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January 20, 2014

Sapphire condo snags two more awards

The Sapphire condo in Fort Lauderdale was recently awarded 'Best Front Desk' and '2013 Best Communication' at the recent FirstService Residential dual-county managers' meeting of Broward and Palm Beach.

The condo publishes monthly newsletters and delivers email updates to residents, according to property manager Jose Zelaya.

In 2011, the city also awarded Sapphire the "Best Multi-Family Residence" and "Property of the Year."

"The residents are so very proud of our entire staff who always go the extra mile each and every day to ensure the best quality of life at Sapphire," said condo board president Steve Glassman in an emailed statement.


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Oakland Park Historical Society announces Highwaymen Artists' show

Florida's own Highwaymen Artists is hosting another art show courtesy of the Oakland Park Historical Society from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 1 at Jaco Pastorius Community Center, 4000 N. Dixie Highway in Oakland Park.

The event will feature art for sale, live painting demonstrations, and free appraisals.

Also from 4 to 6 p.m., guests are invited to a special 'Dinner with the Highwaymen' fundraiser at the Oakland Park Community Development Center, 451 NE 32nd St.

Cost is $35 and all proceeds benefit the Oakland Park Historical Society and Community Development Center. Tickets can be purchased online at

For information about Highwaymen Artists' events, email or call 954-253-0850.


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January 10, 2014

The Girl Choir of South Florida hosts open auditions

The Girl Choir of South Florida is hosting open auditions for new members from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 12 at its rehearsal facility, 3347 NW 55th St in Fort Lauderdale.

Girls ages 6 through 13 are welcome to audition and no preparation or prior musical experience is necessary.

For information call 954-533-9227 and email

Audition information and forms can also be found online at


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October 3, 2013

Grant fosters student-senior reading program

Bolstered by a $25,000 grant from the American Express Charitable Fund, organizers of the Broward County Library's Prime Time reading program are looking for senior volunteers to read books to preschool children.

Prime Time is an award-winning early literacy program that brings together different generations to encourage reading. And students aren’t the program’s only beneficiaries. Organizers say it also is rewarding for the seniors who participate.

“The children begin to see the joy and fun of reading, and the seniors tell us they're having the time of their lives,” said Nancy Murray, special events coordinator for the library’s Youth Services Administration. “A lot of the children may not go home to someone who reads to them and the children become part of their lives.”

The program began more than 20 years ago when budget cuts forced library staff to stop visiting day care centers. With the centers operating on weekdays, the library turned to seniors to help fill the void. Workshops were set up to train volunteers and teach them how to keep children engaged during readings. The next workshop will take place on Oct. 30. To register, call 954-357-7846.

Once seniors and other volunteers are trained, reading materials are provided and volunteers are assigned to preschools around the county. Organizers say it’s easy to see why the program is such a success.

“It's a joyful experience to walk in a room and have 30 kids cheering for you,” said Lynne Bruno, coordinator of the Prime Time program. “They’re excited to see what you’re going to read and present. It's exciting for everyone.”

Volunteers are asked to make a 10-week commitment to the program, but they can stay on longer if they wish to do so.

Bruno began volunteering more than five years ago and loved the program so much that she eventually expanded on her role as a volunteer, becoming a coordinator.

“I’ve always loved reading,” she said.

For information about the Prime Time reading program, call 954-357-7846.


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Officials seek public input on improvement plans along A1A

If Broward County wants to keep State Road A1A a scenic highway, first given the designation in 2009, an update to its corridor management plan is required every five years.

This year, the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization is asking county residents for help and will be hosting a series of meetings to gather public opinion on how to improve the corridor as well as present preliminary plans.

“A1A is very important to us as an intrinsic resource and as an economic and tourist development tool,” said Priscila J. Clawges, transportation planner for the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization. “We want to keep the corridor as beautiful as possible and very attractive to outside visitors and our residents.”

Since A1A is already designated a scenic highway, Clawges said the roadway is promoted around Florida as a tourist destination in addition to being able to receive state and grant funding for improvements. It is also the only scenic highway designated corridor in the tri-county area, which makes it unique, she added.

“For us in Broward County, our designation is a treasure,” she said. “We’re showcased all around Florida as a scenic highway attraction to help bring tourists in.”

The public meetings will take from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Pompano Beach Marriott, 1200 N. Ocean Blvd. and Oct. 15 at the Hollywood Beach Marriott, 2501 N. Ocean Drive in Hollywood.

During the meetings, which serve as public outreach to gather feedback, the management team will also present an overview of the corridor with some coastal cities also presenting plans for the corridor. Typical improvement projects include pedestrian-friendly upgrades and added bicycle lanes.

“We definitely want to hear from the public and what they want to see on the scenic highway in Broward,” Clawges said.


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About the Reporter

Don Crinklaw has covered the east side of Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors for the East Side Forum since 2007. Before...


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