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Affordable housing comes to West Grove

Rents at Gibson Plaza higher than the original estimates

The junkanoo band may have seemed out of place amid onlookers who wore sweaters, jackets and shawls to stay warm. But it fit with the occasion in Coconut Grove where several dozens of people came to cheer for new housing in the West Grove. City leaders, former Commissioner Thelma Gibson and a development company on Jan. 20 dedicated a new, affordable housing, senior citizens rental apartment building in West Grove. The building, called Gibson Plaza, is the first multifamily development to go up in the area in more than 50 years. Gibson, widow of Father Theodore Gibson, Miami’s first Black commissioner, gave thanks that supporters stuck by her in the process to bringing housing to West Grove. “It’s been a long journey and I know over the course of the journey, you had your doubts,” she said. The development is a source of pride for an area that has seen lots being picked off one by one by private owners and investors. Homes that go up are expensive, modern edifices that are out of character for a neighborhood defined by Bahamian-style, gingerbread homes. Gibson Plaza continue

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Fear of county encroaching on city’s CRAs

Gimenez memo seeks changes for Omni, Overtown/Parkwest

As city of Miami commissioners begin talks about extending the life of the Overtown Parkwest Community Redevelopment Agency, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is seeking changes that could increase county participation and change the agency’s scope. Miami officials aren’t exactly cool to the idea, saying that the idea, which has the support of county commissioners, interferes with their autonomy for doing business. The changes are among several discussed in a memo from Gimenez to Miami-Dade County Commissioners dated Jan. 14 regarding the feasibility of extending the life of the Omni and Southeast Overtown/Parkwest CRAs. Both entities are scheduled to sunset in 2030. An extension would ensure Overtown exists through 2042, and Omn

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Reaching young people to discuss violence, anger

CRB, PULSE take talks to the streets

Concerned about youth violence and its toll on families, the Miami-Dade Community Relations Board is launching a series of discussions with disenfranchised young people to dig out the root causes of their anger and disregard for life. Walter T. Richardson, the outgoing chairman and longtime member of the CRB, presented the idea during a report to the Miami-Dade County Commission at the board’s regular Jan. 20 meeting. The discussions would start in February. The CRB will join other local organizations in trying to reach possible culprits and those who have direct information. “People are feeling there’s no hope,” said Richardson, retired pastor emeritus of Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church. “They’re saying ‘we do what we gotta do to survive.’” Civic and religious leaders who wanted to push for equal treatment of Black residents established the Community Relations Board in the early 1960s. They later urged calm and to quell ethnic tensions during urban uprisings in the late 1960s and 1980s. In more recent years, the board has addressed issues such as police-involved shootings, business inequity and complaints of disparate treatment during Urban Beach Weekend. The CRB has included noted leaders such as the late Robert “Bob” Simms, Rabbi Solomon Schiff and Theodore Gibson.

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Monitor discipline at corrections department

Last week the Miami Times published an exclusive story about uneven discipline at the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, especially when it came to Black officers. Afterward, the paper received other stories about Black officers who experience harsh discipline, sometimes for acts they did not commit. Most of the headlines about corrections officers are usually that the officers are misbehaving or treating prisoners in less than dignified ways. Corrections officers are a hard part of the system to defend. This time the headline sheds light on the fact that Hispanic officers received lighter “sentences” than Black officers when it came to discipline.

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MIA needs Chef Creole and Jackson’s

The announcement that two Black-owned restaurants are looking for space at Miami International Airport is welcome business news for Black entrepreneurs, and those who strive for a bigger piece of the lucrative economic pie. Congratulations to Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan for having the foresight to push a resolution that could give worldwide prominence to Jackson Soul Food and Chef Creole. Kudos to Commissioners Audrey Edmonson and Dennis Moss for deflecting potential criticisms from the short-sighted commission colleague who sought to pick apart the proposal. Both of these restaurants have large followings in South Florida – Chef Creole in Haitian cuisine, and Jackson for Southern and Bahamian dishes. For the Black community, they are just as iconic as Bongos and Perry Ellis.

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North Miami narrows choices for its city manager vacancy

11 finalists poised for interviews

More than 60 people applied for the North Miami vacant city manager’s position. The personnel office indicates there are at least 11 candidates who made the final cut, including two of the city’s top administrator. The list was created from submissions from the mayor and each council member. Councilman Philippe Bien-Aime did not submit any names so far, and Mayor Smith Joseph may add another name to the list. The finalists include two city administrators, interim City Manager Arthur Sorey III and Finance Director Larry Spring. Also on the list are administrators from large and small cities, including Delray Beach, Richmond, VA, and Port Arthur, TX. One finalist is a chief diversity and industry relations’ officer with Long Island, NY.

Uber moves ahead

Monestime folds his proposal

Uber and other ride-sharing entities scored a victory in Miami-Dade County Wednesday, when the sponsor withdrew legislation that would have asked for 24-hour insurance coverage and background checks by the county. Before the item could be heard Commission Chair Jean Monestime withdrew his ordinance, saying he wanted to focus on his economic prosperity initiative. Monestime’s proposal had sparked an email campaign by Uber saying that it would pull out of Miami-Dade. The campaign also told riders to support another, friendlier ride-sharing legislation put forward by Commission Vice Chair Esteban Bovo. On Wednesday, more than 200 Uber supporters waited their turn to sit in county hall. Many had signed up to speak against Monestime’s ordindance.

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Lauderhill gets performing arts center

Long-delayed venue opened Jan. 20

The Lauderhill Performing Arts Center, LPAC, had its ribbon cutting and open ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 20. The 47,585-square-foot venue is located near the Central Broward Regional Park on the northeast corner of Sunrise Boulevard and State Road 7, has 1,200 seats, and houses a performing arts theater and a new Broward County Public Library. The completion of the construction of the venue was the result of a partnership with Broward County and the City Commission, as well as voter-approved General Obligation Bond. The venue’s opening was delayed due t

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It really takes a village

As Roy Hardemon and I were riding on the golf carts during the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, he began to congratulate and speak to me about me becoming a minister and becoming more involved in the community as I was before. As I continued to listen to him I sat there knowing in my mind that I am not getting involved in anything concerning Model (Liberty) City because it has been treated like Jena Malone in “Bastard out of Carolina.” As he continued to talk to me about Liberty City, he brought up the conversation about a young man that was killed the night before the parade and I said to him, “man these young brothers are out of control and I’m not getting into that. They have groups and organizations that handle those situations. What do you want me to do? Have press conferences, marches and rallies like everyone else? I’m not going to do that.” He then looked at me and said, “In all seriousness you’re from around here, you grew up here, how many people from around here don’t know who you are? Yo

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City of Miramar Mayor, president Obama in pictures at exhibit

Hundreds attend the opening at the Miramar Cultural Center

An exhibition of photographs taken by White House photographer Pete Souza opened Jan. 20 at the Miramar Cultural Center to mark Black History Month and Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, as well as the seventh anniversary of the swearing in of the nation’s first Black president, Barack Obama. The evening started with a public opening of the exhibit, as well as remarks from Mayor Wayne Messam and comments from Cultural Center Director Stephen Kantrowitz. Leah Carpenter, CEO of Memorial Hospital Miramar and a Miramar resident, was the Mistress of Ceremonies. Representatives of Everglades High School performed the National Anthem, the Miramar Police Department presented the colors, and there was a performance by violin group, the Sons of Mystro.

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The MLK Parade Committee thanks Miami-Dade

More than 500,000 came out to support the late Dr. Preston Marshall’s parade

On Monday, Jan. 18th, the current MLK Parade and Festivities Committee Inc., a State of Florida non-profit 501 © (3), continued the work and legacy of founder the late Dr. Preston W. Marshall, Jr., with the assistance of The Miami Times, Miami-Dade County, city of Miami, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Humana, WLRN TV Station, Cox Media and McDonald’s Corp. The committee celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., (MLK) and presented the 39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade that traveled east down 54th Street from 11th to 32nd Avenues. The MLK parade is the largest in the United States. More than 500,000 people of all ethnic backgrounds, young and old alike, prayed together, laughed and danced together, and demonstrated pride in their community, as they lined the barricaded streets for eight miles.

Dirt bikes detract from positive MLK Day in Miami

Imagine my surprise upon stumbling over news coverage of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Liberty City that painted a picture of dirt bikes running wild in the streets. Dozens of people were arrested and even more bikes and ATVs were impounded, but I saw none of it. I’ll tell you what I did see. I saw parade grand marshal and singer-songwriter Timmy Thomas perform “Why Can’t We Live Together,” and the equally talented R&B singer Betty Wright talk to the crowd about keeping children on the right path. You see, Betty knows all too well the perils of raising kids in the inner city – she lost her son to gun violence. Before singing the song she wrote in his memory, she counseled the crowd: “How many of you have lost sons, daughters, brothers, fathers or aunties to gun violence?” Too many raised their hands. “We have to stop trying to be our children’s friends and be their parents,” she admonished. “They are not your homies; they are your children and you have to keep them in the right lane.”

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Pastor wears many hats and shepherds the flock at church

Peace Missionary Baptist Church, located at 11500 NW 17th Ave., will celebrate the church’s 37th anniversary on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 from 6 - 10 p.m. at the Betty T. Ferguson Center, 3000 NW 199th St., in Miami Gardens. The public is cordially invited to attend this historical event and share this experience with the excited members. For ticket information contact Sis. Denise Larmond at 786-457-1058.  The anniversary celebration will culminate on Sunday, Feb.14th at 4 p.m. with the Rev. Woodrow Jenkins and the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church family. The anniversary colors are shades of purple and the theme is “God’s Church Through Peace, Faith, Love and Salvation.”

Options: What the uninsured need to know now

Hurry, health care enrollment ends on Jan. 31

Did you know that in Florida, the number of those without health insurance is more than 16 percent? As a trusted healthcare resource to our patients, North Shore Medical Center is dedicated to offering the best possible care and increasing access to affordable healthcare coverage for the communities we serve through our educational Path to Health campaign. About 17 million previously uninsured Americans are now getting coverage either through the marketplace, Medicaid or other sources and North Shore Medical Center is eager to help those without insurance in our community learn about the many benefits of health insurance coverage. Those with insurance: • Are almost twice as likely to have had a checkup or received preventive care in comparison to those without insurance, according to Enroll America.

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Peace Rally in Richmond Heights hopes to unify youth

Second Baptist Church hosts to inspire and discuss community issues

With a church turned night-club using fog machines, laser lights and inspirational hip-hop music, the Second Baptist Church (SBC) blended the old and the new, bringing together parents, teachers, church leaders and youths of their community for a creative and positive alternative to violence. SBC and its Community Development Corp. in Richmond Heights held a Peace Rally Jam on Friday, Jan. 22, as a call to unify the community in light of a recent rise in youth violence and shootings. The event, hosted by Devontae “TP Miller” and Lateshia “Mrs. Tee” McFarland-Brown, saw more thanr 200 attendees including church leaders, pastors, children and their families and local musicians, like DJ Smoove, Sean Olivera and King Edward, as well as speakers from SBC and Christ Fellowship in Palmetto Bay.

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Celebrating the good life with Patti LaBelle and Ashleigh Smith

The legendary Patti LaBelle will take the stage 8 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County as part of its Black History Month celebrations. The Larry Rosen Jazz Roots Series brings LaBelle and special guest Ashleigh Smith to the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall for a single performance. “As we celebrate Black History Month and our 10th anniversary season, we are thrilled to be presenting the iconic Patti La Belle ‘celebrating the good life’ on our Knight Concert Hall Stage. Not only does she embody the spirit of our JAZZ ROOTS program, she is truly one of the greatest artists of our time,” said John Richard, president and CEO of the Arsht Center in a prepared statement. Having sold more than 50 million records, LaBelle has enjoyed one of the longest and most lauded careers in entertainment as a recording artist, actress and best-selling author. Starting her career as the lead singer of Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles, she

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Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards honor TV’s best

13th annual event took place Jan. 20 at Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach

Steve Harvey, host of “Family Feud,” and Quincy Jones, multi-media entrepreneur, were two of this year’s honorees at the NATPE’s 13th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards reception. The award ceremony took place on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach during the annual NATPE Miami Market and Conference. NATPE, the National Association of Television Program Executives, is the first content market of the year. It’s an opportunity for local producers, writers, creators and talent to come and pitch their new ideas to international media executives.

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Students learn how to be accountable for success

MDCPS Success Centers still working out kinks

Shanteria Johnson headed to the office to get paperwork that would free her from a five-day suspension at the 500 Role Models’ Success Center site and back to her regular classroom and friends. “This place is okay, but I’m ready to return to my school,” said Shanteria, a 17-year-old junior at William H. Turner Technical High School where she mostly gets As and Bs in classes. Her crime? Fighting with a classmate. She collected her things as her mother, Alicia Johnson, arrived.

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The Social Whirl

Relaxing and enjoying fellowship after the holiday “hectics”, members of Just Us were hosted by Cynthia Mitchell Clarke at Shula’s in Miami Lakes with Happy New Year toasts, conversation and laughter. Enjoying the meeting were: LaVon Moore, Juanita Miller, Emma Burnside, Virla Barry, Carolyn Blake, Camille Carroll-Perry, Regina Frazier, Priscilla Adams Dobbs (president), Luretha Lucky, Geneva Knowles Woodard, Cecilia Hunter, Mercita Wimberly, Shelaine Davis Welters, and Darlene Gay. Blessings and birthday wishes to Dorothy Edwards as she celebrated her 102nd birthday. Last year, several members of the Dorsey High Alumni Association visited with her to celebrate her 101st. Several members also visited this year with Mrs. Edwards according to Baljean Smith along with neighbors and friends. Dorothy Edwards was a physical education teacher at Dorsey and later became Dean of Girls. She was also a counselor and Dean of Girls at Northwestern Senior High serving under Mrs. Ida Taylor Ratcliffe and Mr. Samuel O. Cohen. Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority also did a card shower at the chapter meeting and sang happy birthday. After the meeting they cut a special birthday cake and gave her nearly two dozen pink roses as a tribute to her and this milestone. Soror Dorothy Edwards, is a Charter Member, Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She was so pretty proudly wearing her pink.

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Chatter that Matters

A unique story about an exhibit Club Room rental agreement at 2800 NW 43 Terrace along with a form making the program for usage under HHH-Hampton. Historical House name, address, organizational and signatures. For those who can handle the opportunity between 9AM and 8PM. A security must be cleaned a deposit charged to all groups and be returned and found in good condition. Claims against the HHH for thefts or damage will be responsible for damages not precluding the rental. Ironically, Ron Frazier charged his batters when the opportunity presented itself when he put all of his eggs in a basket and landed visitation of the internationally known Temptations to the Historic Hampton House they were in South Florida leading the Dr. Martin L. King parade for their fans for a short stay. Going on that same time was the King of Clubs of Greater Miami Black & White Gala in the same area at the Parrot Jungle at Deep Tree Ballroom.

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