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Lifestyle Happenings

Women in Transition of South Florida resumes its Basic Computer Skills class for women ages 18 and up.  Registration and Orientation is Tuesday, February 2, call 786-477-8548.  ASCENT: Black Women’s Expressions Art Exhibition, Feb. 4 – March 4 at Cotilla Gallery: Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center in Ft. Lauderdale. Call 954-262-4637. The BTW Alumni Association, Inc. presents Ole’ school Alumni Night on Friday, February5 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. at Shantel’s Lounge. Call 305-213-0188. The Embrace Girls Foundation announces Embrace Girls High Tea Events on Tuesday, February 9 at 4:30 p.m. and Friday, February 12 at 2 p.m. to be held at Arcola Lake Elementary. Call 305- 779-3780 or email www.embracegirlpower.org.

2016 Black History Month Events

• Feb. 1-26: Florida Memorial University Black History Month Celebration; lectures, films and concerts at 15800 NW 42nd Ave. in Miami Gardens. Call 305-626-3600, email africenter@fmuniv.edu or visit www.fmuniv.edu. • Feb. 1-29: Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday at 480 NW 11th St.; $10 per person. Call 305-329-2513 or visit www.historicalblackprecinct.org. • Feb. 1-29: Exhibition, “What’s INSIDE HER never dies: A Black Woman’s Legacy & Other exhibits” at the Yeelen Gallery, 294 NW 54th St. Call 954-235-4758 or visit www.yeelenartcom. • Feb. 1-29: Jessie Trice Community Health Center “Almost 50 Celebration;” 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday at 5607 NW 27th Ave. Call 305-805-1700 or visit www.jtchc.org.

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The Black-owned party yacht squeezed out of dock space

Without intervention by the Miami City Commission, South Beach Lady will have to leave the Bayfront

There’s nothing new about seeing yachts docked along the South Florida waterways. But there’s something special about one yacht in particular, the South Beach Lady. Besides having four decks each with a full-service bar; an interior with custom cabinetry and brass plated features throughout; and an open-air sky lounge on the top deck, this massive 125-feet length luxury yacht is Black-owned by a husband and wife duo. In fact, it’s the only Black-owned cruise in Florida. With the South Beach Lady, the owners have an opportunity to claim a stake in the local multicultural tourism industry. However, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the business.

Vikings and Rockets have their sights set on state championship

Norland and Central among the top basketball teams in conference

February marks the beginning of the high school basketball District Playoffs as the first step in a chase for a state basketball championship. District 16-6A features a potential fourth meeting between defending Class 6A Miami Norland Vikings and Miami Central Rockets. The Vikings defeated the Rockets, last year’s GMAC (Greater Miami Athletic Conference) Champions, 56-51, to win this year’s GMAC title. Now, the Vikings take on the North Miami Beach Chargers, while the Rockets face Miami Northwestern. Should the Vikings and Rockets dispatch their first-round district opponents, they will meet for the fourth time this season. The Vikings have won each of the three meetings -- two regular season wins by nine points and the GMAC Championship game. “We’re the defending state cham

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Miami Times publisher emeritus honored

Garth Reeves Sr. receives NNPA Global Lifetime Achievement Award

The National Newspaper Publishers Association honored one of its long-time members on Friday. Garth Reeves Sr., publisher emeritus of The Miami Times, was the guest of honor during a recognition dinner and salute to NNPA’s Most Senior Publisher at the NNPA’s Mid-Winter Conference, which took place at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa in Coconut Grove from Wednesday, Jan. 27, to Saturday, Jan. 30. A reception sponsored by The Miami Times and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau opened the conference at Seaspice Restaurant last Wednesday evening.

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The director says goodbye

Patterson retires from Miami-Dade Police Department

Like much of the nation, J.D. Patterson watched coverage of the 1980 McDuffie rebellion on television. The Miami native was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, and felt helpless. He knew he wanted to return to his hometown and to make a difference. “I knew there was something I needed to do,” he said “ … seeing my community burn up.” This was despite the fact that the community was outraged by the actions of members of the department he eventually would serve. “Law enforcement is vital to any community. It’s critical to the community’s success.” Now more than 30 years later, Patterson has retired as director of the same police agency whose officers were the catalyst for the riots that destroyed large swaths of Liberty City and Overtown. He is not sure about his next move, but he has no regrets about the work that he has done. His last day was Jan. 31. His successor is Juan Perez, who was his deputy assistant director.

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Blacks focus more on football, basketball

Baseball not as popular in some schools

The sporting world is abuzz at all levels -- optimists, high school, collegiate and professional. What’s interesting is how so few Black Americans participate in baseball. Not many, no matter the level. And it is particularly obvious at the high school level, where inner city schools are especially noted for winning football, basketball and track and field state championships. For instance, Booker T. Washington and Miami Central High Schools recently won their third consecutive state football championships. Miami Norland High School is pursuing its fifth consecutive state championship in basketball. And Miami Northwestern High School’s Lady Bulls Track and Field Coach Carmen Jackson is in pursuit of her 10th state championship. “Some schools have baseball programs. Some don’t. We have a baseball program at Central,” said Miami Central Athletic Director Latoya Williams, who is in her fourth year on the job.

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Barry basketball pounds Florida Tech

Buccaneers beat the Panthers in an 85-65 victory

Barry University’s men's basketball team bounced back in a big way. The No. 21 Buccaneers answered their biggest loss of the season with a resounding 20-point victory at Florida Tech on Jan. 20, winning 85-65. Barry (13-3, 6-2 Sunshine State Conference) remained in second place in the league standings. Florida Tech fell to 10-8, 3-5. Yunio Barrueta and Tray Leonard both had double-doubles for the second time this season. Barrueta had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Leonard finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Florida Tech cut Barry's lead to one 45 seconds into the second half, but Barrueta drove in and scored, Undra Mitchem hit a three and Anders Haas hit a jumper to key a 7-0 Bucs spurt. Leonard scored on a wrap-around pass from Arie Williams to push Barry's lead to 12 with 14:35 to play.

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Soul Food Cooking

This weekend, instead of cooking,  join me for the first Gwen S. Cherry Soul Food Cook-off at the Coconut Grove Gallery and Interiors 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30.  The Soul Food Cook-off, organized and hosted by the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association (GSCBWLA), offers patrons a tasty, exciting start to Black History Month and will feature culinary delights by dozens of local chefs. The Gwen S. Cherry Soul Food Cook-off brings together a diverse community of people enjoying great food and having fun. The event is a regional competition that will showcase the best soul food South Florida’s talented chefs have to offer, in a relaxed family

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Black-owned newspapers meet in Miami

The National Newspaper Publishers Association, a group made up of more than 100 Black newspaper owners, will hold its 2016 Mid-Winter Conference in Miami starting Wednesday, Jan. 27 to Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa in Coconut Grove. “This is the 2016 Mid-Winter Conference and the focus is to enhance the business opportunities for members in light of changes in the publishing industry,” Ben Chavis Jr., president of NNPA, said in light of the rise of digital media. Chavis went on to speak about honoring long-time member Garth Reeves Sr. at the NNPA Recognition Dinner and Salute to NNPA’s Most Senior Publisher and the quality of the conference program. “We also seek to salute the outstanding contributions of Garth Reeves Sr. at the Friday night dinner as our leading senior publisher. We also plan to have various workshops to enhance and increase business opportunities for our members.” The program kicks off with a National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation board meeting, and later in the evening with a reception at Seaspice Restaurant, sponsored by the Miami Times and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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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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