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August 2011

July 2011


On Saturday, residents get architects for a day to draw their vision of 17th Avenue

Residents and artists are teaming up for an outdoor drawing event in the center of Allapattah tomorrow, Saturday, July 30th at 8:30 a.m. They will meet at Juan Pablo Duarte Park, 2800 NW 17th Avenue, and then walk along Miami’s 17th Avenue from NW 36th Street and NW 14th Street. Allapattah residents will form groups, each one getting an architect who will turn their ideas into art. The architects will spend the morning drawing the residents’ visions of 17th Avenue with them.

Raul Pedroso, an Allapattah resident whose family has owned his home in Allapattah for decades, has been asking the City of Miami to make improvements to this transportation corridor for the past few years without any positive response. “Seventeenth Avenue is a County arterial road that the City and County maintain jointly and the lighting system has not been updated for at least 30 years,” says Pedroso. “The light poles are distantly spaced creating areas that are unsafe for doing business and walking after dark in what is a vibrant residential and business community. Our goal is that of creating a safer neighborhood for our families to facilitate vitality.”

Pedroso knew government officials would get on board if he had community support, so he started a “Light Up Allapattah” petition which has over 250 signatures. When radio station La Poderosa heard about the project, they invited him to their offices earlier this July. There he met Mayor Tomas Regalado, who signed the petition and invited him to meet with Commissioner Willy Gort. That meeting occurred last Wednesday, and Pedroso added Gort’s signature to his petition.

Earlier this year, while Pedroso was visiting neighbor Shawn Selleck, another resident active in the community, he met Brian Lemmerman, founder of Urban Visionaries, who saw the potential of the idea. Selleck and Lemmerman worked with Pedroso to help plan this Saturday’s event and get the word out to the community. They expect it to be one of the largest community gatherings Allapattah has seen in years. “The goal of the project is to show politicians the potential that Allapattah has,” says Lemmerman. “We build places where we can live, work, and play together in peace. When that doesn’t go according to plan, it is our responsibility as architects and illustrators to remedy the situation. We all have a right to live in healthy, sustainable places we love.”

One elderly Allapattah resident along NW 34th Street said, “I’ve been living here for over 40 years, and the neighborhood hasn’t changed one bit. It’s about time we brought some resources into this community.”

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Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime to Hold Town Hall Meeting, 8/3


Miami-Dade County District 2 Town Hall Meeting
Commissioner Jean Monestime

6 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011
William H. Turner Technical Arts School
10151 NW 19th Avenue
Miami, FL

Meeting is free and open to the public. Spread the word.

For more information, call 305-694-2779 or e-mail [email protected].

Miami Dade Courts' Town Hall Meeting, 8/24/2011

73069139 Join a panel of judges from the Miami Dade Courts "Community Connect" at an educational Town Hall Meeting.

Town Hall meetings are free and open to the public. Individuals are encouraged to bring their general questions on child support, landlord/tenant issues, small claims, domestic violence, mortgage foreclosures, juvenile delinquency and traffic and suspended license cases.

Please Note: "Community Connect" Town Hall ...Meetings are educational in nature and are not designed to offer legal advice or discuss pending court cases.

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
6:00pm - 8:00pm
City of Miami Gardens City Hall
1515 NW 167th Street, Ste. #200
Miami Gardens, Florida 33169

PLEASE NOTE: Persons with disabilities who need accommodations to participate in the Miami Dade Courts' Town Hall Meeting should contact the Court's ADA Coordinator, Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, 175 NW 1st Avenue, #2702, Miami, Florida 33128 - 305-349-7175 TDD, email: [email protected] as far in advance as possible but preferably at least five working days before the scheduled event. Persons using TDD may contact the Court's ADA Coordinator through the Florida Relay Service, 711.


National Black Chamber of Commerce convenes in Miami

Today is the last day of the convention of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. The convention started on Thursday at The Four Seasons in downtown Miami. Florida Lt. Gov Jennifer Carroll was on hand for several events.

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"The Wendy Williams Show" Launches Nationwide Tour in Miami

Wendy Williams Invites America to 'Say It Like You Mean It'

Los Angeles, CA -- "The Wendy Williams Show" is bringing the fun and excitement of the popular daytime talk show on the road for the summer with the launch of the "Say It Like You Mean It Summer Tour." This multi-
city tour will feature daytime star and New York Times-bestselling author Wendy Williams traveling across the country and meeting fans and new friends alike. "The Wendy Williams Show" begins its third season in national syndication on September 12, 2011.

Beginning August 4, 2011, Williams will hit the road, bringing her irrepressible good humor and authentic attitude directly to the American people. In each city, she will visit with fans, make new friends and participate in local events. For instance, in Tampa, Williams will try her hand as a "drummer" on one of the long boats at the 10th Annual World Championship International Dragon Boat Races. She will also throw out the first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays' baseball game.

In many markets, Williams will ride into town on a specially designed and decorated bus. Fans of "The Wendy Williams Show" will recognize some signature items traveling with Williams, including her beloved Wonder Woman mug and Shakeetha the wig head. Every stop on the summer tour will feature Williams interacting and having fun with local residents.

"Taking Wendy on the road provides a great chance to introduce her to new audiences and it's a wonderful promotional opportunity for our partner stations around the country," saidDebmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein.

"I am ecstatic about the 'Say It Like You Mean It Summer Tour,'" said Williams. "There is no better way to make new friends than to visit them during the summer, and invite them to come and have some fun with us in their city."

The "Say It Like You Mean It Summer Tour" takes its name from a line in the theme song from Williams' popular show, and it encapsulates her sense of authenticity and the honesty that she brings to the show and to her guests.

The "Say It Like You Mean It Summer Tour" will visit the following cities on the listed dates:

Date City Station
August 4 Miami, FL WBFS
August 5 Tampa, FL WTVT
August 8 Charleston, SC WCBD
August 9 Charlotte, NC WAXN
August 11 St. Louis, MO KTVI
August 12 Cincinnati, OH WXIX
August 16 Austin, TX KTBC
August 17 Houston, TX KRIV
August 19 Memphis, TN WHBQ
August 20 Birmingham, AL WIAT
August 24 Chicago, IL WFLD
August 25 Milwaukee, WI WITI
August 26 Minneapolis, MN KMSP
August 30 Los Angeles, CA KTTV
August 31 San Diego, CA XETV
September 1 Sacramento, CA KTXL

For more information on both "The Wendy Williams Show" and the "Say It Like You Mean It Summer Tour" please visit Fans can follow the progression of the tour and join in on the fun by following @WendyWilliams on Twitter and using the hashtags #SAYITLIKEYOUMEANIT and #WENDYWILLIAMS and by visiting on Facebook.

"The Wendy Williams Show" is taped live in New York and features Williams' distinctive and entertaining personality as well as a diverse mix of celebrities from film, music, sports and television. Popular segments include "Ask Wendy" during which she offers real advice, and "Hot Topics" in which she delivers her own funny and authentic take on the latest headlines. "The Wendy Williams Show" is produced and distributed by Debmar-Mercury.

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Save Our Schools: The fight for Central and Edison results in one year reprieve



by Vanessa Woodard Byers


Florida’s Board of Education granted Miami Central High and Miami Edison High a reprieve for the upcoming school year and will allow them to remain open. Local school district officials and people in the communities encompassing those schools breathed a collective sigh of relief. Equally, if not more significant, is the Board’s promise to review its current school grading system.

Central and Edison have been down this road before. After the immediate sense of joy dissipates comes the realization that one more year is not a long time to turn things around based on current guidelines. What tactics will be deployed for students to realize more academic gains and better test results? Is it just a matter of more time needed to realize a real turnaround?

There are plans for an upcoming series of community forums. That strategy could be beneficial, but as quickly as possible, plans need to be developed and put into action that engage parents and the community in helping these students succeed. Students must also take personal responsibility and reduce or eliminate distractions that prevent them from reaching their academic potential. Less talk. More action.

It’s fish or cut bait for both Central and Edison. After the political powers that be succumbed to the wishes of the school district and community, another year of not meeting requirements, will effectively negate the argument against the Board of Education making the unpopular decision of either closing the school for a year; converting it to a charter school or allowing a management company to take them over.

I must commend the Central and Edison alumni association along with the Northwestern and Jackson alumni who were united in this fight. I really don't think the Board of Education wanted to deal with the number of people from Miami-Dade County who were prepared to travel to Tampa to speak on behalf of Central and Edison. Thank you to everyone who sent a letter, an e-mail or made a call to save our schools. 

In my heart of hearts, I believe our students can meet the requirements. A lot of work is required of everyone involved to make that happen. I also believe there should be more focus on making sure our children master the basic skills in the primary grades. Let’s make sure parents are aware what their children are expected to know when they “start” school. If a child starts behind, he will likely remain behind. We know better, let’s just DO better, for our children.



MIAMI GARDENS, FL – Florida Memorial University (FMU), South Florida’s only historically black college or university (HBCU), received national recognition when the Tom Joyner Foundation (TJF) selected it as the July 2011 HBCU of the Month. Aimed specifically at helping HBCUs, the TJF provides financial support for students to complete their college education. Through July 31, FMU will collect funding from across the United States supporting scholarships for high-achieving students at the school.

“The foundation is really happy to work with Florida Memorial University,” said Tom Joyner, nationally-syndicated radio host and the foundation’s chairman. “The university has a wonderful history and this foundation is all about making sure students are able to stay in school.”

Established in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation’s mission is to support HBCUs and help students continue their education. Each month, it designates an HBCU to receive its support. The scholarships will be awarded to students through the Office of Financial Aid at FMU based on financial need and other requirements. “I grew up believing there was nothing I could not achieve,” added Joyner. “My grandparents, my brother, my sons and I are all graduates of HBCUs. Kids need to know that HBCUs are not merely options; they are answers.”

Throughout the month, people interested in financially supporting FMU can visit the foundation’s page on to donate online. The scholarship monies will support deserving students at FMU, including Kendrick Stevenson, a sophomore political science/public administration major with a 4.0 GPA, and Christopher Orr, a junior airway science management major maintaining a 3.8 GPA.

“Florida Memorial University is ecstatic to be selected as the Tom Joyner Foundation’s HBCU of the Month,” said Dr. Henry Lewis, III, president of the university. “The foundation’s support plays a direct role in our mission to offer exceptional opportunities to talented students who might otherwise be unable to afford college.”

For more information on this honor and how to support students at Florida Memorial University, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (305) 626-3609.

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Alpha Kappa Alpha presents Emerging Young Leaders 2011

On Saturday, June 25, 2011, Pi Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority presented its first graduating class of Emerging Young Leaders (EYL) at Solid Rock Baptist Church in Cutler Bay. Emerging Young Leaders  is one of the signature program initiatives of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. It targets girls grades six through eight. 

2011 Graduating Class of EYL

Nandi T. Clarington

Shaniece Roquel Cooper

Angela Elouise Ferguson

Nia Vernicia Gay

Niya Vernice Gay

Juliet King is the president of Pi Delta Omega Chapter. Barbara Fountain Dent is the chair of the EYL initiative for the chapter.

For more photos, visit the Blogging Black Miami Photo Albums on Facebook.