FLICKS: The BFG & Independence Day: Resurgence

Posted on 30 June 2016 by LeslieM

flicks063016By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

It has been 34 years since director Steven Spielberg released his 6th motion picture, E.T. the Extraterrestrial, whose box office gross made him the King of Summer blockbusters. At the time, Harrison Ford was dating Melissa Mathison, who wrote the screenplay for E.T. When Mathison fell ill, Spielberg reviewed some of her screenplays and was impressed by her adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, which was published in 1982, the same year that E.T. the Extraterrestial was released. While best known for his dark children’s novels like James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dahl’s The BFG confronted an emotion he was unfamiliar with — sentimentality. The diverse collaboration between Dahl, Mathison and Spielberg has created a fine motion picture based on a book.

Sophie (Rudy Barnhill) is an orphan with insomnia. One night, she spots a giant (Mark Rylance) roaming the streets of London. Fearing reprisals from humans, the giant abducts Sophie and takes her to his hovel. Fearful at first, Sophie develops a kinship with the giant, who she names “BFG” — short for Big Friendly Giant.

Sophie learns that BFG is actually the runt of the giants and that he is frequently bullied by his brethren. When the mean giants get too aggressive, BFG plans to return Sophie to the orphanage. However, Sophie has another idea and it involves meeting the Queen of England.

Being Spielberg’s first Walt Disney movie, The BFG is pure family entertainment. There is fantastic cinematography that is spiritually enhanced by John Williams’ musical score. There are scary moments, but not scary enough to induce nightmares. There are subtle moments of humor, with a whizzpopping belly laugh that builds to absurd levels. The BFG is a good afternoon escape from the summer heat.

A sequel 20 years in the making, Independence Day:Resurgence opened last weekend with disappointing box office. While the sequel does provide the science fiction community their jollies, the film is not as good as the predecessor.

With reference to the fictional events of 1996, Jeff Goldblum and Madame President (Sela Ward) learn that the aliens are planning a counterattack. They recruit the children of the heroes from the first movie to fly into danger. Things go wrong when the aliens unleash a secret weapon. Cliches abound. One cliche involves sacrificial death. With a swelling musical score, this dramatic scene feels false; the sacrificial death proves meaningless.

The best part of this film features Goldblum and Judd Hirsch’s kvetching father. The bantering between the two feels real with much humor and humanity.

Happy 4th of July!

Comments Off on FLICKS: The BFG & Independence Day: Resurgence

Williams helps Bengals to 2nd place finish in county meet

Posted on 23 June 2016 by LeslieM

SPORTS062316By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach’s Jevon Williams was in familiar territory recently as he successfully defended his 100-meter boys hurdles championship at the Broward County Middle School track and field championships at Coral Springs High School.

I didn’t expect it,” said Williams, who recently graduated from Pompano Beach Middle School. “It is kind of like winning a super bowl, but it is better because it was for my school.”

The 14-year-old Williams would know about winning Super Bowls as he won a youth football championship with the Pompano Eagles 13-Under team.

In addition to defending his hurdles title in 14.24, he also won the high jump with a personal best leap of 5-10. His previous best was 5-8. He barely clipped the bar as he attempted to top 6-0.

Williams put in a dominating performance in the boys hurdles as he won by nearly a second over Seminole Middle School’s Cody Brown (15.22). The Bengals finished second in the meet with 62 points, just nine points behind four-time defending county champion Lauderdale Lakes Middle School.

I did good,” said Williams, who has been running track for three years. “It was pretty hard to repeat in the hurdles, but I had the experience.”

Other top local finishes with Pompano Beach Middle School athletes in the championships included Robert Floyd, who finished eighth in high jump (5-4); Darnell Deas, who placed third in the boys 100-meter dash (11.84), and Jeremiah Mathieu, who placed third in the boys 800 (2:12.18).

Pompano Beach kept the meet interesting as it went 2-3 in the 200-meter dash as Shamari Lawrence was second (23.25), while Williams was third (23.74). Pompano Beach also had two standout relay performances as their 4×100 relay took first (44.44), while the 4×400 relay was fourth.

Not to be outdone, the girls also turned in some solid efforts as they tied for ninth in the county with Sawgrass Middle School with 18 points. Lauderdale Lakes’ girls won the championship with 94 points.

Jaleah Williams was one of three girls to break the 1-minute barrier as she was third in the girls 400-meter dash (59.73). K’Nyah Isaac of Pembroke Pines Charter won the girls 400 (56.43). Williams also took third in the 200-meter dash (26.41).

The Bengals girls relays teams also earned points as the 4×400 relay team was fourth in 4:42.17, while the 4×100 relay clocked 55.37 to place eighth.

Simply Soccer Camp offered

Area residents are headed to the Simply Soccer camp that is in its 28th year in nearby Coral Springs. The soccer camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-15, of all skill levels, who will be 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 remaining dates are June 27-July 1, July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29, Aug. 1-5, Aug. 8-12 and Aug. 15-19.

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

Comments Off on Williams helps Bengals to 2nd place finish in county meet

Taste of old Italy: Mozzarita — your neighborhood cheesemaker

Posted on 18 June 2016 by LeslieM

olditaly061616By Rachel Galvin

In today’s world of high tech, big equipment and high paced processing; it is nice to know that some people still do things the old-fashioned way. Vito Volpe is one of those people. He works with his employees to make mozzarella from scratch all handmade with 100 percent cow’s milk, no preservatives.

The art of cheesemaking began far before recorded history and seemed to become a more sophisticated endeavor during the times of Ancient Greece and Rome. For Vito, his days of making cheese began as a child in a farm near Bari, Italy. He learned how to make it from his mother.

From little kids, we learned from our mother how to make cheese. We made our own pasta, bread … We had a sheep we would milk and ride. We were not rich,” said Vito.

He moved to New York on Feb. 26, 1972 and opened up an Italian deli. He moved to South Florida in 2006.

Nobody was doing this here,” he said. “Others try and think they know what they are doing and close.”

Today, he creates cheese daily with his workers, which number six and up to about 11 in the busy months (September through May), including his wife Lucrezia. He gets up at the crack of dawn and the process begins. His hands are sore from being in boiling water daylong. Mozzarella (which is derived from the Italian verb mozzare, which means “to cut”) starts with pasteurized hormone-free milk, which he gets delivered from a place in Tampa in 5 gal. bags. Curd is created by adding enzymes and citric acid. The large mass of curd is added to hot whey (liquids from the drained curds) and stirred until the curds melt and begin to form a smooth, shiny mass.

Some of the cheeses he offers are Mozzarella Fior di Latte, Fior di Latte (smoked), Ovolini, handmade Trecce Braid, handmade Nodini Knots, Scamorza, fresh Ricotta, Ciliegine Cherry, Sfoglia di Mozzarella, Bocconcini, Burrata and Mozzarella di Bufala.

His high quality cheeses have been sought out by fine dining establishments, at places like The Breakers and Fountainbleu, The Polo Club, as well as Boca Raton’s Saquella Cafe, Trattoria Romana and Villagio. It is even at certain Whole Foods and elsewhere.

Now, he has been asked to distribute at Publix in 200 stores in South Florida. For that, which will be a much bigger order, he has purchased a new machine to aid in the processing. It will speed up the process. It normally takes a few hours to separate the curds and whey and then as little as 15 minutes to take it and shape it into the proper shape and set it in a cold water bath to be placed into a container to be shipped.

Vito also sells other products like pasta, butter and olive oil.

People can come in and buy products directly from him, but usually they will see him out at events and green markets. Sometimes he sends other people to sell, but he always likes to attend the one in Parkland himself.

It is a nice day off,” he said. “One day to relax.”

What makes his mozzarella different is not only that it is made by hand, but that it is preservative free.

We do handmade with 100 percent milk, not powdered milk, no chemicals. The mozzarella may last only three weeks. Other [companies] say three months, because they put in preservatives. You get pizza with [cheap cheese] and it is like plastic you can crack in half. You feel sick. I don’t like to trick people. If you look for a bargain, don’t call me. If you look for quality, call me,” he said.

He added that olive oil bought from others is usually not pure, but mixed with another kind of oil.

My father used to be able to spoon out olive oil like butter when it was cold. When you look at [another company’s] olive oil, you may see a small ball formed at the bottom. That is the percentage that is actually olive oil,” he explained.

Vito also just opened up Mozzarita Bar (at 9704 Clintmore Rd., #A-105 in Boca Raton), six months ago. He hopes to turn it into a franchise.

There is wine, beer, food with mozzarella, like eggplant parmesan, burrata with salmon and prosciutto, cheesecake with ricotta, ciabatta bread with mozzarella and tomato [and more],” said Vito.

Mozzarita is located at 5392 NE 13 Way, Pompano Beach FL 33064. For more information, visit www.mozzarita.com.

Comments Off on Taste of old Italy: Mozzarita — your neighborhood cheesemaker

Pat Anderson Paints in plein air

Posted on 18 June 2016 by LeslieM

anderson061616-1By Rachel Galvin

Pavilion One, just south of Pompano pier, has a perfect view of sea grapes, Palm trees, sunny skies and crystal blue waters, and it serves as the perfect inspiration for art. This is the latest location for artist Pat Anderson’s Plein Air painting class. Here, her students set up their leaf bars (easels that wrap around a column or a tree) and await instruction.

On this day, June 13 (session two of a four-week class), she has them prepare their palette with the right colors. Next, she does an outline of a shape of their choosing – either a palm tree, conch shell or turtle — with liquid rubber, which will dry and create interesting white lines in the finished product. Next, she has students “warm up” with the No. 20 brush, showing them how to move their arm while keeping their hand perfectly still as they practice their thin and thick brush strokes. Today, they will be making puffy clouds with blues and grays, softening the edges with a Q-tip. She showed them how they could paint blades of grass in quick upward strokes.

In order to save paint, which can be expensive, they do “speed painting,” working on two paintings at once. One painting is an abstract using the pigments of their paper palette

and the other one is the landscape they are creating.

Lynn Radtke came with her 13-year-old daughter Olivia.

I usually order Pat’s ornaments [which she creates every year for Christmas] and I got to an e-mail about the class and signed up. I was looking for something my daughter and I could do together. She likes art but prefers acrylics. I thought this would get her out of her comfort zone. If she wants to stick with art, it’s a perfect thing to do,” said Lynn, who has worked in fashion design for awhile.

Ramona Myrick also has a fashion background and went to school for fashion merchandise.

I thought it would be fun to do. I haven’t done it for awhile,” said Myrick, who has worked with mixed media in the past.

She added, “In the first class, last week, we had homework to paint the alphabet and we did a picture of a leaf”.

This month is on Pompano Beach, next month’s classes (July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1) will be in Harbor’s Edge Park (1240 NE 28 Ave.). She tries to change up the location. She also has classes using acrylics as well.

I want to get more use of our parks. These posts [columns on pavilion] are not used. We are making use of them. I introduced this art program for parks, to paint in plein air, outdoors. The students are learning the different elements of the painting. I give them a rough sketch of where the sea grapes are, where the trees are, etc. In the end, they will paint a picture of the park they are in and will get a T-shirt with the picture and a certificate for participation.”

Interested in joining her classes? Each two-hour class includes some supplies and access to a leaf bar easel. Cost is $200 for four weeks. Thirty percent of proceeds benefit the Parks & Recreation Dept. You must register in advance at Emma Lou Olson Civic Center, 1801 NE 6 St. in Pompano. For more information, call 954-786-4111, visit www.PatAndersonArtist.com.

anderson061616-2

Comments Off on Pat Anderson Paints in plein air

Drayton wins state figure skating title

Posted on 16 June 2016 by LeslieM

SPORTS061616By Gary Curreri

With more than 350 figure skaters from around Florida participating in the Sunshine State Games Figure Skating competition at the Florida Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs, one local girl stood tall.

Pompano Beach’s Katya Drayton, 12, won the Pre Juvenile Free Skating Division recently and punched her ticket to the national games later this year.

When you see that your hard work has paid off, it is just so rewarding,” said Drayton, 12, who just completed her 7th-grade year at Somerset Pines Academy. “It’s just the best. I want to at least get to sectionals this year and then maybe nationals.”

Drayton got her start in the sport when she went to her sister’s friend’s birthday party. She took third at last year’s Sunshine State Games and trains at Glacier Ice and Snow Arena in Pompano Beach.

I just really liked it and I asked my mom if I could have lessons and that’s just how it began,” Drayton said. “The feeling on the ice compares to happiness. The memories … you will never forget that moment that you are out there on the ice.”

I wouldn’t say you are flying unless you are doing a flying camel or a jump,” she added. “I think it is more like you are gliding. Everything is loose. You can do whatever you want.”

Drayton said there is pressure when you take the ice for your program.

It depends on what competition it is,” she said. “If it is a smaller one, there are nerves, but if it is a big one where you are competing against so many people from the state, you will have some nerves because you don’t know how good some people are.”

Drayton, who practices six days a week – usually skating 2-1/2 hours every day, will train before and after school to prepare. She likes what the sport brings.

There is actually a lot of freedom,” she said. “You get to choose your music, unless you have a really strict coach. You get to do your program and, if you feel like some things are not right, you could change it to something that you are better at.”

Drayton is more confident in her jumps and always is looking to make a good impression with the judges.

I tried to smile as much as I can because I do love it, but you are focused in that moment, so if you are hooked in the moment, you don’t really smile,” Drayton said. “I love it, so I tried to smile and show how much I loved it. I am really happy with what I did.”

The Sunshine State Games is Florida’s Olympic-style Sports Festival that has provided amateur sports opportunities for residents of the state for 37 years. The Figure Skating competition was in its 30th year and was held on two rinks over three days at the IceDen. A total of 127 gold medals were awarded during the competition.

Betty Stark, who has served as the Figure Skating Director for all 30 years in the Games, was recognized for her service to the Sunshine State Games and amateur sports in the State of Florida. The competition drew more than 350 skaters from around the state

This is our largest number,” Stark said. “This is a big event especially because this is the start of the seasonal year for the skaters and they get to put their programs out, get it tested and get feedback back from the technical panel at the different levels. It is very encouraging because the little ones look up to the big ones who skate.”

Comments Off on Drayton wins state figure skating title

FLICKS: L’Attesa (The Wait) & Alice Through the Looking Glass

Posted on 09 June 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

L’Attesa (The Wait) opens tomorrow at the Living Room Theater on the FAU campus. Purely an art house drama with serious themes, L’Attesa is based on a play and a short story written by Sicilian legend Luigi Pirandello. The film stars Juliette Binoche as the matriarch of a mansion by the sea.

The film opens with Anna (Binoche) attending a funeral and returning to her lonely mansion. The phone rings and echoes through the halls. It is Jeanne (Lou de Laage), the girl friend of Anna’s son, Guiseppe. Jeanne and Guiseppe made plans to meet at Anna’s mansion for the Easter holiday.

The film is a slow paced mystery, full of haunted imagery. Owing a debt to Classic Neorealism of Italian cinema, director Piero Messina melds a modern interpretation of a Pirandello tragedy. The experienced craft of Binoche and fresh talent of Laage form a strong working partnership. See L’Attesa with a friend and discuss the film over a glass of red wine.

Grief is a hard sale for the summer box office season, especially when it is based on classic children’s literature, which might explain why Alice Through the Looking Glass is tanking at the box office. Throw in bad publicity from a cast mate and this has already become Walt Disney Studio’s biggest bomb of 2016. Sadly, it is a superior sequel to the origin film six years ago.

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) has become a successful sea captain because she believes the only way to accomplish the impossible is to believe it is possible. However, when Alice returns home, she learns that her mother is in financial distress. Realizing that her mother’s dilemma was caused by her actions in the previous movie, Alice follows a blue butterfly (voiced by the late Alan Rickman) into a mirror, which is a portal to Wonderland.

Once in Wonderland, Alice learns that her best friend Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) suffers from melancholia. With the aid of the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), Tweedledee & Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), the Dormouse and the White Rabbit, Alice must steal from Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) and battle the vengeful Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). This imaginative flight of fancy will amuse art patrons who enjoy Impressionism and Surrealism with Steampunk motifs.

While dealing with darker themes, Alice Through the Looking Glass is an entertaining motion picture that I wished I saw on the IMAX’s five-storey screen. Stick around for the end credits in which a loving tribute is provided to the late Alan Rickman.

Comments Off on FLICKS: L’Attesa (The Wait) & Alice Through the Looking Glass

Cyndi Lauper takes “Detour” to Boca Raton

Posted on 03 June 2016 by LeslieM

cindy0602116 By Rachel Galvin

When you think of Cyndi Lauper, you may picture the edgy bohemian with big, bright red hair, flamboyant styling and adorable New Yawk accent. But Lauper has transformed through the years, since being thrust into the mainstream scene in 1983 with She’s So Unusual, changing her style in fashion and music. Once known for her pop music hits like “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and “Time After Time,” she has moved on to embrace other styles, including Blues, in her last album Memphis Blues.

Now, in her newest album, Detour, she firmly embraces Country. The album is a collaboration with the likes of Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and Jewel. This 11th studio album was recorded in Nashville and includes all covers of classics like Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” and “I Fall To Pieces; “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” by Patsy Montana and Dolly Parton’s “Hard Candy Christmas,” and many others.

The Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning singer likes to employ a wide variety of genres within all her original songs.

I think it was an eclectic sound to begin with. It’s all a mixture,” said Lauper of her early music during an interview with The Observer. “It’s Jamaican, it’s street and Motown-ish, all mixed together but in a pop format. [If it makes you happy], then that is the kind of music it is.”

Creating happiness is key to her musical choices. In this latest album, she is returning back to her roots, to music she listened to as a child.

[I cut my teeth] listening to all the Rockabilly Rock & Rollers … Wanda Jackson and Patsy Cline,” she said. “[For this album], I picked songs with stories I could relate to.”

Lauper added, “I thought country would be hard, but once I found myself in it, I was ok. I think that all of it is the roots of the music that I play. It’s a singer’s record. I really love music and feel blessed. My favorite right now is this but I did love the Blues, and they are very close. This is same time period as [songs within] Memphis Blues.”

Cyndi, who has been a songwriter, singer, actress and well-known LGBT activist, also recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, along with Harvey Fierstein, who worked with her on the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots.”

Right next to Gary Cooper!” she enthused. “It doesn’t get better than that.”

Her advice for people trying to get into the business?

Keep going and do what you were put on this earth to do. If it’s singing and writing, don’t stop and there’s plenty of gate keepers, look beyond their shoulders and see where you are going. Make a map, make a plan and stick to it. Sometimes, you might take some detours, detours that are good. Don’t do the bad ones,” she said.

Cyndi has had struggles in her life, within her childhood and while navigating through stardom. When asked how she handles challenges that have arisen, she said, “Sometimes, I just write down on a piece of paper what I would like to happen. Every time I put a ‘but’ in there, I turn that paper over and start again until there are no ‘buts’ or ‘ifs.’ I think the written word is very powerful and I’ve actually done it and been able to turn things around for myself. It’s a mindset. I always believe in life there’s a lot of people that want to do things but they always say ‘but’ and they always think ‘but.’ They can’t send mixed messages. They [have] to just keep their aim true. I think that the people who succeed in life are the people who don’t quit. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get there, you don’t quit.”

She added, “There are trappings that come with music. If you are lucky enough to become successful, fame comes along with it. There is no handbook for that. Nobody writes, ‘Rule No. 1… when you’re famous …’ They don’t do that. Your path is your own so try and accept yourself for who you are and you’ll accept others too and try and find happiness in everything you do because life is short.”

Lauper didn’t always start out on this particular path. In fact, she didn’t set out to be a lead singer at all.

I actually learned to sing in the clubs and learned to be a front person because I wanted to be a background singer. I had my heart set on being like Merry Clayton. [When I was singing in a band], the platform shoes I was wearing kept falling. The only manager who would manage us said he would only manage us if the girl in the back who keeps falling, but sings pretty good, would come up front and be the lead singer. So that’s what happened,” she explained.

Her son, “Dex” (Declyn), is now getting involved in doing Hip Hop. She has seen how the industry has changed. She isn’t sure if she started out today if she would make it the way she did in the ‘80s.

I don’t think I could be on all those [reality] shows. You get tortured.” said Lauper (who has had her own reality show called ‘She’s Still Unusual’). “It’s a different ballgame because of social media.”

She wonders if singers in the past had to go through the same steps as singers today if many of them would have become famous.

Would [Bob] Dylan do it? Would he make it through?” she wondered.

She added, “When I started in 1983, I was more of a performance artist. [I would get questions like] ‘Why can’t you wear jeans and a T-shirt like Katrina and the Waves? After awhile, it wore me down until I did Diva Glam thing with Lady Gaga. It [woke me up], saying wait a minute, I could dress the way I dress without feeling like a freak because there was somebody there who [dresses that way too]. I hope that I told her ‘Don’t listen. Be who you are.’ She is a performance artist. Bowie was the first performance artist. To come back now and do this album and have a little performance art I can do, I am so grateful.”

As for Lauper’s future following the tour?

I am going to tackle another musical … she said.

Cyndi has a Boca Raton spot on her tour. See her perform, with The Peach Kings, at Mizner Park Amphitheatre on June 11. For more information on her career, visit www.cyndilauper.com.

Comments Off on Cyndi Lauper takes “Detour” to Boca Raton

Grandmother gets ace on Mother’s Day

Posted on 02 June 2016 by LeslieM

sports060216By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach’s Roz Lagges spent Mother’s Day playing golf with her daughter, Cheryl DeNoia and it was a memorable occasion.

The 76-year-old great grandmother of nine celebrated the day by getting a hole-in-one at the Crystal Lake Golf Club in Deerfield Beach. She used her 5 Hybrid to ace the Par-3, 103-yard 12th hole.

Cheryl doesn’t golf with us that often because she works so much,” Lagges said. “My husband (Nick) had eye surgery and he hasn’t been able to play.”

Lagges said she thought it might have gone over the green since she lost track of the ball after it flew by the trap at the front of the green.

I thought, ‘Oh boy, here we go again,’” she said. “I thought it went over the green. [Cheryl] said, ‘No mom, you got it in the hole.’”

This was so exciting,” Lagges said. “I was with my daughter and she saw it go in the hole. I insisted it must have rolled off the green and that is why she didn’t see the ball on the green. She got in the golf cart and flew to the green and said, ‘yep, it’s in the hole!’ It was great! It was the best Mother’s Day I ever had.”

Her husband has four hole-in-ones and she is closing in on him. She got her first at the Deerfield Country Club on Nov. 23, 2011 when she aced the 120-yard, 17th hole with a 7-iron. They play together about 4 to 5 times a week.

It was a great thrill,” she said. “It compares to getting a 300 game in bowling. No I have to catch up (to Nick).”

Simply Soccer Camp offered

The Simply Soccer camp returns for its 28th year in Coral Springs. The soccer camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-15, and of all skill levels, who will be 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. with 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 dates are: June 13-17; June 20-24; June 27-July 1; July 11-15; July 18-22; July 25-29; August 1-5; August 8-12; August 15-19.

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

Comments Off on Grandmother gets ace on Mother’s Day

Locals fare well at state track meet

Posted on 19 May 2016 by LeslieM

sports051916By Gary Curreri

With 13 athletes competing at the recent Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A state track and field championships at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Highlands Christian Academy coach Jared Ebenhack couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome.

Junior Sara Carroll, who is also a standout soccer player for the school and has already committed to play soccer at FIT, won the Class 1A girls high jump, clearing 5.40 ft. She captured six total medals at the state meet this year as she placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (15.74); 7th in the 300-meter hurdles; and third in the triple jump (35-7.50). She scored 32 of her team’s 40 points in the meet.

Other top 10 finishes for Highlands included 8th grader Sydney Blackburn, who took ninth in the shot put (32-04), senior Christopher Julien placed 7th in the 100-meter dash, while sophomore Ryan Szklany was 8th in the 1,600 meters (4:41.11) and fourth in the 3,200 (9:47.04).

It was also a bittersweet moment for Ebenhack, who will be relocating his family to Lancaster, CA, on June 3. [He just was honored at Rotary Club, See Pg. 12 of the printed Observer newspaper].

I loved it at Highlands, and parting is bittersweet,” Ebenhack said. “It is very difficult. I know that it is the best thing to do for my family; but I’m definitely torn.”

Considering what an awesome team our girls will have for years to come,” added Ebenhack, who coached most of the middle school runners as elementary students for the past three years, “and considering all the great times I’ve with Ryan Szklany, especially these past four years – especially our Saturday morning long runs down A1A – it is very difficult.”

Ebenhack credited coaches Marc Veynovich and Brenda Montgomery-King for their efforts in the team’s success, especially given the fact the team doesn’t have a permanent track at the school.

Marc was the head coach for the past three years, and I was his assistant, and was in charge of the designing and executing of the distance and sprint programs. This year, he had a lot on his plate and could only come to practice once a week, but he focused a lot on the pole vaulters and high jumpers during that time. Brenda was our throws coach, and two of her athletes qualified for state in the shot and discus, one girl and one boy,” said Ebenhack.

Ely High School senior Thomas Geddis, of Pompano Beach, placed fourth in the Class 3A state finals in the 200-meter dash (22.13) and was a member of the fourth place 4×100 relay with Pierre Dupuy, Arthur Forrest and Rodger Wright (41.95) and the sixth place 4×400 relay (3:21.85) with Tremaine Brown, Roderic Wilson, and Devonte Findlay.

Geddis, 19, is headed to the University of Cincinnati on a football scholarship. Geddis, along with some other standout athletes, helped the Tigers to district and regional titles this season and a fourth place in the state competition. He said he can’t wait to start his new chapter at Cincinnati.

The pressure was tough this year with my being a senior,” Geddis said. “I had a lot of freshmen and underclassmen looking up to me that I had to carry as a team. I was the leader of the 4×100 and the 4×400 and just a captain period, so I had to push them to be comfortable and go out there, have fun, give everything and leave it all on the track.

These four years have been wonderful and meant everything to me,” Geddis added. “It was one of the best track programs I could have come to. We have outstanding coaches and it is a brotherhood and a sisterhood. We come together as one big family.”

Findlay, 18, also a Pompano Beach senior, said he is still searching for a school and hopes his track performance will help earn him a scholarship to college.

I love the sport a lot and I am just keeping busy now,” said Findlay, who overcame an injury this season to reach state. “It was frustrating to sit out, but I did all of my therapy and it was great to make it to states.”

The Tigers’ Roderic Wilson was fifth in the 800 meters (1:58.25), while junior Donnell Grant was eighth in the 110-meter hurdles. Findlay was fifth in the 300-meter hurdles (39.31). Senior Robert Williams was 10th in the discus with a 140-08 throw, while fellow Tigers’ senior Jamie Kennedy took 9th in both the long jump (21-10.50) and the triple jump (44-00.50). Blanche Ely finished fourth in the state competition.

Comments Off on Locals fare well at state track meet

Historic caboose gets new home

Posted on 12 May 2016 by LeslieM

caboose051216By Rachel Galvin

On the corner of Hillsboro Boulevard and Dixie Highway, a lonely red caboose sits where it has lived since 2002. Seemingly abandoned, left behind from days gone by, this lonely caboose seems to have quite a story. Passersby have wondered what mysteries lie in its past and how long it would sit on this stretch of track. Graffiti has many times marred its sides and it was painted again and again. It seems to beg for a better home. Now, its wish has been granted.

This historic caboose originally began its life as a box car, according to Bill Muenzenmaier. Its wheels are dated 1951. But it wasn’t until the 1960s when it became a caboose.

Back in the olden days, cabooses were used for many purposes, including as a place for a man to act as a lookout for the engineer in front, signaling in case of any sign of trouble or if it needed to back up, for example.

Guys could sit up high in the cupola and look for signs of smoke. Trains had friction bearings then and each time the train would go into service yard, the [workers] were supposed to check the wheels and squirt oil to keep it lubricated. If they should miss some, as they are going down the road, it can run hot and turn to smoke and then to fire. [Back then], boxcars were made out of all wood. Today, [they are not] and they use regular ball-bearing wheels. The only thing that can happen now is that you could break a coupler and the air hoses could get disconnected [so cabooses are no longer required].”

When this little caboose was no longer in service, it was purchased by a private collector, Richard Weiner, and when he needed a place to put it, he gave it to William Thies & Sons, the beer distributing company, along with four other boxcars he owned. Eventually, the company sold the property and needed to move the caboose. When they tried to give it back to Weiner, he gifted it to the Deerfield Beach Historical Society.

The railway moved it 11 miles up the track to the side track where it now resides. It was neighbors with the recently demolished Deerfield Builders Supply, which once received carloads of material on those tracks from areas as far away as Oregon or even Western Canada.

Owner of the now closed Deerfield Builders Supply, Ed Dietrich Jr., is spearheading the effort to give the caboose a new home, along with Muenzenmaier and the rest of the Deerfield Beach Historical Society.

Dietrich said, “We are going to roll the caboose about 400 ft. south for the people with the crane [Emerald Towing] to lift out and transport it to the former Deerfield Builders Supply lot [currently owned by Stor-All] to do necessary repairs. Dana Eller and Moving Waters Industries are graciously assisting with necessary welding repairs. Professional rail painter Jeff Conner [Show Paints by Conner] will prep and paint the caboose outside prior to moving its new home.”

The caboose will be painted “safety orange” the way it originally was, according to Muenzenmaier.

Its new home will be just east of the Old School House, a place suggested, said Dietrich, by City Manager Burgess Hanson.

The site will be authentic rail trackage (wood ties, steel I-flange rails, hand spikes and rock ballast),” said Dietrich. “Capital Project Engineer Charles DaBrusco will be coordinating site preparation. “When site and caboose are ready [in a few weeks], Emerald Towing will employ their high capacity cranes to load the caboose body and wheel trucks onto the low-boy trailers for the short trip from Ed Dietrich Sr. Ave. to City Hall. The wheel trucks will go down first and then the caboose body and chassis will be lowered onto them, and the caboose will be put into its permanent position. Eventually, an access ramp will be constructed, along with landscape improvements. Interior restoration will proceed onsite. [It] will include interactive educational components and various historical archives.”

Dietrich added, “This has been 15 years in the making. We appreciate the tremendous contributions and cooperation of the City of Deerfield Beach, the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Deerfield, the Florida East Coast Railway, Stor-All LLC, MWI and Emerald Towing.”

Comments Off on Historic caboose gets new home

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

front page

COVER