The City of Sunny Isles Beach recently named a bench at Heritage Park in memory of Dan Palmer, longtime Editor of the Sunny Isles Beach Sun Community Newspaper. His grandson, Justin Brooks, was present to accept a memento on the family’s behalf, a framed photograph of the bench. Additionally, a donation to the Aventura Marketing Council Education Fund was presented to Elaine Adler in Dan’s memory.
When Sunny Isles Beach was incorporated in 1997, then Mayor David Samson wanted a newspaper in the city. With Dan’s guidance, a unique partnership between the city and Miller Publishing was formed, and the first edition hit the streets near the end of 1998. Dan was the founding and managing editor, approving and suggesting topics for articles to city staff. Writer Bari Auerbach reported the results of commission meetings in a way that was easy for everyone to understand. Those early issues covered the growth of the young City, plus introduced commissioners, employees and services to the public. A feature called “Sunny People” highlighted residents known for community involvement.
Dan will be remembered in Sunny Isles Beach as a newspaperman with an astute understanding of the political scene, for his good natured pokes at people and for his gentle nature. Twice-monthly newspaper planning meetings were always a bright spot in the week. He encouraged and nurtured many writers that appeared both on the pages of the Sunny Isles Beach Sun and the Aventura News. He has a faithful following reading his Wandering & Pondering column. Everyone was curious to see if he had written about them or if they could guess who he was writing about! He crafted the stories with just the right mix of fact and fiction; so that no one really knew for sure if their guess was correct.
Dan experienced a lot in life and chose to see the bright side. Life situations and people’s reactions amused him. He greeted everyone with a smile. One would walk away from an encounter with him feeling as if the sun was shining a little brighter. So, when a child receives benefits from the education fund, or when someone rests on his bench at the park, Dan will be remembered, in a way he would have liked… with a smile.
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