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New radio station and street renaming on agenda

Fourteen resolutions pass unanimously by council

The Miami Gardens City Council swiftly completed its second meeting of 2016 — the last meeting in January by passing one ordinance and 14 resolutions unanimously, 6-0. Councilwoman Lillie Q. Odom was absent. In addition, two residents spoke to the renaming of a city street and a special presentation. “The last five years we have painted the city pink in October in recognition and appreciation for breast cancer survivors,” said Vice Mayor Felicia Robinson. That first year, Andrea Nugent was one of my survivors. “Andrea Nugent passed last December. She was truly a courageous woman. This proclamation is presented to her family in recognition and appreciation for the things she did. She created the non-profit Bionic Girl to focus on healing.”

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Gun violence, locating shooter of 13-year-old topics at meeting

Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Commissioner Dennis Moss address Naranja residents

Eric Watson Jr. was shot three times after an unknown suspect opened fire in front of his Grandmother’s house in Naranja, only a day after the shooting death of Amiere Castro. Residents, pastors, Miami-Dade Police Department officers and Mayor Carlos Giménez, gathered for District 9 Commissioner, Dennis Moss’s, Community Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, Jan. 28, to find solutions to rising gun violence and drug use in Naranja. Other attendees, including Mothers Fighting For Justice, representatives from the State Attorney's Office and officials from the Juvenile Services Department, discussed ways to prevent future acts of violence and create incentives for people to yield information.

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Liberty Square residents let down again

In part one of this two-part series, no one should be surprised that Mayor Carlos Gimenez is going to throw out proposed bids for the Liberty Square (Pork ‘n Beans) housing projects because it was wrong from the start. He didn’t think about tearing them down when he was a commissioner so what really is his reasoning for doing it? The problem with the mayor throwing out the bids is that he is basically saying Sara Smith’s vote doesn’t count because she didn’t vote the way he would have liked. Now from the moment the conversation came up about redeveloping the Pork ‘n beans projects I was never on board with the idea. There has never been any real solutions put forth to change the dynamics of making the residents of the development whole after they’ve been trapped in an environment that was created by the powers that be.

ACLU: Blacks cited more for seatbelt violations

New report raises red flag over the racial profiling of Florida motorists

Black motorists in Florida are stopped and ticketed for seatbelt violations in far greater numbers than white motorists — nearly twice as often statewide and up to four times as often in certain counties — according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is calling on the Florida Attorney General's Office of Civil Rights to investigate. "The numbers are shocking. These racial disparities raise serious concerns that officers are engaging in racial profiling when enforcing the state's safety belt law," said Nusrat Choudhury, an attorney with the ACLU's Racial Justice Program and co-author of “Racial Disparities in Florida Safety Belt Law Enforcement.” "It raises a red flag when seatbelt enforcement by specific agencies leads to racial disparities that exceed even the dramatic statewide gap. These agencies must take steps to address the disparities and promote fair and impartial policing."

Staff cuts, fundraiser plans for center

Fracking and ban the box, issues at City commission meeting on Jan. 27

The City of Miramar held a workshop on its cultural center and also a regular meeting on Jan. 27. The city’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. At the workshop, members of the Cultural Trust introduced Cultural Center Director Stephen Kantrowitz, praising his efforts at the Miramar Cultural Center and said they were behind what he was doing. Kantrowitz, who had joined the city staff in December of 2015, gave a brief presentation to the city of Miramar Commission about the plans that he had in store, including the financial condition of the cultural center, management and operations,

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Helping beautify Miami Gardens

A trio of Miami Gardens residents banded together to help beautify their neighborhood and stave off crime. Monica Ward, who owns a home in the Lake Lucerne community, worked with friends to transform a trail of unused, littered land into a self-funded, community garden. “There was a lot of garbage,” said Ward. “We were trying to make it better.” Ward has worked with two of her neighbors Lynette Hickenbottom and Sophia to turn the patch of land into something of which they could be proud. The three women bought soil, mulch, plants and planting tools to create the garden. They also paid someone to clean the area so they could get started planting. They also bought potted plants and placed them in the entrance of a lot adjacent to Hickenbottom’s home where people would park and have sex, beat up and shoot people and commit drug-related crimes, she said.

A simple matter of the right choice

Over the past year, our communities have been affected by gun violence plaguing our young Black children. The question is “why?”  When our children who we send to school in the morning, do not make it back home due to gun violence the question is “why?” And when our children of adolescent age cannot play outside in the front yard, go up the street to a friend’s house to play games, or engage in a simple competition of sandlot football without fear of them being harmed in some violent way, again the question is “why?” There are many of our children who are not living to see their 16th, 18th, or 21st birthdays. These were considered milestone birthdays when we were growing up as we moved toward becoming young adults with the opportunity to leave our parents’ houses. But many children don’t live to see them, all because of senseless shootings that profit nothing.  Again, the question is “why?”

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Rev. Dr. Jimmie L. Bryant: A pastor who prepares the people

Reverend Dr. Jimmie L. Bryant, the senior pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Liberty City, located at 1899 NW 64th St. in Miami, is married to Estella King Bryant, a registered nurse. That marriage has produced five daughters: Monique, Tiffany, Patience, Katrina and Michelle; two sons-in-law, William Stennett and Rev. Derrick Kelly; three granddaughters, Santana Neal, Yahnae Laing and Ashley Savaian; grandson, Malcolm Kelly; Godchildren: Shea Rogers, Richelle Brianna Strachan, Josephine Williams and Kardin James G. Rogers.

Death: Going home or sleeping in peace?

So there I was, sitting at another funeral, marking the passing of another fallen saint. "We are here to celebrate a home going," said the pastor, noting how the deceased is now in a "better place," and "singing with the angels," and how "the Lord had called him home to Heaven." But then, a few minutes later, the same preacher said about the same dead person, "When that horn blows, at the return of the Lord Jesus, the deceased is going to rise up out of that grave and go home to Heaven." Huh! Why is there so such confusion regarding the state of the dead? And why is there confusion in our churches, and confusion coming from our churches when it comes to this issue? I have watched famous television pastors preach about loved ones in Heaven looking down on us. And I have listened as other pastors preached the resurrection to come.

North Shore achieves National Accreditation for Bariatric Program

Patients with severe obesity now have the option to receive surgical treatment at a nationally accredited bariatric program. North Shore Medical Center’s weight loss program has been designated by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) as a comprehensive bariatric center for meeting the highest standards of patient safety and quality care. “I would like to congratulate Dr. Jorge Sosa and our bariatric team for this well-deserved recognition,” said Manny Linares, CEO of North Shore Medical Center. “This designation is the result of their tireless efforts in providing our weight loss patients with a high level of care and dedication.”

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Haitian dance troupe returns to Adrienne Arsht

A Haitian dance studio that literally rose from the ashes of the 2010 earthquake will perform this Thursday and Friday at the Adrienne Arsht Center of Miami-Dade County. Ayikodans, pronounced eye-e-ko-dance, is Haitian’s best dance troupe but it was “on the brink of extinction” because it lost its dance studio and everything else it owned. With physical and monetary help of more than 50 different individuals, businesses and foundations in Miami, three years after the catastrophic earthquake, Ayikodans had a new 40-by-20-foot studio in the hills of Pétion-Ville. The walls are made from coral rock and the floor of Caribbean courbaril wood repurposed from its old studio. New artistic work will be a part of the performances Feb 4-6 in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Individual tickets to the show cost $40 and can be purchased now through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling 305-949-6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org.

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Looking for next generation of the Highwaymen painters

Kelvin Hair helps kick off Black History Month at Fort Lauderdale History Museum and in local schools

Kelvin Hair, a second generation Highwaymen artist, and son of one of the most famous of the original Highwaymen, Alfred Hair, will be hosting an opening reception, a series of exhibits, shows and workshops, in Fort Lauderdale the first weekend in February to kick off Black History Month. Collaborators include the Old Dillard School Museum, the award-winning arts programs of Dillard High School, Grace Arts FL and the History Museum of Fort Lauderdale.

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Motown: The Musical

Play tells the story of Berry Gordy

Musicals can be an underappreciated form of entertainment. National interest recently has sparked with the live broadcast of “The Wiz” last year and the recent broadcast of “Grease” last month. South Florida residents are able to see another significant musical that's playing at the Adrienne Arsht Center. “Motown: The Musical” is scheduled to come to Miami to celebrate a sensational era of music. “Motown is the Soundtrack to our lives. When you hear ‘ABC’ with the Jackson 5 you’re going to remember where you were, who were you with or even what you were wearing. Motown will bring you back to that moment of time,” said Elijah Ahmad Lewis, the performer who portrays Stevie Wonder in the play.

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Cooking with Chef Sian

A winning event

Hello Miami. If you missed the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association (GSCBWLA) Soul Food Cook-Off this past Saturday at the Coconut Grove Gallery and Interiors, you missed a wonderful evening of music, art and food. My evening was spent enjoying dozens of tasty delicacies that included the winning dishes in each category: Starter/Appetizer: a crunchy Kale Apple Salad loaded with fresh winter veggies

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Wayans: ‘50 Shades of Black’ is not shady

Film is a parody of ‘50 Shades of Grey’

Marlon Wayans has excelled in the sport of comedy. In terms of film, he has been notorious for parodies like “Scary Movie” 1 & 2 and his most recent franchise, “The Haunted House.” The latest parody that is in theaters is “50 Shades of Black.” A comedic twist on the romantic drama “50 Shades of Grey,” “this movie answers the question, ‘What if Christian Grey were Black?’ He is rich, a bit shady, and he is really bad in bed,” said Marlon Wayans who plays Christian Black in the film. “50 Shades of Black” is about an inexperienced college student who meets a wealthy businessman whose sexual practice puts a strain on their relationship. The story line is identical to “50 Shades of Grey,” which debuted February 2015. “50 Shades of Grey” was based of the popular book that released in 2011. The book received national exposure by how it illustrates the sexual practices of BDSM or bondage, dominance, submission and sadomasochism.

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Precious Symonette is Teacher of the Year

Three of four nominees were Black women

Precious Symonette exhaled and exhaled again Thursday as she let the idea sink in that she was just named the 2017 Francisco R. Walker Miami-Dade County Teacher of the Year. The creative writing teacher from Miami Norland Senior High School then thanked all who were a part of her journey to the illustrious milestone in her career. In the background Alesso’s “Heroes” played and swelled in the room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center. Symonette finished her speech by thanking her school’s principal, Reginald E. Lee.

Broward College graduates highest earners in Florida

According to a recent study, Broward College graduates not only meet the demands of the job market, but also make more money their first year of employment than those completing the same degrees at other schools. The report (“Labor Market Experiences After Postsecondary Education”), a product of the partnership between the State of Florida and College Measures, documents the variations in median first-year wages of graduates from two-year and four-year higher education institutions.

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The Social Whirl

Black History Month, our legacies, histories in churches, organizations, our service and our stories are endless and are told each day, the celebration is more than a month, it is lifelong. We remember, tell and share the stories of Blacks who paved the way. Some were in the struggle, creative geniuses, educators, businessmen and women, entertainers. Some were ordinary people in our communities, from Florida City to Carver Ranches, pioneers in our communities, who made a difference. Our history includes the establishment of many organizations that created decades of bonds in community involvement, friendship and service. They were a refuge and social outlet for members in the community.

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Chatter that Matters

From the desk of Dr. Enid C. Pinkney, founder of the Historic Hampton House Community Trust, we will continue what has to be done to prepare for the information badly needed for a successful kitchen. We will strive through our historical values and through the arts to create and welcome the arts and culture into their lives. Hampton House activities and services will appear to a cross-section of families without regard for race, educational or economic background. We will focus on Southeast Florida residents seeking to expand their knowledge about the history and contribution of African Americans and other cultures to development of the South Florida community. Through visual performing arts, through historical displays and authentic experience, we will serve a segment of the South Florida Market, primarily Miami-Dade County and reach the entire Southeast Florida region.

‘The Family Tree’ lynching

Book tells story of the 1912 hanging of four Blacks by a white lynch mob

The skeletons in your closet don’t rattle around much anymore. Most of your family has long forgotten the secrets those skeletons represented, while the ones who haven’t forgotten have made sure they’re not discussed. And it might stay that way forever unless, as in the new book “The Family Tree” by Karen Branan, there’s a journalist in the family. As her 90-year-old, still-feisty grandmother lay dying, Karen Branan hoped to record some of her G’mamma’s recollections. Mostly, she got the usual things: schoolgirl hobbies, gentlemen callers… until G’mamma mentioned a hanging that she’d witnessed as a child. Branan tucked the story away in her mind, along with other hushed, whispered things that tickled at her memories. Then, nearly 10 years after hearing that first hint from a dying woman who embellished her tales, Branan went in search of facts.

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