| December, 2016

Bucks off to a quick start

Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports122916By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach coach Kenny Brown is a firm believer that his team can make it past the first round of the district tournament this season.

The Bucks finished 12-13 last year including a first round exit in the District 11-9A tournament. Deerfield Beach has gotten off to a 10-5 start this season with four losses coming in the Kreul Showcase and Kreul Classic tournaments. The Bucks also suffered a 61-57 loss to Dillard in the regular season.

Brown entered the season with a 258-121 record with more than 100 players who have gone off and played in college, including Terrence Johnson (South Alabama) and Josh Huntley (Stephen F. Austin). He returns six players from last year’s squad.

Toughness will be the team’s mantra this season and Brown cited junior point guard Corey Carpenter, along with senior guards Marcus Brave and Calvin Davis to take the team to the next level.

(Senior) Edwin Louis is a talented point guard with D1 ability,” Brown said. “(Junior) Hansley Senatus is a wing player that will bring versatility and has the ability to stretch the floor with shooting.

We expect to improve everyday and peak at right time,” Brown said. “We are looking to play faster and use our depth on wings. I think our depth will be key to our style, which will be to wear teams down and pressure for 32 minutes.”

The team’s most lopsided defeat came against Class 5A power St. Andrew’s School, 86-65 in the Kreul Classic. The Scots (12-0) won the tournament and are undefeated on the season.

In that game, we got into a little foul trouble and a few loose balls that we normally get, we didn’t get,” Brown said. “Usually, we play with a lot of energy and we play with our feet a lot better.

That game was a wakeup call,” Brown added. “There was some point where the guys started to believe that they were better than they really were and a good old- fashioned butt whipping is always a good teacher. We will bottle that up and remember that feeling and we won’t have that feeling too many more times.

Coming into the season, Brown was confident that his team had put in the work during the offseason.

I work these kids really hard,” Brown said. “I know that, with the energy and how hard these kids play and how hard they worked in practice, we would have a tough team.

I thought we would have a harder time with rebounding, but so far, so good. We are right in their battling.

I am okay with our start,” he continued. “Our experience has really helped. I have four kids who are in their third year of varsity basketball. Experience is the best teacher as you know.”

Brown believes they can make a deep run in the playoffs.

As long as we trust each other, believe in each other, play off each other and share the ball,” Brown said, “we have a chance. We can go out and fight and hustle and give it all we got and we can always shuffle kids in and out…with this start, the confidence came and now the expectations come.”

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FLICKS: 2016 in review

Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


This column completes my 17th year in which my picture has been associated with Flicks, which is as long as Dan Marino’s career with the Miami Dolphins. Since 1999, I have written through five presidential elections, covered over 30 film festivals in Broward, Palm Beach and Dade counties and reviewed closed to a 1000 films for The Observer. I am very thankful that people still have an interest in my opinion about the movies.

2016 has been an interesting year for the business. The biggest blockbusters (Finding Dory. Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book, Deadpool) were released in the first half of the year. With the exception of Sully and Rogue One, the second half of the year suffered from a disappointing box office performance.

There can be many factors that have caused cinema’s deflating box office: riveting news coverage of the election and terrorism attacks, sports drama featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Cubs and even the Miami Dolphins having their first winning season in eight years. The common denominator is that television programming has done much to erode the cinema box office.

In November 2016, the Ft. Lauderdale International film Festival promoted the motion picture industry in our community. Gregory Von Hausch, Jan Mitchell, Erin Fontes, Melissa Fresita, Lenny Wong and a crew of hundreds efficiently screened films from all over the world and hosted informative interviews from Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Arlene Dahl to a young talent like Bailee Madison.

Currently on the big screen is Lion, which earned the FLIFF “best in the fest” award. This film is truly representative of international filmmaking for it was produced in both Australia and India, featuring Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman in an important supporting role.

Sixteen years ago, Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count On Me was an independent motion picture that shocked the Hollywood mainstream by earning multiple Oscar nominations. This year’s Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea has earned honors on the cinema awards circuit. It is a drama about grief, but features some satisfying realistic humor.

My goal is to continue to write this column for at least another two years. However, I am concerned that I may be as extinct as the dinosaur. Stay tuned, I will do my best to keep stories interesting in 2017. Happy New Year!

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Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

Dec. 13: Someone entered a vehicle at 264 NW 41 Ave. and stole a wallet with three debit cards, a social security card and customer checks.

Dec. 15: Someone entered a home at 5200 NE 5 Ter. and ransacked the interior.

Dec. 17: A man was sitting at the Mobile Gas Station at 901 W. Sample Rd. drinking a beer. Two men approached him. One man told the victim he had “done wrong” and then stole his cell phone valued at $100. The other man then displayed brass knuckles.

Dec. 17: A woman said that two people came to the door of her house at 400 SE 10 St. to check on contaminated water. Once inside, the two people stole a diamond ring and gold bracelet for a loss of $6,000.

Dec. 17: Three women entered All Shoes $9.88 at 3206 W. Hillsboro Blvd. and stole 10 pairs of shoes. They escaped in a Toyota.

Lighthouse Point

Nov. 29: A male subject went into a store at 3700 N. Federal Hwy. and selected meat and seafood items in a shopping cart and then left the store where he put the items in a car and was driven away. The car was located and the driver said he picked up the subject and had no idea he was stealing the items. He said he dropped him off in Pompano with the items. The loss was $800.20.

Nov. 29: The victim lost a wallet after making a bank deposit and went to a fast food restaurant at 4800 N. Federal Hwy. Two Visa cards and a debit were in the wallet.

Nov. 29: There was a five car crash at 2400 N. Federal Hwy. and, during the investigation, police discovered a baggy containing a small pipe and synthetic cannabis while the subject was in ambulance.

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Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

Re: New Dog Park

Dear Editor:

My name is Joseph Batavia, and I live on the east side of Deerfield Beach. Due to my disabilities, I have a young service dog named “Baby.” Baby needs regular exercise, and is in training for the second phase of her certification, but there are currently no dog parks in Deerfield Beach. To get to the nearest dog park, Baby and I must take a bus, wait an hour to take a second bus, then walk to the dog park. A visit to the dog park takes Baby and me an entire day. I have had knee injuries, so walking that far is not practical for me. A dog park is planned for the west side of Deerfield Beach. I think we also need a dog park on the east side of Deerfield Beach, so other volunteers and I are circulating a petition to put a dog park east of U.S.1, as well.

Besides fulfilling my personal needs, I want to do something that will benefit our community as a whole. Dog parks will provide healthy exercise and recreation for the many dogs and dog owners who live in our community. Dogs can run free, play catch, and maybe enjoy a doggie fitness course, all without disturbing other park users.

I like to think that helping my community is a way of carrying on my father’s legacy. I lost my father, Andrew, “Drew” Batavia, when I was 12 years old. He was a quadriplegic as a result of breaking his neck in a car accident when he was 16 years old, but he didn’t let his disability stop him from having a full life. He graduated from Harvard Law School and from Stanford Medical School with a Master’s Degree in Health Services Research, went on to become a White House Fellow and to write the regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA). He advocated for the rights of people with disabilities, worked to establish national healthcare, and presented Amicus briefs in the U.S. and Florida Supreme Courts in support of assisted dying. He taught Health Law at Florida International University, and left behind extensive publications in support of the causes he believed in.

My goal is to get 15,000 signatures to bring to the Jan. 17, 2017 commission meeting. So far I have obtained over 200 signatures. However, due to my disabilities, walking around to get the signatures has proven too difficult. I have been attempting to seek permission from the City of Deerfield Beach to use one of their parks or facilities to allow people to stop by and sign the petition at one location. As of today, I have yet to receive a response. If you have any ideas or would like to help, please call me at 561-945-7087.

Joseph Batavia

Deerfield Beach



Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

City Pub

956 S. Federal Hwy, Deerfield Beach

Rock and Roll New Year’s Eve Party at 9 p.m. Lite Buffet (kitchen will be open), party favors and champagne toast. Music provided by Dancing Pleasure – $15/person. For more information, call 954-427-8213.

JB’s on the Beach

300 NE 21 Ave., Deerfield Beach

New Year’s Eve dinner right on Deerfield’s beach, DJ, dancing, champagne toast at midnight.For more information, call 954-571-5220.

Oceans 234

234 Ocean Blvd., Deerfield Beach

Enjoy good food and a great view. DJ on-site and a champagne toast at midnight. For more information, call 954-428-2539.

Royal Blues Hotel

45 S. Ocean Way, Deerfield Beach

From 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., enjoy a Gatsby style event with live Jazz, a special menu with a 5-course dinner. Call 954-857-2929 for details and to reserve a spot.

Tipperary Pub

The Cove Shopping Center

1540 SE 3 Ct., Deerfield Beach

Party 9 p.m. to midnight, including champagne toast and buffet. No reservations required. For more information, call 954-421-9769.

Two Georges at The Cove

1754 SE 3 Ct., Deerfield Beach

Special menu, live entertainment, champagne toast at midnight and party favors. Call 954-421-9272 for more information. See more about menu on pg. 12.

Worth the Drive: New Year’s Eve in Downtown Delray Beach

From 5 to 9 p.m., there will be a family-friendly event held again this year in Old School Square Park. Enjoy live music and DJ, food trucks and plenty of events for the kids, including arts & crafts, resolution wall, playhouse murals, gaming tent, vintage game room, photo booth, face painters and games like Cornhole, Jenga and Connect Four. There are many private events happening all over Delray as well.

*On New Year’s Day, try out the buffet at Deer Creek Grille from 11 to 2 p.m. Enjoy a special menu served from silver chafing dishes. $19.95 for adults, $11.95 for children 5 and under. Plus gratuity and 6 percent tax. Reservations required: 954-421-5553. See Pg. 14 for menu.



Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

Chanukah Party

Saturday, Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.

Hooper Home

2370 NE 26 St.

Lighthouse Point, FL 33064

For the community… Kosher Buffet, open bar and more. Presented by Chabad of North Broward Beaches. For more information, visit www.jewishlhp.com.

Tuesday Night Beach Dances

Tuesday, Jan. 3, 7 to 9 p.m.

Main Beach Parking Lot

149 SE 21 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Johnny Vincent” will be playing. Wear dancing shoes and bring beach chair for a fun evening under the stars. Free event. For more information, call 954-480-4429.

Save the Date: Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Friday Jan. 13 through Monday, Jan. 16

Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex

445 SW 2 St.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Join the City of Deerfield Beach along with city leaders, civic organizations and churches, as we pay homage to this great Civil Rights leader. This four daylong event features a weekend carnival, games and live entertainment, before drawing to a close on Monday at 10 a.m. with a two mile long parade and awards ceremony. Grand Marshal & Keynote Speaker: Judge Karen Mills-Francis. Free to attend. Don’t miss the first annual choir competition, which will be on Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m.

For carnival schedule, hours and other info., visit www.deerfield-beach.com (under Parks & Recreation,then Special Events) or contact the Community Events andOutreach Division at 954-480-4429. Tickets are $1, or $25 for a wristband for all rides for the day. They are available for purchase on site at box office during carnival hours. More info. soon.

Nautical Flea Market

Saturday, Jan. 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 22, 8 a.m. to 3p.m.

Community Park

US 1 between NE 10 St. and NE 6 St.

All types of boating equipment, fishing gear, nautical antiques and artwork, scuba gear, beach attire, boat shoes, jewelry, motors, anchors, tackle, hard-to-find parts and manufacturer close-outs. Over 200 vendors. Local dealers and private sell-ers will be on-site ready to make a deal on new and used boats,motors, trailers and jet-ski’s. Listen to live music, enjoy lunchand a cold beverage. For more information, email to infonauticalfleamarket.com or call 954-946-6419.

Art Lovers Rejoice 29th Annual Las Olas Art Fair Part I

Saturday, Jan. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Las Olas Blvd (SE 6th Ave to SE 11th Ave)

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

More than 150 artists will display their works along Las

Olas Boulevard. Meet the artists, commission a specific piece; ask questions about techniques; learn the sources of their inspirations; and purchase fine works of art at affordable prices. Free admission. Pet friendly event. For more information, visit www.artfestival.com.

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CLERGY CORNER: A Shepherd’s Story

Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

The first human beings to know about the birth of our Lord were a bunch of shepherds. This is a story about one of those shepherds, but you won’t find anything about him anywhere, because shepherds weren’t well thought of in those days. This shepherd was a young boy on the night our Lord was born. He was excited that his father let him stay up late and be with the other shepherd boys. After a while, his father called him so they could make one final check of their flock to make certain all the sheep were accounted for and none were distracted by the lights in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a hub of activity in those days, because all who were descended from King David were there to register for the census.

After they checked their flock and settled down by their fire, a gloriously angelic being appeared to them. The boy and his father were terrified, but the angel’s words calmed them, “Fear not, I bring you tidings of great joy.” He spoke of a baby who was born that night and told them to go and see him because he was the promised Messiah. The boy turned to his father and they stood looking at each other with tears of joy streaming down their cheeks. They had heard their rabbi speak of a Messiah, but never expected to be the first to see him.

They gazed up into the night sky and one star appeared brighter than all the others. They followed that star to a stable, and saw a man with the clothes and rough hands of a carpenter. He was standing protectively at the side of a young woman who was holding a new-born baby.

Can this be what the Messiah looks like,” thought the shepherd boy. “He’s just a baby.”

After a while, the boy and his father went back to their flock, but they knew their lives would never be the same. He later found out the man’s name was Joseph and the woman’s name was Mary.

They stayed for a while in Bethlehem, but then went to Egypt to escape King Herod’s order that all young boys were to be killed by his soldiers. He feared that one of them might grow up and challenge him as “King of the Jews.”

Years later, the shepherd boy grew up and had his own flock. He heard of a prophet from Nazareth whose name was Jesus. He remembered that Joseph and Mary were from Nazareth, so he decided to go and see the prophet for himself. He found him by the Sea of Galilee and he thought to himself, “My heart is filled with the same joy and hope I felt that night in Bethlehem so many years ago. I like how he calls himself our shepherd, and how he promises to keep us from being lost and to protect us from predators.”

A couple of years later, the shepherd was in Jerusalem for the Passover with his wife and children. Jesus was there also, but he was taken prisoner by Pontius Pilate, and he was tried and scourged. The shepherd followed him through the streets of Jerusalem as he carried his cross to a hill outside of town, to a place where the Roman soldiers crucified Him. The shepherd sought out his disciples and stood with them three days later at the Resurrection. It was then that all the promises Jesus made came true.

The shepherd thought, “He wasn’t the King we expected, but he was the one we needed. And looking back on that night in Bethlehem, I realize that many people may never understand what happened. I was an eyewitness and I hardly understand myself, but this much I do understand, on that night, a bunch of lowly shepherds became sheep, and the Lamb of God became our shepherd.”

Rev. M. Tracy Smith, SSA, is the rector at St. Peter’s Anglican Church at 1416 SE 2nd Terrace in Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. Morning prayer is Wednesday at 10 a.m., Holy Communion is Thursday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. For more information, call 954-695-0336.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Bye Bye 2016

Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



Twenty sixteen – departed and gone

A year that was quite a phe-nom-en-on

Dominated almost entirely by Trump

His rallies, his tweets, his life on the stump

Sanders and Hillary left to examine

The reasons they bore an “Electoral” famine.

But way back in Jan. we were warned of great harm

When Korea detonated its hydrogen bomb

Alas, the unthinkable happened in Flint

With poison in water that wasn’t mere lint

The death of Scalia you may still recall

Caused McConnell to render an epic-long stall

There won’t be a Justice replaced on the bench”

A decision he made that was deeply entrenched

Blacks feeling threatened at home by the cops

In Dallas cops killed – it just never stops

In Brussels and Paris and Istanbul, Nice,

Munich, Berlin –What happened to “peace ?”

In England they voted to “Brexit” E.U.

The planet’s unsettled – as changes accrue

But – the Cubs won the Series – after waiting so long

Then elections took place – so many, so wrong!

Was it Comey, the emails, or working white men?

Hillary lost – millions seek Zen.

Castro’s demise caused some celebrations

Congressional forecast: “lotsa in-ves-ti-gations”

December’s the month that was chock full of news

Much of it fake – a trend – causing the blues

Transition appointments – the top of Trump’s list

Perry- in charge of the place that he “dissed”

Hacking by Russians to skewer the election?

Trump opts for nukes for greater “protection.”

But the market is climbing – to peak at its top

Who can predict its inevitable drop?

Conflict of in-ter-est questions arise

In ’17 – it’s certain – we’re in for surprise!

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Piranhas compete in meet

Posted on 24 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports122216By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach Piranhas swim coach Jesse Vassallo is looking forward to the future of his program.

Vassallo, a member of the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team, is a former World Record holder in the 200 and 400 meter individual medleys. He points to the success of Raphael Santos and Tyler Zuyus at the 26th annual Florida Gold Coast Speedo Winter Championships recently at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

Santos, 14, was third in the high point standings in the boys 13-14 division, while teammate Tyler Zuyus, 16, was second in the high point standings in the 15-16 boys division.

Santos won the Boys 13-14 100-free; the 100-IM; the 400-IM, the 200-free; and placed third in the 500-free; the 200-IM; the 1,650-free and fourth in the 50-free.

Zuyus captured the Boys 15-16 50-free; the 50-fly; 50-back; the 100-free; the 100-fly; and was second in the 100-back and third in the 500-free.

Tyler and Raphael swam really well,” Vassallo said. “We brought 21 swimmers to the Winter Champs. Our team is a little bit smaller. We have some younger kids coming up.”

We are doing well,” added Vassallo, who has nearly 180 swimmers in the program. “I am very proud of them. They sacrifice a lot and the commitment is huge. I would still like more (swimmers to come out).

Azura Florida Aquatics successfully defended its Winter Champs team titles in combined (1,390 points) and men’s (908.5 points), while Pine Crest defended its girls’ title (701.5 points). The Pompano Beach Piranhas placed 11th overall with 306 points and eighth in the men’s competition with 237 points.

Other top performers for Pompano included Lilia Blanco (6th in the Girls 10-Under 200-free; 5th in the 200-IM; 6th in the 100-free) and Marcus Sazbo (10th in the 10-Under 50-free; 8th in the 200-IM; 9th in the 50-fly; 9th in the 100-free).

Emilio Barrantes, 13, was ninth in the Boys 13-14 500-free; 7th in the 1,650-free; sixth in the 13-14 100-fly; ninth in the 200-free; Alex Marquez, 14, was 10th in the Boys 13-14 500-free; 10th in the 1,650-free; fifth in the 200-back; eighth in the 100-back; Jake Schulte, 12, was fifth in the Boys 11-12 500-free; sixth in the 200-IM; third in the 200-fly; third in the 400-IM; Shane Schulte, 15, was 10th in the Boys 15-16 100-breast; Summer Schulte, 13, was seventh in the Girls 13-14 50-free, 10th in the 50-back; 10th in the 100-back; Kelly Gest, 17, was 10th in the Women’s 50-breast; was sixth in the 200-free; and Alicja Zielinski, 16, was sixth in the Girls 15-16 50-breast.

Pompano Beach had several teams in the top 10 in the relays, including the Women’s 200-free relay (Summer Schulte, Adriana Rodriguez, Alicja Zielinski, Kelly Gest), which placed seventh; the same group made up the 200-medley relay that placed sixth; the Women’s 400-free relay (composed of Alicja Zielinski, Summer Schulte, Brooke Gest, Kelly Gest) was seventh; the Women’s 400-medley relay (composed of Summer Schulte, Mia Marquez, Alicja Zielinski, Kelly Gest) placed sixth.

The Boys 13-14 200-free relay (Emilio Barrantes, Paul Spada, Alex Marquez, Raphael Santos) placed fifth; and the same group made up the eighth place team in the 13-14 200-medley relay.

The men’s 200-medley relay composed of Tyler Zuyus, Alejandro Quinones, Kelly Schulte and Taylor Barton took ninth; the Men’s 400-free relay composed of Kelly Schulte, Shane Schulte, Taylor Barton and Tyler Zuyus took seventh; and the men’s 400-medley team (Tyler Zuyus, Raphael Santos, Kelly Schulte, Taylor Barton took ninth.

Meet Director Jimmy Parmenter, who is also the head coach of the host Plantation Swim team, said there were a little more than 1,100 competitors in the meet.

This has probably been the best one yet,” Parmenter said. “We are trying to put on a good show for the kids. That’s what it is all about.”

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FLICKS: Rogue One

Posted on 24 December 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


Forty years ago this week, Dino DeLaurentis’ version of King Kong was released on the big screen. Pompano Cinema had an actor in a gorilla suit roam around the marquee growling at patrons. Despite making the cover of Time magazine, the film was a disappointment, given the big budget and poor special effects. Six months later, Star Wars was released and movie special effects have been a constant on the big screen for 39 years.

The biggest use of special effects of Rogue One is not the space battles or spectacular fight on a sandy beach, but digital recreations of two characters from the original Star Wars. To reveal more would be considered spoilers, but know that the uncanny attention to detail will be honored at this season’s awards ceremonies.

Rogue One is an experiment from the Star Wars cannon. It is a standalone film from the Star Wars universe that George Lucas created that Walt Disney studios now owns. Some classic Star Wars characters from the previous seven episodes make appearances, but Rogue One introduces new characters and tells an original story.

Much like the late Robert Oppenheimer’s nuclear experiments, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) is a scientist who creates a weapon of mass destruction. When Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) forces Galen to design the Death Star for the Empire, Galen hides his daughter from the Empire’s gestapo.

Fifteen years later, Galen’s daughter Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is found by the Empire and is jailed. Led by Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), the Rebel Alliance break Jyn out of prison. With hidden motives, the Rebel Alliance recruit Jyn in an effort to stop her father from building the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.

Unlike the opening of the seven previous Star Wars movies, Rouge One opens in a leisurely way. The middle of the film drags a bit and suffers from some murky cinematography. But it redeems itself in the final third of the film with spectacular action sequences. With tragic overtones, Rogue One is not as kiddie-friendly as previous Star Wars movies. It is a pure war movie, with echoes of The Guns of Navarone and The Dirty Dozen.

Is Rogue One the movie to see this Christmas weekend? It most definitely is if you are a science fiction fan or a devotee of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury or Robert Heinlein.

For a more human-driven drama, this holiday weekend offers award nominees Fences, starring Denzel Washington, and the animated Sing, featuring the voices of Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey.

Merry Christmas!

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