| July, 2012

Deer Creek bandit caught

Posted on 25 July 2012 by LeslieM

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Nautical View

Posted on 25 July 2012 by LeslieM

By Jim “Chiefy” Mathie

Imagine being able to dive off of a white, sandy beach and catch your own spiny lobster for dinner. Taking the plunge into the crystal blue Atlantic Ocean and diving down onto a pristine reef with abundant marine life sounds like some tropical paradise in some far-away destination — but it is right here and it’s almost right now.

Most Florida divers are gearing up for spiny lobster mini-season, being held this year on July 25 and 26. This annual event takes place the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July. Its purpose is to allow the recreational lobster hunter the opportunity to catch some “bugs” (the spiny lobster nickname) before the commercial start of the season which begins on August 6.

Some mini-season special events will take place this year at Lauderdale-By-The-Sea from July 24 until July 28 — including a Great Florida Bug Hunt contest, cooking demonstrations, and an underwater photography competition. My role in this event will be conducting a lobster hunting seminar on Tuesday, July 24 from 3 to 5 p.m., including a hands-on demonstration of how to catch the tasty tails.

You can find out more information by visiting www.bugfestbythesea.com

We are very fortunate to have the warm gulfstream waters so close to our shores. These tropical waters allow the reefs to prosper in close proximity to our beaches. Just a few hundred feet off the beach you will see formations of reef that serve as great hiding spots for the spiny lobster. The water depth at these locations is only 15 ft. Out a little further, there is another reef line, running north and south, in about 40 ft. of water. The third reef is in about 65 ft. of water, with the top of the reef dramatically rising to about 50 ft. All three of these reefs are at a distance of less than one mile off shore.

So the next time you see dive flags from the beach, realize those divers are probably on a reef. If it’s lobster season, they are probably trying to catch the bugs to bring home some dinner. Now that’s an appetizing ‘nautical view.’


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Golf tourney raises $70K

Posted on 25 July 2012 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Tournament Director Mike Goodrich couldn’t have been happier as a record number of golfers turned out recently for the 5th annual Frankie Foundation Golf Tournament at Palm Aire Country Club.

“We certainly had the biggest field we ever had with 240 golfers and a waiting list,” said Goodrich, 49, of Coral Springs, who said the tournament was staged to raise money and awareness for automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

“We certainly didn’t want to overburden the golf course with slow play, so we kept it at 240 on purpose.”

“You can’t put words on it,” said Goodrich, whose efforts with the foundation have helped raise more than $300,000 in five years.

“Frankie (Speciale) was a very, very special person to everyone and the impact he had on everyone he touched was great. You can see that by the turn-out that we get every year, either with the players, volunteers, sponsors … he was a friend of everybody.”

Goodrich said the scramble/ best ball tournament, on two courses at Palm Aire Country Club in Pompano Beach, raised $70,000 from in-kind donations, tournament fees and the LIVE auction.

More than 30 AED units have been awarded to cities and municipalities in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Goodrich said the Sheridan House and church groups have also been given AEDs.

They also award four $1,000 scholarships annually in Speciale’s name to deserving high school seniors. Speciale died of a massive heart attack while playing in a recreational men’s soccer league match in Deerfield Beach in 2007. Even though the 1982 graduate of Pompano Beach High School was given CPR immediately, his life could not be saved. It is believed an automated external defibrillator might have made the difference in him surviving.

Goodrich, president of the Frankie Foundation and classmate of Speciale’s, said the tournament has grown over the years. The first tournament at Colony West drew a capacity crowd of 144 golfers.

On the Oaks course, Ryan Romero, Jay Guerrieres and Luis Guerrieres won with a 59, while Tom Cooper, Jim Fry, Troy Parra Jr. and Pete Tagget were second with a 60, and won by a match of cards over Doug Chasser, John Dedes, Connor MacBeth, and Ian Shinnick, who took third with a 60.

Dustin Major, Jon Major, Frank Major and Bob Salico shot a 61 to win on the Cypress Course, while Dan Calleja, Shawn Cevra, Howard Nash and Marlon Thompson took second with a 63.

The tournament will be played at Woodlands Country Club next year. Palm Aire, which was purchased by ClubLink last fall, suggested the tournament move to Woodlands because its banquet facility can accommodate the 240 golfers.

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FLICKS: The Dark Knight Rises to the occasion

Posted on 25 July 2012 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


There was no denying the edgy anticipation for the first showing of The Dark Knight Rises at the Museum of Discovery IMAX Theater last Friday afternoon.

After the horrendous news from Aurora, Colorado, management and ushers were serious- but-happy to see everyone show up for their sold-out screening. They acknowledged the police officers and they also mentioned that there were undercover police officers in the audience. Audience safety was paramount.

Marketing & Communications Director Marlene Janetos then asked for a moment of silence before the film began. When the film began, the “eleephant was out of the auditorium” and the audience felt safe to enjoy the most anticipated film of the year, guilt-free.

Like Marvel’s The Avengers, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises managed to live up to unrealistic expectations. With new characters like Bane (Tom Hardy) and Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) added to the mix, this Dark Knight film stands on its own. But a review of Batman Begins, which broadens character motivations, will provide extra pleasure.

There is a human element that director Christopher Nolan has captured in this comic book mythology. It is also worth noting that in the end credits, actor Christian Bale is listed as Bruce Wayne, not Batman. Unlike the campy Adam West Batman from 46 years ago, this Bruce Wayne is closer to John Wayne realism.

A man seasoned by violence since childhood, Bruce Wayne is weary from his previous battles. Peace has come to Gotham City, but at the cost of the souls of Bruce Wayne and Police Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), who thought it was better to glorify a false legend than to face the truth.

Reality kicks back when master terrorist Bane arrives. A mastermind and first class monster, Bane organizes his army of criminals and unleashes inferno upon the citizens of Gotham. Unlike the mentally unbalanced adversaries of the previous movies, Bruce Wayne faces his most dangerous and disciplined challenge yet.

The themes about politics, violence and criminology are deep with well-balanced arguments. However, this is not a doctorate dissertation; this film is a human story behind the masks. Clocking in at 2¾ hours, The Dark Knight Rises is pure cinematic popcorn-eating escapism, best seen on the big screen.

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Posted on 25 July 2012 by LeslieM


July 20 A woman reported her car parked at 1000 E. Hillsboro Blvd. had beach towels stolen.

July 20 A woman reported that three bicycles were stolen from the front yard of 267 NE 20 Ave.

July 21 A man reported that someone broke into his residence at 352 NW 43 St. and stole two televisions and then left them in the backyard.

July 21 A woman reported that while she was paying for services at a hairdresser at 854 S. Federal Hwy., someone stole her wallet.

July 22 A man reported that someone stole his air conditioning unit off his living room window at 4819 NW 4 Terr.

July 22 A man was arrested and charged with DUI and possession of narcotics. He was found in possession of Zanax without a prescription. Incident was reported at 900 E. Hillsboro Blvd.


DEERFIELD – District 4

July 13 Conveyance burglary was reported on W. Sample Road in Deerfield Beach. Victim stated that between 10:44 and 10:54 p.m., unknown W/M suspect driving a black Chevy HHR smashed the victim’s window, taking a pink Victoria Secret bag containing clothing.

July 16 Grand theft was reported on S. Powerline Road at 1:29 p.m. Victim business Kaycan LTD reported that unknown suspect(s) removed a Beltak tire (Size 11R22.5) from their 26′ box truck (M.O.- outer tire deflated and slid off rim). Truck was parked in an open lot. Value $300. Negative canvass/ video.

July 20 A woman reported that someone broke into her car and stole currency, a digital camera and other items. Incident was reported at 3112 W. Hillsboro Blvd.

Remember, if you see anything suspicious, call 911 immediately.



July 13 A man reported that his car parked at 5360 N. Federal Hwy. was broken into and silver and gold coins valued at $1,300 were stolen. Damage to the car was estimated at $400.

July 14 A man was arrested and charged with stealing a shopping cart full of groceries from Publix at 3700 N. Federal Hwy. Value of the groceries stolen was $178.07.

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Posted on 25 July 2012 by LeslieM

Grand Opening GOP Office

Friday July 27 – 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Boca Greens Shopping Center 19635 S. State Rd. 7, #46, Boca Raton, FL 33498

With campaign season in full swing, check out the GOP headquarters for this area… You may meet some candidates. Enjoy food, music and door prizes. FREE.


Annual Summertime Birthday Bash

Friday, July 27 – 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Firewater Bar 179 NE 2 Ave. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Luminotti (classic rock band) plays.


“Walk on Water” Fishing Tournament

Saturday, July 28 – 7 a.m. (Weigh-in: 2 to 4 p.m.)

Alsdorf Pompano Boat Ramp 2815 NE 14 St. Cswy., Pompano Beach, FL 33064

Held by the St. Coleman’s Men’s Club, this is the 12th year for the event, which benefits the Special Olympics of Broward County. Fee for tournament: $225 per boat, up to 4 anglers. There is also a kickoff party on July 27 at 6 p.m. and an awards dinner following the tournament at 6 p.m. Info: 954-682-2128 or www.stcmc.org.


Foreclosure Prevention Wkshp.

Saturday, July 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Emma Lou Olson Civic Center 1801 NE 6 St., Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Info on solutions to saving homes from foreclosure. FREE. Info: 954-786-4527.


Vijien Youth Film Academy premier

Saturday, July 28 – 10 a.m.

Muvico Broward 18 2315 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Students ages 8 to 17 created two movies, “The Truth Within” and “Hidden” as the culmination of their learning about filmmaking in their 4-week film camp. Viewers can watch the films and support the young creators on the red carpet. Info: 954-865-9053. Tickets ($3): Type Vijien in search bar at www.eventbrite.com.


Fundraiser for Jacklyn Tucker

Saturday, Aug 12 – 3:30 to 8 p.m.

21046 Commercial Tr., Boca Raton, FL 33486

Proceeds benefit family with medical needs for 11- yr.-old girl severely injured in dog attack. $25 per person includes pizza, soda & 2 hrs. bowling. RSVP by 7/28 to 561-706-6488. Sponsored by Emerald Towing.


Meet to Beat the Heat

Saturday, July 28 – 6 to 8 p.m.

Community Presbyterian Church 1920 SE 4 St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Community celebration. Hot dogs, ice cream, face painting, balloon animals, Bible trivia, music. 954-427-0222.


Symphony of the Americas Summerfest 2012

Saturday, July 28 – 7 p.m.

Herb Skolnick Community Center 800 SW 36 Ave., Pompano Beach, FL 33069

Tickets available at Herb Skolnick Community Ctr. for $10. For information, call 954-786-4590.


Summer Golf Camp

Monday, July 30 through Friday, Aug. 3 9 to 11:45 a.m.

Deer Creek Country Club 2801 Deer Creek Country Club Blvd. Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Offered through City of Deerfield Beach in coordination with Symbiotic Golf, Deer Creek Country Club. $85-residents/ $95-others. For information, call 954-480-4427. Limited spots available.


2nd Annual Family Night

Tuesday, July 31 – 4 to 10 p.m.

Duffy’s 401 N. Federal Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Eat, drink, have fun. 10 percent of proceeds benefit NE Focal Point CASA, Inc.


Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group

Wednesday, Aug. 1 – 10 a.m. to noon

NE Focal Point 301 NW 2 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

The NE Focal Point Alzheimer’s Day Care Center offers a weekly Caregiver Support Group every Wednesday. Special Speaker: Cicely Barnes M.S., Bereavement Coordinator, Heartland Hospice Services on Bereavement Counseling Information. Info: 954-480-4463.


Save the Date: Back-To-School Celebration

Saturday, Aug. 4 – 1 to 4 p.m.

Bartell Chiropractic Life Center 57 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

FREE laptop giveaway, posture analysis, vision screening, fingerprinting, school supplies (while supplies last), backpack safety, fire department demonstration, door prizes. 954-426-3200.

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CLERGY CORNER: Bridging faiths

Posted on 25 July 2012 by LeslieM

We had a patient at Catholic Hospice who happened to be of the Muslim faith. We did not have a Muslim cleric on staff and so it was that the chaplains from a fellow Mid-East faith … our rabbis … were called to find out if they had any contact within the local Islamic community.

It might surprise you to learn the rabbis did, indeed, have such contacts for chaplaincy and pastoral care issues, but, sadly, one contact could not be reached and the other had recently moved out of the area.

We did not feel comfortable sending a team chaplain rather than one of the same faith as the patient.

The patient’s father, a traditional Muslim, had traveled from a far-off land to be here at his son’s side and he wanted to make sure all was done according to his religious tradition. Now, here is where it could have gotten really complicated. You see, the patient’s wife was not Muslim. Theirs was an intermarriage. His wife was Catholic.

Thankfully, she agreed to respect her husband’s faith and showed great respect to her father-in-law as well. I must say, this was a nice change from having to deal with familial differences that often lead to horrific situations.

Our hospice rabbis went on a search far and wide. One of the people contacted happens to be the medical director at St. Johns, which is a part of Catholic Health Services. I don’t know if you have ever had the privilege of meeting Dr. Jules, but he is a mensch, a good-hearted soul … sweet as can be, and his heart is pure gold.

He happens to be a brother of the Muslim faith. I asked for his help in finding someone for our hospice patient and the patient’s family, to see that everything was done in a way that would give true comfort and respect to those under our care.

I let him know that the patient was not expected to survive more than a few days and, now, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.

I ran into Dr. Jules the other day. He let me know that no fewer than 30 Muslim brothers, including Dr. Jules himself, went to visit this man and his family. They recited the proper prayers and performed the proper rituals and, when the time came, they made sure the person was buried per Muslim tradition.

But what really sent a glow through my heart and soul was when Dr. Jules told me that the father asked him how so many brothers found out about his son and Dr. Jules told him that it was because of the rabbi from Catholic hospice and, on hearing that, tears began to fall from the face of this traditional Muslim from a foreign land, who was facing the passing of his beloved son.

Imagine that … only in America can one find a rabbi working for The Diocese (with Catholic hospice) who finds a Muslim brother and, in the process, three faith groups come together to comfort a family facing the loss of a loved one.

Catholic, Jew, Muslim … dealing with our differences, respecting one another, working in tandem to provide comfort to all those under our care. That’s what chaplaincy is all about, that’s what Hospice is about. May G-d bless us one and all!

Shalom, salaam and peace my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is a member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and serves in this capacity in a number of Health Care settings in the area including Advocate Home Care Services and L’Chayim Jewish Hospice in Partnership with Catholic Hospice of Broward County.

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TLC RECOVERY HEARING-Questions to TLC from City

Posted on 24 July 2012 by JLusk

CLICK HERE TO WATCH  www.observernewspaperonline.com/observertv








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Highlands hosts 27th annual camp

Posted on 18 July 2012 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

For nearly three decades, Highlands Christian Academy has combined fun and instruction with outstanding results at its annual summer basketball camp.

Now, in its 27th year, Highlands Christian Academy hosted more than 100 players in two separate sessions.

The first session attracted the older students (7th through 12th graders) who met from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There were a total of 55 players.

The younger athletes (2nd through 6th graders) met from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the second session. There were 50 that week.

Jim Good, the school’s athletic director and boys’ varsity basketball coach, said a typical day included morning devotion, warm-up runs, stretches, ball handling, dribbling and Gatorade contests. Each day, a certain competition was done: 1 on 1, 2 on 2, free throw competition and hot shots competition.

“We went to lunch at Chick-fil-A and CiCi’s Pizza,” Good said. “In the afternoon, we played 5 on 5, full court games. Reg Cook started the camp back in 1985, and it is our most popular athletic camp at HCA.

Other athletic camps the school provides include cheerleading, softball, flag football, indoor soccer, volleyball and golf.

The head coaches for the two weeks of camp were Jim Good (boys varsity), Luke Still (boys’ JV), Josh Good (boys’ junior high) and Kelly Fichtner (girls’ varsity).

Several varsity athletes at the school also helped out during the second week to earn community service hours.


Soccer camps slated

Simply Soccer has two summer camps remaining in the city of Pompano. The dates are July 23-27 and August 13-17. Registration is being held at the Pompano Beach Civic Center. The soccer camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-14, 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. (cost is $100 weekly); extended hours camp is available: from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $125 each week, and a Tiny Tot program is offered for kids ages 5 and 6 from 9 a.m.to noon for $55 weekly.

Campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. For more information, call the city of Pompano Parks and Recreation Department at 954-786- 4119 or 954-786-4111.


Men’s softball league begins

The city of Pompano Beach’s summer softball league began on July 9. The league, which plays its game at the Pompano Community Park 4-Fields Complex, offers games on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday nights from 6:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Teams with a little more experience play on Wednesday nights. All-star events such as a Home Run Derby and special prizes will be offered throughout the season. There is a fully operational concession stand.

For more information, call 954-786-4119 or visit www.leaguelineup.com/ pompano.

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Former BTU leader charged

Posted on 18 July 2012 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Former Broward Teachers Union (BTU) president Pat Santeramo turned himself in to Broward County Jail Tuesday morning after being charged with one count of Racketeering and 19 other theft-related and campaignfraud charges.

The charges come after an investigation conducted by the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Broward State Attorney’s Office. What prompted this closer look into Santeramo was discrepancies that arose after a financial audit was conducted by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) last summer.

President of AFT Randi Weingarten said, “The audit was done in response to a letter to me from a member of the BTU board. In the course of that audit, AFT staff became aware of certain irregularities indicating that BTU had made improper reimbursements to individuals for political contributions to candidates and/or party committees.” Following that discovery, the legal authorities were contacted. Under scrutiny, Santeramo resigned back in December and BTU staff asked for AFT to establish an administratorship over the union. BTU administrator John Tarka and his team worked with AFT to continue their look into the financials. Weingarten continued, “The allegations against him [Santeramo] go far beyond reimbursement of political contributions, and suggest a serious level of financial abuse.”

The Warrant to Arrest for Santeramo was signed Monday by Broward Circuit Court Judge Ilona Holmes. Besides the Racketeering charge, Santeramo was charged with six counts of Grand Theft; five counts of Campaign Contribution Violations; four counts of Money Laundering; three counts of Organized Scheme to Defraud and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering.

“Santeramo, while using his unilateral control of the union’s business to include contracting, vendor approval, payment authorization and distribution of union assets, manipulated the union’s business, accounting and financial operations for his own benefit,” according to the Affidavit to Arrest.

According to information from the Broward State Attorney’s Office, between 2001 and January 2012, investigators found that Santeramo was able to divert approximately $165,500 in union funds to himself through an invoicekickback scheme with a construction company. In one of those 43 instances of racketeering, he had the company bill BTU $89,295 for repairing the BTU building elevators and the company gave $20,000 of the union’s payment back to Santeramo in cash.

Santeramo is also accused of making a series of illegal campaign contributions by having 25 individuals, including BTU members, make donations to a variety of candidates for which he then reimbursed them with BTU funds.

In addition, Santeramo improperly collected more than $121,848 by claiming false sick time and vacation time. Santeramo’s attorney is Benedict P. Kuehne, who, along with Santeramo, denies the charges and indicates larger political influences may be at play.

Kuehne said,” Unfortunately, in today’s troubling political times, the righteous cause of organized labor is under assault. His [Santeramo] battle against inaccurate law enforcement charges is just another effort to dismantle public and private unions throughout America.”

Santeramo added, “I call upon the legions of teachers, parents and students whose lives have improved during my time of BTU leadership to withhold judgment, as I now dedicate my attention to yet another battle. With your support and the ever-present sustenance of my family, I am confident I will prevail.”

Judge Holmes set bond for Santeramo at $480,000. According to Ron Ishoy of the Broward State Attorney’s Office, as of press time, “Santeramo remains in jail while they are trying to ascertain where the bond money comes from. If unable to prove it is from a legitimate source, it would go to a Nebbia (or bail source) hearing.”

He added that once Santeramo is formally charged, he would be set for a trial. The racketeering charge alone, listed along with one of the grand theft charges as a first-degree felony, could land Santeramo in prison for up to 30 years if he is convicted.

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