PHOTO BY: Jim Wilson
Posted on 06 March 2014 by JimLusk
PHOTO BY: Jim Wilson
Posted on 06 March 2014 by JimLusk
On March 4, actress Elisabetta Fantone, Gretchen Rossi (of “Real Housewives of Orange County) came to Gimme A Burger in Deerfield Beach to bust up a burger before Fantone’s bachelorette party in Miami. They were accompanied by Rossi’s hubby Slade Smile and Fantone’s hubby-to-be Patrick Cohen. Long Film Company filmed a quick video and the girls gave away an entry to their VIP party. More pics coming soon.
Posted on 06 March 2014 by L.Moore
Jordan Murphy loves fighting.
The Deerfield Beach teenager recently won his third national Silver Gloves boxing championship and said he plans to join the military when he turns 18 and fight for his country.
Murphy, a 14-year-old eighth grader at Lyons Creek Middle School in Coconut Creek, and a member of the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Police Athletic League (PAL) boxing program, recently won top honors as in the 80-lb., 14/ 15 age division at the National Silver Gloves boxing tournament in Independence, Missouri when he defeated Patrick Fair (Ohio) by unanimous decision.
Murphy has three national titles (2010 National Junior Golden Gloves, 2013 Ringside World and now 2014 National Silver Gloves), in addition to four state and four regional titles just for the silver gloves tournaments. He has also accumulated several Junior Olympic state titles and Police Athletic League titles.
“I absolutely believed I would win the championship,” said Murphy, who will compete in the upcoming State Golden Gloves competition on March 27-29 in West Palm Beach and the State Junior Olympics competition in Boca Raton on April 12.
“I knew that I worked hard and that I worked hard for a reason and that was to win,” said Murphy, who has been boxing in the PAL program in Deerfield Beach for the past six years. “Boxing has taught me to behave in school and not to let anything get to you. It has also taught me to work hard to achieve what you want.”
Murphy trains three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for 1-1/2 hours each day. He said the rigorous training gives him confidence when he is about to go one-on-one with his opponent.
“When I walk in the ring I am a little nervous at first,” said Murphy, who has compiled a 52-8 record. “As soon as the bell rings, I know that I have confidence in myself that I am going to win the fight most of the time.”
It was redemption of sorts for Murphy who fought a close fight last year in the finals of the 75-lb., 12/13 age division, but dropped a split decision to Malik Nelson (New Jersey).
Murphy competed in a series of national boxing competitions and came out as the national champ for his class. Murphy trained extensively with his coach, Steve Collazo, and had to win several local and regional boxing matches in order to make it to the nationals.
“Jordan has worked long and hard to achieve one goal, to be the best,” said his coach, Collazo. “He was very determined to win this year, especially after falling short in the finals last year.”
In order to reach the nationals, Murphy captured the Silver Gloves State Tournament in early December 2013 in Ft. Pierce, making him the Florida State Silver Glove 80 lb., 14- 15 years-of-age champ. Murphy then won the Regional Silver Gloves competition in early January in Maryland, making him the Region 3 champ to advance to the Silver Gloves Nationals held in Independence, Missouri.
When he turns 18, Murphy is going to be fighting a bigger cause.
“I am going to join the military and box in the military before I go pro,” Murphy said. “I want to help our country out and fight for freedom and our rights. I kind of think about that when I go into the ring now.”
Murphy also plays baseball in the Junior Division of the Deerfield Beach Little League. He is a pitcher and shortstop for the White Sox and has been on the diamond for the past seven years.
“I like boxing more,” Murphy said.
Collazo said BSO’s Police Athletic League provides youths an opportunity to stay out of trouble by participating in sports and other activities after school or during the summer.
The activities are structured to attract all youths regardless of their previous athletic abilities. PAL’s goal is to provide them with activities that build character and self-esteem, foster positive relationships, enhance self-awareness and promote good citizenship.
All PAL programs are free of charge. All participants must be currently in a school or home schooled. For more information, contact BSO Deputy Butch Santy at 954-778-0174.
Posted on 03 March 2014 by JimLusk
Posted on 27 February 2014 by L.Moore
While Deerfield Beach High School’s baseball team is still searching for its first win of the season, it already scored a victory of sorts during the offseason.
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers, a 2003 graduate of Deerfield Beach High, spent a few weeks at his alma mater helping coach the players before he left for spring training. The Pompano native worked with both the pitcher and position players on the varsity and junior varsity programs.
Fiers said he came back to help players reach the next level. He is good friends with Bucks assistant coach Mike Dobre and asked to come out and help.
“I wanted to help them out with everything whether it is baseball or life in general,” said Fiers, who is 10-14 for his major league career. “I came out every day before I left for spring training and I loved being out there.”
After graduating from Deerfield Beach, Fiers went on to Broward College, spent a year at the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky for one year and finished as an All-American at Nova Southeastern University. He was drafted in 2009 in the 22nd round by Milwaukee and reached the big leagues in 2011.
Fiers said he always had a dream to pitch in the major leagues. He played with another major leaguer in Mickey Storey, who is a pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays, for three years at Deerfield.
“It’s definitely a tough game and takes a lot of hard work,” said Fiers, 28, of Pompano Beach. “I pride myself on that. I always had that dream and I wanted it. I’ve had setbacks. I’ve had success. It was a long journey. I had the mindset of knowing I was going to make it and staying positive.”
Fiers said he was impressed by the work ethic the players displayed at DBHS. He worked on the fundamentals of baseball with many of the players. In his senior year at Deerfield Beach, they lost in the regional final to Hialeah High.
It was his second visit to Deerfield Beach High since he graduated. Fiers went while he was at Broward College and also volunteered at nearby Zion Lutheran when Dobre was a coach there.
“I like coaching and helping out kids,” Fiers said. “They have to take it as a game, because it is a game. You want to go out and have fun and that makes it easier. Some guys maybe take it as a job, but it is not a job yet. You want to get good grades and that will help you out.”
“I graduated 10 years ago and it feels the same,” Fiers continued. “It is good to come back and help them get where they want to go. I just want them to compete and, hopefully, their mindset is to want to win. I just wanted to try and make the game as simple as possible.”
Deerfield Beach High School junior Kyle Miller said it was a bonus to have Fiers around.
“It was great to have coach Fiers around,” Miller said. “He’s been through this program before and he knows the ins and outs of baseball. He is somebody you can listen to because he is at the top level of baseball right now.
“He is not just some guy that puts on a hat and calls himself a coach,” Miller added. “He lives it every day. It was good to have him around teaching us.”
Miller said among the things that Fiers helped him with was his approach to pitching.
“He is a right-handed pitcher who doesn’t throw 98 (mph), but he knows how to pitch and get outs,” Miller said. “He relies on good off speed pitches and good location. You really learn good pitching from a guy like Mike Fiers. It’s cool that he volunteered to give back to the program, a program that gave him so much as a kid.”
“This definitely gives you hope to see a guy who came out of Deerfield and has had great success playing the sport,” Miller said. “It shows a lot of kids that if you work hard every day and you want it bad enough, even if you don’t throw a 106-mph fastball, you can still have success.”
“Mike was like the Pied Piper with the players following him and picking his brain,” said first year Bucks coach Angelo Latrento. “He’s a homegrown kid who gave the kids hope and motivation.”
Posted on 27 February 2014 by JimLusk
On Feb. 19, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein visited the campus of Florida Atlantic University. Moderated by historian and former director of Nixon’s presidential library Tim Naftali, the event included a back and forth between the duo talking about everything from the Watergate scandal and subsequent resignation (and later pardoning) of President Nixon to interactions with later presidents and others. President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were among the list of mentions in a talk that contained much humor and candor. The event brought in approximately 2400 people to the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium.
Bernstein classified Nixon as ‘the most fascinating figure in history’ saying that even after office, he still was in the arena “fighting for his own version of history.” He called Nixon ‘a human character that borders on being a tragic figure.’ He mused about Nixon’s deep desire for the presidency and the tragedy of getting his goal and then squandering it. He viewed Nixon as a “great political mind,” saying that his portraits of foreign leaders were “brilliant” and “incisive.” He also noted that Nixon seemed to understand his own downfall.
Woodward said that when Nixon resigned on Aug. 9, 1974, he called his friends and family to the east room to address them. In his “raw and unscripted” talk, he spoke about his mother and father and said that ‘others may hate you; but if you hate them, you destroy yourself.’
“He got that hate was the piston of his administration,” said Woodward. “He knew that hating was what did him in.”
Naftali added that Kissinger learned from Churchill that the smartest way to be remembered was to write history about yourself. Kissinger, he said, wrote that he was the strategist and Nixon was the tactician. Actually, said Naftali, it was the opposite.
Woodward and Bernstein talked about how they were not believed by the general public or even by some of their own co-workers, but their editor stuck with them through thick and thin. The White House press core seemed to deflect their questions with ease by saying that the “Washington Post” was a “Fountain of misinformation.” The public, said, Bernstein, could not believe that the White House could ever “do anything so stupid as Watergate.”
When they did their due diligence to give the White House a chance to respond, they were ridiculed and threatened. When Bernstein called John Mitchell, the Attorney General of the U.S., for a comment and read him what they planned to put in print, including his involvement, Mitchell said, after saying Jesus’s name several times, “… if you run all that crap in the paper, Katie Graham (publisher of the “Washington Post”) is going to get her tit caught in a big fat wringer.”
Bernstein quipped, “I was more worried about my parts than Graham’s,” adding that Mitchell said “in a voice I can still hear today, ‘when this campaign is over, we’re going to do a story on you two boys…’.” Bernstein knew the threat was not an idle one.
When Bernstein told his editor Ben Bradlee about the conversation, he asked, “He really said that about Ms. Graham? Print the whole thing, but leave out her tit.”
[They talked about how Jason Robards in the film version of "All the President's Men," based on their book, did not want to play the editor role at first, despite the hefty $50,000 salary, because all the editor seemed to say was 'Where is the f***ing story?' They explained that that was what the editor of The "Washington Post" said. He finally agreed.]
During the Q&A, someone asked about Edward Snowden, to which Bernstein replied,”His actions have produced an awareness in this country and world about the scope of what NSA does.”
Although he viewed the information Snowden provided the masses as useful, he did point out that the issue needs to still be viewed in context of living in an age of terrorism.
Woodward felt that the main concern that we, as citizens, should be worried about is “secret government,” paraphrasing a judge who recently said that “democracy dies in darkness.”
Woodward said, “[After the Clinton presidency, in 2005] I asked Gore what percent of what went on in the Clinton White House (did we know ), he said 1 percent. If Clinton wrote a tell-all, [we would know] 20 percent.”
He said it is the job of journalism, citizens and the Congress to figure it out [what is going on in the government] and bring it to light.
The duo mentioned President Obama’s presidency, feeling he really is anti-war, but knowing that his use of drones is inconsistent with that agenda, something they deem to be quite difficult for him. In addition, they discussed their interactions with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Woodward said that Clinton upon meeting him mentioned she quoted his book so much she should give him royalties. When asked which passage, she said it was about when he interviewed President George W. Bush, asking “How do you think history will judge you on Iraq?”
Woodward retold the story, saying, “[Bush] said ‘history … we won’t know. We’ll all be dead.”
Clinton said to him adamantly, “You can’t think like that and be the president of the United States. Bush is a fatalist.”
Woodward quipped that he retorted, “Lincoln was a fatalist,” to which Clinton pounded her first against her hand and said, “George Washington, Thomas Jefferson … Bill …would never talk like that.”
Regarding President Gerald Ford pardoning Nixon, Woodward and Bernstein were angry at first, feeling it was “the final corrupt act [of the government]” But when Caroline Kennedy honored Ford with her “Profiles in Courage,” they saw that Ford’s response was actually a brave act beneficial to the country after all. Ford, they explained, felt that not pardoning Nixon would lead to Nixon, then a private citizen, being jailed and ‘two to three more years of Watergate.’ Ford wanted his own presidency and did not want to drag the country through any more than it had already endured.’
Woodward and Bernstein learned from this the importance of not rushing to judgment, a problem they have seen through the years, especially more recently, in journalism. They also see a lack of funding in journalism, and Woodward added that journalists need to get out in the field more, rather than typing away at their desks.
These were just a few of the topics they addressed during their talk and Q&A. Some of their responses were contested by guests following the lecture as they talked amongst themselves while waiting in a long line to get their recently purchased books written by the pair to be autographed at their book signing.
The following day, the pair went to FAU’s Jupiter campus for another talk.
Posted on 20 February 2014 by L.Moore
And just like that, Blanche Ely’s hopes for a boys’ basketball three-peat were squashed by a team that had its number all season. The Blanche Ely boys’ basketball team dropped a 61-54 decision in the Class 7A regional semifinal to host Boyd Anderson on Tuesday night, and, with it, vanished a spot in history.
Blanche Ely (21-5), which last season became the first boys’ basketball team to win back-to-back titles as it joined Dillard (2000-03) and Pine Crest (2008-09). They came up short in their bid to become the 12th in state history to win three consecutive titles.
Cobras’ guard Pitchon Pierre sank eight free throws in the fourth quarter as host Boyd Anderson (24-5) held off a late charge by the two-time defending Class 7A state champion to pull out the win. Pierre finished with 12 points, 5 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds.
Blanche Ely (21-5), which had won 11 consecutive playoff games, closed to within two points at 45-43 with 6:24 left in the game, but struggled at the line and fell for the fourth consecutive time in five meetings against Boyd Anderson this season. The Cobras were 19 of 24 from the line, while Ely converted just 14 of 24 from the charity stripe.
“It was a well-fought game, and what killed us was we lost it at the free throw line,” said Tigers coach Melvin Randall. “We missed double digits at the line.
“You have to get to the line and knock them down and we didn’t. That was an important factor in the game. We have been shooting like that off and on the entire season. We had a couple of games this season where we shot 70-plus percent, but we made it hard in games this year by missing what we did at the line.”
Boyd Anderson’s Rodney Simeon had 17 points, while Nick Eubanks added 14 points and eight rebounds. Lance Tejada led Blanche Ely with 18 points, while Therell Gosier and Javon Heastie each had 11.
Boyd Anderson jumped out to a 12-8 lead in the first quarter as Simeon scored seven of his team-high 17 points and Dondre Duffus hit a 3-pointer with 2:05 remaining in the period.
Blanche Ely battled back to take a 15-14 lead as it scored the first four points of the second quarter on two free throws by Javon Heastie and a basket off a steal by Gosier.
The host Cobras then went on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good at 22-15 on two free throws by Diondre Wilson. Boyd Anderson led 27-21 at halftime and extended the advantage to 29-21 on a rebound and layup by Nick Eubanks. Tejada then got hot as he made a free throw and a short jumper and found Gosier cutting to the basket for a layup to trim the lead to 26-29 with six minutes left in the third quarter.
The Tigers were also dealt a blow in the third quarter when Gosier was whistled for two fouls in a 38-second span and had to sit with four fouls and Boyd Anderson leading 30- 28. Gosier had scored eight points, pulled down nine rebounds and blocked three shots until then and didn’t re-enter the game until there was 3:02 remaining and the Cobras leading 51-46.
The game seesawed back and forth; however, the Tigers, which had won 11 consecutive playoff games, could get no closer than two points at 45-43 with 6:24 left.
“I am disappointed, but I am not upset or mad that we lost,” said Tigers coach Melvin Randall. “It would be selfish for me to bicker. Of course, I wanted to win; but, in looking back, I have been there six times and won five.”
Posted on 12 February 2014 by JimLusk
Zion Lutheran celebrates 50th anniversary
By Rachel Galvin
It was 1964 and all eyes were on a new Christian school being built in Deerfield Beach. The school was Zion Lutheran and it still stands today, but during those 50 years it has changed everything from the diversity of the population it serves to the curriculum it teaches, but its sense of tradition has never faltered. Teachers who have taught here for over 20 years serve as witnesses to the many changes in the Zion community and the foundation that has kept them coming back year after year.
Chief Operating Officer Beth Loren started here in 1992, but has been a church member since 1988. Her two daughters attended here.
“I have seen a lot of changes with the curriculum. We have gone to Common Core. But we still go to weekly chapel, still have P.E., art, music – things a lot of public schools have had to curtail. We have a bell choir. Students are getting smarter younger. What they are learning in first grade I think we learned in third. It has changed the face of the classroom and what teachers are teaching. It used to be that you would learn things like how to tie your shoes in Kindergarten. Now, you can’t get into Kindergarten unless you know how to tie your shoes. The students have a lot more demands on them then we ever did,” said Loren, adding, “Our student body is very supportive of one another. If a student is struggling, the other students gather around and want to help them to succeed. I think that is very unique and makes us stand out. Our population now is reflective of the Deerfield community, more diverse. We have had different pastors come through, principals, headmasters – new ideas. As much as has changed, even more has stayed the same.”
Students here no longer are working with chalkboards, but have Expo boards, Promethean boards and laptop and iPad carts. The high schoolers have their own iPads.
“This year,” continued Loren. “We have online enrollment. If a parent tries to hand me their check, I say they have to go online, and add … have your child show you how to do it. They know more than we do!”
The age of children the school takes has grown. They now take six weeks up through 12th grade. Kathy Lamb, who began teaching here in 1989, was the one who started the infant program.
“It began with the 3-year-olds then toddlers then infants. My room is 6 weeks to 1 year.
We roll a ball, read to them, sing lullabies, take them on a buggy ride or swing on swings on the outside [porch area]. Most childcare centers do not have place to take them outside.”
Lamb added, “All three of my children went here. When my second son was here, they started the football team. This has always been a very special place to us. I always felt safe here. I knew what was going on. If the children, when they got older, went to parties, we knew the parents. The teachers and staff work together. It is a team effort. I notice the dads are more helpful with the children now. Moms and dads work together, which is wonderful.”
Debbie Post, who has taught 1st grade for the last three years and Kindergarten and Pre-K before that, says the staff is one of the reasons she has stayed here for 20 years.
“The curriculum is more advanced now. It is tied to the Promethean board and is interactive and cross curriculum. We have a small classroom size. I have 16 children and an aide to help out,” she said, adding, “We have Jesus time in the classroom (besides going to Chapel) two to three days during the week. We read lessons and sing songs from a children’s Bible, give worksheets, word search. At Christmas time, we do manger scenes and make ornaments for the Christmas tree.”
Gail Schmidt, who has been a principal and a teacher here, has graced the Zion’s halls for 26 years.
She added, “I love my job, love working. My son went here through eighth grade and now he teaches here. I came in 1988. I started as a sub and got a job a couple months later. I have been a church member for 30 years. A lot of our success has to do with having a Christian environment.”
Schmidt is excited to be celebrating the 50th anniversary and looks forward to seeing alumni, many with children of their own. The anniversary officially is on Sept. 12, but the festivities have already begun. Cummings said the goal is to remind people of what Zion has to offer, to get the community together and help Zion grow.
50th Anniversary Calendar of Events
January 18, 2014 – Lutheran Pastors’ Luncheon
January 26, 2014 – National Lutheran Schools Week opening at 10am worship service and School Open House 11:30 – 1pm
January 26 thru February 2, 2014 – National Lutheran Schools Week
Friday, February 21, 2014 – Alumni & Friends of Zion Social
Friday, March 14, 2014 – St. Patrick’s Day Social
Thursday, March 20, 2014—Spaghetti Dinner
Friday, April 11, 2014 – Family Bingo & Dinner
Saturday, May 10, 2014 – Family Fun Day with Alumni & Friends Activities
June / July 2014 – Pastor’s Masters
Wednesday, August 8, 2014 – Teacher & Staff Back to School Social
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 – 50th Anniversary Kick off Party at Meet the Teacher Night
Thursday, August 21, 2014 – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Friday, Sept 12, 2014 – School’s Official 50th Anniversary Birthday Celebration
Sunday, October 12, 2014 – Homecoming begins
Friday, October 17th – Homecoming Football Game & Alumni Event
Saturday, October 18th – Homecoming Dance with Alumni & Friends of Zion Event
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 – Tree Lighting
Friday, December 5, 2014 – Christmas Social
Tuesday & Wednesday, December 9 & 10, 2014 – Christmas Musicals K -12 and Preschool
January 25, 2015 thru February 1, 2015 – National Lutheran Schools Week Activities
Thursday, March 26, 2015 – Academic Fair, Zion Historical Exhibit & Spaghetti Dinner
Sunday, May 31, 2015 – Commencement & Gala
Posted on 10 February 2014 by JimLusk
By Rachel Galvin
On Jan. 25, JA World Huizenga Center in Coconut Creek was abuzz with people for the 4th Annual JA Uncorked, a soiree benefiting Junior Achievement (JA), which has helped children worldwide since its inception in 1919 in Colorado. The South Florida branch began in 1959 in Ft. Lauderdale.
Their goal is to inspire and educate, to prepare young students for the challenges of a global economy. They have many programs that do just that, including JA Biz Town at the Huizenga Center, which allows kids to work in a mock town complete with everything from a television studio to a bank, police station and more, completely operated by the kids, who learn valuable skills in various age-appropriate areas throughout their visit.
In 2009, the Circle of Wise Women group created JA Uncorked as a way to raise funds for JA. They exceeded their goal of raising $100,000 this year and about 800 people attended. They have raised $1,550,000 to date.
Their “Fork to Cork Affair” included a variety of wines, spirits and craft beers, as well as finely-crafted culinary selections and a “Dessert Bash.” There was even a Farm to Table section with vendors offering sustainable solutions. Guests mixed and mingled, bid on auction items, purchased raffle tickets and danced to the Edge Band in the CLUB RED by Stoli VIP Lounge hosted by the Florida Panthers Foundation.
Many students from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale helped some of the chefs.
One student, Tavares “Brody” Morgan, who worked with Ritz Carlton, could not be more excited.
He said, “I am glad when we get a chance to come to this type of event. I can get exposure and see businesses I have never heard of.”
Executive Chef of Timpano in Ft. Lauderdale Asher Roebuck, who acted as Chef Liaison, said, “This is my second year. I personally think it is a great event. Anytime you can do something for kids, I am all for it.”
Posted on 10 February 2014 by JimLusk
Governor Rick Scott today visited Sheehan Buick GMC today, Feb. 10, to highlight his commitment to undo the 54 percent tax increase Florida families saw in 2009 to annually register motor vehicles in the “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget.”
Governor Scott said, “We are going to undo the 54 percent tax increase Floridians saw in 2009 to annually register their motor vehicles. Florida families deserve to keep more of the money they earn because it has never been government’s money- it’s your money. We are building an opportunity economy in Florida and our commitment to roll back these taxes and fees will let families keep more of the money they make so they can invest in their future.”
Tom Sheehan, President, Sheehan Buick GMC said, “We are thrilled that Governor Scott came to Sheehan Buick GMC to make his tax cut announcement. We applaud Governor Scott for his commitment to making sure Floridians keep more of the money they earn.”
On average, families will see the annual registration costs drop from about $71 today to $46 next September. That is an average decrease in costs of about $25 for Florida families. Annually, this reduction will result in $400 million of savings for Florida families.
Click to here read the Governor’s “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget.”