| March, 2012

Bank United Breaks Ground at 2500 N. Fed LHP

Posted on 29 March 2012 by JLusk

City of Lighthouse Point and Broward County officials, business leaders and BankUnited executives participated in a groundbreaking for the new BankUnited Lighthouse Point branch, Thursday, Mar 29, scheduled to open in December 2012 at 2500 North Federal Highway.


Lucille Pignataro, branch manager and president of the Lighthouse Point Chamber of Commerce, was joined at the groundbreaking by BankUnited Senior Executive Vice President Gerry Litrento, Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, Lighthouse Point Mayor Fred Schorr, and Lighthouse Point Commissioner Glenn Troast, among other guests.


One of 10 new branches BankUnited plans to open in 2012, the 2,500 square-foot branch is expected to have three full-service teller stations, four retail bankers, safe deposit boxes and a full-service drive-up window. The drive-up lane will have an ATM machine and a night drop-box for after-hours service.


Plans for the interior design include a contemporary style with beautiful, rich finishes, carpet and stone, modern lighting, high ceilings and plenty of glass for natural lighting. The customer areas will be convenient for business transactions either at the teller line or the sit-down customer stations.


The exterior of the building, which is in keeping with the style of the Lighthouse Point community and was approved by the City Community Appearance Board, is planned to feature a modern, contemporary look with exquisite detailing, beautiful landscaping, plenty of glass and ample lighting to provide safety and convenience and accentuate the building’s architectural features.


BankUnited is supporting small business growth throughout the state by focusing on commercial and small business lending in addition to providing a full range of consumer banking services.


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Gimme A Burger

Posted on 29 March 2012 by LeslieM

By Becki Coffy

Hungry for a great burger? Have a hankering for a hot dog? Then be sure to stop by the newly opened Gimme A Burger restaurant at 1200 E. Hillsboro Blvd. in Deerfield Beach. The easy access and ample parking make it a breeze to enjoy this restaurant. The first thing you notice is the bright white and orange (a nod to Syracuse) decor and how sparkling clean and neat everything is. Owners Yasmin and Serhad Oktay chose the color scheme, designed the interior and the menu and their daughter suggested the hungry wolf logo. (see ad below.)

The most popular item is the hungry wolf burger, made with your choice of 12 free toppings. Or, for a small fee, you may select other toppings, such as caramelized onions, bacon, wasabi mayo, Tahini sauce and fried egg, to mention a few.

Gimme A Burger has delicious hand-cut french fries, sweet potato waffle fries and onion rings. I hate to admit it, but we tried all three and they were wonderful. The onion rings were light and crispy with real onion inside. French fries were served with the skin on – my favorite.

My husband chose the chili made with just a hint of heat as the spoonful of thick, hearty soup slipped to the back of your throat. I chose their signature cheese burger soup, rich and creamy, filled with meat and topped with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes. Both soups are made fresh in-house. We moved to course No.2 and my husband chose the hungry wolf burger. The burger was big, very juicy and full of flavor. All burgers are made from 100 percent certified prime black angus beef.

To shake things up a bit, they offer four other burger types. The buffalo burger is made from ground bison meat, the wow burger is prime black angus beef mixed with spicy dried Turkish sausage, the gobbler is a fresh ground turkey patty served with cranberry mayo, and the mediterranean burger is fresh ground beef infused with onions, garlic parsley, herbs and spices.

I decided to take Yasmin’s recommendation and ordered her favorite, the ‘wazzup grilled fish sandwich.’  It was marinated in a blend of special herbs and spices to punch up the flavor of this flakey white fish, topped with lettuce and tomato and finished with a wasabi mayo to add just a little kick.

Also on the menu are hot dogs and chili dogs served on a grilled bun.  There are crispy chicken tenders, a ground beef quesadilla, a grilled chicken sandwich and for the vegetarian, a ‘red, red vegan’ stuffed pita sandwich and falafel in a pita with tahini sauce.

Their signature salad comes with mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, dried cranberries, walnuts, chick peas and greek olives. Garden salads are also available. Chicken, a burger patty, falafel or grilled fish may be added.

For dessert, try the cinnamon sugar puffs. Add a scoop of ice cream if you wish or order one of their homemade milk shakes.

Gimme a Burger recently began serving breakfast from 7 to 11a.m. The ‘cluck and moo’ sandwich is an egg and cheese muffin served panini style. The ‘howling’ gobbler’ is made with an egg, cheese and turkey sausage. The Timberwolf, a sandwich made with a burger, American cheese, hash browns and a fried egg, will keep you full until dinner.

As for me, I’ll be trying the Snow Wolf Bizkitz on my next trip. These fried biscuits are served warm with powdered sugar and a side of cream cheese or mixed berry jam. Could that sound any more delicious?

Indoor and outdoor seating is offered and online ordering will be available soon. Menu available at www.gimmeaburger.com or call 954-708-2553 to place order in advance. Stop by the next time you are out. Until we eat again…

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Apocalypse strikes for national crown

Posted on 29 March 2012 by LeslieM

Rylee Hage

By Gary Curreri

Craig Miller wonders if there is anything his semi-pro flag football team Apocalypse can’t accomplish.

The seven-man, Pompano Beach-based team recently won the United States Flag and Touch Football League national championship in Kissimmee by defeating a pair of former national titleholders from New Orleans.

Apocalypse defeated Quick-strike (2008 champs), 30-27, and the Untouchables (2005 and 2010 champs), 36-20, for the title. Both teams were from New Orleans.

“This USFTL national title was our biggest win because the league rules are different and difficult for us, and it was the last title we had not won,” said player/coach Miller, who lives in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

“To be honest, our feelings, after the victory, were more relief than elation. This opportunity only comes once a year, and the stress is off-the-chart.”

Apocalypse, a semi-pro flag football team based in Pompano Beach, has finally added a national crown to its collection of titles. (Back row, L-R): Brad Corliss, Terrance “TB” Bunting, Bernard Summerall, Seneca Evans, James Panuindo, David “DJ” Brooks, John Wassmer, Brian Baer, Howard “Bud” Lewis; (Front row, L-R): Darrin “Tony” Walton, Reggie Haugabook, Coach Craig Miller, Derrick “Hollywood” Brown, Quinton McLendon. Submitted photo

Apocalypse was led by a pair of quarterbacks – Brian Baer of Parkland and Brad Corliss of Davie; rusher/center Derrick Brown of Tamarac; and wide receiver Quinton McClendon of Deerfield Beach. All of these players were named USFTL All-Americans.

Apocalypse tied the all-time state record set by Palace Saloon of Tallahassee in the 1980s with four consecutive A Division FFFL State Championships with its win last year and has already begun its quest for an unprecedented fifth crown in June.

Miller said the team has been so potent that it has had to cut former NFL players from its squad. The national title completed an “Apocalyptic” six-month head-to-head sweep of all national championships for the past seven years.

“We’ve had former NFL players with Division I College National Championship rings who we had to cut from our roster – including a Raider, Titan and Dolphin,” Miller said. “We had NFL receiver Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson on our roster for some local tournaments … He became a “shut-down” corner who saved a game for us in the Willis McGahee (Miami) tournament, which we won.”

The Pompano Beach-based team is slated to play in three more tournaments before the state tournament in Brevard (June 23-24). It will play in Palm Beach (April 14-15), Cocoa Beach (May 19-20) and in Ft. Myers (June 2-3).

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FLICKS: The Hunger Games & The Invisible Bands

Posted on 29 March 2012 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


For all of the marketing hype surrounding The Hunger Games, it is hard to believe that this young adult novel by Suzanne Collins was published less than four years ago.

This book has definitely struck a nerve with popular culture that is multi-generational. At the screening I attended, the theater was filled with senior citizens seemingly enthralled with the film.

Set in the not-too-distant future, the film takes place in the United States of America, which has fallen and been rebuilt into the 12 Districts of Panem. To recall the rebel uprising that caused the fall of the U.S.A., the totalitarian government selects 24 teenagers (two from each district) to be sacrificed in the nationally television sports/reality television show The Hunger Games. These young people (called Tributes) are chosen by lottery to forge for food and outlast their 23 competitors.

Meet Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who has had experience hunting for food with a bow-and-arrow since her father died in a mining accident. She becomes a 12 District Tribute with her neighbor Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), the son of a baker who had a long, unrequited crush on Katniss. The pair enter the Hunger Games as rivals and allies.

Part one of a trilogy, The Hunger Games is science fiction myth more in common with Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and George Orwell’s 1984 than Star Wars and John Carter.  The message is important, but a satirical sense of humor keeps the story from being mundane. Other than two poorly-edited fight scenes, the film lives up to the hype of the novel.

Stanley Tucci and Toby Jones portray two foppish commentators who narrate The Hunger Games. Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson also  portray broad characters, though with far more depth than the characters played by Tucci and Jones.

As the leading lady, Lawrence deserves kudos. Given her persona in Winter Bone and X-Men First Class, Lawrence enhances her image as the central character. Hutcherson offers strong support without upstaging. Silent scenes between these two are just as interesting as brutal action sequences.

• For those seeking live entertainment and a show, Cinema Paradiso will be presenting Invisible Bands, a documentary about South Florida’s punk rock scene circa 1979 – 1985.  If you recognize bands like The Eat, The Reactions, The Front, The Cichlids and Charlie Pickett & The Eggs, you may want to check out Cinema Paradiso Saturday night! www.fliff.com.

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Posted on 29 March 2012 by LeslieM


March 20 A man was arrested and charged with stealing a hammer and chisel valued at $330. The incident took place at 331 NE 48 St.

March 21 A man reported that his home at 727 NW 41 Terr. was entered and electronics, household items and firearms were stolen.

March 23 A man was arrested and charged with burglary. He was observed attempting to break into a home at 400 SW 2 St.

March 24 A man was arrested and charged with grand theft/shoplifting. He left an International House of Pancakes without paying for his food. He was arrested at 851 W. Sample Rd.

March 24 A home at 1558 SE 10 St. was entered and jewelry, a television and checks were stolen. It is estimated that the value of the property stolen was between $20,000 and $30,000.

March 25 A three-wheeled bicycle valued at $500 was stolen from a porch at 718 NE 47 Court.

March 25 A woman was walking along 100 NE 48 St. when a man approached her and stole a gold-and- silver necklace from her neck.

March 25 A woman reported that her home at 1021 SE 14 St. was entered via an unlocked door and a laptop, flatscreen television, and costume jewelry were stolen.


DEERFIELD — District 4

March 21  Residential burglary was reported in Riverglen East/Deer Isle, 727 NW 41 Terr., between 8:30 a.m. and  7:15 p.m. Victim stated that unknown person(s) entered his residence, removing electronics, household items and firearms. Victim will attempt to obtain serial numbers for the items.

If you notice suspicious activity in your neighborhood, please call 911.



March 18 A woman came to the Lighthouse Point Police station and turned in a wallet she found at the Shop Smart Food Store at 2001 NE 39 St. The man who owned the wallet was contacted. He came to the police station and picked up the wallet. He reported that he believed the wallet had contained $64 and that the money was missing from the wallet.

March 19 A man reported that his son stole $6,040 worth of items from his home at 5011 NE 23 Ave. The father is not sure if he wants his son arrested, but he does want him out of his house.

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Letters to the Editor

Posted on 29 March 2012 by LeslieM

RE: Are political parties dangerous?

Dear Editor:

I just read Jim Moore’s article about George Washington and his thoughts for a Return to America as it should be.[3-22 Observer Opinion pg.] This article, in my opinion, should go national. Every concerned American needs to read this and remember it come voting time.

N. Monaco

Deerfield Beach


Safety measures needed at District 2 intersection!

Dear Editor:

Since October 2011, the city of Deerfield Beach and FDOT [Florida Dept. of Transportation] have respectively been petitioned to install pedestrian/bicyclist/motorist safety precautions at the intersection of Hillsboro Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (MLK), located in the minority section of the city (District 2).

The city has denied request, indicating that (1) it’s too expensive and they may look into it in the future, (2) it is not their responsibility because it falls under the jurisdiction of FDOT.

FDOT originally approved a “citizen request” to install the yellow truncated domes at the intersection, but through city of Deerfield Beach interference, FDOT reneged on their original approval.

Subsequent citizen requests were submitted to FDOT to install street lights, which they temporarily denied, indicating that they will look into it no sooner than November 2012 for work to be done in 2015.

Another request was submitted for East/West turning signals off of MLK, which was originally denied, citing “statistical deficiency,” so installation not warranted.

They have recently decided to perform an on-site observational study to determine if the turning signal installation is warranted.

A video demonstrates the dark conditions at the intersection of MLK and Hillsboro, driving south to north on MLK, which could have been one of the causal factors in the hit-and-run death of Thetus Fleming Jr. (22, black male) on 2/17/12, which received zero media coverage. [Story in p.1 coverage of District 2 meeting, March 1 Observer.]

The driver, David Calderilla Alcocer (20, white male), who was driving on a suspended license, had warrants for his arrest, pending Broward County Court traffic court case from 2008, and intentionally left the scene of an accident (a felony in FL- 1st degree felony if the accident resulted in a death, like in this case).

He did later return to give BSO a statement (from the initial police report and BSO media release, he returned about 30 minutes later).

However, David Calderilla Alcocer was never arrested by BSO to face charges for hitting and then leaving the scene of the accident resulting the death of Thetus Fleming Jr.

His family is looking for justice and would like FDOT and the city of Deerfield Beach to install safety measures at that intersection so no other family has to go through the tragedy they are going through.

David Cody

Deerfield Beach

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Posted on 29 March 2012 by LeslieM

LHP Library Semi-Annual Book Sale

Thursday, March 29 to Saturday, March 31 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dixon Ahl Hall, 2220 NE 38 St., Lighthouse Point, FL 33064

Gently used books, DVDs, VHS tapes and CDs available for purchase. Prices range from 25 cents (paperback) to $5 (hardcover) and $1 to $3 for DVDs and CDs.  On Saturday, March 31 from 1 to 4 p.m., $1 will get you as many books as you can fit in a plastic bag (we provide).  Proceeds benefit the library.  Donations of items may be dropped off at the library during regular business hours.


Boy Scout Troop 119-Annual Pasta Dinner

Saturday, March 31, 5 to 7 p.m.

St. Ambrose Rectory Social Hall, 380 S. Federal Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

$5, includes salad, dessert and beverage. Children under 5 are free. Tickets available at door. Silent auction. For information, call Scout Master Sal Biviano at 954-675-5683.


Publix Grand Opening

Saturday, March 31, 7 a.m.  to 11 p.m.

2511 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Rebuilt Publix offers great sales this day and free reusable bag for the first 1,500 customers. Original store, opened in 1967, was torn down last year in April to make way for the new building. In addition to standard grocery, they have a bakery, deli, floral, seafood and sushi departments, Publix pharmacy and Publix Liquors. Look for an expanded natural and organic food offering and artisan cheeses.


Spring Fling

Saturday, March 31, 9:30 a.m. to noon

Athletics Multi-Purpose Field, 1701 NE 8 St., Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Hit the bunny trail and have a fun-filled day with bounce house, rock climbing wall, face painting, DJ, games and more. For 12 and under. $2 per child. Bring donation of two canned goods for local food banks. 954-786-4111.


Surfers for Autism

Saturday, March 31 to April 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

North of pier between 1 and 2 Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Event helps autistic kids gain confidence and have fun while learning to surf. Booths, LIVE entertainment, after party. On Sunday, pro/am surf contest with a pro, longboard, womens’ and junior division. Items raffled off on Saturday, donations accepted. Registration closed, but there are future events. 561-315-0407. www.surfersforautism.org.


Cuisine of the Region

Wednesday, April 4, 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Embassy Suites, 950 S. Ocean Dr., Grand Ballroom, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Dinner by the bite from S. FL finest restaurants. Gourmet desserts and wines from around the world. Silent auction, door prizes. Benefits NE Focal Point. $50/ $60 at door. Get tickets at NE Focal Point, 227 NW 2 St., Deerfield Beach, 33441. 954-480-4460.

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CLERGY CORNER:Lost and alone

Posted on 29 March 2012 by LeslieM

We had this young man, Toto, who lived about a block from our house in Corrientes, Argentina, whose parents were very violent. They would take turns beating him and then throw him out of the house.

I first met Toto in our backyard. Samuel had invited a group of boys from the neighborhood into the house.

While the boys were playing in the back, a neighbor woman came and told me I needed to be careful with Toto. Apparently, he was a thief. We soon got to know him as he spent more time in our house. I remember one day, Toto found a Tonka Truck collection I had saved since I was a child. He took the trucks, the Hot Wheels and other cars and sat down on the dining room floor and played all morning, afternoon and into the night. I asked him why he enjoyed those toys (because they were not for boys of his age; he was 14 at the time). He replied, “I’ve never had toys like this before, never even one toy car.”

Soon Toto was spending significant time in our house and, on occasion, he would spend the night when things were difficult at home. He never stayed too long because even though his parents beat him, he still loved them; they were his parents. He told us once of a story where he ran away from home and spent three months riding by truck all over the country. When he arrived home, his parents didn’t know he was gone. He was known to spend weeks at a time sleeping on the street because he was afraid to go home. What he noticed was that no one cared enough to look for him.

One day, Toto was acting very strange. He quickly said he had something to do and walked out of the house and didn’t return. It was then we realized that he had stolen Samuel’s birthday money. Fearing what had become of him, Beth and the boys set out to look for him. For weeks, we went to all the places he was known to sleep or hang out and never saw any trace of him.

Rolo, who has had several experiences with children like Toto told us it was hopeless.  “Once they steal from you,” Rolo said, “It’s over. You can never have him back in your house.”

I looked at Rolo and said, “If we never find him, how can we show him forgiveness?”  Through his tears, Rolo said, “We’ll find him.”

That night we got a phone call from Toto. He told us he was okay and was traveling again by truck. He didn’t realize we had caller ID and identified the place he called us from. We went to find him. When we got there, he was gone. We headed home defeated. About an hour after we got home, the doorbell rang. It was Toto! With huge tears in his eyes he said, “No one ever looked for me before.”

Have you ever felt like no one was looking for you? Do you ever feel like if you disappeared, no one would even notice? That’s how Toto felt. God’s word says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

God is looking for you. He loves you, and he wants you to give Him your burdens.

Deron Peterson is is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Deerfield Beach.

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Video of Dunkin’ Donuts Robber Released

Posted on 28 March 2012 by JLusk

Surveillance cameras in a Deerfield Beach Dunkin’ Donuts at 3390 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, captured clear images of a man with a T-shirt or cloth wrapped around his hand who demanded money from the cashier. Broward Sheriff’s Office robbery detectives are asking for the public’s help identifying this criminal, who calmly took the money from the employee’s hand and left the restaurant around 9:40 p.m. Feb. 27. He was wearing dark pants and sneakers, a black, long-sleeved athletic shirt with white piping and a tan cap with writing on the front.

To see video of the robbery live click ObserverTV-Crime Watch videos

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Dogs Rule Booth attracts crowd at Green Market

Posted on 26 March 2012 by JLusk

Every day, in Broward County alone, hundreds of dogs are euthanized. In November of 2010 Dogs Rule Rescue was born, started by, Lisa Congemi and a small committed group of  animal lovers. DRRG a non-profit 501(c)3, all volunteer organization, based here in Deerfield Beach.


Their mission is to save the lives of homeless and abandoned dogs from high-kill shelters that would otherwise be euthanized and find them loving and forever homes, along with educating the public on the importance of spay and neuter.


To date they have rescued and found homes for over 125 dogs, and they are just getting started. That is an incredible number of lives saved considering DRRG relies solely on donations and foster homes. All DRRG dogs are spayed and neutered, micro chipped, fully vaccinated and given any medical care needed before being adopted.


Any pet landing in a rescue means it has been through some type of traumatizing situation, each prospective person looking to adopt is screened to find the best possible match for both the dog and adopter to ensure the pet finds it’s forever home.


Lisa credits her core supporters and rescue partners, John Prichard, Phyllis Pastore, Stephanie Mink, Donna Wiles and Frank Congemi for getting this organization off to such a successful start. Stray Aid Spay and Neutering Clinic has also been key by providing low cost services for the dogs.

Exclusive Story about this dog coming next week in The observer


     ~~ Saving One Life At A Time~~

Visit us @ www.dogsrulerescue.org


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