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The original northwest Miami-Dade community newspaper for the Town of Miami Lakes & surrounding areas Vol. 40 No 4

Miami Lakes Current Events

Taste of Miami Lakes on Main Street February 22 The Main Street Merchants present the 6th annual Taste of Miami Lakes Festival on Saturday, February 22, along Main Street. The annual outdoor family festival will kick off at 11 a.m. The event will feature a kids zone with face painting, a bounce house, snacks, center stage with all day entertainment, giveaways and raffles, and 60-70 vendors featuring great food and arts and crafts. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Jose’s Hands, an organization to encourage first-year medical school students to a lifelong involvement in medical mission work in international or underserved settings. For more information, contact Chanel Prada at 786-499-9247 or visit chanel@chanelprada.com.

M. Lakes Garden Club annual Tea Party set March 1 The Miami Lakes Garden Club has invited residents to attend the 2014 Annual Tea Party at the Roberto Alonso Community Center located at 16500 N.W. 87 Avenue, on Saturday, March 1. Following the successful Kentucky Derby theme of 2013, the Garden Club presents a colorful New Orleans Bourbon Street Mardi Gras theme this year. Decor will exude the Mardi Gras theme with beads and feathers. It promises to be a fun filled afternoon of good food, tea, prizes and a Chinese auction. All guests are encouraged to wear a carnival mask. A contest among guests will select the "most original" and "most attractive" masks. Prizes will be awarded. Reservations are required by calling 305-821-3950.

A Look Inside:

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MIAMI LAKES, FLORIDA

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

In Memoriam: Former Our Lady of the Lakes Pastor James Murphy.......(Page 5)

Western suburbs of Miami Lakes welcome traffic relief with opening of N.W. 87th Avenue Miami Lakes Mayor Wayne Slaton and town councilmembers, along with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr., and local residents celebrated the long awaited opening of the N.W. 87th Avenue link between Miami Lakes Drive and N.W. 162 Street to give motorists an easier access to the west side of town and Royal Oaks Park. On February 3, Miami-Dade police cars and Fire Rescue trucks ushered in the new roadway by becoming the first vehicles to drive on the street that had been cut off because of the undeveloped land on the east and west side of N.W. 87th Avenue. The Lowell Dunn family owns the land. Local lawmakers cited the project as a great example of cooperation between the County, the Town and the private sector. Construction of the missing link on 87 Avenue that had separated the west side of Miami Lakes for years, got underway in late 2012. The county’s construction project involved developing a four-lane divided median road with sidewalks, bike lanes and landscaping throughout the eightblock long corridor. The project

OFFICIAL RIBBON-CUTTING CEREMONY marking the grand opening of the new N.W. 87 Avenue link in western Miami Lakes included (from left) Miami Lakes Councilmembers Frank Mingo and Tony Lama, Town Manage Alex Rey, Councilmember Ceasar Mestre, Vice Mayor Manny Cid, Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr., Miami Lakes Mayor Wayne Slaton, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and Councilmembers Tim Daubert and Nelson Rodriguez. was designed to match the existing design of 87 Avenue south of Miami Lakes Drive. The Miami Lakes’ link is part of the county’s roadway expansion

plan to add four additional lanes on N.W. 87 Avenue from N.W. 170 Street to Miami Gardens Drive. As part of the roadway improvement project, Miami

Lakes recently completed construction of an additional two lanes on Miami Lakes Drive from N.W. 84 Avenue to west of N.W. 87 Avenue.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ addresses state and local officials and Miami Lakes residents during the ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening of the expanded N.W. 87 Avenue link between Miami Lakes Drive and N.W. 162 Street.

n Next Fall drama continues at Main Street Playhouse through Sunday, March 2.......................2

n News and Notes of interest from the Town of Miami Lakes. See Pages...............3, 4, 6 and 7

n The Education Fund relocates headquarters to Main Street location..........................9

n Miami Lakes Chamber hosts Beacon Council president on March 5....................................5

n Women’s Breast Health Initiative expands and relocates Miami Lakes office..................8

n American High’s baseball team returns with 8 starters in quest for state title...................17

n LBA Academy welcomes former Florida Governor Jeb Bush....................................17 n Community Calendar, 13, School, sports and church news, 16-24; Classified ads.........25-27


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FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

Next Fall drama at Main St. Playhouse to March 2 During the next two weekends and for another six performances, the Main Street Players continue to reach its patrons’ hearts with the award winning Geoffrey Nauffts’ drama, Next Fall. Performances are Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., and continue until March 2. This timely play opened earlier this month just as the news reported that NFL prospect Michael Sam was coming out publicly. In Nauffts’ play, the main character Luke, a young, devoutly Christian man, is out to friends but not his family. The play focuses on the relationship between Luke and his older, neurotic and atheist partner, Adam, told in flashbacks as Luke lays in a coma after an accident. As his parents and close friends wait at the hospital, the tension mounts as both realities of Luke's life collide. This humorous, hon-

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est and thought-provoking play, directed by Robert Coppel, is about relationships, religion and living for today. Tickets for this show are $25 per person with student and senior discounts. Students must present a valid student I.D. Tickets are available online at www.mainstreetplayers.com and at the door. For more information, patrons can call 305-558-3737. The Main Street Playhouse is located at 6766 Main Street, Miami Lakes.

Town sets public meeting Feb. 25 on Lakeway Trail The Town of Miami Lakes is encouraging residents to attend a public meeting on Tuesday, February 25, at 6 p.m. in the Council chambers at the Government Center, 6601 Main Street, to hear a discussion on an application for a State of Florida grant for the future development of the Miami Lakeway Trail Project. The town is seeking a Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant to aid in the development of the Trail Project site along Miami Lakeway Drive, east of 67 Avenue. The public meeting will be for the sole purpose of discussing the project and the grant application. For more information, contact Tony Lopez, director of Community and Leisure Services, at 305-364-6100.

MAIN STREET PLAYERS’ CAST for the current drama Next Fall are (from left) Harry Marsh, Mikey Fernandez, Larry Chidsey, Liz Dikinson and Rachel Stone. (Photo by Dennis Lyzniak)

Our Lady of Lakes Spring Festival marks 40th year on March 13 to 16 Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church and School will be hosting its Annual Spring Festival on the school grounds at N.W. 67 Avenue and Miami Lakeway North on the weekend of March 13 through 16.

This is the church's 40th year hosting the event and boasts the best foods, rides and entertainment. Admission for the festival is free, though tickets or bracelets are available for purchase to enjoy rides. Ride bracelets will be available for purchase beginning March 3 in the church gift shop and school office. Festival hours are Thursday, March 13 from 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday, March 14 from 5 to 11:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 15 from 1

to 11:30 p.m.; and Sunday, March 16 from noon to 9 p.m. Sponsorships for small businesses and opportunities for performances on the main stage are available. For more information on sponsoring the festival, contact the development office at 305558-2202 or email falcon@ollnet.com. For more information on performing email laura.armas@ live.com. For additional information on the festival visit www.ollnet.com


THE MIAMI LAKER

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

PAGE 3

Town seeks to revive stalled Youth Center project By David L. Snelling The Miami Laker staff The original contractor’s unsatisfactory quality of work, and a new contractor tapped by an insurance company to finish the job that hasn’t officially agreed to do the work, have combined to further delay construction of the new community and youth center at Miami Lakes Picnic Park East. During the February 11 regular

Town Council meeting, Town Attorney Raul Gastesi and Town Manager Alex Rey responded to Councilmember Frank Mingo’s request to create a new time table to start construction again on the building in the park near N.W. 60 Avenue and Miami Lakes Drive adjacent to the Miami-Dade District 1 Police Station. The town originally hired J.B. Builders and Contractors to do the

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue holds Medal Day ceremonies Miami-Dade Fire Rescue recently honored and recognized more than 100 firefighters who performed above and beyond the call of duty during the 14th annual Medal Day at the Miami-Dade Fire Training Facility, 9300 N.W. 41 Street in Doral. The men and women were recognized in seven different categories, with the highest honor given, the Gold Medal of Valor. The second highest honor, the

Silver Medal of Valor, was awarded to MDFR sworn personnel for performing in the presence of personal danger, saving lives, protecting properties, and going above and beyond the call of duty in a job that requires unparalleled bravery each day. Family members, elected officials, local police and fire chiefs from the entire South Florida attended the event to witness the award ceremony.

MIAMI LAKES COUNCILMEMBER TIM DAUBERT joins Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Miami Lakes Station 64 Captain Frank Leavitt (left), and Fire Chief Dave Downey (center) at the recent Medal Day ceremonies honoring more than 100 firefighters.

job for about $1 million and construction initially commenced nearly two years ago. But in 2013, Miami Lakes issued a stop work order after town staff discovered the workmanship was not up to the city’s building standards. The facility was about 60 percent finished when the construction was disrupted. Gastesi could only furnish a vague report citing legal precautions, saying the new contractors and subcontractors visited the constriction site on several occasions, but they have yet to sign an accord to complete the building. Gastesi said if nothing pans out in the next 30 days, the town should hire another contractor to complete the job itself. “They are moving slowly. They have been out there several times, but in a non-committal way, told the town they would take over construction,” Gastesi said. “There is an issue with money and they haven’t signed an agreement yet, but they are saying all the right things and making the right moves. But it comes to a point where patience comes to an end and if we don’t have an agreement by next month we should move forward.” Miami Lakes hired Mark Martinez, a building and construction consultant in March 2013, to conduct a quality control check

procedure on the construction following some issues with J.B. Builders and Contractors and discovered they altered the blueprints that the town had already approved. Since the Florida Building Code removed quality workmanship from its requirements in 2010, the construction was done up to its code but wasn’t the best workmanship for Miami Lakes, Martinez said. “The work stop order was issued because the work was being covered up, not acceptable to the town,” Martinez said. Telephone numbers listed for J.B. Builders and Contractors at 3727 S.W. 8th Street in Coral Gables and at 8678 N.W. 58th Street in Doral have been disconnected. Rey said the new contractor will have to correct the deficiencies to meet Miami Lakes’ standards once they enter into an agreement with the town. “At this point they have not determined if they will need to demolish any portion of the work,” Rey said in an email. Councilmember Ceasar Mestre said Miami Lakes must make a decision at some point. “There’s been delay after delay after delay,” he said. “We can sue the company or allow it to get it done. But if we sue them, it won’t make the project come any faster.

We need to move forward but be careful what we do it so it won’t backfire on us.” Said Mingo: “Thirty days is more than reasonable if they are moving in the right direction.” In 2012, Miami Lakes unveiled the plans for the 3,809 square-feet facility to replace the old community and youth center used by the YMCA after school program and the Boys Scouts. The proposed new youth center includes two multipurpose activity rooms, classrooms for after school educational programs and tutoring, a lobby/atrium, storage area, women’s and men’s bathroom, family bath room and a desk for the reception. The facade of the building is similar to the blueprint of the Community Center at Royal Oaks Park, where parents can drop off their children and proceed to exit the area without traffic. On the outside, the facility will be adorned with ample trees, lush landscaping and two big oak trees. Also, the youth center will feature a new playground area, pavilion/picnic areas that can also be used to host small events and functions, a basketball court and additional parking. The town earmarked about $1 million for the project and secured several recreation grants to rebuild the facility.


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FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

Miami Lakes Town Council:

Summary of actions taken at February 11 regular meeting “If the event is open to the public, a permit is needed,” Rey said. He said the developer can appeal the fine during a future special master hearing. Councilmember Tony Lama said Miami Lakes strives for fairness in the town but rules must be obeyed. “I don’t want residents to think big bad Miami Lakes is out to squash their party,” he said. “However, there is a process that needs to be followed. No one, and I mean myself as well, is above the law.” Pizzi is awaiting trial in early May on public corruption charges and was suspended from office in August by Florida Governor Rick Scott. In other Town Business: • Councilmembers gave their final approval for an ordinance to impose a per-space fee for landowners and business owners to enhance on-street parking spaces in exchange for including additional parking spaces in the required parking zones in the Miami Lakes Town Center area. • Councilmembers gave their final approval for an ordinance to amend the 2012-2013 budget to carryover about $900,000 from the previous year to complete a series of projects already budgeted and started in the previous fiscal year that were not finished. The ordinance will allow the town to allocate a portion, about $360,000, of the carryover money to fund park capital improvement projects and create a reserve fund

for the town council to pay for new initiatives throughout the current fiscal year. Additionally, due to changes in legislation affecting People’s Transportation Plan (PTP), Miami Lakes has added a new section to the special revenue fund to better track the use of these funds. The Town Council approved the current budget’s first amendment on first reading on January 14. The following revisions from first reading are proposed for approval on second reading: - An allocation to community programs in the amount of $14,000 for the town’s summer programs, including Tai Chi, beginners and intermediate computer classes, arts and crafts, and sewing and knitting/crocheting. The programs would run from May 12 to August 22. - An allocation to Mayor/ Council memberships for the National League of Cities, the United States Conference of Mayors and the Florida League of Mayors. The annual membership dues are approximately $6,000. - A transfer within the Capital fund in the amount of $225,000 from reserve for stormwater to address the flooding on N.W. 83 Place north of 158 Terrace to 162 Street. The drainage project will consist of creating five new manholes, connections to existing catch basins and resurfacing the road once the project is completed. • Lawmakers approved a resolution to ask Miami-Dade County to co-designate N.W. 87 Avenue to

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Royal Lakes Boulevard. • Councilmembers approved Vice Mayor Manny Cid’s recommendation to eliminate business tax receipts for small businesses that pay an average of $74.81 per business. Cid said there are 1,417 businesses in Miami Lakes that pay an annual business tax receipt. In 2013, he said the town collected $98,000 from the 1,310 BTR renewals. This year the Town is estimating revenues of $100,000 via the BTR. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), 89 percent of all businesses in Florida have 12 or fewer employees. Recently, the Miami Lakes Economic Development Committee stressed the important role that small businesses play in our town. Cid’s recommendations include complete elimination of the Business Tax Receipt, elimination of BTR for Small Businesses (utilize the SBA standard of 12 or fewer employees), and reforming of BTR to a much more equitable system. • Councilmembers approved a proposed resolution by Mayor Wayne Slaton and Councilmember Lama to change the town’s charter to allow the mayor and each councilmember an equal number of appointments on each of the town’s committees and task forces. The proposed charter change will appear on November’s ballot. Currently, the town charter allows councilmembers to nominate their choices of committee members and the mayor subsequently appoints them to serve on the boards. • Councilmembers approved Cid’s recommendation to initiate

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efforts to reduce the speed limit on residential roads from 30 mph to 25 mph to help prevent accidents in Miami Lakes. “My recommendation is to endorse the town’s Public Safety Committee's recommendation and direct the public works departments to submit a fiscal analysis to the Council,” Cid said. “I personally believe that we should make the change, but do so in a thoughtful and well-planned manner.” The state and county has the sole discretion to reduce the speed limit in Miami Lakes. • Lawmakers approved Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez’s suggestion for town staff to create a measure to regulate the use of golf carts in the town of Miami Lakes. He said some drivers are using golf carts to take kids to schools and one of his concerns is occupants not using seat belts. • For remote public comments at regular meetings, Rey said the town may conduct its first test at the March meeting to determine if it works. He said the plan is to allow two people to comment during the public speaking portion of the meeting and if successful, the town may want to place a limit of the number of speakers.

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By David L. Snelling The Miami Laker staff At the February 11 Town Council meeting, several Miami Lakes residents urged lawmakers to rescind a fine that was issued to a land owner and developer who allowed a BBQ event on his private property to celebrate the grand opening of N.W. 87th Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. The official grand opening of the roadway took place two days later with town and county officials, but suspended Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi hosted the event on the property of the Lowell Dunn family for a celebration of his own, saying he was the catalyst for putting together the N.W. 87th development agreement to open up the roadway between N.W. 154 and 162 streets. About 300 people showed up for the party. However, the Lowell Dunn family never pulled a permit for the event and was fined $250. “I don’t think people should be fined for having a gathering on their own private property,” said one resident. “We were also celebrating the birthday of an 80-yearold resident who’s originally from California.” Town Manager Alex Rey said the Lowell Dunn family disagreed about the permit requirement and was cited and fined. He said the permit was needed because of the large amount of people, parking and access issues and additional toilets needed to accommodate the people.

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THE MIAMI LAKER

Miami Lakes Chamber hosts Beacon Council president Larry Williams on March 5 Larry K. Williams, president and CEO of The Beacon Council, will be the special guest speaker at the Miami Lakes Chamber of Commerce’s monthly membership luncheon on Wednesday, March 5, in the Grand Ballroom of Shula’s Hotel on Main Street. Networking starts at 11:30 a.m., luncheon at 12 noon. Williams is a recognized leader in economic development, bringing more than 20 years of experience in global branding, international trade and finance, public and industrial policy, and administration and management to his role with The Beacon Council. A consensus-builder and communicator with a background in information technology, aerospaace, advanced marketing and start-ups, Williams is responsible for leading and further development and implementing the strategy of the public-private partnership created in 1985 to attract companies to Miami-Dade. He began his work at The Beacon Council, one of 36 accredited economic development organizations in the nation, in October 2013, after a nationwide search for a candidate who excelled in economic development as well as interpersonal skills. Previously, Williams helped shape the vision for Atlanta’s technology industry as vice president of Technology Development at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. He provided leadership and direction to the Chamber’s Mobility Task

LARRY WILLIAMS Force, the effort to position Atlanta as a global hub of mobile technology, and the Technology Leadership Council, where he was recruited after a national search to provide leadership. Williams is a graduate of North Carolina State University and the Darlington School. He also studies in Costa Rica and speaks Spanish. Deadline to reserve a table is at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 28. Lunch admission is $30 for members and their guests who reserve; $35 for members and their guests who do not reserve before deadline (walk-ins); and $40 for non members (cash only). For more information on this or any other Miami Lakes Chamber event, contact Marta Diaz at 305556-2212, or email mdiaz@miamilakeschamber.com.

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

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In Memoriam:

Father James P. Murphy Father James P. Murphy, 68, died on February 8, nearly five years after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood, and more than two years after retiring as pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church where he had been assigned since 1996. Prior to Our Lady of the Lakes, he was pastor of St. Patrick Church in Miami Beach from 1981 to 1996, and before that he worked at the archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry from 1976 to 1983. Father Murphy’s first assignments in South Florida were as Parochial Vicar at Annunciation Church in Hollywood from 1970 to 1972, St. Louis in Pinecrest from 1972 to 1975, St. Michael in Miami from 1975 to 1979, and St. Mary Magdalen in Sunny Isles from 1979 to 1981. From 2002 until his illness in 2009, he also served as chaplain to the Miami Hurricanes football team. Throughout his life, he cared deeply for the poor, often taking money out of his own pocked to

help people in need. An amateur chef, Father Murphy would cook dinner every Thanksgiving for those who were alone, elderly, or did not have a place to go for the holiday. He also always made room in his rectories for priests who were ill or dying. During his years as pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes, parishioners built 10 Habitat for Humanity homes, set annual records for donating more than 1,000 pints of blood, and tithed 10 percent of the weekly collection – $500,000 over five years – to the poorest of the poor in South Florida and abroad. Father Murphy will be remembered by his soul mate Jacqueline Austen, his friend Rose Anderson, his “adopted” daughter Jacque Gale, siblings Timothy, Agnes, Geraldine, Bernadette, Madeleine and Denis, as well as the Austin children and many nieces and nephews, many of whom traveled from Ireland for his funeral.

FATHER JAMES MURPHY A visitation and Wake Service was held at Our Lady of the Lakes Church on Friday, February 14; a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, February 15, followed by burial at Our Lady of Mercy cemetery in Doral.

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PAGE 6

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

News and Notes from the Town of Miami Lakes Mary Collins honored with renaming of Community Center in M. L. Park West The Town of Miami Lakes is honoring one of its founding councilmembers and a local trailblazer who helped guide the young city to success. On Thursday, February 20, Mayor Wayne Slaton, councilmembers and residents will celebrate the renaming of the Mary Collins Community Center West building to honor the former three-term councilmember and the brainchild of most of the town’s committees that have made major contributions that helped the town win several awards. The event is scheduled for 4 p.m. at 15151 Montrose Road (Northwest 82 Avenue). Before she became a Miami Lakes council member in 2001, Collins was a Miami-Dade County Commissioner. She served the Miami Lakes community for 11 years with a passion, focusing

MARY COLLINS on programming and involvement of the town’s youth and elderly populations. The community center at Miami Lakes Picnic Park West has undergone a full renovation which included the addition of one classroom. Programming will commence at the center in March.

Residents may participate in Home Beautification Contest Miami Lakes’ Neighborhood Improvement Committee (NIC) is inviting all Miami Lakes residents to participate in the 2014 Home Beautification Contest. The contest will recognize residents who take special care in maintaining their homes and landscaping. The contest will be held four times per year and the winners will be awarded with a $200 Home Depot gift card and a commemorative lawn sign to be placed in their front yard.

The NIC appreciates the beautification efforts undertaking by the residents and through their contest, will have the opportunity to honor their commitment to keep Miami Lakes “Growing Beautifully.” For more information, the application, and to enter yourself or a neighbor, contact Gina Inguanzo at 305-364-6100, ext. 1138, or via email at inguanzog@miamilakes-fl.gov.

Effectiveness of Miami Lakes Building Code The Town of Miami Lakes reported the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), (an organization with the primary mission of providing advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurers), has completed its analysis of the town’s building codes and the efforts put forth to properly enforce those codes. The town’s residential codes were rated class 3 for 1- and 2family dwellings, and a class 2 for all other construction, an improvement from last year. “The ISO’s recent rating of our town’s building codes and enforcement activities clearly reflect the town’s commitment to provide quality services to our residents,” said Mayor Wayne Slaton. “I commend our Building Department for their work that helped improve the rating from last year.” ISO is an independent statistical, rating, and advisory organization that serves the property/casualty insurance industry and then assigns a Building Code Effectiveness Classification (BCEC) from 1 to 10 (Class 1 represents exemplary commitment to building-code enforcement.) The concept behind the BCEC system is simple – municipalities with well-enforced, up-to-date codes demonstrate better loss experience, and their citizens’ insurance rates can reflect that. While there is no requirement that insurers use the rating, individual insurers may use different credits or different effective dates, the ISO program will apply credits to new construction within the town that have been issued a Certificate of Occupancy in the year 2013 and forward; and as a result, residents may see a reduction in their property insurance

Seniors enjoy Valentine’s Social Miami Lakes seniors were treated to an afternoon of a rocking and bopping good time on Saturday, February 8, as the Mayor Wayne Slaton, the Town Council and the Elderly Affairs Committee celebrated Valentine’s Days with a 50s theme. “What a wonderful event for

our seniors,” said Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez. “Thank you to the children who volunteered their time serving our town’s seniors.” Attendees enjoyed a delicious lunch catered by Trattoria Pampered Chef and danced to the sounds of Spanky and Dino. Seniors also had an opportunity to

win some raffle prizes such as gift certificates from Publix and free haircuts from Carlo Krockel. For more information on upcoming events, visit the events calendar on the town’s website www.miamilakes.fl.gov, or call 305-364-6100.

SEVERAL HUNDRED Miami Lakes senior citizens enjoyed lunch, dancing, music and raffle prizes during the town’s Elderly Affairs Committee Senior’s Valentine’s Social event on February 8.

rates. “The ISO rating is a significant achievement for the town. Lowering the insurance prices will not just assist our residents, but attract future development and businesses to the town,” said Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez. “This supplemental rating is complementary to the one used by FEMA for Flood Insurance, where the town current has one of the

lowest floor insurance costs in South Florida based on their Community Rating System. Following are the current ratings for Miami-Dade County and neighboring communities to Miami Lakes (the first number is the residential rating and the second number is the commercial rating): Miami-Dade County 4/4 Hialeah 3/3 Miami Gardens 4/4 Miami Lakes 3/2

Two community workshops planned for Strategic Plans The Town of Miami Lakes and its planning consultant will hold two community workshops regarding the town’s Strategic and Comprehensive Plans. These plans will guide the next 10 years of the town’s future growth. Resident participation will help identify key issues and opportunities as the town develops a vision to keep Miami Lakes “Growing Beautifully.” Community workshops are scheduled as follows: Saturday, March 15, 10 a.m. to noon, at Mary Collins Community Center, 15151 N.W. 82 Avenue; Wednesday, March 26, 6:30 to

8:30 p.m., at Miami Lakes Government Center, Council Chambers, 6601 Main Street. If residents have not already done so, they are urged to complete the town’s Strategic and Comprehensive Plan questionnaire by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/miamilakes. All participants will be entered into a raffle and eligible to win up to $200 in Visa gift cards. For a printed version of the questionnaire, contact Nicole Singletary via email at singletaryn@miamilakes-fl.gov, or call 305-512-7132.

Town Council honors two students from ML K-8 Center Miami Lakes Town Council recognized two Miami Lakes K-8 students, Sofia Palomino and Michael Resillez, during the February 11 regular council meeting. When Councilmember Tim Daubert served as Principal for a Day at the school, he had the opportunity to meet two remarkable students who showcased their musical talents – Resillez, a 4thgrade student played the piano while Vanessa Bone, also a 4th-

grader, sang. The young students were recognized for their passion for music. Unfortunately, Bone was unable to attend the meeting as she was participating in a ballet recital. Palomino, a 3rd-grade student, entered the Miami-Dade Public Library System’s “Make a Bookmark Contest” and was among the winners of the contest representing the Miami Lakes Branch Library.

MIAMI LAKES K-8 CENTER students Sofia Palomino and Michael Resillez were honored by the Town Council on February 11. Pictured (from left) Councilmembers Nelson Rodriguez, Frank Mingo and Tony Lama, Mayor Wayne Slaton, Councilmember Ceasar Mestre, Vice Mayor Manny Cid and Councilmember Tim Daubert.


THE MIAMI LAKER

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

PAGE 7

News and Notes from the Town of Miami Lakes Tony Lama completes Leaders of Excellence program Miami Lakes Town Council recognized Councilmember Tony Lama during its regular meeting on February 11 for his completion of the Leaders of Excellence Program for Elected Officials in State and Local Government. Lama was among 16 elected officials from 15 jurisdictions in three counties, plus two state representatives, who participated in this year’s program hosted by the Good Government Initiative. “It was an absolute privilege to be the first Miami Lakes representative in the program,” Lama said. “It was a priceless opportunity to collaborate with other elected officials on issues impacting our communities and potential solutions. This course should be a requirement for all newly elected officials.” The Leaders of Excellence program is the Good Government Initiative’s cornerstone effort to provide elected officials with educational opportunities that they can then apply towards their pub-

lic service. It fills the gap between formal education in academic careers with life experience to create more effective decision-makers. Additionally, the Leaders of Excellence program creates a network of peers who elected leaders can turn to for shared ideas and support. “In a year that has seen some low points for some government officials, I think it is encouraging to see these public servants going the extra mile to absorb as much information about good government as they can,” said Katy Sorenson, the program’s founder. “Councilmember Lama has taken the time in a very busy life to listen and learn more about key areas of his responsibility. That’s something that a lot of people don’t think elected officials are willing to do, so, through leaders like him, we have real reason to believe there are still many dedicated public servants who are working on behalf of their constituents.”

Veterans Committee, Scout Troops perform Retirement Ceremony for U.S. Flags The Town of Miami Lakes and its Veterans Committee hosted a Flag Retirement Ceremony in front of the Government Center on Saturday, February 8. Members of American Legion Post 144, Boy Scout Troop 566 and Girl Scout Troop 237 participated in the ceremony dedicated to retiring United States flags. “It was great to see the community come together to participate in this special ceremony,” said Mayor Wayne Slaton. “Thanks to the town’s Veterans Committee

for organizing the event and sharing this tradition with our residents.” The flag retirement began by cutting flags that are torn, faded, and frayed, into pieces; separating the red stripes, white stripes and the blue star field. Once a small wood-burning fire is formed, the remnant pieces of each flag are ready for retirement. Separately, the remnant pieces are burned, each piece symbolizing the nation. The ashes are then collected and buried.

MIAMI LAKES COUNCILMEMBER TONY LAMA (far left) and 15 other elected officials from three counties completed the recent Leaders of Excellence Program for Elected Officials in State and Local Government.

TOWN OF MIAMI LAKES NOTICE IS HEREWITH GIVEN that meetings of the Town Council of the Town of Miami Lakes, Florida, and its committees, have been scheduled for the following dates, times and locations:

Education Advisory Board Meeting Thursday, February 20, 6:00 PM Miami Lakes Government Center, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, Fla. Public Safety Committee Meeting Monday, February 24, 6:00 PM Miami Lakes Government Center, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, Fla. Economic Development Committee Tuesday, February 25, 5:30 PM Miami Lakes Government Center, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, Fla. Neighborhood Improvement Committee Tuesday, March 4, 7:00 PM Miami Lakes Government Center, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, Fla. Youth Activities Task Force Wednesday, March 5, 7:00 PM Miami Lakes Government Center, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, Fla. Cultural Affairs Committee Meeting Thursday, March 6, 7:00 PM Miami Lakes Government Center, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, Fla. In accordance with the provisions of F. S. Section 286.0105, should any person seek to appeal any decision made by the Council with respect to any matter considered at these meetings, such person will need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made; which record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, persons needing special accommodation to participate in the proceedings should call Town Hall at (305) 364-6100, no later than (2) days prior to the proceeding for assistance. Please be advised that two or more Councilmembers may be in attendance at Committee meetings.

FORMER MIAMI LAKES COUNCILMEMBER Mary Collins adds flag remnants to a wood-burning fire at Government Center during the Veterans Committee’s Flag Retirement Ceremony on February 8.

This Notice dated February 14, 2014 at Miami Lakes, Fl. Majorie Tejeda-Castillo, Town Clerk


PAGE 8

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

Women’s Breast Health Initiative expands offices

THE WOMEN’S BREAST HEALTH INITIATIVE, Florida Affiliate, celebrated its new office headquarters in Miami Lakes with a ribbon cutting on Monday, February 10. Pictured (from left) Miami Lakes Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez, WBHI founder Andrea Ivory, Mayor Wayne Slaton, Willie Ivory, Vice Mayor Manny Cid and Councilmember Frank Mingo.

The Women's Breast Health Initiative, a nonprofit organization, relocated to new headquarters in Miami Lakes at 14125 N.W. 80 Avenue with a grand opening celebration on Monday, February 10. The organization follows a grassroots approach to offer prevention and early detection for breast cancer and heart disease, the two largest causes of death among women. The grand opening was followed by a community-wide canvassing effort held Saturday, February 15 in Hialeah with a door-to-door campaign in which volunteers provided women with health educational packets and made appointments for mammo-

grams and heart screenings. Following the February outreach, volunteers will visit neighborhoods in Miami Gardens and Hollywood in April which will serve nearly 5,000 households in South Florida this spring. "We've come a long way since our founding in 2006," said Andrea Ivory, founder of the group and winner of the 2009 Top Ten CNN Heroes Award. "We have served more than 62,000 households and saved thousands of lives. Our expanded offices will allow us to continue the work we've started right here in South Florida." The Miami Lakes Town Council participated in the official ribbon cutting and a proclamation

was presented by Mayor Wayne Slaton. Other local dignitaries attended the event including Vice Mayor Felicia Brunson, City of West Park; Councilwoman Felicia Robinson, City of Miami Gardens; Mayor Carlos Hernandez, City of Hialeah; and Vice Mayor Christi Fraga, City of Doral. The nonprofit is also currently undergoing third party evaluation to become an evidence-based model which could change the way social service agencies conduct outreach for women's health initiatives. To volunteer, donate or find out more information about the Women's Breast Health Initiative call 305-815-4081.

Bovo’s Mega Pet Adoption event labeled a huge success Dozens of dogs and cats found loving new homes during the “Open Your Heart and Your Home” mega pet adoption event and fundraiser on February 8 at Amelia Earhart Park. The event was sponsored by County Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr., the county’s Animal Services Department, and the county’s Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department. More than 50 animals were adopted, 26 dogs and 32 cats were

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spayed or neutered, and more than $1,000 was raised for the Animal Services Trust Fund to improve animals services in the county. “I want to thank all the sponsors, participants and volunteers who helped make this event such a great success, as well as everyone in the community who showed they cared by taking home a wonderful pet and opening their hearts to improve animal welfare in Miami-Dade County,” Bovo said.

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COM. ESTEBAN BOVO JR. shows off Benjamin, the puppy he adopted at the mega pet adoption event held on February 8. (Photo by Armando Rodriguez)

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PAGE 9

The Education Fund relocates offices to Main St. The Education Fund, a nonprofit organization founded in 1985, is now part of the Miami Lakes business community, located at 6713 Main Street, Suite 240. The new headquarters offices were made possible through the generosity of The Graham Companies. Since its inception the nonprofit has been working to improve student achievement by maximizing every child's potential, to ensure every child graduates and to provide every opportunity for success which will strengthen the

health of the community's economic and civic future. The Education Fund's mission is to design and implement initiatives involving community members in helping improve schools. The organization works closely with teachers, parents, administrators and community and business leaders to increase student achievement through programs that reach all Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS). The school improvement initiatives undertaken by The Education

DURING THE EDUCATION FUND’S open house at its new Miami Lakes offices, Fund president Linda Lecht presented The Graham Companies with a paper mache cow created by art teacher Peter deMercado and his students at Banyan Elementary School. Pictured (from left) Graham Companies representatives Carol Wyllie and Andrea Rechichi, Jackie Martinez-Sancho of Humana, and Beth Bailey of Verizon.

Fund have been nationally recognized. In the past 23 years, over 1,150 projects have been funded. The programs created and led by The Education Fund run the gamut of small grants for teachers to large-scale school improvement initiatives like the Impact II program which is the only districtwide program to help all M-DCPS teachers share and replicate best classroom practices. Most recently, The Education Fund held an open house at its new headquarters offices and a grant award reception which awarded cash grants to teachers for developing and implementing instructional projects to motivate and challenge students. The minigrants ranged from $300 to $1,000. All funds are raised from the private sector, with the major fundraising event being the annual For the Love of Art Charity Auction held every spring. In 2013 the auction raised more than $900,000 to support visual art programs in M-DCPS. Under the stewardship of Linda Lecht, who has been with the organization since 1987, The Education Fund has grown from a two-person staff with an $80,000 budget to over a dozen staff members and assets of $2,000,000. For more information visit www.educationfund.org, or to volunteer call 305-892-5099.

THE EDUCATION FUND president Linda Lecht (center) welcomes members of the Miami Lakes Town Council to the Fund’s open house at its new Main Street offices earlier this month. Pictured (from left) Councilmembers Tim Daubert and Nelson Rodriguez, Mayor Wayne Slaton and Councilmember Frank Mingo.

Join Us at the Miami Lakes Spring Festival March 13th to 16th, 2014 Enjoy Miami’s “Most Delicious Food, Rides & Entertainment”

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PAGE 10

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

Miami Lakes Matching Grants are available for neighborhood projects The Miami Lakes Town Council adopted the Neighborhood Matching Grant Program so encourage neighborhoods to plan and work together in a dynamic fashion in order to accomplish neighborhood-based goals and objectives. The grant provides Miami Lakes’ neighborhoods the opportunity to make improvements

and/or enhancements to ensure their long-term viability. The town will match dollar for dollar, up to $5,000 for neighborhood or Homeowners Association. The intent of the program is to support a comprehensive beautification strategy managed by the town with the recommendation of the Neighborhood Improvement Committee. These projects will

improve the physical, cultural, and recreational conditions in Miami Lakes’ neighborhoods. All Town of Miami Lakes neighborhoods and HOA’s are welcome to apply. For more information, or to request an application, contact Town Liaison Gin Inguanzo at 305-364-6100, ext. 1138, or via email at inguanzog@miamilakesfl.gov.

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Back by popular demand, the Great Miami Lakes Historical Scavenger Hunt on March 8 Back by popular demand is the Great Miami Lakes Historical Scavenger Hunt! This year the hunt will take place on Saturday, March 8, in the parking lot behind Shula's Hotel on Main Street in Miami Lakes from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Participants will have a map with riddles and clues which they will have to solve. The first participant to finish by turning in a completed map, stamped from each station, will receive a grand prize. Participants must register prior to the event. For further details, clues and how to register visit www.mlhistoryhunt.com. In March 2013, over 200 students and their families from Miami Lakes and surrounding areas as far as Doral and Miramar attended the Great Miami Lakes Historical Scavenger Hunt. With an ear open to the com-

ments and suggestions of participating families, Katherine Duarte, the Girl Scout Cadette who created the event last year as part of a girl scout project has once again been at work to improve the event for more interactive participation. "In order to allow other residents to participate, not just students, I came up with three new categories for this year. Individuals, which would be middle and high school students, groups and families, and senior citizens," said Duarte. There will be more prizes raffled and many more surprises. Duarte requests that all participants wear white and black to represent the dairy history of Miami Lakes, or light blue to represent the many lakes in the community. The hunt is free for all members of the community though participant slots are limited.

KATHERINE DUARTE, creator and coordinator of The Great Miami Lakes Historical Scavenger Hunt, is pictured with the Menchie's mascot, a sponsor of the 2013 hunt. The event is back by popular demand and will take place on Saturday, March 8 at 10 a.m.

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PAGE 11


PAGE 12

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

Main Street Players elect 2014 officers and board The Main Street Players, the town's own live community theater, is proud to be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, being one of the longest-running community theaters in South Florida. Having begun as the Miami Lakes Players Guild in 1974 and

going through many incarnations, the Community Theater of Miami Lakes, d/b/a Main Street Players, settled into their present venue in 2003 with the help and generosity of The Graham Companies. Miami Lakes resident Clara Lyzniak played a crucial role in

negotiating this non-profit group’s present location and several years ago became the group’s president. Elections were recently held for the 2014 season and Lyzniak agreed to continue in her position, leading the group for a 7th term. She has been with the Players

since 1997, starting when her son Jason was performing on stage. She is instrumental in running the organization, producing many shows and sometimes even performing herself. Lyzniak is quick to point out that the organization wouldn’t function without the hard work of the other members and all volunteers. Long time artistic director and board member Robert Coppel has been an integral member of The Main Street Players in bringing cutting edge theater as well as many classic favorites including at least one musical each season.

Other board members reelected this year are vice president Liz Dikinson, secretary Melissa Gonzalez, treasurer Harold Korenstein, and members-at-large Michael Fernandez, Stephen Gair and Charles James. A more in depth history of the theater group and current show information can be found on the website www.mainstreetplayers. com or by calling 305-558-3737. The Main Street Playhouse is located at 6766 Main Street, Miami Lakes, one block east of Shula’s Hotel.

Pfc. Michael Bagley awarded Purple Heart on January 24

THE MAIN STREET PLAYERS’ officers and board members for 2014 are (from left) treasurer Harold Korenstein, board member Michael Fernandez, secretary Melissa Gonzalez, board member Charles James, president Clara Lyzniak, artistic director and board member Robert Coppel, vice president Liz Dikinson, and board member Stephen Gair. (Photo by Dennis Lyzniak)

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MICHAEL W. BAGLEY of Palm Springs North was awarded the Purple Heart medal on January 24 for his service and war injury he received while serving as a Combat Engineer in Afghanistan. He is the son of Roy and Rose Bagley, and brother of Lynn Bagley Nader. Bagley attended Joella C. Good Elementary, Lawton Chiles Middle School and American Senior High School. Michael and his wife (left), Aryn, are presently stationed at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

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THE MIAMI LAKER

Alberto M. Carvalho named AASA’s top National School Superintendent AASA, the School Superintendent's Association, announced on February 13 that Miami-Dade Public Schools' (M-DCPS) Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho was selected as National Superintendent of the Year. In December, Carvalho was named Florida's Superintendent of the Year by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS), representing the Sunshine State for consideration as national superintendent. Carvalho was among four finalists vying for the coveted honor. "Being named National Superintendent of the Year is truly a great honor, but I realize it's not simply an honor for me," said Carvalho. "Today's recognition reflects the dedication, sacrifice, and work of every member of our education family, as well as the guidance and direction of our School Board, and I share this award with every teacher, student, employee and community partner of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.” In just over a year, M-DCPS has been honored with an unprecedented trifecta of national awards including The Broad Prize for

Town offers online submission for financial reports by candidates The Town of Miami Lakes continues to strive for more transparency and public access. The town has begun to utilize VR Systems for Candidates and Committees to create and submit their financial reports electronically. This will reduce paper, staff time, and improve the candidate financial reporting process. In addition, the public can easily view and search reports for key works such as specific contributors, expenditures, etc. Election information can be found on the town’s website under the Office of the Town Clerk, Election Information: www.miamilakes-fl.gov/electioninfo.

PAGE 13

Commissioner Bovo holds Town Hall meeting in Miami Lakes on Feb. 26 Town of Miami Lakes will host Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr. (District 13) for a Town Hall meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26, in the Council chambers of the Government Center, 6601 Main Street.

Bovo is traveling throughout the District to listen and discuss residents’ concerns and ideas. On Wednesday, March 26, he will visit with Palm Springs North residents from 5:45 to 7 p.m. at Norman and Jean Reach Park, 7901 N.W. 176 Street.

Miami Lakes

Meeting & Class Calendar The Town of Miami Lakes, M. L. Civic Association, homeowners associations, professional and volunteer groups have scheduled meetings and classes during February and early March:

MIAMI-DADE PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho (center) was named National Superintendent of the Year by the School Superintendent’s Assocation. Joining him are (from left) Steve Bittel, Leslie Miller Saiontz, Tabitha Fazzino, Miami-Dade School Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman, Carvalho, School Board member Martin Karp, chief academic officer Marie Izquierdo, and City Year executive director Saif Ishoof. Education, AP District of the Year of the program which recognizes and AASA's National Superinten- school systems leaders throughout dent of the Year. the country. Applicants and finalThe National Superintendent of ists were measured for leadership, the Year program is open to all communication, professionalism, U.S. superintendents who plan to and community involvement. continue in the profession. This year marked the 27th anniversary

M. Lakes resident Michael DeMoya launches real estate technology site Michael DeMoya a resident of Miami Lakes since 1970, is founder and CEO of 1.618 Technology, a company based in South Florida which is set to launch at the end of February. The company is focused on meeting the new paradigm shift in the real estate industry for real estate agents. A real estate agent for 14 years

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

and several years in the Miami Lakes market, DeMoya has seen the evolution and the integration of the Internet into the real estate industry. The company will address a major concern for real estate agents to acquire buyer and seller leads. “The company’s core objective is to solve the real estate agent’s primary problem which is capturing leads. There are many talented and exceptional individuals that, if only allowed the opportunity to build their business, can be of great service to the consumer and their families," said DeMoya. Despite high volumes of real estate searches in Florida, many agents consider themselves lucky

to acquire 1 to 5 leads per month from their current website. Agents and small to medium size brokerage firms can leverage technology from DeMoya's company along with a comprehensive package to capture more leads, which can skyrocket real estate sales. Technology utilized properly can level the playing field to allow agents and small firms to compete with the large and national real estate firms. “Agents, like any business," said DeMoya, "must take control of their system of lead generation." For more information contact DeMoya at 305-303-1335 or by email at md@demoyagroup.com.

Town explores boat storage lot on site owned by FP&L The Town of Miami Lakes is working with Florida Power & Light to create a storage site for boats and commercial vehicles owned by Miami Lakes residents. At the Town Council’s February 11 meeting, Town Manager Alex Rey requested funding of $500 for an application fee in order to begin a FP&L review process of the proposal. The town has identified a location near the corner of N.W. 77 Avenue and 145 Street, as the best

location for the proposed facility. Since the site is owned by FP&L, a land use agreement application, application fee, and site sketch must be submitted for the review process to begin. Town staff has been in touch with the utility which has tentatively approved the general concept. Prior to entering a lease agreement, the town will develop a site plan that will be presented to the surrounding community for feedback.

Town of Miami Lakes

Education Advisory Bd. February 20 Public Safety Committee February 24 Economic Development Committee February 25 Neighborhood Improvement Com. March 4 Youth Activities Task Force March 5 Cultural Affairs Com. March 6

6:00 pm M.L. Govt. Center 6:00 pm M.L. Govt. Center 5:30 pm M.L. Govt. Center 7:00 pm M.L. Govt. Center 7:00 pm M.L. Govt. Center 7:00 pm M.L. Govt. Center

(Following classes are free for Miami Lakes residents) Mon./Wed. 7:30 am MCCC Yoga Yoga (Fee Course) Tues./Thurs. 7:30 am MCCC Line Dancing Tues./Thurs. 11:30 am MCCC Tai Chi M/Tu/W/Th 9:00 am MCCC Painting I Fridays 9:00 am MCCC Painting II Fridays 12:30 pm MCCC Quilting Tuesdays 11:15 am MCCC Arts & Crafts Mondays Noon MCCC Knitting/Crocheting Tues./Thurs. 1:35 pm MCCC Senior Computer (Span.) Mon./Wed. 9:15 am RACC Senior Computer (Eng.) Tues./Thurs. 9:15 am RACC Ballet 1 Mondays 4:30 pm RACC Ballet 2 Mondays 5:30 pm RACC Ballet 3 Wednesdays 4:30 pm RACC Ballet 4 Wednesdays 5:30 pm RACC Martial Arts (tots) Mon./Wed. 4:30 pm RACC Martial Arts (beginners) Mon./Wed. 5:30 pm RACC Martial Arts (intermed.) Tues./Thurs. 4:30 & 5:30 pm RACC Jazz 1 Tuesdays 4:30 pm RACC Jazz 2 Tuesdays 5:30 pm RACC Jazz 3 Thursdays 4:30 pm RACC Jazz 4 Thursdays 5:30 pm RACC Table Tennis Tues./Thurs. 12 noon RACC Sewing Tues./Thurs. 2:00 pm RACC Spanish (for adults) M/Tu/W/Th 6:00 pm RACC

Homeowners Organizations

Royal Oaks Serenity Point Regatta Pointe Gramercy Park Fountain Park Lake Martha Loch Lomond West Villa Vizcaya Lake Sandra The Anchorage Lake Elizabeth Loch Lomond Lake Carol Royal Palm Estates

February 19 February 19 February 20 February 20 February 24 February 25 February 25 February 26 February 27 February 27 March 3 March 4 March 4 March 6

7:30 pm MCCC 7:00 pm MCCC 7:00 pm MCCC 7:00 pm MCCC 7:30 pm MCCC 6:30 pm MCCC 7:30 pm MCCC 7:30 pm MCCC 7:30 pm MCCC 7:30 pm MCCC 7:00 pm MCCC 7:00 pm MCCC 7:30 pm MCCC 7:30 pm MCCC

Miami Lakes Clubs, Professional & Volunteer Groups

M.L. Garden Club bunco March 5 11:30 am MCCC M.L. Chamber/Comm. March 5 11:30 am Shula’s Hotel M.L. Garden Club February 24 7:00 pm MCCC M.L. Bridge Club Mondays 11:30 am MCCC 6:30 pm Pampered Chef M.L. Kiwanis 2nd/4th Thurs. M.L. Toastmasters 1st/3rd Tues.7:00 pm ML Educational Center M.L. Lions Club 1st/3rd Tues. 7:00 pm Denny’s Hialeah MCCC is Mary Collins Community Center, 15151 N.W. 82 Avenue RACC is Robert Alonso Community Center, 16500 N.W. 87 Avenue


PAGE 14

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

Scouts participate in Flag Retirement ceremony Miami Lakes Branch Library hosts free February programs

MIAMI LAKES BOY AND GIRL SCOUT troops, along with their Scoutmasters and members of American Legion Post 144 joined the town’s Veterans Committee during a Flag Retirement Ceremony at Government Center on February 8. (See story and photo on Page 7.)

RE/MAX Realty attends 87 Avenue opening

Miami Lakes Branch Library has the following programs available for the public during February: For Children: Reading Ready Toddler Storytime – Stories, songs and activities for toddlers and their care givers. Meets at 11 a.m. on Thursdays, February 20 and 27. For Teens: Tween Book Club – This is a tween book club for ages 8-12. Members meet once a month to discuss the chosen book of the month. Registration required. Meets at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 22. Teen Club: Games and More – Teens meet to play video games, watch anime, draw or discuss books. For ages 12-19 years. Meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25. Teen Open Mic! Calling all Lyricists, Poets, Performers and Storytellers! Sing, read, do some stand up, play an instrument, or just come for the show. Attendees may perform original or material

celebrating Black History Month and African American Culture. All genres are welcome! All performing participants between the ages of 12-19 will receive 2 hours of community service time. See staff for details. Meets at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 22. For Adults: Navigating the Affordable Care Act – Get your questions answered on the new law, the Health Marketplace and learn what it means for you. Meets at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25. Congressman Mario DiazBalart Community Outreach – A member of Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart’s staff will visit the library to discuss federal issues or any problem a constituent may have with a federal agency. Meets at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26. Miami Lakes Branch Library is located at 6699 Windmill Gate Road. For operating hours, registration and more information, call 305-822-6520.

Knee pain lecture scheduled on Feb. 25

REPRESENTATIVES OF RE/MAX UNIQUE REALTY of Miami Lakes attended the ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony for the new expansion of N.W. 87 Avenue in west Miami Lakes. All agreed this was a long-awarded event for the residents, neighbors and Realtors trying to get around Miami Lakes. Pictured (from left) Eddie Rodriguez (Broker/Owner), Jose Armada Jr., Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr., Mercy Sierra, Raquel Platt (manager), Mayor Wayne Slaton, Jackie Peguero and Lynn Matos. (Not pictured: Shelley McKenzie and Ed Martinez.)

Noted orthopedic surgeon and knee specialist Dr. Patrick Barry has scheduled a lecture on nonsurgical management of problem knees at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, at the Curtiss Mansion, 500 Deer Run, in Miami Springs. His lecture will focus on nonsurgical relief which includes no shots, no braces and no pills and will be directed at persons who are having problems walking, suffering from night pains, boneon-bone arthritis and potential knee replacement patients.

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THE MIAMI LAKER

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

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FEBRUARY 21, 2014

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Pace wrestling team qualifies for state Our Lady of the Lakes sports Monsignor Edward Pace High School's wrestling team, led by coach Frank Pelegri, concluded its season 8-2 and second in the region to cap an outstanding season in which the team placed in the top ten of the toughest tournaments in the state. Injuries took a toll on the Spartans losing two-time stateplaced finalist Christian Moreno to a torn labrum in his right shoulder, but the Pace wrestlers were still able to qualify eight wrestlers to compete in the state tournament

that took place on February 14 and 15 in Lakeland. Among the qualifying team members were Stephen Moreno,

Justin Cohen, Alexander Perez, Christian Perez, Godwin Ferrier, Matt Rodriguez-Kirkland, Aaron Fluitt, and Juan Cornet.

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MONSIGNOR EDWARD PACE’S wrestling team and coach Frank Pelegri (back row, second from left) qualified eight members for the state tournament.

teams post recent victories Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School’s primary Gold Basketball team remains in first place in the All Catholic Conference (ACC)) North Division. Under the direction of coach Ulisses Hernandez, the team is 7-0 with one game left. The most recent win was a 3011 victory over St. Anges. The team was led offensively by Dimitri Hernandez with 15 points, and defensively by Brandon Ravelo and Adam Magoulas. The primary Blue Basketball team defeated St. Patrick, 29-13. The team was led by Chris Musa with 13 points and Samuel Carballo with 6 points. The team

has allowed only two points in the second half and is now 3-3 on the season. The JV Girls Basketball team achieved their first victory in late January against St. Patrick’s, 106. The Lady Cheetahs are 1-2 on the season. The JV Baseball team defeated St. Theresa 12-0 in late January. Sixth-grader Frank Perez Jr. threw a complete game no hitter for the Cheetahs. On February 10, the Cheetahs defeated Immaculate Conception 4-1 led by outstanding pitching from Adrian Vega. The team is now 6-0 on the season.

Lakes Soccer Club opens registration The Miami Lakes Soccer Club is currently accepting registration applications for its upcoming Spring season, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Royal Oaks Park, 16500 N.W. 87 Avenue. The registration cost is $125 for

Open House Saturday, March 1st 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

each player from ages 4 to 15. The money covers kids’ Adidas uniforms, expenses for practices and games and a trophy ceremony at the conclusion of the season. The regular season starts Monday, March 3, with practices on Monday and Wednesday.

OUR LADY OF THE LAKES JV Baseball team includes (bottom, from left) Michael Gonzalez, Michael Sanchez, Jake Alfaro, Daniel Perez, Ben Segal and Brian Rodriguez; (top, from left) coach Elbert Alfaro, coach Frank Perez, Frank Perez Jr., Andy Bello, coach Abe Segal, Sebastian Gonzalez, Justin Quintana, coach Danny Perez, and Adrian Vega.

American’s baseball squad returns 8 starters in quest for return to state title tournament By David L. Snelling The Miami Laker staff The American High baseball team, ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll for Miami-Dade, and moving down to Class 7A while returning eight starting players, should make their goal of returning to the state tournament a little easier, as the Patriots are armed with heavy hitters and penurious pitchers. Former Boston Red Sox shortstop Ricky Gutierrez is starting his sixth season as American’s head coach and nothing will suit him more than winning the state championship to accompany his World Series championship. The Patriots advanced to the Class 8A state semifinals game last year but were shut out 6-0 by Plant City Durant. This season, American’s roster of players, most of them Division I bound, could help the team get over the hump. The Patriots opened up the regular season on Tuesday against Ronald Reagan High School.

Gutierrez depicted his team as “hungry” for a championship. “I reminded them how they felt after their last game and they didn’t like the feeling at all,” said Gutierrez. Junior third baseman and Hurricanes recruit Roman Gonzalez, who recorded a .382 batting average last season, is seeking to continue where he left off, and Kansas State-bound senior outfielder Kevin Williams is looking for a breakout year as well. Senior shortstop Edison Cabrera and senior second baseman Eric Gonzalez are considered the best outfielders in the county, and senior Ronald Williams leads the Patriots’ pitching staff that gave up few runs during the last regular season. The rotation includes Mike Rodriguez and Jake Norman, who will also play at first base. Gutierrez said this year’s team is the best group American has had in a long time.


THE MIAMI LAKER

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

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LBA Academy welcomes former Gov. Jeb Bush By Roselind Romero The Miami Laker staff The Latin Builders Association Construction and Business Management Academy Charter School (LBA Academy) gave a warm welcome to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush upon his arrival to the school for National School Choice Week (NSCW). NSCW, planned by a coalition of schools, organizations and individuals, gives participants a platform to speak on the need for effective education options. Dozens of governors and mayors issued proclamations and over 3,600 events were organized all across the nation from January 26 through February 1. LBA Academy was praised by

Bush, who said, "The days of putting these children into one-sizefits-all schools are coming to an end, although not nearly fast enough. School choice is the future of public education and at the LBA Academy we can see why." The LBA Academy is the first of its kind in the U.S., a privatepublic partnership opened by a business alliance, while falling under the umbrella, and grading, of the Miami-Dade County Public School System. This unique charter school begun by a business willing to offer high level academics, currently graded as an "A" school, offers options for students interested in pursuing construction-relat-

ed jobs and college degrees alike. "Choice allows an organization such as the Latin Builders Association to not only give back to the community, but to do so in a way that serves it's own needs because many of this school's graduates will work in and operate LBA businesses," said Bush. The LBA Academy is currently accepting applications for 9th, 10th and 11th grades. For more information visit www.lbaacademyhs.com or call 305-827-3022.

PICTURED at the National School Choice Week event at LBA Academy are (from left) School Board member Carlos Curbelo, Florida State Representative Michael Bileca, principal Gyovania Marante, former Governor Jeb Bush, School Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman, Florida State Representative Manny Diaz Jr., and sophomores Claudia Garcia and Bryan Natera.

Spanish Lake Elementary celebrates February events with activities and tributes Spanish Lake Elementary students are celebrating and honoring a variety of events for the month of February. In addition to American History Month, Black History Month and Valentine's Day, SLE is hosting ongoing parent workshops, a family garden evening, and honoring military heroes. The family garden aims to further educate the SLE family on the values of nutritional edible gardening. Attending families will be able to taste a variety of organic fruits and veggies, as well as being able to purchase from the SLE's farmer’s market. SLE fifth grade teachers and students, led by fifth grade team leader, Natalie Valderama, hon-

ored military heroes by creating a tribute for Air Force Master Sgt. Martin Laureano Gonzales and Private First Class Michael Bagley. Gonzales was working as a U.S. military liaison aboard an aircraft that went down near Columbia in October 2013. He was the husband of fifth grade teacher Michele Gonzales. Bagley, the son of first grade teacher Rose Bagley, was awarded the Purple Heart for his service and injury received while serving in Afghanistan. The hands in the tribute join together to form the American flag which symbolizes the student's value in being part of The United States of America.

Two American Senior High students win awards during SECME/STEM competition American Senior High School walked away with two awards in the Southeastern Consortium for Mathematics and Science Engineering (SECME) and Advanced Academic Programs for Science, Technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) competition that provides opportunities for students, educators and parents to engage in STEM activities with local colleges, universities and engineering partners. Gloria Chyr recently won first place in the SECME Olympiad Essay competition, and Luis Diaz won the 2014 SECME Principal of the Year Award.

Diaz was selected among a group of educators for his strong tradition of leadership and contributions to the school and the SECME’s National Office Education Program Division. SECME, a premier primary and secondary (K-12) alliance, links engineering universities, school systems, and corporate/government investors. Its mission is to increase the pool of historically under-represented, under-served, and differently-abled students who will be prepared to enter and complete post-secondary studies in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.

SPANISH LAKE ELEMENTARY fifth-grade team leader and teacher Natalie Valderama (left) led the fifth-grade teachers and students in creating a tribute for SLE heroes.

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FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

75 professionals visit during Pace’s Career Day Monsignor Edward Pace High School hosted Career Day on February 6. Students from 9th through 12th grades had the opportunity to speak with 75 professionals from various career paths, and the school enjoyed a motivational session with Hector Picar, an engineer who, due to a serious accident, is now a double amputee working with engineering equipment for people with physical impairments such as his own. Throughout the day, students were able to interact with many professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, magazine editors, broadcast media specialists, veterinarians, and government employees among others, in a classroom setting so that each student could sample as many speakers' presentations as possible.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue gave a special presentation in the parking lot, demonstrating emergency techniques in the case of a serious car accident or a building fire. Other speakers, such as Alexia Echeverria, editor of Venue magazine, had samples to distribute to the students, such as publications of her magazine and also brought treats for them. The NBC 6 News team went in depth with the various career paths students could pursue in the media, and the current Academy of Mass Communications students learned from this first-hand experience. The Career Day coordinator, Celia Rouco, and fellow staff members are already working diligently in planning next year's career day for Pace High School.

M-Dade Parks adds ‘Enhance Fitness’ Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department has added the nationally-recognized evidence-based “Enhance Fitness” exercise classes to its line-up of free Active Adults recreational programming for residents age 55 and older. Participants will join a certified instructor in a full hour of fun, physical fitness activities that include stretching, low-impact aerobics, strength-training, flexi-

bility, and balance techniques. “Enhance Fitness” classes will be offered free of charge through the support of the Miami-Dade County Parks Active Adults 55+ partner the Health Foundation of South Florida. In northwest Miami-Dade, “Enhance Fitness” classes will be offered at Country Village Park, 6550 N.W. 188 Terrace. For more information, call 305-6232-2594.

FOLLOWING a successful Career Day at Monsignor Edward Pace High School, guest speakers posed with administrators and students for a picture in the administration building.

Miami-Dade Schools launch digital initiative with 100,000 devices Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho announced in early February that Miami-Dade County took a giant leap towards the digital transformation of the school district and a 1:1 digital initiative, launching a rollout of 100,000 HP and Lenovo Windows 8 devices. Additionally, more than 10,000 interactive boards will be added to classrooms across the district.

Carvalho made the announcement at the Microsoft YouthSpark Connection panel in Miami with Margo Day, vice president, U.S. Education Microsoft Corp., which will provide Office 365 for all district students to use. Microsoft will also provide Skydive, a cloudbased information storage system, as well as technical services that ensure the district's educational materials will run properly on wireless devices. Students will have a single sign-on that will allow them to access their device, the network and applications all with one login. "Technology by itself, is not going to close the achievement gap between the rich and the poor, a gap that threatens so many of our minority students," said Carvalho. "But when technology is used correctly, we have seen powerful results in our very own technolo-

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THE MIAMI LAKER

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

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Pace drama/theatre programs host 4th annual gala Monsignor Edward Pace High School’s International Thespians, Troupe 5457, will hosting its 4th Annual Gala on Friday, February 21 in the Spartan Center. Cristina Pla-Guzman, director of the drama and theatre program, has invited parents and friends of the thespians to enjoy an evening of sweets, performances, and special presentations. The award winning members of Troupe 5457 will perform their district competition pieces, and proceeds will go towards funding the annual Florida State

Conference trip. To add to the evening’s spectacular events, PlaGuzman will formerly induct over 60 Academy of Visual and Performing Arts members exclusively into the Theatre Strand. The drama members are also preparing for their spring production “In the Heights." The Spartans are expecting no less than a sold-out show. Every year all three-night performances are sold out experiences. “In the Heights” will be performed for all audiences April 29, 30, and May 1 at Pace High’s Spartan Center.

MLEC’s Krisna Maddy wins National Achievement grant Krisna Maddy, a senior in the Cambridge Academy at Miami Lakes Educational Center, has been awarded the National Achievement Scholarship. The award is an academic competition established in 1964 to provide recognition for outstanding Black American high school students. Students may enter both the National Achievement Program and the National Merit Program by taking the preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship qualifying test (PSAT/NMSQT) and meeting other published requirements. Maddy, who also serves as Student Board Adviser to MiamiDade County Public Schools, scored in the 90th percentile of high school students across the country.

MONSIGNOR EDWARD PACE HIGH SCHOOL’S International Thespian Troupe 5457 is pictured with lead teacher for the Theatre Strand of the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, Cristina Pla-Guzman (center, first row).

KRISNA MADDY receives an award from Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez for her participation in the recent Florida Department of Education meeting held at Miami Lakes Educational Center.

Town of Miami Lakes launches online reservation system for parks facilities Miami Lakes Community and Leisure Services Department has recently launched a new online parks reservation system: www.miamilakes-fl.gov/parkres. The system will enable town residents to view park calendars, reserve picnic shelters, indoor facilities, and athletic fields, and even register for programs from any device with internet capabilities. The full implementation will be completed in phases. Currently,

users are able to create accounts for use of the system. New reservations for picnic shelters will commence on March 1. Indoor facility and athletic field reservations will commence on April 7. Users can also download the Etrak Plus iPhone application for system use on any Apple device. For more information on the new system, contact Mayra Duarte at 305-556-0771 or by email at duartem@miamilakes-fl.gov.

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Stephanie Fouts on Dean’s List at Washington & Lee Stephanie Fouts of Miami Lakes, a member of the class of 2017 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, has earned Dean’s List status for the recently ended winter term 2013. Dean’s List status represents a term grade average of at least 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.

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FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

American High School JROTC Cadets embark on three-day college tour through Florida By Cadet Captain Laura Sepulveda Public Affairs Officer Special to The Miami Laker American High School JROTC sponsored a three-day college tour of five major Florida Universities. In late January, 39 Army JROTC cadets began the journey, departing American’s campus at 4 a.m. in route to Daytona’s BethuneCookman University, a historically black college founded in 1904 by the late Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Cadets spent the morning touring Bethune before traveling to Orlando’s University of Central Florida (UCF). UCF offers 212 degree programs and is popular for students studying optics, modeling and simulation, engineering, computer science and business. The 1,400-acre campus is home to 60,000 students. As day one ended, the cadets leapfrogged across the state to Tallahassee where the following day they toured Florida State University (FSU), and Florida A&M University, whose campuses are separated by just five city blocks. Cadets received detailed presentations highlighting each school's history, admission standards, key deadlines, costs, and

programs of study. As a special treat, cadets visited the famed Doak Campbell Stadium, home to the 2013 BCS National Football Champs, the fighting 'Noles of Florida State. Cadets also toured FSU's Senior ROTC building. Cited for bravery, the Army cadets of FSU received a Battle Streamer during the Civil War for helping defend the state capitol against the Union Army. Tallahassee is the only southern capitol east of the Mississippi the union army was unable to capture. Before returning home, the entourage toured the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville. On its present site, classes began in 1906 with just 102 students. Today, UF is a robust 2,000 acre campus with more than 900 buildings and 50,000 students. Initially established as an all male school, UF officially opened its doors to women in 1947, and is currently home to 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes. To our sponsors, administrators, parents, and teachers, the cadets of American High School Army JROTC are forever indebted to you for the support in this worthwhile endeavor.

New Testament’s Youth Ministry students visit Joe DiMaggio Hospital By Abraham Metellus Special to The Miami Laker The 4:12 students strike again! Students from the youth ministry 4:12 of New Testament Baptist Church (NTBC) were given an opportunity to visit Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital to bring joy and hope to the patients currently going through some difficult times in their lives. For the past couple of months, 4:12 has been searching out ways to make a difference in the community. From painting buildings to serving in at risk communities, 4:12 desires to send students out into the world to make an impact. This particular event was inspired by Jocelyn Bermudez, a senior at Dade Christian and it was unlike any of the other events done before. Students visited with compassionate hearts to hang out with a handful of young patients. The group really brought laughter and joy to the patients with game time, designing bandanas, magic tricks and performing a couple of funny skits. They also took the time to get to know the children to offer support in a time of need. We intend to do more in the community throughout the year and can’t wait to share more stories about what God is doing in the lives of our students at NTBC. For more information about joining the movement, contact Pastor Abe at ametellus@ newtestbaptist.org or visit www.facebook.com/412miami.

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MLEC’s Chess Club qualifies

MIAMI LAKES EDUCATIONAL CENTER’S Chess Club members Kristian Aspi, Robert Walsh, Daniel Manfreidiz, Elkin Huertas and Joseph Garcia competed in the recent North Regional K-12 Chess Tournament at North Miami Senior High School and came in second place. The team quallified for the upcoming district tournament.

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FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

Dr. Jose Orcasita-Ng’s office recognized as a Patient Centered Medical Home The office of Jose Orcasita-Ng, M.D. in Hialeah, founded in 1991, received recognition from the National Committee Quality Assurance (NCQA) for being a Patient Centered Medical Home Level 3 with the distinction in patient experience reporting. Patient Centered Medical Home values the patient as the core of the health care system. A Medical Home is an approach to providing total health care that includes health care professionals, trusted friends and family, but most importantly the patient. With the patient centered Medical Home, the team listens intently to health questions and keeps track of the patient care in an effort to make any transitions in health care, may it be to other doctors, as seamless as possible. Additionally, the patient has complete accessibility to their medical records by using the patient portal. The patient is able to view labs, request for refills on medication, view their medical summary and ask non urgent questions to the doctor. NCQA is a private, non profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and

practices in key areas of performance. “The NCQA patient-centered medical home is a model of the 21st century primary care that combines access, teamwork and technology to deliver quality care and improve health,” said NCQA president Margaret E. O'Kane. “The active, ongoing relationship between a patient and a physician in Medical Homes fosters an alltoo-rare goal in care – staying healthy and preventing illness in the first place.” The office of Dr. Jose OrcasitaNg worked diligently for a year to transform the health center to a patient centered Medical Home, one that boasts high quality care. As a single private practice, the office is the first to receive this recognition in the Hialeah-Miami Lakes area. “We are ecstatic to receive the highest level. As a team, the staff worked tremendously hard to transform into the new century of providing better quality care to all of the patients,” said office administrator Beverly Johnson. The office of Dr. Jose OrcasitaNg is located at 7000 West 12 Avenue, Suite 21-22, in Hialeah. For more information, call 305362-9560.

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Adopt a Grandparent holiday event benefited assisted living facilities By Roselind Romero The Miami Laker staff This past holiday season, the women from the Miami Lakes based business, Mujeres De Impacto Ministry (Women of Impact), led the 2013 Adopt a Grandparent and Adopt a Woman in Distress Holiday Program. The Mujeres De Impacto Ministry initiative is dedicated to impacting the lives of disadvantaged women due to social or economic hardship. The events planned enable women to enhance and develop their quality of life and opportunities for spiritual, educational and economic transformation. The holiday program partnered with local businesses and with every $15 to $25 dollars donated, a personalized and wrapped gift would be given to a grandparent

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and woman in distress. The organization had a big turn out and with the funds raised, each grandparent in the Golden Age Assisted Living Facility, Mi Retiro LLC, and Golden Age Assisted Living Facility IV LLC, received gifts. Gifts were also given to women in the Women in Distress Organization. The Mujeres De Impacto also teamed up with Toys for Tots to ensure the children of mothers in shelters would not be forgotten. Many of the businesses who donated to the program are located in Miami Lakes. Among the businesses were The Fade Shop, Snow’s Jewelry, Victoria's Secret, Costco, Future Force, Dazzles Beauty Supply, Sehan Spa,

Holiday Bakery, Prime America, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Tu Imagen TV, Mega Festivals Corporation and individuals from Wells Fargo, McDonalds, FedEx, Gus Machado Ford, and Moro Castle. Individuals and families in the community also donated for the cause. "We wanted to make sure grandparents and women in distress know they were not forgotten for the holiday season," said Mujeres De Impacto Ministry founder, Amy Britto. Mujeres De Impacto is located at 6625 Miami Lakes Drive. For more information call 305-7483701 or visit www.mujeresdeimpactoministry.vpweb.com.

Miami-Dade School Board approves two proposals by chair Perla Tabares Hantman The Miami-Dade County School Board unanimously approved two items proposed by Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman at its regular meeting in January. The items endorse March

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2014 as both Arts in Our Schools Month and Florida Bike Month. "Art education has been shown to develop a child's self-esteem and sharpen their critical thinking skills," said Hantman, a long-time supporter of arts education. “Arts in Our Schools Month not only enhances student's understanding of the world around them, but it also broadens their perspective on traditional academics, and is integral in the development of the whole person,” said Hantman. “March is Florida Bike Month which promotes healthy lifestyle choices by encouraging physical fitness to help reduce the chances of chronic illnesses and obesity.” The Board also voted to endorse National Bike-to-School Day on May 7.


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Celita Cabrera: Beloved Pace teacher inspires students By Roselind Romero The Miami Laker staff Celita Cabrera, department chair of Foreign Languages and Spanish teacher at Monsignor Edward Pace Senior High School, is often visited by students, including those that are not her own. Cabrera is famous, among other things, for her "cafecito," a Cuban style expresso, an aroma that leads students to line up outside her door. Cabrera, who has cleverly used her cafecito as an unconventional teaching tool, requesting that students who would like some coffee ask in Spanish, has been teaching for over 30 years. For 13 of those years she taught for free. After a costly divorce and two young daughters left to care for, Cabrera thought about the Catholic phrase "Time, Treasure and Talent" and how, though she had no treasure, she would offer her time and her talent. For nearly 14 years Cabrera volunteered as a Spanish teacher at Immaculate Conception Catholic School, while driving her own school bus as a form of income to support herself and her daughters. When Pace High School called one day to request a Spanish teacher as a substitute, Cabrera made the trip to Pace. One week became one month, which became a quarter. At the end of that quarter, Cabrera was offered a full-time job teaching at Pace. "Immaculate lent me, and then they lost me!" said Cabrera.

Bob Graham Education Center’s Laura Jui named among Top 50 math teachers

BOB GRAHAM EDUCATION CENTER announced that Laura Jui, a middle school mathematics teacher, was named one of the Top 50 Teachers, by regional designation, with the highest student learning outcomes over three years based on FCAT results and Algebra I VAM.

Despite the job offer, Cabrera had to turn it down. At the time, Cabrera had only acquired 9 college credits and was not certified to teach in a paid position. Pace's principal at the time, eager to employ Cabrera after witnessing her natural teaching talent, found a scholarship for Cabrera at St. Thomas University. Cabrera, in her mid-40's, was a college student once again. She received her B.A. degree in Secondary Education and Spanish in three years, while still volunteering her time teaching at Pace, running her bus driving business, and tending to her household. She graduated Summa Cum Laude. "I graduated Summa Cum Laude, but in Cuba we don't have that, so I had no idea what it was. Everyone was congratulating me on graduation day, and me, not knowing that the special decoration on my robes meant something, I just said 'why, thank you, thank you'," said Cabrera with a laugh. "It wasn't until my daughter said, 'Mom, you graduated number one in your class!' did I understand." Upon graduation, and after nearly 18 years of teaching, Cabrera was finally being paid for the job she loved doing, only she didn't stop there. Cabrera, in a spur of the moment decision drove up to Nova Southeastern University and signed up as a student that same day. She received her M.A. one year later in E.S.O.L Education. Following, Cabrera continued on to receive her Ph.D. online from the University of San Pedro in Peru. Her thesis project, spawned from Cabrera's dislike of the Spanish teaching materials, was an instructional Spanish book

for English speakers. She wrote a total of three books, which are used at Pace and other Catholic schools like Immaculate Conception and St. Louis Covenant. "The first day the books were out was so funny," said Cabrera. "The kids would come in and ask 'can you sign my book?' and I would laugh and say 'stop being ridiculous!' I never wrote the books with the intent to publish them, I only ever thought of using them at Pace so that school wouldn't have to spend money." Cabrera's generosity extends outside the classroom, in the many projects, drives, and fundraisers she holds for students and families in need. She is the owner of, what around Pace is called, "Celita's closet" where she collects used uniforms to wash and sew over the summer and sell for $5 dollars to students who can't afford the expense of retail priced uniforms. "Celita is my inspiration," said Elvita Reigosa, director of Public Relations at Pace. "To come in every morning and to see the joy on her face in teaching these kids just makes it all come together. Celita makes even the toughest situations learning experiences. To Celita and all the teachers at Pace, my upmost admiration." Students that have gone through Cabrera's classroom, like Miami Lakes Councilmember Tony Lama, are now bringing their children to the same Spanish classroom to learn from one of Pace's most beloved teachers. "I try to inspire my students," said Cabrera. "They say they're going to be doctors and lawyers and that's great, but I tell them 'whatever you decide to do, would you do it for free?' That's the ques-

PACE SPANISH TEACHER CELITA CABRERA tion you need to ask yourself. money, or the title, or because you That's what I did, and not a day want to be important. Whatever goes by where I am not excited to you decide to do, do because you come in to work. Don't do it for the love it."

your hometown 305-817-4015

news.


PAGE 24

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

Remembering Father Murphy Father James P. Murphy June 24, 1945 February 8, 2014 Beloved Pastor Our Lady of the Lakes 1996-2011 What does it mean to be a father? If we try to find a good answer to that question, all we need do is simply remember Father Murphy. A father, in a biological or any other sense, is essentially a life-giver. Father Murphy personified that. James Murphy entered this life on June 24, 1945, and grew to cherish, celebrate and share the gift of life generously with many especially throughout the 41 years of his priestly ministry. He came to do that in this parish community of Our Lady of the Lakes when he was assigned its pastor in 1996. He lovingly did that throughout his tenure as such. He valiantly did that beyond it in his increasingly weakened state. And he gloriously did that up until his dying breath in the early morning hours of February 8, evoking and enjoying the sweet sounds of prayers and hymns offered by family and close friends at his bedside – a fitting end to a life that was much a beautiful song in itself. As we sadly mourn his loss, we thank God for the life-giving blessings he brought about in our midst. Father Murphy helped this parish community cherish, celebrate and share life indeed! In a collage of varying

contexts – in joyful sacramental celebrations, the worst hours of many, and festive meals crafted by his very hands – he splendidly gave life and taught this community to do the same. The people of Our Lady of the Lakes Church are thankfully the blessed and beautiful lifegiving children that he helped raise! Words are deficient to express the gratitude, admiration and love held for him in our midst. We suffer his parting from us, yet rejoice in the just recompense he now receives from the life-giving Father Almighty for his very life-giving. We witnessed it, received it and are all the better for it. May he rest in peace and may his memory continue to fill us with life! Father José Alvarez

Monsignor Edward Pace celebrates Catholic Schools Week with events By Maya Lora Special to The Miami Laker When someone believes in something, he or she wants to profess that belief out to the world so that others can believe in it, too. That is the thought behind Catholic Schools Week, which ran from January 27 through 31, celebrating Catholic education. According to David Masters, one of the theology instructors at Monsignor Edward Pace High School, “The week is meant to showcase unique aspects of Catholic education and to have students appreciate the high-quality learning they receive coupled with a spiritual aspect.” The director behind Catholic Schools Week at Pace is Campus Minister Andres Novela who is passionate about his faith and spreading it. He organized a Fair Trade Bazaar that sold a variety of Haitian hand-crafted art work,

sweatshop-free American made tshirts, fair-trade organic coffee, and other items throughout the week. The Mission Club performed skits about human rights and justice in celebration of Catholic doctrine and morality. There were also dress-out themes, presentations, music, and all sorts of fun activities. All the profits from the week’s events go toward a very special cause. Pace has two sister schools in Northern Haiti, in the cities of Moulin and Perou, and all the funds raised during the week pay the salaries of the teachers of the two schools and also help with building construction and maintenance and nutritional programs. Haiti is a large part of everyday life at Pace, where students are encouraged to become aware of those less fortunate than them who share the same God, the same faith, and the same heart. One of the highlights of the

Jose and Ana Julia Arguelles observe 50th wedding anniversary on January 31

Miami Lakes residents Jonathan Cruz and Lauren Romero announce Christmas Eve engagement

week was Thursday, solidarity day. On that day, the students wore black as a symbol of being in solidarity with their Haitian brothers and sisters. The faculty and staff were encouraged to participate – no AC, electricity, or technology, just as the teachers in Haiti conduct their classes without those things. At lunch, a meal of rice and beans was provided for $3, a representation of the simple hot meal available to the students in the sister schools. The theme that tied the week together was “troublemakers." In the words of our Pope, everyone is encouraged to be a troublemaker and spread the Good News. Everyone is encouraged to challenge society and its ideals and to take a stand against the injustice that still exists in the world. You can even be a troublemaker in the church by taking control of being a Christian…taking control of your faith and how you express it.

St. Andrews holds Yard Sale March 8 St. Andrews Lutheran Church will hold a yard sale on Saturday, March 8 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 575 W. 68 Street, Hialeah. Funds

After Care

raised will provide continuing support for the church's food bank and other ministry activities.

Miami Lakes Congregational Church 6701 Miami Lakeway South (across from Miami Lakes K-8 Center) Christian Based School, Serving Miami Lakes For Over 48 Years Academic, Accredited, Affordable (introducing Mandarin, Spanish & sign language)

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JOSE and ANA JULIA ARGUELLES celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on January 31. The Arguelles' have been Miami Lakes residents for the past 13 years. They renewed their wedding vows at Immaculate Conception Church alongside close friends and family, followed by a surprise reception hosted by the couple's daughters Ana Arguelles and Sara Lopez.

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JONATHAN CRUZ, son of Homero and Maria Elena Cruz, proposed to his high school sweetheart of eight years, Lauren Romero, daughter of Jorge and Elizabeth Romero, on Christmas Eve. The couple are Miami Lakes residents and graduates of Monsignor Edward Pace High School. Romero graduated from the University of Miami in 2012 and is pursuing her doctorate degree in pharmacy at Nova Southeastern University. Cruz owns Nessen Forged and is currently studying at Florida International University.


THE MIAMI LAKER

Miami Lakes Area Houses of Worship Miami Lakes Baptist Church 6250 Miami Lakes Dr. East Telephone: 305-823-3888 Sunday Worship.........9:30, 11 & 12:30 Midweek Service Wed.................7 PM

M.L. Congregational Church 6701 Miami Lakeway South Telephone: 305-822-4313 Adult Sunday School...................9 AM Children’s Sunday School.....10:30 AM Worship.................................10:30 AM

Sunrise Presbyterian Church 18400 N.W. 68 Avenue Telephone: 305-821-5841 Sunday School (all ages)........9:00 AM Worship.................................10:00 AM Spanish Worship...................11:30 AM

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church 15650 Miami Lakeway North Telephone: 305-558-3961 Sunday Eucharist........................10 AM Children’s Sunday School..........10 AM Adult Bible Study.......................11 AM

San Francisco de Asis (Iglesia Episcopal) 15650 Miami Lakeway North Telephone: 305-558-3961 Misa en Espanol...................12:15 PM Escuela Dominical................12:15 PM

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 8201 N.W. 186 Street Telephone: 305-829-0049 Spanish service.............................9 AM English service.......................12:30 PM Tuesday (Spanish).........................7 PM Wednesday (English)....................7 PM

Palm Vista Community Church Meeting at Miami Lakes Middle 6425 Miami Lakeway North Telephone: 305-822-6999 Worship Service.........................10 AM

Temple Tifereth Jacob 5901 N.W. 151 Street Telephone: 305-557-2651 Call for Service Schedule

Iglesia Biblica Cristiana Español Servicios Telephone: 305-557-1959 Sunday service........................4:00 PM Wednesday Youth....................7:30 PM 6250 Miami Lakes Drive East

El Nuevo Comienzo 6701 Miami Lakeway South Services in Spanish Sunday service.........................2:00 PM Thursday service.....................7:00 PM

St. Andrews Lutheran Church 575 W. 68 Street Telephone: 305-821-3622 Sunday service (English)........9:00 AM Sunday service (Spanish).....10:30 AM Bible School...............................11 AM

Iglesia Cristiana Reformada Vida Nueve

5941 N.W. 176 St., Bldg. #5 Telephone: 305-244-9425 www.icrvidanueve.com

Hialeah Church of Christ Telephone 305-558-1060 (Temporary meeting location) Shula’s Hotel (Davis Cup Room) 6842 Main Street, Miami Lakes Sunday Bible Study.................9:30 AM Sunday Worship Service.......10:30 AM Sunday Evening Service..........6:00 PM Wednesday Bible Study...........7:30 PM

Fulfilled Life Church Telephone 305-244-8485 Country Club Middle School 18305 N.W. 75 Place Sunday Service (Eng.)..10:30 AM

Faith Is The Victory Fellowship Telephone: 954-435-1313 www.faithisthevictoryfellowship.com Sunday Service.....................10:30 AM (Cobb Theaters – 6711 Main Street) Theatre 17

Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church 15801 N.W. 67 Avenue Telephone: 305-558-2202 Sunday services in English 9:30, 11 AM and 5:30 PM Sunday services in Spanish 8 AM, 12:45 PM and 7 PM Saturday services 8:30 AM, 5 PM Daily services 7 and 8:30 AM Confessions: Saturdays 3:30 PM

Mother of Our Redeemer Catholic Church 8445 N.W. 186 Street Telephone: 305-829-6141 Daily services (Spanish) 8:30 AM Saturday (English) 5:30 PM Saturdays (Spanish) 7 PM Sundays (English) 8 & 10:30 AM Sundays (Spanish) 9 AM, 12:30 PM, 7 PM

North Palm Baptist Church 7801 N.W. 178 Street Telephone: 305-558-2032 www.NorthpalmBaptist.org Sunday Bible Study.................9:15 AM Sunday Worship....................10:30 AM Wednesday Service..................7:00 PM

M.L. United Methodist Church 14800 N.W. 67 Avenue Telephone: 305-821-7274 www.miamilakesumc.net Praise Band & Music.............9:40 AM Traditional Worship Service.10:00 AM Alive-Contemporary Service11:30 AM (Child care and children’s/youth Sunday School during both services.)

New Testament Baptist Church The Gathering Place 6601 N.W. 167 Street Telephone: 305-558-4930 Sunday Service..........................11 AM Bible Study ............................9:45 AM Wednesday Bible Study...........7:00 PM Wednesday Youth Group.........7:00 PM

Orthodox Cathedral of Christ The Saviour 16601 N.W. 77 Court Telephone: 305-822-0437 Home of The Orthodox Book Center Sat. Vespers.................................6 PM Sun. Matins............................8:40 AM Sun. Liturgy...............................10 AM Sunday School & Inquirer Classes

Palm Springs United Methodist Church 5700 W. 12 Avenue Telephone: 305-821-3232 Worship Service...................11:00 AM

The Redeemed Christian Church of God Victory Parrish Worship Center 16261 N.W. 57 Avenue Telephone: 786-428-0078 Sunday service....................10:00 AM Tuesday & Thursday..............7:00 PM Friday service.......................11:00 PM

Voice for Jesus Cobb Miami Lakes Theatre #11 6711 Main Street 305-818-0565 Sunday service......................10:00 AM Youth service.........................10:00 AM Children services...................10:45 AM (Nursery provided)

(Editor’s Note: All information provided by individual houses of worship. Confirm service times by telephone.

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

PAGE 25

Local churches participate in Crop Walk to provide hunger relief On Sunday, February 23, the Miami Lakes Congregational Church and other local churches invite the community to join them in the walk against hunger known as the Crop Walk. The event will begin at 12:30 p.m. at Miami Lakes Congregational Church located at 6701 Miami Lakeway South for the 18th Annual Crop Walk. On this day local churches gather to cele-

brate the vision and bountiful world that God created with "enough for all." In just one day, 30,000 die of hunger. For the walk against hunger event, a service will be held followed by a walk taken by church and community members who have made pledges to fight against hunger. To pledge or participate in walking, contact Elliot Auerhan at 954-260-2093.

A quarter of the funds raised from registration fees go to local hunger relief programs and the remainder is given to Church World Service, which sponsors the event and supports hunger relief worldwide. The local hunger relief will go toward families through the ministry of the Family Life Center at St. Andrews Lutheran Church.

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BOOKKEEPER WANTED Sunrise Presbyterian Church seeks a part-time bookkeeper. Works with Quick Books 2010 or latest version and Excel (required). This is an 8 hour a week job to be done on Monday (note: payroll is completed by Tuesday and checks distributed on Wednesday and Thursday. Office hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tasks: Maintain checking accounts, all income and expense records for Church and Academy. He/she will pay bills weekly and payroll every 2 weeks. Provide weekly income/ expense summary reports and monthly full financial reports of the Church and Academy for the Pastor and Academy Director. The person hired will work with the Pastor of the church and director of the Sunrise Christian Academy and is accountable to the Finance Team and Pastor as head of staff. Salary (2014) is $20 per hour (Form W-4 is required.) Submit resume to the attention of the Finance Team by email to thesunrisechurch@aol.com, by fax to 305-821-6068, or by mail to 18400 N.W. 68 Avenue, Miami, FL 33015.

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PAGE 26

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER FOR SALE

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15539 Miami Lakeway, #201-22 $130,000

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Great home for entertaining and for a large family. Custom built 4/3 single story home on Lake Elizabeth. Marble entrance, stamped concrete circular driveway. Huge family room. two A/C's, 2 car garage, wood and bamboo floors. Tree lined gated community west of the Palmetto.

Great cozy apartment in sought after Celebration Point in the heart of Miami Lakes.Unit has vaulted ceilings, screened balcony, plenty of closet space, washer and dryer inside the unit. Building faces the lake, unit has partial view of the lake from the master bedroom. Amenities include open parking, walking path, BBQ area, community pool and security patrolled. Location is excellent.

Almost half an acre of land in gated Loch Lomond community in the heart of Miami Lakes. Home site faces the 4th hole on Don Shula’s golf course. Only a few vacant lots remain in Loch Lomond. Lot is currently used as a tennis court. HOME IS NOT FOR SALE so please do not disturb owners. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to build your dream home. Walk to Main Street. Easy access to Palmetto Expressway.

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FOR SALE. Why pay rent or dorm costs? Apt. 2 blocks from FSU campus in Tallahassee. 2/2, 2-car garage, gated, fully renovated, furnished, outdoor patio; corner unit with large yard area. $82,900. Call 786-355-4389.

FOR RENT Villas of Miami Lakes. Ground floor. Golf course view. 2/2. Remodeled. $1300 per month. First/last and $1000 security deposit. Call 954456-7072 or email arkp747@aol. com. 2pt

3/2.5 Brand new townhome with 2car garage, gated community, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, wood laminate floors, hurricane impact windows, fitness studio, 24 hr. maintenance. From $2350 monthly. Call 305-821-1138. 2pt

Cypress Village, 2nd floor, remodeled 2/1, require 1st month, Sec. Dep. $1250. Call 305-333-2177.

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15575 Miami Lakeway #103-14 $139,000 Great unit in a great complex ideal for small family starting out or for a seasoned investor.Ground floor condo in Celebration Point.1 Bedroom plus den and 1.5 bath. Eat-in kitchen, wood laminate floors, walk-in closet and washer/dryer inside the apartment. Entrance to the building features a relaxing waterfall fountain surrounded by plants and orchids.Celebration Point is conveniently located minutes away from Main Street Miami Lakes and 826.

10764 NW 84 St Unit #4-25$275,000 Immaculate unit in sought after community of Islands at Doral. This property features a newer A/C, new stove and microwave, enclosed patio, tray ceilings. Spacious master bedroom with double doors & walk-in closet, Roman tub and dual sinks in the master bathroom. Amenities include a stateof-the-art clubhouse with pool, basketball & tennis courts and gym. Excellent location within walking distance to schools and just minutes away from Turnpike. Unit is currently rented month to month.

18501 NW 84 COURT $320,000

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Great home in Palm Springs North. Corner lot house with a split bedroom plan. Detached 20x30 garage ideal for storing boat or trailer. Kitchen has been remodeled, under mount lights, high hats, and pass thru window. Very serene patio area with waterfall fountain. 20 ft. extended driveway great for large family gatherings. Minutes from I75 and Broward county.

Great home on the west side of Miami Lakes. Plenty of room for a pool, Very quiet and secluded neighborhood. Property features vaulted ceilings, family room, 1car garage,new dishwasher & washer, accordion shutters. Great curb appeal as well.Circular driveways (pavers), nice front porch & wrought iron gate. Property is very close to Royal Oaks Park and near I75.

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THE MIAMI LAKER

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

PAGE 27

If You Are Thinking About Selling Your Home, Let’s Talk. Call me today!

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16270 N.W. 84 Avenue

This 5 bedroom 6 1/2 bath home is located on an 18,252 sq. ft. lot with spectacular golf course and lake views. Home features include marble floors, high impact windows and doors, top-of-the line appliances, sub-zero side-by-side refig. and wine cooler for over 75 bottles, 2 dishwashers, six burner gas stove, built-in wall microwave and double oven, his and hers master bathrooms and closets, large covered patio and much more. This home has the best views of Don Shula's Golf Course.

This 4 bedroom, 3 bath home is located in the guardgated community of Royal Oaks. Recently updated, this home has a large open floor plan, tiled floors, covered patio, French doors, pool, volume ceilings, circular driveway and custom window framing. Close to area schools, shopping and major highways.

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Located in the private community of Silvercrest South this 4 bedroom 3 bath home is situated on a north facing lot with lush tropical landscaping, paver circular drive, high volume ceilings, tile floors throughout, 1 bedroom down and 3 bedrooms up stairs.

Located Near Bob Graham Education Center, Palmetto Xway, and I-75. This 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home has tile floors, crown molding, volume ceilings, granite counter tops, a bonus room that can be used as an office or game room, circular driveway and large backyard.

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PAGE 28

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

THE MIAMI LAKER

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Miami Laker 2014 February 21  

The Miami Laker print edition on February 21, 2014. the Original Northwest Miami-Dade Community Newspaper for the Town of Miami Lakes and Su...

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