| May, 2015

Crocketts return with camp

Posted on 28 May 2015 by LeslieM

sports052815By Gary Curreri

Former National Football League players Henri Crockett and his brother Zachary Crockett returned to their hometown roots this past Saturday and put on their annual football clinic at the Four Fields Complex in Pompano Beach.

Henri Crockett, 40, who played linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings, along with his brother Zachary, 42, a former fullback for the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys, treated nearly 300 local children to football drills and lunches during a USA Football FUNdamentals clinic.

Both men grew up in Pompano Beach, and graduated from Blanche Ely High School, before they both played at Florida State University in their path to the NFL.

The free, one-day clinic is designed to introduce children, ages 6-16, to football by teaching basic skills in a fun and energetic environment and is supported through a grant from the NFL Foundation.

FUNdamentals incorporates a series of drills to teach passing, catching and running skills in a non-contact setting. All skills and drills selected are based on USA Football’s Player Progression Development Model, ensuring children are learning in an age-appropriate manner, based on their cognitive and physical maturity.

The event marked the 10th time that the Crockett Foundation hosted its annual Life Skills & Football Camp in partnership with USA Football FUNdamentals. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams.

We took a couple of years off because we were competing with the camps by Clint Sessions and Patrick Peterson,” said Henri Crockett, who lives in Cooper City. “My brother and I had been doing this so long that we just wanted to step back and give the guys that are playing in the NFL now a chance to give back and do their thing.

The city asked us if we could do one of these this year and it was important for us to do this because they are the future,” Henri said. “It is important for us to come out here and show them that we care. This is really important. They are not all going to make it to the NFL or the NBA and we understand that. That’s why we call this a life skills camp and not just a football camp. We talk to them about life. It is important for them to not only have a back-up plan, but to have a plan.”

Zachary Crockett, of Miami Shores, agreed: “We are teaching them the fundamentals about life skills, telling the kids to stay away from conflict and to be able to get it done in both the classroom and the field.

You have to have a foundation in everything you do. We took some time off to let the other guys get their camps established and now we are doing things with our reading center. We want kids to know it is going to take more than football to get to the next level. We (Henri and I) had to get it done in the classroom too, and your character is also important. At the end of the day, there is no ‘I’ in team and the game is bigger than you.”

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FLICKS: Poltergeist

Posted on 28 May 2015 by LeslieM

flicks052815By Dave Montalbano


It has been 33 summers since I last ushered at the United Artist Movies at Pompano and the two big films playing that week were Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Poltergeist. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist was perhaps a satirical look about the influence of television on the suburban family unit. Spielberg incorporated his childhood fears into this noisy ghost story and it was a box office winner, until E.T. the Extraterrestrial was released a few weeks later.

MGM released two more Poltergeist films, that were critical and box office disappointments. Whereas the first movie could be labeled a family movie with a roller coaster ride between horror and humor, the two sequels strove to create a darker mythology that many Christian organizations found insulting.

The new Poltergeist avoids insulting Christians and strives to simply tell a haunted house story with noisy ghosts.

In this revisionist reboot, we meet the Bowen family, who are moving to a new neighborhood. Pop Bowen (Sam Rockwell) is an unemployed father who supports his wife (Rosemarie DeWitt), who is a writer. The parents have three children, teenager Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), middle schooler Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and youngest sibling Madison (Kennedi Clements), who already talks to invisible people.

Unlike the Freeling family (JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson) of the first movie, the Bowen family faces instant hardship their first night in the house. A tree and a clown doll attack Griffin, while big sister has cell phone trouble. During these attacks, Madison is sucked into the netherworld and can only communicate via the television set.

The tree, the clown doll and the ghosts in the television are repeated motifs from the original film. After three decades, the use of cell phones and wireless Internet updates the technology; however, there is nothing new to add to this Poltergeist saga. Like the disappointing Super 8 from four years ago, modern directors seem more focused about reviving Spielberg’s 1980s hoopla than telling a new story.

Had this film not been named Poltergeist, it would have been more accepted as a Saturday matinee popcorn-eating flick. It is fun to watch Sam Rockwell play against type as a concerned father; it is his most heroic role in a big budgeted motion picture. The child actors are endearing.

Much like the opening of King Tut’s tomb, there is a superstition of a “Poltergeist Curse” from the original trilogy. Playing the teenage sister, Dominique Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend on Halloween Eve the same year that the film was released. As the youngest sister, Heather O’Rourke died on the operating table before the release of Poltergeist 3. Only Oliver Robins (who played the Freeling brother) survived to adulthood. Besides writing and directing independent films, Robins owns his own marketing business that is inspired by horror movies.

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Posted on 28 May 2015 by LeslieM

soc052815washGeorge Washington talks equality

By Rachel Galvin

On May 16, at The Horizon Club in Deerfield Beach, resident Al Sher, 97, had a special event involving a letter written by George Washington.

This first president wrote a letter to the Touro Synagogue in Newport, RI talking about equality for Jewish citizens. Sher shared the content of this letter, which went missing for awhile and was eventually found in a suburban warehouse.

He also gave a review of the American Revolution, including talking about Haym Saloman, who gave $650,000 to help fund the revolution effort and ended up dying at 44, penniless.

The large crowd responded favorably to the event and asked questions at the end.

Yom Yerushalayim

There was a packed house at Century Village clubhouse May 17 for a special event for Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusulem Day) to celebrate the 1967 reunification of Jerusalem.

The featured guest was Israel’s Consul General for Florida and Puerto Rico, Chaim Shacham, who spoke about some of the dangers Israel faces as well as the accomplishments of its citizens. Rabbi Alton Winters of B’nai Shalom, Rabbi Yossi Goldblatt of Deerfield Chabad and Rabbi Yisroel Edelman of Young Israel spoke. Cantor Sherman led those who had gathered in a rendition of the song “Jerusalem of Gold,” as well as “G-d Bless America” and Hatikvah. Two films about Jerusalem and its soldiers were shown. Charlie Parness emceed the festivities and Commissioner Rosenzweig led Pledge of Allegiance. Guests were treated with cookies and bottles of water. It was a great way for Century Village residents to celebrate their faith, culture and Israel.


Edible arrangements” for Shavuot

Rebbetzin Shana Dechter, from Chabad of Lighthouse Point, created a fun event for the Women’s Circle ladies at her Lighthouse Point home on May 19. Everyone made their own “edible arrangements.”

This was one celebration for the holiday of Shavuot, which commemorates G-d’s giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.

Also called “Festival of Weeks,” the two-day holiday, this year (in the diaspora) May 23-25, is celebrated seven weeks after Passover.

It is custom to eat dairy products during this holiday. Some, while refraining from work, light candles and stay up all night on the first evening reading the Torah.

For more information on their Chabad and future events, visit www.JewishLHP.com.


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Posted on 28 May 2015 by LeslieM


May 10 It was reported that a person attempted forced entry to the front door of Hair Cuttery at 3857 W. Hillsboro Blvd.

May 11 Someone broke into a work vehicle at 312 NE 44 St. and stole $600 worth of copper wire.

May 11 A man reported that someone entered his car at 1011 S. Powerline Rd. and stole a cell phone.

DEERFIELD – District 4

May 25 Residential burglary occurred in Pine Tree Apartments at 1701 NW 2 St., Deerfield Beach. Victim advised BSO that the unknown subject entered her apartment over night and stole $300.


May 8 A subject took a golf cart owned by a car dealer at 2800 N. Federal Hwy. for a joy ride. The cart is valued at $1,000.

May 8 Someone stole a license plate off a Ford F-150 truck that was parked at 2460 N. Federal Hwy.

May 10 The victim said his wallet was either lost or stolen while he was at a gas station at 4900 N. Federal Hwy. Loss was $25.

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Posted on 28 May 2015 by LeslieM

RE: Moment of Silence vs. Prayer of Invocation

Dear Editor:

City Hall was the place-to-be last Tuesday night [May 19] when the mayor tried in vain to impose her will on the city of Deerfield Beach.

She stated she was tired of minority points of view being accepted against the majority.

The subject was the separation of Church and State.

Since the Supreme Court stated in an opinion that an invocation at public events is doable, the mayor took that as a direct order to do so by the Supreme Court. That is not the case at all.

The District 1 commissioner stated that the mayor and the commission represent all the people regardless of their religion, their beliefs or views on prayer. The commission put forth a motion to have each person pray or not to his own God if he chooses silently in a time given to that event.

That way, no one person is offended by hearing someone else’s view as to who his God is and what his name is. They can pray or not as they choose.

The vote for a minute of silence was 4 to 1.

We will wait and see whether the mayor will obey the change in procedural rules of the city or not. She was the only vote against the amendment.

We have a Supreme Court to protect the rights of minorities. Although they said it was alright to open events with an invocation, they did not say that you must.

If doing so insults some people because of a difference of faiths and beliefs, than it is best to find a solution that is not insulting. The rest of the city commission did so, and so I applaud their decision to allow each to do their own thing.

Bernie Parness

Deerfield Beach

Beware of Barbecued Bugs

Dear Editor:

Whatever happened to the good old days when the worst things we had to fear on Memorial Day were traffic jams and indigestion?

This summer, it’s all about food poisoning by the nasty E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria bugs lurking in hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets at millions of backyard barbecues.

The U.S. Meat and Poultry Hotline’s advice is to grill meat and chicken products longer and hotter. They fail to caution that high-temperature grilling forms lots of cancer-causing compounds. Do we really need to choose between food poisoning and cancer?

Luckily, enterprising food manufacturers and processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a great variety of healthful, delicious, convenient plant-based veggie burgers, veggie dogs and soy nuggets.

These wholesome foods don’t harbor nasty bugs or cancer-causing compounds. They don’t even carry cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs or pesticides. And, they are right there, in the frozen food section of our supermarket.

Let’s stay safe on the roads and safe at the family barbecue this summer!

Patrick Bendrix

West Palm Beach



Posted on 28 May 2015 by LeslieM

Burger Challenge Launch Party

Thursday, May 28, 6 to 10 p.m.

Burger Craze 2096 NE 2 St. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Celebrate National Burger Day! Watch as local teams compete to “defeat the meat” in an 8 lb. Burger Challenge, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Enter yourself and one partner to participate. Free to attend; $40 to participate in the Challenge. Call 561-750-3500 or visit www.burger-craze.com.

Awesome 80’s Party

Friday, May 29, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)

Pompano Beach Amphitheater 1806 NE 6 St. Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Evening begins with DJ spinning on stage. At 7:30 p.m., listen to Morris Day and The Time. Morris Day worked with Prince and The Time is known for such hip anthems as “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.” At 9:15 p.m., Cameo, known for songs like “Word Up!” plays its Top 40 funk. Tickets start at $30. Info: www.pompanobeacharts.org.

Making Healthy Choices

Friday, May 29, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

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

Walgreens will give a presentation on making healthy choices. There will be prizes, games, trivia and giveaways. For more information, call 954-480-4447 or email tsutton@deerfield-beach.com.

3rd Annual Youth Extreme Aquathon

Saturday, May 30, 8:30 a.m.

Deerfield Beach Middle School Athletic Complex 501 SE 6 Ave. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

The Youth Extreme Aquathon is a 1/2 mile run, 50 yard swim followed by another 1/2 mile run. Throughout the race course, participants will run, jump, swim, crawl and hurdle through multiple obstacles! The first race will begin at 8:30 am for participants, ages 7-9. The second race will follow at 9 a.m., for ages 10-12. The final race will begin at 9:20 a.m. for ages 13-15. Registration is $20 with limited space available. All participants will receive a complimentary T-shirt. Medals given to the Top 3 male and female finishers for each age division. For information, call 954-480-4426.

CultureFest Summer Kickoff

Saturday, May 30, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pioneer Park 217 NE 5 Ave. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Games, food, prizes, music & more in this community multi-cultural festival. Culturefest supports Deerfield Beach Historical Society and Salvation Army. (If you bring used clothing, a truck will be on-site from Salvation Army to pick up).

Hillary for America Kickoff

Tuesday, June 2, 7 p.m.

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

Join the North Broward Democratic Club, Democratic Women’s Club of NE Broward, Go-Go Democrats and supporters for a kickoff of the Hillary For America campaign in east Broward County. Hillary for America Field Organizer Sandy Ducane will explain how to come together and be a part of the grassroots team. Info: 954-783-8232, jgoodwinNBDC@gmail.com.

Job Fair

Wednesday, June 3, 5 to 7 p.m.

Central City Campus, second floor 401 SW 4 St. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Presented by Butters Construction, the fair is specifically for the construction trades and will consist of 10-15 companies eager to meet participants and learn more about their skill sets and the companies they currently work with. Bring resume. In addition, The Observer which is also seeking several positions see (pg. 18) will be in attendance. For more on job fair, see (pg. 3)

Deerfield Wine & Food Festival

Saturday, May 30, 1 to 9 p.m.

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

For the 5th year in a row, this Blue Wave Affair has come to town. This year, they are making it a more family friendly get together, adding a Kidz Zone and a lower price for adults. The foodie family will still enjoy plenty of tastings, as well as wines and craft beers. Gourmands will love the live cooking demonstrations, farmers market, on-site wine store, and business and retail shopping bazaar. Guests can get into the groove to Live Entertainment at the Main Entertainment Stage & Lounge. Proceeds benefit PROPEL. Advance: $15 adults, $7 kids (5 and under FREE); Day-of: $25 adults, $10 kids (5 and under FREE). www.deerfieldbeachwineandfoodfestival.com.

Youth Soccer League

Kids ages 7 to 12 can join in the fun at Quiet Waters Athletic Park June 1 to Aug. 29. Ages 7 to 9 play Monday, Wednesday and Saturday & ages 10 to 12 play Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Evaluations for ages 10 to 12 only are on May 30 at 9 a.m. $60 resident, $70 non-resident. To register, visit www.deerfield-beach.com/registration or call 954-480-4426.

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CLERGY CORNER: The value of community partnership

Posted on 28 May 2015 by LeslieM

Much ink and airtime has been given to the recent troubles of Baltimore, MD and its inner city residents in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death.

Pundits, politicians and the community alike have weighed in on the problems and causes of mistrust, aggression, violence and crime that permeate the minority communities of our urban cities. Thankfully, most agree that riots and looting are not the answer. Several meetings and gatherings of community leaders, politicians, clergy and citizens of Baltimore sought to identify solutions to problems that, in reality, affect far too many minority communities across America.

Many of those participating in the disturbance of Baltimore were young people. In fact, the initial protests that preceded the riot and looting involved high school students. Clearly, there is a problem affecting minority youth that needs to be addressed. Baltimore schools have a dropout rate of over 12 percent and a four-year graduation rate under 70 percent. Consequently, many solutions arising out of meetings focused on achieving better educational outcomes through greater parental involvement and community partnerships. Mentoring programs for youth, tutoring initiatives and career skills training are some of the efforts that many from within these communities are asking for.

Our city has not faced the challenges of other communities like Ferguson or Baltimore. There is a relatively healthy relationship between our communities and law enforcement, our citizens and government leaders, our faith leaders and city personnel. Our youth are served through various initiatives aimed at keeping them out of trouble, completing their education and becoming productive citizens. The involvement and even collaboration of faith-based programs, the business community, law enforcement and social service organizations is necessary to providing opportunities for all of our youth to succeed in life.

A few days ago, I was thrilled to witness and participate in a small, informal commencement activity for students served through our tutoring program. Since the 2010- 2011 school term, Cathedral Community Development Corporation has been offering after-school tutoring in Reading and Mathematics for children in grades 3 to 5. The program and curriculum have been developed by Rev. David Johnson, who retired from a career in education and was employed as a Broward County school principal. Several certified teachers have partnered with the program to address deficiencies among children in our local schools.

The success of the program has been seen in marked improvement among the children who participate. Pre- and post-testing reveals the gains made by each student in the respective classes. Parents consistently write to express their appreciation for the improvement of their children, and the impact of the program. Through strategic partnerships and grants from several organizations, the program has been able to continue each school term, but much more could be done with a significant donation. Some of the children demonstrate below average reading skills, and specialized staff would enable personalized instruction for those who are struggling.

We would love to include other grade levels as well. Some of our local schools need all the help they can get in raising the proficiency level of our children. Insufficient resources hinder expansion and further development, but Director Johnson has worked wonders with what has been provided over the past several years.

Major funding would be a boost to our program and the children of this community. As more and more communities take ownership of the issues facing the less fortunate around them, productive partnerships can be formed to the benefit of both those who are served as well as those who serve. As Proverbs 11, verse 17 states, “The merciful man does good for his own soul.”

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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Sketch of assailant who attacked woman in Deerfield released

Posted on 22 May 2015 by JLusk

15-5-14aDetectives are releasing a rendering of one of the three suspects wanted for the brutal attack of a 61-year-old disabled woman who was alone in her Deerfield Beach home. The suspects walked in through a sliding glass door and demanded jewelry and credit cards. They threatened to kill her pets if she didn’t comply, and they carried with them heartbreaking proof that they were serious – two of her kittens they had killed outside. Investigators are searching for a white male with shoulder length dirty blonde hair and blue eyes.

The intruders, wearing hooded sweatshirts, gloves and Halloween masks, became aggressive when she told them she didn’t have much to steal. The woman is hardly able to walk because of a debilitating illness and often uses a walker. The intruders threw her down, and she landed on a table and hit the floor. They ransacked her house and used shards of broken glass to cut her face, arm and abdomen, all while demanding valuables. At one point, her house dress fell open and they sprayed paint on her body.

They took only a small, grey safe with her medication inside, as well as the two dead kittens in a paper bag. She later told Broward Sheriff’s Office robbery detectives that the ordeal lasted between 30 and 60 minutes and that two of the men were inside the house and a third waited outside. One was a short, white male who spoke proper English and wore a dark blue, hooded sweatshirt. The second was taller and spoke with a Spanish accent. He wore a black, hooded sweatshirt. Both wore Halloween masks and gloves and seemed to be in their late teens or early 20s.

The victim was treated for superficial cuts and bruises and released from North Broward Health Medical Center Thursday but returned to the hospital Friday for further treatment. BSO detectives are asking for the public’s help. If anyone knows anything about this crime, please call Det. Vincent Coldwell at (954) 321-4270 or report anonymous information to Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477) or online at www.browardcrimestoppers.org. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $3,000 for an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest.

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Swim instructor arrested for sexual abuse

Posted on 21 May 2015 by JLusk

dearagonBroward Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit detectives are looking for any additional victims of a Deerfield Beach swim instructor who sexually assaulted two young students during their swimming lessons.

Francisco De Aragon sexually assaulted a swim student during the 11 a.m. lesson on May 19 at the Deerfield Beach Aquatic Center. At the 11:30 a.m. class on the same day, De Aragon sexually assaulted and molested a second victim. SVU detectives arrested De Aragon on May 20 on two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 12 and one count of lewd and lascivious molestation.

Detectives are asking any additional victims to contact BSO SVU Detective Keith Gittens
at 954-321-4240 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or at www.browardcrimestoppers.org.

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Reising takes sixth at state meet

Posted on 21 May 2015 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach High School senior Andrew Reising is hoping to extend his pole vaulting career into college.

The 18-year-old Pompano Beach resident won the Broward County Athletic Association Championship this year as he tied his personal best effort with a 14-ft. jump. Reising plans on attending the University of South Florida and was waiting on their coaching staff to offer a spot on the team.

Reising took second in the districts and regionals en route to a sixth place finish in the Class 2A state track and field meet at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. His 13 ft., 6 in. jump at state was just short of his personal best.

I did cross country and I liked it so I went out for track,” said Reising, who has competed in track and field since the sixth grade. “I just saw them doing (pole vault) when I was running around the track and wanted to try it. I did it one day and I liked it.

I don’t like running events as much so I got bored and pole vault was always the next thing to perfect in a jump,” added Reising, who spent the first two high school years at Western High School before transferring to Pompano Beach for his last two years.”

A sixth place finish was satisfactory to Reising.

I am happy with it,” Reising said. “I was able to jump 14 both years. It would be pretty awesome to compete in college.

Admittedly, the first two years of pole vaulting were difficult.

It was kind of rough because I didn’t have a coach,” Reising said. “The swimming coach would show up like once or twice a week, and I didn’t have good poles so it was rough. I still did good.”

Reising said his pole vaulting career took off in his sophomore year. He believes he could have done better this year.

In my sophomore year, I thought how practical it would be when I got 13-6,” Reising said. “After the first week or two, I was pretty good and got past the fear.”

Reising said he jumped 8-ft. his first time as an eighth grade middle school competitor and, after a few weeks of practice, was able to get 9-6 at the state meet.

Winning the BCAA meet was a pretty cool feeling,” Reising said. “I tied my PR from the year before. I went into the meet feeling good, and the weather was good and everything just turned out perfect.”

Pompano Junior Lifeguard program nears

The Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Summer Camp is coming up in a few weeks.

It is a unique aquatic experience for boys and girls ages 9 to 17 and will be held from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. There will be three sessions in addition to a competition camp.

Session One is slated from June 8 to June 19. Two is June 22 to July 3. Three is July 13 to July 24. The competition camp will be from July 27 to July 31, and all sessions have a maximum capacity of 125 athletes.

Costs are $150 for Pompano Beach residents and $200 for non-residents. Junior Lifeguards returning from the previous year are not required to test, while new applicants must try out and be able to complete a 150-yd. swim, tread water and swim under water for 5 yds. while holding their breath.

There are two testing days remaining: This Saturday (May 23) from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and the following Saturday (May 30) at the same time. Registration and testing is held at the Pompano Beach Aquatics Center.

For more information, contact juniorguards@copbfl.com

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