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Lifestyle Happenings

Inner City Children’s Touring Dance will have free Introductory Classical Ballet Workshops for girls ages 6-8 and 9-12 on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Call 305-758-1577 or visit www.childrendance.net. Sisters Empowerment Circle invites ladies 45 and over with an interest in laughter, learning, developing new friendships, social networking, traveling, and sharing life’s experiences in a comfortable atmosphere. Call 786-759-2597. Free Karate Classes at Range Park on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Call 305-757-7961. The Miami Carol City Class of 1969 meets every second Saturday at Piccadilly’s restaurant on Hollywood Blvd. Call 786-419-3166.

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Yolanda Cash Jackson talks politics

Lawyer says engaging young people in the political process is key to getting their vote

According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research Census, the Hispanic population in Florida grew from about 17 percent in 2000, to 23 in 2010, and is expected to reach 27 percent in 2030. The past, present and future of Florida demographics is changing, creating new districts, boundaries and more importantly, changing politics. Yolanda Cash Jackson, a Becker & Poliakoff lawyer, notable political bridge builder, previous general counsel member of the NAACP and networking guru, expressed these issues and more in her lecture, “Strengthening Your Political Voice,” at the South Dade Democratic Black Caucus (SDDBC ) Ron Brown Chapter meeting. The meeting was held on Saturday, Nov. 7 in the Edward and Arlene Feller Community Room at the Palmetto Bay Village Ludovici Park.

Women business owners recognized by Black men

Honorees reached annual revenues of at least $2 million for product-based businesses , or $1 million for service-based businesses

100 Black Men of South Florida Inc., in partnership with the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), selected 24 leaders as the 2015 Women of Color Achievement Award recipients. The women will be honored at the 2015 Women of Color Achievement Awards cocktail reception on Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 6 – 8:30 p.m., at the Law Offices of Bilzin Sumberg.

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New playground courtesy of developers of Courtside Apartments

Topping off ceremony and ribbon cutting mark progress of affordable housing units development

County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and City Commissioner Keon Hardemon cut the ribbon Nov. 4 on the new children's playground for the Head Start program located at the Culmer Neighborhood Center in Overtown. They were joined by Marie Bell, Office of County Mayor Carlos Gimenez; Clarence E. Woods, executive director of the Southeast Overtown Park West CRA; Cheree Gulley, executive director of the Housing Finance Authority; Father Richard Marquess-Barry, of St. Agnes Episcopal Church; Allen Furst, of the Mourning Family Foundation Board; and Matthew Rieger, president and CEO, Housing Trust Group. The playground was the result of a request made by the Overtown community to the foundation and Housing Trust Group to replace the former playground at the center. The foundation and the Housing Trust Group are building — in collaboration with the county, the city and the Housing Finance Authority — an affordable housing project, called Courtside Family Apartments, directly adjacent to the Culmer Center. Phase I will be completed in August 2016.

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Florida A&M University women’s cross country team shines again

Team wins fourth straight MEAC championship

The Florida A&M University women’s cross country team won their fourth straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship on Oct. 31, becoming the third school in league history to do so. FAMU, which has now won the last four titles (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), joins Delaware State (1984-87) and Coppin (Md.) State (1991-94) as the only schools to win four consecutive titles. Dr. Darlene Moore’s Orange and Green team was led by senior Cynthia Chelelgo, who finished first overall with a time of 17:49.60, followed by sophomore Judith Kibii, who ran second in 17:53,90. An elated Moore said afterwards:

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Miami Northwestern and Miami Central High Schools

They go back a long way, both on the defensive side of the football. Miami Central High School Rockets Coach Roland “Paddy” Smith and Miami Northwestern High School Bulls Coach Max Edwards went into last weekend on two different paths. Smith’s Rockets completed the season 7-2 and District 16-6A runner up to the Carol City Chiefs (7-2). They prepared for a Region 4-6A battle against the Dillard Panthers (Ft. Lauderdale) at Traz Powell Stadium on Nov. 3. Edwards’ Bulls faced the Miami Jackson Generals in the Annual Soul Bowl.

Doubts emerge after Sarnoff concedes

Miami’s District 2 will have a runoff election

Miami’s runoff between Ken Russell and Teresa Sarnoff for the District 2 commission seat will be held on Nov. 17. That much is clear. But everything else associated with this race has voters scratching their heads. A pair of legal opinions from the Office of the City Attorney issued Monday and Tuesday may bring clarity. In the first, attorneys advise, the runoff election must be held. The second opinion says that any votes cast for Sarnoff will not be counted. The confusion surrounds Sarnoff’s announcement that she would suspend her campaign and concede to Russell, a businessman and civic activist. In a letter delivered to the city Nov. 9, Sarnoff said she would bow out to “spare residents and business owners from a pitched battle that can harm both winners and losers.”

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Beleaguered apartments push back at HOPE

Local developer hit with the fourth discrimination case said it is owed “a well-earned and deserved apology”

The team fighting federal discrimination complaints against the former Beverly Hills Apartments isn’t laying down to a housing bias lawsuit filed by Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence Inc. (HOPE). The company has enlisted help from a New York publicist (think crisis manager Olivia Pope of the TV show “Scandal”) to help with its case. In a motion to dismiss filed in U.S. District Court in Miami, United Property Management’s attorneys say HOPE’s lawsuit is a “prohibited shotgun blast of false allegations,” and “strategically timed to undermine Miami-Dade County’s decision to name a street” after company founder, developer Jose Milton.

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Democratic candidates are adults; Republicans, kindergarteners

Speeches over the weekend address voting rights, criminal justice and economic disparity

The Florida Democratic Party held its annual state convention in Orlando, last weekend, Oct. 31 through Nov. 1, and in attendance was a large contingent from the tri-county area. Black elected leaders and candidates for office took on a range of topics including voting rights, the criminal justice system and economic disparities. On a Saturday afternoon panel about wages and economic fairness, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam said his city was doing its best to make sure that everyone working within the city’s borders had a job that paid a living wage and access to education. Messam spoke about the diverseness of the community, which has whites, Blacks and other minorities living within its borders. People who did not have a living wage could not move forward in their lives, and nor could their children.

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Coaches Aubrey Hill and Rodney Harris speak

There were stories upon stories beyond the obvious of the high stakes battle for a spot in the playoffs when the Carol City Chiefs took on the Miami Northwestern Bulls at Traz Powell Stadium last weekend. But first, it was a matter of win or go home. A Bulls win would’ve given them a wild card playoff berth, sent the Chiefs home empty and the District 16-6A title to the Miami Central Rockets. The Chiefs (7-2 and 3-1 in the district) had other plans and worked them out with a thrilling 18-14 win over the Bulls. The Chiefs captured the title by virtue of their earlier season win over the Rockets, who finished with a 3-1 district record. The Chiefs take on the American High School Patriots on Nov. 6, before facing the Dillard High School Panthers (Ft. Lauderdale) on Nov. 13. “We were just fortunate to win. God smiled on us,” said Chiefs head coach Aubrey Hill. Hill makes his second trip to the playoffs in his three-year tenure. The first was in 2013.

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A champion beyond the game

Vickie M. Smith Jackson, pictured center, was honored in Tallahassee, Fla. by the Florida State University Athletic Department on Oct. 18 as a Champion Beyond the Game. Jackson was awarded the honor at Bobby Bowden Field/ Doak Campbell Stadium’s University Club. Upon acceptance of the award, she encouraged athletes to discover who they are and build character through sports, and to develop a personal vision for themselves that will carry them beyond the collegiate experience.

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Lifestyle Happenings

Inner City Children’s Touring Dance will have free Introductory Classical Ballet Workshops for girls ages 6-8 and 9-12 on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Call 305-758-1577 or visit www.childrendance.net. Sisters Empowerment Circle invites ladies 45 and over with an interest in laughter, learning, developing new friendships, social networking, traveling, and sharing life’s experiences in a comfortable atmosphere. Call 786-759-2597.

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Antonio Brooklen is Miami Gardens’ police chief

Interim chief beat out a field of 40 applicants

Miami Gardens City Manager Cameron Benson ended his exhaustive national search for a police chief last week when he appointed Interim Chief Antonio Brooklen to the permanent position. Brooklen, 41, graduated from Hialeah Miami Lakes High School and Lynn University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He entered law enforcement with Miami-Dade County in 1994. He joined the Miami Gardens Police Department when it began in 2007. Benson’s decision to appoint Brooklen eliminated three other highly qualified candidates from contention for the top job: Former West Palm Beach Chief Delsa Bush; city of Miami Police Assistant Chief Craig McQueen; and Ocala Police Assistant Chief Rodney Smith. Brooklen was appointed interim chief last March after then-Chief Stephen Johnson was abruptly fired following his arrest by Broward Sheriff’s Deputies in a prostitution sting at a Dania Beach Motel.

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Northwestern grieves — again

Violence taking toll on students

His minister says Hasam Williams, 16, is a victim of circumstances. His mother, Teresa Hunter is shaken, but thankful, that the Northwestern High School 10th grader is still alive. “He’s holding up,” she said. “He’s a humble kid. He just got baptized.” On Oct. 31, Hasam became the fourth Northwestern student this year to be struck by gunfire in Miami’s streets. Two Black male students – Maurice Harris and Randall Dwaine Robinson – were killed in separate incidents away from the campus in September, just as school started. Another student, Joewaun Coles, was killed in May.

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Corey Jones laid to rest

Reverend Al Sharpton asked funeral attendees to continue to fight for justice for Jones

Since Corey Jones was shot by Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja on Oct. 18, his family, friends and elected officials have been trying to make sense of why minutes after Jones called for a tow truck for his broken down Hyundai, he was dead.  The deep grief that many feel over the death of Jones was on display at his wake and funeral service last weekend. Jones, 31, had ties to Boynton Beach and Delray Beach and more than a thousand people attended the service on Sunday to pay their respects to Jones and his family on Sunday afternoon at the Payne Chapel in West Palm Beach. Family members and friends promised they would keep “the beat” alive for Jones and seek justice for him. Jones was killed after his vehicle broke down at the PGA Boulevard on I-95 in Palm Beach Gardens on the way home from a music gig. Raja, who arrived on the scene in an unmarked van, was not wearing a uniform or a badge. Raja told investigators that he was confronted by an armed man. Jones’ licensed and unfired gun was found near the scene, police said. Reports say Jones’ body was about 80 feet away from his car. He was shot three times by Raja, with one bullet entering his heart. Civil rights attorney and attorney for the Jones family, Benjamin Crump, has said that he believes Jones died without knowing who killed him, since his assailant was in plainclothes and not carrying a badge.

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Opa-locka must address $8 million debt

Meeting to discuss the city’s ‘financial urgency’ on Wednesday

Concerns about Opa-locka’s financial situation have reached Gov. Rick Scott’s office, and now the county wants to take a closer look. Commissioner Barbara Jordan, who represents District 1, called a meeting for Wednesday, Nov. 4, with Mayor Myra Taylor, City Manager Steve Shiver and other city commissioners to discuss nearly $4 million in outstanding payments the city owes for county services. The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. at Jordan’s district office, 2780 NW 167th St. in Miami Gardens. In a memo dated Nov. 3, Shiver said the county demanded payments for services rendered. Because of the debt, the city can’t issue new building permits.

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Black Lives Matter movement, conduct yourselves decently

Last Friday, at Clark Atlanta University, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton attempted to deliver a speech as part of the kickoff of her Hillary for African Americans campaign. For more than 12 minutes, protestors with AUCShutItDown, an Atlanta-based group affiliated with Black Lives Matter, chanted while Clinton tried to deliver her speech. This was not the first time that the Black Lives Matter movement would faceoff with Clinton. Back in August she met with the group, who demanded that she develop a plan to address the numerous inequalities against Blacks in America. And this was not the first time that the Black Lives Matter group interrupted a Democratic nominee candidate’s speech. Activist Marissa Johnson on Aug. 8 shut down a Bernie Sanders event in Seattle. That confrontation happened just weeks after the movement interrupted Sanders at a Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix. Since both incidents, Sanders and representatives of the movement have met.

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Fund the workforce housing trust

The Workforce Housing Trust Fund was created in 2007 to accumulate money to help offset the growing housing problem in the county. So far, the kitty has $1.8 million. Granted the idea of how to fund the trust took a hit when the housing market collapsed around the same time the trust was created. Developers would take density bonuses when they included housing in their projects that could be afforded by middle-income workers, such as teachers, police officers and firefighters. If the developer chose not to take the density bonus, the company would pay into the housing trust fund. Unfortunately, when the legislation was put forth by Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan, she couldn’t get the votes to get the program mandatory for developers.

The new Miami Gardens will be built by us

I began with a simple principle, a simple belief. I believe that a city of more than 110,000 diverse people deserve world renown entertainment venues and more upscale dining options with a national presence than just a single Chili’s. In 2003, the City of Miami Gardens was incorporated with the idea that people who lived here had a greater interest and a greater ability to transforming this area into a community. A community that was committed to creating an environment that would allow businesses to develop that would ultimately help provide amenities to the residents of the area that had not been previously available. That means we are raising expectations beyond what we’ve seen toward what we can imagine. That means raising the standartd for incoming businesses and challenging ourselves to require more.

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New business, deals sought at State of the City address

Mayor Smith Joseph highlights accomplishments in annual report

Touting the city’s renewed strength and accomplishments over the last year, Mayor Smith Joseph declared that North Miami is ready for new business and investment in his State of the City report. “The city of North Miami is strong … on the move, and has many great opportunities for both families and businesses of all sizes,” Joseph said in a speech before an overflow audience on Wednesday at the Miami Shores Country Club. A key part of the mayor’s vision involves pairing the growth of the downtown business district with the development of SoLe Mia, the massive development project on the city’s east side. “Finally after several decades of stagnation, this plan will be put into action,” Joseph predicted. He did not offer details on how the two areas would mesh.

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