mid-

Frank Stell –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

dle- and upper-school history and is an ardent supporter of student athletics and the arts. Steel also oversaw an eight-year, $30 million capital campaign that resulted in program and capital improvements at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. “I am honored to join Gulliver as its first head of schools outside of the Krutulis family, and I am looking forward to carrying on the Krutulis mission, vision and legacy,” Steel said. “Gulliver is truly a gem, and I will work tirelessly to ensure that this tight-knit community continues to thrive under my leadership. “I am looking forward to working with John Krutulis to learn about Gulliver and the Krutulis’ vision. I know that my wife, Betsy, and I also are excited to join the Miami and Gulliver communities.” For more information about Gulliver Schools visit <>.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


Show by husband and wife debuts at Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery BY MELISSA NOBLES

A married couple, each of whom have earned acclaim for their work which spans a variety of different art forms, is being featured in a joint exhibition at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery through Dec. 27. Joe Nicastri is a painter, photographer, sculptor, graphic designer and Web developer whose work is represented in many public and private collections nationally. Laura Tan is a visual artist who works primarily with oil paint, acrylic, mixed media drawing, watercolor and collage. Nicastri’s paintings are inspired by life and the pieces on display reflect different stages that have made an impact. He is an internationally recognized artist whose work is on display at such prestigious public collections as the Chicago Art Institute, Cleveland Museum, Philadelphia Museum, University of Florida and Florida International University. His work has been represented in such notable New York City galleries as OK Harris, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, ‘Fotouhi-Kramer and Jason McCoy Inc. Tan’s work with mixed media and collage is an intimate expression. Her inner life thoughts and images are a primary inspiration for her work. She has worked as a professional artist for 20 years and is a recipient of the Florida Individual Fellowship Grant. Several pieces of her

work have been exhibited at the Collage of the Americas Gallery in Chicago, Center for the Arts in Vero Beach and Museum of Contemporary Art in Coral Springs. Tan also has been teaching art since 1989, beginning with the New World School of the Arts. In 2012, she was selected as a regional finalist for “2012 Rookie Teacher of the Year” for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “We are thrilled to have these extremely talented artists present their ‘Nice and Not Nice’ exhibition at our Gallery,” said Lilia Garcia, curator of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery. “Many of our patrons will be introduced to their work and unique styles which bring life and art even closer together.” The Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery is funded by proceeds from the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival event. Presenting special exhibitions throughout the year from its location at Mayfair in the Grove (3390 Mary St., Suite 128), the gallery is managed by the non-profit Coconut Grove Arts and Historical Association and serves as a hub for cultural activities in Coconut Grove. Since its inception in 1963, the association has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to students who attend fine arts programs in local schools. For more information about the Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery, visit <>.

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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Palmer Trinity announces Silver Knight candidates BY DANIEL MUTTER

Palmer Trinity School has announced this year’s Silver Knight candidates. The Silver Knight award is highly prestigious and competitive. In order to qualify, nominees must have an excellent record of service to their school and community and must excel in a selected academic category. A minimum unweighted GPA of 3.2 is required. This year’s candidates are: Music: Sara Abbassi — Sara has been involved with the PTS Orchestra for years. She has been instrumental in Palmer Trinity’s Pink Octobers since middle school and is a counselor at the Bereavement Center. Journalism: Jenna Fusfield — Jenna has held the position of yearbook editor for the past two years. She also has authored an amazing “Doodle Book,” which has been distributed to children in hospitals in the area. Jenna is founder of the Random Acts of Kindness Club and is involved outside of school with Friendship Circle and her temple. Art: Sabrina Rodriguez — Besides her involvement at PTS, outside of school Sabrina has been an active

Pictured (l-r) are Sara Abassi, Jenna Fusfield, Sabrina Rodriguez, Renee Dobrinsky, Brittany McDonough, Marina Bryant, Hallie Parten, and Cameron Cookson. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Bereavement Center counselor, member of Friendship Circle, and SOS. Science: Renee Dobrinsky — With a strong passion for animal advocacy, Renee founded the Palmer Trinity

Second Chance Club and has been energetically providing service to various shelters in town and at Ventana de los Cielos, where animal therapy is provided for autistic children. Renee is a Gold Star Girl

Scout, having done her project at Miami Children’s Hospital. Social Science: Brittany McDonough — Brittany is the current treasurer of Student Government, and the co-founder and copresident of Second Chance Animal Care. She also is a member of NHS, SNHS and Mu Alpha Theta. World Languages: Marina Bryant — Marina’s service record is long and varied. Her passion is toward the homeless, starting the CPHI club at PTS in her ninth grade year. Marina also was the winner of the Red Cross Spectrum Award for Women last year. General Scholarship: Hallie Parten — Excelling in all academic areas, Hallie has been giving her time and effort with Breakthrough Miami since its inception at PTS. Mathematics: Cameron Cookson — Cameron took AP Calculus as a junior and currently is in Differential Equations/ Multi Variable Calculus class. He is the winner of the RPI medal and vice president of Mu Alpha Theta. As an Eagle Scout, Cameron did a project with the Shake-aLeg foundation. For more information about the school, visit <>.

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

WCS inducts 18 high school students into Mu Alpha Theta Pictured (l-r) are Sasha Sardinas, Kevin Rodriguez, TJ North, Jami Ness, Josh Avery, Nicole Boulris, Ilse Brenner, David Delgado, Ashley Diaz, Sophia Duenas, Gabi Rodriguez, Andrea Espinosa, Jonathan Lee, Katy Milian, and Stephanie Suarez. (Not pictured are Lauren Dirube, Amanda Lindeman and Mikayla Mobassaleh.


Westminster Christian School (WCS) recently inducted 18 high school students into Mu Alpha Theta, a National Math Honor Society. Inducted were Josh Avery, Nicole Boulris, Ilse Brenner, David Delgado, Ashley Diaz, Lauren Dirube, Sophia

Duenas, Andrea Espinosa, Jonathan Lee, Amanda Lindeman, Katy Milian, Mikayla Mobassaleh, Jami Ness, TJ North, Kevin Rodriguez, Gabi Rodriguez, Sasha Sardinas and Stephanie Suarez. The WCS chapter of Mu Alpha Theta is sponsored by WCS faculty member Diane Maltby. The chapter officers for 2013-14 are Ana Lopes, president; Laura

Moya and Valentina Battistoni, vice presidents; Caitlin Charlton, secretary; Gaby Meitin, treasurer, and Jackie Boulris, chaplain. Mu Alpha Theta was founded in 1957 at the University of Oklahoma and has grown to more than 1,500 chapters around the world. It is sponsored by the following mathematical organizations:

Mathematical Association of America, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges. The purpose of the organization is to promote scholarship in, and enjoyment and understanding of, mathematics among high school students.


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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

2013 Caroling Competition Wednesday, December 4th Middle School 7:00 p.m. Somerset City Arts 7:30 p.m. Everglades K-8 Center 8:00 p.m. Renaissance Middle Charter School 8:30 p.m. Jack D. Gordon K-8 9:00 p.m. Faith Lutheran School 9:30 p.m. Good Shepherd School Thursday, December 5th Senior High 7:00 p.m. Hialeah Senior High School 7:30 p.m. Miami Killian Senior High 8:00 p.m. Coral Gables Senior High 8:30 p.m. Terra Environmental Research 9:00 p.m. Archimedean Senior Academy Friday, December 6th Middle School 7:00 p.m. Jose de Diego Middle School 7:30.p.m. Gulliver Middle Academy 8:00 p.m. Florida Christian School 8:30 p.m. St. Timothy’s School 9:00 p.m. St. Thomas the Apostle School 9:30 p.m. South Miami Middle School Saturday, December 7th Senior High 7:00 p.m. Everglades Senior High School 7:30 p.m. Miramar Senior High School 8:00 p.m. Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High 8:30 p.m. Dade Christian 9:00 p.m. Coral Reef Senior High School Sunday, December 8th Senior High 3:00 p.m. Florida Christian School 3:30 p.m. Ronald Reagan Doral High School Archbishop Curly/Notre Dame High School 4:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. Doral Charter Academy 5:00 p.m. Mays School of the Performing Arts 5:30 p.m. Our Lady of Lourdes Academy

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


Principal, teacher receive recognition by Florida Art Educators Association BY ROBERT HAMILTON

Principal Martin T. Reid and teacher Kristina Beard were honored recently at the 2013 Florida Art Educators Association Conference in Daytona Beach. Both work at Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts, a grade 6-12 magnet school for the visual, performing and expressive arts. Reid received the Principal of the Year Award for his dedication and support of the arts. He is very involved with all of the arts programs at his school, helping critique artwork, jury dance, drama, and music performances, and sometimes even walks with his marching band students in parades. Beard received the Middle School Art Teacher of the Year Award. She is a national board arts teacher who loves what she does and believes in her students and school. Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts is an “A” school and both Mr. Reid and Ms. Beard attribute the school’s grade to the hard work of teachers and the integration of the arts into the curriculum.

Principal Martin T. Reid is pictured with teacher Kristina Beard.


South Dade Community Choir to perform in concert, Dec. 2 BY BOB JENSEN

The South Dade Community Choir will perform a wide variety of music for the Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture series at noon on Monday, Dec. 2, at Silver Palm United Methodist Church at 15855 SW 248 St. The church is next door to Redland Middle School and across the street from the famous Knauss Berry Farm on Coconut Palm Drive. The South Dade Community Choir has been performing together since February 1991. On invitation they traveled to Vienna, Austria in 1996 to present several programs in different venues there for the Christmas season. They also have performed on Channel 10 as well as at many different South Dade locations.

The choir is made up of singers of many different backgrounds, from many local churches. The singers range in age from teens to 99 years old. Sandy Keffer is the founder and director. The performance is free and open to the public. An optional simple lunch is available for $10 by calling Barbara at 305230-9185 before 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29. Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. with the concert following at noon. The late Bea Peskoe was an activist for social justice, education and culture. Ample parking is available. The church has handicapped access. The series is presented with the support of the MiamiDade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners.

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Old Cutler Presbyterian Church Hosts Free Christmas Concert

Youth soccer teams to compete at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex BY MARY BONNETTE

Old Cutler Presbyterian Church (OCPC) hosts its 37th Annual Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 7th with two show times at 4:00pm and 7:30pm. Old Cutler Presbyterian Church invites the city of Miami to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas during its annual concert performed by incredible musicians and vocalists from their church choir, orchestra, worship band, youth group and children’s choir. “We invite every family in Miami to get together and join us for this beautiful Christmas concert. It’s free and it’s our gift to the community,” says Senior Pastor Dr. Stephen Clark. “The musical talent we have at our church is amazing and we wanted to share their talents with the community as we celebrate Christmas.” The Old Cutler Christmas concert is directed by two graduates of the University of Miami’s Music program and a recently retired professor of the university. U.M. graduates, Shawn Sutta and Jamie Sutta who are on staff at Old Cutler Church, lead the

worship band and choir and plan on injecting the concert with soulful jazz, beautiful solos, and powerful vocal pieces. Dr. Dennis Kam, the chair of the Department of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Miami, also a staff member at Old Cutler Church, plans on delivering a healthy blend of traditional orchestra, modern jazz pieces and sing-a-longs. Performances will include selections from the Nutcracker Suite, “Go Tell It on the Mountain”, “O Holy Night” and other Christmas favorites. “We’re hoping this concert brings families together, both young and old,” says Shawn Sutta. “We are excited for this opportunity to get some of the city’s greatest musicians together and celebrate a day that is truly special.” Located at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church in the Worship Center. 14401 Old Cutler Rd. Miami, FL 33158. Saturday, December 7th at 4:00pm and 7:30pm. Free! For more information, please contact church office, 305-2388121.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Several local youth soccer teams are scheduled to compete, along with 293 other elite soccer teams from across the country, at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The teams will be traveling to Walt Disney World Resort, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, to take part in the Disney Junior Soccer Showcase, presented by AS Roma. The teams include: Coral Gables Soccer Toros, U14; Coral Gables Toros, U13; Pinecrest Premier Blue, U13; Pinecrest Premier B Blue, U13; Pinecrest Premier G Blue, U14; Pinecrest Premier B Blue, U11; Pinecrest Premier Blue, U11; Pinecrest Premier Blue, U12; Kendall SC 01 White, U12, and Kendall SC 02 White, U11. Through an open registration process soccer teams in ages U11-U14 are given the opportunity to compete against high-quality competition at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. This provides younger athletes the opportunity to experience the same top-notch tournament organization as their older counterparts competing in the original Disney Soccer Showcase in December, which features elite athletes seeking college recruitment. Highlights from the games will be broadcast on a variety of ESPN platforms such as, the ESPNWWOS YouTube channel, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex digital network, and the Walt Disney World Resort dedicated in-room TV channel. The Disney Junior Soccer Showcase is one of nine youth soccer tournaments held at the complex throughout the year aligning with major school holidays. In addition, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosts

the Disney Soccer Academy where young players can train and learn alongside soccer pros such as English Premier League player Craig Bellamy. The complex also is the site of the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic, a pre-season soccer tournament that attracts MLS soccer teams. For more than 15 years, Disney Sports has been offering amateur athletes, coaches and their families the opportunity to train, compete, gain recruitment and celebrate like the pros at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. For more information on how teams can participate, visit <> or call 1-407-828-3267. ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 350 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 230-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including Champion Stadium, the HP Field House, the Jostens Center, the Hess Sports Fields, a track and field facility, a tennis complex and a baseball/softball sportsplex. It also is home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group that develops groundbreaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom. In addition, the complex features 56 highdefinition cameras and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, which can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art HD and 3-D Production Center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, CT; New York, and Los Angeles.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


Miss South Florida USA pageant winners crowned

Pictured are Miss South Florida USA, Jennifer Diaz, (right) and Miss South Florida Teen USA, Daniela Albrecht. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


Miss South Florida USA, Jennifer Diaz, and Miss South Florida Teen USA, Daniela Albrecht, were crowned recently at the Rebeca Sosa Theater. The competition featured 10 contestants throughout South Florida. Both winners will advance to the state pageant of Miss Florida USA and Miss Florida Teen USA, preliminaries to Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. Daniela Albrecht is a 13-year-old student at Zelda Glazer Middle School in west Miami-Dade County. She is member of her school’s Drama Club, Magic Program, and Dance Magnet. Her hobbies are dancing and modeling. She is a graduate of John Casablanca Modeling School and received exclusive training from Alicia Faccio Modeling School. Albrecht’s career goal is to become a clinical physiologist. She is the proud daughter Yanisleidy Molina and Moises Albrecht, both natives of Havana, Cuba. Albrecht formerly held the winning titles of Miss Jr. Art Deco and Miss Preteen Boca Junior. She won her title wearing evening gown dress by Maduggal from Sarin’s Corp Miami. Jennifer Diaz is a 24-year-old student at Miami Dade College. She already earned her degree in Social

Music and is currently working studying Criminal Psychology. Her hobbies are singing, dancing, and playing piano. Diaz’s current occupation is teaching modeling and dance classes for children. She is the proud daughter of Mayra Vergara, native of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She also volunteered in various charities such the foundation Reinas a una causa, Queens for a cause to help less fortunate children of Honduras. During the pageant Diaz was named the title winner of “People’s Choice.” She formerly held the winning titles of Miss Honduras USA, Top Model Florida, and Miss Art Deco. Diaz won her title wearing evening gown dress by Henrry Meza Designs. The other contestants who placed were first runner up teen, Victoria Kontazmays; first runner up, Nicole Pelaez, and second runner up Jennifer Madrigal. The contestant who took the winning titles of both “Miss Photogenic” and “Miss Amity” was Nathalie Soler. To register for the next upcoming pageants, visit the website at < > or contact the preliminary director Fatima Coello at 305-753-1224 or via email at <>.

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Top high school talent on display at 25th Jr. OB Basketball Classic BY CHUCK LITTLE

The 25th edition of the Junior Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will feature its widest array of basketball talent ever when it tips off on Dec. 27 at Reagan High School in Doral. Not only will it showcase top talent from Oklahoma, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida, but for the first time a European school, Gimnazija Bezigrad School from Ljubljana, Slovenia, will travel to Miami on Christmas Day to join in the festivities. Several college prospects already have indicated their preference for the next level of play. Omega Harris (Putnam City West High School, Oklahoma City, OK) has verbally committed to UTEP, Jordan AbdurRa’oof (Gonzaga, Washington, DC) has given his nod to Cornell University. Joseph Lopez (South Miami) has committed to Winthrop. On the girls’ side, Jade Owens and Maya Garland (both from Fenwick, Oak Park, IL) have committed to Creighton University and UAB, respectively. Bernadette Devaney (Nova) has committed to Lehigh University. Many other recruits from the boys’ field are still waiting to make their choices and will come to Miami with decisions still on hold. Derrick Brooks Jr (Bartow) has multiple Division I offers and was to visit UMass. Haanif Cheatham (Pembroke Pines Charter) is mulling offers from Miami, Georgia and Alabama among others. Underclassmen such as Bryant Crawford (Gonzaga, Washington, DC) may be among the most highly recruited point guards for the 2015 class with offers from Connecticut, Georgetown, Indiana, Maryland, Texas and others. He was poised to be the starting guard on the USA U16 team in their trip to Uruguay this summer until some minor swelling in his knee forced him to take some time off to rest. He is back as strong as ever and impressing scouts across the country. Tony Bradley (Bartow) is a long, lean 6foot-8 sophomore who is popping up on radar screens all across the country. He currently has offers from Miami, UMass, Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee among others. Girls’ up and coming talent is plentiful. Jada Graves (Thomas Edison, VA) led her team to the state quarterfinals as a freshman, averaging over 20 points a game in the playoffs. Beatrice Mompremier (Miami High) is getting visits from major programs around the country. Latest visits to the Stingarees gym have been North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida State and UM.

More will come to see the 6-foot-5 junior. Possibly one of the most intriguing opportunities in the tournament will be the Slovenian team. Three players (Jan Novak, 6-foot-4 senior shooting guard; Jure Span, 6-foot-3 senior point guard, and Jan Dolensek, 6-foot-8 senior power forward) played for their national U18 team in the recent European Division A championships in Latvia. Two other players (Sandi Grubelic, 6foot-3 junior shooting guard, and Matej Kavas, 6-foot-7 junior small forward) played on the 2012 U16 European championships for Slovenia. Anchoring the middle of the lineup will be 6-foot-10 junior center Luka Pirc. This should make their first trip to the U.S. an interesting one. In the boys’ field, Gonzaga finished last year with a 27-5 record that included a clean sweep (18-0) in the always tough WCAC that includes Dematha and Paul VI. From the Florida group, South Miami finished as Florida 8A runnerup, Bartow reached the final four in Florida 7A, Pines Charter lost in the Regional Final in 6A against eventual state champion Norland and American lost a tough district final to Hialeah Gardens after topping them twice in the regular season and finished the season 20-6. The top team prospects in the girls’ field are many. Miami High brings back a full lineup from its Florida 8A runnerup finish from last season. The same is true for Nova in Florida 7A where they finished second to Gainesville Buchholz. Flanagan lost in the Florida 8A Regional finals and looks to advance farther this year, while South Miami and Ferguson both figure to be battling Miami Senior for 8A leadership in Miami Dade County. Fenwick brings back most of its roster from a 21-7 season and is usually ranked in the top 10 among Chicago area teams, being led by David Power who coached the 2009 McDonald’s All America West team and currently has an 829-win coaching record. Thomas Edison was a Virginia 3A quarterfinalist with mostly freshmen and sophomores leading the way. Mt. Lebanon returns to the Junior Orange Bowl after capturing the 2011 championship and has 2010 and 2011 Pennsylvania state championships under Coach Dori Oldaker. Games will be played at Ronald Reagan High School on Dec. 27, 28 and 30. More information on the Junior Orange Bowl Basketball Classic can be found at <>. Additional information requests can be sent to <>.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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Food expert Katie Lee (left) and joins TV’s Rachael Ray (right) in congratulating scholarship winner Tirza Diaz de Villegas of Kendall. (Photo by AP Images) –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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Bistro Foly Brings Authentic French Fare to Community

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Girl Scout takes on important cause with video about suicide BY LEE STEPHENS

Lef to right: Catherine de Villada, Owner; Dominique Meunier, Owner; and Thierry Pititto, Head Chef

An exciting new restaurant is coming to Palmetto Bay this December. Bistro Foly will be combining Contemporary French cuisine with friendly service in a casual neighborhood setting. Located off Old Cutler Road and SW 168th Street in Palmetto Bay, Bistro Foly will be open seven days a week from 8AM until 10PM, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. French owners, Catherine de Villada and Dominique Meunier, have combined their extensive years of business and restaurant experience to help fill the void that has existed for a true neighborhood restaurant catering to Palmetto Bay residents and families, as well as surrounding areas. Mr. Lewis Fraser, owner of the Old Cutler Center, where Bistro Foly will be operating, acknowledges, “Our community has needed a fine restaurant for a long time and Bistro Foly will fulfill.” According to Bistro Foly’s head chef, Thierry Pititto, diners can expect affordable twists on traditional French home-style cooking, such as steak frites, duck confit, steamed mussels, rotisserie chicken and tuna tartar, to name a few delectable choices. “We hope our guests come repeatedly during the week to indulge in our variety of omelets, pancakes and pastries served for breakfast, our light fare menu for lunch, consisting of a variety of sandwiches, salads, meat and fish dishes and dinner that will consist of a carefully selected menu of appetizers, entrees, salads and sides,” says Dominique Meunier. The bar will serve a full array of French café-inspired coffees and a modestly priced beer and wine list from around the world. Meunier has over 25 years of food and restaurant experience in Paris, Washington DC and Miami. De Villada has a strong background in business start-ups and has now brought her business sense and passion for taste and style to Bistro Foly. Chef Pititto has been a chef at a number of fine restaurant locations in Miami, including Café Pastis and recently at the Upper Eastside eatery, Ni.Do. Caffe. Bistro Foly is expected to open in early December. For more information, visit the website at

Teen suicide has been a topic that sadly is on everyone’s mind. For Katherine Flinn, 18, of Palmetto Bay, it hit close to home. When a girl in her class attempted suicide, Flinn decided to do something to help others. She created a suicide prevention video for her Girl Scout Gold Award project and hopes that it will help other teens to understand the gravity of the problem. In the video, several girls talk about their suicide attempts and give advice to those who are contemplating suicide, or who have a friend who is. Flinn created the video by first interviewing people who had attempted suicide and survived. Then, she turned their stories into the script, then she and members of her troop acted out the stories. According to the Girl Scouts website, “The Girl Scout Gold Award…challenges [Girl Scouts] to change the world — or at least [their] corner of it…” “A lot of people don’t know much about the Gold Award,” Flinn said. “It focuses a lot on doing something that is going to keep continue into the future, rather than just a one-day event. For example, if you start a program teaching dance lessons, you need to show that someone is going to teach those lessons after you’re gone.” Flinn hopes that her video will be sustainable because it can “go viral” and help others in the future. To help that along, she

has entered it in a contest at the website, <>, a youth suicide prevention organization. The video will be on the website soon, so it will be viewed by many more people. She also is sending it to her former high school and various community leaders, in hopes that they can get out the word. The focus of the video was to show people who have attempted suicide, and were glad they failed. The girls in the video talk about their attempts and why they think they survived. Flinn wanted to show that teens should understand that suicide is too permanent an action to take in response to their troubles. She wanted to show that someone who wanted to end her lifel could have hope for the future. Flinn hopes that her video can help people who are experiencing troubling times. One of the girls in her video (played by Flinn) says, “I believe I was meant to do something important with my life, and I haven’t done it yet.” She hopes this message will speak to teens. Flinn has been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten. She loved Girl Scouts because it focused on a variety of different activities, volunteerism, and exploring the world around her. She will attend the University of Florida in January, as part of its Innovation Academy program. The video can be seen at < HU>.

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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SAMA recognizes best cars at Miami International Auto Show BY LEE STEPHENS

The Corvette Stingray, Land Rover Range Rover Sport and Cadillac ELR were named the top vehicles on display during the 43rd annual Miami International Auto Show (MIAS), Nov. 8-17, by the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA), while Ford’s performance simulator was tapped as the Best Interactive Display by an auto manufacturer. The nine-member SAMA judging panel awarded the sleek new Corvette Stingray the seventh annual “Star of the Show” trophy after deciding that it was the single vehicle on display at the show that South Floridians will most want to see. At the same time, the judges picked Land Rover’s all-new Range Sport as the “Best Utility Vehicle” in the show because its all-new design and technological innovation, while Cadillac’s new ELR plug-in electric vehicle was tapped as “Best Green Technology Vehicle” for its outstanding design and superb fuel economy. Ford Motor Co. was awarded the “Best Interactive Display” trophy for its ability to allow consumers attending the auto show to experience a virtual fast-paced ride and test their driving skills on a challenging digital road course. “We considered about a dozen vehicles for the Star of the Show award,” said Ron Beasley, SAMA judging committee chair. “That list included the Jaguar F-Type, the Cadillac CTS, Kia’s new Cadenza, the Lexus IS, Maserati’s new Ghibli, the Infiniti Q50 and BMW3 Series, to mention some of them. But, in the end, the judges felt that the new Corvette Stingray was simply the most exciting vehicle on the floor.” Land Rover’s all-new Range Rover Sport earned the judges’ vote as the “Best Utility Vehicle” in the 2013 MIAS. The judges said they liked the new design of the new Range Rover Sport because it shed 700 pounds and the fact that it incorporated so much of the latest automotive industry technology. The Range Rover Sport

bested the new Jeep Cherokee, Buick Encore, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado to win the SAMA “Best Utility Vehicle” trophy. In the Green Technology category, Beasley said the judges considered a halfdozen vehicles, including the Audi A6 TDI, BMW’s 328d, the Honda Accord, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla before deciding to award the trophy to the exciting and sleek new Cadillac ELR. “Cadillac clearly has produced an automobile with cutting-edge technology that is sure to be a hit with consumers,” Beasley said. “With its plug-in electric ability and on-board re-charging capability, it will offer luxury buyers the opportunity to own a very attractive, alternative-energy vehicle and our judging panel thought it was worthy of receiving the designation as ‘Best Green Technology Vehicle’ in the Miami International Auto Show.” This is the seventh consecutive year that SAMA has given the awards at the MIAS, which marks its 43rd anniversary this year. A prestigious panel of nine SAMA members walked the floor of the show and reviewed the vehicles prior to the opening and determined which vehicles would receive the coveted SAMA awards. The 2013 panel of judges included SAMA founding president and automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers Ron Beasley; SAMA president-elect and founding member Bill Adam; auto writer and former SAMA president/founding member Paul Borden; auto writer/photographer and SAMA founding member Angelica Willard; nationally known automotive radio personality Joe Castello; veteran automotive writer and track announcer Ric Green; bilingual automotive journalist Juan Robbin; auto writer and sports car racer Dr. Ray Mummery, and auto writer/magazine publisher Marlen Bedoya. The awards were announced and presented at the annual auto show luncheon sponsored by Chevrolet and hosted by SAMA for members of the auto industry on the opening day of the Miami auto show.

Pictured are the auto manufacturers’ representatives who accepted the 2013 SAMA awards at the Miami International Auto Show. They are (l-r) Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer Global Chevrolet; Burke Johnson, South Florida marketing manager, Jaguar/Land Rover; William Potter, Cadillac sales/service vice president, and Fernando Senra, regional communications representative, Ford Motor Co. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Ron Beasley receives SAMA’s coveted Terry Jackson Memorial Award BY LEE STEPHENS

Veteran journalist Ron Beasley is the 2013 recipient of the Terry Jackson Memorial Award for his continuing contributions and work on behalf of the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA). Beasley, founder of the organization, received the award on Nov. 8 during the annual SAMA luncheon sponsored by Chevrolet at the Miami International Auto Show in Miami Beach. The award is named for the late automotive journalist Terry Jackson and recognizes a member for outstanding service to SAMA and for contributions to the auto industry in South Florida. Jackson’s wife, Marjie Lambert, and last year’s recipient, Paul Borden, made the presentation. Beasley, a Kendall area resident, is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers and served as SAMA president for the first three years after the organization’s founding in 2007. He has continued to be active in the organization since then. He is an ex officio member of the association’s board and also chairs the judging competitions for SAMA’s auto show as well as the annual Topless in

Terry Jackson’s widow Marjie Lambert and SAMA founding member/former president Paul Borden present the annual Terry Jackson Award to automotive journalist Ron Beasley during the 2013 Miami International Auto Show luncheon. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Miami convertible competition in June. “Ron has set an example for us in the way he has continued to devote his time

and energy to SAMA,” said Jaime Florez, outgoing SAMA president. “His vision led to the creation of the fastest-growing auto-

motive media group in the country, and his dedication has helped keep our organization on the right path. The 100-plus SAMA members owe him a great debt of gratitude for where we are today.” Beasley has written the popular Let’s Talk Cars new car review column for Miami’s Community Newspapers for 12 consecutive years. He began his journalism career in 1964 as a copyboy with The Miami Herald. Over the years, he has also worked for The Miami News, WTVJ and WPLG television news in Miami, WSB TV News in Atlanta, KGO-ABC TV News in San Francisco, and the Cable Health Network and Telepictures in Los Angeles. The Terry Jackson Award is named for the late auto journalist who was a nationally known figure and also a founding member of SAMA. He succumbed to cancer in January 2009. Previous recipients of the award have been Marcello Serrato, president and founder of Prestige Auto Specialists; Rick Baker, president of the South Florida Automobile Dealers Association; Jose “Pepe” Delfino, webmaster and media manager for SAMA, and Borden, a freelance writer and past president of SAMA.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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Honda Odyssey refreshed; named IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Ron Beasley AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR

LET’S TALK CARS The Honda Odyssey has been refreshed for 2014 with a host of powertrain, styling, interior, feature and safety upgrades, all designed to meet the needs of today’s family. Odyssey continues with five different trim levels available, including the wellequipped base LX model, the EX, the leather-trimmed EX-L, the feature-packed Touring, and the top of the line Odyssey Touring Elite. Key changes to the Odyssey minivan include the addition of a standard six-speed automatic transmission on all trims resulting in better fuel-economy ratings, enhanced safety equipment, cleaner front and rear exterior styling, plus revised instrumentation and electronic controls. With the addition of the six-speed automatic gearbox paired to the 3.5-liter, 24valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), the

Odyssey continues as the fuel economy leader in the minivan segment, with all 2014 models getting EPA fuel economy ratings of 19/28 mpg city/highway. Odyssey’s refreshed styling gives it a youthful, sporty and upscale look, and new premium elements have been added such as black-trimmed headlights, available fog lights, a muscular hood and a black-surround grille. New body-color matched side mirrors and additional bright chrome trim add to the premium appearance. New rear styling and LED taillights with clear lenses and eye-catching perimeter “light pipes” add to the look. Weight savings come from the use of aluminum for the hood, front fenders and front suspension lower control arms. The LX model rides on 17-inch steel wheels, while EX and EX-L models have 17-inch aluminum alloys; Touring and Touring Elite models have 18inch aluminum alloy wheels. For the first time, all 2014 Odyssey models include standard Bluetooth HandsFreeLink connectivity, a four-way power passenger seat, Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, Pandora interface and an SMS text messaging function. New available features include the Honda exclusive LaneWatch blind spot display, Forward

Honda Odyssey has a youthful, sporty, upscale look, with new black-trimmed headlights, available fog lights, a muscular hood and a blacksurround grille.

Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). And here’s a new wrinkle in automotive extras: Odyssey Touring Elite models now come standard with the unique HondaVAC, the world’s first in-vehicle vacuum cleaner, which lets you quickly and easily clean-up dirt and debris from every corner of the minivan. As for safety equipment, the 2014 Odyssey has the next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure for even greater occupant protection. The reinforced front structure improves frontal crash energy management

through a wider range of offset and oblique collision modes. Just recently, the new Odyssey was given the highest rating of Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a Good rating in the stringent new IIHS small overlap frontal collision test. The MSRP on the 2014 Honda Odyssey ranges from $28,825 to $44,450. 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 <>.

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Fundraising golf tournament for Coral Reef HS baseball, Dec. 7 BY JESSE SCHECKNER

In what will be a milestone for the organization, the 10th annual Barracuda Diamond Club Golf Classic will take place on Dec. 7 at the Trump National Doral. The tournament will run the full 18-hole course and will operate in a shotgun start format, meaning all participants will start and finish playing at the same time. Once off the course, attendees can make bids at a silent auction and dine at an awards banquet where prizes will be given to golfers in categories including “longest drive” and “closest to the hole.” All contributions are tax-deductible and everyone is invited to attend and show their support. We run a really great noncompetitive tournament,” said Diamond Club vice president and golf chair Steve Sirota. “We have a first class venue and they do a great job, from the golf course and the help to the food they provide for us.” The Barracuda Diamond Club is an allvolunteer program, made up mostly of parents whose efforts result in providing more than 90 percent of funding for the Coral Reef Barracudas baseball team. “We put in a lot of time and effort to make

Coral Reef Barracuda Christian Grullon and his teammates will have a new coach this season. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

sure that the kids have the best possible equipment, structure, coaching and everything else,” said Joe Sanchez, who acts as

president of the Diamond Club. “The booster club funds everything from as little as baseballs up to uniforms, spring trips and away games. We really go out and make sure the kids have everything necessary for it to be a quality program.” The Barracudas varsity team also will be welcoming incoming coach Ernie Padron, who credits the Diamond Club with making the transition into his new job much easier. “It definitely takes a load off when you have a great group of men and women who really want to work for the betterment of their kids and the school,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about the intricacies that are not on the baseball field and I can go coach and definitely rely on them to fundraise and do other things that I’ve had to do prior.” Padron, who will be entering his 22nd year coaching in Miami-Dade County, was a former high school athlete, but an injury prevented him from playing past his senior year. He became head coach for the first time when he was 23 years old and won his first state title in 1996 while coaching for Dade Christian School in Hialeah. Two years later, Padron took over coaching duties at Florida Christian. Between 2001 and 2006 he led the team to the state final four, winning back-toback titles in 2004 and 2005 and ending up in

second place in 2003 and 2006. He says he recognizes the Coral Reef team’s potential. “These young men have definitely been taught the fundamentals,” he said. “I want to implement my style of the way I like to play the game — to be a little bit more aggressive on the base paths and playing more of a blue collar type of game. Our whole thing is to work hard; if you work hard, good things happen to you. We are going to make some mistakes, but we’re going to be on the aggressive side of making those mistakes.” Preseason baseball will start in January and the regular season will begin in early February, however coach Padron hopes to see support shown much sooner, on the golf course. “It’s a fun time and a great event,” he said. “It’s definitely our biggest fundraiser of the year and the community will be pleased with the product that we’re putting out there on the field and at the same time they will have a hand in providing for these young men a better situation on and off the field.” Sign in time for the tournament is 11:30 a.m. and shotgun start is at 12:30 p.m. For more information, visit <> or call Steve Sirota at 305-987-7086.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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Carrie Brazer Center for Autism students are rocket scientists BY CLAIRE DONNELLY

Guillermo’s Queris classes at the Carrie Brazer Center for Autism are studying inventions and their current project is learning about rockets. The students watched in awe, excitement and glee recently as they took turns blasting “soda bottle” rockets into “space.” Since 1999, the Carrie Brazer Center for Autism, with locations in Kendall and South Dade, has provided cognitive training and educational therapy to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities from birth through adulthood. The incredible staff works collaboratively to develop individualized programs for each child. The students are becoming better able to communicate with their teachers, classmates and family through augmentative communication devices such as the iPad. Physical education Therapeutic horseback riding is offered as part of the fall/winter physical education program and swimming instruc-

Guillermo’s Queris shows students how to launch “soda bottle” rockets.

tion takes place in the spring. Community based instruction and social skills training are provided through regular field trips to local attractions like the zoo, bowling, skating, children’s museum, etc. The older students are learning life skills and vocational training skills to help them

become more independent. Instruction and therapy continues throughout the school day and after school. The center is open even when school is closed. Programming continues on Saturdays, teacher workdays, and most holidays. Winter, spring and summer camps take place

two days a week at aquatic locations like the Hammocks Nature Center and the Biscayne Nature Center or sailing with Shake A Leg. Exciting on-site activities and field trips are scheduled the other three days. The Carrie Brazer Center for Autism has two area locations. The Kendall Center, at 8790 SW 94 St., serves students from birth through age 12. The South Dade Center, located at 16905 SW 100 Ave., is the middle school and high school as well as the adult vocational center. The older students at the South Dade Center are learning vocational and life skills. These students range from higher functioning individuals who are capable of learning job skills and seeking employment to lower functioning, non-verbal students who are learning to be more independent and learning simple self-help skills. For more information about the Carrie Brazer Center for Autism, call 305-271-8790 or 305-234-0490. Visit the website at <>.

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Husband and wife team opens GP Health in Sunset Drive BY CONCHITA SMITH

A Story of Unconditional Love By Dr. John Raffel, DDS Once in a while we experience something that renews our faith in the human spirit. I am a dentist and during an ordinary day my staff informed me that my next patient Tatiana had arrived for her cleaning. And they said she had a baby carriage with her. Interesting because I know Tatiana's babies are all grown up. Plus. the baby in the carriage has tubes in his nose, and so the story unfolds. The baby was a 2 year old whose name will be Jack, for security purposes. Jack was taken from his family because of medical neglect. He was brought to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he was admitted to the baby intensive care unit. Jack needs a heart and lung transplant but because of genetic problems he is not a candidate for the surgery. A feeding tube was inserted in his stomach and he has a constant oxygen supply thru tubes in his nose. He takes over a dozen medicines a day. Since there was nothing else the medical team could do for Jack he was to be transferred to a nursing home to spend the remainder of his days. Tatiana is a critical care nurse. She is married to a nurse anesthetist. She has 2 children and 3 dogs. After treating Jack in the intensive care unit she found it impossible to allow his transfer to a nursing home. Jack had already been abused and abandoned. It seemed unfair that his final days should be spent alone in a nursing home. Tatiana and her family now care for him. They are not concerned with how much time he has left for we are all only here for a short time. They freely give him the love, care and attention he needs.... that we all need. Tatiana is not a public person. She doesn’t want publicity or thanks. She saw a child that needed a loving home like every child, so she gave it to him. Jack slept quietly in his stroller while I cleaned Tatiana's teeth. Breathing steadily thru the tubes in his nose. Unexpectedly he woke up and looked up at me. Our eyes connected and with a smile he said hello. My heart melted and tears filled my eyes. Love is surely the way home.

Lastra & Raffel: Dr. John Raffel, DDS 2150 SW 21st Ave Miami, FL 33145 305-856-5141

For internists Dr. Sandino Gonzalez and wife and business partner Dr. Gilly Perez, the opening of their new medical practice at 6150 Sunset Drive in South Miami is “a dream come true.” “We have been physicians in the community for the past 15 years, practicing next to Baptist Hospital,” explained Dr. Gonzalez. “We are fortunate that our business has grown. We envisioned this private practice as something we have always wanted: an integrated center for patients.” The team at GP Health has provided prescription dispensary as part of their integrated healthcare concept for many years. The doctors specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of various conditions and diseases, including cardiology care. The doctors have expanded their services and now offer a state-ofthe-art dental clinic in their new location. The internal medicine specialists graduated from Cornell University’s affiliated New York Hospital of Queens after completing studies in their native Dominican Republic. The doctors say being highly trained in every aspect of the human body has made it clear that dental care is essential to overall good health. “As internists, we’ve seen how easy it is to integrate dental care, which I believe has been a bit neglected,” said Dr. Gonzalez. “We can take care of it all here, and this service also offers the patient a substantial savings. We have many geriatric patients, and diseases of the mouth are fairly common.” What is uniquely uncommon about GP Health is how their professional synergy seems to compliment the husband and wife team’s practice. Married for 20 years after interning together in New York, Dr. Gonzalez says their success is all about respect. “She is a great physician and we respect each other’s practice,” Dr. Gonzalez said. “We do not step into each other’s area. She emphasizes care for women, and I focus on men’s health. But medicine is a huge field, and we can assist each other and our patients. It has been working great for us.” The charismatic and engaging couple opened their office with a standing-room only reception of family and friends that began with a special service from Father Yara of their Pinecrest church, St. Louis Catholic Church. Dr. Perez says total patient focus is why they are blessed with a thriving practice.

Dr. Sandino Gonzalez and wife and business partner Dr. Gilly Perez receive guests at the opening reception of GP Health on Sunset Drive. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“The key for us has been really taking the time with our patients,” said Dr. Perez. “Nowadays, medicine can be rushed. After waiting for an hour, a patient sees a doctor for three minutes. But I am going to take all the time the patient needs. It is not just a matter of the actual illness physically, but emotions also affect health. I need to take the time to find out what may be behind the symptoms.” One of the most critical and challenging aspects of modern medical care needs is to get patients to embrace changes that will help them stay healthy, say the doctors. “The patient has to understand their body,” said Dr. Gonzalez. “The most difficult part of medicine is to get people to change bad habits. Get up off the couch and walk, stop smoking, stop drinking. If you lose your health, nothing else matters.” To find out more about GP Health, visit <>or call 305-274-9890.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

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Steve Rossman ends 3 years as national Easter Seals chair BY MARK SELL

Stephen F. “Steve” Rossman has concluded three years as Easter Seals chair, during which the organization dramatically expanded services for military veterans and their families and launched critical partnerships in brain research. Rossman, who lives in Coral Gables, is cofounding partner of the Miami trial law firm Rossman Baumberger Reboso Spier & Connolly. He assumed his new title as immediate past chairman at Easter Seals’ national meeting in Chicago in late October and will continue his long service on Easter Seals Board of Directors. Easter Seals, as one of the world’s largest organizations serving people dealing with disabilities, has touched more than 1.7 million lives through its 550 affiliates. Rossman said that among his proudest accomplishments was Easter Seals’ partnership with the Staff Sergeant Donnie D. Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services (Dixon Center) in Washington, DC. The Dixon Center ensures access to services essential for military service members, veterans, their families and the families of the fallen to succeed in family and community life and civilian society. In the past two years, Easter Seals has raised $25 million to sup-

port returning service homeless any given members. night. The center is named “The list goes on, and for Donnie Dixon of there are millions more Carol City, a tank comAmerican veterans who mander who was killed served in Vietnam, Korea by small arms fire in Iraq and World War II among on Sept. 29, 2007, at age us. We may, over time, 37, one month shy of forget these wars, but not ending his second these men and women deployment and his coming back.” scheduled return to his Easter Seals recently wife and four children, launched a Brain Health and three years before he Center to create solutions planned to retire. The and expand awareness of center is run by Sgt. how emerging technoloDixon’s former comgies can enhance the manding officer, retired lives of people living Stephen F. “Steve” Rossman Col. Donald Sutherland. with brain conditions. Its ––––––––––––––––––––––– The center’s efforts have partners and technology won strong endorsements from retired incubators in fostering brain health include Admiral Mike Mullen, the former Chairman the Brain Plasticity Institute, Posit Science of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. and Vista Life Sciences. “This work with veterans and their famiRossman has served Easter Seals at both lies is vital and will continue for genera- the affiliate and national levels for decades. tions,” Rossman said. “Since 2000, more At the national level, he has represented than 250,000 veterans have been diagnosed Easter Seals South Florida as a member of with traumatic brain injury. Nearly 50,000 Easter Seals National House of Delegates, men and women have been wounded in Iraq 1997-2007, and served on the Membership and Afghanistan. Nearly 2,300 have commit- and Organizational Structure (MOS) ted suicide. More than 67,000 veterans are Committee. Elected to Easter Seals

International Board of Directors in October 2004 and re-elected in 2007, he has served as board first vice chair, secretary, chair of the Affiliate Services Committee, vice chair of the Public Affairs Committee and a member of the Executive and Finance committees. He was elected board chair in 2010. Rossman first became involved with Easter Seals in 1984 as the parent of a child at the Easter Seals Demonstration School in Miami when he served as co-chair of Easter Seals South Florida’s capital campaign. He joined the affiliate’s board in 1987, held the offices of vice chair and chair, and has served on numerous committees over the years. An enthusiastic supporter and staunch advocate of Easter Seals, its clients and services, Rossman often has opened up his home to host Easter Seals events and fundraisers, and recruit new members to the affiliate board and the Presidents’ Council. Throughout Rossman’s career as a trial lawyer, he has served as president of the Florida Justice Association, president of the Miami-Dade Justice Association, a member of the board of governors of the American Association for Justice, and a legal advocate of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. To support children and adults with disabilities visit <>.

Facial Plastic Surgery with Dr. Bustillo Dr. Bustillo, I had filler placed under my eyes several months ago and I feel that it’s actually made my eyes look worse. They have this swollen look to them. Can I have the filler removed? Madeline Dear Madeline, I am going to assume that you had the filler placed by a reputable physician and that it was hyaluronic acid filler, such as Restylane or Boletero. These fillers are the ones commonly injected into the area just below the eyelids, known as the tear trough. Injecting this area fills this valley and smoothes the eyelid-cheek junction. The filler in this area should be injected in the right depth. An injection placed too superficially can cause the eyelid to look puffy. If this occurs, there is a solution called hyaluronidase, which can dissolve the filler. Your physician can help you with this. If you had this done outside of a medical office, there is a chance that the filler may have been something else. If this is the case, you should consult with a physician that has experience with these issues. Best,

Andres Bustillo, MD You can submit your questions to Andres Bustillo is a board certified facial plastic surgeon. 305-663-3380

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

William Banchs named as CEO of BHSF Foundation BY JORGE MARTINEZ

National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA). He joined the NFAA, an Baptist Health South Florida recently organization devoted to supporting and named William Banchs CEO of the Baptist nurturing the careers of young artists, in Health South Florida Foundation. 1986 as director of program development In his new role, Banchs will run the daily and served in a number of leadership posioperation and oversee all fundraising and tions before assuming the presidency in activities for Baptist Health South Florida 1991. Foundation. The mission In addition, Banchs of the Foundation is to founded the Miami provide volunteer leadSchool of Musical Arts ership and philanthropic in 1980 and served as its support to improve the director for nine years. health and quality of life He also taught music of the individuals and theory at the University communities served by of Miami and served as Baptist Health. festival coordinator for “Bill’s broad experithe University’s Festival ence in fundraising in of Miami in 1985, an various sectors will be 18-day-long event feainstrumental to Baptist turing 32 classical and Health South Florida jazz concerts and other Foundation, as we conprograms. tinue to expand our “We are thrilled to brand awareness locally have someone of Bill’s William Banchs and nationally,” said caliber join our team,” ––––––––––––––––––––––––– George Foyo, chief said William Wilson administrative officer for Baptist Health III, Baptist Health South Florida South Florida. Foundation chair. “We look forward to Banchs most recently served as president the growth of the Foundation and its and CEO of the Scottsdale Cultural impact on our mission.” Council (SCC) in Scottsdale, AZ from Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Banchs 2008 through August 2013. The SCC is the attended Harvard University, where he largest non-profit cultural organization in earned a BA in chemistry and physics and Arizona, serving over 350,000 patrons. his MA and PhD in music composition and While there, he restructured the organiza- theory. He also was awarded an honorary tion to implement a significant reduction of doctorate from the Maryland Institute operating costs while maintaining the high- College of Art in 2004. est level of services for its patrons and Baptist Health South Florida Foundation achieving in 2013 one of the highest rev- is the fundraising arm of Baptist Health enue years in the organization’s history. South Florida. The Foundation supports Prior to his tenure at the SCC, Banchs services at all hospitals and facilities affiliwas the president of the Miami-based ated with Baptist Health. For more inforNational YoungArts Foundation, formerly mation, visit

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


Cutting edge physician helps patients beat baldness

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Sabadell United Bank participates in Miami Children’s Hospital 5K


“This work is very gratifying because patients are so happy with their results and so Male pattern baldness, the main cause of relieved,” Dr. Bared added. “It has an incredihair loss, affects an estimated quarter of men ble psychological impact.” Patient Michael Miller agrees. “After four by the age of 30 and two-thirds by the age of 60. Women also can experience hair loss or years of contemplating having a hair transthinning hair. Studies have found that hair loss plant, I went for it,” he said. “And I’m so glad I did. I am reinvigorated and can have far-reaching consemy outlook on life is better.” quences for many people, leadThe majority of individuals ing to low self-confidence and choose to have their procedure even impaired quality of life. performed under local anestheAnthony Bared, M.D., sia with a mild, short-acting knows the impact that hair loss sedative. Patients leave bandcan have on a person’s wellage-free and are prescribed being. antibiotics and medicine to He is performing hair transreduce the chance of swelling plants at the Foundation for and mild pain pills to make Hair Restoration and Plastic sleeping more comfortable. Surgery, located in South “Most people are back to Miami, and changing people’s work within two days, and lives. return to all normal activities Dr. Bared joins Jeffrey after one week,” said Dr. Epstein, M.D., the founder of Anthony Bared, M.D Bared. the practice and leader in the –––––––––––––––––– Miller says the procedure hair transplantation field. Both Drs. Bared and Epstein specialize in hair loss was virtually painless. “I took a few Advil for treatments, including hair transplant repair, the first few days. I stayed home from work hairline lowering, male pattern baldness and the day after the procedure, and then it was women’s hair replacement. Each were fellow- back to work as usual,” he said. Dr. Bared is committed to offering the most ship trained in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and have extensive facial plastic sur- modern techniques in one of few operating rooms in the country used exclusively for hair gery backgrounds. “Patients benefit from this expertise,” said restoration and fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Dr. Bared. This means that patients get the most natural Health Care. For those who want to change the appearappearing results. Dr. Bared performs follicular unit micro- ance of their face through a plastic surgery prografts – the most commonly chosen hair cedure or simply restore a more youthful look, restoration procedure. Because of Dr. Bared’s Dr. Bared offers a wide variety of plastic and aesthetic skill, this technique results in hair- cosmetic surgery procedures such as rhinolines that both look and function naturally. He plasty, septoplasty, facelift, necklift, forehead also performs the advanced procedure called lift, eyelid surgery, chin augmentation, earlobe follicular unit extraction, which avoids a linear repair, scar revision and more. He also prodonor site incision. With this technique, grafts vides a full range of aesthetic injectables, are harvested one at a time with tiny punches, including Botox and fillers and other antiwhich then usually heal as virtually unde- aging treatments like laser resurfacing of the tectable dots in the scalp, says Dr. Bared. This face. Dr. Bared obtained his medical degree from technique is not offered by most surgeons the University of Miami School of Medicine, because it is technically challenging. Dr. Bared also treats women suffering from where he was inducted into the AOA Medical female pattern hair loss, which can be devastat- Honor Society. After completing his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital, he was one of ing for a woman’s self-image. “Many women suffer in silence because it is 40 nationwide to be awarded a highly competconsidered far more acceptable for men to itive fellowship by the American Academy of experience hair loss,” Dr. Bared said. “Hair Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at University of Illinois-Chicago. transplantation restores women’s hair, along the Additionally, Dr. Bared is board certified by with their self-confidence.” Dr. Bared also performs specialized hair the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head transplantation procedures, such as eyebrow and and Neck Surgery. facial hair transplants. These procedures can Dr. Bared can be reached at the Foundation enhance a patient’s eyebrows or restore them due to over-plucking, or add facial hair that is for Hair Restoration and Plastic Surgery, not present naturally. He also treats women who located in the Sunset Professional Building, have had facelifts that resulted in scarring at the 6280 Sunset Drive, Suite 504. For more inforhairline, and men who have facial scarring and mation, call 305-666-1774 or visit <> want to regrow hair in the area.

Sabadell United Bank was the leading sponsor and had a team participate in the Hyundai Hope on Wheels third annual Miami Children’s Hospital 5K, a fundraiser designed to increase awareness of the hospital’s pediatric subspecialties and showcase its cutting-edge research, work, talent and dedication to its physicians. The race had more than 2,600 participants who ran or walked to benefit the children and families at Miami Children’s Hospital. Pictured is Fernando Perez-Hickman receiving a thank you gift from the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation for Sabadell’s participation in the 5K.

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HJCC presents donation check to CHI/Hope4Life

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Local chapter of Relay for Life plans Holiday Bazaar, Dec. 15 BY ROBERT HAMILTON

The local chapter of Relay for Life — which this year includes Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay — is hosting its first annual Holiday Bazaar at Pinecrest Gardens on Dec. 15. Relay for Life is the nationwide signature activity of the American Cancer Society, and has raised more than $4 billion since its inception. On Dec. 15, the Relay crew will be sponsoring a great community event at Pinecrest Gardens. Some 45 vendors from

all over will be setting up their tents and selling their merchandise such as jewelry, crafts, ceramic pottery, hot sauces, hair accessories, sun glasses, watches, clothing, children’s wear, pet care and more. Come join the fun while supporting an important cause and help find a cure. Bazaar hours are noon to 4 p.m. Admission to the Gardens is $3 for adults and $2 for children For questions or to inquire about being a vendor, send email to Liz Albelo at <> or Becky Buchwald at <>.

Homestead Job Corps Center (HJCC) students and staff raised money to present a donation check in the amount of $507 to Community Health of South Florida/Hope4Life Breast Cancer Awareness fundraising campaign. Pictured (l-r) are Tammy Key, HJCC human resources specialist; Romanita Ford, CHI director of Community Affairs and Government Relations, and Lesly Diaz, HJCC business and community liaison.

In an age of ‘supersizing,’ Gary Bush named honorary chair keep an eye on portions for ACS Relay For Life in March BY AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

In an age where “supersizing,” all-youcan-eat buffets, and family-size packaging are the norm, it’s tough to know exactly what a reasonable portion size looks like. But, exercising portion control is a great way to get and stay at a weight that’s healthy for you. After quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of serious diseases, such as cancer. So what does a reasonable portion size look like? Consider these food portion sizes compared to everyday objects. You may be surprised to learn the servings you’re used to seeing are double or triple

what a recommended portion might be. 1 oz. meat: a matchbox 3 oz. meat (the recommended portion for a meal): a deck of cards or bar of soap 8 oz. meat: a thin paperback book 3 oz. fish: a checkbook 1 oz. cheese: four dice Medium potato: a computer mouse 2 tablespoons of peanut butter: a tabletennis ball 1/2 cup pasta: a tennis ball Making simple choices, such as controlling your portions, can make a big difference to your health. To learn more about the healthy habits that can help finish the fight against cancer, visit or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800227-2345.


The American Cancer Society, the nation’s leading voluntary health organization, has selected Gary Bush to serve as honorary chair for the Relay For Life of Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay scheduled for Mar. 1, 2014. Bush is a youth sports coach and science teacher at Miami Southridge Senior High. In April 2013, Gary was rushed to the emergency room and diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of liver cancer. He is undergoing treatment for the disease and with the help of his wife, Michele, an assistant principle at Coconut Palm Academy, will continue the fight as a survivor. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life brings together teams from local businesses, schools, churches and families for food, fun, music, entertainment

and a night under the stars — while team members take turns walking on a track. All moneys raised from the Relay For Life of Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay will go to cancer research, education, advocacy and service. This year’s theme is “World’s Fair 2014.” Each team picks a country to represent and the fun and fundraising begins. Along with his honorary chair position this year, Gary and his friends and family are Team Norway. They will join all the Relay participants on Mar. 1 at Evelyn Greer Park, eating foods from “around the world” while enjoying live entertainment, a silent auction and a Kidz Zone. If you want to start a team or donate, go to <>. For information about Relay For Life or about cancer, call toll-free anytime 1-800227-2345 or visit the American Cancer Society website at <>.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

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• Tree Trimming • Consultation • Stump Grinding • Landscaping • Lawn Services • Fertilization • Sprinkler Repair • Debris Removal • Backhoe Service • Driveway Pavers • Fencework - All Types • Chickee Huts • Outdoor Kitchens • And More

FREE ESTIMATES • 305-233-0699

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Palmetto Bay Business Association members enjoyed the monthly luncheon on November 7th at Christ Fellowship

Cutler Bay 20351 Old Cutler Road Cutler Bay, FL 33189-1831 Phone: 305-238-0925 STATE OF THE ART BANKING

Palmetto Bay 14095 South Dixie Hwy Miami, FL 33176-7222 Phone: 305-256-0900

Coral Gables 2901 S. Le Jeune Road Coral Gables, FL 33134-6690 Phone: 305-567-0600 â&#x20AC;˘ State of the Art Banking

Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013


Roasters’ n Toasters New York Deli & Bagels

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Roasters’ n Toasters New York Deli & Bagels


Eat In or Take Out We Deliver & Cater



Every Night is

MONDAYS 10 homemade fried chicken pieces 2 large fresh sides* and rolls Serves 3 to 4


FREE KID’S COMBO WITH EACH ADULT MEAL PURCHASE Sides include: French fries, sweet potato fries, cole slaw, macaroni salad, macaroni and cheese, grilled veggies or Caesar salad.

Dine in or Take out

Start a New Family Tradition! Valid for children 12 and under. Mondays from 4 pm to close. Dine-in only. Kids must be present.

Salads, Subs, Gyros, Philly Cheesesteaks, Beer and Wine, Big Screen TVs

9471 SOUTH DIXIE HIGHWAY, PINECREST, FL, 33156 Open 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM Daily • fri - Sat 11:00 AM - 10:00 pm

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Nov. 26 - Dec. 9, 2013

Sunny Isles Beach Sun 12.2.2013  

Local Miami News