Continental Park prepares for coming holiday season

Continental Park readied for the holiday season, reelected its HOA officers and heard plans for new programs from Jack Kardys, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces director, and George Parrado, Continental Park manager, on Nov. 13.

“The park is a little piece of paradise,” Kardys said of the tennis courts, baseball diamond, playground, fields and park shelter off SW 104th Street and 82nd Avenue, in the heart of one of East Kendall’s oldest neighborhoods.

Working adults can look ahead to new programs now in the planning stages for yoga and bridge groups, he added. In addition to daily age 55-plus programming, the park hosts sing-alongs and old-time dancing at its historic Dice House, 10000 SW 82 Ave.

On the heels of its annual Halloween event with more than 350 attending a costume party, residents were reminded of forthcoming holiday festivities with a visit from Santa Claus at the historic Dice House on Dec. 20, 7-8:30 p.m.

Hayrides from the decorated Dice House, once the home of Kendall’s first mayor in the early 1900s, will be featured along with movies-on-the-green and free treats. Award certificates will be given to the best holiday lighting displays following yearly judging on Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Holly White, reelected association president, welcomed Continental Park Homeowners Association Board of Directors who will hold office for 2015: Harlan Chiron, Robert Csanalosi, Steve Howard, Herman Koch, Rebecca Lowell, Cornelia Philipson, Don Taylor and Gloria Zach.

During its annual meeting and in recent emails, Continental Park homeowners were warned about a wave of strangers who come knocking on doors with increased frequency during the holidays.

An exchange of emails during November led Jose Gonzalez, Crime Watch spokesperson, to warn block captains.

“The holidays bring snooping eyes by strange cars and people. You do not need to be a hero; just pick up the phone and call 305-476-5423 (also known as 305-4- POLICE). It could save yourself or your neighbor a lot of heartache.”

His advice followed a series of complaints in the area of SW 104th Street and 82nd Avenue to 87th Avenue about magazine subscription solicitors, an unknown “lady” asking help for troubled women, and Realtors with business cards.

“When someone comes to your door and states they are a Realtor, please remember that likely they are legitimate,” advised Paul Krebes, a SW 95th Street resident. “You can politely ask for their license number, and if they’re not able to rattle it off, you may have something to worry about.

“Otherwise, remember these are professionals following a tried and true method of contacting people about recent listings,” he said.

White said a January meeting of Continental Park HOA is being planned with police officers to discuss neighborhood crime reporting to reduce household burglaries, car thefts and similar complaints.

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