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WEST PARK NEWS

JULY 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime BY MAYOR ERIC H. JONES JR. DDuring the time I have served as your Mayor, I have discovered the importance of creating a sense of community in West Park. As a young city, it is still our job as your Mayor and Commissioners to continue building a positive perception and feeling of value around the City and its activities. With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to urge all West Park residents to attend Commission meetings and community events. Your City staff works tirelessly year round to plan and host several events here in West Park. Though it doesn’t officially start on the calendar until June 21, everyone around these parts knows summer began in West Park at about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, when all the kids came streaming out of school with smiles on their faces. I, for one, couldn’t be happier, because this summer West Park is really going to shine. Summer is a time for family, when kids are out of school; parents need to take that break with their children. It’s an opportunity to create new memories - your own history. Again this year, we’re offering summer camps for our local youth at Mary Saunders Park and McTyre Park starting June 13. We’re very excited to be able to offer parents our CAMP B.R.A.V.E.R.Y Program for summer fun right in their backyards. We also have summer activities at our local

Boys and Girls Club. I feel these programs, along with our Hurricane Football League, church basketball leagues, and other options for summer sports, represent a huge leap forward in the types and quality of service for our kids. We can be excited about what’s being offered within the boundaries of our city! We’ve come a long way in just six short years of planning for a full scale recreation department, and the future is looking very bright. Please check the City calendar for news about exciting summer events that our Park and Recreation Department has scheduled. We hope you will take advantage of these great opportunities, and enjoy them with your children, friends, and neighbors. The month of June is also a time to celebrate Fathers. I hope many of you joined us at McTyre Park for our Father’s Day Celebration. On another note, summertime also brings three things that I’m not particularly fond of – very hot weather, the beginning of hurricane season and city budget planning meetings. We can’t do too much about the former two, short of air conditioners and hurricane preparation, but the latter certainly benefits from our attention and planning. We face some serious challenges for the next few years. But I am optimistic that, as we have in the past, we shall face these in the future. In addition to our normal schedule of meetings, be on the alert for our upcoming budget meeting. Finally, protect your family by being prepared this hurricane season. Below is a checklist from the National Hurricane Center:

In City Government

WHO’S WHO

WEST

Mayor Eric H. Jones, Jr.

PARK

Vice Mayor Felicia M. Brunson

ARE YOU READY? BEFORE HURRICANE SEASON… • Determine safe evacuation routes inland. • Learn locations of official shelters. • Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and battery-powered equipment such as cell phones and your NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards receiver. • Buy food that will keep and store drinking water. • Buy plywood or other material to protect your home if you don’t already have it.

CITY

Commissioner Thomas Dorsett

• Trim trees and shrubbery so branches don’t fly into your home. • Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts. • Decide where to move your boat. • Review your insurance policy. • Find pet-friendly hotels on your evacuation route. Please feel free to contact us or stop by City Hall anytime and let us know how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

Enjoy your summer!

OFFICIALS

Commissioner Sharon Fyffe

Commissioner Rita “Peaches” Mack

City Administrator W. Ajibola Balogun


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

July 2011

Congratulations to our 2011 Graduates BY VICE MAYOR BRUNSON

I know all of you—parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, guardians and friends, are reflecting on the fact that just yesterday, your young man or woman was beginning his or her high school career. It seems like just last week they were attending their very first day of school, and just reflecting back in time, it seems like at a blink of an eye, they were coming home from the hospital as a newborn. I know while watching your graduate march there was a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye. Both physical reactions are evidence of your pride—pride in a child you stayed up with all night when they were sick, a child you have stood by every minute, and with your heart and soul, have sung happy birthday to countless times. It has been both a challenge and a joy to raise your child, and graduation is a very special day that marks their entry into the adult world. A high school diploma or a college degree will give each of these excited, exuberant young people an opportunity to be the best person they can be. A JOB WELL DONE Congratulations to our graduates on successfully completing your high school career and/or college experience. You have all worked very hard and stand on the brink of your next journey in life. But realize that the real work begins now. You have great lives to develop. A simple life’s plan with realistic goals will allow you to achieve your full potential. It’s all up to you. Your lives will be defined by the good choices you make each day. That is why carefully thinking about what you believe in and establishing a moral compass is crucial in the upcoming years. This may sound like a cliché, but it is important to

finish with a 4.0 grade point average or a 2.5 grade point average. What will matter is that you have the realization that you performed to the highest degree of your ability. Everyone who comes into contact with you will realize this, will value this, and will be inspired by your example.

remember…every morning, get up, look in the mirror and take a few seconds to make a daily appraisal of your life. You are the only person responsible for your day-to-day actions or your success. Each day you can make significant choices to ensure your future success. It’s all up to you. Always be aware of your personal safety. Never compromise on this. Reckless or careless behavior leads to harmful results. Remember that your aptitude and perseverance, combined with your knowledge and skills will determine your career path. Prepare yourself, so that you will have great and interesting career choices. Take time to build personal relationships, which will lead to strong friendships and lasting family structures. No one is happy in life unless they have significant relationships with people they love and who love them. BE THE BEST It is easy to ask each of you to become the best person you can be, and to put your best effort into everything you do. Doing your best means performing to the highest possible degree of competence. It means never having to question whether you put maximum effort into anything you attempt. If you are able to hold yourself to this standard, you will never have any regret in life. It will not matter whether you finish first or last; it will not matter whether you earn the bonus or not; it will not matter whether you

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PRIDE Consistently performing to the best of your ability will promote an enormous sense of pride in everything you do. Pride is a feeling of immense satisfaction arising from an association, or acts or deeds that you perform, towards a good or laudable goal. When you perform at your best and develop a keen sense of pride in your worth as an individual, you will receive the respect of all who come into contact with you. RESPECT Respect is a word that is used constantly, but what is the concept of respect? It is being admired by your peers and held in high esteem by all. It is to be honored in a manner that illustrates that you have committed yourself to being the absolute best person that you can be. In order to receive respect however, you must also understand

the concept of giving respect. This concept means always according anyone you come into contact with the proper courtesy and acceptance that you wish to receive as well. WE ARE ALL CONNECTED There is no doubt that the City of West Park is one big family. We are all interconnected in some fashion. We each rely on one another for everything from friendships to services in our society. We must all acknowledge each person’s value to our social fabric and respect one another. Striving for the best, personal pride and fostering respect person-by-person should define your legacy to our City. YOUR SUCCESS IS COMPLETELY UP TO YOU! Finally, have your life experiences, continue your education or career training, or serve your country, and then come back home and help continue to build a great dynamic West Park. We will welcome you home with open arms. God bless each of you and your families, and congratulations again on your academic success!


July 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

FROM THE DESK OF COMMISSIONER MACK Well, summer is here! That means vacations, no school, and of course, hurricane season. We will periodically give updates on things you should have available to best prepare for a storm. As I look around the community, I am encouraged to see how residents show appreciation for our City and I’m very pleased at the beautiful ambiance it has taken. As a reminder to all parents, there are several exciting programs being offered to help keep our children safe this summer. Please take advantage of these programs. On that note, I also wish to share some valuable information about personal safety that I learned from Sheriff Al Lamberti, who spoke at the recent Lake Forest Homeowners Association (HOA) Meeting. He spoke about crime prevention, and gave the following useful tips: Avoid mail identity theft by using a shredder to destroy sensitive documents. Avoid giving personal information over the telephone. The Sheriff also spoke about the importance of hurricane preparedness. It was one of the most informative meetings I have attended at an HOA in some time. It’s a good idea to listen out for guest speakers at all our community HOA meetings. It doesn’t matter where you live; they are in your City and a particular speaker may be just who you need to hear from. Sometimes we need to be reminded of how vulnerable we really are. I sympathize with the Budd family, who recently were victims of theft. I am hoping the person or people responsible will have enough compassion to return their dog, Kaycee. We need to look out for each other. If you see or have any information about the whereabouts of Kaycee, please call the police. Being the voice for the people means I will represent your needs from here to the White House. As we work throughout the

Photo courtesy of the Budd Family.

City, I consider how we began and where we are today. I feel each Commission member is doing a phenomenal job at making sure you are served in a respectable way. Each commissioner has a passion that they take on. For example, mine has been to be your voice. I have received letters thanking me for my response time when working for our residents. You can make an appointment to sit down and we can talk and work out whatever your issue might be. I am pleased that good things are happening that will benefit our residents. In a recent meeting at Broward County, our District Representative, Commissioner Barbara Sharief, shared that she has allocated over $90,000 to help the West Park health facility function more effectively. For that, we say a heartfelt Thank You to Commissioner Sharief! As we prepare for the summer break, I truly believe that at this juncture in the City, we are on an upward path. Everyone is working hard and you can see this good work being carried out throughout the City. If you have any questions or any issues you wish to discuss, please feel free to call me at 954.889-4156.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

MESSAGE

FROM

July 2011

VICE MAYOR BRUNSON

Summer Safety Tips For Children BY VICE MAYOR BRUNSON

When West Park kids are out of school for their annual summer break, following some basic children’s summer safety tips can keep them safe at the pool, beach, mall, at home or on vacation. SIMPLE SAFETY TIPS Kids can get into all sorts of trouble if left to their own devices, so it’s up to their parents or guardians to take steps to keep them as safe as possible. The following are some likely places children will be during the summer and safety tips everyone should know. POOLS: Nothing says summertime fun like hanging out at the pool, whether it’s in your own backyard, the neighborhood pool or at

a friend’s. Steps parents can take to ensure their child’s safety while swimming are:

• Swim lessons: While knowing how to swim won’t always prevent water accidents, this can go a long way toward staying safe in the water. Even very young children can be taught to float. Parents should still supervise their kids in pools, however, and not rely solely on items like water wings to keep their kids safe. • The buddy system: No one should swim alone, even accomplished swimmers. You never know when a cramp could hit and cripple you in the water. Especially for children, swimming with a buddy can prevent drowning; if one person is in trouble, a friend can go or call for help. • No horseplay: Running or rough housing around a slippery pool deck can lead to accidents. Make sure your children know that running isn’t acceptable. BEACHES: For families who want to spend a day or week of vacation at the beach, the same pool safety tips apply, but you’ll also want to make sure your children know: • To wear a life jacket: If you boat or Jet Ski in the ocean, wearing life jackets is important. Set a good example by wearing one yourself. HOME: If both parents work outside of the home and children are old enough to prepare their own meals or surf the Internet, some areas of concern may be: • Strangers: Children should be taught never to answer the door if their parents aren’t home. Also, if they answer the phone and don’t know who’s on the other end of the

line, they should never say that their parents aren’t home. Saying “they’re not available to come to the phone” is better practice. • The stove: Only children who are old enough to capably use the stove should be allowed to cook. Even so, because accidents can happen to anyone, they should know where the fire extinguisher is located in the event of a fire. They should also know their escape route. • Internet safety: Many children will spend a lot of their summer vacation online, chatting with friends or playing games. Unfortunately, child predators use the Internet as well, trying to lure children. Make sure your child knows not to divulge any personal information, such as name, address, phone number, city, etc. Also, using a firewall or other computer programs to prevent a child from accessing pornography is a good idea. MALLS: When children are old enough to walk the malls without their parents, they often relish this independence and want to hang out with their friends. It’s smart practice to discuss mall dangers such as: • Strangers: Child predators sometimes lurk around malls, knowing that young kids are susceptible to ruses such as helping someone find a lost pet or friend. Parents should caution their children to avoid anyone they

don’t know and never to walk off with anyone, whether they know the person or not, without their parents’ permission. VACATIONS: If you travel during the summer, having a plan in case a child gets lost is smart practice. Some parents have a family password, so if a child is separated from family and an individual claims to know where the child’s family is, they must know the password. It is even better to tell your child to look for a gift shop or information desk, speak with someone, and wait there. Discussing all of this beforehand, using family passwords, and explaining to children where to go if they get lost will go a long way toward preventing disaster. Safety is Everyone’s Concern Following basic children’s summer safety tips can ease your mind when your children are with you and when they’re not. This way, summer can be fun and relaxing for the kids and for you.

Conchita Espinosa Academy Bringing out the extraordinary in every child

Applications are now available for the K-4 through 8th grade 2011-2012 academic year. New K-4 and K-5 Learning Center. Call for a private visit.

Visit our website and apply online www.conchitaespinosa.com or call 305.227.1149.


July 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

FROM THE DESK OF COMMISSIONER FYFFE BY COMMISSIONER SHARON FYFFE

H

HURRICANE SEASON HAS ARRIVED! It is time to do what you have to do to get your family and your house ready for a possible hurricane. Do not hesitate. Think about what you want to do and make it a priority. Make yourself a checklist of needs for your family and be ready. The County Commissioner for our District Eight is Barbara Sharief. Recently, I attended an informal meeting of Mayors and Commissioners from each of the cities located in District Eight. Mayors and Commissioners present were from Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Hallandale Beach, Southwest Ranches, Weston and West Park. Also present was the Broward County Administrator, Bertha Henry. She discussed four issues, number one being the County Budget for next fiscal year. She explained that there will have to be cuts in the budget again but she thought there would be no cuts in the areas of transportation and human services. And she was hopeful that money will be found to keep a few county libraries open on Sunday again. She also was hopeful there would be no jobs lost due to the cuts. The second issue she discussed was fire and police dispatch services. The County is looking to have a “regional dispatch system” which will eliminate duplication and save money. The County is ready to pay for the infrastructure to create a regional system, but who pays for the dispatchers? That seems to be the issue right now. Third is the issue of solid waste. At present the price for next fiscal year will be $72.57 to dump one ton of garbage in the landfill but negotiations are still in progress. And fourth is the redistricting process. Our District Eight has the most residents of all districts in Broward County. District populations are calculated by assigning census block data to district boundaries. The average population of a district in Broward County is 194,229 people. District Eight has 257,312 people in it. Some redistricting will have to be done. Following the presentation by Ms. Henry, each participant was given an opportunity to address particular issues of concern in their city, such as red light cameras, economic development, absentee ballots, etc. Thank you, Commissioner Sharief, for this wonderful opportunity to meet with

you, to hear from the County Administrator first hand and to network with each other. I hope we can do this again. Each month I attend the League of Cities’ general meeting. Most residents do not know that we have a League of Cities in Broward County, and that we have the Florida League of Cities and the National League. The League is just that, cities banded together with the common purpose of strengthening our combined efforts in order to support our citizens and protect our independence. There are 31 cities in Broward County. The League is a tremendous resource; they offer good information and good training. Quoted from Rhonda Calhoun, Executive Director of the Broward League of Cities, “A knowledgeable, unified voice of local elected officials in Broward County is a potent and dynamic force.” Several residents have called me regarding the “work” presently being done on Hallandale Beach Boulevard. FDOT is the agency doing the work. They will be re-paving the road, re-timing the lights and re-landscaping the medians. It should look nice when it is done. GREEN, GREEN, GREEN is popping up all over. Cities across our country have been gearing themselves up to conservation of energy, conservation of water, recycling and clean air. Congratulations to Mr. Bill Moritz from the Miami Gardens area and Ms. Karen Goldstein from the Lake Forest area, who were recently appointed to the West Park Green City Advisory Committee. Each commissioner will appoint one resident to this Committee. Please call City Hall at 954-989-2688 if you are interested in serving. Remember, the City Commission does not meet during the month of July but City Hall and all City Departments will remain open. WHAT’S NEW WITH THE BROWARD COUNTY CULTURAL ARTS COUN CIL? On June 1, the 2011 Arts Teacher of the Year was chosen. Congratulations to Julia Perlowski, Drama Teacher at Pompano Beach High School. A recognition ceremony will be held on October 19, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Summer is beginning. The days are long and warm and school is out. Be safe, everyone. Call on me if you have any issues of concern. Let’s talk about it and resolve it. If we have not met yet, let’s make it a point to do so. Call anytime, 954963-7745.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

July 2011

West Park’s Own, Oddibe McDowell, To Be Honored In 2011College Baseball Hall Of Fame Former major league center fielder and West Park native, Oddibe McDowell, has been selected as one of seven finalists chosen to be inducted in the 2011 College Baseball Hall of Fame at the July 3 ceremony in Lubbock, Texas. McDowell is the son of Mary and Oddibe McDowell, Sr., residents of West Park for more than 50 years. He is currently head baseball coach at Everglades High School in Pembroke Pines. He attended Miami-Dade College before transferring to Arizona State in 1983. From 1983-84, McDowell played for the Arizona State Sun Devils, batting 30 home runs and 31 doubles. His 1984 season, in which he hit .405 and 23 home runs, earned him the Golden Spikes Award (college baseball’s Heisman). He was the first Arizona State player to have his number retired and in 1984, he was also a member of the first U.S. Baseball Olympic team. His professional baseball career also included playing for the Texas Rangers, where he was the first player to ever hit for the cycle in the history of the team. With all his experience and achievements, McDowell remains humble and modest. He states it’s not about him or his accomplishments. He moved back to Florida and now resides in Hollywood and spends his time coaching and tutoring. “There’s nothing more

West Park native, Oddibe McDowell, 2011 College Baseball Hall of Famer. rewarding than working with kids,” says McDowell. “I try to impart good things to them

and help them become better students and ballplayers.”

Everglades’ junior catcher, Edward Milian, says he didn’t even know about McDowell’s upcoming Hall of Fame induction. “I heard some rumors about it, but I didn’t really know for sure,” says Milian. “He doesn’t talk about that kind of stuff to us.” Milian, with a .419 batting average, says it’s humbling to be playing for a coach with such a legacy. “Leaving a lasting mark on my players and on my son would be most gratifying,” says McDowell. I want to make sure they prioritize things in their lives and keep the right perspective. I want to ensure my players, no matter where they go after they leave high school, continue to do their best and give the best they have to offer in everything they do.” McDowell currently does fundraising for the Legends baseball team, which consists of active and retired baseball players, and for the Make A Wish Foundation. With regard to his Hall of Fame induction, he says, “When I think about it, I don’t think back on what I did, so much as I think about my former teammates and coaches. A lot of the hard work went into being part of a great team. I think about players who came before me who allowed me to even be in a position to achieve the things I did. I am thankful for their sacrifices. I try to use the game of baseball to teach the game of life.”


July 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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More than one way to cut Medicare and Medicaid fraud R. Kenneth Bluh KENNETH’S COMMENTARY I am, I confess, a senior citizen. I’m on Medicare. I would hate to see my benefits reduced. I would hate to have a co-pay on my high blood pressure medication. But, I also know that America can’t go broke making sure I don’t have to pay a $20 co-pay for my meds. We have talked before about fraud in the payment of Medicare and Medicaid benefits to bandits that are stealing billions every year with fraudulent claims. We have talked about seniors who “rent” out their Social Security numbers to doctors and drugstores that use them to steal billions from the government. We have read about medical service providers stealing seniors’ Social Security numbers to file fraudulent claims. Congress, in its effort to accommodate physicians, pharmacies and equipment suppliers, requires that claim payments be disbursed in 15 to 30 days to encourage those assisting seniors to continue and not with-

draw from medically supporting the elderly. The result is thousands of medical supply companies and pharmacies sprung up submitting illegal claims knowing that they will be paid and then checked to determine that the claims are legit. Unfortunately, by the time the government gets around to checking the validity of the claim, the illegals have pocketed the money, closed up shop, moved across the street and opened up a new fraudulent medical supply company or pharmacy. Good news. The Miami Herald headline read, “New tech to help fraud fight.” Finally, after watching banks and credit card companies use screening technology to detect patterns of fraud, Washington has decided to join in the hunt for Medicare and Medicaid deceit. The example cited in the article describes a “local” medical equipment supply company in Los Angeles having lots of clients in San Francisco more than 100 miles away. For sure, no one in Jacksonville will rent a wheelchair from a company in Miami when there must be hundreds of rental companies between the two cities. Unfortunately, VISA, MasterCard, the banks, etc. have been using such screening techniques for more than 40 years. Here is a simple suggestion, Medicare and

VIEWPOINT Medicaid administrators. Take the time to investigate a sampling of claims, say 20 percent of filings. Pay an extra 10 percent to all suppliers so audited as compensation for waiting. Eliminate 50 percent of the fraud by checking before paying and you will have accomplished your goals: rooting out a big segment of the fraud, saving billions in unwarranted claim payments and compensating the audited suppliers for waiting. Want a simple way to stop seniors on Medicare and Medicaid from “renting” out their Social Security numbers? First time you catch seniors pocketing money from renting out their number cut off their benefits for 180 days. Catch them the second time and they lose their benefits for life. First, make sure seniors are aware of the penalties for renting out their Social Security numbers. Second, make sure that they rented out their numbers and not stolen by their MD or medical supplier. Every day we read about “waste” in Washington. We must accept the fact that there always will be some degree of waste.

But, the number of lost dollars due to fraud and waste is staggering. The same edition of the Herald that carried the article about Medicare printed an article telling the story of billions of dollars in faulty aid given to Afghanistan. Bad enough that billions and billions of taxpayer dollars are wasted, but the article goes on to tell that the people of Afghanistan surely will fall into a major depression once we pull out of their country and stop sending them billions that have been ending up in the wrong hands or currently are providing technology that Afghans will not be able to maintain after NATO forces leave. If we only were able to eliminate the bulk of waste on federal, state and municipal levels we would go a long way in eliminating the deficit. And, you and I, the taxpayers, would feel much better about paying our taxes.

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 <letters@communitynewspapers.com>. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.


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July 2011

Small Cities Unite BYCOMMISSIONER THOMAS DORSETT

Recently, I had the honor and pleasure of attending the National League of Cities Small Cities Council Steering Committee conference in Beulah, North Dakota. As the only representative from the State of Florida, I was able to gain useful information about innovative projects taking place in other parts of the country. Since attending the conference, I have been talking with the City Administrator about several ideas that were discussed there. These included focusing on the creation of a downtown area for small cities, more specifically, considering SR 441 and Hallandale Beach Boulevard to serve as a possible downtown area. These, as well as other areas in the City, are ripe for redevelopment and

improvements. Other ideas presented included working with National League of Cities vendors to showcase the City in a new, innovative way through streaming video content and other customized media tools for the City’s website. This service would allow the City to better communicate with an online audience. Despite these tough economic times, our best years are ahead of us. I am so happy to have represented the City of West Park on a national level. The conference showed me that even though West Park is a relatively new city, we are already a model for other cities and can be proud of our many accomplishments. Borrowing the words from one conference attendee, “The economic health of our country depends on the economic health of our small communities.” If you have any questions or wish to meet with me, please feel free to call me at 954.889.4163.

www.communitynewspapers.com Hooray for Goombay! BY COMMISSIONER RITA “PEACHES” MACK

Wow! This year’s Goombay Festival was really special. Truly, this event is getting better each year. We had many different types of cuisine and there were several talented performers from West Park and other cities. I saw members from all HOAs represented, which is a good indicator that unity is growing in our community and we are starting to portray the City as a place to call home. This was our 3rd Annual Goombay Festival and preparations for next year’s

event have already started. We are already getting inquiries about booths and entertainment. The Junior Junkanoo Goombay dancers were wonderful and the adult Junkanoo band has guaranteed they will return. We are also considering a time change so we can hold the Goombay Festival when it’s cooler. This will allow us to have a longer event. If there is anything you as residents would like to see added to this very exciting event in the future, please feel free to call me. Every idea is a great idea! If, as a community, you would like to serve on our Goombay Festival Committee, please call the City Hall office at 954.989.2688 and inform staff of your interest.

Turn It Off... Conserve Water!


July 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Staying Safe this Independence Day BY VICE MAYOR BRUNSON As we celebrate 4th of July, I’d like to encourage all West Park residents to cooperate in making this one of the safest and most enjoyable holidays ever! Independence Day has always had special significance in our city. All of us are blessed to live in the greatest city, state and country that the world has ever known. We enjoy privileges and freedoms that exemplify the zenith of human civilization. While each of us has the right to celebrate the birth of our nation in their own way, no one has the right to endanger the lives or safety of others. This year let’s have safe July 4th celebrations by observing the law and respecting the rights of others. West Park let’s display true patriotism, and a true appreciation for what it means to be an American! Let’s all work to keep the spirit of mutual respect and love for our country alive, not just on Independence Day, but year round in the City of West Park. As you enjoy this holiday with family and friends, I hope you will take a moment

to recognize how fortunate we are to live in this country, this state and this very special city. West Park is a community with safe, clean neighborhoods, beautiful parks and excellent surrounding schools. This high quality of life doesn’t just happen. It is residents working together to make life better for all. I also urge you to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Please remember those serving in the military who are advancing the cause of freedom around the world. Fly your flag proudly as we celebrate our nation’s birthday, and have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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July 2011

Pet Tips Brought to You by Pet Supermarket

Lawn and Garden Dangers Summer is the season for gardens and green lawns, but keep in mind that some garden products may pose a health danger to your dog or cat. Most common garden dangers: • Herbicides: Pet paws are often irritated by walking on lawns treated by chemicals such as herbicides (weedkillers). Pets often ingest lawn chemicals by licking their paws after coming in contact with treated surfaces. Keep your pet off treated lawns and wipe their paws if lawn treatment is active. • Pesticides: Most pest baits contain poisonous ingredients used to kill vermin that can be ingested by your pet and cause harm. Make

sure your pet does not have access to pest baits. • Poisonous Plants: A number of plants can be poisonous and deadly to pets. Plants like lily of the valley, oleander, rhododendron, azalea, yew and foxglove among others. Keep your pets away from them or remove the plants from their areas. • Toxic Mushrooms: All types of mushroom can grow in your grass. To avoid the risk of your pet ingesting toxic ones, its best to remove them all. It can be a lot of fun for your pet to play in the lawn, but always be careful. Remember, if you think your pet has ingested poison, go to a vet immediately.

Whiskers: A Cat's GPS System Cat whiskers or "tactile hairs" are the long, thick, flexible hairs on a cat's face. They are located in the top corners of the mouth and the outer edges of the nose. Cats depend on their whiskers for sensing their surroundings and specifically for: • Measurement: The whisker's main use is to help the cat judge if he will fit through an opening. A cat's whiskers are about as wide as his body, if the whiskers fit so will the rest of him. • Navigation: Whiskers help the cat feel his way around. Whiskers can detect the smallest changes in air currents. For example, a cat can navigate its way a round a room at night by feeling the way the air flow changes depending on where objects lie. As the cat walks through

the living room and comes up to the sofa, he'll know which way to turn based on the change in air current around the sofa. • Mood Gauge: If the cat is angry or defensive the whiskers will be pulled back. If he is happy or curious, the whiskers will be relaxed and forward. Never cut or trim your cat's whiskers or it will affect your cat's ability to sense its environment. Whiskers are like hair and nails, they fall out and are replaced on their own. Pet Supermarket has everything a kitty needs to stay healthy and happy. We carry a large selection of brushes, grooming aids, toys, and premium cat foods. Come in and see us today!

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July 2011

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Reports of hacking should make us extra wary online

Al Sunshine CBS MONEY WATCH Recent reports of hackers infiltrating Sony’s systems prompts me to wonder if big high-tech corporations such as Sony and Apple are susceptible to hacks, then how hard could it be for information to be retrieved from our personal computers? A report co-authored by Worcester Polytechnic Institute computer science professor Craig Wills is equally unnerving. In a study of 100 popular websites used by tens of millions of people, it was found that three quarters directly leak private information or users’ unique identifiers to third-party tracking sites. The study demonstrated how the leaking of private information could permit tracking sites to link many pieces of information, including browsing histories and contents of searches on travel and health websites. With all the data we freely give to websites, from home addresses to phone numbers, it’s relatively easy to acquire consumer information. Although there have been efforts made by the government to regulate the leaking of personal information — proposals outlined by the FTC in its 2010 report on protecting consumer privacy — it’s incumbent upon consumer websites to start taking more responsibility for their users’ information. Until then, privacy regulations won’t make much of a difference. It also is important that consumers make every effort to protect their information when surfing the net, and more importantly, when shopping online. Consequently, here

are some measures to take in an effort to protect your personal information: • When online shopping, look for an “s” after the “http” in the address of the Web page where you’re entering your credit card information. • Look for third party seals of approval, such as from the Better Business Bureau Online or TRUSTe’s Certified Privacy seal. Click on the seals to make sure they link to the organization that created them, and weren’t put on the site without permission or merit. • Use a filter that warns you of suspicious websites, like the SmartScreen filter included in an Internet Explorer browser. • Keep your Internet browser updated. Newer versions often offer current technology aimed at maintaining privacy. • Make sure to read a website’s privacy policy before inputting information. • Be especially cautious of any website that asks for your Social Security number or personal bank account information. • When creating passwords, use a lot of numbers and symbols whenever possible. Many consumers use the same password for every website they visit because it’s easier to remember, but you should use different passwords for different websites. • Accepting cookies when you visit a website can allow them to keep information on you and your browser history. Sites should inform you of how they plan to use cookies deposited on your browser. You can opt out of online advertising cookies by visiting <www.networkadvertising.org>. Of course, in today’s cyber world, nothing can ever guarantee absolute safety online. However, taking these precautions will help reduce your chances of being scammed and suffering the unfortunate consequences. Watch Al Sunshine’s “Money Watch” reports Monday-Friday beginning at noon.

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Manage your Financial Condition like a Business

Most working people are employees and they think like employees when it comes to their financial condition. This means their focus is on salary, health insurance, 401k and vacation time. Yes, these benefits do impact your financial condition but it is one-sided. It is on the side of what you have (assets). We suggest that in order to attain financial independence, employees should begin to think and behave as a business owner. A business owner’s focus is not only on what they have but more importantly, what they owe (liabilities). This means accounts payable, which for individuals are items such as credit cards, car loans and mortgages.On this side of the balance sheet, the business owner wants to minimize expenses.

What you have (assets) minus what you owe (liabilities) results in what’s left over (net worth). $1 of assets and $1 of liabilities means $0 in net worth. $1 less in liabilities means you are $1 richer. Many employees with more salary will spend more, so they still have little net worth or financial independence. The car and house they own may be fancier but they may still be broke. Thebook,TheMillionaireNextDoor,describes how a business owner thinks and behaves.It is no secret how to become financially secure. It comes down to not thinking and behaving like an employee when it comes to your financial future. Tonkinson Financial provides hands-on money management for the middle class. They are located at: 2 3 9 8 S o u t h D i x i e H w y. , M i a m i , FL 33133. Phone: 305-858-1628 Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, Rick Tonkinson, Margarita Tonkinson, Steven Tonkinson, Registered Representatives Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., Rick Tonkinson, Margarita Tonkinson, Steven Tonkinson, Investment Advisor Representatives Tonkinson Financial and the Securities America companies are not affiliated.

Hector Wiltz, M.D., CPI

Board Certified Dermatologist • FXM Research Miami Do you or someone you know have “Tinea Pedis/Athlete’s Foot”? Do you or someone you know have “Tinea Cruris/Jock Itch”? Do you or someone you know have “Tinea Corporis/Ringworm”? FXM Research in Miami is looking for males and females 12 years or older that suffer from Tinea Pedis, Tinea Cruris, and/or Tinea Corporis to participate in an Open Label eight [8] study-visit clinical research study with the opportunity of recurrent study medication for one year. Medical Insurance is not required for study participation. Qualified participants will receive:

• Evaluation by a Board Certified Dermatologist. • Investigational Study Medication at no cost. • Reimbursement for time and travel up to $350.00. ¿Tiene usted o alguien que usted conozca “Hongos Entre Los Dedos De Sus Pies/Pie De Atleta”? ¿Tiene usted o alguien que usted conozca “Tinea Cruris u Hongos Entre Sus Piernas/Muslos”? ¿Tiene usted o alguien que usted conozca “Tinea Corporal o Tinea En Forma De Anillo En Su Piel”? FXM Research en Miami está buscando hombres y mujeres entre las edades de 12 años o más que sufran de Hongos Entre Los Dedos De Sus Pies, Hongos Entre Sus Piernas/Muslos, y/o Hongos En Su Piel para participar en un estudio de investigación clínico que requiere ocho [8] visitas con la oportunidad de medicamentos del estudio recurrentes por un año. Seguro Médico no es requerido para su participación en el estudio. Los participantes que califiquen recibirán:

• Evaluaciones por un Dermatólogo Certificado. • Los medicamentos bajo investigación a no costo. • Compensación por tiempo y transporte hasta $350.00. For more information please call / Para más información por favor llame:

(305) 220-5222 11760 Bird Road, Suite 452

Miami, Florida 33175 • www.fxmresearch.com


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

ARE YOU READY FOR A POWER OUTAGE? BY HJ FRANK As hurricane season steadily approaches, it is again time to look at how prepared households are for a storm and for prolonged power outages. During past storms, power outages ranged from a few hours to a few weeks, and some areas went for more than a month without power. As a result, homeowners in the South Florida have regularly chosen to equip their residences with generators that are capable of powering their homes for extended periods of time. There are two well-known types of generators that have been on the market for many years, and both provide viable options for most home and business owners: portable gas-powered models and fixed automatic standby systems. New Indoor Generators Great for South Florida In addition, a new product has hit the market and it has the potential to be a gamechanger. Indoor systems, using large, rechargeable batteries, offer an affordable, safe and practical solution that can even be used in an apartment, townhouse or condominium. The systems do not require gas or propane and provide one to four days of silent, portable power. Such systems range in price from $3,500 to $7,500, and while they won’t run a central air conditioner, they will run many household appliances including lights, computers, microwave ovens, and portable a/c units. These new indoor systems can also be equipped with portable solar panels, so they can provide power indefinitely during an outage. Portable Generators Portable gas-powered units are the most common and widely available generators on the market. These small crank-and-pull or push-button ignition units do a fantastic job operating the bare necessities such as a refrigerator, lights and fans. It is crucial that these generators be operated safely and properly in order to avoid some very severe hazards. Since they emit harmful carbon monoxide, the portable generators should never be used indoors or in partially enclosed spaces. All appliances must be

connected directly to the generator using heavy duty extension cords. The size of the portable generators range from 2.5 kw to 10kw and cost approximately $900. Automatic Standby Generators A popular option in South Florida has become the automatic standby generator systems. They are fixed, permanently installed units that power an entire home or business continuously through extended outages. Unlike the portables, these systems run on natural gas from a connection to local lines or propane from a tank buried underground, which offers a continuous runtime of approximately four to eight days, depending on the model. Compared to portables, they are rather quiet and sound similar to an idling car. The standby generators must be connected directly to a home’s electrical panel and circuits by using an automatic transfer switch, and it is important to work with licensed professionals who are familiar with all of the applicable local building codes. These systems will run virtually everything in your home, including central air conditioning systems. The cost for these systems range from $15,000 to $32,000. It is important to note that all generators require maintenance and attention during the off-season to help ensure that the equipment is ready for use the following year. In anticipation of this year’s hurricane season, generators are in high demand. Individuals who are considering a purchase should take the time to closely compare their options and weigh the benefits, as it has become apparent that extended posthurricane power outages are going to be an inevitable reality in the Sunshine State. Additional information on generators for residences and small businesses is available at www.generatortogo.com or by calling (561) 391-8190, or toll-free at 1-866-221-8100. Hiram J. “HJ” Frank is the co-owner and president of Boca Raton-based Personalized Power Systems, Inc. (PPS). The company sells, installs and maintains automatic standby generator systems that power entire homes and small businesses in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. It is the largest full-service dealer and installer of these systems in the country and has completed more than 1,000 installations in South Florida since its inception in 1998. Additional information on PPS and its automatic standby generators for residences and small businesses is available at www.generatortogo.com or by calling (561) 391-8190, or toll-free at 1-866-221-8100.

July 2011

Staying Healthy During Summer FROM THE FIRE DEPARTMENT

As you know, we are entering the extremely hot months of the year. To avoid illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke remember that prevention is the key! Below is a list of helpful tips recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot. • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps. • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fit-

ting clothing. • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle. • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on: • Infants and young children • People aged 65 or older • People who have a mental illness • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure. • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching. If you must be out in the heat: • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a lowsalt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too. • Try to rest often in shady areas. • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

www.communitynewspapers.com Start the NEW YEAR with a NEW CAREER! If you're happy and you know it, have 15-25 hours a week and enjoy talking with people, then this might just be for you. The Doral Tribune, one of Miami's Community Newspapers, is looking for someone that is confident, has sales experience and knows how to sell newspaper advertising. You can make lots of money, have a good time, and make a difference. For more information about this salaried plus commission position,

call Michael Miller 305-669-7030

6796 SW 62nd Avenue • South Miami, FL 33143 • Phone (305) 669-7355 Fax: (305) 662-6980

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July 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

The City of West Park Congratulates The 2011-12 Carver Ranches/Hyde Park Homeowners Association Newly Elected Board

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Pictured from left-to-right: Larry Hardy, 2nd Vice-President; Cloreta Morgan, 1st Vice-President; Keondra Pierre-Eafford, Secretary; Marvin Price, President; Rosalie Jenkins, Financial Executive; Carolyn Hardy, Treasurer; Brenda Scott, Block Captain Coordinator

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

July 2011

Emergency Door Hangers for Residents BY VICE MAYOR BRUNSON

As hurricane season approaches, Visions of Images, Inc. has designed door hangers for West Park residents to notify neighborhood leaders and emergency personnel of residents who need urgent assistance after a hurricane. The door hangers

say “I’m OK” or “I need help.” Specific residents like older citizens, handicapped and/or special need residents are encouraged to stop by City Hall soon to receive the door hangers. For more information on emergency door hangers, please call the City of West Park at 954-989-2688.

www.communitynewspapers.com Start the NEW YEAR with a NEW CAREER! If you're happy and you know it, have 15-25 hours a week and enjoy talking with people, then this might just be for you. The Doral Tribune, one of Miami's Community Newspapers, is looking for someone that is confident, has sales experience and knows how to sell newspaper advertising. You can make lots of money, have a good time, and make a difference. For more information about this salaried plus commission position,

call Michael Miller 305-669-7030

6796 SW 62nd Avenue • South Miami, FL 33143 • Phone (305) 669-7355 Fax: (305) 662-6980

Want to know more about us? Go on a tour www.communitynewspapers.com


July 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

West Park Participates in Summer Food Service Program BY PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT

the Summer Food Service Program:

The City’s Parks and Recreation Department will participate in the Summer Food Service Program during the months of June, July, and August. The Summer Food Service program is provided by the US. Department of Agriculture to ensure that all of Florida’s kids (up to 18 years of age) have access to free, nutritious meals throughout the summer when they lose access to school meals they often depend on. It is a valuable resource in combating childhood hunger within our communities. Nutritionally balanced meals will be provided to all children regardless of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin during summer vacation when school breakfasts and lunches are not available. All children 18 years old and younger are eligible for meals at no charge and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. The programs are only approved for geographical areas of need where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free and reduced price meals during the school year. Summer feeding sites are located at camps provide meals to all children in the immediate vicinity in addition to those enrolled in camp. The following sites will be participating in

Mary Saunders Park 4750 SW 21 Street West Park, FL 33023 954-985-1990 June 13 – August 12, 20111 Serving Times Breakfast: 8:00am – 9:00am Lunch: 11:00am – 1:00pm McTyre Park 3501 SW 56 Avenue/ MLK Blvd. West Park, FL 33023 954-964-0283 June 13 – July 29, 2011 Serving Times Breakfast: 8:00am – 9:00am Lunch: 11:00am – 1:00pm To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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July 2011

‘Summer Camp Off to a Great Start!’


July 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

‘Goombay Festival 2011’

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Father’s Day Celebration

July 2011


July 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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July 2011

CODE ENFORCEMENT CORNER BY ANDRE EUGENT Code Enforcement Do you know that it is the responsibility of each property owner to maintain the public right-of-way (swale area) that abuts their property? Like other cities and the County, the City of West Park Code of Ordinances, Article IX, Section 64, was established to ensure that property owners maintain the swale area that abuts their property by doing the following: • Mowing/trimming of all landscaping • Removing all junk, debris, litter and garbage • Removing all junk and inoperative vehicles • Removing all items that may impede vision or that may be hazardous to pedestrians or motorists Please do your part to maintain the public right-of-way as we strive to keep our City clean and beautiful. If you have questions or wish to report a code violation, please call 954.989.2688.


July 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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July 2011

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July 2011

CITY DEPARTMENTS DIRECTORY

SAME DAY DELIVERY AVAILABLE We’ll help you find the perfect arrangement or gift.

• Flowers

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• Gift Baskets • Sympathy (we deliver to funeral homes & hospitals)

Hirni’s Wayside Gardens Florist 9950 SW 57th Avenue • Pinecrest, FL 33156 305.661.6266 • www.hirnisflorist.com Monday thru Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm

q a i

Mayor Jones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.889.4153 Vice Mayor Brunson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.889.4164 Commissioner Dorsett . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.889.4163 Commissioner Fyffe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.963.7745 Commissioner Mack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.889.4156 City Administrator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.989.2688 City Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.768.9770 City Clerk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.989.2688 Building & Permits Dept. . . . . . . . . . . .954.989.2688 Business Tax Licenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.989.2688 Public Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.964.0284 Trash/Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.964.0284 McTyre Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.964.0284 Mary Saunders Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.985.1990 Code Enforcement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.766.2715 Zoning Dept. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.266.6495 Finance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.689.4804 Police Dept./BSO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.765.4321 Fire Dept./BSO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .954.831.8210


July 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Toyota previews the Prius v hybrid in Charlotte, NC Ron Beasley LET’S TALK CARS I recently returned from Charlotte, NC, where I attended the press preview for Toyota’s new Prius v hybrid vehicle, set to hit the nation’s showrooms in September. I came away impressed not only with the new vehicle, but with the overall achievements of the Prius since its introduction 14 years ago. According to Prius product marketing planner Erica Gartsbeyn, Prius has become the No. 1 selling hybrid in the world with more than one million sold in the U.S. and two million more globally. She added that since Prius came on the U.S. market, it has saved about 880 million gallons of gas, about $2 billion in fuel costs and kept approximately 12 million tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere. “According to the Carnegie Endowment, if all vehicles on the road today averaged the same 50 mpg that the Prius does, it

would reduce U.S. oil consumption by about 2.4 billion barrels per year,” Gartsbeyn said. “Think of it another way — if everyone drove a Prius, we could reduce our use of imported oil by 70 percent.” That said, the first new member of the Prius family is the Prius v, a midsize vehicle that Toyota calls “a perfect fit for young families who value space, comfort, fuel efficiency and technology.” The Prius v shares the same Hybrid Synergy Drive System as the current generation Prius Liftback, but has been designed to deliver the comfort, convenience and flexibility that Toyota thinks young American buyers want. To achieve that goal, Prius v engineers focused on two key areas — aerodynamics and weight reduction — to help boost the Prius v’s fuel economy and performance. The end result is a vehicle that resembles a small SUV, one that is larger than its Liftback predecessor and with 58 percent more cargo space. There’s a 60/40-split rear seat that slides and reclines for passenger comfort and maximize cargo space at 34.3 cubic feet. Aerodynamic design measures optimized the Prius v’s shape and resulted in an excellent 0.29 coefficient of drag (or Cd). Prius v has the same four drive modes —

New Toyota Prius v is more aerodynamic and larger than its Liftback sibling. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

normal, Eco, Power and EV — as the current Prius, and produces 66 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new vehicle. The larger vehicle causes fuel efficiency to drop a bit at 44 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway and 42 mpg combined. As for the interior, designers incorporated efficient weight-saving materials in the new Prius, including the optional Panoramic roof made of a lightweight resin that is 40 percent lighter than conventional

glass roofs of similar size. Prius v seats are trimmed in SofTex, a unique material that looks like leather, but weighs about half as much and has more durability. Pricing on the 2012 Prius v Hybrid has not been announced. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.


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West Park News 7.2011