Pompano swimmers making a name for themselves in water

Posted on 16 April 2015 by L.Moore

sports041615By Gary Curreri

Swimmers from the Pompano Beach Piranhas USA swim program have enjoyed success in recent months and the recent Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics swim meet at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex was no exception.

Several Piranhas turned in strong efforts in the high point awards for their respective divisions led by Tyler Zuyus, who took fourth in the 13-14 Boys Division, while Jake Schulte was 10th in the 10-Under Boys. Pompano’s Boys were fifth in the Boys 13-14 team race, while the 10-Under Boys were ninth overall.

Two swimmers are happy with the progress of the program, which is in its fourth year as a USA swim program, and Piranhas head swim coach Jesse Vassallo is entering his fourth year heading the program.

Pompano Beach’s Shane Schulte, 14, is one of five members of his family that swim. He has two brothers (Kelly, 16, and Jake, 10) and two sisters (Julia, 18, and Summer, 12).

It is very competitive between us,” Shane Schulte said. “We always try and do the best in every sport. It is really cool because all five of us have spent all of our lives competing. My brothers and me play rugby for the Pompano Storm and we are always fighting and aspiring to be the best out there. We have been playing rugby for two years.”

In the Junior Olympics (JOs), I was hoping to do the best I could and go up a few spots from where I was ranked in the beginning,” he added. “I went up in my rankings and dropped times in all seven of my events. I was pretty psyched about it.”

Schulte, an eighth-grader at Pompano Beach Middle School, said the local program is starting to make waves in the swimming community.

Over the past couple of years, we have grown drastically,” he said. “We started off going to JOs and we would be one of the last teams. In the winter champs, we finished Top 10 and that was a pretty good feat for us. We are starting to get a lot stronger and form one of those big teams and big names that everyone wants to be on.

Schulte said the best part of swimming is that it is a social event.

You are not just competing against your friends,” he said. “The practices are fun. It is not just all about hard work. You can enjoy it and that’s what makes it better than most other sports. It is not always about the placement. When you accomplish something that you have never done before like dropping a time or reaching a certain goal, you are still very satisfied in the end. I want to go very far in swimming.”

Teammate Alicja Zielinski, 14, of Oakland Park, came very close to dropping all of her times in the meet. The Northeast High School freshman has been swimming for Pompano for the past four years.

I like how it is like an individual sport and it focuses on yourselves and your team,” Zielinski said. “To be honest, it is better than any other sport because it is the best workout for your body. You get this rush of adrenaline and you speed your way through. I am in love with competing.”

She has seen improvement and confidence as she has progressed through the past Junior Olympic competitions.

It is a tough sport,” said Zielinski, who hopes to swim in college. “It really is. It is tougher mentally than physically. You have to motivate yourself to achieve your goal. When you get up on the block and you race, it is like you are in a different world. It is about you and how you want to achieve your goals. That is more important to me than winning medals.”

Comments Off

FLICKS: 5 to 7, Fall to Rise

Posted on 16 April 2015 by L.Moore

By Dave Montalbano


The juggernaut known as Furious 7 has netted a quarter of a billion dollars box office gross thus far, with the hype for Avengers: Age of Ultron dominating media outlets. Still, there is some quieter fare opening tomorrow, with stories about dancers and a novelist set in New York City.

Written and directed by Jayce Bartok, Fall to Rise features the story of two ballerinas in the twilight of their careers. Lauren (Katherine Crockett) is a ballet star who was let go due to injury. She is also a new mother who is married to a lawyer (Kohl Sudduth). Lauren’s instinct to return to stage is stronger than her maternal instinct.

Like Rocky Balboa, Lauren reunites with her Mickey Goldmill – Shelia (Daphne Rubin-Vega), a former ballet star who works at a dance studio for little girls. Shelia trains Lauren and gets her into prima ballerina shape. Despite the physical difficulties it takes to achieve center stage, it is Shelia and Lauren’s domestic lives that are far more difficult.

This film takes the viewer to the backstage territory that we visited in Birdman, just a few blocks away, minus the pulsating jungle rhythm. It’s a simpler story to follow, but not without some Greenwich Village avant-garde moments. During her emotional breakdown, Shelia goes to a comedy club and bares her soul to a puppet with Johnny Carson/ Jimmy Fallon mannerisms. This sequence seems out of place with the rest of the movie, but it also is the most interesting scene.

5 to 7 is a 93-minute romantic comedy about a novelist. Brian (Anton Yelchin) meets Arielle (Berenice Marlohe) and they share a cigarette. The two develop chemistry and agree to meet each other every Friday evening from 5 to 7. Complications arise when Brian learns that Arielle is a married woman with two children.

With a light touch, this film is a comedic rite-of-passage tale about the birth of a writer. The film drags during the conclusion when the moral to the story is revealed, but the lag is forgivable. Despite being in summer blockbuster movie franchises (Star Trek, Terminator), Yelchin has proven to be a successful actor on the independent film circuit. Being New York based, the producers managed to recruit Glenn Close & Frank Langella in small but pivotal roles as Yelchin’s parents. These parents provide genuine comedic highlights.

While most Manhattan ballet dancers will prefer Fall to Rise, most audiences will find 5 to 7 an engaging flick for a matinee price.

Comments Off

CLERGY CORNER: An act of Remembrance

Posted on 16 April 2015 by L.Moore

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, was observed at Temple Beth Israel on April 16, as it was in Synagogues all over the world. During Shabbat services this past Saturday, as I read a long list of members of our congregation who are no longer with us and of their family members as well, I couldn’t help but notice that many people on the list had the same last name.

It could have been just a coincidence, but it wasn’t. Several families had the same last name because they were all from the same family. Someone asked me how hard it must have been on these families to have so many of their kin die in such a short period of time. But the fact of the matter is that their family members who put them on the list to have the memorial prayer recited for them each year are not even sure when their loved one’s died. You see, each of them perished in the camps during the horrors of the Nazi movement.

And so it was that these families picked a date to remember their loved ones and to honor their memory. When someone we love passes away in our day here in America, we take for granted that, not only the date, but the time of day and the cause of death will all be recorded in the medical chart and will be made available to us. But imagine not knowing how or when a loved one died.

Oh, we know the cause; the cause was hatred; the cause was that there were those who wanted to exterminate the Jews; the cause was that there were those who saw the Jews as less than human; the cause was putting such horrific labels and blame on us that we were little more than dirt in other’s eyes and, sadly, to this very day, there are many people throughout the world who feel that way toward us and, if not toward us, then toward another group of “others,” of “outsiders” of those who are “different.”

Each year on Yom HaShoah, survivors are called upon to speak. The odd part is the stories all begin the same way. Each of the survivors can recall a …. you should pardon the expression … “normal, ordinary life.” Each woke up in the morning. Each went to sleep at night. Each ate meals. And each had goals for the future.

And then, the unthinkable happened. And, in what must have seemed like a blink of the eye, all the rumors, all the gossip, all the whispers became a horrific reality.

Jews were barred from schools, from professions. Jews were barred from getting money, their own money out of their bank accounts. Jews were barred from possessing guns. Jews were beaten. Jews were rounded up. Jews were sent away never to be seen or heard from again.

Each year, we have fewer and fewer survivors left to tell the story. Each year, we have more and more people in the world who deny that the Holocaust ever took place. Each year, our enemies who used to complain that we were always bringing up the Holocaust, now use the term “Holocaust” and “Genocide” against us.

And our survivors call out, “Don’t just remember the past; learn from it!” And so, as we recited Kaddish for those who perished in the Shoah, I couldn’t help but remember the words of Elie Wiesel who wrote:

Let us say Kaddish not only for the dead, but also for the living who have forgotten the dead and let the prayer be more than a prayer, more than a lament; let it be outcry, protest and defiance. And above all let it be an act of remembrance. For that is what the victims wanted: to be remembered, at least to be remembered. For just as the killer was determined to erase Jewish memory, so were the dying heroes and fighting martyrs bent on maintaining it alive. They are now being defamed or forgotten – which is like killing them a second time. Let us say Kaddish together and not allow others to betray them posthumously.”

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Comments Off

Dolphins compete

Posted on 09 April 2015 by L.Moore

sports040915Deerfield Beach Dolphins, South Florida Recreational Swim League Swim Meet, was held at the City’s Aquatic Center on Saturday, April 4. Our Deerfield Dolphins are a top team in the 3 county area.

Comments Off

FLICKS: Furious 7, X+Y and Walking Man

Posted on 09 April 2015 by L.Moore

By Dave Montalbano


Over the Easter weekend, Furious 7 broke box office records for an April release. With a gross of 147 million, this film owes much to the well-promoted tribute to the late Paul Walker, who passed away last fall from a tragic car accident.

The tribute is a fine one, with visions of poetry. People left the movie in tears.

For a full evening price ticket, it is disappointing to write that Furious 7 is not a successful movie overall. The set-up is good. As always, the characters are engaging and new villain Jason Statham gives both Vin Diesel & Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson their lumps. The first big action sequence in the mountains is thrilling; but, as the action progresses, the reliance apon computerized special effects diminishes any sense of danger.

As long as Vin Diesel feels like producing this Fast and Furious series of movies, expect a “Fast 8” in 2017. This 15-year-old series revolves around a core group of individuals that resembles a family dynamic. Every two years, it’s nice to check up on these people.

Last Thursday evening, the Palm Beach International Film Festival (PBIFF) announced that X+Y won the Best Feature Film Award. This unique motion picture features a young mathematical genius, Nathan (Asa Butterfield), who goes on a field trip to Asia. Considered autistic, Nathan makes new friends and learns that his estrangement from people has more to do with a blocked trauma from his past.

Omo Child: The River and the Bush tied with Walking Man for Best PBIFF documentary. Directed by Josh Salzberg, Walking Man presents a bipolar father and son who go on a cross country walk to bring attention to teenage suicide prevention.

It is a road movie, but, along the way, we meet young people who have attempted suicide. Back home, the mother explains the up and down behavior of the father and son. Whereas the son’s mood swings would occur on a daily basis, the father would have a manic/depressive episode that lasted three years.

The climax is presented as a confession from the mother and father. We learn the importance of maintaining communication with empathetic people. What makes Walking Man a successful documentary is the candor about this painful, but important, subject.

Comments Off


Posted on 09 April 2015 by L.Moore

Sometimes in life things happen that we don’t expect and we get shaken to the very core of our being. We get caught off guard and events in life just rattle us. It is not a matter of being ready for bad things to happen but to know where your help and strength comes from when they do. When you learn to rely on God for your help and strength, then the devil can’t rattle or shake your life anymore.

HEBREWS 12:27-29

27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.

28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.

29 For our God is a devouring fire. — NLT

The kingdom that we belong to, as children of God, is unshakable so let’s give thanks to God by worshiping Him with fear and awe. The fire of God will devour things in our lives that don’t belong like – poverty – sickness – gossiping – lying. You will not waiver and you will not be shaken. You will stay strong and courageous. The only unshakable thing that remains will be you.

PSALM 62:2

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. — NLT

God is always with us and right beside us. God, and God alone, is our rock and our refuge. Nothing else will do – just God. We will not be shaken! When we are continually shaken, it steals our motivation and energy. It is like we are stunned or in shock; we get scared and don’t make any decisions at all, good or bad. The devil is not just trying to knock you down he is trying to destroy you. When the devil is trying to shake your life, you will shake his instead because you will trust in God and be unshakable. When the devil shakes, you will be set free from your chains and then you will be filled with courage and boldness. When you pray and worship God, the devil shakes. You will never be shaken, but your circumstances will be and your chains will be. You don’t ever shake or waiver – you shake the things and circumstances around you, instead of life shaking you. YOU WIN! You will stay strong and courageous.

LUKE 6:38

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. NLT

Although, when God is shaking your life, you win. When God shakes you, it is to make room for you to receive more and more. He is shaking everything together. Therefore, start to stir up those things on the inside of you and start to say and start to believe, “I shall not be moved!” When you agitate someone, you get their attention; so begin to irritate those things in your life that you don’t want and tell them to get out. You will stay strong and courageous.

Tony Guadagnino is the pastor at Christian Love Fellowship Church, located at 801 SE 10 St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-428-8980 or visit www.clfministries.org.

Comments Off

Randall earns national honor

Posted on 02 April 2015 by L.Moore

SPORTS040215By Gary Curreri

With Blanche Ely High School’s boys basketball team set to play in the Dick’s Sporting Goods National Invitational in New York this week, its coach Melvin Randall learned was named USA Today’s All-USA National Boys Coach of the Year.

It’s s a great honor,” said the 52-year-old Randall, who led the Tigers to its third state championship in four years. “I can’t take all the credit because I have some players that worked extremely hard all season. This speaks volumes for not only the kids, but my coaching staff as well.”

Blanche Ely is hoping to pad its 28-0 record when the third-seeded Tigers tip off against No. 6 Findlay Prep of Nevada at noon Thursday at Christ the King High School in Queens, where the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will be played. The championship will be played at Madison Square Garden.

Randall, whose team defeated Kissimmee Osceola 72-60 in the state final in early March, became the first boys’ basketball coach from Broward to win six state championships. He also won two titles with neighboring Deerfield Beach High School.

In his 23-year coaching career, Randall has an overall record of 505-145. He was also named the Florida Dairy Farmers’ Class 7A coach of the year.

Dolphins hold camp

The Miami Dolphins organization was in town last week to help kickoff its NFL Flag Football program that will start up in a few weeks.

Former Miami Dolphins tight end Troy Drayton, 44, who is the Youth and Community Programs Manager with the Miami Dolphins, held a clinic for about 35 youngsters last Tuesday, while his former Penn State College roommate Reggie Givens, 43, also a former NFL and CFL linebacker player, came out on Saturday and hosted another 45 youth football players.

Both are heavily involved in the Dolphins Academy football program that puts on hundreds of camps a year throughout the state.

We just want to get them to come together on the weekend with your peers and your fellow athletes in your age group and do something constructive,” Givens said. “You are out here in the air, working on your physical fitness and agility, and you can take this in any sport. Even though we are out here for football, you can take this in any sport you do — baseball, soccer, basketball, any sport you want.”

I just love giving back, working with kids and keeping them active,” Givens added. “That’s a positive thing no matter what happens. They will take this throughout life. If you get them going now, they are always going to grow. Physical fitness is a huge thing that is in America and a huge thing we are lacking in.”

Deerfield Beach’s Diesal Eagleson, 11, a Quiet Waters Elementary School fifth grader, enjoyed the camp.

This is really fun because I like football,” Eagleson said. “I am learning how to catch, run and jump. I don’t play football on a team, but I am thinking about doing it now after this.” Pompano Beach’s Jeremiah Fowler, 12, is a member of the

Pompano Beach Steelers football team and said he’s been playing for fi ve years. It was good to refine his skills.

This is good because I am learning more stuff and how to play football to get ready for the season,” said Fowler, a sixth grader at Deerfield Beach Middle School. “I am learning how to move my feet quick and I think the best part is catching a football.”

We are hooked up with them now because our flag football program is NFL Flag so they were helping us promote flag football and they were tying us into their Play- 60 campaign,” said city of Deerfield Beach Athletic Coordinator Blaise Leone. “It was a lot of fun. When the Dolphins do something, they do it right and it is top shelf. The kids were excited. We had a lot of fun.”

The city is still taking registrations for the program, which will begin on April 14-15. The cost is $50 for residents and $60 for non-residents.

This is the first year that the league has partnered with the NFL and the players will receive NFL replica jerseys. Last year, the city’s flag football program fielded seven teams.

We are looking to have a lot more this year,” Leone said. “We have always had a flag football season, but having the Dolphins involved has taken it to a whole new level.”

For more information, go to the city’s website at http://www.deerfield-beach.com or call 954- 480-4433.

Comments Off

FLICKS: X+Y, The Record Man, Walking Man, Hidden Assets & The Lost Key

Posted on 02 April 2015 by L.Moore

PBiFF2015Ellar Coltane and Randi Emerman Axler (2)By Dave Montalbano


The April zeitgeist known as the Palm Beach International Film Festival (PBIFF) wraps up tonight at Boca Raton Cinemark Palace 20 with While We’re Young, starring Amanda Seyfried, Naomi Watts, Ben Stiller, Adam Driver and Charles Grodin.

The final party will be at Yoko-San Restaurant, 99 SE Mizner Blvd, Boca Raton.

When The Observer started covering PBIFF in 2003, young Ellar Coltrane was just beginning work on his 2014 movie Boyhood [which received an Oscar for actress Patricia Arquette]. After a whirlwind of promotion,[including picking up a Shooting Star award at PBIFF], this fine young gentleman will be returning to Texas as he makes plans to attend college in New England.

Directed by FSU alumnus Mark Moorman, The Record Man provides nostalgia for people who grew up in South Florida during the 1970s. With George McCrae receiving the key to the city of West Palm Beach, the sold-out audience responded with religious fervor, including singing along with Steve Alaimo, KC and the Sunshine band.

2006 PBIFF voluntePBiFF2015 Mr and Mrs George McCrae (2)er Mitchell Egber produced The Record Man and organized the music for the gala event Saturday Night at the home of Marty & Joyce Kobak. Besides hob knobbing with guests like Connie Francis and Tom Arnold, the party featured live performances by George McCrae, Jimmy “Bo” Horne, Charlotte McKinnon and the Derek Mack Band.

While celebrities and parties draw attention, the purpose of a good film festival is to feature the work of independent filmmakers. Asa Butterfield stars as mathematical genius with poor social skills in X + Y, a British drama with much dry humor. Although laced with profanity, this is a family film shot in Great Britain and Asia. It is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year for its logical unpredictability.

Josh Salzberg brought his documentary Walking Man to town, a father/son road movie about suicide prevention. With echoes of the Reese Witherspoon movie Wild, Salzberg brings a raw authenticity about healing by a cross country walk through the state of Missouri.

Word-of-mouth has been strong for the Alfred Hitchcock inspired Hidden Assets, directed by local actress Jacqueline Journey.

The Lost Key has inspired discussions about the meaning of intimacy.

It’s sad that we have to wait another year for such an intimate festival … PBIFF.

Comments Off

Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: How did we live without this stuff?

Posted on 02 April 2015 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen



Remember that nursery rhyme with the really dumb lyrics?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells,

And pretty maids all in a row

Well I propose a 21st Century change to :

People, People, quite acquisitive

How do your entitlements grow?

Give you a finger – you want a hand

You expect to reap more than you sow

Mea culpa

It was Saturday morning and I handed the bank teller my deposit slip attached to my few measly checks.

As I did so, I noticed a flyer on the cage announcing a change in banking hours, alerting customers to the fact that the bank would no longer have Saturday hours.

Understand, dear readers, that I have clear memories of the days when banks closed at 3 p.m. – never to open at 3:01—and surely never on any part of a weekend. Nor did they open on a day when any human might dain to proclaim it a holiday.

But in true 21st Century “soft”-entitlement mode, “Hmmmph” went through my mind. “That’s not good.” I said to me, “I might just change banks. That’s easy enough to do.” And then, as she handed me my receipt, I tried to remember the last time I banked on a Saturday. “Not the point,” I rejoindered to my loquacious self, “It’s the principle. Other banks are open on Saturdays and I want it to be MY choice to come here or not — on a Saturday.” Such was my mindset, before I had a serious conversation with me, as in: “Really? You lived a pretty contented life when you had no choice regarding banking days. Available to you now, it has become a ‘soft’ entitlelement … ‘soft,’ as opposed to lifestyle enhancements such as Medicare and Disability entitlements … those for another column. I lingered with that thought until…

I received a call of desperation from a friend — “Emily! I need your help to print out my boarding pass for tomorrow’s flight.” Okay, okay — happy to help a friend, but the desperation in her voice made it sound dire. What if … think of it — what if, indeed, she were to arrive at the airport without her boarding pass – requiring another 5 minutes to acquire it at the terminal kiosk? How “dire” can that be? Another “soft entitlement!”

And then there’s the current most significant entitlement: the ability to learn the name of the guy who played opposite Joan Crawford in that picture — When was it? In the 1940s? What was its name? Nevermind, I’ll call Siri. I’m entitled to get that information – RIGHT NOW. But Siri doesn’t understand the question – ever! Well – hardly ever. Bummer.

All this while the world is galloping towards Armageddon.

Comments Off

CLERGY CORNER: Passovers past

Posted on 02 April 2015 by L.Moore

I was talking to a group of people about memories of Passovers past.

Now I should probably tell you that the memory sharing group has been dealing with various illnesses that have made it difficult for them to remember things. Yet, as we talked about The Festival of Passover, vivid memories came into their heads.

Let me share some with you:

1. “I remember how we had to clean the whole house from any bread and, since we were cleaning anyway, did the whole house.”

2. “I remember how my mother would hide some pieces of bread and we would go around the house looking for every last piece. We would turn off the lights and my brother would hold a candle so we could see. I got to hold a feather and every time we found a piece of bread, I would use that feather to brush the bread into a little bag my baby sister held.”

3. “I remember going outside with my father early in the morning and we would take whatever and we would take a match and light the bread and watch as every last crumb burned away.”

4. “My mother used to have this jar and the lid had a hole in the middle of the lid and there was this chopper thing that went inside. We would peel apples together and put them in the jar with some walnuts and a batch of wine and then we would take turns punching down on that chopper.”

5. “I was the youngest in the family so I got to ask the Four Questions and, when I did, everyone shut-up and listened. I wish people would listen to me now the way they did then.”

6. “There’s this part in the Seder where we talk about four types of children. I always had to read the one about the wicked son out loud. I wonder if my dad was trying to tell me something.”

7. “The horseradish. When you bit into it, it was so hot that your eyes started to tear. But it sure got your sinuses to open up.”

8. “We used to take our little finger and, as we sang about the 10 plagues, we would dip into the wine and take out just a little drop. After the 10 Plagues were done, we got to lick the wine off our fingers.”

9. Hunting for the Afi komen was my favorite part.”

10. “One year, we opened the door for Elijah and a big dog walked right into the house to join us at our Seder Table. My Father even fed him some scraps and the dog licked whatever fell on the floor. We kept him and called him Elijah.”

11. “My Zaide used to make the Seder go so long that I wondered if it would ever end. But you know what, the next year, I couldn’t wait to do it all over again.”

12. “When the Seder was over, my father would tell momma to go to bed and we would all help him clean up so momma wouldn’t have to worry about it.”

These are just a few memories from some wonderful people who, even though they might not remember what they had for lunch today or, if they even ate lunch at all, can still find great joy and comfort in recalling the memories of Passovers past.

And, as we do our Model Seders in the health centers that care for each of them, may more wonderful and loving memories fl ow into their heads, into their hearts and into their souls.

And, at our own Seders at home, may we create unforgettable memories for our children and our children’s children, and let us say, “Amen.”

Have a kasher and a freilecher Pesach,

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

P.S. Join us at Temple Beth Israel for a special Yom HoShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, Program on Thursday, April 16 at 6 p.m. Selections will be chanted by Guest Cantor Gary Sherman of Temple B’nai Shalom and memories will be shared by Survivors of the Shoah.

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Comments Off

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

front page