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February 2014 | Vol 10 Issue 10 |

Lovers’ Soiree For Your Valentine At VK Dance Center PAGE 12

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His Bizzare World............................................................................PG 6 Fifty Years Gone In Minutes...........................................................PG 8 Lovers’ Soiree For Your Valentine At VK Dance Center.............PG 12

CITY NEWS 7 Things You Must Know

Before Putting Your Home Up For Sale.........................................PG 7 Let Healthy Hallandale Medical Center

Enroll You In ObamaCare For Free.............................................PG 10 Community Calendar..................................................................PG 14 27 Quick And Easy Fix Ups

How To Sell Your Home Fast And For Top Dollar.......................PG 17

3 Easy Steps To Sweeten Someone’s Valentine’s Day................PG 18


Liza Minnelli Takes Center Stage At Broward Center................PG 20 Horoscopes..................................................................................PG 20 Claudio Martinez Mehner: Astonishing Pianist And

Musical Explorer Performs In Aventura.....................................PG 21


Dr. Charlton Adler........................................................................PG 23 Multivitamins And Nutritional Supplements............................PG 24 Understanding The Dangers Of Low Blood Sugar.....................PG 24


Pg 25-27

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Bathroom Remodeling: The First Five Things You Must Do.....PG 26

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LOCAL CULINARY STARS SHINE Chef Allen Susser and Michelle Bernstein lead an iconic ‘foodie’ parade Larry Blustein - Aventura Digest


It has become a yearly ritual that has taken the culinary and entertainment world by storm. Just a mention of the world-famous South Beach Wine & Food Festival and you envision many of the nation’s best chefs and cooks, who showcase everything from hamburgers to elaborate dishes - and just about every other food and drink in between. The weather, the great food and bumping into some of the most visible food magicians you will ever see - or get the pleasure of sampling. It’s simply an extended weekend of food, drink and anything else that screams food trends. Hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University (FIU), the Festival benefits FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. To date, the Festival has raised more than $18 million for the school. Going into its 13th year, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE began as a one-day festival known as the Florida Extravaganza held at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus. Many of the program’s graduates have been working in food service positions for decades, making FIU one of the best in the country. FROM THE START For five years, from 1997-2001, the Florida Extravaganza showcased wines from national and international wineries paired with food from local restaurants and chefs working with students of FIU’s School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. In 2002, Lee Brian Schrager, then director of Special Events and Media Relations at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, took the reigns of the one-day festival and brought his vision for the festival to life by relocating it to

South Beach. The renamed South Beach Wine & Food Festival® attracted close to 7,000 guests to a series of dinners, seminars, a Grand Tasting Village and live Auction in its first year. Since the beginning, the objective was to bring people who loved food together for a showcase like never before. Right in the middle of winter in a setting that many can only dream about. THE ALWAYS FUN ANDREW ZIMMERN From Thursday, Feb. 20-Sunday, South Beach comes alive with excitement - and while you will find chef/personalities from all over the country, flocking to the event to be a part of it all, many eyes will be peeled toward the very popular and quite entertaining Andrew Zimmern. While many have established Zimmern as someone who will eat just about anything - from anywhere - this is actually a James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, food writer and teacher, who is widely regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, host and co-executive producer of Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World, and his new series, Bizarre Foods America, he travels the globe, exploring food in its own terrtory. From world class restaurants to street carts and jungle markets, it’s all about discovering and sharing the authentic experience as a way to interpret the way we live our lives so we can make better choices for our future. In May 2013, Zimmern won the prestigious James Beard Award for “Best Television Personality/Host” for the second time. This is in addition to his 2012 win for “Best Television Program On Location.” His web-series, Toyota’s Appetite for Life, received an Effie in 2010. Bizarre Foods also took home two CableFax awards in 2009, one for “Best

Television Program: Food,” another for “Best Online Extras” for Zimmern’s Travel Channel web-series, Bizarre Foods in the Kitchen. Zimmern’s podcast, Go Fork Yourself with Andrew Zimmern and Molly Mogren, won the Stitcher Award for Best Food/Cooking Podcast in 2012. Zimmern’s food truck, AZ Canteen, debuted in the summer of 2012. The carefully curated menu showcases inspired versions of food he’s discovered on the road, from Nicaraguan dulce de leche shaved ice to the Cabrito sausage grinders made with an exclusive allnatural goat blend from Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. Zimmern and LaFrieda launched a proprietary line of cured and cooked meats in late 2013. AZ Canteen is expanding to multiple trucks and brickand-mortar locations in the coming year, including the newly debuted AZ Canteen cart at the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field. FOUR DAYS OF FUN AND LEARNING From nationally known chefs such as Michael Symon to others who are still climbing the ranks of this always competitive and enjoyable industry. SOUTH FLORIDA FLAIR While everyone knows Chef Allen Susser, who has given diners in south Florida years and years of culinary enjoyment - while setting trends - there is also Michelle Bernstein - a rising star for years. Her sunny smile brightens up TV screens across the country; her charisma is undeniable and her cuisine sublime. Since drawing the national media spotlight in the mid 1990’s and garnering a series of coveted awards, Chef Michelle Bernstein has become one of the most respected and successful chefs/restaurateurs in the nation. A Miami native of Jewish and Latin descent, this passionate culinaire has dazzled diners and critics alike. “My food isn’t heavy handed or unnecessarily complicated,” says Bernstein, a James Beard Award winner

(Best Chef South 2008) and author of Cuisine a Latina (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008). “You don’t need heavy handed technique and over the top presentations to make a dish work. To me it’s all about the amazing ingredients I’ve loved most of my life, layered flavors and simplicity. My style of cooking is based on the honest, soulful cooking I remember from my childhood. I cook food I love and believe that love translates to the diners.” ALLEN SUSSER THE FACE OF A GENERATION While many locals recall the early Aventura years of Chef Allen, many remember this prestigious James Beard Award winner, who has been one of the most respected food geniuses around. In 1986 upon opening Chef Allen’s as chef/ owner of his groundbreaking Miami restaurant, The New York Times called Allen the “Ponce De Leon of New Florida cooking”. Chef Allen’s cuisine is fresh and flavorful, like a tropical vacation on a plate. Food & Wine magazine named Chef Allen “One of the Best 10 Chefs in America”. In 2000 Allen launched Chef Allen’s Consulting a boutique restaurant and hospitality consulting firm - providing strategic initiative, culinary resources, and innovative direction for the industry. Allen has consulted for American Airlines, Kitchen Aid, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, McCormick Spice, Kraft and Sunkist. In 2008 was named consulting chef for Jade Mountain Resort and this year added Anse Chastanet Resort also on St Lucia in the West Indies. In 2011 he debuted a new casual direction of comfort food launching Burger Bar by Chef Allen at Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport and is currently developing a privately held QRS national brand concept. Current clients include Daily Melt, Slainte Irish Pub + Kitchen and Books & Books Cafe. SOME OF THE OTHER HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEKEND Among the other chefs to keep an eye on are favorites such as Rachael Ray, Anne Burrell, Ming Tsai, The Deen Family, Giada De Laurentis, Tyler Florence, Robert Irvine, Katie Lee, Masaharu Morimoto, and celebrity cook Trisha Yearwood. Many of the chefs will also take part in interactive events as well as wine tasting and other features that have been added to what looks like another record crowd. FOOD NETWORK SOUTH BEACH FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL TICKETS Box Office: 877-762-3933 GENERAL INFORMATION


7 Things You Must Know Before Putting Your Home Up For Sale - A new report has just been released which reveals 7 costly mistakes that most homeowners make when selling their home, and a 9 Step System that can help you sell your home fast and for the most amount of money. This industry report shows clearly how the traditional ways of selling homes have become increasingly less and less effective in today’s market. The fact of the matter is that fully three quarters of homesellers don’t get what they want for their homes and become disillusioned and - worse financially disadvantaged when AVENTURA

they put their homes on the market. As this report uncovers, most homesellers make 7 deadly mistakes that cost them literally thousands of dollars. The good news is that each and every one of these mistakes is entirely preventable. In answer to this issue, industry insiders have prepared a free special report entitled “The 9 Step System To Get Your Home Sold Fast And For Top Dollar.” To hear a brief recorded message about how to order your FREE copy of this report, call toll-free: 1-800-689-2716 and enter ID # 1000.

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Over 50 years of vision problems corrected in minutes Larry Blustein - Aventura Digest


As he thinks back to the first time he recalled having problems with his vision, Raymond Poirier has to laugh for a minute. What the 61-year-old was bringing himself back to was the age of 8, Catholic school in his home state of Rhode Island, where everyone kept telling him that many of his problems didn’t come from him not knowing things, but actually not being able to see them. “I was a defiant, young kid who really didn’t want to wear glasses,” Poirier said. “But I guess every child has that certain vanity.” While vision problems have plagued him for much of his life, other unfortunate circumstances have also surrounded Poirier’s lengthy career as a construction worker. Within the struggle to see - with eye covering protecting him - a severe accident broke both of his legs and truly had Poirier scrambling to just live each day. “Pain was crazy, but the fact that I now had vision problems and two bad legs, compounded the craziness,” Poirier said. “It was like a curse or something.” While being dependent on pain relief medicine, Poirier decided to head to south Florida to spend time with a mother who had been ill. While there were so many negatives surrounding his life, the trip to take care of his mother turned out to be - a life changer. While battling through contacts and miracle cures for his need to wear glasses for distance and near, Poirier headed to the world-famous Bascom Palmer Institute in Miami - where plenty of answers came his way, but the results fell short. “They told me that if I got a special contact lens, my vision would be good,” Poirier recalled. “It wasn’t and I was a huge mess.” This was the Monovision option, one eye for distance, one eye for near. Still searching for the answers to correcting his vision, it was his turn to finally get some positive news in his life when Poirier, who took his mother for a visit to Dr. Stanley Braverman in Hallandale Beach, read an article on the wall inside the office. “I remember reading that story about Laser Vision Correction” Poirier said. “It was the best decision ever. From the moment I met Dr. Braverman, I was

blown away with how much he knew exactly what I was experiencing.” When Dr. Braverman explained the procedure, Poirier was sold. He was ready to finally make that decision - even with all he had been through physically and emotionally. “It was a Tuesday, and kidding with Dr. Braverman about when we could do this procedure, I said what about tomorrow,” Poirier recalled. “Without hesitation, he turned to me and said what about Thursday! Now, that was something that really surprised me.” Anxious for the surgery to take place, Poirier set up the exact time his mother would drop him off and pick him, giving a block of time for the PresbyLasik procedure to Raymond Poirier With Dr. Stanley Braverman After A Successful Procedure be performed. As the procedure started at 10:30, a few clicks not be more satisfied with the outcome.” enters the eye. Topical anesthetic drops later and a world was changed. The eye- NEAR-FAR MULTIFOCAL are applied to the eye. The surgeon first sight that had failed him for much of his PRESBYLASIK: Correction for two uses a special Ziemer LDV femtosecond life had been corrected. kinds of vision problems laser to create a thin layer of corneal tisThe avid hunter and fisherman, who New procedure can correct both sue that can be folded back (a corneal had been restricted with fogging-eye pro- Distance and Near Vision flap). Then, another type of laser (an tectors and other things that truly preDr. Braverman started doing the Allegretto Eye-Q excimer laser) is used to vented him from fully enjoying his life, PresbyLasik procedure over two years reshape the underlying cornea, painhad finally noticed a change - and it was ago. It was introduced into the United lessly. After the excimer laser treatment, quick. States approximately six years ago, having the corneal flap is repositioned and “When Dr. Braverman left the room originally been done using the Allegretto bonds back into place naturally. The corfor a moment, I kind of looked to my Wavelight femtosecond laser by an Italian neal reshaping improves the focusing right and left and was really blown away,” Eye Surgeon, Dr. Roberto Pinelli. This is power of the cornea. Poirier explained. “It was like a feeling the same Laser that Dr. Braverman uses. Although no one can promise patients that something had happened in such a Dr. Braverman said “this technique was “perfect” vision, most Laser Vision positive way to make my life better.” developed by taking what Eye Surgeons Correction patients with mild to modWhile his vision luck has turned out to already knew about how Lasik changes erate prescriptions with or without astigbe a blessing, Poirier still can’t avoid the the shape of the front of the eye to elimi- matism, do achieve 20/20 or better injury bug. During a recent trip with nate glasses, and just modifying the tech- vision. hunting and fishing friends in Maine, he niques to be able to reduce or eliminate This means that they no longer need slipped on a wet rock and broke his the need for distance glasses, as well as glasses or contacts to drive, play most shoulder. Although he quickly kicked the reading glasses.” sports, and watch TV. Also, you can parpain pills that became essential after the WHAT TO EXPECT ticipate in careers requiring good accident, he told Dr. Braverman that it WITH Z-LASIK SURGERY unaided vision, such as policemen or was indeed all his fault. All Laser Lasik surgery is performed firemen need. “I wanted to assure him that I saw that on a patient’s cornea, which provides CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 rock perfectly,” Poirier laughed. “I could most of the focusing power when light

CITY NEWS BRAVERMAN Continued From Pg 8 ABOUT DR. STANLEY BRAVERMAN Dr. Stanley Braverman is a Voluntary Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine and the Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital/Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. He is also an Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor at the Nova Southeastern School of Optometry. In addition to treating patients, Dr. Braverman, a board-certified ophthalmologist, has been a medical researcher, and is the inventor of several eye surgical instruments, and author of many articles for medical journals. He has lectured at professional meetings about upgraded lens implants and advanced cataract surgery and LASIK, both nationally and internationally. He has been recognized by Newsweek Magazine as one of the Fifteen Leaders in Laser Eye Surgery in 2011, and recently co-authored a book on Z-Lasik that is being distributed

internationally. For additional information or an initial consultation, please contact Rosemary Hartford, Refractive Surgery Coordinator at (888) 954-LASIK or by calling the Braverman Eye Center at (954) 458-2112 or (305) 374-8694. Please also visit the Braverman Eye Center website at where you can watch a video of Bladeless All Laser Z-Lasik and learn more about refractive surgery choices, as well as the latest advances in LASIK, cataract surgery and upgraded lens implants. In addition to Dr. Stanley Braverman, a Refractive Cataract and LASIK Laser Vision Correction surgeon, your other sub-specialty eye care needs can also be evaluated and treated. On staff at the Braverman Eye Center are Rashid Taher MD FACS and Tirso Lara MD FACS, Vitreo-Retinal surgeons; David Tenzel MD FACS, Ophthalmic Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon; Aarup Kubal MD FACS, Complex Glaucoma

The Braverman Eye Center is located at: 1935 East Hallandale Beach Boulevard, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009. Specialist; Jesse Pelletier MD, FACS, Corneal Surgeon; and, Eric Ciliberti MD, Neuro-Ophthalmologist; Ryan Y. Hargreaves OD

and Danielle Benosa OD. All sub-specialist surgeons at the Braverman Eye Center are Board Certified Ophthalmologists.

The Braverman Eye Center is located at 1935 East Hallandale Beach Boulevard, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009.





Let Healthy Hallandale Medical Center enroll you in ObamaCare for free Our certified ObamaCare Agent is waiting to help you with the enrollment process for free subsidizing a large amount of the cost for their coverage. These subsidies are determined on income and family size, however many times single people qualify for this help. Not Being Covered Is Against The Law People should start taking advantage of these services due to the fact that not only would they have health insurance, but it’s now the law! Not having appropriate coverage will result in a tax penalty in the coming years. “We are able to help the local community by providing them free information and we will show them how to apply and which plan will best fit their needs and budget. We will remove the complexity and make the process easy and stress free,” Dr. Calinescu explained. If you are like the millions of Americans waiting to see how you go about getting insured under the new ObamaCare coverage, Healthy Hallandale Medical is a name you need to be familiar with. What Dr. Cornell Calinescu and his staff have done is to create a facility that not only takes care of his patients medically, but also feeds them for free, provides transportation and other recreational and personal services that help many get through life. In addition, an ObamaCare Specialist has been added to the staff that continues to grow with the needs of the community.

“We want everyone to be educated about what their options are when it comes to ObamaCare,” said Dr. Calinescu. “We will guide you through the entire application process on the ObamaCare website.” Healthy Hallandale Medical Center will now provide that free information and you will be able to find out everything. Important Questions Include: • What Is Obamacare? • Why Is It Good? • Why People Should Do It? • Why Do It Through Healthy Hallandale Medical Center?

• How Can We Help Them? • What’s In It For The Patient? Affordable Healthcare Act ObamaCare is what is referred to as the Affordable Healthcare Act. The benefits of this Act are that any person with preexisting conditions are able to obtain Major Medical Insurance without underwriting. Meaning that no matter what they are suffering from, they will not be denied coverage. Another advantage of ObamaCare is that if the person or family is not able to afford the total cost of the insurance, the government will step in and help them by

Learn The Many Benefits Once insured, they will have access to medical services, ranging from preventative care, emergency services, surgical and hospitalization. Also, they will be able to access prescription drugs with co-payment based on the plan that they have chosen. If you have been looking for the answers to ObamaCare, call Healthy Hallandale Medical Center at 954Healthy. Also, check out the other services in the advertisement on page 11. You will be impressed.


MEDICAL CENTER We proudly announce and invite our community, all of our patients and welcome new patients to our new grand opening: Healthy Hallandale Medical Center Patient’s VIP social lounge. For our patients, unlimited access to FREE: • Legal Advice • VIP Lounge • Theater Room • Mini Gym • Gaming Room • Kid’s Playroom • Wi-Fi Internet • Free Daily Meals • Monthly Goody Bag

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Dr. Cornell Calinescu will host Diabetic & Nutrition Lecture Every Monday. In addition, UNLIMITED: • Free transportation to and from doctor’s office • Free transportation to specialists, diagnostic tests, and all medical services for our patients

At Healthy Hallandale Medical Center, we promise: • No more than 20 minutes waiting time • Same day appointments • Digital X-rays • Blood Work done on site • Holter monitoring • Pap smears

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We provide medical care for everyone from 2 to 100 years old. • Diabetic and Nutritional Teaching at the activity center • Senior Event Weekly • Spring & Fall Dances

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Lovers’ soiree for your Valentine at VK dance center NORTH MIAMI BEACH – Coming off one of the most impressive dance showcases since opening VK Dance Center in the past year in south Florida, the momentum has carried over as February is in full swing. Victor Kanevsky and his gifted professionals continue to turn up the music and rhythm daily – and this Valentine’s Day weekend will become extra special as the doors fly open to the electric atmosphere that this holiday brings along with it. This Saturday evening, Feb. 15th, one of those fun events will take center stage at VK Dance Center when the first Lovers’ Soiree will take place, in an elegant dance party that will include champagne and a schedule that will have everyone feeling the love in the air. “This is one of those fun events that everyone is invited to take part in,” Victor said. “We wanted to have something fun and filled with a great night of dancing and fun. That’s what the holiday is all about.” Lovers’ Soiree will begin at 8 p.m. with Ballroom Latin Music until 10. From 10-10:30, there will be Mixed Latin Dancing – and the night will close out with a 10:30 session that will feature Salsa, Bachata and Merengue. One of the highlights of the

evening, as is the trademark of all VK Dance Centers, you will see the professional dance instructors mingle with the guests, teaching and demonstrating some of the most popular dances as well as showing some of the latest dance trends. “We are so proud of the professionals at VK Dance Center,” Victor explained. “We happen to have world class dancers who have not only performed at a high level, but are here teaching those skills each and every day to all of our students - of all ages.” THE BEST AROUND What makes VK Dance Center so special every day are those who are part of this growing and tremendous team. Under the direction of “VK” himself, some of dancing’s most coveted instructors teach their craft for dozens of classes and individual instruction. Among those who continue to raise the dancing bar include the incredible Max Shklyaryk, the lovely and very talented Ana Chacon (Director of Ballroom Department), the always classy Sergei Chislov, world-famous Clifford and Gaelle Jasmin, the ever smooth Igor Derimov, the beautiful and talented Daria Cebotaru, and the recent addition of U.S. Latin Professional

champion Andrey Zemlynko. Zemlyanko is originally from Siberia. His family sent him to a special ballroom and Latin training school. He immigrated to New York as a teenager and had to leave his family back in Russia. He taught himself English by reading the dictionary and started teaching dance at Fred Astaire to help pay for his own competitions. He and his partner won second in the Professional Rising Star Division. Since then, Andrey has taught hundreds of students of all levels to dance. His specialty is Latin and he has a tremendous portfolio of competitive students who compete nationally. Additionally, he teaches several groups social dancing and musicality. He also had the opportunity to work with Anna Trebunskaya, another professional ballroom and Latin dancer, known for her appearances on Dancing with the Stars. “I just want everyone to know that even though we have such world class professionals in our facility, their approach to teaching all of our students and classes are done in a way you just have to come by and see for yourself,” Victor said. “That is what makes all our centers so

much fun to come to.” DAILY CLASSES & PRIVATE PARTIES In addition to all the special activities going on during the next few months, there will be classes as usual for children and adults. VK Dance Center is also available for parties and other events. There is ample room and parking to host some major gatherings, so keep them in mind the next time you are planning something special and different. They teach all Ballroom and Latin dances: Bachata, Bolero, Cha-cha-cha, Foxtrot, Hustle, Jive, Salsa, Samba, Swing, Tango, Waltz, Wedding dance – to name a few. Beginners through Advanced levels are always welcome. CHOOSING DANCE CLASS Dancing is one of the most natural ways to keep your body healthy. Regular dance classes will help you strengthen your heart muscle, improve posture

and detoxify your body. VK Dance Center offers different programs to fit your level, lifestyle and tight schedule. From popular Salsa to trending Brazilian Zouk, there is a dance style to suit all ages and levels. Private and group packages are available, please contact us today for current specials. Remember it’s never too late to start dancing! SOMETHING HUGE IS ON THE WAY For those who are always looking for something new and exciting when it comes to dancing, “VK” has something special planned for Wednesday, Feb. 19th - although he will be releasing the details via the website, first. VK DANCE CENTER 3363 N.E. 163rd St. North Miami Beach, Fl. 33160 305-944-4725


(Left to right) Victor Kanevsky Founder and CEO, Max Shklyaryk Dance Instructor at VK Dance Center Miami, Ana Chacon Director of Ballroom Department at VK Dance Center Miami, Sergei Chislov Dance Instructor at VK Dance Center Miami, Clifford and Gaelle Jasmin Salsa Dance Instructors at VK Dance Center, Igor Derimov Dance Instructor at VK Dance Center Miami & Daria Cebotaru Dance Instructor at VK Dance Center Miami



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If you would like to submit an announcement for our Community Calendar in the paper – or online, where you are guaranteed placement weekly, please send it to: Larry Blustein, Community Calendar Editor, 305 N.W. 10th Terrace, Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009; Fax: 954 458-0765 or via e-mail to: For a complete listing of all Community Calendar items, please check our website at: Also follow us on Twitter @sfsuntimes. • Every third Thursday of the month at VK Dance Studios (3363 N.E. 163rd St.) in North Miami Beach, there is a Latin Party at 10 p.m. Free Alcoholic Drinks will be served along with other refreshments. Call 305-944-4725 for more information. Mention You Saw This In The Aventura Dgest And Receive A Discount. • Aventura Hospital Volunteer Program Opportunities. If you are looking for a challenging volunteer position, Aventura Hospital has many to offer. Patient Escort, Surgical Waiting Room, Human Resources, Mail Room, Front Desk and Dietary. Please contact Sandy Cohn, Volunteer Services 305 682-7395. • Prostate Cancer Free Support group: Meets the fourth Sunday of every month at Biscayne Medical Arts Plaza, 21110 Biscayne Boulevard, Ground Floor, Aventura. The Biscayne Medical Arts Plaza is located directly across from the Best Buy store on Biscayne Boulevard on 211th Street. Parking is FREE in front of the building. There are highly informative presentations by professionals in this field and are held monthly. Tasty treats and fresh coffee are provided. Guests and spouses are always welcome.


• The Aventura/North Miami Beach Lions Club meets every Tuesday at 12 noon at: “Brio Restaurant in Hallandale Beach Village at Gulfstream Park, 600 Silk Run, Suite 1205, Hallandale Beach, 33009. Join us for food, fun, friendship and service to others. For information, please call Carmen Gomez at: (954) 850-1407. • George Gershwin Lodge 196: Knights of Pythias has a new home in North Miami. We are a non-profit fraternal organization and need new members. We now offer, free of charge, a grave site at a Miami Cemetery. All you have to do is join our Fraternal organization. We are wellknown for all the charity work we do. Contact us at George Gershwin Lodge 196 Knights of Pythias: (954) 680-3412 or: (954) 326-6362.

• Join us for Torah Study Monday & Thursday evenings, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (no charge) with Rabbi Goldsmith at Temple Shuva Israel, which is located at the Publix Shopping Center, next to the HSBC Bank, for info, call: (305) 933-1177. • Bridge Games at the Fort Lauderdale Bridge Club, 700 NE 6th Terrace, daily at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Nonlife master point games Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 12:30 p.m. Social games Monday and Thursday at 12 noon. Also: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday night games. Lunch available at 11:30 a.m. Call: (954) 761-1577. • Amateur Jai Alai – free lessons: You’ve seen it, bet on it, now you can play it! Amateur Jai-Alai has come to Florida! FREE lessons given at Hallandale Beach handball courts and American Amateur Jai-Alai Fronton in North Miami. (A NotFor-Profit Organization) from ex-Dania pros Raul and Luis. Cestas & rubber balls supplied, 100% safe. Ages 12-72 welcome. Call: (786) 629-5428 Or e-mail: • Exercise class – North Miami Beach. 9 a.m., Monday-Wednesday-Friday. Gym and Pool. $6 for 6 weeks. All welcome. Call: (305) 948-2972. • Weekly classes for men and women at the Dovid Byrn Library - 2601 Northeast 211th Terrace in Highland Lakes, Monday night ethics. Mishna Ethics from the Talmud and Kabbala Mondays: 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. Parsha Highlights, Kabbalistic, mystical insights to the weekly Torah Portion, Wednesdays: 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Torah for tots, for up to 5 year olds and their parents, it’s exciting, fun and educational! Tuesdays and Thursdays: 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Call: (305) 770-1919. • Duplicate bridge $3.00. Mondays & Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. at the North Miami Beach Community Center, 17051 Northeast 19th Avenue. Please call Ruth Norton, for more info at: 305 931-2286.

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CITY NEWS 3 easy steps to sweeten someone’s Valentine’s Day Creative gift solutions offer a simple way to show you care (BPT) - Nearly everyone has more than one special person in their life. Whether it’s a neighbor who lets the dog out, the friend who watches the kids in a pinch or a colleague who makes Mondays a little more bearable, loved ones make our days better. A simple thank you or a small thank you gift can go a long way in showing those people just how much you appreciate them. A recent survey revealed that most people do have multiple “loves” in their lives. In fact, significant others aren’t the only ones who get Valentine’s Day gifts these days. This survey, which was commissioned by Rich Products, a leading provider to foodservice, in-store bakery and retail marketplaces, showed that Valentine’s Day now extends way beyond that one special person. Forty four percent of people said that they purchase gifts for multiple people on Valentine’s Day. When asked to identify their “other loves,” friends were at the top of the list; and surprisingly, among their favorite gifts were fresh baked goods ranging from cookies, cupcakes and other sweet treats. So to sweeten your relationships all year round, small thank you gifts are both welcomed and appreciated. And keep in mind it’s not the size of the gift that matters. Survey results show that good things come in small, personalized packages.Give the gift of deliciousness To get started, remember showing your appreciation

doesn’t have to be expensive and time consuming. Gifts can be purchased on your weekly (or daily) trip to the grocery store then personalized and decorated with things that you have around the house. You can stock up on these inexpensive supplies at your local craft store. Here are some simple, low-cost steps to show someone you care: Step 1: Visit the bakery department in your local grocery store for a variety of fresh and delicious options. From frosted cookies, to cinnamon rolls, cupcakes and doughnuts, you’ll find a treat to please everyone on your list - and there’s no baking involved. Step 2: Personalize each gift by selecting a baked good and using basic art or wrapping supplies (think ribbon spools and tissue paper leftover from Christmas) that you have around the house to dress up your gifts. Step 3: Attach a personalized, handwritten note on a piece of construction paper or cardstock. Cut the paper to size, punch a hole to thread a ribbon through and tie it to your gift. Other ideas for a quick and easy do-it-yourself ways to dress up your gift: • Homemade gift bags: Cut hearts out of construction paper and glue onto a lunch bag. • Decorative plates: Find inexpensive, seasonal or colored ceramic plates at your local discount store and wrap with cellophane and a bow.

• Sweet surprise: Grab a small gift box, place some tissue inside, add your selected baked good and tie with a colored bow. Make sure that the baked good is secure in the box. You don’t want it to crumble. For more simple and creative gifting and packaging ideas, visit the Bakery Because Pinterest board at

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LIFESTYLES Liza Minnelli Winner Of The Most Tony, Oscar & Grammy Awards Takes Center Stage At Broward Center By Eleanor Hannan - Aventura Digest

Liza, with a Z is the daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. Considered one of America’s true legends, Liza began her professional career at the early age of 16, in 1963, in an Off-Broadway revival of the musical, “Best Foot Forward,” for which she received sensational notices and her first award, the Theatre World Award. It was the first to be among many show business honors. In 1965 she became the youngest woman ever to receive a leading actress Tony Award for “Flora the Red Menace.” In 1972 her movie career peaked when she played Sally Bowles in ”Cabaret, and sang the song “Come to the Cabaret.” The film won eight Oscars, including “Best Actress.” The role earned her a Golden Globe and a British Film Academy Award, for the outstanding success of Cabaret. In between her many TV and film roles, Liza never stopped touring and has been considered one of the most exciting concert performers, electrifying audiences around the world and setting records at the most prestigious venues. Today, in addition to her busy schedule, she works with students at The Actor’s Studio teaching master classes in acting and singing. As usual, Liza’s performance will be a sold out concert on February 16, 2014, at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $50 to $150 at the Center’s box office located at 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. For information call 954-462-0222 or 1- 888-9743698.

HOROSCOPES Aries (March 21 - April 19) February gives you a chance to catch your breath because Mercury, the planet of communication, transportation, negotiation, memory, commerce, contracts, and decisiveness will be retrograde, which means Mercury will now shut down for a rest. Before you groan, there are a few good parts to having Mercury backward in Aquarius.

Taurus (April 20- May 20) This may turn out to be a VERY exciting month for your career, your home, and your social life, dear Taurus. Let’s start with your career, which will be first to bring exciting opportunity if you send out the word that you are open to a promotion or an entirely new job. The new moon that appeared on January 30 was in Aquarius, 11 degrees, and will open


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Gemini (May 21 - June 20) Late last month, on January 30, a beautiful new moon in Aquarius (11 degrees) appeared, and it was and still is to be a special one for you, dear Gemini. That new moon is just about to shower you with opportunity and open up your life in ways you’ve not seen in months. Stay alert, for lots of news will come to you during the first part of February, and some of your very best will appear in the first week.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22) As February began, you seem determined to get your tax preparation ready for your accountant, or to get down to business and do your taxes yourself. Gather and organize receipts if they aren’t already in folders, but when it comes to actually filing this or any other important financial papers with an institution, file in March.

Leo (July 23- August 22) As February opened, the new moon has just appeared, just two tiny days earlier, on January 30, which means that new moon is still strong. It appeared in Aquarius 11 degrees in your committed partnership sector, so it’s time to think about

how you feel about the relationship you have now, and to decide if you’d like to change it or improve it in any way.

Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) As February started out, you will be working on a new assignment that is now coming up as a result of the new moon that occurred last month, on January 30, in your solar sixth house of dayto-day projects. That new moon was in Aquarius, giving you the type of assignment that will intrigue you - it will be something new and different that you can dig into and learn from by being involved.

Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21) Starting out the new month, you seem to be thinking about your living situation. You may have tried to make changes to your home for several weeks or months, to no avail. Now, the new moon in Aquarius that appeared just two days prior to the start of this month, on January 30, will still be strong in the first half of February and help you find solid answers you’ll like.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) Have you had too many days stuck inside? You are about to spread your wings this month and fly away, dear

Sagittarius, thanks to a new moon that will seem like a fairy godmother, who will make sure you go and have plenty of fun while there.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19) This month will help you get your finances organized, and in the process, you may end up richer than when you started it. This trend is being kicked off by a new moon that arrived two days prior to the start of February, January 30. This new moon will exert lots of good energy during the first half of February.

Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18) It’s birthday time and that’s exciting because it means you are about to start a fresh new chapter. Last month, you had many planets crowded into your twelfth house, and this indicates that in January you were finishing up loose ends and clearing the decks to bring new elements in your life. Now you are ready.

Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20) With planets gathering in Aquarius, the first half of February will seem slow on the outside, but in truth, lots will be going on within you. You seem to be in a highly reflective mode and may view the world, and your part in it, as if you were watching scenes in a movie.


Claudio Martinez Mehner: Astonishing Pianist And Musical Explorer Performs In Aventura

this performance Martinez Mehner is flying to New York City to present two days of master classes for New York Concert Artists & Associates. According to Giselle Brodsky, “the Miami International Piano Festival is dedicated to the discovery and support of sensational international pianists such as Martinez Mehner - those who are able to speak to the listener at a deep personal level, who go far beyond technical brilliance.” She noted that “our musicians are given complete freedom of programming and expression and South Florida audiences are consistently treated to a fresh, exciting, and

thought provoking musical experience.” She emphasized that Mr. Martinez Mehner’s recital will be memorable. The February 23 recital is the third of four Classical Sundays at Five at the Aventura venue. As part of the Aventura Cultural Series, the audience engages in an intimate experience. A convivial reception follows. The Miami International Piano Festival’s Lecturer in Residence, Dr. Frank Cooper, proffers illu-

minating commentary for all of the recitals. The Sunday series concludes April 27 with Pavel Nersessian (Russia), one of the most remarkable Russian pianists of his generation and also a professor at Boston University. The 2014 season continues with The Master Series at The Broward Center for The Performing Arts, ”The Romantic Spectrum”, March 2325, with recitals by Pietro de Maria (Italy), Amir Katz (Israel)

and Balazs Szokolay (Hungary). The 2014 season culminates with The Discovery Series, May 15-18 at The Colony Theater in Miami Beach with performances by Kotaro Fukuma ( Japan), Nick Van Bloss (Great Britain), Zlata Chochieva (Russia), Kemal Gekic (Croatia), Francesco Libetta (Italy) and a special recital by the Californian piano prodigy, Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner, in The Prodigies and Masters of Tomorrow series.

This piano festival is indeed international! CLAUDIO MARTINEZ MEHNER, February 23, 2014 5:00 PM Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th Street Aventura, FL 33180 Tickets By Phone: 954-462-0222 | 877-311-7469 visit online:


Acclaimed Spanish pianist and master teacher Claudio Martinez Mehner will make his third South Florida appearance at The Aventura Arts and Cultural Center on February 23, performing works of Bach, Chopin, Albeniz and Debussy. His two previous concerts for The Miami International Piano Festival were so well received that Artistic Director Giselle Brodsky was determined to share his artistry with the Aventura community, the home base of The Festival. She explained that “this pianist is an explorer, constantly trailblazing new musical territory, always finding something unexpected, exciting, or profound, even in the most familiar works”. Martinez Mehner’s Florida debut performance in 2010 was selected as one of the “Top 10 Performances of 2010” by South Florida Classical Review. They wrote that Martinez Mehner “gave a tremendous recital, drawing repeated standing ovations. Martinez Mehner displayed absolute command of the keyboard, with a vast range of textures and an air of spontaneity, despite the immense thought and care he has clearly given these works” His successful 2012 recital included a Schubert Sonata performance that was reviewed as “grand and sweeping in conception, delivered in a richly romantic style…heartrendingly musical”. Also a master teacher, Martinez Mehner has been an Assistant Professor at the “Reina Sophia” school in Madrid and piano teacher at the conservatories in Salamanca, Zaragoza, and the “Katarina Gurska” school in Madrid. He was recently appointed as a Piano Professor at the Hochschule fur Musik in Basel, Switzerland. He teaches courses throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S. Following


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Dr. Charlton Adler Heel Pain From Plantar Faciitis Affects 10% Of US Population By Marylynne Newmark, Medical Writer

NORTH MIAMI BEACH - The most common cause of heel pain here in the United States is a condition called plantar fasciitis. Athletes are affected, as well as soldiers, sales people on their feet over long periods of time and those who are overweight. It can affect one foot or both. What is plantar fasciitis? Plantar fascia is the flat band of ligament that connects our heel bones to our toes. The plantar fasciia supports the arches of our feet. If it becomes strained by walking, running or standing for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces, it can become weak, swollen and irritated, resulting in severe heel pain. People with flat feet or high arches are prone to this condition. Pronation (rolling of the feet inward when walking) is also a predictor of plantar fasciitis. Those with tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles are at risk for this, as well as people who are

overweight, or wear shoes that don’t fit well or are worn out. Pain is usually felt in the heel and foot with the first step out of bed in the morning or after sitting for a long period of time. It is also likely to be felt after standing for a long period of time or when climbing stairs. How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed? After an indepth assessment of your medical history that would include past injuries and illnesses as well as current conditions under treatment, your podiatrist will assess how you stand and walk, where the pain is, what time of day you experience the most pain, and your level of physical activity. He or she may even xray your foot to rule out a stress fracture.

on activities that are associated with the pain. NSAIDS like Advil or other antiinflammatories such as Tylenol or Aspirin may be prescribed to reduce the painful inflammation, or ice applications may help. We may prescribe toe and calf stretches with a towel several times a day. Shoes with a good arch support and/or cushioned soles are definitely recommended. If pain continues after these conservative approaches are employed, splints may be customized for the patient, and in extreme conditions where pain continues for more than six months, surgery may be recommended. A visit to your podiatrist after several weeks of pain would definitely be in order to alleviate your discomfort and avoid long-term damage. Don’t delay. Early intervention can save you a lot of pain.

Treatment Treatment for plantar fasciitis begins with getting off your feet or cutting back

For further information, feel free to view his website at, or call the office directly at 305-935-3999 to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Charlton Adler has been recognized for his patient and thorough podiatric care for all ankle and foot problems, as well as his limbsaving successes as a team with vascular specialists at Jackson North, the Aventura Wound Center and Kindred Hospital in Hollywood He has the rare honor of being certified by three prestigious clinical boards: The American Board of Podiatric Surgery, The American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine, and he is a Certified Wound Care Specialist. Dr. Adler’s main office is located at 2390 NE 186th St., North Miami Beach.


HEALTH Misconceptions exposed - multivitamins and nutritional supplements (BPT) - How often do you eat a cup of sauteed spinach? How about three servings of fatty fish, like salmon, per week? Probably not very often, but those are examples of foods and portions that are packed with the recommended amounts of essential nutrients. Research shows that Americans aren’t making the nutrition grade and, therefore, can lack important vitamins and minerals like folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin K and even vitamin C. “Even if you follow a healthy diet, a busy lifestyle can make it difficult to obtain the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals from food alone,” says Elizabeth Somer, -a leading registered dietician and author of several books, including “The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals.” Data on dietary intake from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which used the USDA’s Healthy Eating Index to compare what people say they eat to

recommended dietary guidelines, found that children and adults scored 56 points out of a possible 100 (equivalent to an “F” grade), while seniors fared only slightly better at 65 points (equivalent to a “D” grade). The American Heart Association agreed with those findings in its 2013 report on heart disease and stroke, concluding that poor diet and lack of exercise are two of the main factors contributing to the high prevalence of heart disease in the U.S. One easy way to maintain good nutrition is to enhance your diet with supplements; however, the frequency of new studies combined with the staggering number of supplements available makes it increasingly confusing to know what’s right. Somer puts nutrition news in context, provides the facts for common misconceptions and offers realistic tips to meet daily nutrition needs:

Misconception 1: It’s realistic to obtain all essential nutrients from food. Even experienced nutritionists have a hard time designing a diet that provides all the essential nutrients for one day and busy Americans often struggle to follow a highly regimented diet. That’s not to say it’s impossible but the best approach is to focus on eating nutrient-rich foods as much as possible - like dark leafy greens (good source of lutein for eye health), colorful fruits, whole grains, healthy proteins and fats (such as salmon, which is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA) - and fill gaps in nutrition with a daily multivitamin. “Another supplement I always recommend is fish oil, or a vegetarian source from algae, because DHA and EPA benefit eye, heart and brain health,” says Somer. Misconception 2: Multivitamins have no health benefits. Although recent studies report that vitamin and mineral supplements do not lower one’s risk of heart disease or cancer,

Ask the Pharmacist: Understanding the dangers of low blood sugar The numbers are astounding - nearly 400 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes and many patients may not realize they are at risk for a condition known as hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is characterized as dangerously low blood sugar levels that could cause serious side-effects including hospitalization. (BPT) -

Jay Belcher, is a specialist pharmacist in Express Scripts Diabetes Therapeutic Resource Center, and counsels patients who may not be aware of their risk for hypoglycemia. “Normally, our body has a natural response that is triggered when blood sugar levels drop below a normal level,”

says Belcher. “However, in some people with diabetes, this response is impaired. Certain medications used to treat diabetes, such as insulin, can also prevent glucose levels from easily returning to the normal range.” There are certain people at increased risk for hypoglycemia - including those with chronic dia-


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betes and type 1 diabetes patients. “People with type 1 diabetes are at increased risk because they may not show early warning signs of low blood glucose, a condition called hypoglycemia unawareness,” says Belcher.- “This means an individual no longer experiences early warning symptoms such as shakiness, sweating, anxiety and hunger; raising their risk of lapsing into severe hypoglycemia.” It’s important for all diabetes patients to remember that hypoglycemia is usually mild and can be treated quickly and easily by consuming a small amount of a glucose-rich food or drink. Unfortunately the condition can rapidly

these supplements are still proven to be beneficial to one’s health. “If a study found that people who drank water had no lower risk for dementia, would you stop drinking water?” asks Somer. “Of course not, because water, like essential vitamins and minerals, is crucial to health and there is no controversy over its importance for human nutrition.” Misconception 3: Multivitamins are a waste of money. Multivitamins are a relatively inexpensive tool to achieve proper nutrition. “No reputable health expert will argue that supplements can or should replace a good diet and a healthy lifestyle,” says Somer. “However, multivitamins and nutritional supplements are one factor in a pattern of living that is known to maintain overall well-being. Think of multivitamins as an insurance policy for optimal nutrition they’re meant to supplement, not replace, a healthy diet.” For more nutrition information, visit

worsen causing confusion, clumsiness or fainting; in fact, severe hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, coma and even death. Belcher offers the following tips to help prevent hypoglycemia: • Timing is everything: As with all medications, always take your diabetes medications in the recommended dosage and at the recommended times. Some diabetes medications can cause hypoglycemia. If you have questions, talk to your physician or specialist pharmacist who can help explain how and when to take these medications. • Watch what you eat: Following a meal plan is important for managing diabetes. Have enough food during each meal, avoid skipping meals and try healthy snacking (if recommended). If you are struggling with your food intake, work with a reg-

istered dietician who can help design a meal plan that fits your personal preferences and lifestyle. Eating right will help you manage your diabetes. • Exercise responsibly: Check your blood glucose before sports, exercise, or other physical activity and adjust medication if necessary. Plus, have a snack handy if your levels fall below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Also, check blood glucose at regular intervals during extended periods of physical activity and periodically after physical activity and adjust medications if necessary. • Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking alcoholic beverages, especially on an empty stomach, can cause hypoglycemia. Heavy drinking can be particularly dangerous for people taking insulin or medications that increase insulin production. Only consume alcohol with a snack or meal.

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REAL ESTATE Energy-efficiency: the remodeling trend that’s here to stay

“green” points in mind: Energy-efficient appliances Household appliances account for nearly 35 percent of a home’s energy consumption, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey. Reducing the amount of energy appliances consume can help homeowners lower utility bills and save hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of an appliance. The federal ENERGY STAR program provides consumers with a valuable reference when shopping for energy efficient appliances. A newer designation called “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” recognizes the top products in their category for efficiency, across categories like appliances, TVs and electronics from leading brands like LG. This new classification can be especially helpful to e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y- c o n scious consumers when they’re renovating, according to O’Toole. “Increased awareness of the value of energy efficiency has made an ENERGY STAR rating a ‘must’ for many homeowners when they’re shopping for new appliances,” he says. “Replacing older, less effi-

cient appliances with newer, ENERGY STARrated ones can both transform the look of a kitchen and ensure long-term cost savings while addressing climate change.” Many remodelers today are seeking premium built-in design and innovative technology along with enhanced efficiency, all of which can be found in LG Studio appliances. This high-end suite of appliances, from refrigerators to cooktops, and wall ovens to dishwashers emphasizes savvy, stateof-the art design that is as user-friendly as they are efficient. For example, the 42-inch side-by-side refrigerator/freezer is ENERGY STAR-qualified and offers 26.5 cubic feet of capacity, and the SpacePlus Ice System that frees up valuable top-shelf space by moving the icemaker into the refrigerator door. Also, the counterdepth Door-in-Door Refrigerator provides a built-in and seamless look while the unique, Door-inDoor feature offers convenience and easy organization as well as keeping the cool air from escaping the refrigerator by not opening the main door. Solar options Solar energy is becoming increasingly practical and affordable for residen-

wall-mounted unit with a picture frame for customized artwork. It’s a ductfree way to deliver cool air to a room. An indoor unit delivers the cooled air and links to an outdoor unit via compact refrigerant lines that eliminate the need for bulky ductwork. The units are a great option for remodeling older homes where installing ductwork may not be practical. “Design tastes change just as fashions do, but saving money will always be in style,” O’Toole says. “American homeowners have embraced the idea that remodeling can benefit both their wallets and the environment.” SITUATION WANTED

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(BPT) - Remodeling trends come and go, which is a good thing if you’re talking about shag carpet or avocado-colored Formica. But some trends have both staying power and universal appeal, such as the strengthening movement toward homes that are more energy efficient and eco-friendly. “Demand is high for homes that are not only attractive and comfortable, but also that perform well,” says Patrick L. O’Toole, editorial director and publisher of Professional Rebuilder magazine. “Today’s homeowners are looking for remodeling options that make their homes more energy-efficient. Costsavings over the long-term and minimizing a home’s environmental footprint make energy-efficient remodeling very appealing to homeowners. At the same time, they’re not willing to sacrifice quality design and beauty.” Upgrading a few key systems can help homeowners involved in remodeling projects improve their homes’ energy efficiency and operate their households in a more environmentally conscious way. If you’re planning some remodeling in the coming year, O’Toole suggests keeping these

tial use. Currently, the most common uses for solar power in homes are in heating water and generating electricity. Water heating accounts for nearly 18 percent of a home’s energy consumption, according to the Energy Information Administration survey. Replacing an older, less efficient electric water heater with an ENERGY STAR-qualified solar water heating system can reduce hot water costs by 50 percent, says. These heaters also reduce a home’s carbon dioxide emissions by half and can last as long as 20 years. Installing rooftop solar panels can help save money on energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After the initial installation investment, solar panels can quickly recoup their costs when used to generate electricity for a home. Many homeowners find that their solar panels not only supply all the electricity their homes need, but also generate an excess that homeowners can then sell back to the local electricity company, for additional cost savings. With new technologies from leading solar module makers like LG, installation is also becoming easier and cheaper. More efficient cooling Air conditioning accounts for more than 41 percent of the energy a home consumes, according to the Energy Information Administration. Yet O’Toole notes that in many regions of the country, going without A/C is not an option for many homeowners. Fortunately, innovative options have emerged to help cool homes more efficiently, using less energy to produce better results. The Art Cool Gallery, for example, is a


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(BPT) - So you’ve decided it’s time to remodel your bathroom. Whether you’re excited at the idea of creating a new look that will add value to your home, or simply relieved that you’ll no longer have to look at dated fixtures and cracked tile, you’ll be facing a lot of decisions about materials, colors, fixtures, flooring and more. The options are vast, and you may wonder: What is the best way to get started? “Whether you’re creating a new master suite, refreshing a powder room, or building a new home, it’s an exciting time to contemplate a beautiful new space,” says Gray Uhl,-director of brand education for American Standard. “Shopping for fabulous new bathroom products is a highlight of the experience, but it can get a little overwhelming.” Bathrooms continue to be a remodeling priority for many homeowners. The average mid-range bathroom remodel costs $15,782 and returns more

than 65 percent of that investment at the time of resale, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report. An upscale bathroom remodeling project costs about $50,000 and returns more than 58 percent when you sell. Doing some or all of the work yourself can save thousands in labor charges - money you can put into choosing the best materials - as long as you know how to do it correctly. In a free e-book, “The How to Buy Guide for the Bathroom,” American Standard offers information on everything from how to get started to how to choose the toilet shape that’s right for your space and lifestyle. The guide says homeowners should begin by considering five key points: 1. Consider how you will use the space and allow it to guide your reno-

vation plans. Do you want your bathroom to be a spa-like retreat for the masters of the house? Or is it more important that the room be able to handle more intense use from the whole family? Gather input from everyone who will use the room, and evaluate what’s already present that works - and what doesn’t. 2. Will you hire a professional or attempt to do the job yourself? While DIYers may save on labor costs, professional designers and licensed contractors may be better able to help you maximize your


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space and stay on budget. Ultimately, hiring professionals may save you time and money. 3. Measure - everything! Nothing’s worse than falling in love with a vanity or jetted tub only to find neither fits in the space you have for it. Before you begin shopping, determine how much space your bathroom has for key fixtures such as the sink, toilet, shower and furniture. And mentioning tubs - be sure the one you choose will fit through the bathroom door before you buy it. 4. Get educated before heading to the store or showroom. Compare products and prices and check out product reviews. Decide what materials to look for and identify how you want installations to be done. 5. Set a budget and establish priorities. A professional can help you best determine how to achieve your objectives within the framework of your budget. Remember to allow yourself a budget cushion in case surprises crop up during the process - and they almost always do. For more ideas and information on shopping for bathroom renovation products, download the free e-book at www.american

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February 2014 Aventura Digest  

The Aventura Digest saturates Aventura with Community information and local news for the City of Aventura and the surrounding area

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