Caribbean Princess caters to kids With new Reef Splash Zone & more

Posted on 11 July 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Cruising is supposed to be a relaxing experience and, for parents, having an opportunity to keep the little ones busy adds a bit more joy to their journey. The Caribbean Princess cruise liner took this into account when they installed a new Reef Splash Zone on their Deck 17. This area is really a lot of fun. Kids can walk in the water, splash around, squirt their friends with water or go down a mini slide. They can stand beneath some of the water shower features while waiting for the whale feature to burst rain from its spout. It is a whimsical addition, perfect for a tropical adventure. They also added new seating options and outdoor games like Connect 4, Jenga and Cornhole. Their outdoor bar serves up both cocktails and mocktails to quench your thirst. These are just a few of the new features on the ship. They made additional refurbishments overall.

They also have indoor fun for kids. There are several rooms that are part of Camp Discovery. Each room is a little different and accommodates different age groups.

One of the rooms has a water table with different iconic landmarks from around the globe, allowing kids to interact and learn. The kids can engage in planned activities as well – arts & crafts and more. Other rooms have games like air hockey, foosball, PS 4 games and other features.

In addition, kids can play a game or go on a scavenger hunt around the ship using their OceanMedallion™ — a technological wonder. This quarter-like object can be worn as a clip, on a band, on a bracelet or as a pendant. It seems like magic… It can be used to do everything from open your door to locate your friends and family on the ship. You can stream your favorite shows with great WiFi or order food from wherever you are. These are just a few options.

Of course, the whole ship is at your disposal and one of the options you will want to partake in with the whole family is watching the poolside movies or enjoying stargazing. There is so much fun to choose from while you enjoy your ocean trip. Bon Voyage!

To find out more about Princess Cruises, visit

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Calvin Reid talks comics

Posted on 11 July 2019 by LeslieM

Calvin Reid spoke to a large audience at Boca Raton Museum on July 7 at comics and graphic novels.

By Rachel Galvin

Since the first modern comic book in 1933, kids and adults alike have found themselves enthralled in the stories and inspired by the imagery within. Comic Book guru Calvin Reid was one of those who discovered the medium when he was a kid, growing up in the 1960s. Reading through the pages, seeing the work of the likes of Jack Kirby and others through the years, he became hooked. Today, he is the editor of Publisher’s Weekly in New York and oversees comic books and graphic novels.

“I am the ultimate comics fan. I came to New York in the early 80s to be an artist. I had a background in journalism and ended up in book publishing,” he explained.

On July 7, he came here to the Boca Raton Museum of Art to give a special talk about how the industry has evolved through the years.

The comics in America, he said, have notoriously been settled into one genre — superheroes, something that has not been happening in other countries. But that has shifted. Today, there are comics of all types. Manga (Japanese animation) is one type that has become hugely popular since the late ‘90s and early 2000s.

The power moved away from the big publishing houses as smaller houses opened as well.

He waxed nostalgic about his favorite comics as he showed his slideshow. He also talked about some of the varied comics that have become available and about the influencers in the biz.

“I remember comics were 10 cents at first. They were 25 cents through the bulk of my childhood. I was inspired by Action Comics,” he said, mentioning various other comics by legends like Kirby, Steve Ditko and Stan Lee. Reid said he started reading DC comics but he later discovered Marvel. He seems to enjoy all of the above.

You can’t talk about comics without mentioning the profound impact of Stan Lee and his Marvel movies, which have captured a worldwide audience. The Avengers may have come to an end but other heroes like Spiderman still make the silver screen (see pg. 9 for review of the latest film).

Another change he has seen is the movement of comics from magazines into book form taking on the moniker of “graphic novels.” He saw a shift to a darker tone in some superhero books especially after the release of the Dark Knight and Watchman. In that vein, he talked about writers Alan Moore and Frank Miller. But he also mentioned the Pulitzer award-winning Maus created by Art Spiegelman, serialized from 1980 to 1991. In it, Spiegelman interviews his father, a Holocaust survivor. He anthropomorphizes the characters. (Jews are mice and Germans are cats, for example). He mentioned Robert Crumb and his wife Aline, who discussed culture using satire in their comics. Crumb is responsible for a well-known comic called Fritz the Cat, among others. He mentioned other artists like the Hernandez Brothers and their Love & Rockets, which show a different view of society. Today, you can walk into Barnes & Noble, said Reid, and find graphic novels of all different types. Women of color and LGBTQ are represented, as well as pretty much any group you can think of, something that was not happening in earlier days.

Another change is how the comics are drawn. They now usually employ digital into the craft and, of course, there are also web comics. So things are still shifting.

If you want to find a comic book that is right for you, he said ask a librarian. He said libraries are taking on more and more of the comic books and graphic novels into their collections.

Beyond the Cape

This is one of many artworks you can see at the “Beyond the Cape” exhibit at the museum. Funity by Kenny Scharf.

Reid was instrumental in the organization of the reading room filled with comics and graphic novels within the exhibit at the museum right now called “Beyond the Cape” that is happening until Oct. 6. Reid’s talk fits into that theme well, as he not only talked about how comic book superheroes no longer wear capes as part of their costumes usually, but also how the industry has evolved to include more than just the superhero genre.

If you want to find out more about the exhibit currently at the museum which features art inspired by comics and also the reading room, visit

Tree of Knowledge

The museum is free the whole month of July and you can be part of an upcoming exhibit – the Tree of Knowledge by Maren Hassinger, a sculptor and performance artist. She will be installing what will look like a Banyan tree made out of strips of newspapers inspired by Boca Raton’s Pearl City neighborhood and the Banyan tree that serves as the historical marker in that community settled originally by African-Americans. If you go to the museum, you can twist the newspapers and your pieces will be contributed into the artwork. Anyone who contributes will receive two free passes that can be used any time into the museum (so you can come back and see the finished work, which will be on display in the fall).

Sit down and enjoy the comic books and graphic novels in this reading room within the museum during the exhibit, which lasts until Oct. 6.

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Traveling to London

Posted on 11 July 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Thinking of getting away sometime soon? Why not hop across the pond to merry ol’ England like I recently did. If you have never been there, you may be in for a surprise. London is a bustling urban scene. It feels much like New York with Washington D.C. mixed in, and the people are nicer. With tourism season starting, this place is a madhouse with people crowding the streets in many areas.

There are so many things to see in the London area. Everywhere you turn, there is a historical monument, statue or plaque. Plus, there is a huge amount of construction. All those historical buildings need maintaining, and they are building more. The Big Ben was completely under scaffolding minus the clock face. (Big Ben is not the actual name of the clock. It is the bell!) It is called the Westminster Clock because that is the borough it is in. (The Westminster area is a great place to stay as many things are in walking distance).

If you get tired of walking, jump on a Hop On, Hop Off Bus and get a tour and a lift at the same time. Double Decker buses are everywhere.

Most choose the subway. The subway stations are huge and involve a lot of walking and stairs (some elevators are available). Even going down a 15 story escalator can be daunting. To get the best deal, buy a refillable Oyster Card. The subway route can be confusing but ask an employee and they will steer you in the right direction. If you are going longer distances, grab a train, a coach or take a boat ride on the Thames.

So what should you do while there? Here are a few choices:

Westminster Abbey — Consecrated in 1065 by Edward the Confessor, this huge structure has seen multiple renovations through the years. On one side, there are statues of martyrs from the 20th Century, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Inside, 17 monarchs have been buried inside, including, Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots, next to each other, and so many others, from Charles Dickens to Stephen Hawking. One of the most prized possessions here is the original throne of Edward the Confessor. FYI: They don’t allow you to take pictures inside.

St. Paul’s Cathedral — This is where Princess Di and Prince Charles got married. It is stunningly beautiful. Diana’s train was made so long in order to “fill the space” in the enormous church. Grab a cup of tea at the nearby cafe in the courtyard.

Buckingham Palace — The palace with 775 rooms is certainly worth seeing. It is usually open to the public from the end of July to September. Many rush to see the Changing of the Guard, but you may be underwhelmed. The crowds are intense and being able to get close to the action is difficult.

Parliament — The tour is very informative. You can learn a lot about the government and history. It is a lot to absorb. Many areas do not allow pictures.

Tower of London — Save yourself plenty of time to go here because it is not just one tower; it is many. It can involve a lot of steep winding stairs and long lines to see key areas like the crown jewels. Make sure to take a picture of the wonderful ravens. The White Tower is filled with shields, swords, armor and artillery. But there are plenty of other towers to explore. Eat nearby at the Hung, Drawn & Quartered. There is a great church nearby too called All Hallows by the Tower, founded in 675 AD.

The Globe Theatre — Fans of the bard will want to go to the recreation of the theater that once was the setting for Shakespeare’s classic plays. It is fairly cheap to get a tour and you can also buy tickets for performances here.

The Shard — This skyscraper is 95 stories. There is a charge to go to the top, but they have several restaurants you can visit for free. Grab a bite to eat and get an amazing view from the top of the world. Restaurants tend to be on the pricier side. This is a good time to get dressed up. Bring your camera and go during the day for the best views. FYI: Right now, sunset is about 9:30 p.m. So you have plenty of daylight.

The London Eye — This huge Ferris wheel offers another great view for a 30 pound price (40 pounds for fast track past the lines). There are 32 capsules, one for each borough in London.

Harrods — A must-do, this store is huge. They have anything you could want here, including amazing high end fashions and a to-die-for food section with chocolates, pastries, mushrooms, truffles, caviar, meats, fish, breads, you name it… as well as a great selection of teas, of course. They also offer tea time in the store and have various options available. They do have a dress code. (Another great place for shopping is Oxford Street, as well as Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square).

Museums — There are so many museums in London and many of them are free! The National Gallery is a gem with pretty much every artist you can think of from Leonardo Da Vinci to Monet and more. If you prefer modern art, head to the Tate Modern. Go to the 6th floor for a great view of the Thames! There are also science and history museums. The British Museum, filled with Egyptian statues and other antiquities, has a great gift shop and café area.

Markets — There are some great markets here, including the Borough Market, where they have jellies, cheeses, wines, tea, pastries, cookies, fudge, seafood, sausages, curries and more. Next door are so many places to walk up and buy cooked food too. Good luck finding a chair though and it is quite crowded. But there are plenty of samples. Covenant Garden’s Apple Market has handmade clothing and crafts. There are many great shops and restaurants nearby, including the Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop, a small store that has been around over 100 years (Also, find Hamley’s seven-story Toy Store on Regent Street).

Parks — There are so many great small and huge parks here like Hyde Park and St. James Park. Huge pelicans, ducks, geese and pelicans abound, as well as beautiful trees, lush green grass and gardens.

International foods — There are many different food options here. Most pubs are centered around fish and chips, and meat or chickpea pies, it seems, which are tasty, but there are plenty of restaurants that offer global fare, from Italian to Middle Eastern. There is even a Chinatown. The Indian food is out of this world! If you like dessert, try the delicious sticky toffee pudding.

Outside of London

There are so many great spots around London that did not even get mentioned here. A short drive away and you can visit a castle, head to Stratford Upon Avon to see where Shakespeare grew up, see the majestic architecture of Oxford, where there are 39 colleges, and much more. Families must go to the Warner Brothers Studio to see where Harry Potter was filmed. I spent four hours and it was not enough. Adults will really enjoy this too as it is more informational than anything else. You learn about every aspect of making the movie – props, sets, costumes and plenty of secrets. There are interactive components to add to the fun for kids too. Make sure to get a Butter Beer! It tastes like butterscotch soda with some sort of whip cream on top.

Spending time in London was a dream come true and we packed a lot of sightseeing into nine days, but there was so much more to see. I can totally understand the sentiment of Samuel Johnson, the writer of the first dictionary, who famously said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”

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Deerfield Beach Senior League falls at state tourney

Posted on 11 July 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Deerfield Beach Little League Senior Division baseball team advanced to the state tournament by winning the district and sectional titles. Pictured above (L to R): (Bottom row): Gio Caffro, Dawson Lallance, Colin Calvet, Janelle Calvet, Melchor Feliciano & Marcus Gonzalez; (top row): Anthony Masiello, Junior Feliciano, Salvatore Saccente, Nicky Lash, Sanders Chartier, Keanu Siracusa, Neile Thomas, Maxwell Thomson, Lorenzo Feliciano, Dylan Radtke, Jason Siracusa, Preston James & Neile Thomas. Submitted photo, courtesy of Jason Siracusa

Deerfield Beach Little League President Jason Siracusa always believed his Senior All-Star team could advance to the state tournament. And they did not disappoint. The Deerfield Beach Little League Senior All-Stars defeated both Coral Springs and defending state champion North Springs to win the District 10 tournament and advance to Florida State Championship tournament. 

The Little League District 10 Seniors All-Star tournament at the Deerfield Beach Middle School Athletic Complex with North Springs topped Coral Springs, 8-1. Deerfield Beach then withstood numerous distractions lasting four hours, including a lightning delay to pull out a 10-inning, 7-6 win.

With Coral Springs and North Springs squaring off in the loser’s bracket game, Coral Springs got off to a strong start and pulled out a 12-3 win to advance to the final against Deerfield Beach.

After giving up one run in the top of the first inning, Deerfield Beach came out swinging and never looked back. Deerfield Beach put up 12 runs on 13 hits and handily won the game 12-5 sending the very talented squad to the Florida State Senior Division Little League championship in Lakewood Ranch from July 5-7. 

The majority of the Deerfield team played together in the Juniors Division last season where they went 13-1, winning their district championship and finishing second overall in the state of Florida.

At this year’s state tournament, Deerfield Beach overcame a rain delay and defeated St. Cloud, 4-1. The local squad then dropped its next two contests to finish pool play, 1-2.

Deerfield Beach lost to Hancock American, 14-2 and then fell to Land O’Lakes, 3-1. Land O’Lakes went on to win the state title with an 11-3 win over previously unbeaten San Mateo. Against Hancock American, Deerfield fell behind early and couldn’t recover. When Hancock defeated St. Cloud, it finished 2-1 in pool play and ended Deerfield Beach’s hopes of advancing to the championship round.

Deerfield Beach still turned in a solid performance in defeat against the eventual state champion. Deerfield Beach pitcher Brock Buerosse tossed a complete game and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits, but it wasn’t enough as Deerfield’s bats were virtually silent scoring 1 run on just 3 hits.

“This is the second year in a row Deerfield has sent a team to the state tournament,” Siracusa said. “We have made some improvements over last year’s (team) but left our core intact.

“But the competition at the state level is pretty fierce,” he added. “As one of the younger teams in the tournament, Deerfield held up against teams that were comprised of 16-year-old high school varsity players. Our team was made up of 16 players. Everyone had a role and when called upon they performed the way we expected. I’m proud of every single one of them.”

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Pridemore comes back ‘home’

Posted on 05 July 2019 by LeslieM

Paul Pridemore, a 1979 graduate and top Knights athlete, has returned to Highlands Christian Academy as its new Athletic Director. Pridemore succeeds Jim Good, who left to become the assistant AD at Boca Raton Christian. Submitted photo, courtesy of Brittany Brown.

By Gary Curreri

Paul Pridemore has returned to his roots at Highlands Christian Academy.

Pridemore, a 1979 graduate and top athlete in the program, recently took over as Athletic Director at Highlands Christian where he enjoyed a stellar athletic career.

“I am very excited to be back home,” said Pridemore, 59, of Pompano Beach, who will also coach the boys’ basketball team at the school. “My mom and three sisters and a brother all live here in Pompano so I’m looking forward to spending time with them. It’s great to have the opportunity to come back to your alma mater, and serve and see all the changes that have been made,” he added. “I remember carrying blocks and helping lay the floor of the gymnasium when I was there.”

Pridemore began attending Highlands in 1972 as a 6th grader and, in the 7th grade, came to know Jesus Christ personally in a school chapel service.

In high school, he quickly became known at Highlands and around South Florida as a top athlete in both basketball and football.

Playing Knights basketball, Pridemore was named to the All-County and All-State teams his sophomore through senior years, Player of the Year twice by the Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald; and MVP of the 1979 State Basketball Tournament. During his Knights football career, Pridemore led the county in passing yards and was named All-State in his junior and senior years, nominated for Athlete of the Year by the Miami Herald in 1979, and offered a full football scholarship to the University of Florida.

After graduating college, he moved back to Pompano Beach and coached Highlands basketball for two seasons. In the following years, he coached basketball in Northern Florida and Tennessee and served as an assistant athletic director.

Throughout the years, Pridemore’s teams have won 438 games, 13 district titles, 10 regional championships, and have been to six state tournaments. 

“Reg Cook was my coach in my junior and senior year so I have a lot of great memories there at Highlands,” Pridemore said. “I am just now settling into the position as athletic director and boys basketball coach so I’m evaluating short term three-year and five-year plans.”

Pridemore said he is excited to help grow the athletic program as well as the school, citing it is a great place for kids to not only get a great education but to participate in sports as well.

“After coaching Paul Pridemore in basketball in the late ’70s, I am enthusiastic about working with him, not only in basketball but in all Highlands athletics,” said Reg Cook, former Highlands Athletic Director who now assists with the Knights. “We are looking forward to a great summer and school year for 2019-2020.”

“His experience in coaching basketball and leadership as a Christian mentor will carry on the legacy of great basketball at HCA on the court as well as off the court,” Cook added. “I am so excited to be working with Paul. We have been close friends ever since I coached him years ago at Highlands Christian.”

Pridemore’s vision for Highlands athletics is to provide student-athletes an environment that promotes and supports Christian, academic, athletic and personal achievement.

“We have the great privilege and responsibility to influence students for Christ,” Pridemore said. “And invest in the lives of these student-athletes as no one else can.”

Paul is married to Terri, a CPA. They have three grown children and one grandchild.

“Our coaches and teachers here at Highlands seek to build into the lives of each and every student athlete that attends Highlands,” Pridemore said.

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held a Two Best Ball of Foursome, except on the corners (1,9,10,18) Three Best Ball tournament on June 26 at the Palms course.

The team of Al DiBenedetto, John Grether, Bill Hadersbeck and Dennis Sejda shot a net score of 131 to take top honors, while the team of Jim DeCicco, George Disch, Jorge Duarte and Jim Foster was second after carding a 134. Tom Breur, Chuck Brown, Lee Hammer and Lance Naiman shot a 137 to finish in third place in the 34-player field.

The closest to the pin winner on hole No. 6 was Al Holcomb.

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Warrior Woman: Niki Lopez speaks her truth through art

Posted on 03 July 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Niki Lopez

That which tried to break her only made her stronger. Battered and scarred, her body has suffered the blows. Her will has suffered the abuse, but she has emerged a warrior in more ways than one, expressing her truth through art in the hopes to help others. Like the Japanese art of Kintsugi, she has been broken but put herself back together, scars and all, and has revealed herself to the world … Indeed, Niki Lopez has a tale to tell and she does it as often as she can. She is the elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss. But you would never know it by giving her a cursory glance.

The first impression of Niki, with her magenta braids and shining smile, is only that this is a girl you want to know. Friendly, talented, charming all describe her but, when you get to know her story, you realize she is much more. You realize you can add words like brave, hero and survivor to that list.

A slideshow showing a piece of Niki’s artwork — a sculpture inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi.

You may have seen Niki’s story in People Magazine. The front page has her picture in the top right hand corner teasing to the article, telling you that her story is about how she escaped from a child sex-cult. It was also featured on TV on Investigation Discovery.

At an event on May 30 at the Pompano Beach Cultural Center, she told the audience more about her journey. At age 11, she and her brother and sister were taken by her mother to join a cult, the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors. There, men and women were separated, and the children were put into age groups. She was exposed to physical and later sexual abuse by the leader of the group. When she finally was able to escape at age 25, she was malnourished, lacked proper schooling and only weighed 100 lbs.; she had nothing and had no idea where to go. When she left, she wanted to leave and never go back, not think about it and try to build a new life. But when she tracked down her biological father, he said that she needed to go back and save the other children, including her siblings … and she did just that. Not only that, but she worked with the FBI to put the leader of the cult away. He is still serving time. The FBI gave her a humanitarian award for her efforts.

But these actions caused a toll on her, not only having to relive her tale, but because she still is receiving ridicule and threats from people. It has not been easy, but she has persevered and, today, she speaks about the ordeal hoping to help others who have suffered abuse by letting them know they are not alone, and also that it is OK to share their own stories. It took many years for her to be able to speak about it, but now she conducts “What’s Your Elephant?” events to encourage people to discuss or artistically communicate their “elephant,” the thing people don’t want to talk about that affects their lives.

Sheila Alexander & Grecia Garrett, of FeminAfrika, drummed world music at Niki’s event, May 30, at the Pompano Beach Cultural Center.

She also does a lot of mixed media artwork, graphic design and filmmaking as well, including being involved with the award-winning all women (mostly LGBTQ) film team 1310 Bandits in Ft. Lauderdale.

As part of her presentation, she showed a powerful short artistic film she did called “Caressed.” In it, she is artistically lit, dimmed, shadowed, standing naked with fishing line wrapped around her body being tugged by hands on each side, causing marks on her body, rippling of skin, yanking at her mouth, disfiguring her – all physical manifestations of the feelings she has felt inside of what it is like to be manipulated and forced to do things against her will. Over the images is a poem she wrote focused on a traumatic memory from her experiences in the cult.

She has become well-known in the LGBTQ community. She was just made Grand Marshal of the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade, in which she rode in a car alongside her girlfriend, and was recognized as the ‘Future of Advocacy.’ The duo just worked on producing a performance called “I’m Coming: A Performance Project” featuring stories of coming out by members of the community, presented at The Vanguard theater. She is also one of the co-founders of Artists for Black Lives Matter. She also has started her own online broadcast on Facebook live called The Circle in which she often interviews local activists, social entrepreneurs and creative sorts. It is on every Tuesday from 8:30 to 9 p.m. on She has even been a curator and taught art.

At her event at the cultural center, she had two women – Sheila Alexander & Grecia Garrett, from FeminAfrika, drumming world music as a precursor to Niki’s talk, which included a slide show showcasing some of her art, her film and pictures from some of her events and workshops. The event was emceed by spoken word poet Eccentrich, who said the center is three years old now and that Niki’s performance was part of a series called “Montage,” which focuses around film. This was the 5th installment. She talked about other local centers that people may want to check out, including the nearby Bailey Contemporary Arts (BaCA), Ali Cultural Arts and the Blanche Ely Historical Museum.

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Junior lifeguards hold event in Pompano

Posted on 27 June 2019 by LeslieM

Jake Schulte, right, of the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard program, recently topped Gabriel Machado, from the Ft. Lauderdale Junior Lifeguard program in the Run-Swim-Run event. Submitted photo

By Gary Curreri 

The Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard program recently hosted their very first summer opener in Pompano Beach, just north of the newly constructed pier.

There were six events, including beach flags, distance swim, run-swim-run, paddleboard, surf- paddleboard rescue, and surf-dash relay.

In addition to Pompano Beach, other junior lifeguard teams that participated included Ft. Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Dania Beach, Hollywood, and the Treasure Coast.

“It was great weather, perfect ocean conditions and an awesome turnout that led to the success of this competition event,” said Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Association President Nemia Schulte. “We had about six teams there. We did not do team points. I have the results for each event. We had about 80 kids attend from various teams.”

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association has been busy on the links in the past month. They began with a One Best Ball of Threesome tournament with the team of Al DiBenedetto, Jim Muschany and Dennis Sejda winning with a net score of 54.

Finishing in second was Jim King, Bill O’Brien, Pete Strychowskyj who shot a 56, while Bill Hadersbeck, Brian Nixon, and Charles Schaefer shot a 58 and won on a match of cards over the fourth place team of Chuck Brown, Frank Cutrone, and Mike Grimaldi.

There was no winner in a closest to the pin contest.

The PBMGA then held a Three-Man Scramble event with the team of Oscar Aleman, Gary Gill, and Henry Lesburt winning by a single shot after carding a 66.

The team of Dave Dowling, Tom Pawelczyk, and Don Worrell took second with a 67.  The team of Len Ackley, Dennis Rooy, Charles Schaefer was third with a 68, while the team of Jorge Duarte, and Jim Muschany finished fourth with a 69, playing alternate shots. 

Bill Hadersbeck stuck his pin shot 4’7” on the Par 3, 6th hole to win the closest to the pin contest. 

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held a Two Best Ball of Foursome tournament which had the team of Oscar Aleman, Chuck Brown, and Dave Dowling win with a score of 119. The group of Len Ackley, Jim Foster and Mike Grimaldi took second with a 122.

The third-place finishing team with a 123 was composed of Frank Cutrone, Lee Hammer and Joe Patchen (blind draw), while Tony Cusanelli, Tom Pawelczyk, and Pete Strychowskyj were fourth after carding a 129.

The closest to the pin winner on hole No. 11 was Jim DeCicco.

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association concluded an Individual Play (Low Gross and Low Net in Classes) competition.

The Low Gross winner in Class A was Bill O’Brien who shot an 80 and won on a match of cards. Roy Wilhoite had a Net Score of 65 to take first, while Bill Hadersbeck had a 67 to finish second.

In Class B, Jim Muschany won the Low Gross title with an 86, while Jim DeCicco and Al Holcomb carved out a 67 and 70 respectively to take the top two spots in the Low Net competition. Holcomb won on a match of cards.

Henry Lesburt won the Low Gross title in the Class C Division with a 95. Dave Dowling carded a 67 to take first place in the Low Net, while Al DiBenedetto shot a 71 to take second in Low Net.

The closest to the pin winner on hole No. 17 was Chuck Brown.

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FLICKS: Toy Story 4 is fun, Annabelle Comes Home, Spider-Man: Far From Home and Beatles’s Yesterday open this weekend

Posted on 27 June 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

While waiting for Toy Story 4 to begin, this columnist sat through a series of previews — all films starring computer animation. It has been 24 years since the original Toy Story — what was unique, is now common place. Beyond the special effects and paying big time celebrities a load of money, computerized animation films have now entered the law of diminishing returns.  It is storytelling and respect for the written word, that will redeem the motion picture industry, both live action and computer animation.

Toy Story 4 suffers being the first film since Toy Story 3, the emotional and satisfying cap to the original Toy Story trilogy. Toy Story 4 continues the adventures of Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the ensemble of toys, under new management from a new owner, this time a little girl who is beginning kindergarten.

The little girl is filled with fear, so Woody sneaks in her backpack to assist her first day of school. Through the magic of improvisation, the little girl creates a new friend — Forky, a deformed looking spoon with pipe cleaner arms and mismatched eyes. Being a bit like the Frankenstein monster, Woody is forced to tutor Forky about the importance of being the little girl’s favorite toy.

Toy Story 4 provides entertainment for children of all ages, both young and old.  There are not emotional devastating moments like in Toy Story 3, but Toy Story 4 has a lighter touch with profound theories about personal attachment, maturity and growth.  There are also some Indiana Jones thrills featuring Woody, Buzz and a new character. Toy Story 4 does provide Saturday matinee popcorn eating fun, despite a sinister ventriloquist puppet that stalks Woody, Buzz and Little Bo Peep.

An evil doll returns to the big screen this weekend, when Annabelle Comes Home.  As part of “The Conjuring” series of movies, Annabelle is a demon doll who has made appearances in four movies. Annabelle appears to do nothing but to sit and stare, but this horcrux of evil inspires humans to commit murder of innocence.  

Ironically, the evil Annabelle Comes Home when the heroic Spider-Man: Far from Home opens the same weekend. Fortunately, this Marvel Comics superhero will be first appearing at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science IMAX Screen on a limited engagement. This Spider-Man installment looks at the Marvel Comic Universe after the events of the recent Avengers: Endgame, which is still appearing on the big screen this weekend.

Last, but not least, Yesterday opens this weekend. This film is about the world as if the British rock band never existed.

On Sunday, July 7, The School of Rock Pompano will perform at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood at 2 p.m. to prove the existence of the Beatles. This Band is set to perform five Beatles songs. Yours truly is scheduled to sing “Back in the USSR” and celebrate drummer Ringo Starr’s 79th birthday.

Cinema Dave with his School of Rock Pompano bandmates; L-R, Mario, Anthony Valrino (Musical Director) Earl, Mike, Stan, Chi Chi, Kenzie, Faye & Larry.

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Innocent wins middle school long jump title

Posted on 20 June 2019 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach Middle School’s Vitawens Innocent takes a bite out of his first place medal at the Broward County Middle School track and field meet at Coral Springs High School. Innocent won the boys long jump. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri
Vitawens Innocent capped off his 8th-grade year at Deerfield Beach Middle School by winning the Broward County championship in the boys long jump. Innocent, 15, was the lone competitor to surpass 19 ft. in the event and easily topped the field with a jump of 19 ft., 10-1/4 in. He also finished 5th in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.28.
“The sport is very important to me because it shows people that I am doing something with myself and that is exciting,” said Innocent, of Pompano Beach. He has only been competing in track for two years. He is planning on playing football for Deerfield Beach High School in the fall.
“The long jump is a little bit scary in the beginning, but when I am in the air, I just float. It feels like I am flying.”
The Pompano Beach girls finished seventh overall with 28 points, while Deerfield Beach was 18th with 8 points. Pembroke Pines Charter won the girls title with 71 points.
In the boys competition, Forest Glen captured the county title with 50 points. Deerfield Beach finished in 8th place with 24 points.
Other locals who fared well in the competition were Steven Martin of Deerfield Beach Middle who finished second in the shot put (41-09.25); Deerfield Beach Middle’s Stanley Jean-Claude, who finished 7th in the 800-meter run (2:22.47); Pompano Beach Middle’s Ashley Shaw was 2nd in the girls 100-meter dash (12.50) and 3rd in the 200-meter dash (26.08); Pompano Beach Middle’s Alyssa Irwin was 4th in the girls high jump (4-07.75); Deerfield Beach Middle’s Ty’Kerra Edwards was 2nd in the girls long jump (14-11.50); Pompano Beach Middle School’s Tierra Nesmith was 6th in the girls discus (68-03) and 8th in the girls shot put (26-02.25); the Pompano Beach girls 4×200 meter relay was 4th (1:50.77).

Sunshine State Games water polo headed to Deerfield
The 2019 Sunshine State Games Water Polo Championships takes center-stage starting Friday as 59 teams throughout Florida, and international teams from Ecuador, Trinidad & Tobago, and Barbados as well, strap on the headgear and maneuver the competition to score in the watery nets.
With approximately 1,180 athletes, the SSG Water Polo Championship is the largest annual water polo tournament in the Southeast Zone ranging in age groups 10 and under to Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions.
The three-day tournament will take place at two venues in Broward County, including the Coral Springs Aquatic Center (Friday-Sunday) and Deerfield Beach Aquatics Center (Saturday and Sunday only).
“I have been participating in the Sunshine State Games as an athlete for 17 years, three years as a coach, and now in my second year as the state director,” said Water Polo state director Anna Rosen. “The Games provide a great sense of community and family in this area. I have always loved this tournament, and I look forward to seeing the continued growth for years to come.”

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Locals compete at Spartan games

Posted on 13 June 2019 by LeslieM

Jennifer Roberts, right, and Braden Roberts finish running the Spartan Race at South County Park in Boca Raton. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri
Jennifer Roberts and Braden Roberts went for a little trip in the park that included crawling on their stomachs under wires, climbing ropes and covering 22 other obstacles before finishing the race jumping over a wall of fire.
The mother-son duo from Deerfield Beach competed in their first Spartan Race at South County Regional Park in Boca Raton, and together, they enjoyed every minute of it.
“These races are awesome,” said Jennifer, 40. “This was our first one together because he is just old enough (14-year-old) to run an adult race. It was pretty cool because there were times when I needed a little help; and he was there, and times when he needed some pep talks to get him through. We carried each other for sure.”
Braden had competed in three Spartan Races as a kid.
“This one was much harder,” he said. “It really tests your physical strength on the rope climbs, the monkey bars and stuff like that. Mentally, it is tough because you have to run long distances, and you have to be mentally tough to get through it.
“It was pretty cool running with my mom,” Braden added. “Probably the most exciting part of the race was jumping over the fire at the end.”
Roberts said her family will volunteer ahead of time and then run races. She said they like to give back because Spartan Races is a “great organization.”
“I am so proud and overjoyed to be able to run his first adult race with him,” Jennifer added. “Knowing I have run so many races, but knowing he was there with me, was so cool. We kept high fiving each other. I am so proud of him.”
“In life, you have to be able to push through anything,” she continued. “You wake up in the morning and something hard hits you, you’ve got to get through it. It is the same here. Once you start, you are running and, until you cross the finish line, you have to be able to push through. You have to be able to persevere.”
It was the first Spartan Race held in Boca Raton. The Sprint course was composed of 3 miles and 25 obstacles of fast, mostly-flat running. Since it was a course laid out over flat terrains, there were some back-to-back obstacles and heavy carries. Some competitors challenged themselves by running the Sprint on both Saturday and Sunday. The Sprint is the shortest distance race in the Spartan Race series, but it’s still a favorite amongst both new and returning racers.
Garfield Griffiths produces eight of the 63 Spartan Races in the United States annually and over 200 worldwide. There are three in Florida, one in Orlando and another in Jacksonville in addition to Boca Raton. The two-day event in Boca Raton attracted more than 8,000 people, which included about 1,000 children and spectators. Griffiths said the Spartan Race concept began in 2010 in Vermont with about 200 people and has grown to what it is today.
“From there, it just took off and they started doing 10-12 across the country and other countries jumped it,” Griffiths said. “Last year, we did over one million people worldwide. I think it is one of the best and all-around fitness challenges because it has everything.”
There are several types of Spartan Races – Sprint, which is an entry race consisting of 3-4 miles and about 22 obstacles; a Super, which is 8-10 miles, and then the Beast, which is 15 miles. There is the Ultra, which is 30 miles and more than 65 obstacles.

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