| June, 2013

Start Smart programs offer fun

Posted on 27 June 2013 by LeslieM

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

Jacob Pybus has the city of Pompano Beach’s Start Smart T-Ball program figured out. The 4-year-old swings and hits the ball off the tee and runs up the first base line. Instead of stopping at the base and running to second, he continues his jaunt to the fence bordering the field and then returns for another swing.

“He likes hitting and running the best,” said his mother, Rachael Pybus, who also helped the youth with his batting stance. She likes what the program offers. “I like that it is mainly an introduction to the sports and they get a feel for it and they can decide the ones they like the most.”

Jacob Pybus was one of 20 youngsters who came out on a Wednesday night at the Four Fields Athletic Complex at Pompano Community Park to not only connect with the Tballs, but to connect with other friends between the ages of 3 and 5.

“This is our second year in their programs,” Rachael Pybus said. “He likes T-Ball and soccer best. We have done all of their programs. I definitely like the social aspect and that there is no pressure and they can just come out here, have fun and learn about the sport.”

The Pompano Start Smart T-Ball program, which recently concluded its six-week run, attracted 80 children from 3- to 5-years-old on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5:45-6:45 p.m. It is one of four such sport offerings by the city. The city also has flag football, basketball and soccer.

“We want to get the parents involved in teaching them the basics and, at 3 years old, it is kind of hard,” said Bobbi Palat, a recreation leader with the city of Pompano Beach Parks and Recreation Dept. She has been with the city for the past 15 years and is a Pompano Beach native. “We want the kids to have fun.”

Families came from as far away as Lighthouse Point, Deerfield Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding communities, including Pompano Beach. Participants recieve a ball, bat, glove and T-shirt for their participation in T-Ball. In soccer, they get a soccer ball and shin guards; in basketball, they get a basketball and, in football, they get a football, flags and a kicking tee.

Cost for six-week program is $25 for residents, $50 non-residents. For more information, call 954-786- 4119.

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FLICKS: Before Midnight & Monsters University

Posted on 27 June 2013 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


Before Midnight & Monsters University Before Midnight is a film 18 years in the making.

In 1994, actors Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and director Richard Linklater collaborated on an art house movie titled Before Sunrise. Filmed on the streets of Vienna, this plotless movie featured Jessie (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) talking about the meaning of life.

Nine years later, Hawke, Delpy and Linklater reunited in Before Sunset. Shot in real time, this 80-minute motion picture reveal Jessie and Celine in their 30s. This time, they roam the streets of Paris and talk about regrets. Both movies ask the question — will Celine and Jessie get together?

Before Midnight presents the morning after. Now in their 40s, Jessie suffers from a father’s guilt, while Celine feels like she has betrayed her career aspirations by becoming a mother. The couple has spent the summer in a writer’s retreat on a Greek Archiplelago. When the host family agrees to babysit the children, Jessie and Celine are given one night of intimacy.

For the first two thirds of the movie, Before Midnight seems to be repeating the formula of the first two movies. However, things change for the worse when the two arrive in their claustrophobic hotel room. What were once cute volleys and flirtations, now become ugly and abusive.

To Hawke, Delpy and Linklater’s credit, Before Midnight is a truthful movie. The three dig into their own personal barnacles and let them scrape each other. The fight in the hotel room is not comfortable to watch, but it does feel like a logical extension from that one night in Vienna 18 years ago.

Twelve years ago, Shrek battled Monsters Inc., in what became a symbolic battle between DreamWorks and Disney/Pixar studios, respectively. Shrek won the first ever Oscar for best animated feature, but Monsters Inc. won more awards and the box office gross. After four movies, Shrek retired into his swamp, but the characters from Monsters Inc. never lost public affection.

Monsters University is the prequel and puts the focus upon the one-eyed midget Cyclops Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal). While buddies in Monsters Inc., we discover that Mike and Sullivan (John Goodman) were undergraduate rivals. In their petty rivalry, Mike and Sully run afoul Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), the hardnosed administrator who is part dragon.

This is a fun motion picture with an upbeat musical score. However, it lacks the heart of the first motion picture, which induced some tears. In fact, the short subject that precedes it, The Blue Umbrella, contains more heart than either Before Midnight or Monsters University.

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Posted on 27 June 2013 by LeslieM


June 21 Two men came to a home at 513 N. Ocean Blvd. When the man answered the door, one of the men struck the victim with a club. Victim believes the two men were hired to attack him. He said he has been having difficulties with his wife.

June 21 A man entered a business at 18 NE 2 Ave. A woman there reported the man stole her purse containing $250 and credit cards.

June 22 A man was arrested and charged with a narcotics felony at 100 SE 10 St. The man had been stopped for an expired tag. He was found in possession of cocaine.

June 22 A man reported his home at 811 NE 51 Court broken into and $1,200 worth of items stolen.

June 22 A vehicle parked at 401 S. Powerline Rd. was broken into and miscellaneous items were stolen.

June 23 A man said a woman who was a customer at African Queen Supply at 167 W. Hillsboro Blvd. stole his house, car and business keys from a table in the showroom.

DEERFIELD — District 4

June 12 – Arrest was made at Pine Tree, 290 Lock Rd. Suspect was located at his place of former employment and was taken into custody. Post Miranda warning, the suspect admitted he used a victim’s debit card and took the money, then changed his story. Suspect was charged with Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards and Petty Theft. He was taken to Broward County Jail. In April, the suspect took the victim’s debit card and made five fraudulent withdrawals from victim’s bank account at 290 Lock Rd. This incident was captured on video surveillance and suspect was positively identified. Several attempts were made to meet with the suspect about this case, but the suspect failed to show.


June 17 A man reported a rod and reel, and tackle, stolen from his truck parked at 2388 NE 30 Court. The rod and reel were valued at $5,100 and the tackle was valued at $60.

June 17 A woman reported that her car parked at the Publix at 2450 N. Federal Hwy. was broken into and a computer with sensitive information was stolen. The computer was valued at $200.

June 19 A vehicle parked at 3810 NE 22 Terr. was entered and $40 and aviator glasses were stolen.

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Posted on 27 June 2013 by LeslieM

RE: Resident wants to take back Fire Dept.

Dear Editor:

Dr. Lasser’s letter “Residents want to take back Fire Department,” [which ran in the June 20 Observer newspaper] is alarming and misses the point.

Proposing to cut the Fire Rescue budget 25-50 percent is outright dangerous and absurd.

Right now, the average response time that BSO Fire Rescue achieves is 4.6 minutes. The national benchmark is 3- 6 minutes.

The significant cut Dr. Lasser proposes will mean fewer firefighters and equipment. Under his plan, it will take longer for firefighters to arrive with enough people and equipment to save lives and put out fires.

Dr. Lasser’s plan WILL mean the difference in possibly saving someone’s life and/or property.

And with the current response time, BSO Fire Rescue is on track to achieve an ISO (Insurance rating) of Class 1. Class 1 designation will likely mean reductions in property insurance rates for businesses and homeowners.

However, an increase in response time under Lasser’s plan will likely also mean an increase in insurance rates for businesses and homeowners.

Deerfield Beach (including Hillsboro Beach) has seen a dramatic improvement in Fire and EMS response since BSO started providing services in October 2011.

Property saved: over $1,002,320. The investment taxpayers have made in this asset has paid off handsomely in terms of public safety.

Everyone should see Dr. Lasser (and his radical opinion) for who he is — a wealthy gas and oil consultant, who seems more concerned about making political statements than he is with the safety of the citizens of Deerfield.

Walter J. Dix

Ft. Lauderdale

Editor’s note: Walter J. Dix is president of Broward County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Captain, with BSO Fire Rescue for 35 years of service.



Posted on 27 June 2013 by LeslieM

Oceans 234 10th Anniversary

Thursday, June 27, 6 p.m.

Oceans 234 234 N. Ocean Blvd. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

LIVE entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, best of 10 years recipe book. Come back June 29 at 9 p.m. for Havana Nights White Party with mojito lounge, sexy salsa dancers, cigar bar, Cuban hors d’oeuvres, DJ Hastyle and more. 954-428-2539.

Bike Night

Friday, June 28, 7 p.m.

American Legion, Post# 36 1620 Marina Blvd. Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315

Every 4th Friday. Not just for bikers. LIVE music. Food available for purchase — menu includes: New York Strip Steak or Ribeye Steak, Lobster Tail or Grilled Shrimp, as well as salad bar, vegetable medley and choice of potato. Bucket and drink specials. 50/50 and surprise raffles. 954-763-9288.

Pig Out in the Park

Saturday, June 29, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Hillsboro Blvd. & Intracoastal Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Try BBQ by over 20 backyard and professional cooks, who will be competing. Listen to LIVE music. Bands include Jess Taylor (11 a.m. to noon), Steve Minotti Band (Noon to 2 p.m.), Andrew Morris Band (2 to 4 p.m.) and Uproot Hootenanny (4 to 6 p.m.) Raffle prizes. Hosted by Deerfield Beach Chamber of Commerce. Tickets: $10.


Sunday, June 30, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Indoor Sports Complex 3650 SW 10 St. Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Every Sunday through Sept. 29. Fresh food and veggies, as well as herbs, soaps, baked items, prepared items, doggie treats and more. 561-299-8684.

Patriotic Celebration

Wednesday, July 3, 10 a.m.

NE Focal Point Senior Center 227 NW 2 St. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Patriotic songs featuring LIVE guitar player. Stars and stripes cake. 954-480-4449.

SAVE THE DATE: St. Ambrose Mens Club Trip

Friday, July 26, 9 a.m.

380 S. Federal Hwy. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Trip to Seminole Hard Rock Casino. $15 per person for transportation. Please be on time. Bus leaves right at 9 a.m. Reserve seat today: 954-856-6062.

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Posted on 27 June 2013 by LeslieM

Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee and government contractor, is at the center of a political firestorm that has much of America talking about loyalty.

The story line is that Snowden allegedly leaked classified information concerning our National Security Agency’s authorized gathering of the electronic communications of millions of Americans.

Some people say Snowden, who fled the country, is a traitor for giving away secrets that threaten national security. Others believe he is a patriot whistleblower for revealing the extent of Big Brother’s overreach to gather the private communications of U.S. Citizens.

Regardless how you feel about Snowden, the controversy illustrates the importance and the challenge we sometimes face in deciding loyalty.

Loyalty decisions are more a matter of conscience than law, more a matter of internal debate than national debate, more a matter of private personal integrity than national political scandal.

If the question is “Should I be loyal to God, to my country, to my spouse, to my employer, to my friends,” the answer should be easy. “Yes!” If the question is “Should I be loyal to a gang, to an immoral creed to which I foolishly agreed, or to self interest at the expense of community good,” then the answer is easy once again — “No.”

This will sound too wishywashy to fit comfortably even in my world view, but questions of loyalty are often not so easy to answer unless they are rooted and grounded in faith and even then we may be left wondering …

Loyalty has always been a magnetic field made up of many magnets. We have many allegiances. Our beliefs and our sentiments are not always on the same page. God knows how fickle we can be and how often we make mistakes.

Is it controversial to say “We are a nation and a people of divided loyalties?” I think not.

Is it right to say “We require God’s help deciding our loyalties?” I think so.

After King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, after he made mistake after mistake trying to conceal what he had done, David was confronted by Nathan the prophet.

And David prayed, “Have mercy on me God because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Create in me a clean heart. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” (Psalm 51)

David’s predicament must surely have seemed a national political scandal, but it was ultimately a matter of private personal integrity, albeit in his case, one with dramatic and long-lasting public implications.

David was a great leader who proved himself human.

The Apostle Paul may have been thinking about David when, centuries later, Paul counseled young Timothy. “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace. Enjoythecompanionshipofthose who call on the Lord with clean hearts.” (2 Timothy)

If you happen to be among the masses thinking about loyalty these days, then answer the question as it pertains not to Edward Snowden but to you. “To what or to whom will you be loyal?”

Most of us do not work for the CIA or the NSA. We do not have access to national security secrets, but we do make loyalty decisions every day and, in so doing, we are well-advised to remember the words of Jesus. “No one can serve two masters.”

(Luke 16)

Make God your moral compass. Pray for a clean heart and a loyal spirit…

Join us Saturday @ Six or Sunday morning at 8:30 or 11 a.m.

Reverend Andrews is Minister at Community Presbyterian Church of Deerfield Beach (Steeple on the Beach) located five blocks south of Hillsboro on AIA. See more @ www.communitych.org or on Facebook.

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Small plane crashes near Pompano Airpark

Posted on 21 June 2013 by JLusk

UPDATED: 8:08 a.m.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office reports the plane is a 2013 Beach craft.
Pompano Beach spokeswoman Sandra King says the pilot has 35 years of experience flying planes. He was walking around when firefighters arrived at the scene. Rescue workers took him to Broward Health North as a precaution.

BSO deputies are on scene of a small plane that crashed in an alleyway between NE 3 Ave and Dixie Highway, just northwest of Pompano Air Park just before 6:23 a.m. The pilot escaped uninjured and is reported to be the only person on the plane. The plane apparently knocked down power lines, causing a reported outage in the neighborhood. There is a fuel spill that is being contained by the fire department. No injuries to anyone on the ground.

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Randall let go at Ely

Posted on 20 June 2013 by LeslieM

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

Melvin Randall admits he was “caught a little off guard” when he was told he was no longer going to be the Blanche Ely’s boys’ basketball coach after leading the team to back-to-back Class 7A state titles.

Randall said he was informed on June 7 that his 13 years at the school that yielded three state titles was over. Randall, who has been a math teacher at the Pompano Beach school for the past 26 years, has compiled a 456-136 record and five state titles between Deerfield Beach and Blanche Ely high schools.

“This has been going on for the last two years and it basically boils down to something personal,” said Randall, who was informed in a 10:30 a.m. meeting with Blanche Ely assistant principal Malcolm Spence (Blanche Ely administrator over sports) and assistant principal Antonio Womack. “There was no explanation, no nothing. I was kind of shocked. I am not bitter. There have been many placed in my position who have said ‘forget it’ and have just walked away. I am not going to walk away.”

“I am still teaching (math) there, but with the coaching it’s pending,” Randall continued. “I may go into the private sector. You have to have a better excuse than we are moving in a different direction. Which direction is that? Are you going down? I am not being cocky, but that is the only direction I can think of. We only lost five games the past two years.”

Randall finished the 2012- 13 season at Ely by winning his second consecutive Class 7A state championship and earning its second consecutive national ranking.

Randall, 50, of Ft. Lauderdale, has expressed his frustration with the school’s administration by not being allowed to keep two of his long-time assistant coaches (Morris Grooms and Reginald McNair, both former players of his,) from the 2011-12 season and also is upset at how he was treated by Ely principal Karlton Johnson after leading the team to a state championship in 2012 when he had to apply for his position twice.

“Whatever the situation was, it didn’t warrant dismissal,” said Randall, the only coach in Broward to lead two different teams to national rankings – Deerfield Beach in 1999 and Blanche Ely the past two seasons. “It could have warranted suspensions maybe, instead of the harshest thing (firing).”

I am very proud of what I have done at Ely as the boys head basketball coach,” Randall said. “And really doing it the hard way and being successful and running into a situation that I have been in a few years and being successful.”

“My job is to educate 9th grade students and above and also, when I am in the gym, I am trying to do the same thing through that crazy sport of basketball,” Randall said. “It is not just bouncing a basketball and getting Ws and Ls. It is about mentoring these kids and giving them lifelong skills.”

Randall said he didn’t want his name to be tarnished as he moved past the situation.

“I am going to be heard because they are not going to tarnish my name,” Randall said. “I don’t want people to say maybe he did something drastic because he won two state titles, and he must have done something (wrong). And to be put in a spot to coach at the next level, and that is what athletic directors would be thinking as well. It is going to be pretty interesting.”

Efforts to reach school officials were unsuccessful.

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FLICKS: Man Of Steel

Posted on 20 June 2013 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


At the recent Fatality Fest convention, actress Debbie Rochon and I discussed the cinematography of The Blair Witch Project. On the big screen, Debbie found the film nauseating, but enjoyed the narrative on the television screen.

Perhaps the opposite will be true when Man of Steel leaves the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery IMAX Theater. On the smaller screen, the spectacle will be diminished because of the plot holes and weak character development.

The film opens on the doomed planet Krypton. Despite his best efforts, scientist Jor-El (Russell Crowe) is unable to prevent the end of the world, so he sends his only begotten son, Kal-El, to the cornfields of Kansas on the planet Earth. The boy is raised by John (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane) Kent and adopts the name Clark Kent (Henry Cavill). A stranger in a strange land, Clark is raised with moral values and he learns to fight for truth, justice and the American way.

Surviving the destruction of Krypton is General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his army of mercenaries. Zod has a grudge against Jor-El and his family. When he learns that the son of his arch enemy is living on Earth, Zod destroys the planet in pursuit of revenge.

Man of Steel is not a linear story. The film is full of flashbacks that are not in chronological order. The slower episodes featuring Clark and his step parents are the most emotionally poignant. We see a special needs student who is bullied. We all know that Clark Kent could easily demolish his tormentors, but John Kent teaches his son restraint and discipline. These values present Man of Steel’s finest moments.

The film sags with an over-reliance on special effects and attention-deficit-disorder editing. Moments of cliffhanging thrills are lost. The fight scenes lack fluid motion and visual sense. With a $116 million record-breaking gross, Man of Steel is THE motion picture of the moment.

The reviews and word of mouth about this Superman reboot have been split between either love or hate. Younger audiences are proclaiming Man of Steel the best Superman ever, while the older crowd misses the innocence and heart of the movies and television series.

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Posted on 20 June 2013 by LeslieM


June 13 A man was arrested and charged with residential burglary. He broke into a residence at 346 NW 41 St. and stole a safe containing $1,200 and medication.

June 14 A man was arrested and charged with a narcotics felony at 200 W. Hillsboro Blvd. He was stopped on a traffic matter and found to be in possession of various narcotics.

June 15 A man was arrested and charged with burglary of a residence at 219 SW 1 Terr. The man attempted to assault a woman and her son.

June 16 It was reported that two men entered All Beauty Supply at 5353 N. Dixie Hwy. and stole seven wigs valued at $49.99 each and an earring. The men stole the items and fled the store.

June 16 A woman reported that someone attempted to break into her home at 1221 SW 6 Terr.

June 16 A man was stopped for an expired tag at 800 SW Natura Blvd. The man was then arrested and charged with a narcotics felony. He was in possession of cocaine.

June 16 Person reported being the victim of a strongarm robbery after being assaulted by a man who had borrowed his cell phone at 672 Siesta Key CC.

June 16 Two men were arrested and charged with a narcotics felony at 300 NW 1 Terr. They were found to be in possession of crack cocaine rocks and considered to be involved with street level delivery and distribution. The car they were in was confiscated.

June 16 A woman reported her car parked at 2000 E. Hillsboro Blvd. broken into and her purse and wallet stolen. The purse contained medication, $5, a Florida driver’s license and other small items.


DEERFIELD — District 4

June 12 Arrest was made at Super Target, 3599 W. Hillsboro Blvd., at 8:30 a.m. In April, the suspect entered both the Deerfield Target at 3599 W. Hillsboro Blvd. and at 1200 S. Federal Hwy. and took several DVD boxed sets and fled the store without paying for them. Each account was a loss ranging from $700 – $950. During an ongoing investigation, the suspect was positively identified as the suspect. He could not be located at that time. Information was shared between several other law enforcement agencies that the same suspect had taken DVD boxed sets from Targets in their jurisdictions. On June 11, the suspect was arrested for a similar case. On June 12, detectives met the arrestee at Broward County Jail Magistrate. He did not wish to speak with detectives. Arrestee was charged with three additional grand thefts.



June 9 The manager of Packy’s Sports Pub, at 4480 N. Federal Hwy., reported that a floor mat valued at $180 was stolen. Video surveillance showed that a regular customer stole the mat. Police contacted the man at his home and he returned the mat, saying it was a prank. The manager declined prosecution.

June 10 A woman reported that a mountain bicycle was stolen from her carport at 2801 NE 53 St.

June 11 A man was arrested and charged with felony shoplifting at CVS Pharmacy at 3580 N. Federal Hwy. The man stole $137.68 worth of items from the store. He was charged with a felony because of prior felony shoplifting convictions.

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