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WMG

Wilton Manors Gazette

Volume 5 • Issue 9 May 16, 2018

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community

Commission Moves Forward on Pool Project Parking a major concern; still no solution

By Michael d’Oliveira Commissioner Tom Green said he the one trying to develop the property. wants to see the old Goodwill site The building has been unoccupied since redeveloped into an indoor pool. But Goodwill moved out in 2011. Green said the project “violates the his personal approval of the project was not enough to get over his disapproval whole idea that we were going to try and of its lack of parking and give it his reign-in parking.” The need for more parking, especially professional approval as a commissioner. “It doesn’t even come close [to meeting along Wilton Drive, has been a constant issue within the community and at city the requirements].” At their May 8 meeting, commission meetings for at least the last decade. commissioners approved “We live in Wilton a developer’s agreement Manors. What’s the and restrictive covenant “We live in number one thing we for the property, located hear daily in Wilton at 550 E. Oakland Park Wilton Manors. Manors? Parking. If you Blvd. The lack of parking, were missing 12 spaces, there are 35 spaces when What’s the I could understand. If there should be 151, has number one you were missing 50. been the biggest concern But when it’s this much I regarding the project. thing we hear just . . . people are going The restrictions will to be parking all down prevent the property from daily in Wilton the street. I guess when possibly being used in the Manors? they get towed a couple future as a bar, lounge, times they’ll stop,” adult store, liquor store, Parking.” Green said. casino, funeral home, Paul Kissinger, an and tobacco store. The - Tom Green architect representing rooftop patio will also be commissioner Hammerhead Aquatics, prohibited for use as a said that even knocking restaurant or bar. The vote was 3-2 with Green and the building down still wouldn’t create Commissioner Scott Newton voting no. enough space for parking. In response At a future meeting, commissioners to Green’s concern about people parking will have to approve the rezoning of in residential neighborhoods, Kissinger the property from Light Industrial to said, “We can’t dictate human behavior General Business [B-3]. John Grzeszczak, where they might park. If they get a head coach of Hammerhead Aquatics, is ticket if they get towed, they’re not going

Photo courtesy of Hammerhead Aquatics.

to do it again. Well, we hope they don’t do it again.” Kissinger said people would be cutting down on the amount of parking needed by using buses and carpooling. He also said Hammerhead Aquatics was talking with Walmart and other local businesses to use other nearby lots. “I’m okay with the parking. People will figure it out,” Mayor Gary Resnick said. Newton also talked about parking and expressed a concern with the amount of people special events would bring. Kissinger compared the Goodwill site to the Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, saying they only have 106 parking spaces but find ways of accommodating the thousands of people who attend special events there. “If we can’t work that out we are not going to have

successful events. We’re going to have to figure that out. We are thinking about this.” Newton also expressed a concern over the concrete wall the Planning and Zoning Board said must be built. The developer wants a wooden fence instead. Newton said his insistence comes from the concerns from some residents he talked to that the concrete wall is needed to reduce the noise that would be generated. He said he’d be willing to give the developer a few years to build it, but “it definitely has to go up.” Commissioner Julie Carson said the city would be relying on Code Enforcement to keep the noise down. If given final approval, the facility would have a 50-meter main pool, a therapy pool, office, gift/pro shop, locker room, outdoor kitchen, and a 5,300 square foot rooftop deck. WMG

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Opinion

Maybe It’s Time For Gary Resnick to Call it Quits?

He’s served honorably for 20 years, but even he admits being mayor is too much of a commitment

WMG May 16, 2018 • Volume 5 • Issue 9 2520 N. Dixie Highway • Wilton Manors, FL 33305 Phone: 954-530-4970 Fax: 954-530-7943

Publisher • Norm Kent norm.kent@sfgn.com

By Sal Torre

Chief Executive Officer • Pier Angelo Guidugli

I recently happened across a newspaper article about the upcoming Broadway remake of “The Boys in the Band.” This remarkable play first debuted Off-Broadway in 1968 and in 1970 was made into a film that quickly turned into a cult classic. The current Broadway production has a remarkable who’s who of young gay actors cast as the memorable group of gay men gathered in a NYC apartment to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Thinking back to so many of the memorable lines, one reminds me of local politics here in our Island City. This past week, many of us heard the news that Gary Resnick is no longer running for re-election as Mayor, but is now running for City Commissioner instead. This whole scenario of the Mayor originally stating that this would be his last term, then announcing his intentions to run again for Mayor, only then to change his mind once again, announcing that he would rather be a City Commissioner leaves me a bit dizzy. In this state of light-headiness, I hear Harold in the background as he delivers his cutting response, “Who is she, who was she, who does she hope to be?” Who do you want to be, Gary Resnick? Perhaps you want to be a Real Estate agent, since at the last city commission meeting, you were advising a resident to put his house on the market and sell while his market value was not yet affected by the proposed townhouse development going in next door. His Honor was in favor of the project having two fewer units, but lost the vote 3 to 2. Most people still in attendance were shocked by the Mayor’s comments. It’s sad when our Mayor advises residents to start selling their properties. It is even more ironic that earlier in the meeting, the mayor’s chair was vacant during the very important vote on appointments to our city’s Planning & Zoning Board, the same board that makes decisions on just such developments. For him to join the meeting late into the night, after much of the agenda had been dealt with in his absence, and then to make an off-the-cuff remark to a concerned resident is not the behavior we should accept from our elected officials. Other recent slipshod comments by Mayor Resnick include his statement that the commitment of being Mayor is night and day from that of being simply a commissioner. Our Mayor goes on and states that he no longer has the time for such a huge commitment and that this new move to the commission will allow him and his partner to do other things. So, he basically wants to have his cake and eat it too, at our expense. “Oh, I don’t want the commitment of Mayor,” but I will just sit back for the ride, enjoy the perks of being an elected official, and easily serve as a City Commissioner for four more years. Wrong! I wonder how his fellow commissioners feel about these statements. Vice Mayor Flippen along with Commissioners Tom Green, Julie Carson and Scott Newton are all fully committed and engaged with this community. They attend neighborhood association meetings, community events, many city board meetings, have positions on the MPO Board along with positions on the Florida and National League of Cities and so much more. This commitment by the entire City Commission is further supported by a full-time City Manager who handles the day-to-day activities of our city, along with a fully staffed city government.

Associate publisher / Executive Editor • Jason Parsley jason.parsley@sfgn.com Copyeditor • Kerri Covington

Editorial

Art Director • Brendon Lies artwork@sfgn.com Digital Content Director • Brittany Ferrendi Webmaster@sfgn.com News Editor • Michael d’Oliveira

Correspondents James Oaksun

Staff Photographers

J.R. Davis • Pompano Bill • Steven Shires

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Sales Manager • Justin Wyse justin.wyse@sfgn.com Advertising Sales Associate • Edwin Neimann edwin.neimann@sfgn.com Advertising Sales Associate • Clark Rogers clark.rogers@sfgn.com Accounting Services by CG Bookkeeping South Florida Gay News is published weekly. The opinions expressed in columns, stories, and letters to the editor do not represent the opinions of SFGN, or the Publisher. You should not presume the sexual orientation of individuals based on their names or pictorial representations. Furthermore the word “gay” in SFGN should be interpreted to be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. All of the material/columns that appears in print and online, including articles used in conjunction with the AP, is protected under federal copyright and intellectual property laws, and is jealously guarded by the newspaper. Nothing published may be reprinted in whole or part without getting written consent from the Publisher, at his law office, at Norm@NormKent.com. SFGN, as a private corporation, reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs. MEMBER

“Forget your troubles, c’mon get happy! You better chase all your cares away! What’s more boring than a queen doing a Judy Garland imitation? A queen doing a Bette Davis imitation.” No, it is a long-serving Mayor now trying to do a City Commissioner imitation! First elected in 1998 to the City Commission, then elected Mayor in 2008 and serving in that role ever since is a long and honorable track record. However, residents have grown tired of the same old song and dance, especially over the last two years. Residents have noticed the empty chair at the head of the dais, the lack of involvement at community events, the unawareness of happenings around town, and the condescending complacent attitude that comes with doing something for such a long time. Residents are feeling tired and used by the Resnick Show. Residents of our Island City deserve fully committed elected officials. If you do not have the time or the interest for such a commitment, then you should seriously consider removing yourself from consideration. Our city has no shortage of eager candidates to fill the role of public servant. Many, such as Paul Rolli, have stated their passionate commitment to serving the residents of our Island City, and to bringing new ideas and proactive leadership to our City Commission. After twenty years of service, it might be time for Mayor Resnick to move on to other endeavors, which he states is his interest, and leave the governing and leadership of our city to those who want to make a full commitment to making life in our great city just better here. WMG

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Real Estate

First Quarter Pricing Review By James Oaksun Last time you’ll remember, I provided a recap of sales counts for single family homes in the three neighborhoods of the Island City, as well as in nine additional nearby neighborhoods of interest to you, my loyal readers. This time we will look at pricing, compared with both last year and two years ago. In other words, it’s time to show you the money. After all, things have quieted down a bit, the winter folk have fled to Rehoboth, Fire Island and Ptown, and we can assess what has happened in yet another season. The chart included here shows all the details. And while I doubt all Hell will break loose when you look at the numbers, they are indeed a bit eye opening. Let me point out a few things to you. The average increase across the 12 neighborhoods compared with last year was nine percent, versus an 11-percent year-overyear change in the first quarter of 2017. A slight slowing yes, but a slowing still. As I noted in the

Yearbook and in several other places (including conversations with the chief economist of Florida Realtors), we cannot expect prices to increase at double digit annual rates forever (as much as Realtors (and those who already own property) might like them to.) Second, more of the neighborhoods are having single-digit increases, or even slight declines, in pricing. Pricing momentum is definitely slowing. Finally, just as I noted last time and in many other contexts over the years, you have got to be very specific when you discuss trends in South Florida real estate. County, city, even zip code, don’t tell you what you need to know. (Examples: Do you mean houses or condos? Waterfront or non-waterfront? Ocean access, or fixed bridges?) Here we are concerned at the neighborhood level. And there is a wide variance among that nine-percent “average” increase. Some neighborhoods have gotten very “hot” (like Victoria Park, Middle River Terrace/Lake Ridge,

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and South Middle River), while others clearly lagged this season (Center and East Wilton, and Poinsettia Heights). You’ve got to get at the detail. Even zip codes won’t give it to you, not in a densely populated area like Broward County. Zip codes, after all, were designed for the convenience of the Post Office, not for economic analysis. Still, a nine-percent “average” increase makes a lot of people around the area very happy. As for other

May 16, 2018

neighborhoods, you can look to my blog at NewRealtyConcepts.com over the next few weeks to get more data. Or just text or email me and I’ll try to get you what you need. WMG James Oaksun, Florida’s Real Estate Geek(SM), is Broker-Owner of New Realty Concepts in Oakland Park. In addition to having degrees from Dartmouth and Cornell, he is a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI).

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police

community

Commission Chooses Wilton Manors K-9 Officer Wayfinding Sign Design Under Review After Video By Michael d’Oliveira After months of discussions and a vote by the public, commissioners approved a design for the wayfinding sign program. At their May 8 meeting, commissioners voted on concept 1B [pictured above], which was also the one most favored by the public. Once implemented, the signs, which feature the city’s tagline “Life’s Just Better Here,” will be placed at various entrances to the city. There are 11 entrances into the city, but Todd Mayfield, of Axia Creative, the firm hired to design the signs, said it’s not known yet if all 11 entrances will get a sign. The exact height of the signs is also not yet determined. Mayfield estimated between 12 and 16 feet. Commissioner Julie Carson asked if 16 feet was too high. Mayfield said once his company creates a mock up of the signs they will have a better idea of what the height should be. “We just want to be sure they have the right presence,” Mayfield said. “It looks like a swizzle stick. It looks to me like you brought it home from Hawaii,” said Commissioner Tom Green. “I wouldn’t want

By Michael d’Oliveira

to buck the public,” said Vice Mayor Justin Flippen. Green and Commissioner Scott Newton said they preferred the second design but agreed with Flippen to go with the one favored by the public. “I will not vote my true feelings on the sign and join in with everyone else,” Green said. Flippen said the signs are part of letting people know the city is not just a neighborhood. “We want folks to know we are the City of Wilton Manors.” “To me, it finally looks like we’re getting art in public places,” said Green. WMG

The Wilton Manors Police Department Ferland, executive director of the United has re-assigned its K-9 officer in the wake States Police Canine Association, said, “I of a video that was posted on Facebook am not sure why the handler did what he showing the officer yanking on the K-9’s did. I would like to hear from the handler to explain why he needed to provide the leash. The video was posted Saturday on collar correction or review any type of Facebook by user DaPastor Yoo. “This investigation report into this incident man followed me from Sunrise Blvd down before rendering an opinion.” On the police department’s Facebook powerline just to pull me over for a tint, so why you need to search my car and page, others were quicker to render an bring the dog out? Then he get mad at opinion. Some have called for the officer to be fired. the dog cause he ain’t find “He should be FIRED!!! nothing!! Wilton Manners (PERIOD) ...what are you Police Department SMDH waiting for? For him to lose #LifeOfTheBlackMale” it on a child or adult? Bad In the video, the officer enough this poor dog is walks around the vehicle needing vet care... IF that with the dog. As he walks was a REGULAR CIVILIAN away from the car, he pulls they would be charged the chain in a violent, with an assault on a police sudden fashion. officer, so why isn’t this In a press release, “officer” being charged with the WMPD stated, “Our an assault on a officer? Oh agency is aware of a video yeah because you are Law involving one of our K-9 Enforcement and you are officers and his canine - Dr. David Ferland above the law,” wrote Nanda partner. Currently the Executive director of the United States CunhaBrown. canine partner is in the care Police Canine Association “Wow..... how is this of a veterinarian where officer expected to preserve a medical assessment is being conducted. Furthermore, our agency the life of civilians if he can’t respect and is conducting a full investigation into this preserve the life of his own partner! So this matter and the Officer has been re-assigned is either assault on an officer or animal from K-9 duties pending this review. As abuse- entire area either way I know that if this is an active investigation our agency is you’ve assaulted another officer that makes unable to provide additional information at you ineligible for employment at most police departments! Fix it!” wrote Vivian this time.” Asked about the video, Dr. David “Lou” Corrales. WMG

“I am not sure why the handler did what he did.”

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in memoriam

politics

City Mourns, Celebrates Alexander ‘Skip’ Stadnik, 84

City Suspends Posting Commission Videos Online By Michael d’Oliveira

By Michael d’Oliveira “Who loves you, baby?” was Alexander “Skip” Stadnik’s catchphrase. One that Johnnie Goodnight would give anything to hear again. “We’ve always loved you right back, Skip Stadnik, and we always will,” wrote Goodnight, a Wilton Manors resident and employee who worked with “Skip” on the Community Affairs Advisory Board [CAAB]. “I’m sure people knew his kindness. He always wanted people to feel happy and cared about. When I first met “Skip” I didn’t like him. The longer I got to know him, the better I got to know him, it started a wonderful love affair for 45 years,” said his widow, Ruthanne Stadnik. “It was never a merry go round. It was always a roller coaster with him. It was never the same mundane thing.” Stadnik, 84, died on May 7. “At the end, he was just suffering so bad. He just knew he was never going to get better. He was miserable,” said Ruthanne. So, he signed a “Do Not Resuscitate” order. “He was gone within three weeks. He was determined to stay alive until his granddaughter graduated from college and she did last Wednesday.” He was one of Wilton Manors’ mostcelebrated volunteers. He was a fixture on the Community Affairs Advisory Board [CAAB] for over 10 years and at a multitude of city events, including Veteran’s Day. At the last Veteran’s Day ceremony in November, Stadnik told the story of how he got his nickname, “Skip.” Stadnik, who had been in and out of the hospital struggling with health problems, said that it would probably be the last time he told the story. While in the Army, his fellow soldiers would yell “skip it” when Stadnik’s name came up during mail call. “The guys started yelling ‘skip it, damn’t.” Stadnik served from 1952 to 1958 and four years after that in the reserves. He briefly served again during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. He talked about his service in a previous Gazette article. “I didn’t get there [to Korea] until the actual fighting was over. I had to spend three weeks over in Korea. Then, I came back and served my four years in the Reserve in South Florida. When the Cuban Missile Crisis happened, I had to put my uniform again and go back in. I trained a lot of medics.” A pharmacist by trade, Stadnik moved to Wilton Manors in 1979 with Ruthanne. Over the course of their 45-year marriage, she was a public school teacher and the two had a spa and hot tub business, as well as general construction and roofing. “Skip” also did

Wilton Manors officials have temporarily suspended the online posting of commission meeting videos. The city clerk is still providing recordings of the meeting upon request. The decision comes after a “deaf South Florida man is suing the Legislature because it doesn’t provide closed captioning for its ‘online live streaming and archived videos of legislative proceedings,’” according to Florida Politics. Wilton Manors officials are working on bringing the videos back with closed captions. “The National Association of The Deaf and Eddie Sierra filed a federal lawsuit this week in Miami against the state, the Florida Senate and House, Senate some pool design work before he retired in his early 60s. Ruthanne said he always had some new invention or business scheme up his sleeve. He was a consummate salesman, she said. “He just wasn’t an ordinary nine to five kind of guy . . . He could sell like no one I ever saw. He could sell ice to an Eskimo. He was just that kind of personality. Always smiling, never angry or sad. He just looked at the bright side of things.” But the end of his professional career only meant more time for volunteering. For his efforts, “Skip” was honored by the city on his 80th birthday, given the key to the city, and the veteran chosen by Wilton Manors to be its honoree at the United Way of Broward County’s Mayor’s Gala in 2016. Mayor Gary Resnick often comments on how fortunate the city is to have a wealth of volunteers for its advisory boards. “You and Ruthanne both are what makes our community great,” he told the Stadniks last year. “We’re very blessed to have such great volunteers.” “Skip” responded to the mayor, “You’re not paid in any form except knowing you’re doing a good thing. The rewards of seeing happy faces is out of this world. I always like to say, ‘God loves you and so do I.’” A celebration of life in honor of Stadnik was held on Saturday. WMG

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President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, as well as the Florida State University Board of Trustees and FSU President John Thrasher,” wrote Florida Politics. “The plaintiffs seek a court order ‘to ensure that the live streamed and archived audio/video content of legislative proceedings is fully accessible to, and independently usable by, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.’” City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson said the city is also having technical difficulties with the videos. She said new videos might be posted online within a few weeks or a couple months. She was unable to give a more specific date of when the new videos would be back online. WMG

WMG

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business

community

Criticism of Water Testing Attracts EPA’s Attention

Provokes review by state By Michael d’Oliveira

Mayoral candidate Boyd Corbin’s repeated public criticisms over how Wilton Manors’ drinking water is tested has resulted in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection [FDEP] issuing a “clarification of when and how local and state officials should perform tests on local water systems.” That’s according to WLRN, which published a story on the issue on May 10. “Previously, an April 20 letter to the state from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggested that Florida officials had been misinterpreting guidance of how and when to perform water quality tests. That letter was prompted by complaints to local and state officials lobbed by Wilton Manors resident and mayoral candidate Boyd Corbin. The EPA addressed the letter to Corbin, but two state officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection were copied.” Corbin has criticized the commission heavily for not testing the water for certain cancer-causing chemicals. He’s also paid for

By Michael d’Oliveira

private tests of the city’s drinking water, tests that found higher than allowed amounts of those cancer-causing chemicals. City officials did not accept the tests as valid because they said they weren’t supervised correctly and did not follow chain of custody rules. After the letter was issued by FDEP, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] issued a statement that it “identified inconsistencies” related to when tests were conducted on specific harmful chemicals in Florida. “EPA currently understands that Florida DEP will be reaching out to all DEP Districts and relevant Department of Health County offices to ensure [chemical] monitoring is conducted correctly at water systems throughout the state.” WMG

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5 .16.2018

Commission Approves 10 Flex Units for Property on NE 21 Court

In a reversal of its previous vote, the more green space and more of a setback. Wilton Manors Commission approved 10 Green said the footprint was just as dense flex units for the proposed development at as before. In response to past concerns over the site being too dense, Hernandez 549 NE 21 Ct. during its May 8 meeting. In April, commissioners approved 8 flex said that the city needs more density near units for the townhouse development. The Wilton Drive in order to bring in more developer, Tim Hernandez of New Urban residents who can support the businesses. Resnick said he doesn’t see a public Communities, had originally asked for 12 flex units. Due to the size of the 0.8-acre benefit by granting 10 flex units. He said the city might need the piece of land, only four additional flex units for units can be built. But, another project that is with flex units, the city more beneficial. “Four commission can exceed units. That’s all this the allowed number of property is entitled to,” units. If given a second said Resnick. and final vote, the total “I hear all this number of townhomes ‘let’s protect the would be 14. neighborhood.’ Well, “I thought we had this is a neighborhood,” decided this,” said said Green. “Let’s leave Commissioner Tom - Tom Green people alone as much as Green. Mayor Gary possible.” Resnick and Green were Commissioner Resnick told one the two votes against resident who lives next allowing 10 flex units. Vice Mayor Justin Flippen said he wanted to the planned development that “you to give Commissioner Julie Carson a chance might want to consider putting your to vote on the project because she left the home on the market before this gets last meeting before the vote was taken. He built.” Flippen said he didn’t think it was said the city needs to find a balance on appropriate for the mayor to say that. “I’m saying how I feel,” responded Resnick. development. Hernandez told commissioners that “And I have faith in this commission,” his reworked plans for the site included replied Flippen. WMG

“I hear all this ‘let’s protect the neighborhood.’ Well, this is a neighborhood.”

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May 16, 2018

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BRIEFS

Check out what’s happening

Around Town By Michael d’Oliveira

Meet judicial candidates Voters can meet all the judges in the upcoming judicial races on Tuesday, May 18 at 6 p.m. at Fort Lauderdale High School, 1600 NE 4 Ave., Fort Lauderdale. The event is free and hosted by the Broward County Bar Association, Broward County Hispanic Bar Association, Broward County Women Lawyers’ Association, and the TJ Reddick Bar Association. Register at browardbar.org/calendar. WMG

Flight! presented by the Atlantic Coast Theatre The Atlantic Coast Theatre will present Flight! on Wednesday, June 13 at 6 p.m. at the Richard C. Sullivan Public Library, 500 NE 26 St., Wilton Manors. The 50-minute performance will take a look at the history of flight, from the Wright Brothers to the Space Race to today. “Audiences are encouraged to think about the future of flight, and perhaps be inspired to become pioneers reaching for the stars themselves.” The performance is suitable for children in kindergarten to grade eight. Call 954-390-2195 for more information. WMG Photo via Youtube.

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Mack the Manatee The Wilton Manors Police Department has released a public safety service announcement in the form of “Mack the Manatee.” In a video posted on YouTube, “Mack” instructs residents to take precautions by locking their homes and vehicles, knowing their neighbors, and not leaving valuables in sight. “A vigilant community is a safe community,” said “Mack.” To see the video, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4vlsFzUQ3w. WMG

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The art of Santiago Echeverry will be featured at the Claudia Castillo ART Studio, 2215 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors. “C A B E R E T: A digital and kinetic sensory experience!” will be on display for the first time at its opening reception on Saturday, May 19 at 6 p.m. Call 954-274-7047 for more information. WMG

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4 8• September • May 16, 2018 6, 2017

Wilton Manors Gazette 5/16/18  
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