Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cold and Flu Season is Here

It’s that time of year again, and unfortunately, we don’t mean the holiday season. It’s the cold and flu season. While you’re planning party time with your friends and family, there’s a virus out there looking to start its own kind of party in your respiratory system.

Is it the Flu or is it a Cold? Does it matter?

The flu is similar to a cold. They are both caused by respiratory viruses. A cold being misdiagnosed as the flu is not a problem. The worst result of a cold is a bacterial infection of the ear or sinuses, treatable by antibiotics. But the flu can lead to potentially serious complications, like pneumonia. The FDA provides a list of symptoms to help you distinguish between the illnesses:

Common Cold symptoms – stuffy nose; sneezing; sore throat; mild to moderate chest discomfort and cough.
Usual Flu symptoms – Fever and headache; general aches and pains, sometimes severe; fatigue and weakness that can last up to 2-3 weeks; extreme exhaustion; chest discomfort and cough; and sometimes stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat.

The common cold is an expensive disease, striking some people as many as 12 times a year and leading to about 15 million days lost from work annually. The flu affects 20% to 50% of Americans each winter and is highly contagious. The flu virus can linger in the air for as long as 3 hours.

It’s true, we can put a man on the moon but science still has not found a cure for the common cold (or the flu). The only proven remedy is time. There are many over the counter products you can use to help you feel better. The best defense is taking the offense and aggressively avoiding the virus:

1) Washing your hands frequently is the single most effective means of avoiding a virus.
2) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. These are doorways for the virus to enter your system.
3) Drink liquids to help your mucus membranes remain moist and effective.
4) Avoid close exposure to those who are ill.
5) Clean surfaces that are frequently touched, like door handles, phones, keyboards, etc. When possible, avoid touching them with your hands at all. For example, press the elevator button with your elbow.
6) Get a flu vaccine.

If, in spite of your best efforts, a cold or flu virus sets up housekeeping in your body, your mother’s advice is still the best: Drink fluids and get plenty of rest, and remember chicken soup always helps! Contact your physician if your symptoms are severe or if you have any concerns.

For more information or questions about the Broward Health (North Broward Hospital District), please contact Charlotte Mather at 954-355-5180.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Update on Lauderhill

BUILDING:
1) Inverness Plaza - the improperly constructed wall was removed and a new wall will be built with the supervision of the Engineer;
2) Inverrary Gardens Condo 1: At a meeting of the parties it was agreed that the City has expedited and extended permits, cooperated in providing solutions to provide life-safety items in the most simplified and cost effective manner, and will continue to do so in an effort to have the unit owners occupy their units as soon as possible. The entire building's life safety-items must be completed prior to any unit owner taking occupancy. The remaining safety items to be completed are: hot water drain pipe to be installed, electric wiring be adequate to accommodate the hot water unit and current breaker size, kitchen and bathroom circuits be protected with GFI, and smoke detectors be installed in bathrooms and adjacent rooms. The delay in finishing the job was related to money issues;
3) GL Homes have requested CO's for 3 completed homes, which are ready for pickup;

CODE ENFORCEMENT:

128 Notices of Violations were issued in this time period, 6 tickets, 2 civil citations and 5 tows.


COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY:

Discussion are ongoing as to the feasibility of a wifi camera system on State Road 7.


FIRE DEPARTMENT:

Responded to 5 fire calls, 179 EMS, 1 hazardous condition, 16 service calls, 23 good intent calls, and 8 false calls. Average response time under 5 minutes and 17 seconds.


COMMENDATIONS:

1) to Officer Pendergrass for his assistance regarding a burglary to an individuals residence. Upon the homeowner arriving at his house, he found the officer there with a juvenile suspect in custody.

2) to Officer LaGrasta, regarding an arrest while conducting an area check in a particular high crime area. An individual subject was loitering and when approached, the subject took flight. During the foot chase, the subject turned and faced the officer while attempting to reach into his front pocket. However, the Officer was able to place the subject into custody. It was then discovered that the item the subject was reaching for was a Colt firearm loaded with ammunition with the ability to penetrate protective vests. Also found was 23 grams of cannabis packaged for individual street sales. The subject had 3 previous arrests for narcotic violations.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Bishop Vashti McKenzie …Guest Speaker for Lauderhill’s 8th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration 2008!


The City of Lauderhill and The Lauderhill Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Taskforce are proud to announce Bishop Vashti McKenzie as the guest speaker for the 2008 Martin Luther King Day Programs - Saturday, January 19, 2008.

Bishop McKenzie will be at the Boys and Girls Club of Lauderhill, 5455 NW 19th Street, at 1:00 PM, where all youth in the community are welcome to enjoy an age appropriate program and question and answer period regarding Civil Rights. Admission into the Boys and Girls Club is FREE. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

At 7:00 PM, Bishop McKenzie will speak at the Diamante’s Banquet Center (6501 West Commercial Blvd.). The program includes entertainment, a thought provoking presentation by McKenzie, and a delectable dinner for adults. Tickets are $50 per person and are on sale now.

Bishop McKenzie was elected as the first female bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She is also the national chaplain of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the granddaughter of Delta founder Vashti Turley Murphy. Born on the 28th of May 1947, into the well-know Murphy clan of Baltimore, Reverend Dr. Vashti McKenzie is a woman of several firsts. She was the first woman to pastor at Payne Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland, and on July 11th, 2000, the AME Church elected her its first female bishop in its 213-year history.

“This is truly an honor to have someone of this caliber to be our MLK 2008 guest speaker. Bishop McKenzie can bring to our residents, especially our youth and women in this community, a shared sense of accomplishment and pride. She is the ideal role model who can inspire and motivate anyone to be the best they can be, and to show that with hard work and perseverance that anything can be accomplished,” remarked Vice Mayor M. Margaret Bates of the City of Lauderhill and Chairperson for the MLK Taskforce 2008.

Tickets are available at City Hall, 3800 Inverrary Blvd., Lauderhill 33319, Suite #107, for $50 per person (includes dinner - cash bar available). Space is limited, so purchase your tickets soon and remember, evening attire is requested for the night’s event. Lauderhill’s MLK Program always sells out! Get your tickets NOW!

For Sponsorship Opportunities or Ticket Information please call 954/ 730-3000.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Update on Lauderhill

Administration:

Building Department:


1) Stonebridge Section 4 is hoping to start occupancy of the first buildings in mid December.

2) Stonebridge Section 2 has replaced Nicon, with a new general contractor, BNB Construction, Inc.

3) The framing for the wall at Inverness Plaza has be red tagged as unsafe. If not repaired, the city will remove it.

4) The church at 3801 NW 4th Street-Broward Estates was found to be unsafe due to heavy accumulation of mold and stagnant water, and red tagged.


Code Enforcement:

Three new code enforcement officers have been trained and are in the field writing violations.


Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA):

1) Purchase Hani property.

2) Had discussions on the Arts Incubator, at Mission Lakes Plaza, concerning required building repairs and renovations. Lighting and fixed electrical has been replaced, and the Arts Incubator has moved into two additional bays. A CPTED fence is to be installed on the premises.

3) Meetings are ongoing concerning extending Renaissance Park at Tree Gardens.

4) Plans continue regarding redevelopment for the Old City Hall on 55th Ave. Focus is on single family home lots.


PALS:

1) 80 Thanksgiving Baskets were distributed.

2) The city received a $14,000 sponsorship from Phil Smith Chevrolet to support the baseball program.

3) Veterans Park field is currently being renovated

4) The Lauderhill shuttle bus is transporting about 6500 passengers over the Monday thru Friday weekly schedule. This is an increase from 1200 passengers/day to 1300 passengers/day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The New Community Redevelopment Agency Website

The city has set up a new web site for our Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) at: http://www.lauderhillcra.com/. Check it out.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

100 Black Men's Annual 100 Bike Drive

The 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale, Inc. (100BMOGFL) has partnered with Wal-Mart for our annual 100 Bike Drive. In this our second year of this program, I am inviting you, your family and friends and/or members of your organization to also participate in this wonderful event.

Annually the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale donates bicycles to students throughout Broward County for their scholastic achievement. Students from elementary to high school will be awarded bicycles on December 22nd at a family fun day event. It will take place at either Mills Pond Park or the new Regional Park located in the City of Lauderhill. We will have food, entertainment, bounce houses and a variety of other youth related activities as the 100 bikes will be brought in on an 18 wheeler truck and delivered in GRAND STYLE to the youth and their families.

Your participation and/or donation will allow us to achieve our goal of awarding 100 bicycles to students who are continuously making scholastic progress. As the holiday season symbolizes the mid-point of the scholastic year, we are using this opportunity to provide bicycles for students that instituted hard work and dedication during the beginning of the school year. Further, the “100 Bike Drive” will serve as motivation to close the second half of the year on a strong note. The awarding of 100 bicycles will demonstrate to our youth and educators that scholastic improvement is not only recognized in the classroom, but also in the community.

I know that your organization has it's own mission and is always reaching out to support various projects and programs. If you would like to partner with us we would welcome your involvement to show the youth that we all care about their progress. It WILL NOT take much of your time as most of all of the logistics has been worked out. We would like your support for that day or a small donation. You and your organization will be a part of the public relations and partnership of this fine program.

The 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life and enhance educational opportunities for people of African descent. This is achieved through various programs in the areas of Mentoring, Education, Economic Development, and Health & Wellness. For more information on our organization, visit our web site: http://www.100blackmengfl.org/

You can make your charitable tax deductible contribution directly through PayPal at:
https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_xclick&business=100bmogfl%40100blackmengfl%2eorg&currency_code=USD&item_name=2007%20Annual%20Bike%20Drive

or make your checks payable to:

100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale
10097 Cleary Boulevard Suite #302
Plantation, Florida 33324

Thank you in advance for your support as we partner to reward positive scholastic achievement. If you would like to know more about how you can participate, please call me direct on my cell (954) 830-2019 to discuss.

Albert A TuckerVice President
Multicultural Business Development
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Windemere Community Center Opens

Central Resident Association's President, Berry Collins, Mayor Richard J Kaplan, City Manager Charles Faranda, and other dignitaries, cut the ribbon to the new Windemere Community Center

On November 19, the new Windemere Community Center opened in Central Lauderhill. On hand was the Central Resident Association's President, Berryl Collins, who stated this is one of the steps we are taking to take back our neighborhood.

The center has a children's basketball court, an outdoor play area, a meeting room, kitchen, and a food serving area. The recreation department will develop programs appropriate for the center. It is large enough to be suitable for family events, including weddings. Also the site has an office for a Lauderhill Police Officer which will serve this area.

The center was obtained through a legal process, and formally was the Windemere Condominium Clubhouse, which fell into disrepair. After obtaining ownership of the premises, the city used funds from the 2005 Voter Approved General Obligation Bond to rebuild and refurbish it. Now, instead of a magnet for crime and blight, it is a magnet for the rebirth of the neighborhood and community pride.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Notes of the Commission Meeting and CRA Meeting of 12/10

On December 10th, the Commission held a CRA Meeting and a Regular Commission Meeting. The following are some points of interest:

CRA MEETING:

1) Discussion on a Cultural Planning Grant and New Markets Tax Credits.

2) Discussion on the Old City Hall Redevelopment Plans. The property will be developed into a new single family housing subdivision, known as Lakeside. Adjacent is planned a pool and other active capable facilities.


REGULAR COMMISSION MEETING:

PRESENTATIONS:

A. Presentation by Encore Performing Arts Center, Inc., who performed.

B. Presentation by Human Resources to Judy Higgins, who is retiring.

C. Presentation by Dozel Spencer concerning the upcoming 2008 elections.

D. Presentation by Mayor Richard J Kaplan, giving a report of the recent US Conference of Mayors meeting in Detroit, and subsequent developments, concerning the national problem of foreclosures and preservation of homes. A copy of this report can be obtained at the following link: http://lauderhill-fl.gov/Mortgage%20Forclosure%20Report.pdf


ORDINANCES & PUBLIC HEARINGS ----- FIRST READING:

ORDINANCE NO. 07O-12-159: Approved the ordinance to require that any modification of a site plan for city-initiated developments exceeding $30,000.00 shall require major review.


ORDINANCES & PUBLIC HEARINGS --- SECOND READING:

Approved an Ordinance that amends the fee structure of the Water and Sewer Rates. The first time/one-time fee for new service would be increased to slightly over average for the region. Also, that a CPI index to the rate would allow for automatic adjustments to account for inflation. It would create a situation where budgeting could be easier for large condominium users so that they would know what the upcoming rates would be in advance.


RESOLUTIONS

COMMISSION

1) RESOLUTION NO. 07R-12-303: Approved ranking of the construction manager for construction of the new City Hall. The ranking was Moss/D. Stephenson Joint Venture; Pirtle Construction; then Kaufman Lynn.

2) RESOLUTION NO. 07R-12-304: Approved a Resolution making it the policy of the city to purchase hybrid and/or alternative fuel vehicles for transportation when appropriate and cost effective. Sponsored by Mayor Richard J Kaplan.

3) RESOLUTION NO. 07R-12-305: Approved a Resolution to create a new music and cultural celebration to be known as "Flavorfest of Lauderhill," to take place April 12-13, at the Central Broward Regional Park. This will combine Unite-A-Fest, HispanicFest and Blazzfest into one event to reduce the costs of having 3 events during the year.

4) RESOLUTION NO. 07R-12-306: Approved a resolution of the City Commission of the City of Lauderhill establishing the dates for the inaugural Florida-Caribbean Games to be held from May 16, 2010 through May 22, 2010.

5) RESOLUTION NO. 07R-12-307: Authorized the City Manager to proceed with negotiations to acquire and/or lease property from Royal Oaks Condominium and Stonebridge Gardens Condominium Association, Inc., in order to extend Renaissance Park to Oakland Park Blvd.

6) RESOLUTION NO. 07R-12-312: Approved a Resolution appointing Andrea M. Anderson as City Clerk and approving her Employment Agreement, effective Jan. 2, 2008.

D.E.E.S.

7) RESOLUTION NO. 07R-12-313: The Commission approved a resolution approving the vacation and abandonment of a portion of right-of-way of Inverrary Blvd. between NW 38th Court and NW 33rd Street, between the new wall and the existing property lines, preserving existing utility easements on behalf of the city.


PLANNING AND ZONING

8) RESOLUTION NO. 07R-12-314: The Commission approved a resolution recommending that the Board of County Commissioners grant a plat note amendment request of Sembler Company, to allow the vacation of a 24' road and related road easement, along with a reduction of a northbound right-turn on NW 82nd Avenue from 200' to 160' of storage. The property is located on Commercial Blvd. at the site of the old United Artist Movie Theatre.

POLICE

9) RESOLUTION NO. 07R-12-315: The Commission tabled the agreement between the city and Forest Lake Estates Homeowner's Association for local traffic control and public safety. Several residents spoke against it, and a representative of the Board spoke in favor of it. It was recommended that the Association survey their residents and if they are favorable, they return with the results. Mayor Kaplan abstained on the vote since he lives in the development, and he was advised it could be a conflict of interest.


QUASI-JUDICIAL MATTERS, FIRST READING:

RESOLUTION NO. 07R-11-298: The Commission approved a Special Exception Use to the New Beginnings Christian Academy, Inc., to allow a day/child care facility at the NW corner of Inverrary Blvd. West and Oakland Park Blvd.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

The Commission discussed and decided to name the entrance road to the Central Regional Park to be Lauderhill Avenue of the Arts.


NEW BUSINESS:

The Commission held discussions on the Annual Retreat. It was decided to have it on February 8, beginning at 9 AM, at a location to be decided upon by staff.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

School Boundary Lines Forum


Broward County Public Schools will hold the second of two Community Forums to review and discuss proposed school boundary scenarios for school communities in all four geographic areas. School Boundaries staff and community-generated scenarios will be reviewed and discussed on Saturday, December 15. Community Forum II for boundary scenarios affecting north and north central area schools will take place at Monarch High School Auditorium (5050 Wiles Road in Coconut Creek).

Individuals wishing to speak will be able to sign up from 8:30 to 9 a.m. School Boundaries staff will present the boundary process along with staff and community scenarios from 9 to 10 a.m., followed by questions and community input from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Foreign language interpreters will be available.

The proposed boundary recommendations will be discussed and reviewed at the community meetings before going to the School Board for final approval. The public is invited to attend and participate in determining school boundaries for the 2008/09 school year. New and revised staff and community boundary scenarios and additional information about the boundary process can be viewed online at: http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/schoolboundaries).

Proposed boundary lines modifications would affect Lauderhill students attending Banyan Elementary, the new Elementary School at Pine Island Road and Commercial, Village Elementary, Challenger Elementary and Horizon Elementary.

Comments and input can also be provided at this site. For additional information, contact School Boundaries at 754-321-2480.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Mayor Appears on National Nightly Business Report

On December 6, Mayor Kaplan appears on the nationally recognized PBS news show, the Nightly Business Report. The Mayor was interviewed as to the financial concerns with the State Investment Funds that governments have used as an investment vehicle, and generally as to the national problem related to sub-prime mortgages defaults. You can see the interview at: http://www.lauderhill-fl.gov/Kaplan/press_120707.html.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Notes of Commission Meeting of November 26

On November 26, the Commission held its regular commission meeting, and the following matters of interest were discussed and acted upon:

PRESENTATIONS:

The presentation of a check to the City of Lauderhill by the Caribbean National Cultural Association (CNCA), from their activities at Unite-A-Fest and Trinidad/Tobago Multi-Cultural Day.


FIRST READING:

Approved an Ordinance that amends the fee structure of the Water and Sewer Rates. The first time/one-time fee for new service would be increased to slightly over average for the region. Also, that a CPI index to the rate would allow for automatic adjustments to account for inflation. It would create a situation where budgeting could be easier for large condominium users so that they would know what the upcoming rates would be in advance.


SECOND READING:

Approved a new fee schedule for recreation facilities, which have not been adjusted since 2002 and to a smaller extent in 2004.


RESOLUTIONS:

1) Approved the Architectural Services Agreement between the City of Lauderhill and Zeidler Partnership, to provide artchitectural and engineering services required to plan and design the Lauderhill Performing Arts/Cultural Center Complex; providing that funds to plan and design come from the joint funding agreement between Lauderhill and Broward County. Funds for the city come from a portion of the 2005 voter approved General Obligation Bond.

2) Approved an Interlocal Agreement between the City of Lauderhill and the City of Coral Springs to Co-Sponsor the 2008 Unitown Event from February 16 to February 18. Commerce Bank is also a sponsor of the event by its contribution of $1000.

3) Approved accepting the Owner's Representative Services Proposal from Agencie Architects regarding the Lauderhill Performing Arts/Cultural Center.

4) Approved supporting the promotion of greater awareness of negative impacts of violent media on children and encouraging the development of programs that assist families and children in using critical media literacy skills (By Vice-Mayor Margaret Bates).

5) Approved expanding the scope of work to Tropic Fence, Inc., to fabricate and install decorative fencing to include the Windermere Community Center and Mission Lake Plaza for an increase in the amount of $94,500.18.

6) Approved awarding Platinum General Contracting, LLC, the lowest responsive bidder, an exclusive contract to supply and install fences for the city from December 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008.

7) Approved a Resolution indicating the official intent of the city to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance the cost of acquisition, construction, equipping and installation of various improvements to the city's stormwater system, and to use a portion of the proceeds of such bonds to reimburse expenditures paid or incurred prior to the date of issuance thereof.


QUASI-JUDICIAL MATTERS:

1) Denied granting to Bengali, Inc., a Special Exception Use Development Order, to allow a convenience store, known as Xpress Convenience, at 9717-8723 NW 50th Street. The vote was 3 to 1, Commission Berger voting in favor.

2) Approved granting to the Circle One Condominium Association, Inc., an amendment that would extend by 3 years the expiration date of the site plan modification development order at the Circle One Condominium, on the west side of 56th Ave. at 25th Street.

3) Denied the Special Exception Use Development Order of lessee, Auto Plus, Inc., to allow a vehicular sales and temporary outdoor storage use (i.e., a used car dealership) at 1231 N.W. 31st. Avenue.


NEW BUSINESS:

1) Cancelled the Commission Meeting scheduled for December 31.

Note: Mayor Kaplan was absent from the meeting to attend the Special Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors concerning Foreclosures. See article below.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Your Donations are Needed

Again this year, the Fire-Rescue Department is supporting the P.A.L.S. effort to help our residents in need. Starting today, we will be collecting food and toys for the holiday season.

If you would like to help, we will be accepting new/unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items until Friday, December 14th, in time for distribution on December 18th.

To donate, you may take items to any of our FOUR fire stations:

Station 57 (Headquarters – 1980 NW 56 Ave.)
Station 30 (1181 NW 41 Terr, - right next to the Sadkin Center)
Station 73 (7801 NW 50 St – In front of Veteran’s Park)
Station 110 (3120 NW 12 Place – Our newest station, on NW 31st Ave & NW 12th Place)

Or, if you would like to donate and cannot make it to one of our stations, please call and we will make arrangements to have things picked up (954-730-2950).

Here's wishing you and yours a safe and healthy holiday season

Monday, December 03, 2007

Mayor's 2007 State of the City Speech

On December 10th at 6:30 PM, the Mayor will be televising his State of the City Speech on Comcast TV. The broadcast will probably be on channel 12 and/or 78. Subsequent to the broadcast, Comcast will be rebroadcasting the speech throughout December. A copy of the speech will be posted on this blog following its broadcast so that it can be read.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Mayor Kaplan's To-Do List

The following is a short partial list of some of the programs and projects the Mayor is presently directly working on:

1) Was one of 7 Mayors to attend a US Conference of Mayors National Forum on Homeownership Preservation and Foreclosures. The purpose was to discuss, analysis, and proposed solutions to the growing foreclosure situation, which is most serious in Florida and California. A presentation is expected to be given on this topic to the City Commission at the December 10th meeting.

2) Working with transportation operators to create a new short distance transportation system to service the State Road 7 CRA.

3) Working on legislation to reduce operational costs and environmental pollution of city assets, through requiring:

a) City Vehicles to be hybrid or use alternate fuels when cost effective and appropriate;
b) Existing Buildings to become more energy efficient through either the Energy Star program and/or LEED.

4) Seeking continuing funding to support and expand transit systems to serve Lauderhill.

5) Creating a county wide dedicated revenue source for matching Federal and State matching transportation projects.

6) Completing the study for alternatives for an interchange of the Turnpike at Oakland Park Blvd.

7) Implementing a new security system throughout Lauderhill.

8) Establishing a new free program for the proper disposal of batteries.

9) Providing some holiday cheer at the upcoming Dec. 10th Commission meeting.

10) Develop a Home Decorator Business Promotion Program for the University Drive corridoor in conjunction with the Chamber.

11) Providing a free Science in the Classroom program for 4th graders through a national grant.