| May, 2014

Ely coach hopes for playoffs next season

Posted on 29 May 2014 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely first year head football coach Nakia Jenkins hopes he has the perfect recipe for success this season.

The first ingredient was discipline. The other things added into the mix will come from the players – hard work and determination.

Jenkins, 38, who was named interim coach for the spring workouts, hopes that label will be gone by the first week of the season.

Jenkins, originally from Belle Glade where he played with former NFLers Fred Taylor and Reidel Anthony at Glades Central High School, started as the offensive coordinator in 2004 at Blanche Ely and returned to the school last year in the same capacity after the team started 0-4. He was the offensive coordinator at his alma mater in 2006-2007 when the team won the Class 3A state championship.

Blanche Ely has made it to the state championship game twice when it finished second in 1987 losing to Tallahassee Godby, 31-3, in the Class 4A game before winning in 2002 in the Class 5A game when it defeated Wharton, 22-10.

This is where I have been off and on.

This is like being home in Belle Glade,” Jenkins said. “This is like home to me. I like the community. I like what I see. I like the environment. I love it. They want what is best for the kids and I do too.

We went on a run last year and ended up being district champs,” said Jenkins, who succeeds Charles Hafley as head coach. The team defeated West Boca, 44-20, in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs last year before falling in the regional semifinals to the eventual state champion Dwyer, 49-7.

We wound up 6-6 and the job just kind of fell in my hands,” Jenkins said. “Coach (Malcolm) Spence (the school’s assistant principal) and Mr. (Karlton) Johnson (the school’s principal) are great friends of mine and I respect those guys to the fullest. They are doing an incredible job here trying to get everything going in the right direction. I got a phone call from them and they said, ‘Coach, we want you to take over the team on an interim basis,’ and, of course, I said, ‘Yes.’ I don’t have to prove myself. They know what I bring to the table. They know I bring discipline first and foremost. I treat the players like they are my own kids.”

Jenkins is relying on several key players this upcoming season, including Therrell Gosier, a 6ft., 7in., 210lb. receiver, who is being highly recruited; Kevin Williams (CB/FS), already committed to West Virginia; wide receivers Laderrick Smith, Thomas Geddis and Terrance Henley, a senior CB. The Tigers also added cornerback George Heck, a transfer from Northeast. They will all be seniors in the fall. (CB).

Junior quarterback Teddrick Moffet will be the key, however.

He is a three-year starter,” Jenkins said. “He is the anchor of our offense. He is not that tall (5-10), but plays like he is 6-5. He has a great arm.”

Jenkins said the team would have won more games last season if it were disciplined so that has been his focus since he took over. He also brought back long-time Broward County coach Carl Wilburn to be his assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.

He has been coaching in Broward County for 30 years and, like me, he’s a disciplinarian,” Jenkins said. “Carl is a guy I look up to. We lost some kids from last year, but the coaches I brought in know these kids and have a good relationship with them. I think that was really big for us.”

Jenkins said he also realizes there are expectations from the community. Blanche Ely has produced 12 players – third most in Florida, who has been drafted by the National Football League, including this year’s selection of Jabari Price by the Minnesota Vikings in the seventh round.

There is no pressure,” Jenkins said. “My motto has always been getting the most out of the kids. Ely has never been a football school. They have won some ball games, but for us to get in the playoffs and win a state championship would be huge. That would be the exclamation point.”

A lot of people know me in the community and they want to see what I have done and what changes I have made,” Jenkins added. “We have great support. We have a booster club now that we haven’t had in a number of years. The support from the community has been great to this point, and I couldn’t ask for anything better, so my return to them is win some ball games. They are going to put the time in for the kids, and it is a good situation, and the best I can do is win some games.”

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FLICKS: Moms’ Night Out & X-Men: Days of Future Past

Posted on 29 May 2014 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


Since Mother’s Day, there has been a film that has quietly earned 9 million dollars, 10 percent of what X-Men: Days of Future Past has earned over Memorial Day weekend. Produced by Patricia Heaton and David Hunt, Moms’ Night Out cost 5 million to produce and has earned a nice profit before DVD/Blu-ray release. This film did not have a multimillion dollar budget. While urban elitist critics have shredded the film, it ranks 90 percent on the audience rating on RottenTomatoes.com.

The plot is very simple. A church group of females decide to let their husbands and boyfriends babysit the kids. Things go awry for the mothers, who end up in renegade taxicabs, tattoo parlors and jail. The set-up for each gag is well-executed and the comedy ensemble players (Patricia Heaton, Trace Adkins, Sean Astin, Sarah Drew) pull it off with much heart. Remember Moms’ Night Out on home video next Mother’s Day.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the most anticipated ensemble superhero moves in two years since Marvel’s The Avengers. Beyond recruiting the old ensemble cast with the young ensemble cast (XMen: First Class), the X-Men franchise reinstated director Bryan Singer, who directed the first two movies. Days of Future Past is a title with double entendre for the XMen franchise.

The new movie opens 10 years into the future. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry), Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) are under siege from the Sentinels – robot predators whose original goal was to eliminate XMen mutants. Professor X hypothesizes a strategy to send Wolverine to 1973 and prevent the manufacturing of Sentinels.

Upon waking up in 1973, Wolverine meets young Professor X (James McAvoy) and his arch enemy, young Magneto (Michael Fassbender). The three travel to the Paris Peace Accords to prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), the Sentinel’s mastermind.

Like X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past takes a historic time and attempts to present a “mutant back story.” Whereas First Class focused on the Cuban Missile Crisis, Days of Future Past over reaches with stories about the Kennedy Assassination, the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon. While visually interesting, the climax on the White House lawn involving Richard Nixon breaks the 4th wall of verisimilitude.

It would help to see the previous six X-Men movies to appreciate the details and nuances of X-Men: Days of Future Past. The new movie is fun , but it falls short of high expectations.

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Posted on 29 May 2014 by LeslieM


May 12 A delayed retail theft was reported at Target at 3599 W. Hillsboro Blvd.

May 13 A man reported that his car parked at 100 Fairway Dr. was broken into and $2,500 in cash was stolen from his glove box.

May 13 A woman reported her bicycle stolen from 736 Tivoli Circle.

May 14 A man reported his motorcycle stolen from 900 NW 45 St.

May 14 A car was reported stolen from 633 Siesta Key Circle.

DEERFIELD – District 4

May 7 Theft – Retail Shoplifting occurred at Deerfield Mall, 3820 W Hillsboro Blvd. Suspect stole a Go Smile Kit valued at $327.99 and Crest White Strips valued at $39.99.

May 7 Burglary Conveyance took place in Deer Creek, at 2403 W Hillsboro Blvd. Complainant advised BSO that sometime between 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, unknown suspects punched a hole under the driver side door lock in order to gain entry to the 2001, 2-door Mitsubishi Eclipse. Suspects removed $122 cash, a FL driver’s license and a chef’s knife kit, valued at $567. Complainant did not realize the vehicle was burglarized until the report date.

May 9 Criminal Mischief was reported in Deerfield Town Square,3901 W. Hillsboro Blvd. The victim’s work vehicle was parked in the north lot at McDonald’s. Two unknown females caused damage to the two left side tires with an unknown sharp object. Damage was estimated at $200.

May 9 Theft – Retail Shoplifting took place at Deer Creek Plaza, 151 N Powerline Rd. A female suspect entered the Underground Reptile Pet Store and snatched a 6- week-old red fox from an open pen near the front door. Suspect fled the store and jumped into a waiting black 4-door sedan with an unknown plate. Property loss was estimated at $600.

May 14 Theft – Retail Shoplifting was reported at Target, 3599 W. Hillsboro Blvd. Complainant advised that two unknown females stole multiple items from inside the store: 2 Madella Breast Pumps: valued at $799.98;1 Leap Pad valued at $149.99.


April 22 An officer observed two male subjects walking on the sidewalk acting suspiciously at 2200 NE 36 St. One crossed the road not using the crosswalk. Police stopped the individual and found heroin in a baggy in one of the subject’s pockets.

April 23 Someone painted graffiti on a trash can and in the men’s room at the park at 4500 NE 22 Ave.

May 2: Police stopped a subject for speeding and failure to maintain a single lane at 3100 NE 21 Ave. The officer smelled cannabis coming from the vehicle and found the subject in possession of eight pill bottles of oxycodone.

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Posted on 29 May 2014 by LeslieM

Lack of maintenance of city playgrounds

Dear Editor:

I’m concerned with the lack of maintenance in our city playgrounds.

The park on SW 24 Terrace has a lot of safety issues that have been going on for a while. These issues would have been easily caught by a Parks & Rec worker if they were doing weekly safety inspections and daily walk-throughs.

I know the city has a tight budget, but kids safety at playgrounds should not be overlooked.

Here are some of the issue’s at this one park. I’m sure others are just as bad.

1) Baby swing has cracked plastic on the seat, exposing a rusty sharp metal edge right on the top where kids would put their hands

2) One of the posts that holds up the platforms has a crack going halfway through it

3) There is a picnic table with a rusted hole in the top. It’s rusted so bad basically, you can take the top off of the table.

These are some of the issue’s within one park.

Brian Moberg

Deerfield Beach

Hands Across the Sand – Deerfield

Dear Editor:

On Saturday, May 17, Deerfield Beach, along with hundreds of areas across the coastal United States, demonstrated against Fracking Oil from our beaches.

Close to Naples, not far from the site of their main drinking water source and home to the Florida panthers, plans for Fracking are taking hold.

We must stop this!” are the cries of those involved. Fracking each well uses over 1 million gallon of water per well, poisoned with toxic chemicals which cannot be recycled.

The potential for gas blasts and chemical spills from Fracking is overwhelming. Hands Across the Sands meets every year on our coasts, hosted by such organizations as The Sierra Club (www.sierraclub.org) and Oceana (www.Oceana.org). Please go to them to see how you can help.

Donna Friedman

Pompano Beach



Posted on 29 May 2014 by LeslieM

I am Complete Women’s Retreat

Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31

DoubleTree by Hilton 100 Fairway Dr. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Relax in a Sisterhood of Support. Stay over and experience everything from a pajama party to dancing, pampering and more. It is all about self-care and de-stressing while creating new friendships and plenty of fun. Learn from motivational and informative guest speakers. Visit http:// www.iamcompleteretreat.com for details.

Yard sale

Friday, May 30, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to Saturday, May 31, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

First Christian Church 1860 NE 39 St. Pompano Beach, FL 33064

Proceeds will go toward the church youth activities. For more information, call 954-942-2515.

Park clean-up

Saturday, May 31, 8 to 10 a.m.

Community Park 850 NE 18 Ave. (US 1 and 10 St.) Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Organized by The Recycling and Solid Waste Advisory Committee of Pompano Beach. Meet at North Pavilion by the basketball courts. Bring gloves, bags, water. Community Service hour forms will be provided. More information, call 954-234-6053.

Spring Yard Sale

Saturday, May 31, 7:30 a.m.to noon

Palmview Elementary 2601 NE 1 Ave. Pompano Beach, FL 33064

Cost for space is $25, contact 754-322-7600.

Pompano Fine Food & Wine

Tuesday, June 3, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. VIP Party: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Hillsboro Club 901 Hillsboro Mile Hillsboro Beach, FL 33062

Tasty tidbits from over 25 local restaurants. Auction. Key West attire, no jeans. A portion of proceeds benefit The Dynamos of Pompano Beach, as well as the host, the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce. $85, ($60 presale).

Save the date: The Deerfield Comedy Show II

Thursday, June 5, 8:30 p.m.

American Rock Bar & Grill 1600 E. Hillsboro Blvd. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Headliner: “The Reverend” Bob Levy, from Comedy Central, MTV, Howard Stern Show, Opie & Anthony, Today show, Artie Lange Show.. Hosted by Franco Harris. Feature: Perry Sak. Guest spots: Jacky B., Michael Cintron. Tickets only $10. Info: 954-428-4539 or visit www.AmericanRockBar.com.

Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church celebrates 95 years

Friday, June 27, 7 p.m.

Royal Fiesta 1680 SE 3 Ct. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Guests include former priests-in-charge Rev. Nancy McCarthy, Rev. Nancy Wynen and Rev. Dr. Ronald Fox, as well as the newly appointed Bahamian Consul to the U.S. St. Mary’s youth praise dance group will perform. Gala dinner will feature buffet and cash bar for $50 per person. Tickets, call 954-675-9483 or 954-428-5020.

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CLERGY CORNER: Do not be intimated

Posted on 29 May 2014 by LeslieM

Paul was in Athens the first century after the resurrection. Athens was a center of Greek philosophy at the time. Men like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, philosophers from days gone by, had an enduring legacy. There were massive buildings and a population of several hundred thousand people. The culture valued human reason and intellectual reflection. I imagine intellects milling around like C-Span junkies in the courtyards in search of debates. I also imagine Starbucks on every corner …

Enter this little unsophisticated man named Paul with his ragged clothes. He walked alone unnoticed in the midst of stoics, philosophers and poets. He must have felt out-of-place, but he had world changing news to share.

The Book of Acts tells us how:

22Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23 For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26 From one ancestor, he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him – though, indeed, he is not far from each one of us. 28 For ‘In him we live and move and have our being;’ as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.”

[Acts 17: 22 – 28]

Paul offers us a clinic on how not to be intimidated.

Some people are naturally more easily intimidated than others. We don’t exactly have equal doses of confidence. Some folks camouflage their feelings better than others too. My wife recently met with her doctoral committee to discuss her dissertation research. The purpose of the meeting was to establish the parameters of her research. Her research had to be approved in advance by people who have done this before who, by the way, are the same people who will approve it or disapprove it when the research is finished. Her situation was intimidating!

We’ve all been intimidated at one time or another, but should followers of Christ be intimidated? The short answer is “No.”

Paul offers a great character portrait of “If God be for us, then who can stand against us?”

Paul looks at his surroundings and gathers the confidence that comes with knowing who he is and whose he is; and he receives the assurance that comes with finding his purpose in Christ.

We can read the story about Paul in Athens and marvel at what Paul did and think, “Wow. I could never do that.” But Paul’s message is not really about preaching in Athens. Paul’s message is about Christ’s followers overcoming intimidating situations living out our faith wherever we are because we have world-changing news to share.

Join us for worship this Sunday at 10 a.m. at Community Presbyterian Church of Deerfield Beach (Steeple on the Beach), located five blocks south of Hillsboro on AIA.

Our worship focus is “Do Not Be Intimidated” based on Acts 17.

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Federal Hwy. partial closure May 28, until noon

Posted on 27 May 2014 by JLusk

imagesSouthbound Federal Hwy Lane Closure for Routine Maintenance

Due to the routine maintenance of the trees along Federal Highway, the southbound lane of Federal Highway from the Palm Beach County Line to NE 4 Street, will be closed Wednesday, May 28 from 6 a.m. to noon. The southbound lane is scheduled to re-open at noon weather permitting.

For more information please call 954-571-2670.

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Capellini trial–judge grants directed verdict of “NOT GUILTY”

Posted on 24 May 2014 by JLusk


Capellini trial

 Notes from the Courtroom

Friday, May 23

2:28p.m. –After hearing arguments from Assistant State Attorney Catherine Maus and Defense Attorney David Bogenschutz, Broward Circuit Judge Marc Gold ruled that the copy of the agenda, which was not previously provided to defendant Al Capellini upon his request, will be admitted into evidence and the trial will proceed this afternoon.

Bogenschutz argued further that the introduction of this document now, after the defendant testified, is highly prejudicial and, on that basis, he just moved for a mistrial.

Motion for mistrial has been denied.

2:48 p.m. –Now arguing about instruction to be given to jury after introduction of document.

Judge will instruct the jury that the document was provided to the defendant at 5:21p.m. on May 21 after he testified. He deleted the proposed language that it was provided 6 years after being charged and 11 years after the meeting in question.

2:50 p.m. —Jury brought in.Instruction was given.

Peggy Noland took the stand to resume testimony.

Maus showed her the agenda and bottom of pg 1. #2 under quasi-judicial hearing. That was Capellini’s project. Whether it was later added to the consent agenda she could not say.

Bogenschutz resumed his questions. He showed her a waived quasi judicial hearing for Deerfield Park development.

5/3/03 shows it went to Consent Agenda and applicant waived quasi judicial hearing.

Noland testified that the agenda shown to her by Maus did not depict the way the agenda looked in 2003, since at that time, it was printed on both sides.

Bogenschutz showed her the format of his agenda exhibit and she said that, in the 12 years she was there, it was always back and front.

Noland spoke glowingly about Al as mayor. He had the city headed in a positive direction and he had a good reputation.

Maus then came back and explained she had shown Noland the wrong document.

She agreed that the back/front format on this document was the same as the one shown to her by Bogenschutz.

Noland said that often when they started meetings there were changes to the agenda.

Bogenschutz came back and asked about Maus’ document and asked her if Maus had made a mistake and Noland said “yes” and left the witness stand.

3:10 p.m. –10 minute recess.

3:33 p.m. — Jury came back in.

Defense set up video monitor to show video of part of June ’03 meeting to jury where the vote took place.

Capellini recalled to stand.

Capellini questioned about agenda and his recollections about it. Said they were printed on back to back pages all the time.

He said he has no recollection of seeing this doc until Wed at 5:21pm. Video played.

Video showed items 1-6 quasi-judicial hearing. He is holding agenda in his hand in video. He says it looks similar to agenda in evidence.

As video roles, Capellini is seen looking at 3rd page of agenda, past the agenda item for his project. He had agenda open 1-2 seconds.

Comments are then being made about agenda item #6. No one showed up for the Foot and Ankle Center. A woman came up to talk about a different item and she was told to sit down.

Approved 1-3 per Jerry Ferguson, P&Z Director. Capellini  said he did not focus on what 1-3 were about since they were on Consent Agenda. When on Consent Agenda, titles are not read.

Motion to close and approve (by former City Commissioner Gwyndolen Clarke Reed, whose district includes Natura).

Unanimous. Going on to item #4.

Capellini identified himself in 12-year-old photo. Photo shown to jury.

3:52 p.m. — Maus resumed questions and asked for video again.

Video questions by Maus:

One woman tried to speak out of turn. Capellini denied looking at item #2, his plat. He denied knowing that he was voting on his plat. He said if he had been aware of it, he would not have voted.

She rested.

4:08 p.m. — Bogenschutz resumed … Testimony about traffic problem there that Capellini reported to county and city and said traffic people in city do not do anything about it. The city cannot control county and county even removed signs city put up trying to slow people down.

Bogenschutz rested and Maus asked if item 2 could have been pulled by anyone. Capellini  said Robert’s Rules prevent him from making a motion and Maus rested.

Capellini off the stand.

4:13 p.m. — Bogenschutz rested defense case.

4:18 p.m. —Maus calling deputy clerk from Deerfield Beach. Bogenschutz objected and jury brought back. Samantha Gillyard called by Maus. She will be final witness in trial. Employed since 2006, she was asked if records kept in the course of the city’s business and Maus moved exhibit into evidence.

Bogenschutz asked whether this is the way it’s kept today. She agreed that the agenda are copied on both sides. She said she gave the state a pdf version of the agenda, which is one sided.

Document admitted and Maus rested.

4:19 p.m. — Jury excused for 30 minutes for final motions.

4:35 p.m. —Court resumed.  Bogenschutz made second motion for a directed verdict. Judge trying to ascertain what Capellini’s “corrupt intent” was. Bogenschutz pointed out that 19 years before the hearing the city had ceded all traffic matters to the county and Capellini’s reference of that was not an attempt to evade involvement in that project. He argued that the state had failed to prove their case and that there was neither direct or circumstantial evidence presented by the state to prove their case.

Extended legal arguments were made on both sides. Bogenschutz argued there was no direct evidence of guilt and the circumstantial evidence was open to different interpretations.

Judge asked Maus what evidence they have of corrupt intent?  Bogenschutz asked rhetorically “what’s illegal?”

5:14 p.m. — Bogenschutz rested his argument.

5:15 p.m. — Maus commenced her argument against the motion for a directed verdict, cited cases to support her argument. She claims there is an issue for the case to go to the jury.

Maus argues that Capellini’s cutting off of Mrs. Heimowitz’s complaints about traffic are evidence of his corrupt intent. Capellini said he cut her off because traffic issues are for the County not the City.

Judge still struggling with where is the corrupt intent.

5:35 p.m. — Bogenschutz resumed briefly, argued the court is duty bound to order directed verdict.

Judge granted motion for directed verdict. Judge ruled there is absolutely no evidence of corrupt intent. As for keeping lady quiet perfectly consistent with what he said about traffic matters belonging to county, no evidence of deal between him and other parties to contract. They acknowledged they got no benefits and in fact were hurt by it.

It was an ethical violation, not a crime, saying, ‘that’s my ruling and that’s the end of it.’



-Al Capellini is a former Deerfield Beach mayor.

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Lions fall in regional final

Posted on 22 May 2014 by LeslieM

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

Zion Lutheran first-year coach Ray Ayala said his baseball team exceeded expectations this season.

The Lions (16-10-1) recently completed their season with a hardfought, 10-4 loss in 11- innings against visiting Miami Brito last week.

Miami Brito Miami scored six runs in the top of the 11th inning to snap a 4-4 tie as the Panthers won the Region 4-2A final and denied the Lions their first trip to the state semifinals in school history for the second consecutive season.

Zion Lutheran lost 11-0 to the eventual state champion, Westwood Christian, in the Class 2A regional finals last season. Jose Rodriguez pitched six innings in relief of Lions’ starter Blayne Baker to keep Zion Lutheran in the game. The team rallied from a 4-1 deficit to force extra innings with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Ivan Ortiz’s RBI single tied the game at 4-4.

We were very fortunate to get it tied,” said first year Lions coach Ray Ayala, who came over from Somerset Academy this season. “We had some opportunities, but we didn’t get it done.”

There were only two players back from last year’s team (Baker and Manny Rojas). Baker finished the season 6-4 on the mound, while Rojas batted .509 for the season and led the team with 35 RBI.

We played in two early season tournaments and went 0-6-1 in them,” Ayala said. “Honestly, if you go back to February, you will see we had a whole bunch of individuals. I put them in over their heads. It took us three months to become a family and we had won nine in a row since then. We had to find a way to have them come together.”

When I first took a look at it, I thought there was something to build there,” Ayala said. “There was nothing there. The cupboard was bare so to speak. I figured two to three years we could build something. As you can see, we moved at a little bit faster pace.”

Ortiz, who was a catcher at Olympic Heights last season, joined the team this season along with shortstop Jose Rodriguez and outfielder Joseph Renovales, who came over from Coral Glades High School.

They all know each other from playing summer ball together,” Ayala said. “We inherited five other kids from other schools.”

Ayala said the slow start showed the team there was work to do.

It made us realize that one through nine we weren’t better than anybody,” Ayala said. “If we played as a team, we could beat anybody. That’s where all of our losses came from and that was the turning point going through those tournaments learning that we could not win individually; we could only win collectively; once we stopped worrying about stats and worrying about who plays, our practices became more geared toward team drills and we were successful as a team and turned the corner.”

Ayala believes the program has a bright future. Ayala said parents who are interested in bringing their sons to the program are already contacting him.

I am already getting calls of interest,” Ayala said. “Parents are getting calls from other parents and telling them they want to switch schools, so that is definitely getting us on the map. We are getting a reputation that we play hard and I am fair to the kids.

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FLICKS: Godzilla, The Love Punch & the PBS National Memorial Day concert

Posted on 22 May 2014 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of men.” ‘Godzilla’ by Blue Oyster Cult

People who bingewatched the previous 60 years of Godzilla movies were disappointed in the recent release, but those seeking Popcorneating Saturday matinee entertainment shelled out $93 million in the United States to spend time with the radioactive-breath 350 ft tall giant lizard. The box office performed better than expected and Godzilla 2 has been greenlit.

The plot is very simple; it involves a family dealing with a cosmological crisis of epic proportions. To reveal more would be a disservice to Director Gareth Edwards’ modern vision of ancient mythology. Suffice it to say the tale of Godzilla has been told for many years on cave drawings.

The film is filled with many visual details. Godzilla’s slow reveal (through editing) is recreated from the original Godzilla movie from 1954. The opening credits acknowledge the “Godzilla reboot” from 60 and 16 years ago, respectively. As the primal monster attacks highly populated cities, one recognizes individuals held captive by government bureaucracy. This is good science fiction entertainment because it presents the monster as a metaphor for a given time.

The Love Punch opens tomorrow at area theaters. It is a full out romantic comedy fully realized from beginning to end. Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson are a divorced couple whose retirement nest egg has been stolen by a corporate raider from France. Given that their two children are in college, the couple reunite to reclaim their retirement fortune.

While both characters are suffering from empty nest syndrome, Brosnan’s character is the one who wants to reconcile. As Thompson’s character hatches a heist to reclaim “The Eye of the Rainbow” diamond at a wedding ceremony in a Paris suburb, the couple recruits their best friends (Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie – who should get their own caper someday). As the heist becomes more dangerous, the two couples still find time to bicker about their personal picadillos from the past.

The Love Punch is a simple story filled with farcical elements. Writer/director Joel Hopkins sets the tone very early with the prologue before the colorful credits roll. The film is full of energy, but it is not rushed. Each laugh is logically organized with a punch line that pays off each time.

Both Godzilla and The Love Punch provide fine entertainment diversion this Memorial Day weekend for their respective audiences. For those sticking around the house Sunday night, check out the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS. Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna return as co-hosts, with Jackie Evancho singing the National Anthem. Party hearty Memorial Day, but don’t forget to thank a veteran this weekend.

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