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New Year Brings New Beginnings



10 January 2018

COMMUNITY NEWS 12 Pooches in Pines to Hold 2nd Annual Fur Ball Gala 14 Snow in Pembroke Pines 16 Safely Dispose of Old Prescriptions and Documents 22 Hundreds Attend the Pembroke Pines Veterans Day Ceremony 24 PPPD Delivers Gifts to Slain Police Officer’s Family 24 Learn About Healthy Eating at Pembroke Pines YMCA Family Center

CAN DO KIDS 18 Roots and Shoots Offers Youth a Way to Give Back

FEATURE STORY 21 La Strega Cucina Italiana Offers Classic Southern Italian Dishes

SCHOOL NEWS 28 Legends Never Die 30 PPCMS – West “Mecha-Knights” Robotics Team Earns Excellence Award 30 WBHS Performance Ensemble Wins 4A State Championship 32 Panther Run Elementary Principal Wins Education Award 32 Chesterbrook Academy Preschool Students Make Thanksgiving Donation 36 Pembroke Pines Police Department Recognizes Outstanding Students



34 Keeping Children Safe Online


ASK THE MAYOR 40 Pembroke Pines Update

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Joyce Bak Denise Caligiuri Silvia Silva

ASK THE EXPERT 41 Male Breast Reduction

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Stacey Bomser, Helen Penland, Beverly Perkins

LEGALLY SPEAKING 42 How to Select an Estate Planning Attorney

REAL ESTATE 43 2018 Housing Market Forecast

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Krushot Photography, Lux Images, Mavila Photography, Weston Photography Studios, Barry Stock 1960 N Commerce Parkway Suite 3 Weston, FL 33326 Ph: 954-306-1007 • Fax 954-306-1008

LEGALLY SPEAKING 44 The Collaborative Process

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14 Our City Media of Florida, LLC publishes FREE monthly, local community news magazines covering Weston, Davie/SW Ranches/Cooper City, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Hollywood & Hallandale Beach. Total circulation is 20,000+ per edition or a total of 160,000+ copies per month. Our City Magazines are direct mailed monthly to affluent singlefamily homes, condos and businesses in their respective communities. Monthly mailings are verifiable by USPS statements available at www. Additional free copies are available at selected locations throughout their respective communities and upon request by contacting this news magazine. Opinions expressed by the writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our City Media of Florida, LLC reserves the right to edit and/or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our City Media of Florida, LLC is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made by advertisers. Entire contents copyrighted 2016 by Our City Media of Florida, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.


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New Year Brings New Beginnings


t’s another New Year, and for Our City Media that means a new beginning. New Year’s Day marked the start of the new year. It also served as a point in time when many of us started changes in our lives. Our City Media was no exception. We have upgraded the look, feel and layout of our magazines for 2018. We’ve made every change with you, our reader, in mind. We’ve improved our calendar pages; changed the primary font to an easier, clearer to read style; increased the weight of the paper Our City magazines are printed on; and made the magazine slightly smaller to better fit in your mail box. Have no fear, these improvements will only serve to enhance your reading experience. Each magazine still contains all the critical community and school news you have come to expect. Our team of highly experienced and talented journalists will continue to bring you the latest happenings in your community. We have also re-launched our website, www.ourcitypembrokepines. com. Here, you will find a digital version of our publication, with the same types of content found in our print magazines. While you are on the site, check out what’s going on in your neighboring cities. With eight publications, Our City Media is proud to be South Florida’s leader in community news. We truly hope you enjoy Our City’s new look. We have been working on this for some time. If you have any suggestions for making the magazine even better, feel free to drop us a line at Sincerely,

Terry and Christy Jaillet Co-Publishers

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Bingo – Participate in Bingo Nights with the Knights at 6pm, at SWFP Community Center, which is located at 301 NW 103rd Ave. Free Refreshments. Packets start at $15. For information, call 954-450-6888 or visit www.ppines. com, click on Departments and select Community Services.

18th Healthy Eating – Pembroke Pines residents can get some helpful tips during a free interactive cooking demonstration designed to teach healthy eating habits. It will be held from 12:30pm to 2pm, at the Pembroke Pines YMCA Family Center, 501 SW 172nd Avenue. Chef Maria T. Cummins from The Real Food Academy will lead the class. She will be preparing a threecourse meal showing participants how to substitute ingredients to make recipes healthy, yet still delicious. To register for the event, call 954-727-9622 Arts Career – Are you interested in learning about how a love of art can be successfully applied in our workforce? As a part of a new lecture series at The Frank, renowned visual artist Virginia Fifield will present the decisions, strategies and experiences that have contributed to her evolution as a successful arts professional. It will be held from 6:30pm to 8pm. The Frank Art Gallery is located at 601 City Center Way. For information, visit


Feb. 10th


Shred-A-Thon/Operation Medicine Cabinet – Safely throw out your old prescriptions drugs and documents during Broward Sheriff’s Office Operation Medicine Cabinet and ShredA-Thon. The free community service will be held at Pembroke Pines City Center, 601 SW City Center Way, from 10am to 1pm. For information, visit or call 954-831-8902.

Flea Market and Bazaar – On February 10 (8am-4pm) and February 11 (9am-3pm), bargain hunters will meet at the SWFP Community Center, 301 NW 103rd Avenue, to search through tables of treasures from over 100 venders in an indoor, air-conditioned room. Admission and parking are free. For information, call 954-450-6888 or visit

Holiday Ornaments Sale – If you are looking for the perfect gift, check out the handcrafted stoneware ornaments made by the SWFP Center’s “Artists in Action” Pottery students and staff. The ornaments are on sale at the Activities Desk during the Center’s normal hours of operation through January 5. There is an $8 donation per ornament. All proceeds benefit senior programs at the Carl Shechter SWFP Community Center. For information, contact Helen Daniels at 954-450-6888 or by email at Weston Miracle League – The Weston Miracle League gives South Florida children with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball at Rose G. Price Park’s Miracle League Baseball Field, located at 901 NW 208th Avenue in Pembroke Pines. Players can join the league throughout the season, which runs through January 28. For information on the Weston Miracle League, or to register online, visit or call 954-478-9694.

27th Pooches in Pines Gala – If you have lost your dog and you live in the city of Pembroke Pines, Pooches in Pines may have found it. The 501c3 volunteer organization works with the Pembroke Pines Police Department’s Animal Assistance Program to reunite dogs, found by the Pembroke Pines Police, with their owners and/or re-home dogs that have been abandoned, abused or neglected as a result of police calls for service in the City of Pembroke Pines. Don’t miss the 2nd Annual Pooches in Pines Fur Ball Gala, from 6pm to 11pm, at the Charles F. Dodge City Center, 601 City Center Way in Pembroke Pines. For information, visit or call 954-445-2991.


19th Winter White and Silver Dinner Dance – Wear your most elegant white and silver ensemble to this event. The best dressed man and woman will win prizes. $10pp. Buffet dinner at 5:30pm (reservations required). Dance starts at 6:30pm at the SWFP Community Center, 301 NW 103rd Avenue. For information, call 954-450-6888 or visit

Jazz in the Pines Concert – Enjoy a relaxing afternoon of jazz at The Charles F. Dodge City Center, from 3pm-5pm. Free for participants. (weather permitting) Don’t forget to bring your blankets and chairs! As always, no pets at City events. For information, visit


Kindness Initiative – The City of Pembroke Pines and the School Board of Broward County invite families and friends to participate in a City of Kindness Event: Kindness/ Forgiveness/Compassion, from 11am to 2pm, at the Charles F. Dodge City Center, 601 City Center Way. Held during lunchtime residents are encouraged to pack a picnic lunch and fully invest themselves in the spirit of peace day beginning with a Community Peace Meal Picnic, musical entertainment, the presentation of a Peace Pole and finally the creation of a Human Peace Sign. Families are encouraged to decorate their Picnic Areas with decorative picnic blankets and baskets. Residents and friends are encouraged to tag their kind deeds with #PinesisKind. For information, visit Light Up the Night – Light up the night with a nighttime 5K run at the Charles F. Dodge City Center. Race starts at 6:30pm. For details and Registration, visit or Cost is Pre-Registration $30 and Race Day Registration $35. For information, visit

Roots and Shoots Club – Pembroke Pines children are finding many ways to give back through the Roots & Shoots Service Club, which is the global youth program of the Jane Goodall’s Institute. The program works with young people to make positive change happen for people, animals and the environment. For information, visit

Community Garden – If you want organic foods that are free from chemical pesticides or simply like to grow your own foods, participate in the new City of Pembroke Pines Community Garden, located in the Howard C. Foreman Health Park, 8500 E Cypress Drive. For information, visit or contact Matthew Kaye at 954-392-2128 or


Pooches in Pines to Hold 2nd Annual Fur Ball Gala BY DEBBY TEICH


f you have lost your dog and you live in the city of Pembroke Pines, Pooches in Pines may have found it. The 501c3 volunteer organization works with the Pembroke Pines Police Department’s Animal Assistance Program to reunite dogs, found by the Pembroke Pines Police, with their owners and/or re-home dogs that have been abandoned, abused or neglected as a result of police calls for service in the City of Pembroke Pines. On January 27, Pooches in Pines will hold its 2nd Annual Pooches in Pines Fur Ball Gala, from 6pm to 11pm, at the Charles F. Dodge City Center, 601 City Center Way in Pembroke Pines. The event is hosted by City of Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank C. Ortis. Tickets cost $125 per person for the black tie and whimsical hat optional event. Guests

will enjoy a one-hour open bar cocktail reception and animals. When volunteers cannot locate an owner, hors d’ oeuvres followed by a sit-down dinner. The Pooches in Pines works with rescue groups and evening offers a variety of entertainment options volunteers to achieve its secondary goal of re-homing including: visits to a cigar roller, a the dogs in its care. All of the dogs are seen by a Hookah lounge, a live and veterinarian to be vaccinated, spayed, neutered, and silent auction, dancing, microchipped. They also undergo any minor surgery photo opportunities, and a deemed necessary. They are then placed in loving wine pull. Guests can also temporary foster homes until a new permanent home purchase custom, handis found through the adoption process. painted glasses. Pooches in Pines is 100% operated by volunteers, “The primary goal who have regular full-time jobs outside of the proof the Fur Ball Gala is gram. Most of them are sworn and non-sworn PPPD to raise funds to support personnel who walk, feed, bathe and play with the the goals and compassionate dogs during their breaks or before and after work. humane works of Pooches Although kennel facilities to shelter the dogs are in Pines, as they care for provided by the PPPD, all expenses necessary to care creatures who need to for the animals, including the cost of the veterinarian, find their way home, or are solely dependent on private donations. Pooches in to a forever home,” Pines is always in need of foster homes for dogs or cats, said Mayor Ortis. people willing to put up signs when dogs are found Since Pooches and dog-related donations. in Pines was To purchase tickets, become a sponsor, place an ad in the formed in 2011, it event playbill, or make a general donation to the Pooches in Pines has reunited or re- Fur Ball Gala, call Angela Goodwin at 954-445-2991 or Stacy homed over 1,000 Jurgens at 954-658-4084. Make checks payable to Pooches lost dogs, as well in Pines and mail to Pooches in Pines at 9500 Pines Boulevard, Pembroke Pines, FL, 33024. as various other


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Snow in Pembroke Pines BY DEBBY TEICH


ast month, Pembroke Pines children took out their winter jackets, hats and gloves to play in 75 tons of snow at the annual Snowfest, presented by the City of Pembroke Pines at the Charles F. Dodge City Center. For many, it was the first time they had seen snow. “This year’s SnowFest and Lighting Ceremony was a magical beginning to the holiday season for so many people,” said Francie Novo, Special Events Coordinator for the City of Pembroke Pines. “Our City Center Plaza has beautiful decorations. It is a magical place to visit and take photos during the holiday season.” There was plenty to keep children busy, including: Reindeer Food, Mrs. Claus Kitchen Trail Mix, a melted snowmen station, Santa’s Toy Lab, Santa’s Toy Shop, Polar Express Train, Foto-laughs, stilt walkers, pictures with Santa, a Holiday Polar Bear Art Project, holiday photo areas, North and South Pole Snow Mountains and the SING Holiday Mashup Show presented by Superstar Productions. In addition to holiday music and entertainment, guests enjoyed a variety of holiday programs. Some of the school groups included: City of Pembroke Pines Charter School’s Central Campus, East Campus, FSU Campus, and PPCHS Ladies of Essence Step Team; Pines Lakes Elementary; Somerset Academy; McArthur High Express the Arts Dancers; and Silver Palm Elementary. Other performers included: Thrive Performing Arts, West Side Dance Studio, South Florida Cloggers, Broadway Kids Holiday Show, Emily Kaufman, Preston Howell and more. Pembroke Pines residents had many other opportunities to celebrate the holidays, such as Children’s Holiday in the Pines, Annual Holiday Open House, Sundaes with Santa, Holiday Tea Party, Santa’s Holiday Hotline, and more. For information, visit


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Safely Dispose of Old Prescriptions and Documents BY DEBBY TEICH


n January 20, safely throw out your old prescriptions drugs and documents during Broward Sheriff’s Office Operation Medicine Cabinet and Shred-A-Thon. The free community service will be held at Pembroke Pines City Center, 601 SW City Center Way, from 10am to 1pm.

Shred-A-Thon Broward County residents can shred away identity theft by safely disposing of their personal documents, check stubs, credit card offers, receipts and any other material that might contain sensitive data. This service is free of charge. There is a maximum of five boxes per car. Boxes can be no larger than 15”L X 12”W X 10”H. Documents destroyed in BSO’s Shred-A-Thon events are shredded by SafeGuard Document Destruction.

Operation Medicine Cabinet Empty your medicine cabinet of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medication and help prevent prescription drug abuse. Needles or sharps will NOT be collected. Participants can drop off prescription drugs with no questions asked and receive a $5 gift card, while supplies last and limited to one per family. The gift card is provided by the Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County. Although illegal drug use among teens is falling, teen prescription drug abuse is on the rise. One in five teens has abused a prescription pain medication, and in Florida prescription drugs have killed 300% more people than illegal drugs. Prescription drugs are easier for kids to get than illicit drugs. They can get them from their parents’ medicine cabinets, friends’ homes, internet pharmacies or classmates. According to BSO, some signs that your child might be abusing include: ▸▸ personality changes ▸▸ social withdrawal ▸▸ a change in appearance ▸▸ erratic behavior BSO offers the following suggestions for parents: ▸▸ Monitor your medicine cabinets. Count how many pills you have and make note of the date when you should expect to refill your prescriptions. Be aware that kids may obtain these drugs from medicine cabinets while visiting friends or family. Restrict the availability of these substances within your home. ▸▸ Talk with your child about drug use. Help him or her understand that misused prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs. When used in combination with other substances, such as alcohol, prescription drug use can be fatal. ▸▸ Attend a “drug take back” program to rid your home of useless or expired medications. Visit for dates and times. For more information, visit or call 954-831-8902. 16 JANUARY 2018 | OURCITYPEMBROKEPINES.COM


Roots and Shoots Offers Youth a Way to Give Back BY DEBBY TEICH


embroke Pines children are finding many ways to give back through the Roots & Shoots Service Club, which is the global youth program of the Jane Goodall’s Institute. The program works with young people to make positive change happen for people, animals and the environment. per year. Non-members are also welcome to help awareness about the need for the shelter and colThe Pembroke Pines chapter got its start nearly on projects. lecting much needed cleaning supplies. two years ago, when Isabella Vallejo learned about the In 2017, the club completed a variety of Isabella Vallejo, 10, attends St. Mark Catholic Roots and Shoots organization after reading “Who is projects, including: School. “I joined to help animals and the environJane Goodall?” The club started with four members ▸▸ Made 145 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ment,” said Isabella. (Isabella Vallejo, Giovanna Collaferri, Alexandra for the homeless and delivered them to Alexandra Kouropteva, 10, attends Pembroke Kouropteva, and Erica Gomez). This year, seven LifeNet4Families. Pines Charter Elementary School. “I joined because I more girls, who have been helping with projects, will ▸▸ Collected clothes for Mocoa-Colombia followwant to help and protect our planet,” said Alexandra. be initiated. ing mudslides that left the residents in need of “I want to make it clean and unpolluted. I also want to “Roots & Shoots empowers young people to become supplies. be able to help our amazing animals.” the type of leaders who will make right choices to ▸▸ Visited the Marine Environmental Education Giovanna Collaferri, 9, attends Pembroke Pines build a better world,” said Claudia Tamayo, club Center and picked up pollution from Charter Elementary. “I joined because it was somecoordinator. “Through the program, youth lead local Hollywood Beach. thing fun to do with my friends, and to also help other change through service, while developing skills and ▸▸ A fter Halloween, collected 15 pounds of candy for people and animals,” said Giovanna. traits of compassionate leaders.”  the troops and first respondents overseas. Erica Gomez, 10, attends St Mark Catholic School. Girls, between the ages of 10 and 15, are eligible ▸▸ Collected $300 for the Humane Society of “I joined because I wanted to be a part of a group that to join if they reside in Pembroke Pines, are good Broward with a Change for Change Project. would help my community,” said Erica. “We work, but students, love animals, read the book “Who is Jane ▸▸ The next planned project is an Animal Care having fun together at the same time.” Goodall”, attend four meetings per year, participate in Shower at the Humane Society of Broward For information, visit three projects per year, and propose/lead one project County on February 2. The group will be creating



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La Strega Cucina Italiana Offers Classic Southern Italian Dishes BY DEBBY TEICH atrons from all over South Florida have been traveling to La Strega Cucina Italiana to experience some of the greatest culinary treasures of Italy. Located at 17864 NW 2nd Street, the Pembroke Pines restaurant serves Classic Southern Italian dishes with a contemporary flair. The warm and friendly atmosphere has made it an area favorite for casual dining or celebrating a special occasion. It is open daily for lunch and dinner.


The four owners - Dario Alano, Miguel Altuve, Edmond Karam and Chef Aldo Vespero – have over 50 years of combined experience in the restaurant business. They follow a continued tradition of great food and welcoming hospitality, treating every patron as though they were a guest in their own home. From the moment you enter La Strega Cucina Italiana, it becomes clear why Chef Aldo, a Neapolitan native, was awarded a 4-Star distinction. It is hard to resist the aroma of fresh-baked pizza, the smell of simmering sauce or the scent of fresh garlic. Although Aldo won’t reveal any of his culinary secrets, he does say that many of his recipes, including his tomato sauce, have been passed down from generation to generation. He uses

South Southern ern Italian Italian Cooking Cooking Meets Meets South South Florida Florida only the best and freshest ingredients in every dish. Whether you’re craving Aldo’s famous sauce or homemade pasta, La Strega Cucina Italiana has something for everyone. The menu features a mix of wood-fired pizza, Panini sandwiches, veal, seafood, authentic pasta dishes, fresh salads and homemade desserts. Some of the most popular dishes include Veal Gorgonzola, Chicken Parmigiana and the La Strega Salad. The restaurant has an open kitchen, so guests can even watch as their food is prepared. The staff is friendly, professional and attentive. The restaurant’s bar has become a popular place to meet. It has a full bar with an extensive selection of domestic and imported wine and offers Happy Hour, Monday to Friday, from 4pm to 6pm. Call La Strega Cucina Italiana today and make a reservation. Your table is ready! n La Strega Cucina Italiana is located at 17864 NW 2nd Street in Pembroke Pines. For information, call 954-441-3474 or visit

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Hundreds Attend the Pembroke Pines Veterans Day Ceremony BY DEBBY TEICH


n November 11, a crowd of over 300 people gathered to honor veterans during a moving ceremony held at the new Pembroke Pines Memorial Park, located at 601 City Center Way. The audience included American soldiers who had fought in WWII, Korea, The Cold War, Vietnam, Operation Urgent Fury (Granada), Operation Just Cause (Panama), Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror.

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“It was nice to be surrounded by so many patriotic people,” said Howard Fabian, who attended the ceremony. His father received a Purple Heart after the serving in the Vietnam war. “My father died defending our incredible country. I am proud to live in the City of Pembroke Pines, which recognizes and honors our veterans. I look forward to attending again this year.” The PPCMS – West band performed patriotic music, Pembroke Pines resident Katie Harmon sang the National Anthem, the Pembroke Pines Police and Fire Department Honor Guard presented the colors. Mayor Ortis thanked the brave men and women who have served in times of war and peace as a member of the United States Military. Pastor Peter Tokar gave an invocation and officials were introduced. Guest speaker Sergeant Major Kenneth R. Juede, Jr., who retired after serving 29 years in the United States Army, talked to guests about his military service, the

transition home, and his difficulty finding employment. During his time in the United States Army, the Sergeant Major reached the highest levels of military service, while serving his country during a difficult time of war and conflict. As a seasoned Military Policeman, he served multiple combat tours with combat assignments and deployment to Afghanistan. During his final active duty assignment as an Associate Professor at Fort Bliss, Texas, he was responsible for educating future senior enlisted leaders at the U.S Army’s Sergeants Major Academy. Sergeant Major Juede’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and the Combat Action Badge.  To purchase a commemorative brick honoring United States Military Veterans and loved ones, installed at the base of the Pembroke Pines Veterans Memorial, call 954-392-2116. 


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PPPD Delivers Gifts to Slain Police Officer’s Family BY DEBBY TEICH

in and out of uniform), members of the civilian staff, and their children delivered gifts to the family of Miami-Dade Castillo was well known in his Hawks Bluff comPolice Department Detective Roger Castillo, hoping to munity for lending a helping hand. After his death, brighten their holiday season. the community created the Detective Roger Castillo’s Detective Castillo Community Memorial Garden in his memory. His proudly served the MDPD name was also added to the Lancelot Court street for 21 years. On Jan 20, signs in his neighborhood near his family’s home. 2011, Detective Castillo and two other members of a regional task force went to a home in Miami Dade to serve an arrest warrant on a murder suspect. When they made contact with an occupant of the home, someone inside opened fire, killing Detective Castillo and fellow Detective Amanda Haworth. Castillo left behind his wife Debbie and three sons: Anthony, Detective Castillo’s wife, Debbie, and two of his three sons (Bryan, Michael, and Michael, and Bryan. Anthony), alongside Sergeant Adam Feiner. Photos: City of Pembroke Pines


ach year, the men and women of the Pembroke Pines Police Department and 9463 Foundation, the Blue Knights (Florida Chapter IV), purchase and deliver Christmas gifts to the children of slain police officers. This year, over 20 PPPD officers (both

Learn About Healthy Eating at Pembroke Pines YMCA Family Center BY DEBBY TEICH


ne of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is the vow to follow a healthier diet. This month, Pembroke Pines residents can get some helpful tips during a free interactive cooking demonstration designed to teach healthy eating habits. It will be held on January 18, from 12:30 to 2pm, at the Pembroke Pines YMCA Family Center. Chef Maria T. Cummins from The Real Food Academy will lead the class. She will be preparing a three-course meal showing participants how to substitute ingredients to make recipes healthy, yet still delicious. Chef Cummins with students in a prior class. The meal includes a hummus appetizer, chicken and vegetable paella preservatives, sugars and sodium is ideal for people who may suffer from dietary with quinoa entrée, and flourless brownies for dessert. Participants will have the imbalances. If you make your food with natural ingredients, you know you are chance to taste Chef Cummins creations and take home healthy recipe cards that nourishing your body with the best ingredients possible and you can control the will help them cook nourishing and nutritious dishes at home. levels of sodium or sugar to maintain them within a healthy daily range.” “Most people associate eating healthy with bland food,” said Cummins. “I The events are hosted by AvMed and are part of its monthly AvMed Connect always recommend using fresh herbs and to not be afraid of spices! These will give series, which gives the community a chance to explore new topics and share your food the kick they need to taste delicious and make enjoyable meals. Another interests with others. The series includes a variety of activities, such as ceramics, key is to not forget about meals you love. You can have any meal or dish you like healing music sessions, workout classes, mental health sessions and more. This is or are familiar with, but making smart ingredient substitutions. We say ‘don’t the first time AvMed is offering the Healthy Eating class. change the dish, change the ingredients!”’ “At AvMed, we are encouraging people to live what we are calling a WELLfluent Chef Cummins will also explore the benefits of cooking with fresh and natural life, which means being rich in health and happiness,” said Ana Eberhard, Vice ingredients, and discuss why they are better for the body than processed, bagged or President of Member Experience at AvMed. “Part of living a WELLfluent life boxed foods. A representative from the American Diabetes Association will particiincludes eating right. It is never too early or too late to start, and the benefits of pate in the discussion and, together with Cummins, share keys to healthy eating. learning to cook healthy meals are endless.” “Fresh ingredients, or ‘real food’ provides the body with all the nutrients Pembroke Pines YMCA Family Center is located at 501 SW 172nd Avenue in Pembroke Pines. To necessary for all bodily functions; minerals, vitamins, etc.,” said Chef Cummins. “Using natural ingredients help us maintain good heath, and the lack of additives, register for the event, call 954-727-9622. 24 JANUARY 2018 | OURCITYPEMBROKEPINES.COM



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Legends Never Die

Garcia defeated all odds and showed true leadership by managing the foundation in and outside of school BY SOFIA AND FLORENCIA AZCURRA, STUDENT WRITERS and maintaining the true message of rom brightening smiles to illuminating lives, the Kevin Garcia Foundation the foundation and spreading Kevin’s continues sparking hope within children and their families. The foundation spirit to younger kids. has kept alive the spirit and love of Kevin Garcia, a young teen who tragically “It’s so cool how he does this,” stated passed away, by helping the community one step at a time. junior Brette Curah, former student of When the growing 17-year-old Kevin Garcia, brother of Mr. Garcia at Pembroke Mr. Garcia in middle school. “Having Pines Charter School, shockingly passed away in 2008, the family, wanting to him as this kind of teacher and revive Kevin’s love, started the Kevin Garcia Foundation, also referred to as KG4. mentor throughout the years really Since the organization started, they have never failed to surprise people with inspired me to take part of organizakindness and hope. The foundation is best known for helping teenagers overcome tions like these.” economic barriers to help them reach their goals, educationally and personally. The organization has three ways “We wanted to treasure his spirit,” commented Mr. Garcia, brother of Kevin of giving back, including the annual Garcia. “He was an extremely kind-hearted soul. He would want his known for toy drive that takes place during something like this.” Thanksgiving and Christmas. They Around Christmas, KGF holds a Christmas toy drive well known to Charter. also sponsor children for lifesaving They collect toys starting in November and accept any new and unwrapped and life-changing medical procetoys for the children of Joe DiMaggio and the Ronald McDonald House. The dures through the Jackson Memorial KG4 collected items for the Harvest Drive. Photo: Nicholas Amad, student photographer. drive, which is also partnered with Charter’s National Honor Society, started on Foundation. Ultimately, common November 8th with high hopes. The students of both the clubs distributed the at PPCHS since some students have boxes for the Harvest Drive during homeroom. earned them, there are the Athletic Scholarship Awards for high school students “While planning this with KG4 at the club meetings, it was really emotional, who actively participate in the foundation and complete the requirements. but really inspiring too,” says NHS member junior Muriel Morales. “Everyone The foundation is one that never fails to impress. Through Mr. Garcia’s endless could really feel all the sentiment behind the drive and the fact that KG4 let us work, it continues to support those who deserve it and continue to stand up for partner with them for this is really cool.” Kevin. The drive started with a sad story that turned into one that would essenThe drive has been going on since before Mr. Garcia even came to work at the tially never die. high school. Both clubs doing this toy drive certainly shows the amount of gratiSofia and Florencia Azcurra are staff writers for Pembroke Pines Charter High School’s “The Chat.” tude and love the school has. While many think starting a foundation is hard, Mr.


Nicholas Amad is a staff photographer.

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PPCMS – West “Mecha-Knights” Robotics Team Earns Excellence Award BY DEBBY TEICH


embers of the Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School - West Robotics Club team tested their intellectual and mechanical skills one robot at a time at the 2nd Annual Junior Orange Bowl Vex IQ Qualifier. The PPCS West Campus entered four teams in the day-long competition. They competed against students from Broward and Dade County in a variety of team vs. team matches. The Mecha-Knights Team earned the coveted Middle School Division Excellence Award, which recognizes the one team that outperformed all others in daylong challenges and competitions. “I am proud of our Robotics teams and their level of commitment and drive,” said Michael Castellano, Principal of the PPCS - West Campus. “They truly represent our school’s purpose to empower students for the possibilities of tomorrow.” In the morning, teams competed in the Skills Challenge and the PPCMS - West Campus MechaKnights Team dominated. The team drove and programmed for two and a half hours, which resulted in the Skills Champion Award with a score of 154 points. In the afternoon, the four teams competed in Teamwork Challenge and Mechanical Madness ended

up in 1st place with 630 points. Overall, the Mecha-Knights finished in 3rd place, the W.A.B.-Bot in 10th place, and the Diamond Jags in 12th place. “Our teams fought hard the entire afternoon and following the qualification rounds each of our teams advance to the finals,” said Fermin Vasquez, M.Ed., PPCMS Robotics Club Co-Sponsor. Team members included: ▸▸ Mecha-Knights - Alex Garcia-Marin, Brady Garrison, Ryan McGovern, Christina Zhang Members of the 2017-2018 PPCMS-West Robotics Club ▸▸ Diamond Jags - Heather Clemmensen, Vrinda Gupta, Molly West Campus Steel Jags, Tech Titans, and MechaMasson, Ann Titus, Knights competed against 61 of the best Florida teams ▸▸ W.A.B.-Bot - Nicholas Jara, Alexander Jennings, in the daylong event. The Steel Jags and the MechaJeremy Jiang, Joshua Rhoden Knights finished 5th and 8th, respectively. ▸▸ Mechanical Madness - Victor Delgado, Brian The West Campus Steel Jags and the MechaFadel, Christopher Gahfana, Matthew O’Brien Knights Teams were invited to compete among 1,400 Winning is nothing new for the team. During teams, representing 30 nations in the VEX Worlds the 2016-2017 school year, the PPCMS-West Campus 2017 Tournament held in April 2017 in Louisville, Robotics teams competed and won at the local level, Kentucky. Of the twenty-eight teams representing eventually earning three coveted team slots at the Florida, PPCMS-West Campus Steel Jags placed 6th 2017 Florida State Vex IQ Championship. The PPCMS- and the Mecha-Knights placed 19th. 

WBHS Performance Ensemble Wins 4A State Championship BY DEBBY TEICH


est Broward High School Performance Ensemble recently entered the Florida Marching Band Association (FMBC) competition and they were named 4A State Champions. Since FMBC is not part of a national competition, this was the culminating activity of the marching season. The West Broward High School Performance Ensemble is led by Director Dean Calmer. There are approximately 146 students in the group, which consists of winds, percussion and Color Guard. The entire Ensemble participated in the competition, performing an original piece called “White Light.” The band members played, marched and danced. The guard members danced, spun flags and did rifles and sabers. The school has competed in the FMBC state championship for the past nine years. This is the first time that they have earned first place in FMBC state championship. In 2012, they achieved second place in class 5A at FMBC State Championships. In 2011, the achieved 9th place at the Bands of America Super Regional Championship in Atlanta. Fabiana Corsi, band captain, has played the trumpet in the Ensemble for four years. “It’s exciting to be part of something larger than myself and to put such a great performance together with my friends,” said Fabiana. “It was amazing to win and feel the payoff of all that hard work at the very end. It was made even better by the fact that we had such amazing and talented competitors. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our parent volunteers and instructors.” Nya Chang Alloy, guard captain, has been in the Ensemble for four years. “I like how we are all one big family,” said Nya. “It was a great feeling to win.  I was happy to see all the hard work we put in finally pay off.” 30 JANUARY 2018 | OURCITYPEMBROKEPINES.COM

Students in the Performance Ensemble participate throughout the year. Rehearsals for marching season begin at the end of the prior May and students participate in rehearsals through band camps over the summer. They practice at least two evenings a week throughout marching season and several Saturday practices.  Before marching season even finishes, tryouts for Winter Guard and Indoor Percussion are beginning and concert, wind ensemble, jazz band and orchestra students are honing their craft for winter concert season. In the spring, the high school students participate in clinics where they mentor middle school band and guard students. Performances during the school year include a winter concert and an ensemble stage performance entitled Mosaic in May.  This year, Winter Guard and Indoor Percussion hope to continue their winning streaks in World Guard International, South Florida Winter Guard Association and Florida Federation of Colorguard Circuit competitions.

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Panther Run Elementary Principal Wins Education Award BY DEBBY TEICH


laine Saef, principal of Panther Run Elementary School, has become well known for creating and implementing programs and activities that motivate and inspire teachers to educate students to achieve their highest potential. She was recently honored for her efforts by the Broward Education Foundation, which recognizes distinguished alumni of Broward County Public Schools. She was inducted into the Foundation’s “2017 Hall of Fame” after receiving the Education Achievement Award for her dedication to a career in public education. Her name will be etched on one of the granite stars lining the BrightStar Credit Union “Walk of Fame” outside of the Broward County Public Schools District Office. “We are exceedingly proud of the remarkable accomplishments and unwavering dedication of our illustrious honorees,” said Christina Fischer, chair of the Broward Education Foundation Board. “They are true role models for today’s students. We appreciate the impact they have on our students, schools and community.” “These Hall of Fame honorees have set the standard for supporting our community with their time and talents,” said Nicole Krauss, event emcee. “Their contributions will impact generations to come.” A 23-year Broward County Public Schools veteran, Saef began her career as a fourth-grade teacher at Pembroke Lakes Elementary School where she also was a Science Resource teacher for kindergarten through fifth grades. She then transitioned into a district level position as an Area Technology Specialist before becoming the first Assistant Principal of Panther Run Elementary in 1998. Her philoso-

phy is student and teacher centered. She firmly believes that all students can and will learn if we teach them. She encourages teachers to find the way a child learns – visually, auditorily, tactily, technologically, etc. - and meet their individual needs. When Saef became principal in 2007, her number one priority was to create and foster a positive school culture of caring, kindness and nurturing in which all students, parents, and staff could flourish, learn and grow. She created PIF-WIAMAD, which stands for “Pay It Forward!” and “Who I Am Makes A Difference!” She challenges the students and loves to be challenged in return. For example, after students have met reading and charitable fundraising goals, she has kissed a horse and been slimed, silly stringed and duct taped to a wall. Under Saef’s leadership, Panther Run Elementary earned an “A” school grade from 2000-2001, 2003-2013 and 2015-2017 and was named the “Kindest Public School in the Elaine Saef, principal City of Pembroke Pines” in 2017. She was named Broward Schools Caliber Principal of the Year and received Broward Alliance of Black School Educators Educational Leadership Award in 2017. Saef has many affiliations and is involved in a variety of volunteer activities. Some of them include: member of the Florida Association of School Administrators, Student Youth Mentor for Broward County Schools, M.D.A. Panther Run Elementary team, Autism Speaks Walk Panther Run Elementary team and the Professional Learning Communities District Committee. She currently serves the Broward Principals & Assistant Principals Association’s Executive Board as President.

Chesterbrook Academy Preschool Students Make Thanksgiving Donation BY DEBBY TEICH


or the second year, students at Chesterbrook Academy Preschool in Pembroke Pines presented a donation to representatives from City of Pembroke Pines Carl Shechter Southwest Focal Point Community Center for the organization’s Thanksgiving Food Drive, which provides meals for more than 100 families each year. They are learning the importance of helping those in need. “Children learn what a difference they can make in the lives of other children and their families,” said Principal Vivian Robles. “They learn that what they do can change someone’s life for the better. They learn that they can really make that person feel loved and valued by giving. That small gesture by our young children can really show them that they do matter and can make a difference in this world.” The school set up multiple decorated drop boxes, where the parents and students were able to leave food items and hygiene items over the course of multiple weeks. Once the boxes were filled, staff and parent volunteers sorted the food and hygiene items and transferred them into larger boxes to be collected. Some of the items included: canned goods, canned fruits, fruit cups, juice, holiday foods, boxed foods, granola bars, shelf-stable milk, pasta, cereal, rice, oatmeal, deodorant, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, wipes, mouthwash and more. When the City of Pembroke Pines employees arrived at the school to pick up the donations, the students had 32 JANUARY 2018 | OURCITYPEMBROKEPINES.COM

an opportunity to help load the 375 food and hygiene items they collected. They helped carry the small items to the delivery truck, creating a rewarding experience for all involved. “Having young children give to families in their communities can teach a child about diversity,” said Assistant Principal Torri Anderson. “They can learn that there are many children and their families in their own neighborhoods that may be struggling with issues that are out of their control. So, young children can learn to have empathy and share their opportunities with other families. We feel that we have raised some awareness.” Students at the school are learning to give throughout the year. Some of their other efforts include: donating gifts to Samaritan’s Purse; collecting school supplies for children in need at Sheridan House; selling lemonade to raise money for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and more. degree programs are designed to fit your lifestyle– wherever you are in life. Whether you’re completing an unfinished degree, seeking an advanced degree to further your professional development, or fulfilling a lifetime goal, we have the academic program to match your needs. With online and low-residency degree options, as well as a liberal transfer policy, Union Institute & University makes earning your degree accessible and affordable. Keep your job, your income, and your commitments while you study.

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Keeping Children Safe Online BY TERRY JAILLET


he average age of an American child at the time she receives her first smartphone is 10 years old. More than half of children between the ages of 8 and 12 have a smartphone they use every day. Teens watch more than twice as much YouTube video as television. Three out of four American teenagers subscribe to SnapChat and Instagram. These facts, from a pair of studies published by Trendera and Influence Central, are not surprises to anyone with children. Today’s young people are the first generation of humans to grow up since the advent of the iPhone. Kids are typically more technologically savvy and more comfortable integrating technology into every aspect of their lives than older generations. Parents, however, are nervous. How can they control, or even be aware of who their children are communicating with? What types of content are kids sending each other? How does someone protect a curious teen from sending an image to someone that could have a lasting effect on his life? The answers to these questions and others like them are all too often uncomfortably nebulous. Fortunately, there are some tools available to all of us that can make life easier. There are a number of new apps specifically targeted at families with young children.

Facebook recently launched a new product called Messenger Kids. This app, which is controlled from a parent’s facebook account, gives kids the ability to text and video chat with friends and family while allowing parents to monitor everything the child is doing. It also, of course, introduces kids at a young age to the Facebook ecosystem.

Parental Controls

A first line of defense for some parents is setting up parental controls on a child’s phone. iPhone users can use the phone’s Restrictions settings to limit a child’s phone use. Parents can limit a child’s ability to use certain apps, block particular types of content or restrict the time of day the phone can be used. Similar parent controls are available on Android phones.

Inspect don’t Expect

Many parents take a different approach. Realizing their children are more sophisticated tech users than they are, these parents simply insist on reviewing their children’s texts, youtube history, browser history and the like on a regular basis. This technique can be very helpful but it is not foolproof. Apps like SnapChat do not preserve chat histories.

Parental Control Apps

There are many commercial parental control apps on the marketplace that allow parents to set times


of day for phone use, monitor child usage, block content types and enable/ disable games or apps. These products have a range of prices from free up to $60 a year for a family plan. Examples of these include NetNanny, KidLogger, Pumpic and PhoneSheriff. Each has its own uniquie set of features, but the functionality of all of them is similar.

Child Engagement It will come as little surprise to anyone that there are a number of thriving chat rooms and forums filled with teens detailing ways to get

around parental control platforms. Motivated teenagers can be quite clever. An interesting example of this is my own experience with a great app called Life360. Life360 allows parents to get real-time information about their kids’ location, cell phone use and travel habits (e.g. were they speeding). My kids don’t like this app because it drains battery life. One afternoon, I was wondering where my teen son Justin was. I clicked on the Life360 app, pulled up the map, and there he was, in Pyongyang, North Korea! In reality, Justin was two blocks from home playing basketball, but he had very quickly figured out how to “spoof” his phone’s GPS; something I am quite sure I will never know how to do. Whether parents like it or not, our society is never going back to a time where young people use personal electronic devices less. The entire global culture has quickly evolved with the mobile phone at its center. Experts agree that the best way to keep kids safe online is the combination of parental controls, mindful oversight and, most importantly, engagement with children. No one knows what teens will be doing ten years from now, but we can be sure it will include even greater use of technology than today.


Day in the Life of a Nurse™ Encourages Students to Become Future Nurses at Broward Health Medical Center


he Nursing Consortium of South Florida, a non-profit coalition of hospitals, nursing schools, and health care staffing organizations, once again organized the Day in the Life of a Nurse™ program in partnership with South Florida public school districts and many private high schools. Students from Boyd

H. Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes had At BHMC, students participating in the one-day the opportunity to experience what a typical day is program experienced various activities, includlike working as a nurse at Broward Health Medical ing nurse-led tours of hospital departments. The Center (BHMC). experience allowed students to spend quality time “Broward Health Medical Center is dedicated to with a nurse and ask them individual questions supporting the next generation of nurses and we about their profession and the challenges they face recently were given the exciting opportunity to while hearing stories about their career. Students showcase our world-class met and heard from nurse educators, informamedical facility to South tion systems nurses, nurse researchers and nurse Florida students,” said administrators. In addition to shadowing staff Chief Nursing Officer nurses and listening to various presentations, stuRobyn Farrington, dents learned how to take a person’s blood pressure BSN, RN, MBA/HCM. and pulse, how to listen to a heartbeat through a “Nursing continues to stethoscope and how to scrub in and dress in surgibe one of the fastest cal attire while touring surgical suites. growing and in-demand Broward Health, providing service for more than 75 years, is a healthcare careers and nationally recognized system in South Florida that offers world-class we want to encourage healthcare to all. The Broward Health system includes the statutory students to consider the teaching hospital Broward Health Medical Center, Broward Health nursing profession as North, Broward Health Imperial Point, Broward Health Coral Springs, they plan their futures.” Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston, Broward Health Community Health Services, Broward Health This year, 53 South Physician Group, Broward Health Urgent Care, Broward Health Florida facilities and 61 International, and Broward Health Foundation. For more informaschools participated in tion, visit the program.



Pembroke Pines Police Department Recognizes Outstanding Students BY DEBBY TEICH


he City of Pembroke Pines Police Department recently honored 18 Pembroke Pines elementary school students at Pembroke Pines Police Department Headquarters during its “Student of the Month” ceremony. The students were nominated by their respective teachers based on criteria set forth by the Pembroke Pines Police Department that included exemplary behavior, good citizenship, and being a good role model. After Pembroke Pines Sergeant James Henry welcomed students and all of the special guests were introduced, Pembroke Pines Police Chief Dan Giustino commended the students for the actions that led to their nominations. Each of the honorees was presented a certificate, posed for a photo and received a goodie bag. They also walked the “Honor Walk,” shaking hands with Crime Dog McGruff, Assistant Chief Neil Vaughan, Officer Lorenzo Curbelo, Commissioner Jay Schwartz, Commissioner Iris Siple, Vice Mayor Angelo Castillo and Captain Chris Stasio. The honorees for November were as follows: ▸▸ Cristian Torres-Diaz of American Master Academy ▸▸ Dehlia Carrie of Atlantic Montessori Charter

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Riley Spencer of Chapel Trail Elementary Eliana Perez of Franklin Academy Michelle Tur Vogeler of Lakeside Elementary Davina Lin of Montessori Academy of Broward Kaitland McKenzie of Palm Cove Elementary Gael Salcedo of Panther Run Elementary Luis Flores of Pasadena Lakes Elementary Rachel Godoy of Pembroke Lakes Elementary Angelo Mottie of Pembroke Pines Charter Central Cole Eichinger of Pembroke Pines Charter East Kailyn SInclair of Pembroke Pines Charter FSU Leo Jung of Pembroke Pines Charter West

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John Lewandowski of Pembroke Pines Elementary Emily Spaulding of Pines Lakes Elementary Nicholas Rodriguez of Silver Palms Elementary Miguel Castillo of Somerset Academy Sponsors for the goodie bag presentation were: The Habit Burger Grill, Rosie’s Gourmet Italian Ices, Chick-Fil-A, Menchie’s Pembroke Pines, Costco Wholesale, McDonalds, Char-Hut, Spring Cleaners, Smoothy King and Memorial Healthcare System. Interested in making a donation for the Student of the Month goodie bag? Contact Officer Manuel “Manny” Salinas of the Pembroke Pines Community Affairs Unit at 954-436-3274 or

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Enjoying the Holidays with an Aging Parent BY MARY UNDERWOOD, VP MEMORY CARE SERVICES


he holidays can be stressful even when there isn’t the added stress of an aging parent. In addition, we often have this “idealistic” view of what Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays should look like based on commercials, movies, television specials, and songs. It is important to understand and accept that traditions, celebrations, and gatherings might have to change because of your loved one’s situation. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t still be enjoyable.  First of all, have an open discussion with your family to explain the situation and need for change. If you are the one who hosts, then perhaps another family member can do so. That way everyone can still get together, but your focus can be on your loved one and not on everything that goes along with the day. If you are the host, then you might need to consider downsizing the numbers. Or, perhaps host a buffet and people can come by at different times throughout the day. It is key to know how much commotion your loved one is able to handle. It also might mean changing the time. A person with dementia may be more tired and frustrated later in the day. So, the family dinner may need to change from 5pm to noon. Wherever the celebration will occur, make sure there is a quiet room/area for the person in the event he/she does get overwhelmed. People can then visit in small groups versus the person being overwhelmed with a big crowd.  Another important tip to surviving the holidays is to be flexible. You might have the whole day planned as to what time you will celebrate, who will provide transportation, and what time you will leave. However, an hour into the day, your loved one might indicate that he/she wants to go home. It is important to be flexible and prepared to shift gears.  Some families opt to have their traditional celebration, but not include the person with dementia on that particular day. Instead, they will celebrate in a smaller way on a different day (i.e.: the day after Thanksgiving; a couple days after Christmas). Although to many this doesn’t “feel right,” it is important to understand that the person may not be aware of the specific date. In addition, it may be better for them, and the family, to have a low key celebration on a different day than a high stressed, overwhelming one on the actual day.  For a person who is unable to participate on the actual day, there are still ways to include him/her. Include a recipe from the person, have everyone sign a card to bring to the person, or include a time for others to share memories of the person and the holidays. Finally, a question that I think is important to ask in regards to the holiday celebrations is, “Is this my need or is this my loved one’s need?” Often time that simple question will help point families in the right direction as to how to include the person in the celebrations. Artis Senior Living of Davie is a new Memory Care Assisted Living located at 2794 South Flamingo Road in Davie. The community includes a central core, known as the “Town Center” flanked by four distinct “neighborhoods” that serve as intimate living spaces. It was designed to provide residents with the comforts of home, as well as the opportunity to engage as a member of our community. For information, call 954-990-8941, send an email to or visit 40 JANUARY 2018 | OURCITYPEMBROKEPINES.COM

Pembroke Pines Update BY MAYOR FRANK C. ORTIS


nother new year and new resolutions to make or break! One resolution that you should keep is to participate in a 5K run for a good cause. I am excited to announce an exciting new event that residents of all ages are encouraged to sign up for now. The Pines Light Up the Night 5K Run 2018 is being held on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at the Charles F. Dodge City Center, located at 601 City Center Way. The event is sponsored by Davis Electric and the proceeds from the 5K run will benefit the City of Pembroke Pines Charter Schools. Route details, sponsorship information and further specifics will be provided closer to the event. Pre-registration is now available online at http://www. Runners will receive a RUN/LED Light changing bracelet, and free T-shirt or razor tank. There will be festivities after the run, including a DJ, Food Trucks, free dessert samples, and much more. For more information, please call 954-435-6759 or email

I am also so proud to announce that our entire Pembroke Pines Charter School System has been recently designated Schools of Excellence by the Florida Board of Education. To be eligible for this honor, schools are required to receive a grade of A or B in each of the most recent three school years (2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17) and rank at the 80th percentile or higher for their school type for at least two of the last three years.  This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all of the City of Pembroke Pines Charter Schools K-12. We applaud our teachers, students, parents, community partners, school leaders and the great City of Pembroke Pines. Speaking of Charter Schools, starting January 10, 2018 through March 10, 2018, Florida residents are invited to enroll their child/children into the 2018-2019 school year lottery for the City of Pembroke Pines Charter School System (PPCSS). Wait-listed students are required to re-submit their online application to remain current on the wait list. Re-enrollment and Reassignment Application information was sent directly to PPCSS parents. For a student entering the lottery system for the first time, parents should go to for more information regarding the Pembroke Pines Charter School System, and complete and submit a lottery application. Applicants will be notified via email of the lottery results, shortly after the open enrollment period ends. There are a lot of fun activities, programs and special events planned for 2018. Please remember to check our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter, read City Connect and check our website at so you don’t miss any of excitement. Wishing you all a great, safe and prosperous new year! As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 954450-1020, or by e-mail at



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he term comes from the Greek words “gyne” (meaning “woman”) and “mastos” (mean- ing “breast”). In practical terms, this means abnormally large breasts on men. The condition is relatively common in adolescent boys, and 90% of the time symptoms disappear in a matter of months, or as adolescence wanes a few years later. But the remaining 10% are burdened with a social handicap that can cause shame, lowered self-esteem and confidence. There are many potential causes, including puberty, steroid abuse, obesity, marijuana use, side effects of medicine, and certain genetic diseases. Gynecomastia can be emotionally devastating. A man or boy with gynecomastia struggles with anxiety over such simple acts as taking off his shirt at the beach. In cases of obesity, weight loss can alter the gynecomastic condition, but for many it may not totally eliminate it. For all other causes, surgery is the only known physical remedy, and often the best solution. Once the contour of the chest is restored to normal, the patient can begin to feel more confident and selfassured with his physical body image. Plastic surgery to correct gynecomastia is technically called reduction mammaplasty and reduces breast size, flattening and enhancing the chest contours. In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). In these cases the position and size of the areola can be surgically improved and excess skin may be reduced. Before After The procedure can be performed under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia depending on each individual’s medical condition. In cases where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. There are various liposuction techniques that may be used; the technique most appropriate in your case will be defined prior to your procedure. Excision techniques are recommended where glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed to correct gynecomastia. Excision also is necessary if the areola will be reduced, or the nipple repositioned to a more natural male contour. Incision patterns vary depending on the specific conditions and surgical preference. Sometimes gynecomastia is treated with both liposuction and excision. Any surgical treatment to correct gynecomastia will require incisions. While most incision lines are concealed within natural contours, some may be visible and are a necessary result of breast reduction surgery. After surgery, dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions and an elastic bandage or support garment may be used to minimize swelling and support your new chest contour as it heals. The procedure duration is typically one to two hours and most men are able to return to work within 4 to 5 days depending on how much lifting is required.

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How to Select an Estate Planning Attorney BY BRUCE IDEN, ESQUIRE

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The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualiications and experience. 42 JANUARY 2018 | OURCITYPEMBROKEPINES.COM


inding an estate planning attorney can be overwhelming. Here are some pointers to help you make the right choice. ▸▸ Qualifications. It is fair to question an attorney as to how they developed their estate planning expertise. Often attorneys who are transitioning from other practice areas may present themselves as an estate planning attorney although they have little actual training or experience. Ask how many trusts have they drafted. Do they hold any advanced degrees? To which professional associations do they belong? Keep in mind that it is impossible to be an expert in all areas of the law. ▸▸ Attorney’s Fees. Price is always an important factor. However, making your selection solely on price may not be wise. In setting fees, a reputable attorney will consider the amount of time that they will need to invest and the complexity of the plan. Once they know what needs to be done, they can quote a fee. ▸▸ Customized Documents. A high-quality estate plan should be custom drafted to fit your individual and family needs. Be suspicious of firms who quote flat fees over the phone for anything more than a simple will, or who advertise low prices for trusts. This often means the attorney does not draft custom documents, but rather uses the same boilerplate document for each client and simply fills in the blanks. That is not planning, it’s word processing. ▸▸ The Process. During your planning meeting, your attorney should spend several hours with you and your spouse gathering detailed information about you and your loved ones, including your hopes and fears. Whether you are single, divorced, widowed, married, or have a blended family, the planning process should also include a lot of interactive questions intended to help formulate your unique plan. ▸▸ Additional Services. Be sure to ascertain exactly which services your attorney provides and whether there are additional costs for: trust funding (changing title and/or ownership to your trust), answering questions and telephone conversations with you or your financial advisors, reviewing and explaining your estate plan with your successor trustees and with your family in the event of your disability or death, future modifications to your estate plan, and recording and filing fees. ▸▸ Success. A successful estate plan establishes clear instructions for your successors and trustees as to what they should do to achieve your objectives. Your attorney should work with your team of professionals (financial planners, accountants, life insurance advisors), to advise and assist you and your successors. Be sure to look for an estate planning attorney with whom you and your spouse feel comfortable and at ease. Planning is not a transaction, it is a lifelong exercise. Chemistry is important, as is competence and shared values. Do your research. Ask questions. Life can change in an instant. What are you waiting for? Bruce Iden earned his J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center and his L.L.M in taxation from the University of Miami School of Law. He has been practicing in the areas of estate planning, real estate and business law for over 30 years. For more information, or to schedule a consultation with Mr. Iden, contact Iden Law Offices at 954-885-0085.


2018 Housing Market Forecast BY PATRICK SIMM


017 was certainly an interesting year in Real Estate. Our available listing inventory remained low. In spite of buyer demand, a vast majority of buyers “sat on the fence” and were in no hurry to purchase until they found the right property - usually one that was priced at fair market value and in good condition. This was a big difference from just a year or two ago when buyers would “jump” at the first opportunity and pay above the asking price for a home as it was first listed. 2017 also saw steady growth in appreciation. According to Freddie Mac, homes appreciated at a rate of 6.3%. So, what’s in store for Real Estate in 2018? The market growth will continue at the current rate due to affordability pressures. My prediction is that homes will continue appreciating at the historical norm of 4% to 6%, a great sign that the market has fully recovered and is back to normalcy. Mortgage rates, currently in the mid 4% range for the benchmark 30-year fixed rate, are expected to increase above 5% sometime during 2018. Without a doubt, we still have challenges with our local Real Estate that will require some time to resolve itself. With no housing bubble in sight, the chances of prices declining remains slim to none. So, affordability remains a major concern. On the other hand, if you had the opportunity to hear and see what South Florida had in store for us in regards to its development within the next few years, you would overly excited as myself and bullish on real estate for the years to come. Additionally, let’s not forget what continues to attract people to our great state in the first place, and will continue to attract them – beautiful beaches, fabulous weather and a friendly business climate, with no state income tax. In spite of this, as we begin the New Year, I am confident that the present momentum will continue, bringing more rewards to South Florida’s Real Estate Market in 2018. I would like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank the residents of Miramar and Pembroke Pines for their continuous support during 2017 and, more importantly, throughout the last decade. The Simmsational Real Estate Group was formed to ultimately serve the residents of Southwest Broward County. As a consequence of Southwest Broward’s unremitting confidence in our professionalism and knowledge of the real estate market, we respectfully continue to achieve outstanding results beyond expectations! As the Team Leader/Managing Director surrounded by a core group of knowledgeable and experienced real estate professionals daily, this is an achievement that started as a “dream” just a little over 10 years ago. With continued assurance in our ability to fully accomplish your real estate goals, we look forward to serving the residents of Miramar and Pembroke Pines for the future years to come!

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The Collaborative Process BY EVAN BARON

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IT IS THE POLICY OF THIS STATE TO ENCOURAGE THE PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES AND THE EARLY RESOLUTION OF PENDING LITIGATION THROUGH A VOLUNTARY SETTLEMENT PROCESS” The above quote is from the Florida Collaborative Law Process Act. It is probably somewhat contrary to what many of you or friends or family have experienced while going through a divorce. Everyone has heard the “horror stories” of endless litigation and exorbitant fees. There is in fact a way to possibly avoid those issues by using the collaborative process. It is defined as “a unique non-adversarial process that preserves a working relationship between the parties and reduces the emotional and financial toll of litigation.” There are some definite rules that must be followed and not every case is suited for the collaborative process. “As part of this nonadversarial and voluntary resolution of disputes, lawyers who engage in the collaborative law process in a family law matter, and any other lawyers in that lawyer’s firm, may not afterwards represent any party in any related proceeding except to request that a court approve the settlement reached during the collaborative law process or in specified emergency situations in accordance with family law court rules.” As stated above, if for some reason the collaborative process “breaks down” and litigation becomes the only alternative, the collaborative attorney must withdraw from representing his/her client. Therefore, if the process is not successful, either a new attorney must be retained, or the client can represent his/herself. One attorney cannot represent both parties. In addition, both parties must agree to use the collaborative process. The goal of the collaborative process is for both parties and their respective attorneys to act as a team and not as adversaries. In most instances there are other “team members,” such as accountants, financial advisers, or mental health professionals. The “team” schedules meetings with all parties present. An agenda is prepared and the “team” attempts to move forward to resolve all the issues that are involved. This is a process and, therefore, the parties should be prepared to have these “team meetings” on more than one occasion. All parties must sign a written agreement before the process begins stating each client’s intent to resolve the dissolution through the collaborative process; each party’s acceptance that they shall make timely, full and candid informal disclosure of information without formal discovery; and their understanding that if either party initiates a proceeding in court, the process shall terminate and the attorney’s involved cannot continue their representation. Attorneys are now required to advise prospective clients about the collaborative process. Although there is no actual certification an attorney can obtain to be declared a “Collaborative Attorney,” there are attorneys who have been trained in the process. As in all matters of law, experience and training are always beneficial to a client. If you or anyone you know are interested in the Collaborative Process, please give my office a call. The law firm of Evan H. Baron and Associates is located at 1655 North Commerce Parkway, Suite 201, in Weston. If you have any questions concerning this issue or any other family law matter, call the office at 954-385-9160.


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Pediatric Foot and Ankle Sprains Can Be a More Complex Growth Plate Injury BY DR. CARLO A. MESSINA


njuries to the growth plate in children may cause damage to the structures at the end of the bone that will allow the child’s bone to grow to full adult size. These injuries may be misdiagnosed as a simple sprain of the foot or ankle. However, a more complex injury may be present. Growth plates, which start to close between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, can be damaged in incidents such as simple falls, sports injuries, automobile accidents or other major or minor trauma. If not recognized and treated early, a child’s growth plate injury can lead to shortening of the bone (growth ceases) as the growth plate may close prematurely. Angular deformities of the bone (a curve) may also develop. The severity of these deformities depends on the age at the time of injury, extent of the injury and the part of the growth plate that has been damaged. Certain portions of the growth plate may be injured affecting its growth while other parts grow more normally thus causing a bowing of the bone. Symptoms of a growth plate injury may mimic a sprain. These injuries occur more frequently than realized. There will always be pinpoint tenderness on the bone’s growth plate and a degree of swelling that is proportional to the degree of injury to the area. The child will often limp and try to avoid the body part. Normal treatment for a sprain may involve simple observation and application of an ace bandage or brace. This treatment for a growth plate injury that is severe may be devastating. X-rays are used to evaluate bone and joint alignment. A growth plate can be injured or even fractured with a normal X-ray. In more moderate to severe cases, x-rays will usually show the fracture. When in doubt, a CT scan may be necessary. Treatment options (early diagnosis is crucial): ▸▸ Immobilization in a below-the-knee cast with or without crutches may be necessary if the growth plate is well aligned. These injuries will heal on their own within six to eight weeks. The younger the child, the faster it heals. ▸▸ If the injury has caused misalignment of the growth plate it can sometimes be carefully manipulated back into place and then protected with a cast. The cast would be necessary for a minimum of six to eight weeks. Nonweightbearing would be mandatory. ▸▸ If the misalignment is more severe and not able to be manipulated back into its normal position, surgery would be necessary to restore the growth plate to its proper position. This may help avoid later problems including malalignment or premature growth plate closure that may cause the extremity to be shortened and crooked. The most important thing is immediate diagnosis and treatment.

Crossword Puzzle Solution Answer Key











Carlo A. Messina, DPM, is a Board Certified Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Surgeon, Diplomate American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is a Foot and Ankle Surgeon with the Foot, Ankle and Leg Specialists of South Florida and specializes in treating infants, children, teens and adults. His partners are Dr. Robert Sheinberg, Dr. Al DeSimone, Dr. Fernando Moya, Dr. Alexander Bertot, Dr. Franz Jones, Dr. David Shenassa, and Dr. Michael Cohen. The South Florida Institute of Sports Medicine in Weston is located at 1600 Town Center Blvd., Suite C, (954) 389-5900, and in Pembroke Pines at 17842 NW 2nd Street, (954) 430-9901. The practice website is



of the


Abe was a 10 years old male very short legged Papillon/Pomeranian; he enjoyed rubs in his belly; his favorite person was his daddy ( my son used to take his 1 hour lunch, drive to his place, feed and walk him everyday). His favorite toy was his little lamb. He loves car rides and love to run in the patio with my 2 dogs, Pinki (Pinscher) and Maxxi (Pomeranian) He was taken to parks, to the beach, to restaurants.... now in “poppy heaven” he is free of pain and happy.


Your Pet Could Be Our Pet of the Month! Every month Our City Media randomly picks a pet of the month winner. Enter your pet today! Email entries to: Must include the following information to receive your prize. Owner name and email and/or phone number. Please send a high-resolution photo with your entry. Tell us a little bit about your pet… Animal name & breed / Age and gender of animal / Favorite person Favorite toy / Likes & dislikes / Favorite thing to do / Last seen



We Want Your Take your latest copy of Our City Pembroke Pines on the road with you and you could be our lucky winner. Send us your “The World’s Favorite Magazine™” photo and you could win a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Happy trails!

EMAIL PHOTOS TO: Amy Valerio and John Townsend brought a copy of Our City Pembroke Pines with them on a visit to Quebec City to help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. They love the history and European flavor of the city. 


Please send hi-resolution original digital photos as attachments only. Include name, address, phone number and where photo was taken.


Members of the Pembroke Pines Charter High School Student Government Association participated in the 4th Annual Dollar Dash. Students carrying donation buckets, dashed into each department at the Pembroke Pines Charles F. Dodge City Center, asking employees to make a donation to fund the Honor Flight Program for Americas WW II Veterans.


During the Holiday Book Giveaway, sponsored by the Miramar-Pines Rotary Club, students at Sunshine Elementary selected from the hundreds of new books that the Club delivered to the school. The Miramar-Pines Rotary Club has been donating books to children for the past seven years.


Pembroke Pines children displayed their holiday artwork for all to see. They also received gifts from Santa and his elves.


Our City Media’s Denise Caligiuri celebrated the opening of La Strega Cucina Italiana in Pembroke Pines with its four owners (l to r) Dario Alano, Miguel Altuve, Edmund Karam and Chef Aldo Vespero.


Chesterbrook Academy Preschool in Pembroke Pines recently partnered with Samaritan’s Purse to fill 85 shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and essential items for children in need.


School Resource Officer Walter Yester, who serves Pembroke Lakes Elementary, was presented with the 2017 Pembroke Pines School Resource Officer of the Year award at the Broward County Crime Commission’s 38th Annual Awards Banquet.


Library books came alive at the 16th Annual StoryBook Festival at the Broward County Southwest Regional Library. The free family event offered a day of music, dance, storytelling, storybook characters, children’s performances and more. OURCITYPEMBROKEPINES.COM | JANUARY 2018 49


Florida’s #1 Volume Subaru Store!



– According to Subaru of America 2016

Happy New Year From Our Family To Yours! AU TO M OT I V E

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Extraordinary Selection of New Subaru’s. • Exceptional Offers on Exclusive Vehicles. • Subaru Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. • Finance Experts & Credit Options for Everyone.

Subaru of Pembroke Pines 16100 Pines Blvd. Pembroke Pines, FL 33027 954-443-2374


Minutes from 595 and I-75

THIS CERTIFICATE CAN BE USED AS AN ADDITIONAL UP TO $500 DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE ON A NEW PURCHASE OR LEASE & HAS NO CASH VALUE. MUST PRESENT UPON ARRIVAL. DEALER RETAINS ALL REBATES & INCENTIVES. CANNOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFERS OR DISCOUNTS. ONE VOUCHER PER CUSTOMER. VALID ONLY AT SUBARU OF PEMBROKE PINES. SEE DEALER FOR COMPLETE DETAILS. All prices plus tax, tag, 1st payment, and includes dealer fees. 36 month lease @ 10k miles per year with only $4,995 amount due at signing, WRX $3,995 due at signing. No security deposit. Offer only valid for qualified buyers with 720 beacon credit score. Valid only on new 2017 Subaru Forester 2.5i MSRP $25,254, new 2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i MSRP $24,345, and new 2018 Subaru WRX MSRP $28,513 in stock. “Purchase or lease any new (previously untitled) Subaru and receive a complimentary factory scheduled maintenance plan for 2 years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first.) See Subaru added security maintenance plan for intervals, coverage’s, and limitations. Customer must take delivery before 12-31-18 and reside within the promotional area. At participating retailers only. See retailer for program details and eligibility.”


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With 5 clinics in South-Florida, Therapies 4 Kids is the leader in pediatric intensive therapy for children with neurological and developmental disorders, such as Cerebral Palsy or Autism, or suffering injuries resulting from a car accident, sport practice, or a slip & fall.



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Our City Pembroke Pines January 2018  
Our City Pembroke Pines January 2018  

Our City Pembroke Pines January 2018 Community News Magazine Broward County