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Vol. XXVII No. 39 October 4, 2012 MiamiSunPost.com


Artburst Miami Alejandro Arce Charles Branham-Bailey Tony Guzman John Hood Frank Maradiaga Dan Richter Ruben Rosario Maryanne Salvat Mary Jo Almeida-Shore Michael Sasser Kim Steiner David Arthur Walters

Howard Kaufman Mary Jo Almeida-Shore Mitchell Zachs

Please call 305.482.1785 or email kim@miamisunpost.com

Email kim@miamisunpost.com copyright 2012 by SunPost Weekly LLC

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www.miamisunpost.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • Page 3


OP ED

Disney’s Political Contributions Contaminate the Political Process By TEA Party Miami Special to the SunPost Walt Disney, a company founded on the notion of brining wholesome family entertainment to the masses, has evolved into one of the most active political manipulators in the United States. Their strategy: Pay-To-Play. Nearly two months after Resorts World Miami bought the Miami Herald building to develop a worldclass destination resort hotel and casino, Walt Disney World, Inc. began pouring money into Florida's political parties, their leadership, campaign slush funds, and political action committees to pressure the Florida Senate and the House of Representatives to defeat any proposal that would bring regulated, full-scale gaming to Florida - which would compete with their Orlando destination resort monopoly. The companies that have the most to lose in the casino battle have contributed the most to political campaigns. Walt Disney, the Seminoles, Las Vegas Sands, Genting, and the internet cafe casinos, have all contributed heavily in the past year to political parties, candidates, and political action committees to influence the states leadership to either approve or deny resort gaming in Florida. The maximum political contribution that can be made to any single candidate is limited in Florida to $500 per person, or business, per election cycle. It is based on a Florida law that was intended to curtail bribes, corruption, and special favors by politicians to their donors, but it is so easily circumvented that regulators or law enforcement rarely even bother to investigate the obvious instances of campaign finance fraud. Disney's way to influence politicians without violating the letter of the law is to pay specific politicians the $500 limit from each of MANY separate entities they control. Walt Disney has hundreds, if not thousands of business names that could be used to direct donations from, to their favored politicians, in a way that carefully navigates the outer boundaries of the law. The Florida Division of Elections website states: "A candidate may not accept a contribution in excess of $500 from any one person per election. A "person" is an individual or a corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate or other combination of individuals having collective capacity." Although state law seems to preclude an individual or entity from donating more than the $500 per candidate limit, the entirety of Florida state law actually allows unlimited political donations to candidates if the person or entity "cleans" the money through a political action committee (ECO's, 527's, CCE, SUPERPAC...). Those who know how the system operates will have no limits on the amount of their donation (bribe) to any one candidate, and they can easily hide their identity from anyone who tries to uncover these political payoffs. The Disney pay-for-influence business model sheds some light on how big businesses and deep rooted political insiders can manipulate the political process and easily sidestep campaign finance law, if done under the rules that the legislature placed into state law. It's impossible to know exactly how much Walt Disney and their associated companies have invested in political candidates in Florida, in total - but the methods they use provide a view into their supposed wholesomeness. Two vocal and influential members of the Florida House of Representatives who fought vigorously to defeat the destination resorts proposal demonstrate how the money flows from Disney, to its political supporters, and then into action. Each politician was paid thousands in campaign donations from Walt Disney related companies, all at the $500 limit, in an apparent effort to skirt the campaign finance laws. Chris DorPage 4 • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • SunPost Weekly • www.miamisunpost.com

worth and Carlos Trujillo are two politicians who deserve more scrutiny into their financial dealings with Disney and their advocacy for Disney's political agenda. Florida Division of Elections records show that Chris Dorworth was paid the $500 donation limit by many different Walt Disney entities such as WALT DISNEY WORLD PARKS & RESORTS, INC., DISNEY PHOTO IMAGING, LLC, DISNEY VACATION, DISNEY WORLDWIDE SERVICES, among others. These suspicious money transfers seem to violate the intent of the law which was created to limit excessive political contributions. In addition, Chris Dorworth's Committee of Continual Existence (CCE) "Citizens for an Enterprising Democracy" also received many donations from Disney, all in excess of the maximum $500 candidate donation limit, during last years heated gaming debate in the Florida legislature. The payments seem to illustrate how unlimited payments can be made to unscrupulous politicians, in a way that averts the true intention of campaign finance law, without breaking the law, entirely. Representative Chris Dorwoth's fierce advocacy against gaming seems to be more about appeasing his special interest benefactors then anything related to his fiduciary obligations to the residents of Florida - to provide jobs and economic prosperity to his constituency.

CHRIS DORWORTH'S "DISNEY DONATIONS" TO HIS 2011/2012 CCE SLUSH FUND: $40,000 on 7-12-12 from "Disney Worldwide Services" $80,000 on 7-5-12 from "Disney Worldwide Services" $5,000 on 6-29-12 from "Disney Worldwide Services" $5,000 on 6-14-12 from "Disney Worldwide Services" $25,000 on 5-20-12 from "Disney Worldwide Services" $4,458 on 7-14-11 from "Walt Disney Parks and Resorts" The money that Disney donates to these CCE's can then be passed-on to other organizations, candidates, or political leaders that the company wants to discretely pay-off. Representative Carlos Trujillo, who has also been a steadfast supporter of Disney causes, has also received many donations from Disney into his "campaign" bank account, all at the maximum contribution limit, and all from different Disney companies such as DISNEY VACATION DEVELOPMENT, INC., DISNEY DESTINATIONS, LLC, WALT DISNEY PARKS & RESORTS, U.S., INC, DISNEY VACATION DEVELOPMENT, INC., WALT DISNEY TRAVEL COMPANY, INC. Even 2011 Florida House Speaker, Dean Cannon received "donations" of at least eight checks from Disney, all for $500, and all from separate entities such as Disney's time share division, the Disney cruise line, and even including Disney's gift card processing company. Following are additional entities that Disney uses to facilitate their political contributions in Florida. These are ONLY the entities that include "Disney" in their name. A more diligent search of all knows Disney organizations and addresses would surely uncover many more Disney connected companies, that help the parent company orchestrate their political payoffs that ultimately help them achieve more power, wealth, and control of our society. The companies that Walt Disney uses to facilitate their political payyoffs are - DISNEY CONSULTING, INC., DISNEY CHANNEL, DISNEY & ESPN MEDIA NETWORKS, DISNEY & ASSOCIATES, PA, DISNEY WORLDWIDE, DISNEY WORLDWIDE SERVICES, DISNEY CRUISE LINE, DISNEY VACATION DEVELOPMENT, DISNEY DESTINATION LLC, DISNEY DEVELOPMENT, DISNEY GIFT CARD SERVICES, DISNEY PHOTO IMAGING, LLC, DISNEY RESORTS, DISNEY VACATION CLUB, DISNEY WORLD, DISNEY WORLD RIDE SERVICES, DISNEY WORLD SERVICES INC, DISNEY WORLD WIDE INC., DISNEY WORLD WIDE SERVICES. Walt Disney has grown to become the 2nd largest media conglomerate in the world. Disney has four major business divisions that include Parks and Resorts, Consumer Products, Studio Entertainment, and Media Networks. They own ABC television, Walt Disney Studios, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and Miramax. They also own the Disney Channel, ESPN and dozens of local television and radio stations, in addition to owning two professional sporting teams - the Los Angeles Angels (baseball) and the Anaheim Ducks (hockey). Their influence cannot be understated. They are a political powerhouse that commands the loyalty and respect they pay for. Many other businesses have also contributed to the political process in Florida to balance the result of the gaming issue in their favor, to include the internet cafe casinos which have donated over $700,000 to politicians in the past year, which is about the same investment Resorts World Miami has made - mainly to the Republican and Democratic party's of Florida. The Seminole Indians have also given extensively to political candidates by contributing over $500,000 towards the fight against regulating the gaming industry in Florida. The Las Vegas Sands casino CEO Sheldon Adelson has given $500,000 to the Republican party of Florida and to other political committees. These numbers are notable but seem small when compared to the $2.3 million Disney and affiliates have given to Florida political candidates this last year, in Disney's attempt to control Florida's only destination resort monopoly - Walt Disney World.


www.miamisunpost.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • Page 5


Can He Say That? COLUMN

The Man the GOP Should Have Nominated Had They Done So, He Might Now Be Clobbering Obama By Charles Branham-Bailey sobefla@gmail.com

Underlying the muted enthusiasm – or lack of any – that Republicans (depending on whom you ask) feel for Mitt Romney is the almost palpable sense that many of them now harbor a buyer’s remorse for the guy. We nominated the wrong man, you can bet many are now thinking, wringing their hands, grinding their teeth, in their homes, their offices, their country clubs, and at their $50,000-a-plate fundraisers. The mistakes, the gaffes, the self-inflicted wounds. Jiminy! A campaign run as if by a cadre of rank amateurs that one suspects wouldn’t even know how to capably run a child’s lemonade stand. An organization that has so zealously guarded their guy, controlled his media access, and kept press members at bay as if they were all infected with smallpox – yet somehow blundered into letting their star debutante’s coming-out cotillion to a national audience on convention night get hijacked by an octogenarian cowboy actor babbling to an empty chair. The reluctance to release the tax returns. Oy vey! The regrettable foot-in-mouth utterances while abroad this summer. Dear lord! The clumsy reaction to the Libya killings. Heavens to Betsy! The secretly-recorded “47%” fiasco. Make it stop! How could things conceivably go more wrong for the Romney candidacy? Is it even possible? If only we could turn back the clock and hit a reset button on the GOP primaries, you can almost hear wistful, defeat-dreading Republicans nationwide wishing. And if they could have a do-over, how different might the result be? Well, for one, 2012 presidential sweepstakes abstainers and dropouts like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Tim Pawlenty might have instead gotten into or stayed in the race.

Why, even sexual harassment scandal-tainted Herman Cain might have opted to decide, what the hell – I’m staying in. If the polls, as they’ve been consistently clocking for months now, are correct, 33 days from now Mr. Obama will get his mandate for a second term while Mr. Romney is consigned to oblivion, to become but a footnote in the American political history book – chapter entitled “Losers” – alongside other president-neverbees like Wendell Willkie, Tom Dewey, and Walter Mondale. It didn’t have to be this way. If only the GOP had broken free of its conservative wing’s vice grip and nominated the one candidate among the nine who competed in the primaries this year who had perhaps the best chance to knock off the beleaguered White House incumbent, owner of a droopy economy and lackluster approval ratings. The one who could have wrapped up the support of all those wanting to vote the president out and who also might have been the most successful in simultaneously attracting the votes of independents and disenchanted Democrats. The one who even the Obama White House was said to have most feared having to run against. That would be Jon Huntsman. The former Utah governor and Obama ambassador to China was the most thoughtful, intelligent Republican in this year’s race, one regrettably littered with a menagerie of underwhelming, vitriol-spewing imbeciles, idiots, and ignoramuses the likes of Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry. Remember them? (Do you wanna?) It was not a stellar field. “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” and “the sorriest in memory,” I called them here last November. Huntsman finished a disappointing third in New Hampshire, then promptly withdrew from

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the race. He “brought a woefully-scarce tone of civility to this race plus an erudition on the issues that, for this observer, made most of the others, from [R Ron] Paul to Perry to Bachmann to Cain, seem like Mickey Mouse Club ninnies and halfwits, way, way out of their league,” I wrote here in January. “He was too good for this modern GOP,” I continued, “a party doped up on too much Tea Party lunacy and reich-wing insistence that Obama is nothing but a foreign-born socialist, taxes are all bad, government is no good, and the medicine to what ails us is an ‘ignorance is bliss’ platform of slash-and-burn economics that would surely hasten – if the voters stupidly vote them in this November – The Great Depression 2 (or its cinematic equivalent, Titanic 2: Capt. ‘Mitt Hoover’ Steers the Ship of State Straight Into an Iceberg).” There was a perfectly good reason Team Obama dreaded a fall match vs. a class act like Huntsman, I explained then. Huntsman “was the sanest and most competent of the batch. Still is.” Which means, within the GOP, he never had a chance. From a column last December: “Huntsman, virtually the only one among the bunch who has yet to wear the front-runner tiara because – isn’t it all too obvious? – the hotheads, Obama-haters, Tea Party wingnuts, and Grover Norquist asskissers who have hijacked the GOP all value idiocy over intelligence, crack-pottery over competence.” This year’s was arguably one of the most embarrassing assortments of GOP candidates to seek the presidency in any election year ever, but Huntsman was a refreshing standout above all the rest. It’s hard not to like a guy – practically the only one left in his party – who would Tweet the following: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Or one who believes that “the minute that the Republican Party becomes the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election.” Earlier this year, Huntsman had the temerity to say on MSNBC that he thought a third party might be just what America needs to break the logjam of never-ending contentiousness in national politics. In retribution, the GOP disinvited him to a party fundraiser in Palm Beach. He declined to attend this summer’s convention in Tampa, or “any Republican convention in the future until the party focuses on a bigger, bolder, more confident future for the United States – a future based on problem solving, inclusiveness, and a willingness to address the trust deficit, which is every bit as corrosive as our fis-

cal and economic deficits.” It’s impossible not to admire principled independence like that. And so I resolutely remain as unshakable as ever in my support for Huntsman and my contention that he should have been the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. Maybe, after the thrashing they get on Nov. 6, the party of which I used to be a loyal, cardcarrying member – (Yes, hard to believe, isn’t it? Yours truly used to be a registered, voting Republican until twenty years ago, a story I’ll have to tell you about another time.) – will wake up on Nov. 7 and realize that they ought to dump the divisive rhetoric and positions that have ostracized them from many voters, repeatedly cost them the White House, and failed to win friends and influence people, particularly the voting kind. Maybe they’ll smarten up and see that the way back to power is not by selecting a rabid conservative such as Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio or Rick Santorum in 2016 but by going with a middle-of-the-road-appealing man or woman like Huntsman. Odds are, however, the party’s reich-wing Looney Tunes faction – driven schizophrenically despondent/mad/crazed/insane over a second consecutive loss of the White House, thanks to a moderate nominee in conservative’s clothing – will likely hoist an even more far-to-the-right, unelectable extremist upon the party faithful in 2016, one that voters will not be able to stomach, thus guaranteeing Republicans their third national loss in a row. Good. Let them remain forever outside the White House fence looking in until they get the message: No more Republican presidents. Not until the party moderates its positions on a whole range of social and economic issues. Not until it acclimates itself to an ever-changing electorate comprised of more younger voters, more minorities, and a growing segment of the population disposed toward the concepts that government should stay out of a woman’s womb, that samesex marriage should be legal, that government can be a force for good and is not always an evil to be reduced or eliminated, and that neither the nation’s economy can now be revitalized nor its future economic security be fortified using a reckless recipe of drastic spending cuts compromising the social safety net combined with unwarranted, Treasury-draining, deficit-expanding tax cuts to a privileged few. That is a hefty message to heed, and an enormous transformation for the GOP to adopt. But if they want to win future presidential contests, it’s a transformation they’d better consider making. Unfortunately, it’s too late for them this year


as the hourglass sands run out on a hapless, illconstrued, catastrophe-prone Romney campaign. Had the GOP nominated Huntsman in Tampa weeks ago, the party’s fortunes might be exponentially better. Huntsman, I think, might now be enjoying a lead in the polls that has eluded Romney throughout this race. And I’ll go further and posit this: I think Huntsman would be – right now – the odds-on favorite to beat Obama. Could he do it? I think he could. It’s not just the absence of Huntsman from this race that leaves me slightly crestfallen, though. The Democrats didn’t nominate the candidate I preferred in ‘08, or else this would have been – as it should have been – the year of President Hillary Clinton’s quest for reelection.

CONVENTION CENTER REDO A NO GO? Incredible, but – according to a national architectural journal – the redevelopment of the Miami Beach Convention Center “will likely be scrapped.” So says Architectural Record, in an online story posted just last weekend. It anonymously cites two “well-known” Beach developers, “speaking independently,” who believe recent corruption scandals tarnishing the Billion-Dollar Sandbar are enough to deep-six city leaders’ grand dream for a convention center renaissance. Overlooking his repeating of the perpetuallycommitted mistake that all too many outsiders make – confusing Miami for Miami Beach – as well as his incorrectly referring to the Beach Commission at one point as the “Miami City Commission,” Fred Bernstein’s report (“Corruption Inquiries Curb Miami Projects”) is one of the starkest pronouncements to come along suggesting that the billion-dollar project may be on life support and may be about to have its plug pulled. “Bidding has stalled....two architects were in the running to design [it]....Now the project has been set back by charges of municipal corruption, and no one can say who, if anyone, will get the coveted commission,” Bernstein writes. He excellently explains for readers what went wrong. In a nutshell, I’ll summarize: City solicits proposals. Seven teams reply. City committee selects two winners: Robert Wennett (developer of Herzog & de Meuron’s boredombusting parking garage at 1111 Lincoln) and überdeveloper Ugo Colombo’s Portman-CMC firm. Colombo’s company gets nailed paying $25,000 to Walter Garcia, dubious pal of city purchasing director Gus Lopez, whose firing cues a criminal investigation into possible bid-tampering and bribery. Meanwhile Lopez’s boss, then-City Manager Jorge Gonzalez, resigns under fire for what ArchRecord calls “an unrelated bribery scandal” (i.e., the FBI’s April bust of crooked code and fire

inspectors). Enter Lincoln Lane North – what the mag calls “another architecturally ambitious project...dogged by charges of municipal malfeasance.” Competing developer charges that selection committee held private meeting, a Sunshine Law no-no. City lawyers vow to investigate whether meeting should have been a public one. City commissioners postpone vote on the project. Back to convention center: MBPD clears Colombo; probes of Lopez and Garcia continue. “No comment” while investigation is ongoing, City Attorney Jose Smith tells the mag. Kathie Brooks will wait till probe is over before making a recommendation to the Commission. I’ll permit one or more teams to move forward, suggests the interim manager. “All relevant agencies understand the importance of the project,” adds she. So now you know what ArchRecord readers the world over have been told. And the project? “Will likely be scrapped altogether,” Bernstein concludes. “If that happens,” he ends, “architects, who didn’t make the payoffs, will have paid the price.” But the city whose voters only weeks ago overwhelmingly green-lighted a funding mechanism – the 1% resort tax – to pay for the overhaul will likely pay the bigger price if redevelopment gets the red light. Stay tuned.

PEEVE OF THE WEEK The increasing frequency of occasions when I’m at a checkout and the cashier – young, old, male, female, Anglo, Hispanic, the demographic makes no difference – fails to conclude the transaction with a simple “thank you” or “you’re welcome.” Common courtesy is apparently becoming a rarer and rarer commodity these days. Everybody sure knows how to use a damn smart phone but evidently isn’t smart enough to deploy the simplest of social graces when interacting with a fellow human being. Interacting with a device? No prob! Interacting with another person? Duh. Can you locate the app for common sense, morons?! And if found, would you even know how to use it?

MY FAVORITE NEW WORD Teapublitards. Now go dissect it and discuss among yourselves.

www.miamisunpost.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • Page 7


News

City May Have Violated Sunshine Laws; Takes Preemptive Action By Frank Maradiaga Special to the SunPost

In order to stave off litigation connected to a possible Sunshine Law violation, the Miami Beach Finance and Citywide Projects Committee has recommended the public re-evaluation of the Request for Proposals for the Lincoln Lane project and the Request for Qualifications for the development of the Convention Center District. The previous committee deliberations were done in closed meetings, and by conducting a redo as part of a public meeting the city hopes to preempt any legal maneuvering by a bidder that may stall the projects by an estimated 6-8 months. In a memorandum to the Finance and Citywide Projects Committee, the city’s legal staff maintains their interpretation of current Sunshine Laws were up to snuff, but that the “potential legal challenge necessitates that the issue be addressed.” “We do not concede we did anything wrong,” said Chief Deputy City Attorney Raul Aguila numerous times during the meeting. At the heart of the matter is a new exemption to the Sunshine Law that was passed by the Florida Legislature in 2011 and took effect on June 2nd of that year. Typically Sunshine laws allow public access to the meetings and records of governing bodies. The 2011 exemption, passed through House Bill 7223, provides an exemption from public records requirements for bids, proposals, or replies submitted as part of a competitive solicitation. The city’s legal staff has interpreted that a meeting where a vendor makes an oral presentation or answers question as part of a competitive solicitation

does not have to be open to the public. They would have to make a record of that meeting however. The city made both an audio recording and a video recording of the original committee evaluations, and they were then made available over the city’s website. Months ago links to those videos were on the front page, now the interested party must do a little digging to find it, or request a copy from the city clerk’s office. Since the exemption is relatively new, there is little to no legal precedent on this possible problem says the city staff. Aguila presented the FCWP Committee, where the entire Miami Beach City Commission was in attendance at some point, with three op-

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tions as to a “cure” for the possible violation. Option 1 was to have the same evaluation committee, for the Lincoln Lane RFP or MBCC district RFQ, hold a public meeting and re-evaluate the video tapped presentations from the original meeting. A question and answer period with the bidders would also considered, but not opened to the public. Thei committee’s deliberations would part of a public meeting. Option 2 would have a brand new evaluation committee listen to the original presentations on tape. After that it would be exactly like the first option with with opens deliberations and closed Q and A’s with the bidder. Option 3 was to throw it to the MB Commission to do an evaluation from the taped presentations. This option would have the same parameters as the first two, except with the provision that the commission should not have a simple “rubber stamping” of the committee’s pick, and must have a substantial evaluation that is not “purely ceremonial.” Most of the commission was opposed to option three, The FCWP voted to recommend Option 2, a new evaluation committee, for the Lincoln Lane project. It was from that RFP that the first inclining to a possible legal battle when one bidder sent a letter complaining. There have also been claims that one of the committee members had a conflict of interest- that has been refuted by the

city. For the MBCC district the FCWP recommended Option 1 of keeping the same crew together with a new public meeting to deliberate in. A cloud of suspicion has hovered over this particular project’s process ever since the former Procurement Director Gus Lopez was forced to resign and it came out he was under investigation. Many in the administration and city commission had expressed concern about moving forward with the convention center district redevelopment while the investigation was still pending. During the meeting staff read an email from the State Attorney’s Office that gave the city a cryptic go-ahead with the project as their investigation so far found no wrong doing involving the Convention Center. The email was from Chief Assistant State Attorney Jose Arrojo to the city. “You should know that the Miami Beach Convention Center is not the focus of our inquire,” the email said as it was read into the record. “Neither project should be delayed or withheld,” the SAO email continued, “beyond that I’m not allowed to comment.” Comment from the SAO on an ongoing investigation that has not concluded or lead to charges is very rare and not the custom. The SAO was unable to reach the SAO for comment at print time. Still the unprecedented assurance from the SAO may address the city’s concerns with moving ahead before the investigation was over. The MBCC advisory board voted 5-1 a day before the FCWP meeting advising Option 3 for the convention center district RFQ. Roger Abramson, a member of the MBCC Advisory Board, feels that without the process starting over again clean that it will be defeated by the voters when it comes to referendum. He was visually frustrated when he spoke at the meeting citing all the years this important issue has been stalled an may continue to be. “12 years from now we’ll still be discussing this,” he said.


www.miamisunpost.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • Page 9


News Briefs

First Muncipal Electric Car Charging Service In County MIAMI BEACH The City of Miami Beach, through its partnership with CarCharging Group, Inc., launches the first municipal car-charging service in MiamiDade County at the 13 Street and Collins Avenue Garage. CarCharging Group, Inc. is a nationwide provider of convenient electric vehicle (EV) charging services. The EV stations are accessible at up to four parking spaces and users pay $0.49 per hour (parking fees are not included) for EV Level II charging services. Level II provides rapid charging (approximately 4 to 6 hours). Qualified ILEV (Inherently Low Emission Vehicles) may receive a 50 percent discount on monthly parking fees in Miami Beach. “Alternative transportation programs are part of Miami Beach’s sustainable initiatives,” said City of Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower. “Offering CarCharging EV services to our residents and visitors demonstrates this commitment, and we are excited to expand our alternative fuel programs.” “We are proud to partner with the City of Miami Beach to provide EV charging services for the City’s residents and visitors,” said Michael D. Farkas, CEO of CarCharging. “Miami Beach is not only one of the most popular areas in South Florida, but the headquarters of CarCharging, and we are pleased to expand the City’s support of low emission vehicles.” CarCharging’s services utilize EV charging stations manufactured by ChargePoint®, known as Level II, which provide 240 volts with 32 amps of power to quickly refuel an electric vehicle’s battery. EV drivers can easily request a CarCharging account online, and attach a small RFID card to their keychain to initiate use and payment at any intelligent CarCharging station. The CarCharging RFID card also allows drivers to use charging locations on the ChargePoint® Network, the largest national online network connecting EV drivers to EV charging stations. CarCharging stations also accept direct payment via credit card. Users can pinpoint EV charging station locations using the CarCharging map at CarCharging.com/. The ChargePoint mobile application for the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry phones also provides real-time charging station location in-

formation with turn-by-turn directions. Drivers will soon be able to reserve a time slot, guaranteeing access to EV charging stations to recharge their electric vehicle. The 13 Street parking garage is located in the heart of the Art Deco District, one block west of Ocean Drive, and is available to the public 24 hours/day, every day of the week. For more information about CarCharging, CarCharging.com or contact Suzanne Tamargo at 305.521.0200, extension 214.

Grow Your Own Herbs and Veggies Even if you live in an urban environment like Miami, it is possible to start a farm! This talk on Saturday, October 6th, 10 a.m. to noon, by Dylan Terry and Chris French of Ready-to-Grow Gardens will showcase some of the best edible plants to grow in South Florida, and advice on how to grow them. The practice of growing food sustainably in cities and homes provides great health benefits for those that eat it, as well as the environment. By and large, our society’s landscapes favor ornament over functional value and don’t offer much to provide food for people and wildlife. The more it costs to transport food long distances with rising fuel cost, the greater the need will be for people to grow food closer to where they live. They explain the nuances of producing a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Topics covered will include garden design, soil improvement, plant selection (high maintenance vs. low maintenance), organic fertilization and organic pest control. Common and rare edible plants will be sold at the event. Dylan Terry is the creator of Ready-to-Grow Gardens, a company that specializes in edible garden design, installation, and maintenance for South Florida. He is an advocate of growing food all year long in South Florida and is dedicated to being on-call to helping others do so. Chris French is a South Florida native and lifelong water enthusiast. He has been an ecological design consultant for five years, helping others to create landscapes that harvest rain, improve soil, and grow food.

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INTERIM CITY MANAGER KATHIE G BROOKS, COMMISSIONER JERRY LIBBIN, MAYOR MATTI HERRERA BOWER, MICHAEL FARKAS (CARCHARGING, INC), AND COMMISSIONER JORGE EXPOSITO.

SURFSIDE

Bike With the Surfside Chief of Police The Surfside Police Department is offering residents the opportunity to Bike with the Chief of Police. Participants will ride around the residential neighborhood with Chief Allen and the Neighborhood Resource Team. The ride will be Wednesday October 17, 2012 at 5:30pm. The ride will begin at Town Hall. For further information please contact Dina Goldstein or Sergeant Jay Matelis at (305)8614862.

SUNNY ISLES

Sunny Isles Beach Has New Sister City By Susan Simpson, Director Cultural & Community Services It is official! Sunny Isles Beach has a new Sister City. Sunny Isles Beach Mayor Norman Edelcup and Mayor Mauro Passalaqua of Taormina, Sicily in Italy signed agreements written both in English and Italian that bonds these two cities as Sister Cities. The Sunny Isles Beach Commission attended the formal signing ceremony in the host city of Taormina as well as the Taormina Council

and President Eugenio Raneri, their business community and their tourism committee. "We already have so much in common; coastal communities with breathtaking sunrises, luxury resorts with an emphasis on quality service, culturally rich programs for both residents and visitors alike and a place where visitors can feel at home in a community" says Elena Baronoff, the International Ambassador of Sunny Isles Beach who is responsible for bringing these two cities together and making this union possible. She was delighted that after all of her planning, the ‘wedding day’ was finally here and like a proud mother, she was glowing! Before the official signing, a string quartet played both the United States National Anthem as well as that of Italy. The Sunny Isles Beach delegation was very moved by their performance. A preamble from the Taormina President Reneri supported the twinning and approved the documents to be signed. With his approval to move forward on behalf of Taormina, both Mayor Passalaqua of Taormina and Mayor Edelcup of Sunny Isles Beach expressed their desire to twin with each other. The emphasis for both was focused on the youth and cultural exchanges. As Mayor Edelcup stated, "we look forward to exploring economic and educational opportunities with Taormina. We look to future generations to learn and share and cultivate this relationship.” He went on to say that “there are so many ways we can both benefit from this union. We will share in tourism and cultural events, concerts and performances, economics and education." During the Ceremony, both Elena Baronoff and Dino Papale, the two responsible for this "marriage" as they like to refer to it, had an opportunity to express what a labor of love it has been getting to this day. In Italian, Dino shared


News Briefs his visit to Sunny Isles Beach with the council, confirming that this is a good union. Elena, in English with Commissioner Isaac Aelion translating for her, told everyone about the similarities in our communities and why she chose to pursue Taormina as a Sister for Sunny Isles Beach. Everyone agreed, the Taormina Council voted unanimously, and the agreements were signed. Following the ceremony, the Sunny Isles Beach delegation and the Italian delegation shared ideas for future growth over dinner wherein language was not a barrier. Everyone understands the significance of this union and now there is much work to be done. If you would like more information about our Sister City Taormina, Italy, please visit our website at www.sibfl.net

Community Shuttle Buses Offer Expanded Services Sylvia Flores, Assistant Director Cultural & Community Services The City of Sunny Isles Beach offers residents and visitors easy, clean and comfortable travel around town. This FREE service is operating seven days a week, on various routes, to offer riders convenient travel to complete all their errands, including buying groceries, attending doctor appointments, going shopping, to the movies, and more! Our daily routes, include transportation to residences and businesses throughout the City, as well as to the Aventura and Intracoastal Malls. At Aventura Mall, riders can transfer buses to continue travel throughout the City of Aventura. Riders can also do the same to travel throughout the City of North Miami Beach, by making a transfer at Intracoastal Mall. Recently, in an effort to respond to the needs of the community, the City has expanded this service to include travel to Hallandale, Surfside, and South Beach. Connections to Hallandale are available through the Blue Line, which runs Monday thru Saturday. Connections to Surfside are available 3 days a week, Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, on a limited schedule. This same route will allow you to travel on to South Beach for the afternoon, for shopping, eating, or whatever you enjoy for the day. A brief summary of route availability is: Aventura Mall (and connections to City of Aventura bus) Green Line (available every day) and Orange

Line (Available Monday thru Friday) Hallandale Fire Station (and connections to City of Hallandale bus) Blue Line, Available Monday thru Saturday Intracoastal Mall (and connections to City of North Miami Beach bus) Green Line (available every day) and Orange Line (available Monday thru Friday) Surfside (and connections to South Beach, Lincoln Road) SoBe Line, Mon/Wed/Fri, Drop off (9:55am) and Pick Up (3:30pm) at Surfside Publix Residents also have the opportunity to utilize free shuttle service to and from Mount Sinai Medical Center (on Alton Road, in Miami Beach), three days a week. Transportation is available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, for 8am or 11am pickup and 12pm or 3pm return. However, a reservation must be made at least 24 hours in advance, and the rider must be picked up at a residence within the City of Sunny Isles Beach. To make reservations for Mount Sinai transportation, or for any questions about our Shuttle Service (stop locations, times, availability, etc.), please contact the Cultural & Community Services Department at 305.792.1706.

AVENTURA

Halloween Harvest The City of Aventura will hold its annual Halloween Harvest event on Sunday, October 28, 2012 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at the Community Recreation Center. Children and families are encouraged to come in costume and participate in the Wonderland fun maze, bounce houses, carnival games, trick or treat trail, arts & crafts and costume parade. The Community Recreation Center is located at 3375 NE 188 Street. Parking is located at the Harbour Centre on the corner of 29 Avenue and NE 188 Street. A complimentary shuttle service will be provided. For more information, contact the Community Recreation Center at 305-466-3883 or visit the website at www.cityofaventura.com.

Aventura Star Calling all Talent! Get ready to shine at the Aventura STAR Talent Competition! Open auditions will be available for the brightest magicians, gymnasts, musicians, dancers, singers, etc! Open

auditions will be held at the Community Recreation Center, located at 3375 NE 188 Street, on the following dates and times: • Saturday, October 13, 2012    12 – 2pm • Tuesday, October 16, 2012     5:30 – 7:30pm • Saturday, October 20, 2012    12 – 2pm The Aventura STAR finals will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2012 during the 17th Annual Founders Day Celebration at Founders Park. For more information on the Aventura STAR Talent Competition, please call 305-466-3883 or visit the City’s website at cityofaventura.com. 

Calling All Veterans Calling all veterans and military personnel from every generation! The City of Aventura is inviting YOU to participate in this year’s Veterans Day Ceremony, which will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2012, 10 AM at the Aventura Government Center, located at 19200 West Country Club Drive. Interested veterans, veterans groups and those who are currently serving in the US Armed Forces should contact Kimberly Merchant at 305-4668008, or call the Community Services Department at 305-466-8930.

MIAMI

Balans & Thea Pizzeria & Cafe Now Open at UM Park With Miami gaining ground as an international culinary capital, the newest dining destinations in the city’s urban core are now open for business at the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park (UMLSTP). Thea Pizzeria and Cafe and Balans became the park’s newest restaurants, occupying prime street-level space along Northwest 7th Avenue. The park is a privatelyowned mixed-use development combining office, lab, technology and retail uses that are fostering innovation and collaboration among research teams, entrepreneurs and companies from around the world. Thea and Balans are within walking distance of the Miami Health District, home to tens of thousands of visitors and employees daily, and some of the city’s most vibrant and populous neighborhoods, including Downtown/Brickell, Miami Beach, Wynwood, Midtown, the Design District, and Little Havana. “Retailers are taking note of the residential and commercial growth underway within the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park and in surrounding neighborhoods,” said Bill

Hunter, Leasing Manager for the UMLSTP. “Thea Pizzeria and Cafe and Balans are both the product of visionary restaurateurs who have invested in their concepts and are committed to helping create a thriving mixed-use community at the UMLSTP.” Thea and Balans join the UPS Store, Liberty Dry Cleaners, and Subway Café as the UMLSTP’s first retailers. Additional tenants include the Miami Innovation Center co-working space, Advanced Pharma CR, Community Blood Centers of Florida, the UM Tissue Bank, Spanish technology firm Ándago, Binder Biomedical, Danish research firm Glycom, BioFlorida, the Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida, and the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce. Locally owned Thea Pizzeria and Cafe serves thin crust pizzas, crisped to perfection and topped with gourmet combinations such as gorgonzola, truffle, and arugula or bacon, egg and prosciutto. In addition to pizzas, elegantly composed salads, pastas, sandwiches and entrees are served at wallet friendly prices within a glamorous slick black interior adorned with a dazzling 30-foot floral mosaic. Charcuterie and cheese can be followed by either a thin, crispy pizza with bresaola and arugula, a perfectly composed salad Nicoise, or grilled salmon on white beans with capers. End the meal with espresso granita, frozen shards of sweetened espresso topped with whipped cream, or a salted caramel gelato. “Thea Pizzeria and Cafe offers gourmet pizzas, salads and sandwiches in an elegant setting with prices that make it accessible to all. It’s pizza chic,” says restaurant owner Thea Goldman. In addition, Thea Pizzeria and Cafe makes delicious Italian coffee and serves French pastries every morning starting at 8:30 am. The restaurant is currently open from 8:30 am- 4:30pm Monday through Friday and 11:30 am- 4:30pm on Saturdays, with plans to expand to dinner in the coming months. Thea Pizzeria and Cafe is also available for private parties in the evenings. Nearby Balans Restaurant serves international comfort food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menu items range from entrée salads and pasta dishes, to seafood specialties and steaks. Area residents and employees can get off to a fast start in the morning by ordering from a selection of rave reviewed crepes, pancakes and French toast, egg and eggs benedicts, and fresh fruit smoothies. At lunch and dinner, guests can choose from an assortment of salads, appetizers, sandwiches and main courses such as jambalaya, blackened mahi mahi, and baby back ribs. Balans, founded by Prady Balan in 1997, has restaurants in London and Miami, with the UMLSTP location marking the company’s fourth South Florida opening. The UMLSTP location, which offers a full bar and both indoor and outdoor seating, is open from 7:30am-10pm Monday through Saturday and Sundays from 8am-6pm. They also offer happy hour every day from 3 pm- 7pm and on Sundays until 6 pm. In addition, Balans offers

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News Briefs pre-ordered lunch platters for local delivery and can cater for lunches and dinners in their private meeting room. “The University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park is breathing new life into one of Miami’s best located and most diverse communities,” says Bill Diggs, CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and a UMLSTP tenant. “These new retailers and restaurants will serve both residents from the immediate neighborhood, as well as visitors from surrounding areas. The businesses will also provide much needed jobs, serving as another economic catalyst for urban Miami.” Getting to Thea and Balans is easy. The UMLSTP’s first building is located at 1951 NW 7th Avenue, situated at the intersection of I-95 and the 836 Expressway, minutes from downtown Miami, Brickell, Wynwood and Midtown. On-site parking is free for restaurant patrons, free valet parking is available from 11am-3pm, and the City of Miami’s free trolley stops right outside the restaurants.

Culture Shock Miami Offer $5 Student Tickets for Arts Events More than 90 arts organizations offer great seats to 13-22-year-olds Culture Shock Miami (also known as CultureShockMiami.com) announces the start of its 8th season offering $5 student tickets to performances provided by more than 90 organizations, including top music, theatre, dance, and performing arts presenters in Miami-Dade County. Tickets are on sale now through cultureshockmiami.com or at TicketWeb.com. In addition to performing arts, students can get two-for-$5 or free admission passes to many South Florida museums, landmarks, and cultural destinations. Tickets through Culture Shock Miami, which are often for the best available seats, may be purchase free of any taxes, fees, or surcharges. A student must use the first ticket purchased, but the second ticket can be used by a person of any age. Throughout the season, new blocks of tickets from shows all over Miami-Dade will be added to the Culture Shock Miami website. Ticket buyers are encouraged to check regularly to see what becomes available. Culture Shock Miami, a program of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, provides an affordable and attractive way to

encourage high school and college students ages 13-22 to buy tickets to the rich variety of cultural events. The program is designed to introduce this next generation of audience members to live arts and cultural experiences at the age when they are beginning to make their own decisions about entertainment options. Based on research that shows most people begin their appreciation for the arts at a young age, Culture Shock Miami is founded on the premise that when kids make the arts a regular entertainment choice, they are more likely to become the full-price ticket buyers and subscribers of the future. Michael Spring, Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs, says, “Culture Shock Miami demonstrates our deep commitment to making sure that the arts are easily available and affordable for young people in our community. We know that experiencing the arts is not only an important part of a teenager's and young adult's education but also a gateway to an entirely new world of creativity and wonder. By removing the obstacle of cost, we are able to make attending the performing and visual arts an opportunity available to high school and college students of all backgrounds and means. We believe that a love of arts will stay with them right through adulthood.” Culture Shock Miami’s Program Partners include South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, TicketWeb.com, the Miami-Dade County Public School System and area colleges and universities.

Toscano Divino Debuts Miami’s Firt Italian WIne & Fashion Week Toscana Divino announces its inaugural Wine & Fashion Florence Week, an annual line up of dining, fashion and cultural experiences straight from Italy. At the peak of grape harvesting season in Chianti Rufina, Toscana Divino celebrates its wines, famous for being elegant, well balanced and full-bodied. Wine & Dine: The tribute to Tuscany also shows off Italy’s latest and tastiest creations on the heels of fashion industry’s most famous week in Milan. The immersion experience features Executive Chef Julian Baker and Michelin Star Chef Marco Stabile L’accademia della Cucina Italiana menu designed exclusively for Toscana Divino’s Wine & Fashion Florence Week. Each day presents traditional, or-

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ganic dishes and wine pairings from the region’s top labels.Tuscany’s top sommeliers and winemakers will spend the week in Miami, sharing their passions for pairings. Every evening will kick off with the Italian-inspired “Aperitivo Italiano” social hour, offering complimentary bites and cocktails. Fashion & Art: In a country that’s all about good taste and craftsmanship passed from generation to generation, Wine & Fashion Florence Week brings rich “Made in Italy” traditions to informal fashion shows, with Florentine designers stitching exotic bags on premise, along with master tailors from Scuola di Pelletteria di Firenze, Florence’s top innovative luxury leather producer. Italy’s thriving artist community also comes to Miami. Maestro Alessandro Reggioli, famed for Contemporary Tuscan-inspired masterpieces, exhibits Tuesday and Thursday during Wine & Fashion Week, where he’ll create original pieces inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s themes, “The Flight” and “The Heart.” “This is a new beginning of what is going to be a great Miami tradition,” says Tommaso Morelato, owner of Toscana Divino. “Toscana Divino, a Beacon Council project, is a unique concept, comprised of the public and private sector of Tuscany and the region’s small and medium sized producers of the Fashion-Lifestyle industry," said Frank R. Nero, President & CEO of The Beacon Council. "The Beacon Council is delighted to see Toscana Divino’s efforts from its Miami-based location, the first of its kind from Tuscany, and its investment in our community.” For more information toscanadivino.com Toscana Divino 900 South Miami Avenue Miami. (305) 371-2767

National Teddy Bear Swap to Zoo Miami Local children are getting a free day of fun at Zoo Miami on Saturday, October 6, 2012, along with new teddy bears and more thanks to “Travelodge’s The Great Sleepy Bear Swap.” The special one-day event invites children and their families to bring a gently-used stuffed animal to the zoo to donate to charity in exchange for one free kid’s admission and a brand new Sleepy Bear teddy bear.

While free admission is limited to the first 100 children who bring a donation, everyone at the zoo is able to participate in fun-filled activities including face painting and drawing contests along with giveaways such as bear tattoos, National Geographic activity books and Sleepy Bear masks. A keeper from the zoo will also be on hand to educate children about bears and the role they play in the wild. “For over 75 years, the Travelodge hotel brand has been delivering memorable experiences and giving back to the communities where our hotels are located,” said Mark Young, Travelodge brand senior vice president. “With Travelodge’s The Great Sleepy Bear Swap, we’re continuing both of these great traditions while giving everyone in the Miami area a chance to come out and say hi to Sleepy Bear, our beloved mascot.” Stuffed animals gathered from the events will be donated to Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (S.A.F.E.), a national organization that cleans and redistributes the toys to children in need. For every stuffed animal donated at the event, the Travelodge hotel brand will match it with a donation of three brand new Sleepy Bear teddy bears to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, up to 1,500 bears. Starlight is the signature charity of Travelodge and parent company Wyndham Hotel Group. “For many children, the gift of a stuffed animal is a simple gesture that can help brighten their day, especially when you’re talking about children facing severe illness and other hardships,” said Young. “Starlight and S.A.F.E. are both organizations that do great work with children across the country and we’re delighted to be able to support them through these events.” Young also announced that the Travelodge brand would make a $10,000 donation through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in support of black bear conservation. This is the fourth of five events to be hosted by Travelodge at zoo’s across America, with the last event scheduled to take place in San Francisco, Calif. on October 16, 2012. Previous locations included The Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Penn.; The Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, Texas and the Los Angeles Zoo in Los Angeles. Additional details, including dates and times for all upcoming events, are available at www.Travelodge.com.


HANNAH

HER SCISSORS

HA IR & A RT ST UDIO

Best Of Issue COMING SOON! For Advertising: 305.482.1785 or kim@miamisunpost.com

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Lawyer, The Court Reporter, and the Blog The

Affluent Florida Lawyer Refuses to Pay Court Reporter’s $481 Invoice and Then Sues Her for Venting Her Frustration in Her Blog By David Arthur Walters Special to the SunPost

“Some people like to come in under the radar. He’s a B-52. He’s bombs away,” Robert Austin told Colleen Jenkins, reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, for her October 3, 2010, story about “brash Tampa attorney” Michael Laurato, a cigar-chomping, thoroughbred-racing lawyer who may sue someone at the drop of a hat and make life miserable for anyone who dares to try collecting money he owes them if he does not feel like paying them. According to the Times, the owner of a company that installed shutters in his home said Laurato’s attitude is, “I’m not going to pay you. If you don’t like it, screw it, sue me.” Laurato refused to pay for the shutters, and counter-claimed that the shutters arrived late for a Christmas party he had planned and then had to call off because he could not realize his vision of being kissed by a beautiful woman under mistletoe placed near the shutters. That excuse did not work: he had to pay for the shutters plus attorney’s fees amounting to $40,000 “by one account,” stated the Times. “If people sue him for services and goods, he turns around and sues them. He needs to be stopped,” veteran court report Susan DeMichelle is quoted as stating. Laurato has made life miserable for DeMichelle, owner of DeMichelle Deposition Reporters of Northern California, for trying to collect a $641 judgment on a $481 bill for the transcript of a deposition taken in a California case involving a Laurato relative. Laurato objected on procedural grounds to the collection effort in Florida, and she had to hire an attorney and travel to Florida in pursuit of justice. A Florida court upheld her out-of-state claim on October 25, 2010. Laurato’s appeal and motion for a rehearing have been in vain. As a consequence of the extraordinary expenses, DeMichelle claims she has been financially ruined, unable to pay her mortgage since February 2011, and unable to pay her court reporters for their services. She took a second job, as a grocery store clerk. She can only hope to recover some of her fees and expenses in the case, and perhaps to find an attorney who will take her case on contingency

S

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and sue the affluent yet sometimes deadbeat attorney for maliciously perverting the judicial process. Bombs Away, again! On March 31, 2011, Laurato brought suit against DeMichelle in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court (Case No. 11-09972CA21) for allegedly libeling him in her blog, which she stated she started in April 2010 to vent her frustrations and protect the public after Laurato demanded a $1,500 settlement of the debt case instead of paying her what she was owed. In April 2008, she said, he had offered to pay her only $250 of the amount he owed, but now he wanted $1,500 from her. The defamation complaint alleges that DeMichelle posted statements on her blog to the effect that Laurato is “unethical, has been subject to professional discipline, has been subjected to a civil judgment in defendant’s favor, is a criminal, has committed insurance fraud, is under investigation by the FBI and IRS, and false advertising, inter alia.” Furthermore, the complaint alleges that “various statements” were made about Laurato “imputing fraud or falsehood, cheating, and dishonesty,” as well as “imputing financial irresponsibility or unreliability to merchants and the failure of the plaintiff to regularly pay his debts.” And, “When taken as a whole, the defendant’s defamatory statements inculpate the plaintiff with moral turpitude, criminal conduct, lack of integrity, professional incompetence and malfeasance, impugn the plaintiff’s financial responsibility and reliability, and complete unfitness to perform any professional occupation.” DeMichelle, in her answer and affirmative defenses submitted on July 6, asserted that the statements she made about Laurato were true, and she attached exhibits to support that defense. Curiously, the defamation suit was brought on the same day that The Florida Bar reopened DeMichelle’s complaint against Laurato for making a false statement about her invoicing of his firm and the disposition of funds in an account set up to cover such costs. On October 20, 2011, the Bar declared that the statement was indeed false but said it was helpless to do anything about it because at the time the statement was made someone else in his office might have received the invoice and he might not have been aware of it: “While Respondent’s statement appears to be clearly false, in order


to prosecute Respondent, The Florida Bar would need to prove that Respondent intentionally made a false statement. In this instance; the committee concluded that the evidence was insufficient to support further proceedings.” Another defense asserted by DeMichelle is that her Bar complaint protects her from prosecution for defamation: “Defendant has an active complaint against Plaintiff with The Florida Bar and therefore has absolute immunity from this lawsuit. The timing of Plaintiff’s lawsuit against Defendant shows it is in retaliation for this Bar complaint. This lawsuit was commenced on the same day.” It is our lay opinion that the only immunity DeMichelle has in that regard would be for statements made directly to The Florida Bar and not published elsewhere, say, in her blog. However, if Laurato did file the case in retaliation for the Bar complaint, he still could be subject to disciplinary proceedings for violating Florida Bar Rule 4-S.4(d), a catch-all Rule stating that a lawyer shall not engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. See The Florida Bar v James Daniel Eckert, File No. 2009-11,071 (6C), for a recent application of the principle. Further, if the defamation suit is indeed in retaliation for the Bar complaint, an inquiry may be filed with the Bar to see if Laurato’s counsel handling this case, Miami Beach attorney Howard J. Levine, was aware of that presumed fact and was conspiring with his client in unethical conduct including abuse of process or malicious prosecution. Curiously, the case was filed in Miami-Dade County, far away from Hillsborough County and Hernando County where Laurato states he maintains offices, and where DeMichelle, in her defense, says he has a bad reputation. It does appear to this layman that Levine hastily took the Complaint he filed from a legal forms book without checking whether or not its clauses were applicable. For example, he asserted in Count III of his Complaint, under the heading, “Invasion of Privacy/False Light/Right of Publicity,” that DeMichelle cast Laurato in a “false light.” But the false light tort is an invasion of privacy tort so similar to the defamation tort that Florida courts among many other state courts have refused to recognize it. The false light tort appertains to hurt feelings whereas defamation appertains to a damaged reputation. It does appear that Laurato’s feelings are easily hurt. Still, the Complaint did assert defamation as a separate count. Levine also asserts “actual malice”, an unfortunate name for a legal term of art that appertains to the privileged defamation by media of public officers and public figures where so-called actual malice, meaning deliberate or reckless disregard of the facts whether or not the motive is actually malicious, cannot be proved. Why would he even raise the possibility that his client is a public figure and thus suggest that defense to the defendant? And Levine did not bother to specify exactly what statements were defamatory in the complaint; instead, he attached a copy of some of the blog by way of exhibit, apparently believing that it is a

judge’s job to sort through it and decide which statements are actionable in the defamation case as fact, and which remarks are not actionable as mere opinion and hyperbole. All in all, it appears that the attorneys expected the defendant, who resides in California and who is struggling to make ends meet, to simply default. DeMichelle, in her self-defense without benefit of counsel, said any harm done to Laurato is not due to her blog but to his own actions including his bragging, and that he has such a “bad reputation” and is such a “bad actor” that anything she has said about him could not have done any further damage to his reputation. That might be true if he were Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, or even, in Florida, jailed lawyer Scott Rothstein, but disparaging remarks might only add to the bad reputation of lesser miscreants, and those additions might have a monetary value. As for the damages, who can say to what extent Laurato was damaged until the matter goes to trial? The complaint asserts that the amount of damage is in excess of $15,000 simply to bring it within the purview of the circuit court, where a non-lawyer forced to represent herself because she is without means to hire an attorney would be at a serious disadvantage given the complex rules of procedure. She could only hope that the judges involved could bend over backward for disadvantaged pro se litigants without actually representing them to the disadvantage of the opposition. To the contrary, we have seen a few cases where judges have assisted lawyers in re-victimizing litigants, particularly women impoverished by legal proceedings. Laurato is claiming that some of the disparaging remarks, such as the accusation of criminality, are libel per se, meaning that the defamation is obvious on the face of the statement; such a statement even if innocently might be libelous. Theoretically, punitive damages, in addition to compensatory damages, if any, could be imposed. Punitive damages are awarded in libel cases to deter others from injurious conduct. Laurato and his helpers have already virtually beaten DeMichelle to a pulp – she may have to file bankruptcy. What more could Laurato want out of a woman who only wanted her $481 paid as agreed? DeMichelle, a resident of California, asserted in her answer to the complaint that the Florida court does not have jurisdiction. She has no presence in Florida nor does business in Florida. But now we have the Internet and a state statute which is construed to mean that, if someone in Florida believes they have been hurt by what someone posts on the Internet from anywhere in the world, then the Florida courts can use its “long arm” to exercise jurisdiction over that person. Laurato would, figuratively speaking, use that long arm to choke a woman to death after his attempts to smother her failed. If there is a just god he will bomb out. If there is none, we can only hope that justice prevails in the Florida judiciary in this case, and that, at the very least, so much calumny will be heaped on Laurato from all parts of the world that he will change his ways or give up the law and make his living hawking cigars at the track. www.miamisunpost.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • Page 15


Calendar WHAT TO DO IN SFL THIS WEEK

TONY MENDOZA EXHIBITS AT THE RODAZ ART GALLERY.

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THURSDAY

OCTOBER 4 TOUR Downtown Trolley Tour Join guides Sylvia Gurinsky and Michael Pearlman on a tour of downtown’s beautiful buildings and historic sites, utilizing the new downtown trolley to get from place to place. See Margaret Pace Park. Learn if the Brickells are in their mausoleum and where a hidden elevator lobby can be found downtown. Advance reservations and payment required. $25. 11am - 1pm. HistoryMiami, 101 West Flagler St; Miami. For info: historymiami.org or 305-375-1621.

OCTOBER 4 THEATRE I Am My Own Wife Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife is the astonishing story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a Berlin transvestite, who survived first the Nazis and then the Communists - as a woman. With Carbonell Award-winning actor Tom Wahl portraying the elegant Charlotte and more than 30 other characters, I Am My Own Wife is a remarkable one-man tour de force - strikingly political and beautifully humane. 7:30pm. $40. Carnival Studio Theater, 1300 Biscayne Blvd; Miami. For info: arshtcenter.org

OCTOBER 4 SOCIAL Pinktober Rocks In honor of the 13th annual Pinktober Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, the Hard Rock kicks-off Pinktober Rocks today. A special event and Sunset Lighting Ceremony that benefits the Breast Cancer Center Fund at Memorial Foundation and American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Susan Wise will flip the ceremonial switch that will illuminate the hotel and Seminole Paradise Lake in pink, as well as a pink fireworks display. Expect a Most Creative Pink Shoe contest, A pink fashion show, pink drinks, bake sale, live music and the Women’s Imaging Center at Memorial Regional Hospital, Bikes & Beauties, Peterson’s Harley Davidson and the Florida Panthers Redline Lady Panthers. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 1 Seminole Way; Hollywood. For info: hardrock.com

OCTOBER 4 LECTURE Art Pharmacology Prescription Using Renny Pritikin’s Prescription for a Healthy Art Scene as a point of departure, Art Practical contributing editors invited local cultural producers to discuss the needs and opportunities of Miami’s expanding art scene. Tonights talk, the fifth and final in the series is We Have no Friends and No Enemies: A Critics Starting Point. Led by Art Practical Director Patricia Maloney. Guest Speakers: Hunter Braithwaite, Sylvie Fortin, and Gean Moreno. Baudelaire made this claim for impartiality at the outset of his career as an art critic, but is that really what we want from criticism? This chat posits that a critic must be deeply invested in an art scene and an artist’s closest viewer. 7pm. David Castillo Gallery, 2234 NW 2nd Ave; Miami. For info: legalartmiami.org.

OCTOBER 4 BOOKS Palm Beach Entertaining Meet Annie Falk, who will discuss, demonstrate from, and sign her new book Palm Beach Entertaining. A luxurious retreat with a storied past, Palm Beach is renowned for its parties. More than twenty of its celebrated hosts open their doors, revealing secrets for entertaining with one hundred of their recipes. Among the illustrious hosts are Arnold Scaasi, Spanish aristocrat Victoria Amory, and interior designer Celerie Kemble. ILook for tips for setting a personalized table, creating a warm mood, and crowd-pleasing dishes. Get a rare peek into the glamorous world behind the hedges of some of America's most luxurious private estates. Net proceeds from the book benefit the Children's Home Society, a charitable organization with a proven network of adoption, early childhood development, and family support services. 6:30pm. Free. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave; Bal Harbour. For info: booksandbooks.com-

NUEVO BALLET ESPANOL PLAYS MIAMI THIS WEEKEND

FRIDAY

OCTOBER 5 KIDS Fabulous First Friday An incredible evening of laser lights, stars, music and lasers. Planetarium Star Show (7pm) and rooftop observatory viewing (8:30pm) weather permitting. Also check out the Activity Room for kids, a fun alternative for the little ones. Swing by the Space Gallery for hands-on activities and demonstrations. Kids ages 3 and up. (8pm.) Later in the evening, check out MiaSci Museum's famous Laser Shows in the Planetarium. $4. child, $8. adult. Miami Science Museum, 3280 South Miami Ave; Miami. For info: miamisci.org or 305-646-4200.

OCTOBER 5 DANCE Nuevo Ballet Espanol The MDC Live Arts performing arts series will show renowned Nuevo Ballet Español's Cambio de Tercio for the first time in the U.S. At the forefront of emerging trends in Spanish dance and flamenco, this dance company draws on traditional dance, a 21st-century pop sensibility and folkloric influences from Andalucía. In Cambio de Tercio, Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodríguez, two of Spain’s most influential choreographers, deliver a dazzling mix of traditional and contemporary styles, performed by the full company of dancers and musicians. They also explore the idea of transformation: from the street to the stage, from yesterday to today, from Spanish dance to flamenco music. $70 - $30. 8pm. Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 West Flagler St; Miami. For info: 305237-3010 or mdclivearts.org.

OCTOBER 5 SOCIAL Beats After Sunset Bass Museum of Art will host its monthly, first-Friday soiree, Beats After Sunset, tonight. Enjoy complimentary cocktails by Grey Goose and beats by DJ Josef K while browsing works from current exhibitions, including Unnatural, John Cage: Variations VII, 1966 and the Egyptian Gallery. For the first time, the Bass will partner with a nonprofit, this month's collaboration will benefit the Humane Society of Greater Miami's, PetNet. 8 - 11pm. $10. Bass Museum of Art, 100 Collins Ave; Miami Beach. For info: bassmuseum.org THE WORK OF ARTIST LUIS JIMENEZ WILL BE ON DISPLAY AT ART RUSH ON LINCOLN ROAD.

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Calendar WHAT TO DO IN MIAMI THIS WEEK

TIMBERLAND

OCTOBER 5 FILM Movies are for the Big Screen MDC Tower Theater and l’Alliance Française South Florida will resume their popular French Cinema Series tonight. Movies are for the Big Screen (Le Cinéma est pour le Grand Écran), will showcase films that are currently available only for theatrical exhibition. Cheerful, poetic and controversial French films will run. Tonights film is the recently produced film On Tour (Tournée), directed by renowned actor Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Cosmopolis, Chicken with Plums), and winner of the Best Director prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. It has never been commercially released in the U.S. 6 :30pm. $7. Tower Theater, 1508 Southwest 8th St; Miami. For info: 305 642-1264 or towertheatermiami.com

OCTOBER 5 SOCIAL Timbaland Grammy Award winning Super Producer and Co-Founder of new spirits brand LeSUTRA Sparkling Liqueur – Timbaland, will be at Miami liquor store Gulf Liquors tonight, giving fans the chance to taste the exhilarating flavors (peach, blueberry, strawberry and grape) of his new tantalizing liqueur. Gulf Liquors is the first store to offer LeSUTRA Sparkling Liqueur to customers after the epic launch event over Labor Day weekend at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, featuring iconic performances by Timbaland, Missy Elliot and Nas. Purchase any two bottles of your favorite flavors of LeSUTRA from Gulf Liquors and guarantee your Meet & Greet with Timbaland. 6-8pm. Gulf Liquors, 1681 Alton Rd; Miami Beach. For info: gulfaltonroad.com

OCTOBER 5 FILM For Ellen Aspiring rock star Joby Taylor has wanted nothing more than to make it, having flirted with fame but never crossed over into true success. In the midst of a low period in his life, he agrees to sign divorce papers with his estranged wife in order to see money from the sale of their home, only to discover that by signing the papers, he will forfeit all custody of his six-year-old daughter, Ellen. With a good-natured lawyer unable to make headway in reversing the decision, and a girlfriend that represents an era of his life that he might be ready to graduate from, Joby negotiates a visit with his daughter to explore whether he is able to walk away from his child, and whether it might be too late for reconciliation. Using the stark beauty and vast farmlands of an American winter as its backdrop, the film For Ellen, charts Joby's emotional journey as he realizes what he has lost-and what, if anything, can still be saved. 7pm. Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave; Miami Beach. For info: mbcinema.com

OCTOBER 5 SOCIAL Octoberfest Enjoy the sights, tastes, and sounds of all that is Octoberfest today as Brickell transforms into a German Bierfest! 8 Hours of Sam Adams Beer Sampling, 16 Styles of Samuel Adams Beer, 10 Local Restaurants, 8 Miami's DJs and 6 Live Bands. Music by La Linea, PALO, The Culture, Bootleg, Cutloose, The Politix, Locos por Juana. Plus sets from 1MX, Nikolas, EFX and Bounce. 4pm - 12am. 1001 S. Miami Ave; Miami. For info: BrickellFestival.com

OCTOBER 5 THEATRE The Immigrant The heartwarming story of a Russian Jew who comes to America to fulfill his dreams, as he moves in with a Gentile family in small town Texas in 1909. The play, The Immigrant, a true story is based on stories culled from playwright Mark Harelik's grandmother’s photo album. Jeffrey Scott Leshansky as Haskell, Michael Douglass as Milton, Janet Weakly as Ima and Greyssan Felipe as Leah. $38. 8pm. Miami Beach Stage Door Theatre at Byron Carlyle Theatre, 500 71st St; Miami Beach. For info: miamibeachstage.org or 305.397.8977.

TOP: JEWISH JAZZ AT ARTS AT ST JOHNS. MIDDLE: NINA HLAVA IN THE PLEASURE IS ALL MIME AT THE COLONY. FAR LEFT: THE FILM, ON TOUR PLAYS AT MDC TOWER THEATRE, OCT 5. LEFT: CATCH AN OUTDOOR SCREENING OF THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA AT NWS.

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OCTOBER 5 COMEDY Lynne Koplitz The second annual Mardi Gras Stand Up Comedy Challenge continues this week with Round 2, at Hollywood's hottest stand up casino comedy club. Hundreds of comics are auditioning for a chance to open for comedy legend Caroline Rhea during the Grandstand Finale in November. Tonight's comedic headliner is Lynne Koplitz. 8pm. $15. Mardi Gras Casino, 831 N. Federal Highway; Hallandale Beach. For info: mardigrascasinofl.com

OCTOBER 5 MUSIC Jewish Jazz A fusion of Jewish music and Jazz with Ken Burkhart on Hammond B3 Organ, Tom Lippincott on Guitar, Rey Monriog on Drums and Nestor Zurita on Saxophone. 8pm. $15. Art at St. Johns, 4760 Pine Tree Dr; Miami Beach. For info: 786-309-1275 or artsatstjohns.com

SATURDAY

OCTOBER 6 MUSIC The Russian Musical Soul

ARTS BALLET THEATRE OPENS ITS 15TH SEASON

Celebrate a quarter-century with MTT and the New World Symphony in this powerful all-Russian program, including Tchaikovsky’s massive Fourth Symphony. In collaboration with the orchestra, Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Circus Polka come to life on the sails of the New World Center in a world premiere digital animation by Emily Eckstein. Conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas. 7:30pm. Free. New World Center, 500 17 St; Miami Beach. For info: 305.673.3331 or nws.edu

OCTOBER 6 THEATRE Circ X Miami based theatrical circus troupe, Circ X celebrate their 10 year Anniversary with a cabaret & circus spectacular tonight. Described as one part circus, two part burlesque, a pinch of class and a dash of trash, Circ X, Miami's most provocative performance troupe, will produce a retro-spectacle, as they re visit some of their most popular numbers throughout the past decade and adapt them to the big stage. In addition to the larger production numbers, work from the individual artist's that make up the Circ X family will be shown. Seasoned veterans such as Octavio Campos, Natasha Tsakos and Luis Cuevas will be contributing some of their personal creations. 9pm. $36.50. Fillmore Miami Beach, Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave, Miami Beach. For info: fillmoremb.com.

OCTOBER 6 MUSIC The Barber of Seville Puccini's The Barber of Seville will be performed tonight by Miami Lyric Opera. Count Almaviva and Rosina, trying their damndest to be together against all odds -- the biggest impediment being Rosina’s guardian, Doctor Bartolo, who has been keeping his ward under hatches in the hopes of marrying her himself and acquiring her considerable dowry. The amorous count has to assume several disguises and solicit the aid of his former servant Figaro, to carry out his perilous courtship under the very nose of his elderly rival; moreover, he had met Rosina while masquerading as the less consequential Lindoro and continues the masquerade to assure himself that she loves him for his own sake rather than his title and fortune. Nelson Martinez as Figaro, Jorge David Pereira as Almaviva, Lissette Jimenez & Jen Zamorano as Rosina, Carlos Conde as Don Bartolo and Diego Banere as Don Basilio. Conductor, Beverly Coulter & Leo Walz and Artistic and General Director, Raffaele Cardone. $35 - $30. 8pm. Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd; Miami Beach. For info: miamilyricopera.org

OCTOBER 6 ART Art Rush Segafredo or L’Originale, has partnered with Alberto Linero Gallery to showcase celebrated local and international artists and their mixed media works including sculptures and paintings at a new monthly series called Art Rush. The line- up of international artists bring an eclectic art experience with inspirational creativity from science with life-size figure painting by Betancur; urban living, with steel sculptures by Luis Jimenez; nature’s destruction by Sarah Allen; natural elements, light and colors by ROMGO; human nature by Babb and human form by Suarez Molinares; Mexican culture and folklore by Matachos Art; abstract neo-expressionnism by world-renowned Sandoval; mix of European and Andean culture by Herrera and pop culture by Corea. Live performer Cristina Botero explores the methods of creation during which she paints with her body. Selected artists are Santiago Betancur, Luis Jimenez, Sarah Allen, Todd Babb, Romgo, Matachos Art, Suarez Molinares, Pedro Sandoval, Herrera, Xibie Corea and Pilar Garcia-Reyes. Live painting performance by Cristina Botero. DJ Soul P. spinning. 8pm. Live Art Performance 10pm. Segafredo L’Originale, 1040 Lincoln Rd; Miami Beach. For info: sze-oroginale.com or 305-673-0047.

OCTOBER 6 MEET 'N GREET Ghost Hunters

CIRC X AT THE FILLMORE

Fans of otherworldly phenomena can get their reality fix at Seminole Casino Hollywood through a free meet and greet with Jason Hawes and Steve Gonsalves from SyFy’s longest-running paranormal program, Ghost Hunters. The spirited duo will be signing free autographs and posing for photos. Contact between humans and spirits from the afterlife is not as far-fetched as is it seems. Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves and the Ghost Hunters team has worked to track down the presence of paranormals across the country. 6 – 10pm. Seminole Casino Hollywood, 4150 North State Rd 7; Hollywood. For info: seminolehollywoodcasino.com or 954-961-3220.

OCTOBER 6 DANCE Arts Ballet Theatre The 15th Season will officially open tonight with a contemporary program that will include Danzon, a vibrant and exciting work by guest choreographer Yanis Pikieris, with music of Arturo Marquez. Also on the season opener program is Four Seasons - a piece with the music of Verdi (not Vivaldi) first performed at the Mariinsky Theater in Russia. The work was created by Maestro Vladimir Issaev for four couples, and each pas de deux is a showcase of the extraordinary abilities of each dancer. Taiko, with the enchanting music of classic Japanese drumming, has been an audience favorite since 1998 when Issaev created this choreography. A special new addition to the program, is Vladimir's choreography to Donizetti's music of

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Calendar WHAT TO DO IN MIAMI THIS WEEK

LYNNE KOPLITZ

OCTOBER 6 FESTIVAL Celebrate Orgullo Don't miss this fun fest. Celebrate Orgullo will feature music, dance, refreshments, vendor booths, and more. A portion of proceeds from the sale of food and beverages will benefit the LGBT Youth Scholarship Fund. Free. 12pm 6pm. 12th Street and Ocean Dr; Miami Beach. For info: celebrateorgullo.com

OCTOBER 6 MUSIC Leon Foster Thomas Steel pan player Leon Foster Thomas, the prince of the pan, performs at The WDNA Jazz Gallery in an exclusive concert tonight. Thomas will highlight selections from his latest release, Brand New Mischief. Michael Pilot on drums, Allen Paul on piano, and Cayo Iturralde on bass. $30. 8pm. WDNA, 2921 Coral Way; Miami. For info: 305662-8889 or wdna.org.

SUNDAY ROCK OF AGES OPENS THIS WEEK AT THE ARSHT CENTER

La Favorita with Opera Atelier, this work will now be included in the opening performances. The program will conclude with Fuga con Pajarillo, with the music of Aldemaro Romero and the choreography of Vladimir Issaev. Performed by the dancers of the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida company with Kaori Fukui, Jun Tanabe, Lillian Hill, Breeana Flannery, DeeDee Rosner, Kelvin Rabines and guest dancer Simon Slivas. $25. 7pm. Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St; Aventura. For info: 305-948-4777 or artsballettheatre.org

OCTOBER 6 KIDS Wide World Day of Play For nine years, Nickelodeon has suspended all on-air and online programming on Worldwide Day of Play (WWDoP) to encourage children around the world to go outdoors and play. Today, MCM will join Nickelodeon in celebrating the power of play and healthy living. Children and their families are invited to join MCM educators for healthy activities and competitions that include, balloon badminton, yoga, jump rope and hula hoop competitions and more. 12pm - 5pm. $12. For info: 305-373-5437 or miamichildrensmuseum.org

OCTOBER 6 ART Tony Mendoza In Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month Rodez Art Gallery features a Solo Exhibit of Tony Mendoza’s Idioms Series. Artist Mendoza is known for his whimsical and colorful work celebrating life in Miami’s Little Havana.  In this series, he has applied his distinctive vision to literally portraying the imagery of common Spanish and English language idioms. Discovering in the process that what is said in everyday conversations can inspire truly humorous, compelling and surrealistic illustrations. In his colorful work hey pokes fun at life.  He sees humor in all things, thus compelling the viewer of his artwork to take matters-at-hand a little less seriously.  His creations have the ability of making people forget their headlong race against time, obliging them to stop, observe, smile and yes, to even laugh out loud. Opening party tonight during Coconut Grove Gallery Walk. 7 - 10pm. The Rodez Gallery, 3015 Grand Ave; Coconut Grove. For info: 786-467-7111 or rodezartgallery.com.

OCTOBER 7 SOCIAL A Day at the Beach Celebrating 10 years of Community Arts & Culture and Hispanic Heritage Month featuring the music of Gypsy Cat Trio, Los Herederos, Alan Hughes, Miami Beach High Rock Ensemble and more. 3pm - 10pm. Free. North Shore Park Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave; Miami Beach. For info: communityartsandculture.org

OCTOBER 7 TOUR Cool Green Sanctuary Chill out with eco-historian Frank Schena for Cool Green Sanctuary: Pinecrest Gardens Eco-Walk. Revel in this revered old landmark with its towering banyans, limestone rock formations, fish pond, cypress and sausage tree. Discover the site’s history including its days as the old Parrot Jungle. Tour price includes admission. Advance reservations and payment required. $30. 9am - 11am. Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Rd; Pinecrest. For info: historymiami.org or 305-375-1621.

OCTOBER 7 MUSIC Delray String Quartet An afternoon celebrating America and a special performance of Fuch’s Quartet #5, commissioned and premiered by the Delray String Quartet for the victims and survivors of September 11th. Also played will be Dvorak: American string quartet, opus 96 in F major and Barber: Adagio. Mei Mei Luo, Tomas Cotik and Richard Fleischman on violin and Claudio Jaffé on cello. $20. 2pm. Art at St Johns, 4760 Pine Tree Dr; Miami Beach. For info: 786-309-1275 or artsatstjohns.com

OCTOBER 7 KIDS Learning Made Fun Take the kids to make Botanical Arts and Crafts at Pinecrest Gardens. Children 6-10 years can learn all about plants

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through creative expression at each session. For today's session kids will partake in our Halloween Edition and use plant materials to make Halloween decorations for their own home featuring bats, black cats, ghosts and pumpkins. All of our Botanical Arts and Crafts sessions are $5 per child which includes all their materials. Class size is limited to 20. 2pm - -3:30pm. Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Rd; Pinecrest. For info: 305.669.6990 or pinecrest-fl.gov

MONDAY

OCTOBER 8 LECTURE Flowering Trees in Urban Environments The Tropical Flowering Tree Society meets on the second Monday of the month with programs that include speakers, rare flowering tree auctions, bloom table, and refreshments. Tonights speaker is Paul Gehrke, Horticulturist, Pure Beauty Farms; TFTS Board member. He will discuss the Role of Flowering Trees in Urban Environments—New and Unusual Flowering Trees and Shrubs for South Florida. Free. 7:30pm. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral GablesFor info: 305-389-5404, or tfts.org

OCTOBER 8 BOOKS Stacy London

SYFI’S GHOST HUNTERS APPEAR AT SEMINOLE CASINO THIS WEEK

The hilarious, beloved cohost of TLC’s What Not to Wear examines the universal obstacles all women—including herself—put in their way. With her unique talent for seeing past disastrous wardrobes to the core emotional issues that caused these sartorial crises, style savant Stacy London has transformed not only the looks but also the lives of hundreds of guests who have appeared on What Not to Wear. Like the women she’s transformed, London has emotional baggage. At eleven, she suffered from severe psoriasis that left her with physical and mental scars. Although self-esteem and self-consciousness nearly sabotaged her career, London learned the hard way that we wear our insecurities every day. In The Truth About Style, London shares her painful history and her philosophy of the healing power of personal style—illustrating it with a series of detailed start-overs with eight real women, demonstrating how personal style helps them overcome the emotional obstacles we all face. For anyone who has ever despaired of finding the right clothes, or even taking an objective assessment in a full-length mirror, The Truth About Style will be inspiring, liberating, and funny guide to finding the expression of your truest self. She will sign her book and discuss tips at a meet and greet today. 2pm. Free. Books and Books, 9700 Collins Ave; Bal Harbour. For info: booksandbooks.com

OCTOBER 10 LECTURE Making Art Out of Excess In celebration of October’s Hispanic Heritage Month, MOCA’s Women on the Rise and FIU have held a special threepart lecture series, Latina Women and the Body. The series will examine issues of Latina women and body image and will explore how representations of Latina women and girls in visual culture shape notions about their sexuality. Tonight's Panel Discussion is Making Art Out of Excess: Exploring Latina Styles and Sexualities. Presentations will include; A Chonga Manifesto: Thinking, Embodying, and Re-Imagining Latina Girlhood with Jillian Hernandez, MOCA Education Outreach Coordinator; Cuban Beauties: Assets in Excess with Crystal Pearl, Visual artist and MOCA educator. Moderated by Anya Wallace, Ph.D. student in Women’s Studies and Art Education at Penn State and MOCA educator. Free. 7pm. Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St; North Miami. For info: mocanomi.org or 305 893 6211.

OCTOBER 10 COMEDY Mario Cantone

TUESDAY

OCTOBER 9 THEATRE Rock of Ages The worldwide party musical South Florida Fairgrounds features a mix of 28 rockin’ ‘80s tunes including Don’t Stop Believin’, We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Wanted Dead or Alive, Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight This Feeling and I Want To Know What Love Is.” In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small-town girl met a big-city rocker and, in LA’s most famous rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the ‘80s. A five-time 2009 Tony® nominee, South Florida Fairgrounds is an arena-rock love story told through the mind blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and many more. Don’t miss this awesomely good time about dreaming big, playing loud and partying on. $26 - $86. 8pm. Ziff Ballet Opera House, 1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami. For info: arshtcenter.org

Popular actor and funny man Mario Cantone will perform tonight at Hard Rock Live. Cantone, the New York stage actor and stand-up comedian gained critical acclaim with his Tony-nominated oneman show Laugh Whore, from its appearance at the Cort Theatre on Broadway to the Showtime special. Last season Cantone starred in the Tony-winning Assassins by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Both of these hit shows were directed by four-time Tony-winner Joe Mantello. He starred in the release of Sony's animated film, Surf's Up, and appeared in the hilarious film The Aristocrats. On television, Cantone was seen as Anthony, Charlotte's wedding-planner-with-attitude, now that HBO’s Sex and the City is in syndication on TBS, as well as the Sex and the City movie franchise. On Comedy Central, Cantone's performances have been featured on The USO Comedy Tour, Chappelle's Show, and various other network specials. $69 - $39. 8pm. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way; Hollywood. For info: hardrock.com

THURSDAY

OCTOBER 11 THEATRE The Pleasure is all Mime

WEDNESDAY

OCTOBER 10 FILM The Devil Wears Prada Free movies every Wednesday night are back with the season return of the The SoundScape Cinema Series at the Miami Beach SoundScape ExoStage. This week's flick is The Devil Wears Prada. A naive young woman comes to New York and scores a job as the assistant to one of the city's biggest magazine editors, the ruthless and cynical Miranda Priestly. Directed by David Frankel. Starring Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep. Bring a blanket or beach chair and picnic. No glass please. 8pm. Free. Exostage at Miami Beach SoundScape, 500 17 St; Miami beach. For info: mbculture.com

This exciting celebration is a two-act pantomime show created and produced by world renowned pantomime expert Edward Rozinski and performed by acclaimed actor Nina Hlava. A caricature of today’s pop culture, the show touches on subjects such as pop stardom, public education, reality TV loneliness, drug use and corruption, all pieces express a message though the amazing art of silent action. By addressing current events, this two hour play breaks barriers and the use of projected graphic animations, accompanied by music, tap dancing, acrobatics, puppetry, and juggling make for a dynamic entertaining reflection. Considered to be one of the main authorities in the world on the rare art of Pantomime, Rozinsky's disciples can be seen in significant scenarios like Cirque de Soleil. He teaches at UM, FIU and New World School of the Arts. Austrian actress Hlava, has been on stage since the age of 8. She studied pantomime with French actor and mime Marcel Marceau and other notable artists and teachers in Europe. She is also a teacher. 7:30 pm. $25 - $35. Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd; Miami Beach. For info: colonytheatremiamibeach.com.

STACY LONDON

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Film REVIEW

Finding Your Inner Superstar By Ruben Rosario (ruben@sunpostweekly.com)

The movies have brought us enough underdogs with big showbiz dreams to fill well over a hundred Chorus Line auditions, but the familiar, done-to-death ingredients we’ve come to expect from backstage musicals and competition-driven song-and-dance extravaganzas have never been assembled quite as deliriously as in the Uruguayan/Argentinean/Spanish import Miss Tacuarembó. South American Gleeks and show tune freaks with a penchant for eighties kitsch have just found the ideal companion piece for the current word-of-mouth sleeper Pitch Perfect, which is required viewing for readers of this column. The loopy charmer, which opens Friday at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, throws a handful of disparate follow-your-bliss elements at the screen in the hopes that something will stick. Ostensibly, the film tells the story of dewy-eyed small-town girl Natalia Prato (Natalia Oreiro), 30 years old and still pursuing her lifelong goal of making it in Buenos Aires as a professional singer, but writerdirector Martín Sastre keeps taking us on thematic detours bursting with cultural references that will go sailing over the heads of viewers who were not raised in a Latin American country during the eighties. (Cacharel’s bourgeois-chic perfume Anaïs Anaïs, for instance, is so ubiquitous that it should have gotten co-star billing.) Sastre, who adapted the film from Dani Umpi’s novel, also keeps shifting back and forth between time periods. “Color first came into my life when I turned eight,” Oreiro’s voiceover wistfully reminisces as her eight-year-old self (Sofía Silvera) gasps at the TV set her mother Haydée (Mirella Pascual) has given to her on her birthday. The precocious girl, who, like many residents of the north Uruguayan town of Tacuarembó, are devout churchgoers, remains convinced that this gift actually came from the semi-naked man up on the cross. Before we can react to such a proclamation, li’l Natalia is putting on her leg warmers alongside equally idealistic bestie Carlos (Mateo Capo) to go over their dance routine set to – wait for it – “Flashdance...What a Feeling.” The song becomes Natalia’s anthem throughout her decades-spanning journey, and this all-too-short

sequence elicited a smile from this reviewer that never quite faded during the remainder of Sastre’s feature-length sugar rush. Its more effective moments bring to mind Baz Luhrmann circa Strictly Ballroom and John Waters in Hairspray mode. The film’s mid-eighties sequences are the heart of the film, and by far the more successful portion. Natalia’s thorn in her side arrives in the form of Cándida López (Oreiro, pulling double acting duties), her uptight catechism teacher. The character, recognizable to anyone who has ever attended Bible camp, is a walking compendium of traditional family values. “Fame is not a Christian value,” she chastises Natalia regarding her illusions of grandeur. Sastre hits paydirt when Cándida forces Haydée to tell her daughter to stop hanging out with her, um, peculiar BFF. The church lady has her way, which leads to a rift in Natalia’s relationship with the crucified carpenter sporting a crown of thorns. (JC gazes at the irate child from his vantage point with poker-faced amusement.) Even worse, the nosy watchdog meddles with Natalia’s access to her favorite telenovela Cristal. (Sastre borrows plot elements from the Venezuelan soap opera, a notable pop culture staple for the era’s latchkey kids.)

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Flash forward over 20 years. “Cristal” (aka Natalia’s stage name) attempts to score an appearance on “Todo por un Sueño,” a Buenos Aires-based reality show hosted by the fabulous Patricia Peinado (beak-nosed Almodóvar diva Rossy de Palma). And yes, that is yellow eyeshadow she’s wearing to match her dress. The wacky TV personality agrees to let Natalia have her moment in the spotlight without telling the unsuspecting career girl about her ulterior motives. So what has happened to Natalia since she bid adieu to her culturally barren hometown? She still hangs out with Carlos (Diego Reinhold), and both of them toil away at Cristo Park, which is exactly the sort of Disneyesque conceit that its name suggests, and it would be implausibly outlandish if The Holy Land Experience in Orlando didn’t already push a similar concept with a straight face. When she isn’t dressed up as a commandment tablet alongside Carlos, Natalia delights kids as Mary Magdalene, and the sudden addition of new hire Enrique (heartthrob Boris Bakst) as a possible love interest brings on the catchy showstopper “El perfume del amor” (“Love Perfume”), a blast of bubble-gum cheesiness that drills a hole inside your brain and refuses to budge. Needless to say, Sastre needs to work on his narrative skills. The energy in Miss Tacuarembó never flags, but a more streamlined structure could have worked wonders crystallizing the filmmaker’s ideas. Is it a coming-of-age fable? A parody of denominational bullying? A satire of our obsession with reality-TV oversaturation? A romantic bauble with a spring in its step? You can feel Sastre eagerly attempting to explore all these options, and it me feel as if I were being pulled in several directions at once. How does he tie this merry mess together? In a word: Jesus. A climactic encounter with a very sharp dressed Son of God (Mike Amigorena) is alone worth the price of admission. The sight of a shirtless Christ putting the moves on a willing Natalia might have prudes collectively shaking their heads in disapproval, but

it’s just the kind of payoff Oreira’s despairing chanteuse – and, by extension, the audience – needed to walk out of the theater on a fizzy high that only a movie as offbeat as Miss Tacuarembó could deliver. Call it inspirational junk food for the soul. Like Sastre’s candy-colored daydream, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie trades in Gen-X nostalgia. Like the wonderful 1984 live-action short on which it’s based, the 3D animated feature, rendered in glorious black and white, gives James Whale’s 1931 Boris Karloff classic a whimsical boy-and-his-dog makeover. It’s the Beetlejuice auteur’s bid to introduce his eerie/quirky brand of mischief-making to a new generation of impressionable outcasts, but what came across as genuinely subversive and inspired more than twenty years ago plays in its current incarnation like a pale Xerox of the real McCoy. Indeed, Burton has made his own monster out of spare parts of his earlier work, but this is a watered-down version that takes the creepy sense of menace of his most memorable films out of the equation. It’s not very scary, and it’s not very funny. Here’s the story, for the uninitiated: Victor Frankenstein (the voice of Charlie Tahan), a resident of the picket-fence burg of New Holland, loves two things above all others: science and Sparky. His canine companion, the star of his Super-8 home movies, loves one thing about as much as his master: retrieving objects. The mischievous bull terrier races to catch the baseball that Victor has just hit out of the park during a little league game. It’s a pity he didn’t see the car heading straight for him. Sparky’s death scene, a wrenching moment in the original short, doesn’t register in the remake. It’s an emotional flatline, and with the exception of some bright monster-mash B-movie shenanigans (a welcome addition to the source material by screenwriter John August), the same goes for the rest of this tedious disappointment. Even more dismaying, a new storyline involving Victor’s science teacher (a thickly accented Martin Landau) denouncing the perils of small-minded small-town groupthink, felt uncharacteristically preachy. I could feel Burton wagging his finger at his target audience, a condescending change of pace that goes against the short’s tireless creativity. (The old Frankenweenie, which in one of those only-in-Hollywood ironies, was the very film that got Burton fired from Disney, is available as a special feature in the most recent DVD/Blu-ray release of A Nightmare Before Christmas.) I actually thought the first hour of this past summer’s flop Dark Shadows featured some of Burton’s liveliest work in years. Okay, so that movie ultimately fell apart in a barrage of Grand Guignol excess, but at least you could detect a glimmer of the director’s impish glee. This is not the case with the new, and definitely not improved, Frankenweenie, which feebly tries, and fails, to avoid feeling like a disposable Disney product.


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www.miamisunpost.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • Page 23


Food REVIEW

Chef Michelle Bernstein is an Entertainer... And A Talented Chef By Marguerite Gil Special to the SunPost

The Culinary Institute (MCI), at Miami Dade College… was the place. Chef Michelle Bernstein, James Beard award winner was the person. A two-hour, close up cooking demonstration in the new stateof-the-arts kitchen at the institute to a sold out crowd… was the event. And a fundraiser for Les Dames d’Escoffier’s scholarship fund… was the benefit reason. So we have the where, the why, the who and now we’ll find out the how, when she shares some of the secrets to her success. Bernstein, arrived with her hair tied in a ponytail wearing a comfortable black chef’s blouse, and said, “I’m just the entertainer now-a-days. Other people do all of the hard work and I just seem to be making baby food for my son Zachary all day long, who by the way doesn’t enjoy the food at my restaurants,” Chef Bernstein was at the MCI to celebrate Julia Child’s UN-birthday. Although Child’s real birthday was on August 15, 1912, she celebrated her B-day on the 15th of September because most of her friends were back from their summer vacations by then. Bernstein chose a Caesar salad, duck a l’orange and a bread pudding with chocolate, raisins and rum for desert that was inspired by the Julia Child cookbook. The challenge for Bernstein was to take various recipes from Child’s book and give it a modern day spin. For her Caesar salad she stressed the importance of never using

ABOVE: CHEF SUSAN WEINSTEIN (L-R) WITH CHEF MICHELLE BERNSTEIN AND COLUMNIST CARLE KOTKIN LEFT: DAME MARGUERITE GIL WITH FABULOUS SINGER/ENTERTAINER MARYEL EPPS FAR LEFT: JULIA CHILD’S LONGTIME ASSISTANT/AUTHOR NANCY VERDE BARR

extra virgin olive oil because it overwhelms the dressing. She prefers using safflower oil. She added that it’s really important to season when the dish is finished. That way you can taste the finished product and see if it really needs more salt or pepper or anything else. “I remember for one of my first culinary demonstrations I thought I would really make a statement so I brought truffles. In order to slice the truffles I brought a mandolin (slicing device), with me. Well, while slicing, you guessed it, I sliced my finger and blood was hitting the ceiling. Much like in the movie Julie and Julia when Dan Ackroyd during a Saturday Night Live episode, is imitating Child and just ends up bleeding all over the place and finally keels over from losing so much

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blood. I bled a lot but we washed ever thing and just kept on going. I did meet Julia once but I still watch her TV shows on line which really still inspires me” When asked why Sr. Martinez in the Design District closed earlier this year she said, “We had a tiny kitchen there. Only 3 people could fit in at one time. We had to rent a huge kitchen close by but it just became impossible to keep going back and

forth from one place to another. I loved the name of the place because finally people stopped called my husband Mr. Bernstein and started calling him Mr. Martinez.” Bernstein said, “Today many women are chefs but they don’t seem to be many top chefs who are women. I think women cook with their hearts and men cook for their stomachs. It’s hard work to be in a kitchen. Long hours and hot stoves which means being away from their families. Julia understood the importance of cooking but she also understood the importance of family and friends.”


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www.miamisunpost.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • Page 25


we self-assigned some travel. I went to Soviet Central Asia, and Jeffrey went to Yemen, and then we felt we knew enough to put in a proposal, and we were lucky enough to sell it. We got an agent, and everyone thought it was a very weird topic. Then it became mainstream. Flatbreads started to be in breadbaskets because the book came out, and chefs would come up to us and say, “This is so great because we should have thought of this but we didn’t.”

Books REVIEW

Naomi Dugud Food Writer and Photographer Debuts New Book By Anita Malhotra Special to the SunPost

World traveller, writer, photographer and cook, Naomi Duguid is equally at home exploring the culinary offerings of countries like Thailand and Tibet as she is recreating them in her Toronto kitchen. She has co-authored six award-winning travel cookbooks (with former partner Jeffrey Alford) that explore the cuisines of Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Europe and Africa through photographs, recipes and stories. Two of the books, Flatbreads & Flavors (1995) and Hot Sour Salty Sweet (2000), were honoured with the James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year award and Hot Sour Salty Sweet has just gone into its eighth printing. Duguid is promoting her newest book release, Rivers of Flavor – Recipes and Travel Tales from Burma and an exhibition of her photography in South Florida. You have many interests – food, travel, writing and photography. How did each of these develop? Duguid: I’ve always assumed that the whole

world was out there to be explored or dreamed about. I was a reader as a child – still am. My grandfather had been to India as a young man, so the larger world was there. I remember going to England when I was 10 with my mother and brother because my father had a business trip, and my mother said to us, “Now, the people in England won’t be curious about you and your lives, but you have to remember to ask them about how they think and what they do.”  It was a very good lesson for travel – I’ve never forgotten. When I was 17, I lived in France for a year, and then I did my third year away at the London School of Economics. I like being a traveller, wherever I am. I’m a person who likes to not know what’s around the corner and to move forward towards the corner.  And it turns out that travel is one way of doing that, but I can also do it walking or bicycling the streets of Toronto. What about your interest in food? Does that date back to an early age? The things I’ve done the last 25 or 30 years

arise out of travel, but my undergraduate degree was in geography. I really like to understand how things work – how things work for people emotionally and how things work in a geeky, practical way like, “Where does the rain fall?” and “What grows?” So food, of course, is, “How do people live? What do they grow? What do they have, what don’t they have? How do they make do? How do they work around the problem of a shortage of water or a shortage of fuel?” Did your writing and photography start with your travels as well? I used to work as a lawyer, and the law can actually ruin your writing. You’re writing clearly but there’s not much charm or grace to it, so it takes recovering from. So I would say I learned on the job. And photography – I got my first camera the day before I went on a trip to Ladakh in 1978. And it was just immediately comfortable. Some of the shots from that first trip were in Mangoes & Curry Leaves. So I learned by doing and also by meeting photographers on the road who said, “Oh, you might think about this, or you might think about that.” How did your first book, Flatbreads & Flavors, come about? Jeffrey and I had met and we’d read that the pass between China and Pakistan was going to be open to foreign travellers in the spring of ’86, so we thought that’s a trip we could make. We got bicycles, travelled to Western Tibet, and then we went to Kashgar and Xinjiang in Western China. It’s a vibrant country – all those oases. Those Turkic peoples – the wheat growers and others – flatbreads are their basic food. That’s where the idea came from. It was like, “let’s do a book about flatbreads – this basic, staple food.” The Roman armies marched on it, you know. And then it was how to go from there to the actual book. So we started writing articles for food magazines and

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How do you travel in these countries and research your recipes at the same time? The main thing is to not move quickly – to stay somewhere and hang around. I’ve got a book on Burma coming out next September. Starting in on it was a reminder of what it’s like to arrive in a place that you don’t know very well. So I might go to a town in Burma and then poke around in the markets and just walk and take pictures of the food. I become familiar to people because they see me the first day and on the second day and I’m still there the third day, so they relax. So I’m eating things, and I might ask somebody, “What do you put in this?” or “Is there this in that?” I would never ask for a recipe. I think that just stopping and watching the daily patterns and occasionally being able to be in conversation with people, gradually things seep in. I don’t take notes out in the street – only back in my room, because there are many places people are going to think you’re a tax collector or a spy if you’re taking notes in the street. And the camera is also a note-taking device. Then I get back home and try to figure out how to do that thing. Tell me about your new book. The book is called Rivers of Flavour – Recipes and Travel Tales from Burma and it has stories and photographs and recipes and a map. I think the thing that people are going to find easiest as an entry point are the Burmese salads. They’re kind of brilliant. But it’s not difficult food. It’s very straightforward – it’s a rice-based culture. And I think people will find it interesting to see how different it is from Thai food. Why did you choose Burma? It’s kind of the keystone, if you think about the geography. It lies between China and India, it’s part of Southeast Asia, but it’s quite distinct. And so it was really interesting to me. And it also felt important politically to make this place that’s been so cut off be a real place to people. So the book is not full of stories of political oppression. I want to have the place breathe on its own because even though people may be afflicted by the lack of rule of law and other traumatic things that


have gone on in the country, they’re still living with dignity. They’re still taking care of their children. They still have an extraordinary food culture. And now, in these last few months, the political situation seems to be loosening and improving. Hopefully that will continue and more people will go and visit Burma to see for themselves what an interesting, culturally rich place it is. Do your books have a political agenda? Beyond the Great Wall is overtly political just because it’s talking about issues of cultural appropriation in China, but all the books are political. I’m not out there on a barricade, but I try to work against our natural tendency to pigeonhole other people or other cultures. We need to categorize things, and the most basic version of that is there’s us and there’s the others. I see all these books as tools for helping make the “other” less “other.” The stories can do that for some people, and then if they make the recipe, maybe the story echoes with the recipe and gives them more di-

mensions. And so it’s no longer just a place they’re never heard of on a map or a place they think is weird and foreign. Tell me about your “Immerse Through” culinary tours in Thailand. If you really stop and pause, you can get huge cultural insights through food, so we kind of immerse. I’ve got a close friend in Thailand and she and I are the bridges. Her mother teaches villagestyle Northern Thai cooking for two days, so people are doing hands-on cooking using local tools – cleavers and knives and mortars and pestles and cooking over charcoal. And we go to the market each day with a shopping list, and I’m there encouraging and helping them. Then we go up north for two days, and we’re cooking this time at a farm, making Shan food. And by the time they get back to Chiang Maifor the last day, people are full of confidence and knowledge. It’s really phenomenal. So for me it’s exciting to see them understanding the culture from the inside, because when you get a grip on the food, you also under-

stand a lot of other things. How has travelling changed you? I think I always was appreciative, but it’s made me more knowledgeably appreciative about what other people manage to do in their daily lives. It’s not just “other people have it worse” – it’s the reminder to be grateful for what you do have. Also, it’s to think that those people are still living with dignity even with problems that are mountains. They still are themselves – they’re not victims. Everyone has a dignity and a capacity for creativity and engagement, whatever their circumstances. And so for me it’s just a constant reminder to never take anything for granted and always to look for that something special, and try and make a connection with that something special with people that I encounter.

a plane, so I try and tune back into my 17-year-old self going off to France, and the feelings I had when I got there. There were some letters from friends who’d started university, and I remember reading them and having a little moment of homesickness, thinking, “Oh, have I made a terrible mistake? I’ve stepped out of the groove, what am I missing?” I had this ten-minute pause, and then that was it, and I’ve never been homesick since. And so that first memory of that homesickness, and then thinking, “That was a good little bounce I got off that!” I’m still up there. Duguid will have a conversation with travel writer Thomas Swick and the opening of an exhibition of her photographs on Friday, October 5, in the Books & Books gallery. 8pm. $35. Books and Books, 265 Aragon Ave; Coral Gables. For info: booksandbooks.com

Is there one memory of all your travelling and writing and learning that stands out? I always want to be able to tune back in to the sense of thrill and excitement every time I get on

www.miamisunpost.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • Page 27


411 COLUMN

Shopping Parties By Mary Jo Almeida-Shore maryjoshore@aol.com

FASHIONABLY CONSCIOUS FUNDRAISING SALE Hundreds of shoppers, including: VIPs, socialites, and philanthropists raided the donated designer goods of Miami’s most elite crowd last week at the annual Fashionably Conscious fundraiser, raising almost $85,000 for Coconut Grove Cares, The Barnyard, a locally beloved and cherished community center which provides after school and community care services to families of the West Grove Community. From Valentino and Giorgio Armani suits to Chanel dresses and Prada and Jimmy Choo shoes, Fashionably Conscious brought the best of the best to the generously donated space provided by Village of Merrick Park. The weekend began with a VIP sale where more than a hundred devoted shoppers lined up outside the space waiting for doors to open. By Sunday the fully stocked space was nearly cleared and little to nothing remained to be purchased. The fashionably conscious crowd sipped on champagne, shopped for a cause and mingled with Miami’s biggest trendsetters. Notable guests included: Darlene Perez, Laura Buccellati, Anne Owen, Carole Seikaly, Ginger Harris, Camille Thiry Russler, Elysze Held, Ali Codina, Maria Tettamanti, Tony Cho, Timothy Walker and many more.

GILT CITY MIAMI WAREHOUSE SALE VIP & MEDIA PREVIEW The prior week, the Gilt City Miami Warehouse Sale drew the who’s who of Miami who scored designer duds at a fraction of the price. The vibe in the uber cool Iron Side building was so electric and exciting that we found it almost too distracting to shop! Belkys Nerey, Jacey Birch, Lynn Martinez, Criselda Breene, James Lewis Wark (Gilt City Lead Curator, South Florida), Louis Aguirre, Bill Kearney and Luisa Jimenez (Gilt City Miami Curator), Gingi Beltran, Ginger Harris, Fatima Lalani, Lauren Gnazzo, Fati Rosenberg, Maria Tettamanti, Nikki Novo, John Lin, Susie and Walid Wahab, Yannick and Hadley Henriette, Frank Amadeo, and DJ Misha were just a few of the lucky shoppers to score great deals while having a fabulous time.

FENDI AMBIENTE CUCINA DEBUT Those in the market for luxury furnishings were in luck last week as FENDI Casa unveiled its innovative kitchen line, Ambiente Cucina, with a private cocktail reception in celebration of the collection’s U.S. debut at the Luxury Living Showroom in the Design District. Ambiente Cucina, the latest extension of the brand’s wide range of products, debuted at Salone del Mobile in Milan and was unveiled stateside for the first time last Thursday in Miami. The collection, which exudes the “finest in elegance,” was produced in collaboration with high-end Italian kitchen manufacturer SCIC, raising the bar in elegance, quality and design while incorporating never-before-used materials, unique stones and top quality leathers.

HUBLOT CELEBRATES LAUNCH “305” TIMEPIECE What a coup for Miami to have its very own namesake watch. Luxury Swiss watchmaker, Hublot, unveiled its new, limited edition Hublot King Power “305” Timepiece on Wednesday, at W South Beach Hotel & Residences. The Miami Heat’s, DJ Irie, provided the beats while guests watched videos projected on a 30-foot video wall, and enjoyed bites by the W and sips from Dom Perignon champagne. The Collection and Ferrari also provided support for this magnificent event which included an official unveiling announcement from Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem, Rick De la Croix, Page 28 • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • SunPost Weekly • www.miamisunpost.com

27TH ANNUAL GREAT SPORTS LEGENDS DINNER, HOSTED BY THE BUONICONTI FUND: TOP LEFT: OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: TRACK & FIELD, ALLYSON FELIX. TOP RIGHT: NEW YORK RANGERS PLAYERS CARL HAGELIN AND MICHAEL DEL ZOTTO.

Hublot President of the Americas and Hublot’s CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe, in town from Switzerland. Special guests included Heat players: Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning, Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony, Norris Cole, Juwan Howard, James Jones; actress Gabrielle Union, the NFL’s Jeremy Shockey; musical artists Rico Love and Rick Ross; and Ken Gorin owner of The Collection, to name a few.

TIKL RAW BAR & GRILL Fabulous foodies were tickled at Brickell’s latest dining destination by the team behind Miami Beach’s Altamare - who hosted an exclusive, invitation-only Happy Hour Bash to celebrate the restaurant’s official grand opening. The cocktail party also marked the unveiling of the restaurant’s beautiful patio. Owner, Claudio Giordano and Executive Chef/co-owner Simon Stojanovic treated guests to endless pours of premium spirits accompanied by a parade of bite-sized samples of TIKL’s globally-inspired menu.

CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Kim, Rob and Khloe Kardashian and some of the Young Money crew headed to LIV on Sunday night for the release party for Grammy-award winning, T-Pain’s new mixtape Stoic, and to celebrate his 27th birthday. Additional celebs in the house, included Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes. Tpain was surprised by two impressive birthday cakes. DJ Stevie J spun new tracks from Stoic, including his hot single “Don’t You Quit.” New York Met’s David Wright and his teammates enjoyed a “guys’ night out” at Zuma Miami. The group was playful throughout the 2 hour meal and seemed to get a lot of attention from female diners. John Secada and his wife dined at Zuma on Friday evening. They enjoyed Saketini’s and kept to themselves sharing several plates. Miami Dolphin’s Linebacker Jonathan Freeny’s visited Zuma for lunch last week as well. Hip-hop stars Fabolous and Gucci Mane were spotted at The Rooftop at The Perry South Beach. The rappers brought an entourage of eighteen, and were sporting lots and lots of bling.


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1. Stefanie Nazoyan & Oksana Shvartsaman at Fashionably Concious

5. Belkys Nerey at the Gilt Warehouse Sale

2. Darlene Perez & Carole Seikaly at Fashionably Concious

7. Suzie & Walid Wahab at the Gilt Warehouse Sale

3. Alex Gonzalez, Claudia Succar Ferre, Meme Ferre at Fashionably Concious 4. Laura Buccellati, Carly Thomas, Elysze Held at Fashionably Concious

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6. Louis Aguirre & James Wark at the Gilt Sale

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8. Frank Amadeoat the Gilt Warehouse Sale 9. Lauren Gnazzo at the Gilt Warehouse Sale 10. Grace Shore & Mary Jo Shore at the Gilt Sale

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Shopping for A Great Cause www.miamisunpost.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • Page 29


Go! UPCOMING SOCIAL EVENTS

Parties, Bashes & Soirees

on the Garden House lawn where guests can enjoy complimentary drinks, sample a light dinner and indulge in sweet treats prepared by Fairchild’s preferred caterers including Chef David Schwadron, Fare to Remember Creative Catering, Lasso the Moon, Le Basque Catering, Macy’s Catering, Mena Catering, Theirry’s Catering and We’re Having A Party. Guests will also have the opportunity to peruse local vendors—ranging from full-service caterers and photographers to florists and linen rentals—that will be on site. Tickets will be sold in advance and at the door. Each ticket admits two guests. Tickets are $40 for general admission in advance, $60 for VIP admission in advance and $50 for general admission at the door. For tickets and more information, visit fairchildgarden.org or Anna Brickner at 305.663.8058.

By Maryanne Salvat maryannesalvat@aol.com

HEART GALLERY LUNCHEON On Friday, October 5, Truluck’s Seafood Steak and Crabhouse at The Galleria in Fort Lauderdale will open the entire restaurant for a unique sit-down pledge luncheon benefiting The Heart Gallery of Broward County, a traveling photography exhibit of foster children who are waiting to be permanently adopted. The public is invited to attend the special event, which will take place from 12-1:30 p.m. A pledge of $150 or more is suggested to attend the luncheon, benefitting The Heart Gallery. Truluck’s is also challenging donors to pledge $1000 or more – those who do will receive a $100 gift card for the restaurant. RSVPs are required for the event, and luncheon sponsorship opportunities are available. To RSVP and for more information, contact Jennifer Thomason, The Heart Gallery of Broward County Director of Development and Community Relations at 954.439.1916 or jennifer@heartgalleryofbroward.org.

MIAMI SEAQUARIUM ‘HOPETOBER’ Miami Seaquarium will go pink this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as it welcomes its guests with the opportunity to make a $5 contribution to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and receive half off regular general admission. The offer is valid from October 1 through October 31. To participate, guests may visit miamiseaquarium.com for a donation form. Miami Seaquarium is a sponsor of the 2012 Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Race For the Cure® that will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Bayfront Park in Miami, for more information visit komenmiaftl.org. Also, during Totally Teachers Weekend, Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14, Miami-Dade and Broward County teachers, in both private and public schools, will receive complimentary admission to Miami Seaquarium; plus a discount for up to four guests at half- off of regular admission. Teachers must show a valid school ID card or pay stub along with a picture ID to redeem discount.

FAIRCHILD’S PREMIER BRIDAL EVENT David Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens will soon be in full bloom with brides-to-be this Fall when it hosts its premier Bridal Event and Fashion Show on Thursday, October 11 from 5 to 9 p.m. Unlike any other bridal event in South Florida, Fairchild’s event presents guests with a true “Garden Wedding Experience,” as well as providing them with local resources to help make their special day truly unique. The highlight of the Garden Wedding Experience will be a fabulous runway fashion show that takes place in the breathtaking Bailey Palm Glade, Fairchild’s most popular location for wedding ceremonies. The fashion show will feature original bridal gowns and bridesmaid’s dresses by Ella Bella Rozio the most elite Haute Couture house, dresses for the mother of the bride and children’s wear from Bloomingdales and menswear by Hugo Boss. Hair and makeup for the fashion show is generously provided by Brilliance New York, a salon and boutique that utilizes their own organic line of make-up, skin and hair care products. The Bridal Event will feature a cocktail lounge

Page 30 • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • SunPost Weekly • www.miamisunpost.com

CHILDRENS PLACE KIDS MODEL SEARCH Calling all aspiring – and adorable – models, The Children’s Place is launching its second annual model search this fall to discover its next superstar. Does your little star shine for the camera? Submit a photo of your handsome little man or darling little girl, and he or she just might win a starring role in the upcoming photo shoot for The Children’s Place, as well as a $500 shopping spree. Simply visit childrensplace.com to upload your photo and vote on your favorite rising star. Each grand prize winner, along with two designated guardians, will receive round-trip air transportation to the glam set of The Children’s Place photo shoot, as well as a $500 gift card to spend on all the latest styles. Additionally, one entrant will be randomly selected each day to receive a $50 gift card to The Children’s Place, and one lucky bonus sweeps winner will receive a $500 gift card at the end of the contest.

A STONE CRAB DINNER DEAL Stone crabs lovers are invited to dip and dance every Friday, beginning October 19, at Kitchen 305 in the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort with an all-you-can-eat stone crab dinner for only $55 per person accompanied by live DJ. Just a “stones” throwaway from the ocean, Kitchen 305 will serve-up claws in batches of five, accompanied by a choice of steaming soup, a crisp Caesar or the signature house salad, freshly baked bread and savory sides including herb-roasted, red bliss potatoes and corn on the cob. Whether its butter, mustard or lemon that’s the sauce of choice, Kitchen 305 invites seafood lovers to come “get their dip on.” This seasonal supper club party books quickly and guests are encouraged to make reservations at least two weeks in advance. To reserve visit: kitchen305miami.com.

BREAST HEALTH WEEK AT CANYON RANCH The Power of PINK: To celebrate this month’s breast cancer awareness campaign, The Salon at Canyon Ranch is offering Complimentary polish changes using the INPINK collection infused with Bamboo for strong, beautiful, healthy nails. 20% of the proceeds of the In Pink collection sales will be donated to Cancer Schmancer. Every bottle of lacquer has a pink ribbon charm attached. Healthy Makovers: Chemical free makeovers using Mineral makeup. OMG My Legs Feel Great!: Your lower legs and feet will feel light as a feather with their 2-step treatment using Omega-Body Buff, their paraben-free scrub made with natural micro-ground pumice and omega-rich Sweet Almond Oil, followed by a mini massage with Lucky Legs cooling leg gel that glides on to instantly soothe weary limbs from knees to tip toes. Made with a blend of safe, essential plant oils, Lucky Legs will leave a super-subtle shimmer on your shins and a spring in your step. Clarisonic a Day Takes the Stress Away: See what a difference Clarisonic can make….healthy, radiant skin. Come in and enjoy a Skin treatment starting with a cleansing that leaves the skin six times better than manual cleansing alone, followed by a sonic infusion treatment that will help diminish fine lines and reduce puffiness. The sonic micro-massaging provides your first defense against anti-aging and can also help relax tension at the end of the day.


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1. Lisa and Lenny Hochstein, Real Housewives of Miami at Hublot 305 2. Ken Goren, owner of The Collection and Katie Luddy at Hublot 305 3. Alina Shriver, Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot CEO, Romero Britto, and Anthony Shriver at the Hublot 305 launch bash

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4. Shannon Scott and Giovanni Bocchieri at Fendi Casa 5. Bellina Filigenzi, Viviana Torres, Andrea Cuevas, Diana Arce at Fendi 6. Garrett Moffett, Maria Ramos at Fendi Casa Ambiente Cucina Bash 7. Carlos Nieto and Riki Altman at the Tikl Raw Bar opening 8. Giselle Blondet at the Tikl Raw Bar opening

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Openings Over Miami www.miamisunpost.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, October 4, 2012 • Page 31


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Issue 10/04/2012