Thursday, August 30, 2007

Florida Medical Center Wins National Awards

Congratulations to Florida Medical Center on winning recognition from the American Heart Association for the "Get With The Guidelines (GWTG)" Initial Performance Awards. FMC is among the 277 hospitals nationwide featured in US News and World Report for demonstrating a commitment to quality care for heart disease and stroke patients. They received two Bronze Initial Performance Achievements Awards, for Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Failure. GWTG is an award-winning, in-hospital quality improvement program from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, designed to improve patient outcomes and save lives by promoting evidence-based treatment for patients with coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fluorescent Light Bulbs Accepted At Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Sites

Broward County residents are being encouraged to dispose of fluorescent light bulbs at one of the three permanent hazardous waste drop-off sites around the County.

Highly-efficient fluorescent light bulbs, more environmentally-friendly than incandescent light bulbs, should not be discarded in regular trash and garbage collections. The fluorescent bulbs and lamps (CFLs) contain mercury, a toxic substance, which could leach into soil and water, poisoning fish and wildlife.

Because incandescent light bulbs are inefficient, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups are encouraging the use of fluorescent light bulbs, which can last from four to five years. However, mercury in fluorescent light bulbs can be dangerous, even in small quantities.

Fluorescent light bulbs should be discarded at the following permanent Broward County drop-off locations:

· 2780 N. Powerline Rd., Pompano Beach (north of Copans Rd.): Open every Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

· 5601 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., West Park (located between Miramar and Pembroke Park): Open every Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

· 5490 Reese Rd., Davie: Open Saturdays only, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (accepts limited items—no electronics)

In addition to the fluorescent bulbs, the Pompano Beach and West Park hazardous waste drop-off sites accept paint, solvents, motor oil, pesticides, household chemicals, lawn and pool chemicals, mercury thermometers, propane tanks and fire extinguishers. Acceptable used electronics include televisions, computers, monitors, keyboards, printers, fax machines, cell phones and rechargeable batteries.

Each month (except August), Broward County‘s Waste and Recycling Division conducts special household hazardous waste and electronics recycling events. Fluorescent bulbs are accepted at these events. The next event is planned for September 16, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., 6011 Nob Hill Rd. (Public Works Complex), Tamarac.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cricket to Score at Jerk fest


The Jamaican Jerk Festival (Jerk fest) will renew its acquaintance with the palates of the South Florida community on September 23, again at Markham Park in western Sunrise. Now in its sixth year, the festival is growing from bite to bite and continues to draw larger and larger crowds, enticed mainly by the taste of Jamaica's great culinary contribution to the world, but also this event offers many different attractions for a fulfilling family fun day.

One of the main attractions for the morning will be a game of 20/20 cricket, an innovative short form cricket that is becoming increasingly popular. The producers of Jerk Fest, Riddims Marketing and Jamaica Awareness, along with the South Florida Cricket Alliance (SFCA), have teamed up to bring this game to the thousands of patrons expected at Markham Park.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Letter from the City Manager


August 8, 2007

To: Mayor and City Commission

Re: Synopsis of Accomplishments for the period of 10/01/2007 through 08/07/2007

I am pleased to report that over the past year we have made significant progress toward the goals the City commission has established. Specifically, our fund balance has steadily risen to above 10%, we have emphasized public safety by reaching full staffing in our police department, revitalization of our blighted areas (CRA) is in full swing, and we have promoted several of our top managers from within our ranks.

In an effort to create an environment of participation and inclusion, staff and I have attended or facilitated numerous community meetings, thus, we have nurtured public participation because of the openness and accessibility of our government. For example, regularly, community leaders are gathered to discuss current events in a friendly lunch setting. Moreover, we have created processes that allow residents easy access to public information (e.g. our new radio station, email lists used to spread information). Finally, I have made myself available to community leaders, 24/7, via my home and cell telephones. The feedback we are able to collect is then forwarded to the City Commission via my weekly reports or through direct discussions.

The most significant challenge we have dealt with was presented by the recent legislation to reduce the City’s ability to collect tax revenues. Indeed, the loss of $3.8M presented unique and difficult obstacles. However, because our resourcefulness, guidance from the Commission, and the expertise of staff, we able to cope with these challenges. Many changes were made. Staff was redeployed, vacant positions were not filled, and job duties were consolidated. Subsequently, staff is working harder, but thankfully we did not have to lay anyone off!

Many positive changes were made this year. Beautification projects are being completed in all areas. These investments are now beginning to attract the private improvements we forecasted. The Villas on N.W. 56th Avenue is in the process of a major site improvement, including complete facelifts to all of the buildings. Also, many new residential, owner occupied units are being built. Our Tax base will certainly improve because of these improvements.

All of this is not going unnoticed. In fact, our image has steadily improved over the past few years to the point that we are now the focus of discussions at many Broward County planning meetings. Also, many of our projects like the Renaissance Village, a single family home project, have received very positive press.

In summary, we have made steady and substantial process toward our goals. This progress is seen wherever you travel in our City. More importantly, our progress can be felt when we speak with our community leaders. Their pride of accomplish, and their desire to do more, is obvious. In my view, the ‘report card’ we are getting from our residents is good.

I have created the following abridged list of some of the major accomplishments we have made over the past year:

· We were awarded $8.3M in grant funds from Broward County for redevelopment projects

· Purchased Mission Lake plaza and 8 Townhomes as part of the Central revitalization plan

· Created an arts incubator to further the vision of the 441 CRA

· Installed >21,000 linear feet of decorative walls and landscaping

· Utilized City staff for major beautification projects for a >$100,000 savings to taxpayers

· Installed decorative fencing at many of our parks

· Consolidated personnel to save costs and meet the demands presented by loss of tax revenues

· Successfully obtained our HUD housing authority number

· Established the unsafe structures board created by the City Commission
Synopsis of Accomplishments for the period of 10/01/2007 through 8/07/2007

· Fire/Rescue passed a ‘spot’ inspection by the State with zero (0) deficiencies found

· Obtained ~$1M in grants for numerous projects (excluding CDBG and SHIP)

· Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program was started with a group of community leaders.

· Established a Summer Literacy Camp, sponsored by JM Family and the Oscar Thomas Foundation. 3 year commitment for $100,000

· Developed a partnership with the Florida Youth Athletic Association (FLYAA) and the Princeton Review to provide free tutoring classes to youth football participants

· Secured the Staples Dream Park Challenge Championship and a $25,000 purse

· Installed of the Thorguard Lightning Detection System (protects all parks throughout the city)

· Administered over 1000 swim lessons to local Lauderhill youth

· Assumed responsibility for investigating homicide cases in the City of Lauderhill

· Secured Federal Grant funding to continue offering the following programs to the community: Police Impact Program (PIP), PAL programs and the Citizen’s Police Academy

· Safely conducting over 30 drug search warrants, seizing just under a half million dollars worth of drugs, 21 motor vehicles, and $38,100 in cash

· Receiving State recognition by the Department of Transportation for winning two first place awards in the Florida Law Enforcement Challenge. The awards relate to traffic enforcement, safety, and education. $25,000 in traffic enforcement equipment was the award to the Police Department

This list represents only a small portion of the total accomplishments we have all made over the past year. Please refer to my ‘weekly reports’ for additional details.


Goals for 2008

The primary goal for my staff and I will be to meet the future challenges of tax reform. Indeed, it will be imperative for us to be innovative to ensure that the progress we have made toward revitalization and economic development continues.

Areas we will explore to increase revenues and/or reduce costs include:

· Special taxing districts

· Cooperatives and other cost sharing partnerships with both private and public entities

· Utilization of additional centralized operations, and outsourcing

Economic Development:

· Staff will actively pursue attracting events to our area , e.g. sporting events to fill seats at the CBRP stadium, and cultural events for our new cultural center

· We will continue to work toward creating the Arts district near 441

· We will work diligently to complete as many beautifications projects as possible to create a desirable business corridor on 441 and OPB


Charles Faranda
City Manager

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hurricane Dean


In anticipation of Hurricane Dean striking Jamaica, our fire stations stations will be drop off points for relief supplies.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Trinidad & Tobago Multicultural Day Celebration

COME AND CELEBRATE

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 45th YEAR OF INDEPENDENCE
WITH A MULTICULTURAL DAY
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 2, 2007
FROM 2PM – 10PM
AT THE LAUDERHILL MALL
CORNER OF STATE ROAD 7 AND 12TH STREET
ONE BLOCK NORTH OF SUNRISE BLVD.

CODE 868 WITH LEON COLDERO, ROGER GEORGE AND EDDY CHARLES
T&TEC GAYATONES from TNT
LAUDERHILL STEEL ENSEMBLE
PETROTRIN BOODOOSING TASSA GROUP
USVI MOKO JUMBIE, FOLK , INDIAN AND AFRICIAN DANCERS

ARTS & CRAFTS AND CULTURAL DISPLAY FROM ALL ETHNIC GROUPS.

ACTIVITIES FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: 954-972-9628 / 954-587-7700

ADMISSION: FREE FREE FREE

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Results From "Click it or Ticket" Program & Police Report

The State of Florida traffic initiative called “Click it or Ticket” has ended. The Lauderhill Police Department has accomplished the following:

Speeding citations 284

Seat Belt citations 196

Child Restraint cit. 104

Suspended DL 18

Uninsured Motorist 36

Ten people were arrested over the weekend with such charges as Burglary, DUI, Domestic Violence, Disorderly, Aggravated Battery with a Knife, and Felony Warrants.

Officers responded to multiple alarms at the Sports Park. As the first two officers arrived, they observed two males running toward the canal. A foot chase began and one suspect jumped into the canal and was apprehended by Lauderhill units. A second male was found lying in the middle of the field and was arrested. The pair (Juveniles) broke the window of a DEES truck, took some tools and broke into a vending machine. One of the suspects had in his possession a registration from a vehicle which was burglarized earlier in Lauderdale Lakes. BSO responded.

Monday, August 13, 2007

School Crossing Guards and NW Survey


Due to the State Legislative mandate of rolling back taxes, the City of Lauderhill is required to use the tax rolls from 2006 and roll back taxes 9%. This effectively causes us to not only absorb the additional cost of services due to inflation, but also to reduce our budget $3.8 million. To do this required significant cutbacks in most every area. One of the areas was in School Crossing Guards.

Originally, the entire program (approx. $300,000) was to be eliminated. Now it has been adjusted to provide $75,000 for critical need areas. One of those areas is at the intersection of Pine Island Road and 50th Street. Others are:
55th Ave. and 56th Ave. at 25th Street and also at 19th Street;
35th Avenue in front of Broward Estate, as well as at NW 5th Place;
33rd Avenue at 12th Place and 14th Street;
34th Terrace at NW 5th Place;
Lauderhill Middle will be handle by the School Resource Officer
31st Avenue and Sistrunk (for the time being since it is from unincorporated Broward and not Lauderhill)
One at Paul Turner Elementary and one at Castle Garden Elementary

The only reason for this cutback is the need to cut salary of the city since over 90% of our general budget (not to be confused with capital budget from bond funds) is now for personnel. The city sees the need for safety, but the point is that we cannot pay for services we cannot afford. In the future we are looking to some alternatives, including the creation of a volunteer school crossing guard program run by the parents.

One of the issues that has caused concerned, is that at the time this matter is coming up, the city has sent out a survey to residents of the Northwest Area concerning capital improvements at Westwind Park. The issue of Westwind Park and the School Crossing Guards can not be mixed.

Funds for Westwind Park are from the 2005 Great Neighborhood Capital Improvement Bond issue, and must be spent on capital improvements. It cannot be used for general expenditures such as salaries. They are not reoccurring funds. School Crossing Guards funds come from the general fund, and not from any bond issues. The purpose of the survey is to check to make sure proposed improvements to Westwind Park are those that community truly wants. If the area votes against it thinking that the funds can be used for school guards, the improvements will not go in. Then the area will have a lose-lose situation by still not having the crossing guards, and the monies will be set aside for other capital improvements elsewhere in the city.

The remaining point is how does the vote on the constitutional amendment on tax reduction, set for January 2008, effect Lauderhill. The answer is significantly, a total of around $11,000,000.00 significant, out of a present budget of just over $30 million. To the point we will probably have to not only eliminate school crossing guards all together, but also reduce police, fire and personnel throughout the city. The amendment is not in the best interest of our city.

Community Outreach Back to School Health Fair. Are You Looking For a Job?

Do you need CAREER ADVANCEMENT assistance?

Meet Employers and Businesses in Broward County-Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce

C.O.R.E Congress of Racial Equality

Legal Services in Broward County,

Local Community Providers & more.

When: SATURDAY, August, 18th, 2007

Time : From 10am to 2pm

Where: 6750 W. Commercial Blvd

Lauderhill FL, 33319


¨ Free Health Screening

¨ Vision, Nutrition

¨ Education

¨ Social Services

¨ Community Business


Sponsored by Broward County Health Department –Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce (Erick Yankwitt)-C.O.R.E - School Board

Friday, August 10, 2007

Update On Lauderhill - Week of 7/8 to 7/14

The following is an update on some activities of the city that may be of interest:

Building Department -

a) Stonebridge Gardens Condominium Directors are working with their adjustment team, the Construction Company, and the city to resolve all insurance matters and code issues. Work will resume when the Board and Construction Company are satisfied that all issues are resolved. The air quality test results were received from June 15, 2007. Videotaping of the contents of all units is complete by the Project Manager. Several storage containers were delivered to the job site for the on site storage of unit owners' contents. Subcontractors are being contacted to resubmit proposals in order to re-mobilize the site and resume work.

b) The Villas is being brought back to the Unsafe Structures Board for stoppage of work, because they are not repairing all damaged buildings and upgrading them to the Florida Building Code.

Code Enforcement -

a) Each Code Officer has been instructed to conduct a street by street inspection of their zone, and write all noted violations and present said violations to the department manager on a spread sheet. A total of 77 Notices of Violations were written for the week, 9 parking tickets, and 4 water restriction citations were issued.

b) Follow up is to address the many code violations in the Wingate Plaza on 31st Avenue, the Inverrary Hotel and the Checkers on Oakland Park Blvd.

Community Development Agency (CRA) -

A business seminar was held at the Lauderhill Mall, with good attendance.

DEES -

a) Canal crews cleaned and sprayed canals city-wide.

b) A review was being conducted with regards to cutting and cleaning of parks throughout the city.

Fire Department -

There were 6 calls for fire, 155 for EMS, 2 for hazardous conditions, 10 service calls, 37 for good intent, 22 false calls, for a total of 232 calls.

Commendations from the Public -

Lauderhill received a Letter of Appreciation, addressed to the Police Chief, from the city Psychologist, for permitting him to ride-along for about 5 hours with patrol officers. The purpose was to update the Psychologist's awareness of the Lauderhill community, neighborhoods, and newly annexed areas, and to learn about the pace of mix of call to which the officers respond. This in turn will help him to more effectively evaluate the psychological suitability of candidates for employment as police officers with the Lauderhill PD.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

FREE Business Seminar for Persons Going into Business

Presented by Broward SCORE, Chapter 17

When: Saturday August 11, 2007 from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.
Where: Century Plaza Library, 1856 West Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach,
Cost: Free:
Subjects:
1. How to Go into Your Own Business
2. Attitude Testing - Evaluation - Re: Should I go into my own business?

For Reservations or information - Call 954-356-7263 between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. Monday through Friday.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

County Bus Fare Increase Subject to Hearing

Broward County Commissioners will conduct a public hearing on a proposed bus fare increase on Tuesday, August 14, 2 p.m., Room 422, Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale.

If approved by the County Commission, the new fares would become effective October 1, 2007. Additional increases would occur in October of 2008 and 2009. Broward County has not increased bus fares since 1995.

Proposed increases include: regular on-way fare, $1 to $1.25; youth fare, $.50 to $.60; senior/disabled/Medicare fare, $.50 to $.60; all day pass, $2.50 to $3; all day pass (senior/disabled/Medicare/youth), $1.25 to $2; 31-day adult pass, $32 to $40; 31-day senior/disabled/Medicare/youth), $16 to $20; and, seven-day bus pass, $9 to $11.

The ten-ride bus pass would be discontinued and a new 31-day college student bus pass would be implemented for $20. In addition, the Commission will be seeking public comment on selling reduced fares to agencies certified by the County's Human Services Department to provide bus fares to homeless individuals. For more information concerning the public hearing, call 954-357-8355 or visit http://www.broward.org/bct.