Pompano Jr. lifeguard program ends for summer

Posted on 17 August 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

With the start of school this week in Broward County, that generally signals the end of the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard program for the summer.

The Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguards recently closed out the year by competing in the regional competition in Delray Beach; state competition in Ft. Lauderdale and about 35 competitors and coaches that went to the 2017 USLA Nationals Championship in Daytona Beach.

This year, we had a very strong group of competitors representing Team Pompano not only in depth, but also in attitude,” said Nemia Schulte, president of the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Association. “We also have quite a few of our competitors in the U-19 Division vying for a spot on the Youth Team USA to represent the United States at the 2017 Worlds Competition in New Zealand in a couple of months.”

Team Pompano also held its end-of-year team banquet on Aug. 4 at the Skolnick Center.

Pompano Beach’s Christian Quinones was one of the program’s standout competitors this summer as he won the Boys Rescue Board Race and the Beach Flags competition in the Boys B Division at the James P. “Mac” McCarthy Memorial Regional Lifesaving Championships in Delray Beach. More than 200 competitors from around the state turned out for the competition in Delray.

I like the program because it is fun,” said Quinones, 13, of Pompano Beach, who is an 8th grader at Pompano Beach Middle. “It gets your adrenaline going. It is fun competing against your friends and at other beaches.”

I have made a lot of friends over the years,” he added. “It is really hard to compete against them every year. As you get older, the competition gets tougher.”

Jo Wagenhals, an Ocean Rescue Captain/EMT for Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, served as master of ceremonies for the regionals. She is also the treasurer for the United States Lifesaving Association’s Southeast Region.

This program teaches team building, obviously athleticism, about the environment, safety,” Wagenhals said. “Flagler County is one county that brings in non-swimmers, kids who have never swam before, so they just get kids comfortable in the water, which is a huge step.”

Pompano Beach’s Gwen Bencie, 16, of the Ft. Lauderdale Ocean Rescue Junior Lifeguards program, won three individual events in the Girls 19-Under Division – Distance Swim, Rescue Board Race and the Surfski.

Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Mattheus Santos, 16, of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, took first place in the Distance Swim; Run Swim Run, and was also a member of the winning Surf Rescue Relay.

Other local female winners at regionals included: Junior Ironguard: Girls A: Isabella Taylor, Pompano. Girls C: Reese Andres, Pompano. Distance Swim: Girls A: Isabella Taylor. Girls C: Reese Andres, Pompano. Rescue Board Race: Girls A: Summer Schulte, Pompano. Girls C: Reese Andres. Beach Flags: Girls A: Victoria Scarpinito, Pompano. Girls B: 2. Jennifer Johnson, Deerfield Beach. Run Swim Run: Girls 19-Under: Summer Schulte. Girls C: Reese Andres.

Other local male winners at regionals included: Junior Ironguard: Boys Under-19: Alejandro Quiones, Pompano. Boys A: Rafael Santos, Pompano. Distance Swim: Boys A: Rafael Santos. Rescue Board Race: Boys B: Christian Quinones, Pompano. Boys C: 2. Peter Roca, Hollywood. Beach Flags: Boys B: Christian Quinones. Boys C: 2. Yuri DeFranco, Deerfield Beach. Surf Rescue Relay Race: Boys 19-Under: Ronald Haehe, Mattheus Santos, Pompano; Boys A: Alex Marquez, Rafael Santos, Pompano. Run Swim Run: Boys 19-Under: Mattheus Santos. Boys A: Rafael Santos.

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FLICKS: Automatonophobia spreads with Annabelle: Creation

Posted on 17 August 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Automatonophobia is a morbid fear of ventriloquist dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues and any inanimate object that simulates a sentient being. Besides having a similar sounding name, the most profitable movie of last weekend, Annabelle: Creation shares this morbid fear of inanimate objects coming alive.

Annabelle: Creation features the formation of the title character in the wood shop of Sam Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia). Sam’s daughter Bee teases her father by playing a game of hide-and- seek. After going to church with his wife, Esther (Miranda Otto), the future looks bright for the Mullins doll maker. Abruptly, Bee dies.

Twelve years later, a small orphanage moves into the Mullins house in the country. Sam is a bit gruff with Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and the girls. The grieving man is generous enough to let the orphans loose in his home. However, Sam warns the orphans to not visit Bee’s old bedroom.

Being curious, Janice (Talitha Bateman), a polio survivor, sneaks into Bee’s room. Seeing a sealed closet door, Janice opens the door to find the Annabelle doll. Afterward, things go bump in the night and Janice gets involved with a supernatural game of hide-and- seek.

Winning strong mass critical acclaim with a good box office, Annabelle: Creation will be remembered as a classic scary movie. With links to the original Annabelle and the two Conjuring movies, this film features a dark standalone story.

Directed by David F. Sandberg, this film takes full advantage of rural stillness. Given that the title character is an immovable object, tension builds to a terrorizing level.  A crescendo is achieved with a soft, but disturbing denouement. Stay past the closing credits for a teaser featuring The Nun, the next movie of this original horror series created by James Wan. 

If you haven’t gotten enough of puppets, The Cult of Chuckie is penciled for a Halloween release, featuring the serial-killer possessed doll.

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CLERGY CORNER: Happy for you, but sad for me

Posted on 17 August 2017 by LeslieM

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

As a clergyman, I discovered the “ambidextrous” nature of my profession. On one hand, I am a theologian, which is to say, I am an academician. When I fulfill this role, it is safe. I am in the cerebral realm and can distance myself, emotionally, from the subject at hand.

On the other hand, I am a pastor. As a pastor I make the abstract personal and find myself in the realm of the heart. This is the more vulnerable of the two realms because emotions are involved and I find I simply cannot distance myself from the subject at hand.

Usually, when I write these articles, I write from the safer of the two realms. I try to keep my writing professional as opposed to personal. And this is the safer of the two options, particularly when our readership is ecumenical.

Well, today, I simply cannot distance myself from my writing. As I write my article, I anticipate the end of this week when I bring my youngest child to college. I anticipate empty nest syndrome and I find myself, this week, caught up in the emotion. I realize I am not alone. And it is this realization that inspired me to write my article to all the moms and dads out there who are facing major life transitions this week. Whether you are sending your child to kindergarten, middle school, high school or college, the transition can be a challenge. And if you find yourself in this category, this one is for you.

There are things we say when we face life transitions. One of the most honest statements I have heard people mention is “I am happy for you but sad for me.” When your best friend moves to a new place because he or she got a promotion you might say this. When you speak at a loved one’s funeral, as a person of faith, acknowledging a better hereafter for our loved one but a difficult here and now for you, you might say this. And, when the father links arms with his daughter and walks down the aisle, he has a smile from ear to ear but tears are streaming from both eyes. As he faces the realization that his little girl is getting married, his expression says it all: “I am happy for you but sad for me.”

As a parent, we prepare our children for the day when they will leave home. We want our kids to succeed, to become independent, become everything God created them to be. As we nudge them out of the nest, we want them to spread their wings and fly. Until that day comes, we hang on to each moment and hold them as tight as we can never wanting to let go. And, yet, we must. When that day comes, we remind ourselves that it was for this moment that we worked so hard. Yet, selfishly perhaps, we hope that moment never comes. Rest assured, that moment will come. And when it does, we say: “I am happy for you but sad for me.”

It was difficult when my daughter Rachel went off to college. Fortunately, her little brother was home. It broke my heart the first time, but the realization that Nate was still home made it somewhat bearable. Now, that is no longer true. You think you can prepare yourself for these things emotionally, but I should know by now that emotions don’t work that way. I can say, with all sincerity, that I am happy for him but sad for me. My wife and I need to remind ourselves that this was the moment we worked for. He is ready and I know that his future is bright. But it doesn’t change the fact that I will miss him terribly.

Moms and dads, people of faith, whatever your faith may be, you are not alone. Being a dad has taught me many valuable lessons that have shaped my ministry. I have walked with many people through life transitions. I have experienced the emotions of hundreds of people, albeit from somewhat of a professional distance. Now, I find myself walking down the path many have walked before me. I cannot say: “I know how you are feeling.” But I can say: “I have a pretty good idea …” Feel free to call your clergy person and share what is on your heart and pray with him or her. You may be surprised to discover that your spiritual leader, too, may have taken your path and have a pretty good idea of how you are feeling.

But know this, you are in my prayers. And may God bless you and your children during this time of transition. You may be sad for yourself, but be happy for your child.

Pastor Gross is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-421-3146 or visit www.zion-lutheran.org.

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FLICKS: The Dark Tower & meeting the original Godzilla

Posted on 10 August 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

Twenty nine years ago, Stephen King published a trade paperback titled The Gunslinger, which was promoted and sold by the old Walden bookstores. With a mixture of science fiction, horror and cowboy ethos, I envisioned myself portraying the Gunslinger, Roland, who sought the Man in Black.

The Gunslinger was revealed to be a small part of a much larger epic. In the appendix, King wondered if he would live long enough to complete this cycle of stories, which concluded in 2004 with the seventh book, The Dark Tower.  It is ironic that the first movie of a proposed long-term series would be the title of the last book.

This movie opens with an ominous tone. A Dark Tower separates our world from alternative worlds with different time periods. (Confused?  Yeah, I know I lost some readers already). Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is having apocalyptic nightmares about the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) kidnapping children, blindfolding them and sucking out their brain waves. The brain waves are used to bombard the Dark Tower so that it will fall and the universe will be covered in darkness. The Man in Black has also picked a fight with Roland, the last Gunslinger (Idris Elba) from a golden age of law & order. Having killed Roland’s father (Dennis Haysbert), the Man in Black continuously taunts the gunslinger.

During an inner city earthquake in Manhattan, Jake discovers a portal machine that takes him into another world. Jake meets Roland, discusses mutual interests and decides to protect the Dark Tower. These actions set in motion a showdown between the Man in Black and the Gunslinger.

What was novel 29 years ago has become routine in the last 28 years of the summer blockbuster, movie experience. 

We see a series of action-set pieces that have no emotional involvement. By the time the hero and the villain have their showdown, the action feels repetitive.

With less than a two-hour running time, The Dark Tower feels longer in a dull way.   

I was saddened to learn about the passing of Haruo Nakajima this week.  While not a household name, Nakajima was an international superstar, best known for portraying the original Godzilla for nearly 20 years. A purely physical performance in a giant lizard suit, Nakajima managed to create a character that has endured for over six decades. Through a translator, Nakajima expressed a fondness for Godzilla and believed the monster was a tragic figure when I met him at a Spooky Empire convention three years ago.

I had arrived early at the DoubleTree Hotel and went into the gym. I watched this 85-year-old little man enter the gym and do many of the exercises that I did. Nakajima did not speak English, but, throughout the weekend, we shared a lot of smiles and a few laughs. R.I.P. Haruo Nakajima, a true class act.

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CLERGY CORNER: Confessions of a youth pastor: part 1

Posted on 10 August 2017 by LeslieM

It’s by no accident you’re reading this article. I pray that what I’m about to reveal to you expands your awareness of what’s happening in the youth culture, and also provides practical ways for you to cultivate a healthier relationship with your youth pastor. What follows is the secret confession of a youth pastor.

To start, know that accessibility to technology and the prevalence of information — real or fake — has significantly altered this thing we call student ministry. 

Young teens are sexting or filming themselves performing sexual acts, which they post to social media. They take polls asking their followers to vote on what “stupid s***,” they should do on Snapchat, like destroying property or pretending to have a mental illness. They play beer pong — at least the 12-year-olds substitute alcohol for Monster energy drinks, and, of course, they light things on fire. 

The older students self-inflate their status, hoping to feel more important as they strive to live up to society’s unrealistic athletic or academic expectations. 

In short, it’s the f-word, rebellion, confusion and rejection manifesting itself in the form of social media attention-grabbing. They are painfully attention-starved and insecure, and their new drug is follower engagement, “likes” and such.

It’s a new frontier. The days of “playing games with the youth” have ended. As a matter of fact, if I’m being honest, some days I’m with students from morning until evening, living in their new world, trying to help them navigate their wounds and baggage. It’s those days you might find me lying on the floor of my office, gathering the energy needed to drive home.

But that’s okay. Because it’s there, on the carpet where Domino’s icing dipping sauce has been thoroughly trampled into, that I’m reminded to be wholly dependent on God myself and that I’m not alone; I’m co-laboring with others to show these students Jesus. 

I say “co-labor,” because student ministry is a partnership. While the position of youth pastor may have once been to “babysit” the youth while the adults do the “real” ministry, I can assure you, student ministry is real ministry and needs to be connected to the adult congregation.

Studies show that students who experience intergenerational worship are significantly less likely to “graduate” from their faith and walk away from God after high school, as they feel connected to a local church body that continues to love and support them even while away from home.

The reality is that this is a generation crying out for help, but has no idea how to receive and accept the help when it arrives: imagine a drowning victim trying to swim away from the responding lifeguard. 

Paul writes in his letter to the Romans to not “copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:2). And that’s where the battleground exists for our youth: their minds. Author Dr. Jean M. Twenge, in her book iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood—and What That Means for the Rest of Us, asserts that this rising generation is “on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades.” 

God has placed us in their lives to love and “direct [our] children onto the right path, [so that] when they are older, they will not leave it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Next month, I will share practical ways you can co-labor alongside your youth pastor to help the students run their race well — to run the narrow path and not leave it. In the meantime, this is the back-to-school season. Make a commitment, as a family, that no matter the academic, athletic or arts schedule, that you will not forsake time with “[those who are] continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

The youth pastor is not your child’s primary disciple-maker. You are.

C.J. Wetzler is the NextGen pastor at The Church at Deerfield Beach. Before transitioning into full-time ministry, CJ was a commercial airline captain and high school leadership and science teacher. For questions or comments he can be reached at cj@dfb.church.

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Highlands adds two coaches

Posted on 02 August 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy (HCA) has added two coaches – Dwayne Marcum (Girls Varsity Basketball) and Taylor Townsend (Girls Varsity Soccer) to their coaching staff for the upcoming high school year.

HCA Athletic Director Jim Good was raving over his team recent hires saying they were exactly what he was looking for to lead his students both on and off the field.

I am so excited to welcome Taylor as our new girls soccer coach,” Good said. “Taylor has learned to use her talents to spread the love of Christ. I know our girls will enjoy her passionate style of coaching and look up to her as a role model. HCA is grateful and excited to welcome Taylor to the HCA coaching family.”

I am very grateful for this opportunity to be the head girls soccer coach at Highlands Christian Academy,” Townsend said. “Highlands is an amazing school and I am looking forward to a great season with the girls.”

Townsend is a Florida Atlantic University graduate with a degree in communications. She played two years at the University of Central Florida before transferring to Florida Atlantic University (FAU). While at the University of Central Florida, she made the Top 100 Freshman list. 

She then helped lead FAU to the Conference USA Tournament and has been a member of the Women’s Premier Soccer League Team Boca Blast semi-professional squad from 2012-16 and is that team’s leading goal scorer.

Most recently, she played with Club Universitario de Deportes, a Peruvian professional team. 

Townsend was an assistant coach for West Boca High School, as well as American Heritage-Delray and is currently working as an individual trainer.

Marcum has experience coaching both male and female basketball teams.

Marcum began his coaching career in 2000 at Pompano Lighthouse Christian Academy, where he coached until 2004. He then took over as the Boys Varsity Coach at Green Acres Christian Academy and coached there from 2005-2008.

Coach Marcum then began coaching at Hope Bible College in 2009 and stayed until 2012. He then coached one season of Boys Varsity Basketball at Hollywood Christian in 2014-2015 and then one year of Girls Varsity at Berean Christian from 2015-2016.

We are very excited to welcome Coach Marcum to the HCA Coaching family,” Good added. “He brings experience, knowledge and passion, and I am confident he will do a great job with our girls. He loves the Lord and will be a great role model to our young ladies as we represent HCA and, ultimately, Christ.”

Marcum is married to Denise and has three grown children — Joshua, Jordann and Christian.  

On to college

Two local football players have verbally committed to play college football.

Deerfield Beach High School tight end Daniel Barker committed to Illinois and Blanche Ely High linebacker Carlton Cleophat committed to Central Michigan.

Barker is the second Buck to pledge with the Fighting Illini this summer, following in the footsteps of senior running back Jakari Norwood, who committed to Champaign-Urbana. 

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FLICKS: Dunkirk

Posted on 02 August 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Don’t rush to go see Dunkirk. Make plans to go see Christopher Nolan’s latest action movie. Sure Dunkirk fulfills the requisites for a typical summer blockbuster, but this film contains much depth of detail. This film is about loss and retreat, yet is filled with triumph.

The running time is less than two hours, but Dunkirk feels longer in a good, epic way. Given his previous work with Memento, Inception and Interstellar, it helps to understand Christopher Nolan’s conception of time. Dunkirk tells three stories that take place in one week, (The Mole), one day (The Sea) and one hour (The Air). 

Dunkirk opens on The Mole, in which British soldiers walk abandoned streets in Dunkirk, France. Paper propaganda from the Nazis tells the residents that Germany is in control of the city.  As Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) reads the propaganda, his mates are gun downed by an unseen enemy. Tommy escapes to the pier where a Red Cross ship awaits departure.

Volunteer civilian boaters are the focus of The Sea, which features Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son. Rather than waiting for the British bureaucracy to figure out the proper procedure to rescue stranded soldiers, Mr. Dawson, his son and his special needs deckhand George impulsively join the rescue operation. Their first rescue involves a shell-shocked soldier (Cillian Murphy), whose behavior could create disastrous repercussions.

The Air ties up the entire narrative of Dunkirk. Three Spitfire airplanes (with Mercedes engines) are sent out to provide air support to the rescue operation. With limited fuel supply, the Spitfires are outnumbered by the Nazi airforce. When the team leader is downed, it is up to Farrier (Tom Hardy) to protect the British ships at sea.

Understanding the concepts of time and location in advance will enhance one’s viewing pleasure of this movie. As the timelines converge, we witness multiple perspectives of the same situation (i.e. the bombing of a minesweeper) and we see how it affects all the protagonists.

With limited dialogue, Dunkirk is a visual treat. With the exception of Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy, Dunkirk features a cast of young faces with potentially strong careers in the future, most notably Fionn Whitehead as Tommy. Dunkirk will be an Oscar-worthy contender that is best seen on the big screen this summer. Go see it!

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CLERGY CORNER: The experiment

Posted on 02 August 2017 by LeslieM

Psychology Today published some time ago an experiment conducted by a Harvard psychologist named Dr. Robert Rosenthal on a group of students and teachers living in Jerusalem. The experiment went as follows: a group of physical education teachers and students were randomly chosen and randomly divided into three groups. 

In the first group, the teachers were told that previous testing indicated that all the students had an average ability in athletics and an average potential. The teachers were told, “Go and train them!” 

The second group of teachers was told that students in their group, based on previous testing, exhibited an unusually high potential for excellence in athletic…“Go and train them!” 

And the third group of teachers was told that their group of students had exhibited, based on previous testing, an extremely low potential for athletic training…“Now, go and train them!” 

The teachers were given several weeks to work with and interact with their student athletes. At the end of the training period the results were the same for male and female students, and for male and female teachers. All of those students who had been randomly identified as being rather average in ability performed about average on the tests. All of those students who were randomly identified as being above average, performed above average. All those students who were randomly identified as below the average, performed below the average by a considerable margin. The results of the test indicated that what the teachers thought their students’ ability was, and what the students themselves thought their ability was, went a long way toward deciding just how well they performed as athletes. 

Psychology Today took special note of this experiment because it confirmed in the physical arena what psychologists had long claimed to be true in the educational and emotional arena: The concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Students in classrooms, workers in shops, patients in therapy all do better when the person in charge expects them to do well, when they themselves expect to do well.

One’s own self esteem, one’s own self-image, what someone thinks of themselves and thinks himself capable of are extremely crucial factors in deciding what one can be, of what one is to make of himself or herself, and that the way we see ourselves plays an important role in the way others see us as well. 

The circus

Did you ever go to the circus? Remember those huge elephants that weighed several tons who were held in place by a small chain wrapped around one of their huge legs, and held to the ground by a small wooden stake? If those huge elephants wanted to, they could walk right through those small chains and that small wooden stake like a hot knife going through butter. But they don’t. Why is that? 

When they were little baby elephants, they were chained down by those same small chains and the small wooden stakes. But to them, as babies, they couldn’t move. They tried and tried and tried again and could not release themselves from those chains and stakes. And then, an interesting thing happened. They stop trying. They gave up. They developed a belief system.

Now, as adult elephants, they don’t try because they are programmed to believe that their efforts would be useless – in vain. As huge, adult elephants, they don’t even try. They’re held in prison by their beliefs. 

The same is true with so many of us. The spies in Moses times declared: “We were like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and so were we in their eyes.” As a result, the nation wept in vain. The spies caused the Jews to perceive themselves as hopeless, small and futile “grasshoppers.” Thus, they also came to believe that everyone looks at them as mere grasshoppers. When you think you are weak, you indeed become weak, and you believe that everyone considers you the same. 

Part of leaving exile and being worthy of redemption is that we must stand firm, united, filled with resolve. We must never capitulate. As individuals and as a community, we must dismiss the sense of powerlessness.

We ought to remember that in every situation we are empowered by G-d to create light out of darkness and to continue our march to bring healing and redemption to our world, with the coming of Messiah, so that this Tisha B’av (anniversary of the destruction of both Temples) is transformed into a grand festival. Amen.

Rabbi Tzvi Dechter is the director of Chabad of North Broward Beaches, located in the Venetian Isle Shopping Center at 2025 E. Sample Rd. in Lighthouse Point. For all upcoming events, please visit www.JewishLHP.com.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Character and morality

Posted on 02 August 2017 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

I have stuff on my mind and gotta say it – respectfully. I’ve been writing for this paper for, I guess, more than 10 years. I am a politics freak and have been asked not to write about politics. I have complied, even as I have often had to tie my hands behind my back before sitting down at my computer to write a piece of fluff.

I write this, not as a democrat or a republican, but as an American who cares above all, about character, morality, integrity, civility, compassion and respect for belief systems that differ from mine. I believe strongly that I can learn from people who don’t agree with me and I am, therefore, open to listening, with respect, to other points of view. I see this as an admirable quality passed on from parent to child and from the people we choose as leaders expressed by them, not with words, but with behaviors.

I have witnessed in my long life leaders on both sides of the political spectrum whose position as national role models have fallen way short of ideal, whose influence on national consciousness and character have given a subliminal pass to those who give credence to the mantra “I believe it is okay to do whatever I can get away with, regardless of consequences to others, or its inherent immorality, as long as it enhances my quality of life.”

And I have witnessed enough people who wanted a better quality of life for themselves, who wanted all the fantastical life improvements that were promised to them. They voted for the whole package.

The person who now has claim to the White House has indeed expressed with words and behaviors – very openly, and unapologetically, that very mantra. I will give him the benefit of what I do not know about him, that perhaps he has extended many kindnesses to people with whom “quid pro quo” was not the ruling motive. But what is open to the public is a cesspool of actions and relationships based on his philosophy of life…“what’s in it for me.”

Have I missed it? Is he on record showing some quality of inherent goodness or kindness that hasn’t been predicated on this principle?

Granted, goodness and kindness may be wimpy characteristics, and not ones we consciously seek in a leader. But the blatant and complete absence of them trumps whatever strengths are demonstrated when we evaluate what has come to be known as our national character. And folks, I really worry about our national character.

Our country was built by people of strong character and principles that extended beyond the me-me-me image reflected every time our president opens his mouth or thumbs a tweet. Do we want the persona he presents to be a role model for our kids and future generations?

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Highlands holds successful hoops camps

Posted on 26 July 2017 by LeslieM

Highlands holds successful hoops camps

By Gary Curreri

For more than two decades, Highlands Christian Academy (HCA) has hosted an annual summer basketball camp at the school.

Jim Good, who serves as the school athletic director and boys’ varsity basketball coach, has been there for most of those camps as he just completed his 20th year. Good’s predecessor, Reg Cook, the former AD and boys varsity basketball coach, started the camp in 1986 with 19 campers in attendance.

I am always grateful and excited that we are able to offer basketball camp here at HCA,” said Good, who has worked the camps since 1998. “It is by far our most successful athletic camp we do in the summer. I am extremely thankful for our coaches who do a tremendous job leading, working stations, sharing devotions and officiating games.”

 This year’s staff included several of the HCA Basketball coaches: Luke Still (Boys JV), Josh Good (Boys JH), Jeff Sullivan (Boys 6th grade), John Wilson (Girls Varsity) and Caris Everette (Girls Elementary).

Also, Max Spinner, head coach at Boca High and former Bobcats player, came every morning in our older group to lead our “Defensive Session,” Jim Good added. “Coach Spinner created and provided quality instruction and drills on defense. 

I have always been impressed with his teaching and coaching style and have watched his teams really buy into defense,” Good continued. “It was great to have an outside voice who provided energy and enthusiasm in implementing some new defensive drills.”

Also, Max Spinner, head coach at Boca High and former Bobcats player, came every morning in our older group to lead our “Defensive Session,” Jim Good added. “Coach Spinner created and provided quality instruction and drills on defense. 

Good said the camp theme was from Philippians 2:13 which reads, “In humility, consider others better than yourselves.”

Our typical morning included a devotion from one of our coaches as they shared a spiritual truth for the day,” he said. “We then focused the entire group on warm-up runs, dribbling, ball-handling and stretching.”

Every morning, the campers performed several speed and agility drills led by the coaches in a station format. The group was then divided up to work on individual skill and development with lay-ups, cone drills and shooting. The first week consisted of 35 elementary school students, while the second week consisted of 50 children in the junior high and high school age groups. 

Each day a specific skill was broken down for the campers to focus on. Every day, the campers competed in a different trophy competition, which included one on one, two on two, free throws and hot shots. Lunch was off campus at Chick-fil-A and CiCi’s Pizza, while the afternoon consisted of full court five on five games.

The school also held camps for softball, track and field, and indoor soccer. The remaining camps offered at the school next week (July 31-Aug. 4) include golf and girls volleyball. Please visit the website at www.highlandsknights.org for more information.

Simply Soccer camps offered

The Simply Soccer camp is winding up its 29th year of summer camps in nearby Coral Springs. 

The camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-15, and of all skill levels, which are taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting.

There are three sessions each day ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; extended hours camp from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a Tiny Tot program for kids ages 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Full day campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. You do not have to be a city resident to attend.

The camp has just three sessions left this summer including July 31 to Aug. 4; Aug. 7 to 11, and Aug. 14 to 18.

You can register daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, 2501 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs. For information on the Coral Springs camp, call 954-345-2200.

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