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The only place for Coconut Grove, FL News, Views & Opinions - Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Friday, January 19, 2018

MCA Academy holds Open House January 22-26

MCA Academy has moved into a larger space at Mayfair for the start of the 2017-18 school year and everyone can't stop talking about the beautiful facility.  It's known for having top flight academics, virtually no homework, lots of after school activities and a nurturing environment

You can stop by and see the campus, tour MCA's all new classrooms, meet the teachers and MCA principal Ingrid Acosta. You'll discover why students and parents choose MCA because of it's personalized structure of education, small class sizes and feeling of belonging.

There are two tours available - an open group tour from 10:30 am to 11:30 am, and private tours by appointment from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Please call 786-495-0333 for information and to schedule a tour. Other times are also available by appointment. MCA academy is a private, non-sectarian school with grades 1-12 in Coconut Grove, Florida.

Please visit the MCA website at www.mcaacademy.com for more details and information. MCA academy / 2911 Grand Avenue, #500 Coconut Grove.

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This year's Grove Arts Festival poster unveiled

The poster for this year's Coconut Grove Arts Festival was unveiled at a party at the Sonesta Hotel Thursday night. We streamed it live on Facebook as it was happening. You can see the tape of that here.

Hector Prado (shown here) is this year's artist, the piece is called, "Winds of Change." Hector has won awards for Graphic Design and Creatives Ad campaigns ideas such a Cannes Festival, One show, London Awards, Clio Awards, NY Festivals, Emmy Awards and many others.


The Coconut Grove Arts Festival is February 17, 18 and 19 this year.

Liliana Dones and Bennie Benevenuto 


Katrina Delgado, Monty Trainer, Maria and David Freed, Keith Haymes
Carol Hawks, Demi Quinn and Lisa Remeny showing off Lisa's new scarf line.

Ken Drodvillo with Roxanne Vargas of NBC6.


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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Village Council to discuss Playhouse on Friday

The Coconut Grove Village Council meets Friday, January 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at City Hall.

Topics include the Coconut Grove Playhouse plans. Various parties from the different plans will explain their plans and talk about the viability and costs of each plan.

There will be a question and answer session.

City Hall is at 3500 Pan American Drive.

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Charlie's cottage is saved!

Charlie Cinnamon's cottage.

Good news from Glenn Terry. Charlie Cinnamon's historic South Grove cottage will not be torn down. The City's zoning board voted against that and developer Andrew Raskin has to come up with a new plan. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Glenn, a piece of Grove history will be saved.

Hard to believe the zoning board sided with residents. This must be a first!

According to Glenn: "They pointed out that the City of Miami does a poor job of preserving its past. This house was occupied by one of Miami's most colorful and beloved public figures. Charlie Cinnamon was South Florida's 'Mr. Broadway'." 

You can read more at Glen's The Grove Guy blog here.

This is too little too late when it comes to Grove history. A few years ago, I saw this program on PBS where they spoke about all the artistic and musical people that lived and wrote and created in the Grove. This was probably the 1950s and 1960s and maybe some of the 1970s. So many names you would know, came to the Grove. Some lived here full time, and some came in the winter.

The PBS program showed old films; people would be sitting around Greenwich Village in NYC on a cold February day for instance, and someone would say, "Let's head down to the Grove!" and they would all pile into a car and drive down.

Imagine if these houses were saved. We would have some special community here. Sort of a tourist area of writers and musicians and artists from the past. Like Charlie's cottage.


You probably remember the story of Charlie's Woods we wrote about saving that special area of South Grove a few times.

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Pop-up Ramen Shop at The Bookstore

The Bookstore and Kitchen Chef Adriana Egozcue teams up with Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli for a one-night Pop-Up shop of their own take on Ramen on Friday, January 26 from 7 to 10 pm.

Cost is $35 per person. 

Choose one from each category:

APPETIZER
Anticucho Mushroom Bao
Chicken Thigh Yakitori

RAMEN
Tonkotsu Pork
Vegetable Ramen
Calle Ocho (Vaca Frita)

BEER
Asahi 20 oz
Sapporo 20 oz

SURPRISE KAWAI

Order here before January 24 at 8 pm.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Atchana's is celebrating 1 year anniversary

Atchana's Homegrown Thai is one year old and they're having a party to celebrate on Saturday, January 20 from 2 to 10 pm.

They have live music on the sidewalk in the afternoon with Kokay & the Truth playing, and then another band, Three Sheets to the Wind, later in the evening. Coincidentally, Three Sheets to the Wind is the band I told you about that I loved at the Beaux Arts Festival last weekend! 

The lead singer, Michael, was Steve Capellini's best man at his and Atchana's wedding! 

"Singha is sponsoring so we’ll have specials all day, $5 Beer and $5 champagne. Our towers (3 liters) will be $30 for Singha and $40 for champagne," says Steve.

They will have food specials, too. 

Atchana's is at 3194 Commodore Plaza, right on the corner of Grand Avenue and Commodore Plaza. You can't miss them.

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Dr. Balick is 2018 recipient of Fairchild Medal

Dr. Michael J. Balick
Dr. Michael J. Balick, Vice President for Botanical Science and Philecology Curator at the Institute for Economic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), has been named the 2018 recipient of the David Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration. In an announcement from its headquarters in Hawaii, the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) recognized Dr. Balick for a career spanning over four decades of botanical fieldwork and research around the globe.

The Fairchild Medal will be presented to Dr. Balick at a black-tie dinner at NTBG’s historical garden and former residence of David Fairchild The Kampong in Coconut Grove, Florida on January 26. The following day Dr. Balick will give a public lecture entitled “Plants, People, and Culture: Exploring the Roots of Wisdom.”

Like the Fairchild Medal’s namesake, Dr. Balick has many decades of experience conducting botanical fieldwork and exploration in regions as diverse as Central and South America, the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Middle East. Much of Dr. Balick’s work since 1998 has focused on understanding the diversity, distribution, and uses of plants in tropical Pacific Islands, including The Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and most recently Vanuatu.

As a high school student he was inspired by Fairchild’s seminal 1938 book The World Was My Garden. “After reading that book, I was hooked — this was to be the field for me,” Dr. Balick recalled.

Upon being accepted to Harvard University, Dr. Balick was inspired by the famed plant explorer Richard Evans Schultes who sent him on his first field collecting trip to the Amazon in 1976. Following his introduction to tropical botany and indigenous peoples, Dr. Balick continued to study under Schultes, graduating from Harvard in 1980 with a Ph.D. in biology and specialty in ethnobotany and business administration.

Dr. Wade Davis, Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia commented, “No one could be more deserving of this award than Mike Balick. In so many ways he is, as both an ethnobotanist and an economic botanist, the true inheritor of the legacy of both David Fairchild and his own mentor, Richard Evans Schultes.”

NTBG’s President and CEO Chipper Wichman called Dr. Balick an “outstanding choice” for the Fairchild Medal. “Over the past four decades Mike has been at the cutting edge of what we now call ‘biocultural conservation’ — the conservation of both the natural world and the indigenous cultures that have evolved with it,” Wichman said, adding: “As an economic botanist, Mike exemplifies Fairchild’s desire to enrich human society by traveling to far-away places to search for new plants and cultural knowledge.”

Contact Arlene Lang for ticket info: alang@ntbg.org or 305-442-7169 Ext. 103

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Suarez likes Heisenbottle Playhouse design

County Commissioner Xavier Suarez sent out this statement today regarding the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

The story keeps shifting. Now the plan is a 500-seat theater, favoring the Heisenbottle design, which he calls a modification of the Arquitectónica design.

Here is the statement:


I have shepherded the Coconut Grove Playhouse for six years now, and am happy that most of the elements of a restoration are agreed upon. 

The site plan designed by the architectural firm, in conjunction with the preservation consultant, is almost exactly what I am ready to recommend to the commission - except only for a more complete restoration of the middle part of the historical theater (technically the proscenium arch).

In that regard, I believe the Heisenbottle design, which seeks to preserve the proscenium arch, is a desirable modification of the Arquitectónica/Jorge Hernandez design.

I also have recommended to the Miami Parking Authority to reduce the height and mass of the parking facility so that it does not overwhelm the theater. Luckily, the Playhouse site is at about 14 feet above sea level and lends itself to underground parking, as was done at Coc
owalk.

All of the above can hopefully be achieved with a theater whose capacity is in the range of 450-550, which Mayor Giménez has endorsed - assuming the capital funds are available. On that issue, we now have a tender offer from City of Miami officials, including Mayor Francis Suarez that would add as much as $10 million to the capital funding. There are also indications that the Grove's Business Improvement District (BID), headed by Commissioner Ken Russell, will contribute to the capital funding.

Counting on an infusion of substantial private funds, as was done for the Performing Arts Center, is not an option that merits further consideration at this time. The reasons are many, but the main reason is that there is no consensus on the need or feasibility of a much-larger theater, as proposed by Mike Eidson and his group. I thank, in that connection, Chairman Esteban Bovo for his willingness to have two Sunshine meetings in which this possibility was discussed.

And I also thank Mike Eidson for his generosity. If we do indeed accomplish the restoration of the Playhouse to what is the classic size of a "regional theater" (approximately 500 seats) and not merely a mini-theater that feeds on commercial, housing and parking revenues for its capital and operating needs, it will be in great part due to his untiring efforts to lead us in that direction.

Xavier L. Suarez
Miami-Dade County Commissioner
District 7

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Onshore​ ​Festival​ ​Adds​ ​Dimension​ ​to​ ​World​ ​Cup

@Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

On January 27 and 28, while Olympic sailing hopefuls from all corners of the globe are battling for top honors on Biscayne Bay, Miami locals and visitors can enjoy a festival experience at Regatta Park in Coconut Grove complete with food trucks, fun and educational activities for all ages and a jumbotron to watch the deciding races from the comfort of shore. 

The US Sailing Education Zone will be open January 27 to 28 from 11 am to 4 pm.

The 2018 World Cup Series Miami USA is one of four stops on World Sailing's World Cup Series tour, the premiere competitive circuit for sailors with aspirations of representing their country at the Tokyo Games in 2020. The World Cup Series Miami USA, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2019, is known around the world for reliable wind, great mid-winter weather and the famous South Florida hospitality.

Many national teams make Miami a de facto winter training base, which ensures that the competition at the World Cup Series Miami USA is always of the highest level. Many of the sailors competing in the event will be standing on the podium in Tokyo in two a half years time.

The Education Zone will provide fun learning activities for youth patrons as part of the US Sailing Reach Initiative for STEM education and sport outreach. The Education Zone activities will focus on hurricanes and their impact, connecting youth to sailing, stewardship, and the local waters of Miami. Through interactive and hands-on activities, children will have the opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics through the sport of sailing. US Sailing partnered with Sailors for the Sea, University of Miami and Harken to create the Education Zone experience.


● Strengthen those abdominal muscles. US Sailing is organizing the “Don’t be a Wet Plastic Bag Hiking Challenge” in which individuals will have one minute to pick up as many pieces of debris while hiking out as if they were out dinghy sailing. After storms the local mangroves and waterways are filled with debris. Will you make the leaderboard?

● The “Reach Simple Machine Scavenger Hunt” will feature a hands on display of simple machines on sailboats while students learn about mechanical advantage. Hundreds of participating youth have a special opportunity to connect science and sailing through mechanical advantage by exploring the association between six simple machines: wheel and axle, lever, pulley, screw, wedge and inclined plane. The youth participating in the scavenger hunt will be challenged to find examples of all six simple machines in the Race Village. Those who complete the challenge will receive their very own ‘simple machine’ to take home, a block key chain from Harken. Thanks to Harken, kids will explore a winch (wheel and axle), winch handle (lever), blocks with various purchase systems (pulleys) and a vang system (pulley).

● US Sailing’s “GPS Navigation Challenge” will feature a list of items with clues for students to locate using a compass. Students will navigate their way throughout the Education Zone and Race Village to various locations for a final prize.

● Sailors for the Sea will feature three different activities from their KELP (Kids Environmental Lesson Plans) program. All of these activities are focused on how humans impact the ocean and sea life with a specific focus on plastic pollution and marine debris. Participating youth will learn how they can make a difference and become stewards of our waterways and ocean.

● University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science will feature two
activities from the Rescue a Reef program & the Canes on Canes Program.




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Monday, January 15, 2018

Sports leagues starting up in Peacock Park

Peacock Park is open to sports again and South Florida Club Sport has a bunch of leagues coming up.

Kickball - starts January 29

Kickball is back at Peacock Park.  We're excited to make Monday's a little more fun!  So grab some friends, coworkers, family members or if nobody wants to play, we'll find you a team.  Sign-up today and meet some cool people playing kickball.  Games are Monday nights from 7-10pm at Peacock Park with after game socials at Sandbar Grill. 

Sign up and more info here: southfloridaclubsport.com/league/20511/details

Ultimate Frisbee - starts January 30 

The Winter season was great and we're back at it for August 1st.  Get your teammates ready and lets toss that disc.  Teams, individuals and groups are welcome.  Games are at Peacock Park from 7-10pm on Tuesday nights.  Sign-up today.

Sign up and more info here: southfloridaclubsport.com/league/19839/details


Coed Softball - starts March 8

Get your friends and teams together before the league is sold out.  Games are 7-10pm at Peacock Park.  This is a rec league for anyone who wants to play and have fun.  Individuals, teams and groups are welcome.  Come meet some cool people and have a cold beer at the Sandbar after the game. 

Sign up and more info here: southfloridaclubsport.com/league/20652/details

 Men’s Softball - starts February 1

Get your friends and teams together before the league is sold out.  Games are 7-10pm at Peacock Park.  This is a rec league with USSSA rules for anyone who wants to play and have fun.  Individuals, teams and groups are welcome.  Come meet some cool people and have a cold beer at the Sandbar after the game. 

Sign up and more info here: southfloridaclubsport.com/league/20517/details

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The digital Miami Herald

I've decided to dump my Miami Herald subscription, which it pains me to do since I don't remember ever not receiving a daily newspaper delivery, even from when I was a child. But the newspaper is not arriving (remember I told you about that?)! I'm paying for it but it doesn't come. We had a problem last month, it sort of got fixed, but it's happening again - no newspaper delivery. 

I can't understand how a major metropolitan newspaper can't get the newspapers out! Where are those newsie kids when you need them? 

Anyway, I've decided to let my subscription run out next month and then I will just read the paper digitally. You can read the actual pages on line by subscribing for a nominal fee and it's got all the things the printed paper has - the news, the comics, the tv listings, sports, etc. And there are even about a dozen pages or more in the back of the daily paper with extra things - sections called "Extra" which has commentary, opinion, science and technology, business and more.

And what I love about it is that you can enlarge it to easily read it.

I think we should all support our local newspaper(s) and this is a great way to do it for just $6.50 per month, the first month is just 99 cents. It's $39.99 per year. At this rate, I may subscribe to another newspaper that I like somewhere else in the country and enjoy reading their daily news and then switching it with another city. What's great is that I've been clicking around the internet and many cities offer the e-editions for free without a paywall.

You can subscribe to the digital Herald here.

Sorry if this sounds like an ad. I'm just excited that I found an alternative to the printed edition.


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Sunday, January 14, 2018

First Bingo game of the new year is Thursday

Bingo is back at the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove on Thursday, January 18. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for kids under 12. Cards are $1 each, minimum of 5 games.

Enjoy free refreshments and snacks. The last game prize is $1000 cash with a full bingo card of 46 numbers called.

All proceeds benefit the club.

Parking is at St. Stephen's for a flat rate of $3, mention bingo when parking.

The Woman's Club is at 2985 South Bayshore Drive. Questions? Call 305-446-2909.

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Lots of art, color and music at Beaux Arts Festival

The conch fritters are always one of the best parts of the 65th annual Beaux Arts Festival of the Arts at UM, along with the art and music, of course. The Festival is on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. The weather has been perfect.


Three Sheets to the Wind performed, they were excellent, they do a lot of shows in the Grove, too.


The location has moved a bit, but you really won't notice. Just enter at the usual entrance, where you'll come upon the food court first which leads into the art area on the big lawn.


125 volunteers and over 300 Beaux Arts Associate members work together throughout the year to execute events and to make a difference in the community through many special programs.This arts fest is their main event. 


During the past 65 years, Beaux Arts has raised over $6 million dollars, which places the organization in the highest donor category for the University of Miami, The Gables Society.  In recognition of Beaux Arts’ $250,000 pledge to the Lowe 2000 Capital Campaign, the Beaux Arts Gallery was dedicated to coincide with the opening of the newly renovated Lowe Art Museum in December of 1996.  


In 2011, Beaux Arts was honored by the University of Miami Alumni Association with the White Award. This award recognizes an affiliate group that has made significant contributions to the University. Beaux Arts gave $182,000 over 5 years to contribute to the Momentum II Campaign.
In 2014, Beaux Arts made a donation in the amount of $1.5 million to the University of Miami. This gift has enabled the creation of the position of Beaux Arts’ Director’s Endowment Fund. The endowment which was the result of hard work from members, past and present, lives in perpetuity and will support increased programming, community outreach, facility upgrades and other projects at the Lowe.  Toward that end, Beaux Arts proudly welcomes the acclaimed art director, Dr. Jill Deupi as the new Beaux Arts Director and Chief Curator of the Lowe Art Museum.



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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Gas-powered leaf blowers banned in Key Biscayne

Gas-powered leaf blowers will be prohibited after February 25, 2018 in Key Biscayne, so voted their Village Council.

Aside from the noise, the village council says that fuel-powered leaf blowers contribute to ozone damaging emissions to the environment.

Electric or battery powered blowers are permitted. And gardeners are not allowed to blow the debris into the storm water system. What about the street or neighbors yards as most do?

When we were kids (back in the old days), we used rakes to clean up leaves and grass and such. We then dumped the debris in bags are garbage cans.

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New centralized valet service begins Monday

Effective Monday, January 15, 2018, parking customers in Coconut Grove will be able to use a centralized valet program at one of five different locations located throughout the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District (BID). The daytime rate will cost $5.00 and in the evenings after 6:00 pm, parkers will pay $8.00. 

Special event rates will be offered and will be flexible to provide good quality service. The hours of operation will be:  

- Sunday-Wednesday from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
- Thursday-Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 am or until the last car leaves

 The five valet parking stands will be located at:
- 3176 Commodore Plaza
- 3067 Grand Avenue
- 2820 McFarlane Road
- 1958 Main Highway
- 2901 Florida Avenue

“MPA has established the centralized valet parking program in Coconut Grove to support customers, merchants and visitors, as the BID has several construction projects in progress as well as others slated to kick off early in the New Year,” said Arthur Noriega, Chief Executive Officer of MPA. 

The current private valet parking company will cease operations once the centralized valet program goes into effect. For additional information, please contact the MPA Customer Service Department at (305) 373-6789 extension 289 or visit us at: www.miamiparking.com.

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Saturday is Community Recycling Day

Community Recycling Day is Saturday, January 13 at Regatta Park from 10 am to 2 pm.

Recycle your old electronics, TVs, printers, light bulbs, phones, cords, chargers, microwaves, hair dryers, and batteries. 

Anything that plugs into an outlet will be recycled!

To volunteer, contact Camila at camila@sharpdentistry.com
More information at www.miamizerowaste.com

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County to discuss Playhouse next week

Rendering of the Coconut Grove Foundation plans.

County Commissioner Xavier Suarez is asking the Miami-Dade County Parks and Cultural Affairs committee to sign a resolution giving The Coconut Grove Foundation the rights to build and manage the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Their plans may be seen here, they introduced them in July. 

This plan called for rebuilding the theater portion itself while keeping the historic "winged" entrance but it has been changed to save the whole playhouse now.. This new rendition has a lot of clean lines and open space. It will be framed by the winged frontage that we are all so familiar with. This new version has 700 seats as opposed to the County's plans of 300 seats, and a small separate black box theater, as well as multiple additional outdoor performance and recreational areas.  There's lots of green space.

The resolution will be heard at 9:30 am on Thursday, January 18 at the County Commission Chamber at the Downtown Government Center (111 N.W. 1st Street). This is "2D" on the agenda.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Mayor Suarez to hold Town Hall meeting next week

Mayor Francis Suarez

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez will be holding his January Town Hall Meeting in Coconut Grove.

Join Mayor Suarez on Saturday January 20, from 11 am to 1 pm at Armbrister Park (4000 Grand Avenue).

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Emilio T. Gonzalez named new City Manager

Dr. Gonzalez PhD
Emilio T. Gonzalez, Ph.D. is Miami’s new City Manager.   Dr. Gonzalez was nominated by Mayor Francis Suarez in December.  

In a 4 to 1 vote by the City Commission, Dr. Gonzalez was approved today and starts in his new position on Friday, January 12. The City Manager is the Chief Administrator responsible for managing all departments, city employees, and a $1.7 billion budget. 


Dr. Gonzalez has extensive experience in different levels of business and government. Most recently he was the Aviation Director and Chief Executive Officer of Miami-Dade Aviation Department for nearly five years. He oversaw all operations at Miami International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. Under President George W. Bush, he was a Senior Presidential Advisor and Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs for the National Security Council. From 2006 to 2008 Dr. Gonzalez was Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a Senate-confirmed executive position within the United States Department of Homeland Security. 


Dr. Gonzalez is a retired Colonel in the United States Army.  During his stellar 26-year military career he was a Military Intelligence Officer and served in numerous field and staff positions to include the United States Southern Command.  Dr. Gonzalez has received many foreign honors, civic awards and U.S. Military Honors including the White House Presidential Service Badge and multiple service medals.


He holds a BA in International Studies from the University of South Florida, an MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University, an MA from the U.S. Naval War College in National Security and Strategic Studies, and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Miami.


Dr. Gonzalez has been married to his wife Gloria for 39 years.  They live in the City of Miami and have two daughters and a grandson.

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City Commission approves CRA expansion

By 5 to 0, at Thursday's meeting, the City Commission voted to approve expansion of the Omni CRA into Village West.  Sponsored by Commissioner Ken Russell, the others voting in favor were Commissioners Willy Gort, Joe Carollo, Manolo Reyes and Keon Hardemon. It's nice when a plan comes together and when the commissioners work together.

Now County approval is required, and then it will go back to the CRA to appoint a seven-member Advisory Board to work with a consultant and the community to prepare a “vision" and an amendment to the Omni Redevelopment Plan and then the implementation of that Amendment to the Redevelopment Plan that will allow the funding of the projects and programs included within said plan.

Many of the West Village residents stood up before the commission to voice their support, but it seemed to be a done deal before the meeting got underway. There are more steps that need to be taken. But most residents and citizens thought it was a good idea. The Village West Homeowners and Tenants Associaton (HOATA) was in favor of it and this will affect them the most, so having their approval was important.

The commission also recommended that the Coconut Grove Playhouse and Miami Marine Statium be added to the National Register of Historic Places, this resolution will go to the City of Miami's HEP Board (Historic and Environmental Preservation Board).



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Goodbye Christmas tree, until next year . . .

There goes the tree. End of another holiday season. This was the scene early today.

There is talk that the tree will not be in front of CocoWalk next year, mostly because it will be under massive renovations. So will we have a tree? If so, where would be a good place for it?

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Beaux Arts Festival is back at UM this weekend

Arts festival season is starting up with the 67th Beaux Arts Festival of the Arts on Saturday and Sunday, January 13 and 14.

The festival has moved to the Foote University Green at the University of Miami this year, which is a bit away from the usual spot. 

The yearly event benefits the Lowe Art Museum on campus. The festival runs from 10 am to 5 pm each day. This is the area's oldest juried art show. Along with the art there is lots of food, drink and character.

=== 
The Arbor - A boutique eco-living community in Coconut Grove. Check it out.
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CRA for Village West to be discussed at meeting

The City of Miami is meeting today, January 11, and on the agenda is item RE.3, which will discuss bringing the Miami CRA to Village West in Coconut Grove.

The Village West in Coconut Grove is where Coconut Grove started. Its rich Bahamian culture is still present as you walk down the streets. Nestled between wealthy Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, this historically black community helped found and build our city, nevertheless it was originally and literally segregated from the rest of the city. Today we are at risk of wiping this area and its history off the map. Slumlords have taken over the area. Broken promises have left empty lots all over the area.


Commissioner Ken Russell believe that bringing this neighborhood under the wing of the existing Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in the City Commission District where Ken serves may be its last chance of surviving slum and blight without encouraging displacement and gentrification. Ken believes the CRA may be the key to a resilient future of clean streets, thriving businesses, affordable homes, and historic preservation—a future that cherishes the Bahamian, Caribbean, and Southern roots that have earned their place here.


As City Commissioner, Ken Russell, has directed several motions and legislative changes towards this purpose, but it hasn’t been enough. This is why, once again looking for the welfare and healthy development of this place and its people, he brings a new solution: preserving the West Grove with a CRA. As Chairman of the existing Omni CRA, he knows the power of this tool when regulated and implemented properly. Basically, it traps the future tax revenue generated within the boundary to be laser focused on the elimination of slum and blight. The CRA can act quickly and efficiently under the administration of an Executive Director and the oversight of a Board of Directors and a Community Advisory Board.


The Village West Homeowners and Tenants Associaton (HOATA), which will be affected by the CRA proposal, has a resolution in favor of the proposal, which says that, "HOATA, with the condition that a specific commitment in a Preamble appended to the “Finding of Necessity” for the proposed CRA expansion be made to convey the benefits of the CRA; specifying that the “long-termed African-American/Bahamian, residents of the area, as beneficiaries."
It goes on, "With that provision, HOATA is in full support of the non-contiguous boundary expansion of the Omni CRA to include the Coconut Grove Village-West neighborhood, as well as the establishment of a Coconut Grove Village-West CRA District Advisory Board, and
asks that the Miami City Commission accept and approve the Finding of Necessity
Report (including the recommended preamble) for the expansion of the boundaries of
the CRA to overlay the City of Miami Neighborhood Development Zone (TUA) and asks
that the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, the City of Miami
Commission and the Omni CRA Board of Commissioners take all necessary action to
finalize the boundary expansion, modify the Interlocal Agreement, and amend the Omni
CRA Amended Redevelopment Plan.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

'Enchanted Barnyard Evening at the Kampong'

"Enchanted Barnyard Evening at the Kampong" is Friday, January 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. It's a fundraiser for Coconut Grove's Barnyard Community Center, a Coconut Grove Cares program.

The Barnyard is a non-for-profit community center in Village West dedicated to building a better community for the children of the area. They provide free after school and summer camp programs for children ages 5-12.

Coconut Grove Cares has been around since 1948, founded by Elizabeth Virrick and Father Theodore Gibson. The Barnyard Community Center opened in 1983.

The Enchanted Barnyard evening at the Kampong will have cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and raffles. Cost is $75 per person.

The Kampong is at 4013 Douglas Road.

For tickets and more info: 305-446-6216 or cgcares@bellsouth.net.


=== 
The Arbor - A boutique eco-living community in Coconut Grove. Check it out.
===

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Charity with a flair for fashion

Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon Committee, 2017

On March 13, a kaleidoscope of color will fill Vizcaya Museum and Gardens as some of Miami's most charitable and fashion-forward ladies don the latest spring designs for the 10th Annual Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon. Known informally as the "Hat Luncheon," this iconic affair attracts 300 guests from Miami, Palm Beach and New York for an elegant lunch and fundraiser dedicated to safeguarding this National Historic Landmark and cultural hub for future generations.

Presented by Nordstrom, the luncheon earns its notable nickname due to the guests' fashionable hats, ranging from the classic to the avant garde. This element adds a touch of flair and whimsy to the fundraiser, which addresses the important issue of historic preservation - a poignant matter following the conclusion of Vizcaya's centennial year. With post-Irma recovery and the Vizcaya Village restoration project well underway, there is much to be accomplished at Vizcaya in 2018 and years to come. The strategic plan for a unified Vizcaya aims for the Village to realize its full potential as a community resource through innovative programming for locals and visitors as well as by relating the full history of the estate.

The 10th Annual Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon's Co-Chairs are Eilah Campbell-Beavers, Swanee DiMare and Christy Martin. The committee includes: Lesli Ann Brown, Suzy Buckley, Sonia Gibson, Linda Levy Goldberg, Ana Hernandez, Barbara Hevia, Carol Iacovelli, Marile Lopez, Nicole Lozano, Bronwyn Miller and Alexa Wolman.

Tickets can be purchased online. Friends of Vizcaya tickets are $450 and James Deering tickets are $600. Tables of 10 guests are available starting at $4,500 for a Friends of Vizcaya Table. James Deering Tables are $6,000 and includes premier seating, 2 bottle champagne service and complimentary entry to Après Fête following the luncheon. For more information about the Preservation Luncheon, visit vizcayapreservation.org or email events@vizcaya.org.

=== 
The Arbor - A boutique eco-living community in Coconut Grove. Check it out.
===

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