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[ÉÄ|wtç gÜtw|à|ÉÇá evil spirits. The plant was also seen as a symbol of peace, and it is said that among Romans, enemies who met under mistletoe would In 16th-century Germany fir trees were decolay down their weapons and embrace. rated, both indoors and out, with apples, roses, Scandanavians associated the plant with Frigga, their goddess of gilded candies, and colored paper. In the Middle Ages, a popular religous play depicted the story of love, and it may be from this that we derive the custom of kissing under the mistletoe. Those who kissed under the mistletoe had the Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of promise of happiness and good luck in the following year. Eden.

Christmas Trees

A fir tree hung with apples was used to symbolize the Garden of Eden -- the Paradise Tree. The play ended with the prophecy of a saviour coming, and so was often performed during the Advent season.

Holly, Ivy and Greenery

In Northern Europe Christmas occurred during the middle of winter, when ghosts and demons could be heard howling in the winter winds. Boughs of holly, believed to have magical powers since they remained green through the harsh winter, were often placed It is held that Protestant reformer Martin Luther first adorned trees with light. While coming home one December evening, the beauty of over the doors of homes to drive evil away. Greenery was also the stars shining through the branches of a fir inspired him to recre- brought indoors to freshen the air and brighten the mood during the long, dreary winter. ate the effect by placing candles on the branches of a small fir tree inside his home The Christmas Tree was brought to England by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert from his native Germany. The famous Illustrated News etching in 1848, featuring the Royal Family of Victoria, Albert and their children gathered around a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle, popularized the tree throughout Victorian England. Brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans, the Christmas tree became by the late 19th century.

Legend also has it that holly sprang from the footsteps of Christ as he walked the earth. The pointed leaves were said to represent the crown of thorns Christ wore while on the cross and the red berries symbolized the blood he shed.

The Candy Cane

It was not long after Europeans began using Christmas trees that special decorations were used to adorn them. Food items, such as candies and cookies, were Christmas Stockings used predominately and straight white candy sticks According to legend, a kindly nobleman grew despon- were one of the confections used as ornamentation. Legend has it that during the 17th century, craftsmen created the white sticks of dent over the death of his beloved wife and foolishly squandered his fortune. This left his three young daugh- candy in the shape of shephreds' crooks at the suggestion of the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. ters without dowries and thus facing a life of spinsterhood. continued on page 4……………..

The generous St. Nicholas, hearing of the girls' plight, set forth to help. Wishing to remain anonymous, he rode his white horse by the nobleman's house and threw three small pouches of gold coins down the chimney where they were fortuitously captured by the stockings the young women had hung by the fireplace to dry.

Mistletoe Mistletoe was used by Druid priests 200 years before the birth of Christ in their winter celebrations. They revered the plant since it had no roots yet remained green during the cold months of winter. The ancient Celtics believed mistletoe to have magical healing powers and used it as an antidote for poison, infertility, and to ward of

In this Issue… Harbordale Elementary Happenings… 5 Hazardous Waste Collection…. Page 5 Jackie talks about….. page 6 Healing Family Dynamics… 8 Tropical Architect… 10 Rio Vista Fitness… 15

December 2010/January 2011

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Visit us on the web: BUTLER’S PANTRY CATERING Bill Butler started in the food business in 1980. His love for food began while in high school where he participated in “boy’s chef” class. He joined his mother in laws’ catering business in the Philadelphia area in 1980 and successfully ran the business for 10 years. In 1995 when an opportunity to start a food service business in Fort Lauderdale was presented to him by Blockbuster Entertainment, he quickly took on the challenge and started Butler’s Pantry Food Service. Blockbuster at the time wanted an employee cafeteria and an in house caterer to handle all of Blockbuster Video corporate headquarter food needs. Bill developed and successfully ran “Busters” Bistro & Café, the employee cafeteria where approximately 500 meals were served each day. He also provided food for corporate meetings, fund raisers, and social functions from 10 to 1,000 guests. In 1998 Butler’s Pantry opened an employee cafeteria and in house catering service for AutoNation at their corporate headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale. At this location he served over 500 meals a day and also provided food for meetings and special events. Bills’ focus has always been fresh basic food served for every palate to enjoy! Everything on the menus are handmade with the freshest ingredients available. The focus of Butler’s Pantry Catering is to supply prepared items such as hors d’ouvres, finger foods, salads, platters, desserts, and boxed lunches at a reasonable price for gatherings, meetings, and events. They will gladly deliver your order to your location or you may pick up ordered items at their new location,1314 E. Las Olas Blvd., steps from the Floridian Restaurant.

The Rio Vista NEWS 3

December 2010/January 2011 Holiday Traditions continued from page 1‌..

kah due to different translations and customs.

The candy treats were given to children to keep them quiet during ceremonies at the living creche, or Nativity scene, and the custom of passing out the candy crooks at such ceremonies soon spread throughout Europe According to the National Confectioner's Association, in 1847 German immigrant August Imgard used the candy cane to decorate a Christmas tree in Wooster, Ohio. More than 50 years later, Bob McCormack of Albany, Georgia supposedly made candy canes as treats for family, friends and local shopkeepers. McCormack's brother-in-law, Catholic priest Gregory Keller, invented a machine in the 1950s that automated the production of candy canes, thus eliminating the usual laborious process of creating the treats and the popularity of the candy cane grew.

The tradition of receiving gifts on each of the eight days of Hanukkah is relatively new and due in part to the celebration's proximity to the Christmas season.


Doctor Maulana Karenga, a Professor at California State University in Long Beach, California, created Kwanzaa in 1966. It is a holiday celebrated by millions of African-Americans around the world, encouraging them to remember their African heritage and consider their current place in America today. Kwanzaa is celebrated fom December 26 to January 1 and involves seven principles called Nguzo Saba: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-determination), Ujima (Collective More recent explanations of the candy cane's symbolism hold that Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia the color white represents Christ's purity, the red the blood he (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). shed, and the presence of three red stripes the Holy Trinity. While In the Kwanzaa ritual, seven candles called Mishumaa Saba are factual evidence for these notions does not exist, they have beplaced in a Kinara, or candleholder, which is then set upon the come increasingly common and at times are even represented as Mikeka, a mat usually made of straw. fact. Regardless, the candy cane remains a favorite holiday treat and decoration. Three green candles are placed on the left, three red candles on the right and a black candle in the center, each candle representChristmas Cards ing one of the seven principles of the celebration. One candle is lit A form of Christmas card began in England first each day of the Kwanzaa celebration, beginning from left to right when young boys practiced their writing skills by creating Christmas greetings for their parents, but it The colors of Kwanzaa ~ black, red and green ~ also have a special significance. Black symbolizes the faces of the African people, is Sir Henry Cole who is credited with creating the first real Christmas card. The first director of London's Victoria and Red symbolizes the blood they have shed, and Green represents Albert Museum, Sir Henry found himself too busy in the Christmas hope and the color of the motherland. The name itself - Kwanzaa season of 1843 to compose individual Christmas greetings for his - is a Swahili word meaning "fruits of the harvest." friends. He commissioned artist John Calcott Horsley for the illustration. The card featured three panels, with the center panel depicting a family enjoying Christmas festivities and the card was inscribed with the message "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You."

Hanukkah Commencing on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the Syrians. In 168 BC, members of the Jewish family Maccabee led a revolt against the Greek Syrians due to the policies of Syrian King Antiochus IV which were aimed at nullifying the Jewish faith. Part of this strategem included changing the Beit HaMikdash - the Holy Temple in Jerusalem - to a Greek temple complete with idolatry. Led by Judah Maccabee, the Jews won victory over the Syrians in 165 BC and reclaimed their temple. After cleansing the temple and preparing for its rededication, it was found there was not enough oil to light the N'er Tamid, an oil lamp present in Jewish houses of worship which represents eternal light. Once lit, the lamp should never be extinguished. A search of the temple produced a small vial of undefiled oil -enough for only one day. Miraculously, the Temple lights burned for eight days until a new supply of oil was brought. In remembrance of this miracle, one candle of the Menorah - an eight branched candelabra - is lit each of the eight days of Hanukkah. Hanukkah, which means dedication, is a Hebrew word when translated is commonly spelled Hanukah, Chanukah, and Hannu-


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HARBORDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HAPPENNINGS As 2011 begins we will be THRILLED to see our construction come to fruition. The new parking lot will certainly alleviate the congestion on 15th Street before and after school. As you may have experienced, it is a mad race in the mornings to find a spot to park. This small detail, however, is one of the many elements We have had some really great fundraisers since the school year that help create what is essentially a community. Most schools started, our latest being the Pumpkin Patch. I would like to thank insist that you drop your kids in the car loop. We are privileged to everyone in the neighborhood who stopped by to purchase pumpbe one of the last public schools that allows parents to accomkins from us and helped support our school. We had a really nice pany their children into school. (The years pass quickly and soon selection this year and people came up with some TRULY creathose same adoring children will be embarrassed to be seen with tive ideas for decorating their pumpkins! you. J) We really appreciate that we can still walk our kids in December highlights include “Christmas on Las Olas” when our and socialize with other Harbordale families in the mornings. 4th and 5th graders will be performing for 45 minutes on November In January we will host our annual Spaghetti Dinner. The tradi30th at 6:45pm. We will be on the stage in front of the Cheesetional Italian-themed meal will be held on January 28th at 5:30pm cake Factory. Our fabulous music teacher Mr. Anthony Ciotti, has in our cafeteria. All are welcome. If you would like to purchase created a great program for our kids to perform. If you are going tickets please contact me at 954-629-2035. (Adult tickets are to be on Las Olas that evening please stop by and LET US EN$8.00 and kids under 12 are $6.00.) TERTAIN YOU. Thank you again for all of your support and please check our webThe 2nd week in December brings our Holiday Shop where the site for up-to-date information: kids will be able to shop for their parents, relatives, and friends. This is a fundraiser but also teaches students how to budget. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Parents send their children with money and a list of recipients: Happy New Year! the kids have a blast! They even choose the gift wrap they want Cici Kelly on their purchases. President Harbordale School Association As we move into the winter season it is great to see all the changes. For us at Harbordale Elementary, change means the end of our final phase of construction. Sometimes it seems that this project has been underway forever, but the end is in sight…

Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sunday, January 23, 2011 101 N. Andrews Avenue 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. City of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County residents are invited to safely dispose of their household hazardous waste and electronics at the one-day Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Event. With proof of residency, residents can drop off hazardous household items and electronics at no charge. Business or government generated waste will not be accepted. Residents may also bring old electronics, such as computers with accessories, televisions, fax machines, printers and cell phones, for free disposal. To dispose of business-generated electronics, please call 954-577-4160. The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event, which is cosponsored by the City of Fort Lauderdale, Broward County Waste and Recycling Services and Partner Cities, was created to bring hazardous waste disposal services into the community and to provide an additional drop off location for county residents. By offering alternatives for the safe disposal of HHW, the City of Fort Lauderdale, Broward County and surrounding cities, are taking a pro-active role in protecting the environment and preventing these items from ending up in landfills or contaminating water sources and wastewater treatment plants. For more information about the HHW Collection Event, please contact the City of Fort Lauderdale’s 24-hour Customer Service Center at 954-828-8000.

The Rio Vista NEWS 5

December 2010/January 2011


Restoring an Old Place with New Charm

I have lived most of my life in Rio Vista, one of the oldest Another point of interest is the architect, Frances L. Abreu. He began his career with the help of his grandfather in 1924. Some of the residences he designed are still choice residences in our neighborhood, one example is the Curtis home located at the enWhen I worked in Real Estate for many years, what I enjoyed most was selling and buying old places. I am sure this is the rea- trance to Abreu Place, the park located on Rio Vista Boulevard and SE Ninth Avenue on the New River, and named for Francis L. son I am excited about writing this column which will feature and Abreu. The builder was CH Thomas who put up a well built strucold property built in the late 1920’s. It was renovated and completed in 2010, keeping the charm of the old with the convenience ture. of the new. This skillful renovation was the work of the present owners, Julie and Tim Hager. The Hagers had some professional The history lesson is over. Now I shall talk about the completely help, but it was their friends who should be commended for their renovated apartments. Each of the four units has 1000 square feet of living area which includes: an enclosed front porch, living participation in this huge project. The job is awesome! room with a working fireplace, separate dining room with storage closet, light and airy bedroom with adequate closet space, kitchen The featured property is a four unit apartment building located at 1217 SE First Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. Historical notes provided “to die for” with Fisher & Paykel gas stove with double ovens, Kohler zen inspired bathroom in my favorite white subway tile, by the Hagers describe the property as a two-story hollow tile and Kenmore large stackable washer and dryer. building with Mediterranean Revival styling expressed by its flat roof with Some of the features that bring the apartments from parapets, full-rise parallel blocks 1928 to 2010 are PGT impact windows throughout, design the entrance with transom central A/C, elevated ceilings, beautiful vintage lightand side lights. A castcrete mermaid ing professionally restored and a monitored security decoration can be found on the system, plus smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. chimney of the stucco exterior of the building. The mermaid decoration May I suggest that you drive by 1217 SE First Ave on has gone unnoticed until its Spanish a Sunday between 1:30 and 4 pm and go in and look name Casa Sirena, House of the at this special place now available for lease. Julie and Mermaid, became known. It is this Tim are usually there to show you around. Tell them research by Julie that adds interest Jackie sent you. and a bit of history to the building. neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale. I continue to live here in my home built in 1946.

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21st Century Meets Mediterranean Revival 1926 Francis L. Abreu Structure (same architect that designed Casa Blanca on Fort Lauderdale Beach, The Riverside Hotel, and The Sailboat Bend Fire Station) Rent: 1,500.00 Deposit: $1,500.00 Most Utilities Included Completely Renovated: PGT impact windows, central A/C, original wood floors, elevated ceilings, vintage lighting and hardware (professionally restored), Fisher & Paykel gas stoves with double ovens, Kenmore front-loading washers and dryers, Kohler zen-inspired bathrooms, John Louis closet organizers, monitored security system, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Walking distance to Broward General Medical Center, Walgreens, Broward County Courthouse and various downtown eateries. Included in Rent: Security System, Water, and Gas (covers your hot water, dryer, stove/oven).

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Deposit: First, Last, & Security 4 Apartments to choose from… Call to schedule a showing today! Julie Hager 954.764.8100 954.651.8100


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The Rio Vista NEWS 7

December 2010/January 2011

Home for the Holidays – Healing Family Dynamics By Laura Castanza and Julia George

Each year we are alive on planet Earth, “The Holidays” come around us who represent them. and go bringing with them the opportunity to observe how far we The first step is to take responsibility for our self. We can have actually progressed in our own healing by joining together acknowledge our family of origin as part of who we are and the “The Family” and “The Dynamics” that go along with our human story of our life. With the abominable, there is also the admirable, experience. and we have the ability to live virtuously or wickedly. It is our Anger, judgment, anxiety, joy, and anticipation, are just a few choice. This recognition will unchain and release our soul, giving us our deserved freedom to heal. Otherwise, we remain stuck in of the many emotions churning within our psyche when we think resentments that will keep us chained to a carousel of chaos for about the holidays and family. Often times there are hidden memories concerning our history that haunt us, even when we’ve longer than necessary. experienced the joy of reunion. When all of these emotions are When we wake up to awareness and take responsibility for attached to thoughts of the past, they can interrupt our peace of our self, we open up to a vast array of choices. We can now emmind, even when we have continuously and consciously worked brace our story and move forward with a broader perspective. We to resolve our emotional issues. will intuitively know we are not bound any further by our birth famThe best part surrounding these moments, is the opportunity ily, and it will take time to feel differently about it. All the issues to reach new levels of understanding as we look at the patterns we face concerning our families do not disappear, they transform. that create family dynamics and work to change our perceptions. Sometimes we must physically remove our self from people It is the ticket to freedom. and any associated dysfunction to facilitate the change. TransIdealism is one of the “mind tricks” that interferes with our forming our perspective and feeling differently is a continuous healing. Since many of us grew up in highly dysfunctional famiprocess which requires a solid support system to aid in our heallies, we may be inclined to create opposite scenarios in our curing. This can be found through one-on-one counseling, support rent lives by attracting relationships that countered our upbringgroups, and within healthy relationships. Recognizing we need ing. If we grew up in a household of substance/work addiction, help is our soul’s cardinal quest and the correct venues will arise neglect, and/or disorder, we may now have the illusion of physito support our spiritual path. cally living in a pristine white-picket fence house with a sober and In pursuing this path, we may choose to include our family affectionate mate. This image can appear to be a beautiful thing; through participating in family functions, one-on-one encounters, but unless the core issues from our upbringing have been acor graciously bow out in order to take care of our self. The only knowledged and worked with, the illusion eventually unravels as obligation we have is to our soul and its healing. We can be pernegative feelings and shadow characters emerge like a tsunami ceived as selfish, but in reality we are practicing self love; the only when we come in contact with our family or when our “ideal” mate love that accepts and loves others for who they are. exhibits any negative familial traits. Creating harmonious familial relationships begin with the From our idealism, we are inclined to play out a variety of delicate and dedicated care of our self. Our dedication to do so is roles and titles. These are the name tags, labels, and the many imperative within every aspect of our life or we will continuously hats we wear within our social circles, including our family, further and subconsciously create scenarios for the exact purpose of taking us away from our true self. healing these root issues. “Mother”, “Sister”, “Husband”, “Peacemaker”, “Jokester”, and “Healing Family Relations”, is being offered with a complimentary “Fixer”, are just a few of the many identities we create. With that, half hour and $40 additional half hour, in a one-on-one, or group comes an enormous responsibility as we painstakingly try to setting, from November 15th – December 31st. Contact Julia maintain our ideal as well as control the perceptions of others. All George/Aquarian Age @ 561.750.9292 or aquarianagegalthe acting and staging, therefore masking our true self, creates a false foundation that will crumble as our unresolved issues are destined to be revealed through our family interactions. Projection is the final spin of this cycle. What is born from our idealism [roles and titles], now is projected back onto us. Through our own creation, we engage in a reactionary process of what others believe us to be, keeping us in a perpetual state of discord. The “You Should” and the “I am” become verbal volleys that lead to a cycle of disappointment and frustration time and time again. By this time, we become overtaken by the sea of emotions and flail about like a drowning victim. We cannot possibly live up to the expectations of our self and what others believe us to be because we have yet to stop the madness and look within our self to experience who we really are. As the Universe is benevolent and graces us with endless opportunities to heal, and our family is foundational in our being, it is important that we reach a loving place within our self in regards to them. We may not be able to physically reunite with our family, but we can forgive and cultivate healthier relationships with others


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The Rio Vista NEWS 9

December 2010/January 2011

THE TROPICAL ARCHITECT By William Hoffman……Architect

Home Design’s Zen Master While attending graduate school in architecture, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a book, entitled “A Pattern Language” by Christopher Alexander. Given that this book has been so important to me, I want to share highlights of it with you as I do with colleagues who are interested in design and architecture. The second in a series of three books, “A Pattern Language” isn’t a highbrow ‘coffee table architecture book’, but offers a new attitude, practical language, and working alternative to our present ideas about architecture, building and planning. The book is based on common sense, practical and natural considerations. Even the physical nature of the book I find appealing. It’s small, but thick, with 1171 very thin pages. The reader is given 253 entities called Patterns from which to travel on a journey through a network, in no particular sequence, weaving a tapestry of interrelated concepts which are divided in three sections: Towns, Buildings and Construction. Each pattern describes a situation which occurs in our environment and then describes the core of the solution to the scenario in such a manner that it can be used over and over again, while never doing it the same way twice. Each pattern has the same format. First there is a photograph showing an example of that pattern. Second there is an introductory paragraph setting the context of the pattern in the overall context of the certain larger patterns. This entry is followed by a headline giving the essence of the problem in one or two sentences. After the headline is explained the body of the pattern, which is several pages long. This portion describes the background of the pattern, the evidence of its validity and different ways the pattern can be manifested in a building. After which there is a solution statement, which describes the physical, and social relationships required to solve the problem. Finally there is a paragraph which ties the pattern to all the smaller patterns in the language. The patterns are ordered with the largest first for regions and towns. As they progress they work down in scale through neighborhoods, buildings, rooms, ending with details of construction. Examples of a pattern in the town section would be “Access to Water” and “Street Café.” An example of building patterns are “Number of Stories” and “Positive Outdoor Space.” An example of patterns in the construction section is “Small Panes or one of my favorites “Half Inch Trim.” Although the patterns are presented in a linear sequence, what is most important is that each pattern is connected to certain larger and smaller patterns providing the yarn to weave the tapestry. In short no pattern is an isolated entity. The patterns vary in significance and are marked with two, one or no asterisks indicating their validity in solving the stated problem. This book has become a bible for homeowners, contactors and


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developers who care about creating healthy, high level design. I hope you find it as important and meaningful as I have. I might suggest going to Pattern Language .com. This is the Christopher Alexander web site which attempts to put his theory into practice via the web, where users can design buildings online using Alexander’s principles.

About the Author: William Hoffman is an architect & LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional who designs and builds sustainable new homes & home renovations. He welcomes your comments and questions. 954-561-1642

Photo description: William’s well-worn copy of A Pattern Language

Visit us on the web: Rio Vista Fitness Award Member of the Month

Dr Bill Kirkley Dr Bill Kirkley started riding his stationary bike at the age 40 on a daily basis when his son suggested to start weight training twelve years ago. The strength workout would be especially designed to keep him strong climbing his 70 foot radio tower daily where he enjoys connecting with friends from all over the world. To increase his balance in his program we added the Bozo, stability ball as well as the standing foam role. I asked Bill how he felt about his training which he replied: “I feel stronger and quite well for a man of 78 years “. (Big smile).

So Bill at 89 how has fitness paid off for you?

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Thank you Bill for being such great inspiration!

Remember to Support our Advertisers American Turkish Restaurant Big Image Signs Broward Health Brickell Bay Realty Group Butler’s Pantry Catering Casa Sirena Apartments Club Sweat Dinnen Electric Service Downtown Development Authority Fred Hunter’s Funeral Service Gordon Photography Harbor Realty of Florida Holland Garden Center Jimmy John’s Sandwichs Layton’s Garage & Auto Storage Mind & Body Solutions

11 10 7 4 3 6 10 12 9 11 5 3 12 12 12 11


The Rio Vista NEWS 11

December 2010/January 2011

"At last, the fastest sport on two feet is coming to Fort Lauderdale!" "A recreational lacrosse league for Boys & Girls grades K-8"

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The Rio Vista News / Dec 2010-Jan2011  

December 2010 - January 2011 Rio Vista Community Newsletter

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