| February, 2019

Bucks top Coral Springs in girls regional hoops semifinal

Posted on 21 February 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach regrouped from a sluggish start to top visiting Coral Springs, 44-35, in the Class 9A regional girls basketball semifinal on Tuesday night.

After scoring just one point in the first quarter, the Bucks outscored Coral Springs, 18-8, in the second quarter to open up a 6-point halftime lead. The Bucks cut the lead in half heading into the final quarter before Deerfield held on for the win and avoided the upset bid. It was the team’s fourth straight win over Coral Springs this season and 25th straight against no defeats dating back all the way to 2006 and this is the first-ever postseason meeting between the two schools.

 Deerfield Beach defeated Coral Springs, 70-27, and 55-39 during the season and 47-35 for the district title.

“Our next game we are going to have to come out and do a better job in practice on Wednesday and Thursday getting ready for (Boca Raton),” said Deerfield Beach coach Tami Vaughn, whose team will host the Bobcats on Friday at 7 p.m. 

“We just have to watch film and go back to the drawing board and see what we need to do, if we have to change up the lineup,” Vaughn added. “We have to go back to the drawing board to see what we need to do to finish out.”

Deerfield Beach senior DenAsia Mitchell scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Bucks (18-9).

The Bucks won the District 11-9A title for the fourth time in five years and second year in a row. The lone year they didn’t win it was in 2017 when star guard Mitchell tore her ACL and was lost for the postseason. The Bucks are on a four-game winning streak since a 68-64 overtime loss to St. Thomas Aquinas in the quarterfinals of the Big 8 tournament.

 Deerfield Beach won state titles in 2003 and 2004 and was runner-up in 2002 and 2005. They lost to Miami, 48-31, in last year’s Class 9A state semifinals. 

Ely falls to St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas (21-6) outscored visiting Blanche Ely, 37-21, in the second half en route to a 72-52 victory in the Class 8A girls basketball regional semifinal in Ft. Lauderdale.

Blanche Ely, which finished the year at 21-9, lost to the Raiders, 66-61, 70-64, and 58-46 in the district championship before Tuesday night’s loss.

Raiders’ junior guard Bella LaChance, a Vanderbilt commit, led four Raiders in double figures with 20 points, while Tigers sophomore guard Ja’Leah Williams kept her team in the contest as she scored 27 points and hauled down 11 rebounds.

“We had a real rough third quarter,” Ely coach James Polk said. St. Thomas outscored the Tigers, 17-10, in the period.


golf results

The Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association held a Low Net (with a twist) tournament on Jan. 29.

 The results are as follows: A Flight: 1. Kathy Stewart, 67; 2. Abby Ages, 72; B Flight: 1. Janet Stuart, 69; 2. Kathy Dunn, 78; C Flight: 1. Lynn Goodman, 74; 2. Sue Bardhi, 75; D Flight: 1. Polly Rutnik, 77; 2. Roseanna Nixon 78. 

In the Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association tournament on Jan. 22, Mimi Denoma shot an 84 to take the A Flight. Marianne Weber was second with a 91, while Sandra Gore was third with a 93. 

 Other results included B Flight: 1. Janet Stuart, 88; 2. Abby Ages, 97 (won tiebreaker); C Flight: 1. Patt Sessa, 98; 2. Ann Symonds, 101; 3. Lynn Goodman, 104 (won tiebreaker); D Flight: 1. Roseanna Nixon, 107 (won tiebreaker); 2. Verna Smith, 107.

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held a Two Best Ball of Foursome tournament on Jan. 30. The net score results are 1. James Greeley, Dave Hall, Jeffrey Raymond, Bert Welage, 112; 2. Oscar Aleman, Robert Blau, Roe Messner, Don Worrell, 115; 3. Tom Harrington, George Lyons, Paul Murphy, Carlo Spirito, 116; 4. Paul Berning, Andy Burt, Brian Nixon, Neil Wilson, 118 (won match of cards); 5. Jim King, Jim Muschany, Robert Raser, Roy Wilhoite, 118 (won match of cards).

 The closest to the pin winner at hole No. 15 was Terry Denoma.

 The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association also held a One Best Ball of Foursome tournament on Feb. 6. Net Score: 1. Tom Breur, Dave Dowling, Tom Pawelczyk, Robert Raser, 52; 2. Jim DiCamillo, Mike Grimaldi, Roe Messner, Jim Muschany, 53 (won tiebreaker); 3. Terry Denoma, Jim Dunn, Scott Feinman, Bart Valerio, 53 (won tiebreaker); 4. Lee Hammer, Tom Joyce, Dick Steffen, Bob VanZandt, 55 (won tiebreaker); 5. Andy Burt, Dave Danielian, Dave Hall, Gene Stoller, 55 (won tiebreaker); 6. Chuck Brown, John Feeley, Bob Mascatello, Tim O’Brien, 56.

 The closest to the pin winner at hole No. 17 was Frank Cutrone.

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FLICKS: Artic opens, The Samuel Project returns & Oscar party!

Posted on 21 February 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


Artic opens this weekend. While this movie is only 97 minutes long, it will feel longer, like a good Sir David Lean epic, such as Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. It is a simple story about man in conflict with nature, but the wide screen cinematography creates an intimate relationship between the ticket buyer and the big screen.

The film opens with Overgard (Mads Mikkelsen) shoveling snow.  When the task is finished, the camera pans back and reveals the distress words “SOS.”  Overgard walks back to his crashed airplane, checks his equipment and then catches some fish for dinner. After some bed rest, it is the return to his routine of checking his equipment and catching fish.   

When the rescue helicopter crashes, Overgard is burdened with the extra responsibility of saving a comatose survivor.  Should Overgard maintain the comforts of his survivor camp or venture forward and rescue himself and the survivor with a wound infection?

The results are painful, stressful and ultimately life affirming. There are tantalizing moments of suspense that could lead to either despair or triumph. It is only in the last second of this film that the climax is reached.  Don’t blink.

Essentially giving a one man performance like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, or Robert Redford in All is Lost, Mikkelsen gives an earnest and endearing portrayal. Best known for portraying the arch enemy of James Bond and Doctor Strange, this Danish actor speaks few words in Artic. Mikkelsen gives a physical performance that draws echoes from the silent cinema of Buster Keaton. 

On Friday, March 1, The Samuel Project returns to the big screen for an encore. This sweet comedy about generational unification stars Hal Linden and Ryan Ochoa.  Teenagers between the ages of 10 – 14 can see the movie for free, providing they bring their grandparents with them. 

This Sunday, Feb. 24, is the Oscars and the Ft, Lauderdale International Film Festival’s Steve Savor is hosting a special gala at his Villa de Palma starting at 7 p.m. If you feel the need to wear a tuxedo or a gown, this black tie mandatory event is for you. There will be great food, an open bar and live music for those who want to celebrate like a movie star. Parking can be difficult. Limited valet will be available. It is best to carpool or use a service like Uber. Tickets in advance only. $100 FLIFF members, $150 non-members. Visit www.fliff.com for details.

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Posted on 21 February 2019 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

Feb. 6: An 80-year-old man opened his door to a woman he knows. The woman then hit the man in the face and stole his wallet with $1,600 and his social security card. The incident was reported at 465 NW 2 Terr.

Feb. 6: A man reported that someone entered his home at 4551 NE 1 Terr. and stole his firearm, watches, play stations, laptop and other items.

Feb. 7: A man was involved in a domestic dispute with a woman at 1261 SW 7 Ave. The man battered the woman and robbed her of $500.

Feb. 8: A man reported that a man he was spending time with stole his iPhone and left. The incident was reported at 3774 NE 3 Ave.

Feb. 9: A man was observed stealing four bottles of Remy Martin from Walgreens at 1325 S. Military Tr. The loss was about $160.

Lighthouse Point

Feb. 4: Police responded to an audible alarm at 2541 NE 32 Ct. The homeowner returned home and found the front door open and the residence was cleared.

Feb. 4: A resident said a large white dog ran into their open home at 3516 NE 31 Ave. and police were called out. The dog was picked up by its owner prior to police responding.

Feb. 6: Police responded to a report of a barking puppy near 2316 Vintage Cir. Police were unable to find a dog in the area.

(This is a partial list. For Deerfield Beach Crime Watch in full, visit www.DFB.City and click on “Sign Me Up” to receive the city wide report.)

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Posted on 21 February 2019 by LeslieM

RE: Center for Active Aging

Dear Editor,

I hope that my commentary on a very important issue hits home with people in our community who continuously put down our city officials for standing behind our need to have a community center here in Deerfield Beach which caters to an amazingly large segment of our city: our seniors. That includes me and, probably the folks that continue to criticize spending the money to build out, improve upon and continue to provide the many needed services those folks depend upon at our Center for Active Aging (CAA). The people who are in opposition will soon become elders in our hometown and will need the very services they are disregarding today. Take note of all the cities around us expanding services for seniors. Deerfield Beach has a 35 percent population over the age of 65. 

I have seen the face of a client asking for help getting their power turned back on because their retirement funds cannot stretch to include the most basic needs and I have seen the dedicated employees of this center step up to action every single time.

Some folks that attend CAA are coming for just a cup of coffee and companionship. Some come for the only hot meal of their day provided by Meals on Wheels. Some no longer drive and, without our many handicapped equipped vans to pick them up and deliver them home each day, they would live in isolation. Children and friends who depend upon a safe, clean environment for their loved ones with memory disorders count on the Day Care Center to be there for them.

Maybe the nay-sayers are blessed with large families and friends close by or are wealthy enough to afford the finest living arrangements. The reality is that many in our community live without the cushion of a nest-egg or a long lost rich uncle who has included them in his will. Are they all to be forgotten?

Yes, our existing building is old, tired; it needs time, attention and money to create a technologically advanced safe place for seniors and the children who are served. We need to have a beautiful environment that will attract younger folks to participate.

Check out the demographics of our city, folks. This center needs to be here and needs your support.

Joan Gould, 30 year resident

President, Northeast Focal Point C.A.S.A. Board of Directors at The Center for Active Aging

[P.S. SAVE THE DATE: CUISINE OF THE REGION — APRIL 30 at the Deerfield Beach Doubletree Hilton — to benefit the Center for Active Aging].



Posted on 21 February 2019 by LeslieM

District 2 Debate

Friday, Feb. 22, 6 p.m.

Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church

1060 SW 3 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

The Pelican is sponsoring a debate with the District 2 candidates, including incumbent Commissioner Gloria Battle and candidates Ben Preston and Terry Scott.

2019 Boca Concours D’ Elegance

Friday, Feb. 22 to Sunday Feb.24

Boca Raton Resort & Club

501 E. Camino Real

Boca Raton, FL 33432

The star of Jay Leno’s Garage, and former host of The Tonight Show on NBC, will attend the DuPont Registry Live Hangar Party in Atlantic Aviation at the Boca Raton Airport on Friday, Feb. 22, headline the Grand Gala Dinner, Live Auction & Show on Saturday night, Feb. 23, take part Feb. 24 in an exclusive ($500 select- or $1,000 premier-seating per person) brunch and then walk the show field that day to greet fans and select “The Big Dog Garage Award’’ for his favorite automobile and motorcycle in the exhibition. Event parking located at 1515 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton, FL 33432 and 1515 S. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton, FL 33432. For tickets to events and information, including a full schedule of events, visit www.bocaCDE.com or call 954-537-1010.

Florida Renaissance Festival

Now Through March 24, weekends

Quiet Waters Park

401 S. Powerline Rd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Featuring Renaissance-theme performances, artisans and activities, the festival includes theme weekends, including:

Vikings & Barbarians: Feb. 23 & Feb. 24

Swashbucklers & Sirens: March 9 & March 10

Kilts & Colleens: March 16 & March 17

Magic, Witches and Wizards: March 23 & March 24

Call 954-776-1642 for more information.

Rockin’ at the Hop

Saturday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m.

Pompano Beach Cultural Center,

50 W. Atlantic Blvd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Curtain Call Playhouse is ready to rock! The theater company is proud to present this special concert event featuring the iconic music of the 50s and 60s. Tickets are $24.50 + fees, $15 + fees for children and are available at www.ccpompano.org. For more information call 954-545-7800.

Black Heritage Banquet

Saturday, Feb 23, 7 p.m.

Oveta Mckeithen

Recreational Complex

Dr. Leo J. Robb, Jr. Gymnasium

445 SW 2 St.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Come out for a delicious soul food buffet and live entertainment as the city honors some deserving individuals in our community. Keynote speaker: Judge Gina Hawkins. For more information, contact the Community Events and Outreach Division at 954-480-4429.

Tropical Wave

Saturday, Feb. 23, 3 p.m.

St. Nicholas Episcopal Church

1111 East Sample Rd.

Pompano Beach, FL, 33064

This South Florida Gay Men’s Chorus ensemble will present a toe-tapping, finger-snapping program. A spirited reception will follow. A $10 donation is suggested at the door. All are welcome. Please call 954-785-0042 for further questions or details.

Hounds of Hillsboro Beach

Saturday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m.

Town Hall

1210 Hillsboro Mile

Hillsboro Beach, FL 33062

Join us for a town photo with your hound. Canine agility demo.

Save the Date:

Festival of the Arts Boca

Thursday Feb. 28 to March 10

Mizner Park Amphitheater 

590 Plaza Real

Boca Raton, FL 33432

Presenting a diverse range of quality musical performances and literary events, kicking off with events like a screening of Star Wars accompanied by a full symphony orchestra (March 1), a talk by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (Feb. 28) and so much more! For more full schedule, visit https://festivalboca.org/events.

St. Ambrose Carnival & Music Festival

Thursday to Sunday, Feb.28 to March 3

St. Ambrose Catholic Church

380 S. Federal Hwy.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

The St. Ambrose Carnival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with rides, food and other fundraising opportunities for the church, as well as live entertainment all weekend long.

Sip & Stroll

Saturday, March 2, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Constitution Park Arboretum

2841 W. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

The City of Deerfield Beach Parks & Recreation Department, in conjunction with Deerfield Beach Kiwanis Club, will be hosting the annual Sip & Stroll. Guests will enjoy a sampling of wine, beer and cuisine from local restaurants while taking a stroll through the beautifully lit canopy of the Arboretum and listening to live music. Tickets can be purchased at Constitution Park for $25. Please note: This is a 21 and over event with a limited amount of tickets. Additional event parking, with a free shuttle service, will be located at the east parking lot of the Target Plaza located at 3313 W. Hillsboro Blvd., from 5:45 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, please call the Constitution Park at 954-480-4494.

The Soroptimists Nash Bash

Saturday, March 9, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Pavilion Grille

301 Yamato Rd.

Boca Raton, Fl 33431

The Soroptimists of Pompano Beach are going “country” with their annual fundraising event. This year’s event, themed Nash Bash will include great country music for dancing, a buffet dinner and desserts, and an open bar all evening. It will also include a silent auction, a balloon “Pop,” a 50/50 cash drawing and more. Proceeds support girls and women in the community. They provide scholarships and awards to young women going on to college, as well as single mothers who are working to improve their education and lives. They also support the Flite Center whose one-of-a-kind program assists and guides young adults aging out of the foster care program, as well as the Woodhouse Center and many others. Come dressed in your best casual or country attire and have a ball. Tickets are $100 and can be obtained from any member of the Pompano Beach Soroptimist or contact Becky Walzak at 561-459-7070 for details.

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CLERGY CORNER: Love thy neighbor

Posted on 21 February 2019 by LeslieM

You must love your neighbor as yourself.”

Leviticus 19:18

Who is my neighbor?”

Luke 19:29

What does ecumenical dialogue look like? I think of two images. The first image is the more formal. Learned scholars and theologians from one religious denomination sit down across the table with learned scholars and theologians from another denomination. One scholar shares her or his thoughts, usually with a vocabulary that comes from years and years of schooling. Another scholar shares her or his thoughts, again, with an impressive vocabulary. Differences are recognized yet common ground is reached. And then, two or more theologians get together and write a document that comes from their dialogue, and, of course, the language is lofty and academic. Everybody shakes hands and goes home feeling that something great was accomplished, and, indeed, something great was accomplished. There is just one problem. Only a few people are really aware of the dialogue. A few people get a copy of the document that is derived from the dialogue, and, of the few people who read it, only those with advanced degrees understand it. It is important stuff, to be sure, but it is “jargon” and only those who know the jargon benefit.

Here is another image. Two neighbors of different faiths get together and have a cup of coffee or tea. They sit across the table and share their faith with each other. They do not judge. They do not proselytize. They simply talk and listen. They love and respect each other and, when their meeting is over, they both leave informed of each other’s faith and become closer friends.

There is no jargon, or documents that come with language that doesn’t translate well into everyday language. It’s just two friends building a bond and sharing each other’s faith.

So I ask you, of these two images of ecumenical dialogue, which one is going to impact your community more?

The word ecumenical comes from the Greek “Oukumene,” which simply means, “community.” Ecumenical people are community-minded people. Put simply — ecumenical people are good neighbors looking out for the neighborhood, both local and global.

When Jesus quoted Leviticus 19:18Love your neighbor as yourself,” a lawyer asked him “who is my neighbor?” The answer was the parable of the Good Samaritan. I don’t know if that was the answer that the lawyer was looking for, but the people of Judea and Galilee had no time for the people of Samaria. The fact that the Samaritan was the hero of the story would have made many listeners uncomfortable, perhaps even angry.

I would venture to say that the same question could be asked today and a similar answer would make some people uncomfortable, maybe even angry? If we look throughout our neighborhood and beyond our community, you will discover that many of the people with whom we coexist do not believe what we believe, vote the way we vote, look alike, dress alike or like the same kind of foods. It is no news that we live in the midst of diversity, especially in south Florida, and, if we want our community to be stronger, than we must heed the call to be better neighbors. Loving our neighbor as ourselves requires us to get uncomfortable and challenges our limits. Yet, good neighbors, this is crucial.

Who is going to lead the charge? The answer is you. Theologians can only do so much. Community leaders can only do so much. But if you invite your neighbor out for coffee and engage in friendly conversation, you just may move a mountain or two.

Pastor Gross is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-421-3146 or visit www.zion-lutheran.org.

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THE THERAPY ROOM: Procrastination

Posted on 21 February 2019 by LeslieM

Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones. We all procrastinate to some degree. There are only 24 hours in a day to accomplish all we need to and some tasks are more of a burden than others. If you want to manage your life with less stress and more time for the things you want to do, then it is time to get a better handle on procrastination.

I have a patient we will call Sam for confidentiality purposes. Sam is a husband, a father and an accountant who works 60 plus hours a week. He told me that he came to therapy because he cannot stop procrastinating about his need to diet and exercise.

Psychotherapy allowed Sam to face some tough realities. He realized that his top priority was his work and career. This was above spending time with his family and attending to his overall health. Sam said that all that had to change. He also told me he had 30 pounds to lose and avoided facing this fact by procrastinating about it for years.

I am pleased to report, that within a short period of time, Sam began using some of the following therapeutic strategies to address his procrastination (You can too!):

Acknowledge that you are procrastinating:

The initial step involved in any behavioral change is to become aware of behavioral patterns. One must admit they are stalling rather than moving forward on a desired task or action.

Admit reasons for procrastination:

If you are disorganized: Break down tasks into manageable small steps and develop to-do lists and schedules.

If you fear failure: We learn from our mistakes just as much as we do from our successes. Take note of self-sabotaging thoughts and replace with more optimistic and realistic thoughts.

If you think a task or action is unpleasant or undesirable: Use the 10 minute rule. You can do anything for 10 minutes. If you procrastinate about riding a stationary bicycle, do it for 10 minutes and, once you get yourself moving, you will most likely do more minutes.

If you are a perfectionist: Most daily tasks do not require perfection. Learning to accept good enough may take practice, but it is something that can be accomplished.

If you are physically and/or emotionally drained: See your healthcare provider for a thorough check- up. I discuss self-care with patients and recommend various ways for each individual to do things that increase daily relaxation and joy.

If you need to develop better decision-making skills: Focus on asking for more support. Learning how to have more patience as well as being more assertive can help.

Psychotherapy has helped Sam use strategies to reduce his procrastinating behaviors. Use of time management skills allow Sam to plan more quality time with his wife and children. He is making better food choices and has started a weight training and exercise program.

Today, Sam is 20 pounds lighter and determined to lose 10 more pounds to reach his weight loss goal. Procrastination is no longer in Sam’s way. He is moving forward. Change is always possible!

Dr. Julia Breur is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private clinical psychotherapy practice in Boca Raton. For more information, visit www.drjuliabreur.com .

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Pioneer Days Info

Posted on 15 February 2019 by LeslieM

Click here to view this year’s Pioneer Days special section.

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Bucks win District title; face Cypress Bay Thursday

Posted on 14 February 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Even though the Deerfield Beach High School girls basketball team lost three of four games during the Jerry Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas during the holiday break, Bucks coach Tamala Vaughn called the trip a victory.

Deerfield opened the Las Vegas trip with a 55-22 win over Modesta Christian (CA) before dropping four straight games to Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV), 46-36; Lynwood (Lynwood, CA), 67-50; and Desert Oasis (Las Vegas, NV), 56-26.

The Bucks won the District 11-9A title for the fourth time in five years and second year in a row. The lone year they didn’t win was in 2017 when star guard DenAsia Mitchell tore her ACL and was lost for the post season.

“This year’s team is a different team,” Vaughn said. “They are young and really inconsistent. The positive thought is that they are growing and the future is bright. They have great attitudes and I love coaching this group of girls. I don’t know what team is going to show up, the team that I think can win state or the team that gives me butterflies when they step on the court.”

Deerfield Beach (16-9) will host Cypress Bay (7-10) on Thursday night in a regional quarterfinal game. Of the Bucks’ 16 wins this season, 13 have been by 30 or more points. Of the nine losses, two have been by four points or less, one has been by eight points and the others have been in double digits.

“I know they all want to go to state,” she added. “We all have that goal in common.

They have grown since the beginning of the season and the light bulb is finally going on with some of the younger players. I don’t think they have been pushed as much. It was hard in the beginning for them to understand the system and the work ethic of the program.”

“We had kids that wanted to quit and kids that said, ‘coach, I can’t do this,’” Vaughn continued, “but now, since I pushed them beyond their limits, they are coming into their own.”

Vaughn said the trip to Las Vegas was vital to the team’s success. She said the players and coaches bonded both on and off the court.

“I have no regrets about the trip,” Vaughn said. “They were mentally weak before the trip and now they are becoming mentally tougher. I saw that in the St. Thomas Aquinas game (a 68-64 overtime loss). I was proud of the way they played and I think we are where we should be at this time of the season. They have gotten over that hump.

“The players became closer (in Las Vegas),” she added. “The players want to be the best teammates for each other. We bonded as a team. It was like a family atmosphere.”

In addition to DenAsia Mitchell, the Bucks have been getting strong play this season from freshman center Fatima Diakhate, who Vaughn says will be an All-American. Also playing well is senior forward Chakoi Mitchell (Indian River College commit); sophomore wing Aaliyah Reid; junior shooting guard Jasmin Worsley and junior combo guard Natalie Hessing, a transfer from Archbishop McCarthy.

“The girls have become more serious and they are working hard in practice to get better,” Vaughn said. “They just have to bear down, play hard and be consistent.”

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FLICKS: From Miami nice to Miami Vice, The Last Resort

Posted on 14 February 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


The Last Resort opens this weekend.  This documentary presents the Miami culture that I witnessed when my parents and I moved to South Florida over 45 years ago.  While Miami today looks like any theme park in Orlando or Las Vegas, The Last Resort features a bygone people and culture. 

When World War II ended, my dad was Honorably Discharged from the U.S. Army Air Corp. He and his brother Paul celebrated by taking a trip to South Florida. While attending the Tropics Nightclub featuring the Tony Pastor orchestra, my dad met my mom and the rest is history. 

The Last Resort begins its history discussing the advent of air conditioning and how it led to the real estate boom during the post World War II years. Many of the urban dwellers were European Jews who were transplanting from New York, some retirees from garment districts. There was a vivid night life which featured Big Band dances that led comedian Jackie Gleason to relocate his Saturday Night variety show from New York to Miami Beach. By the 1970s, many retirees moved into the hotels and became known as the “porch sitting generation.”

The buildings aged as the population aged. Once glamorous hotels became hovels of smelly incontinence. In 1980, the community became known for the Mariel boatlift and the McDuffie riots, which changed the character of Miami; it was no longer “Mollie Goldberg.” It was now Scarface. 

The visuals of this narrative are provided by the photography of Gary Monroe and Andy Sweet, who tragically become a symbol of the rise and fall of Miami Beach. Andy Sweet captured the glamour of The Last Resort culture, yet saw the seeds of corruption infiltrate his beloved community. On Oct. 6, 1982, Sweet was brutally murdered in an unsolved mystery.

While lacking tact in 1982, Gary Monroe and Florida historians eventually resurrected the photographs to create The Last Resort.  By waiting to tell this story, The Last Resort is a better cinematic experience and the story is more solid. This film works as a piece of nostalgia for an older generation, but an important social studies lesson for young people, who can witness how much a culture changes in a short period of time.

As the Oscar nominees quickly make their way to home video market, it has been announced that this year’s Oscar ceremony will have no host and now will present television commercials instead of the technical achievement awards like art direction and cinematography. Beyond a good story and interesting characters, it is the visual technical component that draws ticket buyers to the big cave known as Cinema. When a creative organization loses sight of its own technical details, how much longer will it be for the consumer to lose interest in a creative organization’s product?   

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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