| December, 2014

CLERGY CORNER: Let there be light

Posted on 18 December 2014 by LeslieM

By Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Some of the stories in the Torah seem like what we would hear about on the TV news; stories about families not getting along, threats and killings, stories about lies, deceit and rape. The stories are about wrestling, not only with others, but with ourselves.

I often ask people who are low in spirits and feel stuck in darkness some questions. One is what they do in the morning and often their answer is they turn on the news.

And when I ask the same people what they do before going to sleep, they tell me that they get into bed and turn on the news. There goes any hope of having sweet dreams.

Many get so upset over the newscasts that they wrestle with themselves and with the covers on their bed all night long. And then they can’t figure out why they feel so miserable in the morning.

We are surrounded by bad news and it often seems that we are surrounded by bad people as well.

Have you ever watched someone who is behaving wickedly? If you have, you might have noticed an odd thing. You see, the first time someone commits a particular sin, you can actually tell from their facial expression and body language that they are wrestling with themselves as to whether they can actually do such a thing. But as they keep committing the same wickedness over and over they can become immune to that inner struggle, that self wrestling match.

We have people who thrive on stirring up trouble. They may try to tell themselves that they are doing it for a holy purpose, but they soon become victims of their own point of view and refuse to accept any other version of events. They stir the pot and others are grossly affected.

Take the case of the recent killing in Ferguson.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know who was in error, but I do know that the pot was stirred to the point that, if anything but the verdict that the mob wanted was given, well, the threats were already there.

And, as could have been predicted, there were those who took it as an excuse for looting, for hate and destruction.

And those who sat glued to the news went into the usual diatribe that things have never been this bad, that the world as we know it is falling apart.

But if you watched the news really closely, you might have caught a moment where the darkness was overcome by a very bright light.

A police officer noticed a young boy crying and motioned for the lad to come to him. Can you imagine how scared that young boy must have been being called over to a white police officer.

He was shaking a little but the officer calmed him.

Why are you crying?” the officer asked.

The boy replied that he was sad about the protest and sad about all that was going on in the world…

The officer and the 12-year-old went on to talk about school and summer vacations. Having comforted the boy, the officer looked down on the ground and saw the sign the lad had been carrying (“Free hugs”) and asked if he could have one … and there it was for all to see on the news.

That little boy and that officer are wondrous examples of how things can be. I would reward 12-year-old Devonte and Sgt. Barnum with kindling the first two candles on the Chanukiah (The Chanukah Menorah) as they are great examples of adding light to take away the darkness.

And I would give them a coupon book good for unlimited hugs whenever and wherever they should need them.

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

And while you’re at it, why not stop by Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Trail, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442) on a Saturday Morning for services and a free hug! And believe me, you haven’t had a hug until you have been hugged by Rabbi Ezring. LOL.

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Drug bust in Deerfield

Posted on 12 December 2014 by JLusk

fake-synthetic-bad-marijuanaIn the wee morning hours, on Dec. 12, DEA agents busted into a local food store, a Kwik Stop, on Hillsboro Boulevard. The reason — synthetic marijuana.

The store was allegedly selling up to 10,000 packets of the stuff weekly. Going by names like K2, Spice, Cloud 9, WTF and Diablo, this product consists of chemicals that mimic the effect of THC, which the people allegedly bought from China and sprayed on something like potpourri.

This product is a chemical and can be very harmful, especially because the potency is not necessarily consistent, so it’s hard for the user to know how much or how little is being used and how the body will react to it. It can be extremely dangerous.

Fifteen people were reported as being arrested after undercovers discovered they were using it as a distribution center, selling it only to people who used a code word or who seemed trustworthy, but telling others that they did not sell the product.

Synthetic marijuana is not a new product. In fact, it has been rampant in the area and there was even a movie made about it. Back in February of this year, the movie “Not For Human Consumption,  directed by Chris Alonso, hit the theater, outlining a story based on the synthetic marijuana trade that emerged in West Palm Beach. To see the film, visit http://notforhumanconsumptionthemovie.com.


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FAU ends with loss to Old Dominion

Posted on 11 December 2014 by LeslieM

sports121114Finished season 3-9, 6th Conference USA

By Jacob Shendell

Old Dominion defeated Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in the final minutes last Saturday on a 27-yard field goal 31-28. Much like FAU’s other losses this year, they could do nothing but watch as Old Dominion held onto the ball for the last five minutes of the game, much like four of the other games the Owls played this season.

FAU recognized 19 players in a pre-game ceremony who were playing their final game at FAU Stadium.

In the midst of what looks to be another failure of a season, the Owls did land a $16 million donation from Richard Schmidt to help build a new athletic facility to boost the football program, and, hopefully, propel them to the next level.

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FLICKS: The Homesman

Posted on 11 December 2014 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


The writings of Glendon Swarthout ages like a fine wine. While best known for penning John Wayne’s last movie, The Shootist, Swarthout also inspired the South Florida Spring Break cultural phenomenon with his book Where the Boys Are. His best-selling novel featured the subject of veterinarians, with a title that became a pop hit song in the early 1970s, Bless the Beasts and Children. Swarthout has been gone for 21 years, but his writing is about to enjoy a renaissance with the new movie, The Homesman.

Written and directed by, and starring, Tommy Lee Jones, The Homesman tells the tale of Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank), a spinster who is a wealthy land owner in the rural frontier. When three mentally unbalanced wives disrupt domestic life in this small community, a preacher (John Lithgow) approaches Miss Cuddy. The two determine that the three wives must be transported east toward civilization. After recruiting the scoundrel named George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) to be “the homesman,” the five disparate characters travel east to Iowa.

Along the way through the barren wilderness, the five encounter rain, snow, sleet, hail, bandits, Apaches and their own existential loneliness. As they draw closer to their goal, one strong member of this party encounters their personal heart of darkness.

With such a simple narrative and unique characters with conflicting motivations, The Homesman keeps the audience guessing until the final credits roll. This film unfolds like a John Ford epic western, but tainted by modern day sensibilities. There are many shots of wide open places and the cinematography is beautiful. There is a darkness to this film, much like No Country for Old Men, but there is no denying that Tommy Lee Jones has directed his best film yet.

While Jones’ acting is not much of a stretch from the curmudgeon characters that he usually plays, he has managed to surround himself with first rate talent. Meryl Streep is given a maternal cameo, while her daughter, Grace Gummer, portrays one of the mentally ill wives. Both are convincing and help bring some heart to the film’s climax.

The Homesman is held together by Swank’s tough performance. This actress has won two Oscars for portraying vulnerable women who exude strength under duress. Her Mary Lee Cuddy is no exception and her performance is earning critical buzz just in time for award’s season.

Like the Glen Campbell documentary I’ll Be Me, The Homesman is a good movie, but with underlying sadness.

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Posted on 11 December 2014 by LeslieM

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


Nov. 17 Someone entered a home at 1209 SE 12 Terr. and stole a safe and other items.

Nov. 25 Someone entered a vehicle parked at 530 SE 2 Ave. and stole property valued at $2,000.

Nov. 26 A woman came to Wing Stop at 3656 W. Hillsboro Blvd. and committed a battery on a woman. She punched, scratched and hit the woman with a small bat.

Nov. 26 A woman left her purse containing two cellphones, $500 in cash, a credit card and a driver’s license in a shopping cart in the parking lot at Walmart at 1101 S. Military Trail. She realized what she had done and came back. Video surveillance showed a woman taking the purse.


Nov. 18 Victim said someone shot his truck and the front of his home at 2140 NE 35 Street with paint balls. The victim believes a neighbor’s son was responsible.

Nov. 18 Someone entered a vehicle while it was parked at 3529 NE 31 Ave. and stole two cameras from a back seat. A Canon and JVC digital camera were valued at $600.

Nov. 20 Someone stole a 2013 Hyundai Elantra from in front of an apartment at 1951 NE 39 Street.

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Posted on 11 December 2014 by LeslieM

Not enough Holiday spirit at Dec. 2 commission mtg.

Dear Editor:

Such wonderful presentations and speeches at the start of the last commission meeting.

The beginning of that meeting made me feel proud to live in this city.

How too bad that it was so well attended for many of the wrong reasons.

As a citizen of Deerfield Beach, I know that the good folks at St. Ambrose church are the best of neighbors and contribute much to our community. Father Dalton is known to almost all.

The reputation of both is not questioned in the recent report from the OIG [Broward Office of the Inspector General]. The mayor’s actions completely apart from St. Ambrose’s involvement make up the report.

Her good intentions cannot be considered when it comes to the letter of the law and our form of city government. It makes no difference whatsoever that there has been cooperation between the city and St. Ambrose in the past nor that there will be in the future. (There should be, if you ask me). Our system of city government must be followed at all times. There cannot be exceptions.

Further, it appeared to me, that the death of a valiant serviceman from Deerfield Beach was used in an attempted “Gotcha” moment by those who should hang their head in shame. The lengthy prepared remarks and the several who delivered them were totally transparent. How repugnant and misguided they were.

The mayor mentioned our brave fighting men in her remarks at the (wonderful) Ocean Way Holiday event.

All the commission members and city staff worked tirelessly on our Veteran’s Day events. Never would someone have been deliberately excluded. I cannot imagine why someone would hold back information regarding a fallen hero. What a terrible way for that few to conduct themselves during this holiday season.

Sally Potter Deerfield Beach



Posted on 11 December 2014 by LeslieM

Friends of the DB Arboretum meets

Thursday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m.

Constitution Park 2841 W. Hillsboro Blvd. Deerfield Beach, FL 33447

Speaker: Jon Albee with the Urban Farming Institute of Oakland Park will provide info. on unique growing systems, supplies and knowledge for success to local home and institutional farmers, including hydroponic and soil based systems. Plant giveaway, refreshments. Info.: 954-480-4495 or www. treezoo.com.

Movies in the Park—Polar Express

Friday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m.

Villages of Hillsboro Park 4111 NW 6 St. Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Bring the family, blankets and lawn chairs for a fun family night out. Concessions and glow merchandise will be sold for a small fee. For a full listing of this season’s movies and dates, visit www.deerfield-beach.com/moviesinthepark. For more information, call 954-480-4495.

LAST Family Hayride & Campfire

Friday, Dec. 12, 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Quiet Waters Park 401 S. Powerline Rd. Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

For more info on this last Hayride & Campfire of 2014 (others were held in October and November), call 954-357-5100 or go to www.Broward.org/parks. (Other parks are also holding similar events).

Yard sale

Saturday, Dec. 13, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Florida Humane Society 3870 N. Powerline Rd. Pompano Beach, FL 33073

Non-profit, no-kill organization. Proceeds benefit dogs and cats.

Christmas Party and Auction

Saturday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Westside Park 445 SW 2 St. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Deerfield Beach-West. For information, call 954-428-1537.

Mega Holiday Pet Adoption

Saturday Dec. 13, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Toyota 1441 S. Federal Hwy. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Hosted by Rescue Sisters and Toyota of Deerfield Beach. Santa will be there too! Info.: 954-425-6900

52nd Annual Holiday Boat Parade

Sunday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m.

Watch from the shore or from the water upon the Musette boat, which leaves from The Cove Marina in Deerfield and rides in the parade. For $60 per person, you get an Intracoastal cruise, dinner, dancing and open bar. For more information, contact the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce at 954-941-2940.

Choral Christmas Cantata

Sunday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. (Sanctuary)

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

Reverend Dr. Randy Gill and Sabrina George, music director, will lead all sanctuary worship services. Attendance is complimentary; free parking is available; refreshments are always served. For information, call 954-427-0222 or visit www.communitych.org.

Handel’s Messiah

Sunday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m.

Pompano Beach High School 600 NE 13 Ave. Pompano Beach, FL 33060

The New Presbyterian Church Concert Choir, Professional Orchestra and Soloists present the most popular and beloved oratorio ever written in the English language, Handel’s Messiah. The Program will be directed by Steven Hammaker. Tickets are not needed. Admission is free – an offering will be taken. Sing along with the “Hallelujah” Chorus. For more info., call 954-946-4380 or visit www.newpres.org.

Menorah Lighting

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m.

Pompano Citi Centre 1955 N. Federal Hwy. Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Join us as we light our 9ft. Menorah with Mayor Lamar Fisher. Doughnuts, latkes, free Carousel ride, crafts for the kids!

Drop-off for Toys 4 Tots

Myers Insurance Agency 703 S. Federal Hwy. Pompano Beach, Fl. 33062

Drop off Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Collecting toys now through Saturday, Dec. 13. Fifth consecutive year as an official drop-off location. 954-784-9029.

Rattlers has open positions

Deerfield Packer Rattlers Board currently has open positions. If you are interested in a position or would like to nominate someone for a position, please call 954-393-5288. You MUST have been involved with the organization for one year. All nominees are due Thursday, Dec. 18 by 5 p.m.

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CLERGY CORNER: Give & receive

Posted on 11 December 2014 by LeslieM

It is that time of the year when we give gifts to others. It is the time of year when we do not think about ourselves but others and what they want or need. God knew in His infinite wisdom that we would need help with our lives. Not only do I find that I need God’s help, I have also come to realize that I need His help every day of my life. God does not always give me what I want, but He always gives me what I need.

ROMANS 12:6-8

6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.

7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.

8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.


Our goal in serving God is to be able to continue to serve Him throughout our whole lives. Growing up in church I always heard the phrase “stay full of the things of God.” It took me a long time to understand what that actually meant. When my car runs, it uses gas and I have to fill it up when it gets empty, so it will continue to run and I can use it. So, when I give out things that God has blessed me with in life, I need to find spiritual things in my life so I can fi ll back up the same way I fill my car with gas. The more love, compassion, peace and hope we give out then, the more we need to stay full of the things of God. We can read the Bible, pray, go to church or even sing hymns and worship songs to fill back up. What a great cycle in our lives to have. We can continually give and receive.

When you get a gift, either you like it and use it or you do not like it and hide it somewhere. Gifts from the Father are to be used and not wasted or just put on the shelf. Gifts from God come as He wills (any gift at any time) for the profit of all. You should not only welcome the gifts from God, but also expect them in your life. We all know it is better to give that to receive. However, if we do not receive, then we have nothing to give. We have a responsibility to stir the spiritual gifts in our own lives. God has blessed our lives with many different gifts and there are many people that can use them. You have the gifts; you might as well use them instead of letting them go to waste. The good thing is that no one person has all the gifts. It takes many different parts to make one complete body and that is true for the church body as well. Gifts do not clash or compete, but they all work together to serve the same goal or purpose. Giving gifts is not about serving your agenda and making you happy; it is about serving others and bringing joy to others.

Tony Guadagnino is the pastor at Christian Love Fellowship Church, located at 801 SE 10 St, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441.

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Broward County Special Election- Dist 2 Commissioner TODAY

Posted on 04 December 2014 by JLusk

fw7xR.So.56   The Election for the District 2 seat on the Broward County Commission is

being held today, Thursday, December 4th. This district encompasses Coconut

Creek from the Florida Turnpike west to S.R. 441 and south to Mcnab Road

as well as portions of Ft. Lauderdale. According to the Supervisor of Elections office. only registered Democrats are allowed to vote in this election.


The Observer highly recommends that you vote for Charlotte Rodstrom today.

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Broward County Special Election- District 2 Commissioner

Posted on 04 December 2014 by LeslieM

The election for the District 2 seat on the Broward County Commission is being held today, Thursday, December 4th

Coconut Creek from the Florida Turnpike west to S.R. 441 and south to McNab as well as portions of Fort Lauderdale. According to the Supervisor of Elections Office, only registered Democrats are allowed to vote in this election.
The Observer highly recommends that you vote for Charlotte Rodstrom today.

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