Flores gets Key to the City

Mayor Philip Stoddard presents Executive VP at First National Bank of South Miami Veronica Flores with a key to the city

A hearty congratulation is in order for stalwart community leader Executive Vice President of First National Bank of South Miami Veronica Birch Flores. Flores was recently given the key to the city by Mayor Philip Stoddard for her tireless efforts to make certain the Parade of Elves went off this year without a hitch. Flores convinced the city manager to not burden the business community with the $10,000 outlay required for police and street closings. She also rallied past volunteers and supporters to come together to ensure the 29th annual parade adored by parents, kids and locals all over would actually materialize. There were doubts in November as to whether or not this long standing tradition would happen due to a late start and the unavailability of long time Parade of Elves coordinator Barbara Acker.

New Year’s Eve in SoMi
Why drive all the way to downtown or South Beach and risk sharing the road with unenlightened drivers for New Year’s Eve? How about staying in hometown and bringing in the year among area friends while supporting neighborhood establishments. There is a plethora of party possibilities downtown at Shula’s 347 or perhaps George’s or Town Kitchen and Bar. Try Splitsville for an original family celebration or Segafredo after a nice dinner at RA Sushi? Bouganvillea’s is planning a special night and Old Lisbon and Fox’s Lounge are sure to please. Then there are some new haunts where you can help bring in their inaugural New Year such as Sports Grill and Buffalo’s. Sunset Tavern and Deli Lane will be cranking up the fun and pumping up the volume with live music and special entrees and elixirs to help you forget your resolutions for the night. So, Happy New Year to all and make it a safe and special affair to remember.
Save the date for UM tradition
The University of Miami 61st Annual Beaux Arts Festival is coming up the weekend of January 7 and 8 from 10am to 5pm at the Lowe Art Museum. Bring your family and friends to stroll around the beautiful campus and peruse the extensive collection of a wide range of art. The juried exhibition will also include live music, children’s entertainment–including art for kids, and the gourmet food trucks will be ready to serve. To find out more visit: beauxartsmiami.org or call 305-668-8499.

Dangerously Out of Touch
Seven months ago attorney Henry T. Courtney received a “Civil Infraction Notice” from the code enforcement office for cracks and potholes behind his business at 5801 SW 72 Street. Ten different potholes, three of which were at least 30 inches long and five inches deep were ruining the tires of cars driving by and creating potentially serious liability hazards. The only problem was that the potholes were actually property of the City of South Miami. Courtney proved this when he presented a letter from former city manager Maria V. Davis from 2004 stating as much immediately after he received the infraction notice. Courtney wrote letters and personally attempted to contact everybody and anybody at city hall to resolve this increasingly dangerous problem. Said Courtney about the futility of his attempts to fix the problem after trying to reach the city for months: “If the shoe were on the other foot and it was our property, we would have already been issued a fine and a lien put on our property. Unfortunately it does not work the other way when it is the property of the City of South Miami.” Finally Courtney decided to go before the commission at the last meeting to attempt to resolve the matter. After an animated presentation during citizen comment when a clearly exasperated Courtney tried to make sense of seven months of delays on an obviously scary situation, the potholes were fixed the next day.

Go Gianna!
Congratulations to eight year old Gianna Conterio who recently received an Ipad computer from Informed Families and the administration of SoMi Somerset Academy. She took on the challenge to decorate her mailbox in honor of Red Ribbon Week’s photo contest with the theme “It is up to me to be drug free.” Gianna got the most votes for her creative display in Southern Region 6 and Informed Families matched the students win with a $1000 donation to the school.

Election Update
The beauty contest is gearing up as declared candidates primp and poise for the February election. So far former mayor Julio Robaina is vying for another mayoral term, running candidate Josh Liebman has hit his own stride as he hopes to unseat real estate extraordinaire Brainy Brian Beasley, and Armando Oliveros is out and about around town. Mayor Philip Stoddard has confirmed his re-election bid and Sally Philips is also giving it a shot as well. So far no confirmation as to whether or not Commissioner Velma Palmer will run for re-election.

New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.
-James Agate

Got Tips?
Contact me at 305-669-7030 or Michael@communitynewspapers.com.

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