Who says going around in circles is a bad thing?

By Michael Miller….

Michael Miller

We don’t…not when it’s a traffic circle, especially one that’s been dedicated to Paul Neidhart, the former District 2 councilman who served the Village of Palmetto Bay for six years, from its incorporation. On March 1 the village honored Paul with a plaque to acknowledge those years of service, and we think that’s a great idea. Paul is a long time community activist who has always been in there, helping out and getting involved, trying to make the community a better place for everyone. Paul has supported lots of public works projects over the years, so it seems fitting that one would be utilized to throw a little respect his way. Thanks, Paul, and thanks to the council members and staff who made this possible. Note: Paul continues to serve the community as Director of the Economic Development Council, and he would like to see more folks take an active part in that as well.

Thalatta park, which re-opened a few weeks back, is not just there for special events like weddings and parties, it’s also a functioning public park with regular hours, which have been announced. Residents can enjoy the facilities and the gorgeous view Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. Sundays the park is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you haven’t been there, the park and buildings are well worth seeing, and if you have been there…you’ll probably want to go back. For more info call 305-259-1234.

And don’t forget, there’s a Town Hall Meeting for all residents on March 16 at the Edward & Arlene Feller Community Room, in the library complex at Ludovici Park, 17641 Old Cutler Road. The meeting is hosted by Vice Mayor Brian Pariser.

We’re hoping that the village and Miami-Dade County might get together for a pow-wow regarding bus routes and schedules in the area, since while service via public transportation is fairly good along the US1 corridor and some major cross streets on weekdays, there are some parts of the village that are hard or nearly impossible to get to, especially along Old Cutler Road and especially on weekends. Of course, with budget cutbacks, that may be hard right now, but it’s something to think about.

Somewhat ironically, the county’s Consumer Services Department on March 2 seeks two new members to join a “Limousine Advisory Group” to provide input on issues relating to that industry – but you must have a limousine license to apply.

If interested, visit online at www.miamidade.gov/csd for details before the April 11 deadline for application or call 305-375- 3677. Or just take the bus.

Commuter service – finally – on Kendall Drive

Miami-Dade Transit Park & Ride lot in West Kendall has opened, just a stroll from the new WK Baptist Hospital, due to receive its first patients in late April.

The new terminal offers 40 free parking spaces for commuters on trips to Dadeland North Station to catch a Metrorail ride downtown. (Additional free parking is available one mile away at the Target Store at SW 150th Avenue).

Originally named Kendall Kat, the Kendall Cruiser began service June 28, 2010 with the intention of relieving traffic congestion by providing nine 60-foot diesel electric buses whose drivers can prolong a green traffic light by electronic impulse.

Monday thru Friday, the Cruiser offers peak commuter service (meaning every 12 minutes) from 5:30 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 7:15 p.m. Currently, about 800 ride daily or about 200,000 yearly. Each bus carries free Wi-Fi access. Cost: $2.35 per trip.

After a decade of debate over the nowdefunct Metrorail-Kendall Drive link, it’s the best (and only) solution the county has come up with for the tortured trips along Kendall Drive…but at least, it’s a start!

Somewhat ironically, the county’s Consumer Services Department on March 2 seeks two new members to join a “Limousine Advisory Group” to provide input on issues relating to that industry – but you must have a limousine license to apply.

If interested, log on www.miamidade.gov/csd for details before the April 11 deadline for application or call 305-375-3677. Or just take the bus.

Among recent guest speakers at South Miami Rotary Club: Subrata Basu, who left his job with Miami-Dade County to take on a Peace Corps assignment in Belize. As Assistant Director for Planning, Basu often visited non-zoning sessions of both East and West Kendall Community Councils, especially on procedures leading to widening or opening new traffic ways throughout Kendall. His wise counsel and patient, courteous manners will be missed, a sentiment we’re sure is echoed by many who attended sessions when he provided insights into how the county really works.

West Kendall folks rallying to raise funds to aid Betty Quinn pay $3100 surgical bill for Nedra, a 10-year-old black Labrador who has served as guide and companion for her daughter, Kristen, legally-blind since birth but today living a full and productive life, thanks to Betty who gave up her nursing career to adopt Kristen as a foundling as a supervisor at Children’s Hospital.

Nedra even wore her own graduation cap to walk onstage with her charge when a grown-up Kristen received her Barry University degree that has led to her daily career as a non-profit organization administrative assistant.

A Stage Four cancer survivor, Betty (and Kristen) receive contributions at www.giveforward. com, an on-line site that protects donors who respond to individual causes.

As of last week, the ‘kitty’ (sorry, Nedra) was still short about $1500 or so.

Congrats’ in order for Agustin Grana, chosen as the Miami-Dade School District’s Teacher of the Year in February from among 22,000 in the county. A special education teacher at Southwest Senior High School, Grana, 35, has worked with intellectually-disabled students since 2000. Kendall Toyota presented Grana with a shiny new Toyota Yaris, $7500, and the Golden Apple award February 23 at Doral Golf Resort and Spa. “All who work with the disabled with passion and compassion” are equally recognized was Grana’s post-award message. He now enters statewide competition for Florida Teacher of the Year.

Thought for the Day:

Humor is also a way of saying something serious.

— T. S. Eliot

Richard Yager contributed to this column.

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to michael@communitynewspapers.com.

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at michael@communitynewspapers.com

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