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The original northwest Miami-Dade community newspaper for the Town of Miami Lakes & surrounding areas Vol. 40 No 2



Grand opening of N.W. 87 Ave. expansion set for February 3 On Monday, February 3, the Town of Miami Lakes will celebrate the grand opening of the new N.W. 87 Avenue link between N.W. 154 and 162 streets. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. on the corner of N.W. 87 Avenue and 162 street. Residents and others who are interested in participating in the celebration are asked to congregate at the Roberto Alonso Community Center at Royal Oaks Park, 16500 N.W. 87 Avenue, at 10 a.m. “As we prepare to celebrate the opening of this road, we are reminded of our steadfast commitment to provide residents with quality infrastructure that accommodates growth, alleviates traffic and increases access around our town,” said Mayor Wayne Slaton. Construction of the missing link on 87 Avenue that had separated the west side of Miami Lakes for years got underway in

late 2012. Miami-Dade County’s construction project in conjunction with the Town of Miami Lakes and the Lowell Dunn family, involved developing a fourlane divided median road with sidewalks, bicycle lanes and landscaping throughout the eightblock long corridor. The project was designed to match the existing design of N.W. 87 Avenue south of Miami Lakes Drive. In 2011, Miami Lakes and the Lowell Dunn family reached an agreement to open up the roadway, and the county, which will own the road, constructed the project at no cost to the town. In exchange, Miami Lakes granted the Dunn family a 20-year traffic concurrency for Dunnwoody Lake, a 509 single-family and townhouse development project, and a shopping center, west of 87 Avenue and north of Miami Lakes Drive.

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Dade Christian cheerleaders capture National Championship

DADE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL’S varsity cheerleading team was a three-peat National Champion winner at the recent Fellowship of Christian Cheerleading Nationals in Orlando. The team, posing with their trophy, championship banner and “National Champion” jackets, includes (top, from left) Stevie-Anne Bertram, Alyssa Martinez, Dominique Phillips, Amanda DeCoro, Nikol Rodriguez, Isabel Oliva, Sabrina Sanchez and coach Jennifer Martinez; (front, from left) Cristyn Myland and Amanda Diaz.

A Look Inside:

JANUARY 17, 2014

Strategic planner James Anaston-Karas speaks to ML Chamber...........(Page 4)

Main Street Players opens 2014 with Next Fall at Main Street Playhouse

THE CAST for Next Fall includes (from left) Mikey Fernandez, Daniel Gomez, Larry Chidsey, Liz Dikinson, Rachel Stone and Harry Marsh. The play will run from February 7 through March 2. (Photo by Dennis Lyzniak ) (See story on Page 5.)

Taste of Miami Lakes family event scheduled for Feb. 22 on Main Street

6TH ANNUAL Taste of Miami Lakes Festival, sponsored by the Main Street Merchants and The Graham Companies, is scheduled for Saturday, February 22, on Main Street. (See Pages 5 and 13 for details.)

n Main Street Banner Art contest entries go on display at 6709 Main Street...............................3

n News and Notes of interest from the Town of Miami Lakes. See Pages...............2, 3, 6 and 7

n American girls’ basketball team enjoys 18-2 season seeking district title.......................14

n Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr. schedules Town Hall meetings in District 13....................4

n Miami Lakes Garden Club presents “A look at GMO’s” at January 27 meeting................11

n Pace High boys’ basketball team has winning record and looks to win district.................15

n Barbara Goleman Senior High expands course offerings during successful year..........18

n Community Calendar, 11, School, sports and church news, 14-21; Classified ads.........22-23


JANUARY 17, 2014


Miami Lakes Town Council:

Agenda items scheduled for January 14 regular meeting By David L. Snelling The Miami Laker staff To enhance on-street parking spaces and a pedestrian ambiance in the Town Center Downtown area, the Town of Miami Lakes is proposing a pay per-space fee for landowners and business owners in exchange for including additional parking spaces in its required parking zone. At the January 14 regular Town Council meeting, lawmakers, on first reading, were expected to vote for an ordinance which would establish a payment in lieu of required parking program in the Town Center area split into two districts – east and west of N.W. 67 Avenue. The Town would use the revenues to improve on-street parking spaces, stripping and landscaping islands, and make the area more pedestrian friendly for people walking to the businesses in the area. The town’s Land Development Code (LDC) specifies the minimum number of vehicle parking spaces that each type of land use in the Town must have, all of which must be provided on private property. The businesses located in the Town Center area have been limited by these requirements due to

the number of private parking spaces available and limited opportunities to develop additional parking lots. For example, the parking spaces required for a sit-down restaurant is five times that of a retail establishment for the same size space. However, the Town Center area is different from other areas of Miami Lakes in that there is a significant supply of on-street parking on public streets. Despite the fact that this is routinely used by patrons of businesses in the area, it does not count toward required parking. If the ordinance is adopted on second reading following a public hearing in February, the measure could provide several benefits, both for commerce and for urban design within the Town Center area. It could facilitate the opening of businesses in the Downtown area that would otherwise not be possible, including dining and entertainment establishments. In addition, the ordinance could lessen the need to develop parking facilities (parking lots and garages) on private property, which will both enhance the Town Center area as the Miami Lakes downtown, pedestrian-oriented center, and leave more opportuni-

ties for development of businesses. The parking and pedestrian improvements funded by the inlieu fees would make more efficient use of existing on-street parking, beautify the area and create a more pedestrian-friendly environment with such amenities as crosswalks, street trees and bump-outs/landscape islands that make crossing distances shorter. The per space fee would be set by the Council by resolution. Town staff will present a recommended fee at the time of second reading of the ordinance. Also on first reading, councilmembers were expected to approve an ordinance to amend the 2012-2013 budget carryover to fund the completion of projects budgeted and commenced in the prior fiscal year that were not completed, allocate a portion of the carry-over to fund park capital improvements, and establish a reserve for the Town Council to fund new initiatives throughout the fiscal year. In addition, due to changes in legislation affecting the People’s Transportation Plan (PTP), Miami Lakes added a new section to the special revenue fund to better track the use of these funds. In other Town Council news: • On second reading, coun-

cilmembers were expected to approve an ordinance to correct a situation where a zoning requirement to screen rooftop air conditioning equipment on townhouse properties inadvertently requires installation of a new roof or substantial roof alterations. Also on second reading, lawmakers were expected to enact a measure that would allow the Town Council to review zoning appeals but only by a super majority vote instead of applicants taking their cases to court after their plans were rejected by the town’s zoning and planning board. • Councilmembers were expected to award a contract in the amount of $35,000 to SFM Services for street sweeping services for about 29 miles of town controlled roads on a bi-weekly basis. The award amount consists of SFM Services bid amount of $31,668 plus $3,332 for additional services that may be required during the contract term. Funding is available as designated from the current budget for stormwater utility. Additional funds will be allocated in the 2014-15 Budget. • Lawmakers were expected to approve a contract with Southern Strategy Group for state lobbying services in an amount not to exceed $50,000. The award amount consists of SSG’s proposed amount of $42,000 per year, for a total of $126,000 for the initial three year term, plus $8,000 per year for additional services that may be required during the contract term. • The Town Council was expected to approve a lease agreement with The Graham Companies

for the usage of hurricane debris storage at no cost to the Town. The parcel is located along Commerce Way between N.W. 146th and 148th Streets. The Town previously had an agreement with The Graham Companies for debris storage on their property, but townhouse apartments have been built on this parcel, so the Town is in need of a new storage area. The Graham parcel is the next best option as it is approximately the same size as the prior parcel (20 acres). • Councilmembers were expected to retroactively authorize the use of a contract contingency allowance account for the N.W. 154th Street Roadway and Drainage Improvements contract awarded to Acosta Tractors, Inc. Upon review of the minutes to finalize the resolution, the town attorney determined last week that when the Town Council rejected all bids and awarded the contract to Acosta, for the same amount as the lowest bidder, it was not clear that the contingency amount incorporated in the memorandum and resolution for award to the lowest bidder, had also been incorporated into the Acosta contract. The contingency amount was not to exceed $308,367. The contingency was for primarily two factors – the potential to encounter muck during the construction work and the inclusion of the design and construction of irrigation and landscaping, which was not included within the project’s original scope. This will increase Acosta’s contract value from $1,027,893 to a maximum value of $1,333,261.

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Main Street Banner Art contest entries go on display at 6709 Main Street The Graham Companies announced the winners of the “What I Love About Miami Lakes” Main Street Banner Art contest. With over 90 submissions, only 26 pieces were able to be selected to be showcased along Main Street. The artwork submissions were judged by 14 individuals with a selection of the top piece of work based on elementary, middle and high school levels. The selected top Elementary School submission was by Julian

Hernandez with his artwork titled “Growing With You.” The selected top Middle School submission was by Dayanis Oliva with her artwork titled “Miami Lakes, The Best in Entertainment.” The selected top High School submission was by Karla Gonzalez with her artwork titled “Why I Love Miami Lakes.” Overall winners from grades K5 included Christopher Inguanzo, Daniel Castillo, Madison Londono, Melanie Montoya, Alexan-

Review of agenda items at Council’s January 14 meeting (Continued from Page 2)

• Lawmakers were expected to approve a resolution to place a charter amendment on the November 4, 2014 ballot to determine if residents should decide in a referendum to increase the size of the town through annexation. • Councilmembers were expected to discuss Vice Mayor Manny Cid’s proposal for a town charter change to allow residents to pick the vice mayor during an election year instead of councilmembers nominating the second in command at regular council meetings. • Lawmakers were scheduled to discuss Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez’s proposal for an ordinance requiring a buyer for a single-family home and town home to obtain a permit and a letter of receipt acknowledging the town’s deed restrictions and covenants. • In light of Florida State University’s BSC Championship win against Auburn in the Rose Bowl, rhe Town Council was

planning to discuss Councilmember Tony Lama’s request to proclaim January 6, 2014, FSU Champions Day. According to Lama, many Miami Lakes residents are Seminoles alumni or current students. • Lawmakers were expected to approve Rodriguez’s proposal to rename N.W. 87 Avenue to Royal Lakes Boulevard to bring both the Royal Oaks, Royal Gardens and West Lakes neighborhood together now that the N.W. 87 Avenue expansion project is almost finished. • The Town Council was expected to discuss Councilmember Ceaser Mestre’s request as part of the town's Beautification Plan to direct staff to negotiate and enter into an agreement with state officials for the maintenance of the median on N.W. 57 Avenue. He said the state would provide the funds currently allocated for the town and maintain it.

dra Batista, Mary Rose Soto, Amanda Bencomo, Jasulin Garcia, Kelly Yuen, Jimena Gonzalez, Sophia Ramos, Cristina Torras, Christina Gonzalez and Julian Hernandez. Overall winners from grades 68 included Casandra Casadevale, Joshua Bacallao, Kenneth Bui, Natalie Reyes, Alexandra PerezCrossland, and Dayanis Oliva. Overall winners from high school included Yailin Libas, Luis Castro, Heidy Gonzalez, Eliany Gil, Amber Arias and Karla Gonzalez. The contest was open to all children who live in Miami Lakes or who attend a Miami Lakes public or private school. The Graham Companies specifically expressed its appreciation to Bob Graham Education Center, Miami Lakes K-8 Center, and Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High for supporting the art contest with involvement from their art teachers and students. Original pieces of artwork will be displayed in the windows of Limelight located at 6709 Main Street, and the light pole banners showcasing the artwork of 26 overall winners will be on display through April. The top winners in each category will be published in the February 7 issue of The Miami Laker and will be posted on The Graham Companies encourages the community to visit Main Street to see the works of art by many talented students.

JANUARY 17, 2014


Taste of Miami Lakes festival set for Feb. 22 on Main Street The Main Street Merchants present the 6th annual Taste of Miami Lakes Festival, scheduled for 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 firstyear medical school students to a lifelong involvement in medical mission work in international or underserved settings. Visit for more info. Vendors must complete an application to be part of the event by Saturday, February 8. Sponsorship packages also available. For more information, contact Chanel Prada at 786-499-9247 or visit


JANUARY 17, 2014


Strategic Planning expert James Anaston-Karas is guest speaker for Chamber’s February 5 lunch


Community planning and facilitation expert James AnastonKaras will be the special guest speaker at the Miami Lakes Chamber of Commerce’s monthly membership luncheon on Wednesday, February 5, in the Grand Ballroom of Shula’s Hotel on Main Street. Networking starts at 11:30 a.m.,

luncheon at 12 noon. Anaston-Karas has been retained by the Town of Miami Lakes to oversee and facilitate Council and public meetings for the town’s Strategic and Comprehensive Plans that will guide the next 10 years of Miami Lakes’ future growth. Anaston-Karas, joined by town

staff, will focus on “What can our Town do to Ensure a Thriving Business Environment in the Future?” The discussion will help identify key issues and opportunities that are important to the business owners of Miami Lakes. A senior manager and certified facilitator with a 28-year history of accomplishments in public/private sector strategic planning, and development/redevelopment, Anaston-Karas uses various group techniques to compose strategic plans for senior management of local governments, not-for-profits, and businesses. Anaston-Karas has served as a director of the South Florida Water Management District (Broward County Service Center), legislative manager for Broward County,

and a policy coordinator for the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. He holds a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Ohio State University and a bachelor of arts in Political Science from Southern Illinois University. Deadline to reserve a table is at 2 p.m. on Friday, January 31. 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 $35 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@miami

87 Avenue expansion unites west M. Lakes neighborhoods (Continued from Page 1) Now finally ready to open, the expansion of N.W. 87 Avenue will give residents, Fire-Rescue and police services an easier route to secluded Miami Lakes neighborhoods, Royal Oaks Park and the Roberto Alonso Community Center. The Miami Lakes’ link is part of the county’s expansion roadway plan to add four additional lanes along N.W. 87 Avenue further north to Miami Gardens Drive. As part of the roadway improvement project, Miami Lakes recently completed con-

struction of an additional two lanes on Miami Lakes Drive from N.W. 84 Avenue to west of N.W. 87 Avenue. As part of the development agreement with the Dunn family, the improvements to Miami Lakes Drive would be required before pulling a permit for the housing and commercial project. Miami Lakes had an option of completing the roadway work itself and the Dunn family will reimburse the town, including the principle, interest and closing costs, for the project. The town financed the project with a $1.8 million bank loan.

Com. Esteban Bovo holds Town Hall meetings in District Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr., District 13, has announced the locations of his town hall meetings for the next three months. Commissioner Bovo will discuss issues of importance to district residents and listen to their concerns and ideas. Bovo’s town hall meetings are generally held the second Monday of every month at different locations throughout the district. • Monday, January 13 – John F. Kennedy Library, 190 West 49 Street, Hialeah, from 5:45 to 7 p.m. • Monday, February 10 – Town Hall of Miami Lakes, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, from 6 to 8 p.m. • Monday, March 10 – Norman and Jean Reach Park, 7901 N.W. 176 Street, Palm Springs North, from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, call Bovo’s office at 305-820-8424.


Miami Lakes seeks resident survey input for town’s Strategic Plan Miami Lakes is seeking resident input as the town develops the Strategic and Comprehensive Plans. These plans will guide the next 10 years of the town’s growth. Resident participation will help identify key issues and opportunities as the town develops a vision to keep Miami Lakes “Growing Beautifully.” All participants will be entered into a raffle and eligible to win up to $200 in Visa gift cards. To complete the survey, enter the following address in your internet browser: https://www.survey/ For a printed version of the questionnaire, contact Nicole Singletary via email at, or call 305-5127132. “We would like to encourage all Miami Lakes residents to participate in this community survey,” said Mayor Wayne Slaton. “Your input is key as we work together to plan for the next few years, and continue to make Miami Lakes a great place to live, work and play.”


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The Law Offices of Joshua J. Hertz, P.A., has a new office located in Miami Lakes. We focus on helping car accident victims, slip and fall accidents and personal injury matters.

Next Fall opens February 7 for four weekend run at Main St. Playhouse Opening its 2014 season, the Main Street Players in Miami Lakes is presenting Next Fall, which was nominated for the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award as the best new play of 2010. The play, directed by Robert Coppel, will run from February 7 through March 2 at the Main Street Playhouse, 6766 Main Street. Geoffrey Nauffts' thoughtful and moving drama focuses on the relationship between older partner Adam, a neurotic atheist, and Luke, a partially closeted, impulsive and devoutly Christian actor. When an accident leaves Luke in a coma, family and friends descend on the couple, and their different backgrounds spark tension. The play presents the couple’s relationship in flashbacks as it developed leading up to the day of the accident. This humorous, honest and thought-provoking play is about relationships, religion and living for today. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at

JANUARY 17, 2014

Location: 8100 Oak Lane, Suite 308, Miami Lakes, FL 33016


THE CAST FOR NEXT FALL includes (from left) Mikey Fernandez, Daniel Gomez, Larry Chidsey, Liz Dikinson, Rachel Stone and Harry Marsh. The play will run from February 7 through March 2. (Photo by Dennis Lyzniak.) 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (62+), and $18 for students with valid ID, and are available on the website and at the door. Further information is available on the website or at 305-558-3737.

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News and Notes from the Town of Miami Lakes Manager’s team defeats the Mayor’s team by one point in annual Turkey Bowl game The Town of Miami Lakes’ 5th annual Turkey Bowl lived up to its billing as the most exciting football game in town during the Thanksgiving Holiday.


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The game pitted the town manager’s team (Alex Rey) against Mayor Wayne Slaton’s team in a classic gridiron contest at Royal Oaks Park. The manager’s team won by one point. “5th Annual Miami Lakes Turkey Bowl. I couldn't agree more with Vince Lombardi: 'People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society,” said Vice Mayor Manny Cid. Cid said the event helped bring families together to mingle in a fun way. The town manager’s team against the mayor’s team each year brings families together. “Playing sports is great,” he said.

MANAGER ALEX REY’S TEAM was the winner over Mayor Wayne Slaton’s team in the fifth annual Turkey Bowl flag football game during the Thanksgiving holiday. hometown


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Town of Miami Lakes Notice of Public Zoning Hearing NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Town of Miami Lakes Planning and Zoning Board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 6:30 PM at the Town Hall Chambers, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, FL 33014, to consider the following requests for the subject location: HEARING NUMBER: APPLICANT: FOLIO: LEGAL DESCRIPTION:


VARH2013-0014 José Medina 32-2024-005-0400 Lot 11, Block 2-A, Miami Lakes Section 2, according to the Plat thereof, as recorded in Plat Book 76 at Page 70 of the Public Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida. 6371 Lake Champlain Terrace, Miami Lakes, FL 33016 RU-1

In accordance with the Town of Miami Lakes Land Development Code (the “Town LDC”), José Medina (the “Applicant”) is requesting the following Variance(s) from the Town LDC: 1. A variance from Section 13-1605(c)(6)c. to allow a 400 square foot gazebo beyond the top of slope where the Code allows a maximum of 150 square feet. 2. A variance from Section 13-1605(c)(6)c. to allow a gazebo 6.67’ from the side property line where the Code requires a minimum of 7.5’. 3. A variance from Section 13-1605(c)(6)d.2. to allow 1,223 square feet of deck beyond the top of slope where the Code allows a maximum of 225 square feet. 4. A variance from Section 13-1605(c)(6)d.2. to allow a deck 6.17’ from the side property line beyond the top of the slope where the Code requires a minimum of 7.5’. 5. A variance from Section 13-1605(c)(7) to allow a portion of the pool, 561 square feet, to extend 11’ waterward of the top of slope where the Code prohibits a pool in the area waterward of the top of slope. All persons interested may appear in person, by attorney or agent, or by letter, and express objection or approval. All documentation pertaining to the item(s) is on file in the Office of the Town Clerk located at 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, FL 33014. In accordance with the provisions of F.S. Section 286.0105, should any person seek to appeal any decision made by the Town of Miami Lakes Planning and Zoning Board with respect to any matter considered at this meeting, 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 accommodations to participate in the proceedings should call Town Hall at 305-364-6100 no later than two (2) days before the proceedings for assistance. Marjorie Tejeda-Castillo, Town Clerk

Town creates Online Local Business Directory as an interactive resource for users The Town of Miami Lakes started 2014 by organizing an Online Local Business Directory. The interactive business directory will be placed on the town’s website as well as the town’s mobile application and is expected to go live within the next few months. Each business will have an individual page which will include the business name, type and location. Through this initiative, the Town hopes to highlight and strengthen the business community by promoting local businesses and the services they offer. Business owners will be able to create and tailor their listing to include a business logo, photos of new merchandise or menu items, announce upcoming events and available job opportunities, and even include weekly coupons, all for free. Users will be able to search the directory using keywords like

“pizza” or “dentist.” The interactive mapping portion will then bring up all the local businesses within that category, and even provide driving and walking directions. The Town is working to continue to find ways to promote businesses and strengthen the local economy. “We want to encourage residents of Miami Lakes to spend their dollars in their town,” said Councilmember Tony Lama. “But in order to do that, we needed to make it easier for the residents to find local businesses. This is the result of a great collaborative effort by the staff and the Economic Development Committee.” Business listing information may be sent to the town’s Economic Development Coordinator Nicole Singletary via email at, or by calling 305-512-7132.

Madden’s Hammock artifacts go on display at Government Center Jan. 22 The Town of Miami Lakes will formally unveil the display case containing artifacts originally excavated from the Madden’s Hammock archeological site at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22, at the town’s Government Center, 6601 Main Street. Vice Mayor Manny Cid spearheaded the initiative, requesting the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History to return some of the artifacts back to Miami Lakes. “The artifact exhibit will connect the past with our modern day town,” said Cid. “Understanding the rich history of Madden’s Hammock is vital to its long-term

preservation.” With a donation of $2,500 from longtime Miami Lakes resident Tirso Martinez and his family, the town was able to purchase the display case. Robert Carr, co-founder of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, and one of the original archeologists involved in the Madden’s Hammock excavation, will provide a presentation on the artifacts. Miami Lakes residents are invited to bring their family and learn about Miami Lakes’ history, the roles this area played, and its importance to so many people over such a long period of time.


JANUARY 17, 2014


News and Notes from the Town of Miami Lakes Vice Mayor Manny Cid offers alternative plan to achieve an independent Zip Code for town After being denied his request to the U.S. Postal Service for an independent Zip Code for Miami Lakes, Vice Mayor Manny Cid offered an alternative proposal at the January 14 council meeting. Cid requested town staff to study the feasibility of Miami Lakes postage revenue being split between USPS and the town so that Miami Lakes could set up and pay for its own mail distribution system through a Contract Delivery Service approved by the USPS, in essence creating an independent Miami Lakes Zip Code. The lawmaker pointed out five examples of independent zip codes including Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan (10022-SHOE), Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (90090), Focus on the Family Campus in Colorado Springs (80995), Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago (60606), and the Empire State Building in New York City (10118). Cid emphasized that a Miami Lakes Zip Code could result in lowering automobile insurance rates as insurers often compile sta-

tistics for accidents, thefts, fraud and other losses by Zip Code to calculate risk factors and set their rates in those areas. (The three Zip Codes for Miami Lakes addresses – 33014, 33016 and 33018 – are Hialeah, Florida Zip Codes.) Cid explained Contract Delivery Service carriers are not USPS employees but are independent contractors who provide service on specific routes. Contract suppliers not only deliver all classes and types of mail six days a week, but they can also sell stamps and accept Special Services Mail such as Certified, Registered and Insured Mail, and sell Postal Money Orders. Customers can also take advantage of carrier pickup on Contract Delivery Service routes. In its denial of the Miami Lakes request, USPS said an independent Zip code would not be “operationally feasible” and would be “cost prohibitive” to the Postal Service. “This issue would be alleviated via the revenue sharing plan I have proposed,” Cid said.

line with the community’s vision for what the town should look like in the future. The process culminated with a citizen outreach effort which collected over 110 resident surveys that assisted with finalizing the selection of key concept area in the plan. For Gateways, 66 percent of residents responding selected Sylvester Palms in medians, with groundcovers and specialty paving. For Intersections, 65 percent of residents responding selected Alexander Palms in medians, Medjool Date Palms in walkways, groundcovers and specialty paving. For Roadways, 49 percent of residents responding selected Oaks in medians, and Oaks and Silver Buttonwoods in walkways. (An alternative to roadway changes would be to not immediately impact the current canopy and pursue the burying of underground power lines or wireless

electrical technologies along N.W. 67 Avenue.) Other elements of the plan include improvements to neighborhood roads incorporating medium sized shade trees such as Gumbo Limbos or Silver Buttonwoods, improvements to cul-desacs incorporating medium sized shade and palm trees such as Sabal Palms or Silver Buttonwoods and adding groundcovers, improvements to the underpass at Miami Lakes Drive and Palmetto Expressway incorporating landscaping and painting the columns/ slope areas using easy to maintain graffiti/stainresistant paint, and improvements to parks incorporating lighting, new trees, improving walkways and providing a consistent look of park furniture. Rey said the plan could be fully implemented over a five to ten year span. The town has budgeted $300,000 this year to begin the plan with the development of three new gateways and roadway landscape improvements.

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:

Planning & Zoning Board Meeting Tuesday, January 21, 6:30 PM Miami Lakes Government Center, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, Fla. Economic Development Committee Tuesday, January 28, 5:30 PM Miami Lakes Government Center, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, Fla. Neighborhood Improvement Committee Meeting Tuesday, February 4, 7:00 PM Miami Lakes Government Center, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, Fla. Youth Activities Task Force Wednesday, February 5, 7:00 PM Miami Lakes Government Center, 6601 Main Street, Miami Lakes, Fla. ROBERTO ALONSO center in Roberto’s name is an honor,” said Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez. “I remember seeing him at the park daily overlooking its development; he loved this park.”

Next Movies at the Park set January 24 Miami Lakes Youth Activities Task Force has resumed its annual Movies at the Park series. The free movie watching event takes place at Miami Lakes Picnic Park West, 15151 N.W. 82 Avenue. The series kicked-off on Friday, January 10, at 7:30 p.m., and will continue every other week through February for a total of four films. Families are encouraged to bring chairs and picnic

Town Manager Alex Rey proposed adoption of the townwide Beautification Master Plan at the January 14 Town Council meeting based on resident feedback surveys and professional recommendations from the town’s architectural firm and staff. The master plan includes concepts for Gateways, Intersections and Roadway locations throughout the town along with other recommendations for neighborhoods and parks. With a commitment to become the most uniformly beautiful municipality in South Florida, the town embarked on a renewed urban beautification planning effort in late 2012 and selected Bermello Ajamili and Partners, Inc., as the Landscape Architect for the project. During the process, town staff worked with the architectural firm to inventory the town’s green spaces and roadways, create concepts to beautify those areas, and develop a document that was in


Naming ceremony for the Roberto Alonso Community Center set for January 25 The Town of Miami Lakes will honor its first Vice Mayor Roberto Alonso on Saturday, January 25, by officially naming the community center at Royal Oaks Park the Roberto Alonso Community Center. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. followed by the unveiling of the designation. Alonso was a strong advocate for the planning and development of Royal Oaks Park and was best known for championing the vision, creation, and development of the park and community center. Alonso served eight years on the town council and focused on improving townwide public safety, making neighborhood roads and parks safer. “Renaming the community

Council considers adoption of town’s proposed Beautification Master Plan

blankets. Pizza, popcorn and soda will be available for purchase. The next showing is scheduled for Friday, January 24. For upcoming events and information, or for sponsorship opportunities, contact Special Events and Committees coordinator Clarisell De Cardenas via email at

Cultural Affairs Committee Meeting Thursday, February 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. This Notice dated January 10, 2014 at Miami Lakes, Fl. Majorie Tejeda-Castillo, Town Clerk


JANUARY 17, 2014


Miami Lakes Library’s January program schedule Miami Lakes Branch Library has the following programs available for the public during January: For Children: Family Game Day! – Come to the library and enjoy time with your family playing board games. For all ages. Meets at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 18. Paws 2 Read – Certified therapy dogs listen as children read aloud and practice their reading skills. For all ages at 11 a.m. on

Saturday, January 18. Reading Ready Toddler Storytime – Stories, songs and activities for toddlers and their care givers. Meets at 11 a.m. on Thursdays, January 23 and 30. For Teens: Teen Club: Book Blitz – Teens discuss their favorite reads at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28. 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, January 25. For Adults: Beginning Painting Course – Find the artist in you by joining the Beginning Painting Course sponsored by AARP, the Creative Aging Project, and MDPLS. This is a free, eight-week program for learners age 55 and older. The course begins at 1:30 p.m. on

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Wednesday, February 5. Space is limited and registration is required by calling 305-822-6520. Book Discussion Group – Monthly meetings to discuss books of interest. Contact the branch to find out the title of the book. Meets at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21. Navigating the Affordable Care Act – Have questions about the new Affordable Care Act? Meet with a representative from SRA International and get your questions answered on the new law, the Health Marketplace and learn what it means for you. Meets

at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, January 21 and 28. 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, January 22. Miami Lakes Branch Library is located at 6699 Windmill Gate Road. For operating hours, registration and more information, call 305-822-6520.

Friends of the Library host third annual ‘Miami Moments’ on Saturday, February 8 The Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library will host its third annual “Miami Moments” at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, at the Main Library, 101 West Flagler Street in downtown Miami. The Main Library will be transformed into a tropical paradise honoring Ruth and the late Richard Shack, longtime library and community supporters, and the Miami Dolphins Foundation for its many years of helping to underwrite library programs for youth. Hosted by TV anchor Gerri Helfman, there will be musical entertainment by Grammy-nominated saxophonist Ed Calle along with special guest appearances by film producer Billy Corben, award-winning author Edwidge Danticat, The Miami Foundation CEO Javier Soto, and world-

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renowned chef Norman Van Aken. All proceeds will benefit the public library’s cultural and literacy programs. Tickets are available at www., or by calling 305-375-2658. “Miami Moments” is especially important this year as the Library is facing many important challenges due to severe budget cuts and must rely heavily on the Friends for their support. Although the Friends want to raise funds at the event, the greater goal is making people aware of the importance of the library to the community, bringing them to the Main Library where the library’s story can be told.

Veteran book reading Jan. 25 at Main St. Playhouse On January 25, the Main Street Players will be hosting a panel discussion and book signing of the recently released Post 8195: Black Soldiers Tell Their Vietnam Stories. Edited by VFW Post 8195 Commander Bobby White, each chapter focuses on stories as told by a group of 23 Vietnam War veterans who volunteered to help create this courageous work. The stories expose readers to the true, challenging, and many times painful experiences that have impacted the lives of these veterans, stories of leadership, sacrifices, and the patriotism which make this book an unforgettable read. The book is currently available on and can also be purchased locally. Meet the heroic authors, including Main Street Player’s own Charles James, on Saturday, January 25, at 4 p.m. at the Main Street Playhouse, 6766 Main Street. Admission is free. More information about the book signing event is available at 954931-1301.


JANUARY 17, 2014

Bike & Helmet Safety Event Miami Children’s Hospital’s Trauma Services Team will be fitting children for bike helmets. Informational sessions, safety instructions and giveaways!* *While Supplies Last

Family-friendly entertainment Kohl’s - Hialeah Store 700 W. 49th Street, Hialeah, FL 33012

Saturday, January 18 | 10 a.m. - 1p.m.

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Miami Lakes Garden Club presents ‘A look at GMO’s’ on January 27 The Miami Lakes Garden Club (MLGC) announced its upcoming Gardening Program Series presentation "A look at GMOs," a free lecture presentation at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, January 27, at Miami Lakes Community Center West, 15151 Montrose Road. The topic of this presentation will be centered on the history of

January 18 is final day for Optimist baseball and softball signup The final day that boys and girls can register for the Miami Lakes Optimist Club’s 2014 baseball and softball season will be on Saturday, January 18. The registration will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Miami Lakes Middle School, 6425 Miami Lakeway North. Registration fee is $140 and participants must bring copies of their birth certificates. Opening night is scheduled at 6 p.m. on Monday, February 17, at Miami Lakes Optimist Park, where Mayor Wayne Slaton will throw out the first pitch. This year, the organization is a member of the Local Park Alliance and the baseball and softball teams will travel to outside parks to play other teams. For more information, visit

GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and the recent studies of the impact it has on a person’s health. The presentation will be given by Jaqueline Velken. Velken's reason for this presentation is to help educate the community about the impact of GMOs in food. She is a Miami Lakes Garden Club member and an Art History student. She also volunteers at Fairchild Elementary School, where she is currently working on planting seven vegetable gardens for the students there. Her presentation "A Look at GMOs" will give a quick history of GMOs and she will discuss recent health dilemmas that have

arisen in conjunction with GMOs. She will provide statistics and surveys about GMO and non-GMO consumers and shed light on GMO labeling and the groups making efforts to conserve non-GMO seeds. Velken will also present possible local solutions to the problems associated with GMOs. There will be a question and answer session at the end of the presentations as well as informative handouts. For more information about the Gardening Programs Series schedule and the MLGC membership and activities in general, email miamilakesgardenclub1965

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TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® OFFERS: Editorial/Advertising Office 15450 New Barn Road #103 Miami Lakes, FL 33014 Editor..................305-817-4007 News Desk.........305-817-4028 305-817-4078 Fax.....................305-817-4197 Advertising...........305-817-4015

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Commercial realtors encouraged to use the Beacon Council’s new website The Beacon Council recently launched a website aiming to help commercial brokers and realtors to market their available properties. The website, www.Miami, offers a database of vacant commercial properties and buildings now for sale or lease.

The Town of Miami Lakes encourages local brokers and realtors to upload their available commercial spaces to help give the community a competitive advantage in attracting potential employers to the town by visiting the website and click on the “Add Properties” icon.

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 January and early February:

Town of Miami Lakes

Planning & Zoning Board Meeting January 21 6:30 pm M.L. Govt. Center Economic Development Committee January 28 5:30 pm M.L. Govt. Center Neighborhood Improvement Committee February 4 7:00 pm M.L. Govt. Center Youth Activities Task Force February 5 7:00 pm M.L. Govt. Center Cultural Affairs Com. February 6 7:00 pm M.L. Govt. Center (Following classes are free for Miami Lakes residents) Yoga Mon./Wed. 7:30 am MCCC 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. 9:00 am RACC Senior Computer (Eng.) Tues./Thurs. 9:00 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 Tues./Thurs. 12 noon RACC Table Tennis 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 Loch Andrews Loch Isle Lake Glen Ellen Lake Katharine Villas Villa Vizcaya Lake Sandra The Anchorage Fountain Park Lake Martha Loch Lomond West Lake Elizabeth Loch Lomond Lake Carol Royal Palm Estates

January 15 January 15 January 16 January 16 January 20 January 20 January 21 January 21 January 22 January 23 January 23 January 27 January 28 January 28 February 3 February 4 February 4 February 6

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

Book Discussion Group January 10 1:00 pm MCCC M.L. Garden Club January 27 7:00 pm MCCC M.L. Garden Club bunco February 5 11:30 am MCCC M.L. Cham/Commerce February 5 11:30 am Shula’s Hotel M.L. Bridge Club Mondays 11:30 am MCCC M.L. Kiwanis 2nd/4th Thurs. 6:30 pm Pampered Chef 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


JANUARY 17, 2014



JANUARY 17, 2014



JANUARY 17, 2014


American’s girls’ basketball team enjoys 18-2 season By David L. Snelling The Miami Laker staff Moving from Class 8A to a tougher challenge in 7A didn’t seem to enervate the American High girls’ basketball team. The girls started off 6-0, including defeats over then No. 1 stateAFTER SCHOOL Instructional Sports Training - For Kinder - 8th Grades - 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - *Pick up from Local Schools - Includes Snacks - Indoor & Outdoor Facilities - Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Technical Skill Enhancement - Sports Evaluation and Improvement Plans from Our Coach, After Every Program Period - Soccer, Swimming, Basketball, Dance, Tennis and Cheerleading As Low As $8 per day

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ranked Palm Beach Dyer and power houses Gulliver Prep and Coconut Creek. Now at 18-2, the Patriots may be the new kids on the block but the senior-dominated team has settled in well enough to stake its claim for the district title and seek a strong run in the postseason. American defeated Ferguson (17-3) this past Monday and faced Hialeah Miami Lakes on Tuesday before they play in the Martin Luther King Classic Tournament. The Patriots hope their regular season success spills over to the playoffs next month. “The girls on the team are a great group of girls,” said head coach Paul Torres. “With the nine seniors on this team, they have been through a lot of stuff to get to this point. They built the foundation by determination, effort, hard work and refusing to lose. This is one the best teams I have coached.”

Senior guard Maikala McCloud is the Patriots leading scorer at 17 points per game, and she had her best games against Dyer, Gulliver Prep, Coconut Creek, Central and North Miami Beach. She kept American undefeated in district play, as well as senior forward Scanya Jones, senior guard Dajahnae Smith, senior forwards Jessica David and Ebony Griffin, who is the team’s leading rebounder at 12 per game. The girls constitute the Patriots’ starting line-up and the role players contribute big as well, as American banks on offensive power and speed to win games. “Without them, we don’t know where we would be,” said Torres. Torres said the game his team wishes it could have back was the loss to Miami High, which was ranked No. 1 in the state. The Patriots outplayed the Stingarees for three quarters before blowing a 7-point lead in

the fourth quarter and lost 45-40. “It would’ve been a pride victory cause we didn’t have to worry about them in the playoffs,” Torres said. “But a win would’ve been good for bragging rights.” Torres said his team bares a resemblance to his 1998 and 1999 teams that were one game shy of the state championship game. “The 1990’s teams didn’t lose a regular season game for two years and won back-to-back division titles,” he said. “It was a tough group of girls and my team this year is good as well. They are one of the better teams I have coached in recent memory.” McCloud, who is being recruited by several Division I A colleges, including Jacksonville University, Coastal Carolina and Marshal, said her team’s regular season success is attributed to moving the ball around. “We work hard, practice hard and we are mentally focused,” she

said. “We share the ball with all of our teammates because it makes the game fun to play. I love my team.”

AMERICAN forward Jessica David (above) and guard Dajahnae Smith (below) are two leaders on the Patriot’s girls’ basketball team.


JANUARY 17, 2014


Pace basketball team looks for district championship The offense put away Random Everglades, which was ranked in the top 10 in Florida, as the Spartans won by 26 points. Pace split the season series against Booker T., and before winning its first six district games,

including a sweep over Mater Lakes Academy. The faces of the potent offense are leading scorers senior guard Danny Durape and junior guard C.J. Fisher, who both are averaging 21 points per game, and junior

forward Josh Ferguson is the team’s top rebounder. Serro also named Sebastian Jean, Armon Del Castillo and Don King among the unsung heroes of the team, not scoring a lot of points but doing the little things to help

Spartans win. “These are the main guys,� Serro said. Before he became the head coach, Serro was an assistant under Mark Liberman, who guided the Spartans to three state titles.







We are PACE...




By David L. Snelling The Miami Laker staff Last year, Monsignor Edward Pace High School’s boys’ basketball team finished the season at 920 and missed the playoffs. This season, the Spartans are 11-6 and tied with Booker T. Washington for the district lead, and averaging 84 points per game, which is ranked 12th in the nation. Head coach Anthony Serro credits the regular season success to an offense that takes more shots than their opponents. Serro said his team shoots about 80 shots per game, half of them are three-pointers. In one game, the Spartans shot the ball 115 times. “It’s the perfect model of quantity over quality,� said Serro. “It’s a college style type of offense, taking more shots and more three pointers to outscore your opponents.� Serro said his defense has forced a lot of turnovers to help the offense score quickly. He said it took two seasons for his players to learn how to execute the offense well. “Last year, it didn’t work for us,� Serro said. “Last year we did a 180 to what they were taught before I become the head coach. It was a rough road last year but the kids finally adapted to the offense.�





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Miami Rockets 12-U travel baseball team wins Miramar Wood Bats tournament with 5-1 record Having a Party? Need a D.J.? Music for all occasions! Over 20 years of experience


The Miami Rockets have taken off! The newly assembled 12 and under travel baseball team comprised of players from Miami Lakes and Hialeah recently won the Miramar Wood Bats Tournament, recording a 5-1 record to capture the championship. The team was put together by four fathers to compete at a high level and live the American Dream.

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Some of the players came from Cuba less than a year ago and blended in “very” well with their teammates to win the tournament. “This team is made up of players from many different cultures who demonstrated a lot of fear,” said head coach Simon Dalmau Sr. “For some of these players, not only was it their first championship, it was also their first Christmas in a free country.” Dalmau said his players demonstrated a lot of heart during the four-day tournament, which featured 11 All-Star travel teams. In the championship game, one of players delivered a key hit despite a fractured finger, which put the tying run on third base and eventually the Rockets took the lead later in the inning. The team is preparing for the Tournament of Champions, but the coaches are seeking sponsors and fund-raisers for the event.

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Open table tennis at Alonso Center Miami Lakes offers free open table tennis play at the Roberto Alonso Community Center, 16500 N.W. 87 Avenue, every Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 3:30 p.m. All levels and ages are welcome to participate and the town provides paddles and balls, although participants may bring their own paddles. For more information about the program, contact Leisure Services manager Katya Lysak at 305-698-9308.

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M-D Schools’ Alberto Carvalho named finalist for national Superintendent of Year honor Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho was named one of four finalists for the prestigious national Superintendent of the Year by the School Superintendents Association (AASA). “This honor reflects the work of thousands of employees across the school district,” said Carvalho. “Our educators give their all everyday for the common goal of student achievement.” Carvalho was recognized for remarkable gains in student achievement. Miami-Dade placed among the highest-achieving school districts nationally in 4th and 8th grade reading and mathe-

matics on the National Assessment for Educational Progress. Graduation rates increased to 77.2 percent, surpassing the state both in rate of growth and total graduation rate. The school district was placed on the 4th Annual AP District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. The 2014 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced during AASA’s National Conference on Education scheduled for February 13-15 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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JANUARY 17, 2014


D a n i e l Wo n g a w a r d e d 2 0 1 3 Roland Gomez Scholarship In the recently announced 2013 Roland Gomez Scholarship Awards at Miami Lakes MIddle School, Jose Marti Mast Academy student Daniel Wong (baseball) took home the top prize, followed by Pace student Adam Ruiz (basketball), with a two-way tie for third place between Jose Marti

Mast Academy student Jordan Oria (basketball) and Hialeah Miami Lakes High student William Zepka (basketball). The winners are determined by a points system in which the participants are evaluated based on their school academics, Optimist sports, school activities and com-

munity service. Student-athletes can now register to be nominated for next year’s award by going online and fill out application at and submit copies of their report cards.

M.L. Middle School staff, students join in Operation Good Will Shoe Box drive By Roselind Romero The Miami Laker staff Miami Lakes Middle School teachers and students came together during the holidays to participate in a community outreach project that made over 80 holiday

decorated shoe boxes to give to orphaned children. The shoe boxes contained items like a novel, candy, crossword search books, coloring books and colored pencils, and small toys like Rubiks Cubes or Slinky.

Over 320 students participated in putting together the shoe boxes. Once completed the boxes were sent out to local orphanages targeting children ages 10 to 13 years old in local communities. “We wanted the students to participate in an act of kindness and to reflect upon the true spirit of the holiday season,” said teacher and team leader for the project Rachel Diaz. “This was a way for all students to participate and remember the glow of giving long after the season is over.” Funds were also raised for tricycles which were then delivered to children in need. Miami Lakes Middle School is located at 6425 Miami Lakeway North.

ROLAND GOMEZ SCHOLARSHIP boy’s winners include (front, from left) first place winner Daniel Wong, second place winner Adam Ruiz and third place winners Jordan Oria and William Zepka. They were joined during the ceremony by (back, from left) longtime Miami Lakes Optimist Club member Jim Hamilton, president Luis Rojjas and South Florida Governor of Optimist International Jack McCall.

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MIAMI LAKES MIDDLE SCHOOL students and staff are pictured with the shoe boxes and tricycles collected for children during the holiday season as part of Operation Good Will.

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JANUARY 17, 2014


Barbara Goleman expands course offerings during successful year By Roselind Romero The Miami Laker staff According to Barbara Goleman Senior High School principal Joaquin Hernandez, the school was established with the idea that students would contribute to the betterment of the community and excel academically. They have shown some of that established success midway through the 20132014 school year with the release of data regarding FCAT and nonFCAT components in grading. In early December, Goleman was ranked 13th out of 435 high schools in Florida for improved math performance and increased learnings gains, and ranked 19th out of 3,053 schools in total. The school ranked at 48th out of 439 for English. As of January 6, over 278 applications had poured in for the AP Capstone program, which only allots for 100 students. There are still two weeks until deadline for applications. This time last year, the program had 118 applicants. Though Goleman was awarded a 'B' for its school grade, by state standards the school met the required scores in FCAT and nonFCAT components, though it did

not meet the state's percentage of at-risk students attending the school. Nonetheless, the number of increased learning gains achieved and surpassing state required scores are being celebrated by the administration, faculty and students. The AP testers in AP Calculus, Spanish Language, and English Language outperformed the state and the world average. Overall the school has seen the percentage of all AP testers pass at a higher rate than the state average, nearly doubling their percentage from the 2011 to 2012 school year. The Class of 2015 began their stay at Goleman when the AP Capstone program was already in place. Among them are 16 students with perfect unweighted GPAs. "We call it a metamorphosis, and the parents can see that what our teachers and students have accomplished is nothing short of a miracle. We have seen such such success because we have witnessed students, teachers, and parents, coming together in a partnership," said Hernandez. As a result of the success seen in core classes and advanced

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placement courses, the opportunity to expand elective courses has been in the works for the 20132014 school year. Among the courses are driver's education, aerobics and criminal justice. "Once more students are successful in state requirements, they are less likely to be placed in remedial courses which allows for more elective courses," said Hernandez. For a school with such focus on core classes and college readiness, Goleman has also seen fruition from its Fine Arts department which currently has students participating in the Miami Lakes Banner Design competition, an anti-drunk driving campaign, and a student featured this past summer at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. "We have only started," said Hernandez. "We have put together a team of individuals that are dedicated and talented in their craft, and that includes all members of our staff. We couldn't succeed without the cafeteria staff, the clerical staff, the janitorial staff, the administration, the teachers, the parents and the students, each doing their very best." Barbara Goleman Senior High School is located at 14100 N.W. 89 Avenue. For more information, contact the school at 305-3620676.

LET’S HEAR FROM YOU! Got a story idea about your family, school, church, organization or even a neighbor? Email us at, or call 305-817-4078.

American Senior High holds Feeder Pattern EXPO

AMERICAN SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL hosted its Feeder Pattern EXPO to much fanfare and participation. All feeder pattern schools, including elementary and middle schools, showcased their academic and extra-curricular offerings this past December. Parents, students, and community members were able to visit different stations and learn about the various rigorous and concentrated programs offered at each of the schools.

Goleman’s Drama Troupe earns Critic’s Choice awards

THE THESPIANS at Barbara Goleman Senior High School brought home 4 Critic's Choice awards for playwriting, two publicity designs, and a solo pantomime, and each of the 19 troupe members were awarded a Superior rating for their performances. The Fine Arts department at Goleman congratulates the students on their achievements.

‘Enhance Fitness’ classes at M.L. Congregational Church Did you make a resolution to get fit this year? Then look to Miami Lakes Congregational Church for “Enhance Fitness.” This is a group exercise class led by a certified instructor that improves balance, flexibility, bone density, endurance, coordination, mental sharpness and reduces the risk of falling. The group is for persons aged 55 years and older.

Class times are Monday and Thursday from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m., and Friday from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. The class meets in the Fellowship Hall at Miami Lakes Congregational Church, 6701 Miami Lakeway South, across from Miami Lakes K-8 Center. For more information, call the church office at 305-822-4313.

“ENHANCE FITNESS” classes are held every Monday and Thursday at Miami Lakes Congregational Church.


Grandparents welcome birth of Melanie Rose Collado

Monsignor Edward Pace High School will host Career Day on February 6 on campus as an allday event. In an effort to offer its students real-world advice and insight into potential careers, staff members are reaching out to professionals, alumni and entrepreneurs from various occupations to meet with students and have an in-depth discussion about the reality of their professional lives.

“We want to provide students with motivation and inspiration to continue to make good decisions that will benefit them in the future,” said Celia Rouco, Pace’s director of Development, and the coordinator of Career Day. Persons interested in participating as a presenter at Career Day are asked to contact Rouco via email at, or by phone at 305-623-7223, ext. 215.

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DADE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL’S varsity cheerleading team includes (top, from left) Stevie-Anne Bertram, Alyssa Martinez, Dominique Phillips, Amanda DeCoro, Nikol Rodriguez, Isabel Oliva, Sabrina Sanchez and coach Jennifer Martinez; (front, from left) Cristyn Myland and Amanda Diaz.

Dade Christian School’s cheerleading program, which includes elementary, junior varsity and varsity teams, made their annual trip to FCC (Fellowship of Christian Cheerleading) Nationals in Orlando in early January. Each team had one goal in mind...for the elementary and junior varsity, it was to win a national title...and for the varsity, it was to become three-peat National champions. “Each team had rigorous practice almost every day and they were all determined to win a title this year,” said elementary coach Stephanie Andrade. After the preliminary round, all three teams were ranked first. Performing in the final round against fierce competition, each team came out on top and won first place. They all returned as National champions sporting their National Champion jackets and their oversized trophies. These teams proved that although they may be small teams (about 10-12 girls on each team), they can still reach big goals. “Sometimes people underestimate us because we have smaller teams, so they don’t expect much from us,” said varsity captain Amanda DeCoro. The varsity girls and head coach Jennifer Martinez are excited to see what the rest of the season has in store for them.


Monsignor Edward Pace High School schedules Career Day on February 6

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JANUARY 17, 2014

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LONGTIME MIAMI LAKES RESIDENTS Hugo and Hilde Muniz announced the birth of their second granddaughter, Melanie Rose Collado, born November 26, weighing 7 pounds 9 ounces, to parents Monica Muniz-Collado and Edivey Collado. She joins sister Sydney Rose. Paternal grandparents are Eduardo and Zonia Collado.

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Spanish Lake Elementary celebrates a ‘trifecta’ of honors for its staff Spanish Lake Elementary (SLE) is celebrating what it calls the "Trifecta." Principal Jaqueline Arias-Gonzalez was named American Feeder Pattern Principal of the Year, Melanie Negron was named Teacher of the Year and Jennifer Meneses is Rookie Teacher of the Year. Arias-Gonzalez, SLE’s founding principal, has been an educator for a total of 23 years. She has served as a principal for 10 years. She began at Mae M. Walters Elementary and then opened SLE

in 2007. She has also served as an assistant principal for three other elementary schools. Prior to acquiring the position as an administrator, she was a Montessori teacher at Joella C. Good Elementary. Her sincere and welcoming manner encourages open communication among staff, parents, and students. Throughout her career, her quality leadership has initiated change and innovation to provide quality curriculum, teaching practices and assessment methods to


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meet student needs. Arias-Gonzalez, a Miami native herself and a daughter of Cuban immigrants, has always had a selfdirective desire to excel. She received her Bachelors Degree in Education from Florida International University and she continued her education at Barry University with a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership. She is now pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership at FIU. She has participated in many leadership opportunities in MiamiDade County Public Schools. Her roles have included Lead Principal for the American Feeder Pattern, a member of the Dade Association of School Administrators (DASA), and an avid community activist who spearheads annual canned food and toy drives during the holidays. Over and beyond her dedication to the Spanish Lake Elementary family, she considers her personal family to be of upmost importance. She is a proud wife of Desi Gonzalez, Jr. and a loving mother of two boys, Desi Julian, 7 years

SPECIAL HONORS for Spanish Lake Elementary staff including (from left) Rookie Teacher of the Year Jennifer Meneses, Principal Jaqueline Arias-Gonzalez, and Teacher of the Year Melanie Negron. As far back as she can rememold, and Jonathan Daniel, 4 years ber, teaching has always been her old. Although she never dreamed of passion and to pursue this rewardbeing a teacher, Melanie Negron ing profession. Her mother-in-law, started her teaching career 10 Maladys Gonzalez, a Spanish years ago. She wanted to be an teacher extraordinaire at Bob instrumentalist. Her journey to Graham Education Center, and her becoming a teacher began when grandmother have been beacons she was introduced to Music for her as well. Meneses graduated magna cum Therapy by an advisor at Miami Dade Community College. After laude from Florida International taking one class, she realized that University, with a Bachelor’s she could help people with mental degree in Elementary Education. and physical disabilities using music as a medium. Negron graduated from Florida State University where she majored in Music Therapy and gained experience working with people of all age groups. She enjoyed working with at-risk youths of middle school age. Returning to Miami, she was hired as a music teacher at M.A. Milam K-8 Center. Ten years later, she can’t imagine doing anything else. In 2008, Negron returned to school and graduated with a double Master’s degree in School Counseling and Mental Health Therapy. She believes John Lennon said it best: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” Jennifer Meneses, SLE’s Rookie Teacher of the Year, is inspired daily by being a part of Brent and Raquel EdmundSpanish Lake Elementary’s inspirson announced the birth of ing and caring staff. As a respected their son Gavin Michael and resourceful team player with Edmundson. Gavin was born an optimistic, differentiated, and at Miramar Memorial Hospital effective teaching style, Meneses on September 24, 2013. He is committed to creating a chalweighed 8 pounds and 1 lenging, structured and engaging ounce and was 19 inches in classroom setting while inspiring length. His paternal grandeach student to do his or her best. parents are Arnold and Nell She hopes to give children Edmundson of Miami Lakes within her class the desire to and his maternal grandparbecome eager learners for a lifeents are German and Maria time. Garcia of Miami.

Edmundson’s announce birth of their son Gavin


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The Growing Place offers Mandarin and Spanish for student enhancement The Growing Place, a preschool in Miami Lakes, has added Mandarin and Spanish to its preschool curriculum. In recent years, the value of possessing bi-lingual or multi-lingual skills has become extremely important as students begin to make their way through a world that has become smaller and where cultures have become more integrated. As it turns out, The Growing Place, located at Miami Lakes Congregational Church, embarked on this journey at the right time. Miami-Dade County, with the leadership of The Beacon Council and other community organizations, recently re-launched the One Community One Goal initiative, which targets select industries for future growth. The program’s mission is to identify and prioritize those industries that offer the highest potential for creating new jobs. Central to this effort is the need for the education community to provide the training required to support the growth of these industries. While China is on the rise as a key economic player in the world and expands business relationships throughout the western hemisphere and Miami-Dade County continues to forge ahead as the gateway to both North and South America and the Caribbean, a natural and unique relationship will inevitably develop between China and Miami-Dade County. The Growing Place is working to ensure its students get a solid

JANUARY 17, 2014

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

THE GROWING PLACE director Maggie Schneider and several members of her staff are pictured with students at the Miami Lakes Congregational Church preschool. start towards acquiring the lan- well. This translates into enhanced guage skills necessary to be per- ability to multi-task, to say nothsonally successful as well as to ing of conserving energy (i.e., help make Miami-Dade County reducing stress) in the process. successful. With the present and future Moreover, as a recent TIME surge in demand for bi-lingual and Magazine article confirmed, multi-lingual employees, preMulti-lingual persons work faster, schools like The Growing Place of expend less energy doing so and, Miami Lakes are well positioned as they age, retain their cognitive to respond to changes and faculties longer. Increasingly, sci- demands in our local economy. entists suggest that the bi-lingual For more information about The brain is wired differently, with Growing Place, contact the premore connections and greater school office at 305-822-4313. capacity to make connections as

your hometown news. 305-817-4015


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

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 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 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 Contemporary services..........9:40 AM Traditional ServicesWorship10:00 AM Wednesday: Kids Bible Study....................4:30 PM Wed. Bible Study....................6:30 PM

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.


JANUARY 17, 2014




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Miami Laker 2014 January 17  

The Miami Laker print edition on January 17, 2014. The original Northwest Miami-Dade Community Newspaper for the Town of Miami Lakes & Surro...

Miami Laker 2014 January 17  

The Miami Laker print edition on January 17, 2014. The original Northwest Miami-Dade Community Newspaper for the Town of Miami Lakes & Surro...