| December, 2021

Actor Malcolm Jamal Warner waxes poetic At Exit 36 Slam Poetry Festival

Posted on 30 December 2021 by JLusk

Malcolm Jamal Warner

Pompano Beach welcomed poets from around the country Dec. 9 to 11 for the 4th annual Exit 36 Slam Poetry Festival. The three-day event was held at several locations – Ali Cultural Arts Center, Blanche Ely House Museum and Pompano Beach Cultural Center. After showing their stuff, a winner was decided.

The overall winner was Black Chakra, who received $2500. Second place was Lady Brion, who won $1500. Third place was Blacqwildflowr, who won $1000. 

We had 14 poets,” said Eccentrich Richardson, the event’s founder, saying normally there are 15 people but one dropped out. They put out a call and people responded from all over. “We had people come from as far west as Los Angeles, as far east as Baltimore and everything in between– Detroit, Tampa…” she said.

Poets included Ali, Jonkel, Wayne Henry. Native Child, Mori Taiye, Black Chakra, Lady Brion, Ephraim Nehemiah, Charles Hines, Masaki Takahashi, Jahman Hill, Sun Luu, Genius Jones and Blacqwildflowr.

The participants, said Richardson, always participate in community outreach while they are here, selecting which event to participate in. They led workshops this year for young people up to seniors at places like Moreland Academy, Hopewell Preschool Academy, Palm Beach Middle School and E. Pat Larkins Community Center.

Last year was done virtually, so she said it was nice to do it in person.

This year, the focus is on being together again,” she said.

She added, “There are typically five judges each night. They give scores for each poet. We drop the high and low and average the three in the middle.”

What was exciting about this year’s competition is that they had actor Malcolm Jamal Warner as one of the judges. Warner is best known as playing Theo in “The Cosby Show.” 

On Friday, December 10 at Pompano Cultural Center, Warner gave a talk about his life and even did some poetry. Warner, who started working as an actor a young boy, is now working on the TV show “The Resident,” which shoots in Atlanta, says he misses life in Los Angeles. 

Warner was unsure where to begin with his talk. “One of the most nerve-wracking things for an actor is to get up in front of people and talk,” he explained (since actors are normally given lines). So, he started with reciting his own poetry but then managed to deliver an interesting and heartfelt discussion about his career.

My father named me after Malcolm X and  (Jazz pianist) Ahmad Jamal. My dad went to Lincoln University because Langston Hughes went. Poetry has always been a huge part of my life since I was a baby. I am not an actor who likes to do poetry. I am a poet. I have been doing it half my life. I started out in the early ’90s before slams. When slams came along, I noticed how they started changing how they were writing. They were writing for the judges. There was a certain honesty that got shifted because they were writing for competition,” he said, adding, “When it comes to judging, if it doesn’t appeal to me, it doesn’t mean it’s not good … I look for honesty in the writing.”

As poets, [we] have a wonderful access to words,” he said. “I see creating as this river that flows underneath all of us [but] not all of us have the tools to access it. I take it as a blessing and honor to be able to tap into that creativity.”

He continued, “As I look at my life and things that have been ‘put out into the universe,’ [the good and the bad, I say,] ‘I created that because of what I put into the universe.’”

He added, “A lot of times, we can be really hard on ourselves [and say things to ourselves] that we wouldn’t take from another human being.” He basically said that in order to not do that, it comes down to a “sense of constant mindfulness.”

I’ve always written poetry, even at the height of Cosby. It has always been an avenue of expression for me. It was most important to me when doing ‘Malcolm and Eddie.’ I had done eight years with Cosby. I came from a show where black people could be funny without being stereotypical. I watched how Cosby struggled. Cosby said it wasn’t [about a black upper middle class family but about ] an upper middle class family who happens to be black. He had to fight to keep the integrity of the show. UPN was the antithesis of where I came from. I was literally fighting every day because UPN had its own audience and programming. As far as they were concerned, it wasn’t broken and did not have to fix it. It became almost miserable for me,” said Warner, adding, “My experience probably was a little skewed.”

There are three main things you are going to see on black sitcoms,” said Warner, “– some version of ‘you so ugly,’ ‘I’m going to kick your butt’ or someone slapped in the back of the head. That’s what we except as the norm. But, there is another kind of way black people can also be funny.”

He said he used to watch sitcoms like “The Jeffersons” and “Sanford and Son,” but his favorite was “Benson” because he was “always the smartest person in the room,” speculating that maybe he should redo the sitcom.

The ‘Malcolm and Eddie’ show was so stressful,” he said, saying he was the only person who cared it seemed. It was then when he started playing bass, thinking he needed a hobby that would not turn into a career, but it did. He now has a Jazz funk spoken word band — combining his love of words with his love of music. It is called “Miles Long.”

I found a home in poetry … and music. It allowed me to express myself as an actor and director. So many people direct and act. I found an outlet. I could be as passionate and honest as I wanted to be … The level of expression and freedom to be creative is what’s priceless for me,” he said.

What has been his biggest accomplishment? “I look at having been a teenager on the No. 1 show in the world. South Africa was neck deep in apartheid and it was the No. 1 show [there too]. Then, being able to navigate everything that comes with the territory (being a child star). I was 14 when it first aired.”

Out of the gate,” he added, “No one was going to watch the show. They pronounced it dead. It was third against ‘Magnum PI,’ which was No.1. But, out-of-the-box, [it went] crazy [popular]. My mom sat me down and said [although it is a wonderful phenomenon], it could stop next year.”

With her help, he realized if he did not want to go back to bagging groceries, he had to come up with a plan for how his life would be after Cosby. “We lived each year as if it was the last show. She impressed upon me longevity.” Sometimes, an actor can be hot, sometimes not. If what’s you want have to figure out, he said – what to do when not making money so you can avoid desperate career choices. “That is why I directed early on, directed episodes of “Cosby,” “Fresh Prince,” did music videos…” 

He also said that “The Cosby Show” being shot in Brooklyn, New York, not in LA studios, helped him remain more grounded. Instead of eating in the commissary, they had to go out in the neighborhood and get lunch. “The experience gave us a real perspective, not the bubble of LA,” he said.

The show was successful,” he said, “It doesn’t mean I’m successful. It doens’t mean anything unless I’m working at 30, only when I am working consistently at 50, 60… At 51, I can embrace that I have had a successful career. I now can look in the mirror and like myself. I am at peace in my life. I have a wonderful wife, daughter. [My greatest accomplishment] is that I have gone through all that and have created such a beautiful life for myself.”

He had to make some tough choices along the way, but stuck with keeping his integrity. “I felt I would be working so much more If had not said no [so much]. I never wanted to look back and be embarrassed by [a project.]” He did not want to be in something that perpetuated b stereotypes. “I used to be judgmental of others who would take that kind of work,” but he later realized he had the privilege to be able to say no because of his position, they did not. They needed the income, etc.

Cosby used to say, ‘Remember this is a marathon. In the journey there’s going to be obstacles,’” he said, explaining how he not only is working full-time but working on staying present as a husband and father. In addition, he said that being a public figure is a 24 hour, seven day a week job that comes with the territory. He does not take that responsibility lightly either, saying when he meets people, “He wants to create an experience.”

He certainly did create an experience at Exit 36, one that the people in attendance surely will never forget.

For more information on upcoming artistic events in Pompano, visit www.pompanobeacharts.org.


Black Chakra

Lady Brion


Ephraim Nehemiah

Mori Taiye


Sun Luu

Jahman Hill

Charles Hines

Wayne Henry

Native Child

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Track Santa!

Posted on 24 December 2021 by JLusk

Did you know you can track Santa Claus? Find out where he is with the NORAD Santa Tracker: https://www.noradsanta.org.

There also are some fun games and more!

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Cool Wheels Car Show Has Been Postponed

Posted on 23 December 2021 by JLusk


The 10th annual Cool Wheels Car Show, which was set to take place January 16, has been postponed due to Omicron.


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Detectives investigate highway homicide in Deerfield

Posted on 23 December 2021 by JLusk

Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) homicide detectives are investigating the murder of a man on Interstate 95 in Deerfield Beach early Saturday morning.
Around 1:41 a.m. on Dec. 18, Broward Regional Communications received a call regarding a shooting northbound on I-95 between Sample Road and Southwest 10th Street. Florida Highway Patrol responded and located a white four-door Mercedes disabled in the right lane of I-95. FHP troopers immediately began CPR on the victim, Nathan Hillmon. BSO deputies and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue responded. BSFR pronounced Hillmon deceased on scene.
Three other occupants of the vehicle were transported to an area hospital for injuries that were not life threatening. BSO’s Homicide and Traffic Homicide detectives, as well as Crime Scene units, responded to the scene.
The preliminary investigation revealed that an individual inside a vehicle shot at individuals inside of the Mercedes as they were traveling northbound on I-95. The shooting caused the Mercedes to crash into the guardrail, coming to a stop. The suspect vehicle fled northbound. 
Detectives are asking anyone who witnessed the shooting or who has any information regarding the incident to contact BSO Homicide Detective Ryan Schnakenberg at 954-321-4247. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online at browardcrimestoppers.org. 

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Learn more about Pompano history at Progressive Dinner

Posted on 22 December 2021 by JLusk

On January 19, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., enjoy a fun evening with friends exploring local history. This event takes you by bus from one place to another. And there is food and drinks at each spot! Start for appetizers at the Sample-McDougald House. Board a bus for dinner under the stars at the Pompano Beach Historical Society. This is followed by music and dessert at the Ali Cultural Arts Center.

The cost is $45 per person (Transportation included). Call to reserve your spot! 954-691-5686

The Sample McDougald House is located at 450 NE 10 St. in Pompano Beach, FL 33060.

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DB City Facilities Closed for Christmas Holiday

Posted on 20 December 2021 by JLusk


All City facilities, with the exception of the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier, will be closed Friday, December 24, 2021, through Monday, December 27, 2021, in observance of Christmas. The Deerfield Beach Aquatic Center will be closed from Friday, December 24, 2021, through Sunday, December 26, 2021. The Aquatic Center will reopen for holiday hours Monday, December 27, 2021, from 9 AM-4 PM.

There will be no solid waste or bulk collection services provided on Saturday, December 25 due to the Christmas holiday. Services will run regularly on Friday, December 24, 2021, and Monday, December 27, 2021. Additionally, the recycling drop-off center will also be closed Friday, December 24, 2021, through Monday, December 27, 2021, and will resume normal operations Tuesday, December 28 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For additional information contact the City of Deerfield Beach at 954-480-4201.


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‘Tow to Go’

Posted on 16 December 2021 by JLusk

AAA is once again offering Tow to Go – in select states – during the final week of the holiday season, serving as the last line of defense to keep impaired drivers off the road.

The service is provided from 6 p.m. Friday, December 24 – 6 a.m. Monday, January 3. Call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246

Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2019 Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods, there were more drunk driving related fatalities (210) than during any other holiday period that year across the U.S.AAA Tow to Go has removed more than 25,000 impaired drivers from the road. When called, a tow truck transports the would-be impaired driver and their vehicle to a safe place within a 10 mile radius. The service is free, yet AAA asks that it be treated as a backup plan.

“Driving impaired doesn’t only endanger yourself, but risks the lives of all the adults and children you share the road with,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. ““AAA is proud to provide this life-saving program during the holidays. Yet we still urge people to identify a safe ride home before they party, and treat Tow to Go as their last resort.”


  • Free and available to AAA members and non-members.
  • Confidential local ride for one person and their vehicle to a safe location within a 10 miles radius.
  • AAA service vehicles are limiting passengers to one (1) per vehicle, with face mask/covering, in accordance with established COVID-19 safety protocols.  Additional passengers need to make other arrangements.
  • Appointments cannot be scheduled in advance to use Tow to Go. It is designed as a safety net for those that did not plan ahead. Always choose a designated driver before celebrating.
  • In some situations, AAA may need to make other arrangements to get an impaired individual a safe ride home.
  • Tow to Go may not be available in rural areas or during severe weather conditions.

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American Rescue Plan Projects Approved by City Commission

Posted on 13 December 2021 by JLusk


The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan (ARP), is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 117th United States Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. 

Cities with populations over 50,000 (metropolitan cities) and all counties that are units of general local government (which includes political subdivisions) shall receive direct payments from the U.S. Treasury. Smaller cities (non-entitlement units of local government) with populations under 50,000 shall receive the State’s allocations. The City of Deerfield Beach is receiving a direct allocation from the U.S. Treasury in the amount of $16.28 million. Costs must be incurred from March 2021 to December 31, 2024. 

Over the past several months, staff from respective departments within the City and City Administration met to discuss potential projects that would have a lasting and positive impact on the City of Deerfield Beach. Government Services Group (GSG) the City Consultant assisted the City in the selection process of the projects; culminating a spending plan that addresses the needs of the community while mitigating risk and maximizing impact.  An initial risk-weighting has been assessed on all projects based on allowability under the current guidelines outlined in the Interim Final Rule and the risk and impact of potential claw-back of funds from the U.S. Treasury. 

On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, at the City Commission Meeting City Staff and GSG recommend thirty-two (32) projects to Commission for approval.  The City Commission approved all the projects through resolution 2021/169. 

The City plan will continue to evolve as the U.S. Treasury clarifies the American Rescue Plan Act.  Over the next 36 months U.S. Treasury will likely issue numerous guidance updates.  The recommended list of projects is considered provisional until the Final Rule has been released and the proposed programs reviewed for compliance and allowability. 

Upon the Treasury issuing the Final Rule, the City will have a clearer guide to both the allowability and risk of the proposed projects and will reassess the spending plan as needed.

A copy of the City of Deerfield Beach American Rescue Plan is located on the City’s website at  https://www.deerfield-beach.com/1880/Public-Notices.

For additional information please contact the Community Services Department at (954) 480-6420 or VWyatt@deerfield-beach.com.

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Drive-Thru Ice Cream Social

Posted on 08 December 2021 by JLusk

The City of Deerfield Beach is hosting the annual Drive-Thru Ice Cream Social with Santa at Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex, 445 SW 2nd St., on Saturday, Dec. 18,  from 6 to 8 p.m.
Cruise through Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex to enjoy live entertainment, ice cream, a Santa sighting along with a gift and a book, while supplies last.
Please contact the Recreation Division at mdavis@deerfield-beach.com for more information or call 954-480-4481.

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Santa’s Calling!

Posted on 08 December 2021 by JLusk

The City of Deerfield Beach Parks and Recreation Department would like to invite you to register your children, ages 2-8 years of age, to receive a telephone call from Santa Claus. Register online at https://www.deerfield-beach.com/39/Parks-Recreation. Forms are due by Tuesday, December 14, 2021. Santa calls will be made Wednesday, December 15, and Thursday, December 16, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m. Please contact the Aquatics Center at poolattendant@deerfield-beach.com for more information.

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