Lots of things going and growing in the village right now

Hey number crunchers, you may want to check out the Fiscal Year 2014-15 Proposed Operating and Capital Budget for the Village of Palmetto Bay, which has just been posted on the village’s website. Just go to the finance page which is located at this address: www.palmettobay-fl.gov/node/113 and scroll down to the Forms and Documents section, then click on the top link to view the document. Be advised that it’s still a “work in progress” requiring additional tweaking, and to that end the village will conduct a Special Council Meeting regarding the 2014-15 Operating and Capital Budget on Monday, September 8, at 7:00 p.m. They want your input, and the meeting takes place in the Village Hall Chambers, 9705 E. Hibiscus Street. The Regular Council Meeting follows it. Got questions? Call 305-259-1234.

Green Thumb alert! If you like growing things in your back yard, be advised that the final session of the village’s Responsible Gardening Workshops takes place at Thalatta Estate on Friday, September 12 at 6 p.m. This one is on the topic of raised bed gardening, with tips on planning, building and irrigating, the benefits of a raised bed, high yield produce and prepping for the fall season planting. As with the others, this is presented by Palmetto Bay resident and Master Gardener Terri Stephen, in partnership with the University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Extension office. Thalatta Estate is located at 17301 Old Cutler Road. For information, call 305-259-1234 or visit www.Palmettobay-fl.gov.

Lights, camera, action… the parks in Palmetto Bay are becoming increasingly popular for commercials and still shoots, as well as some telenovelas, according to Sandy Lighterman, the Miami-Dade film commissioner, quoted in an article in Miami Today just last month. Lighterman says the village is “one of our friendliest municipalities,” and points out that most of “Every Which Way” was filmed in Palmetto Bay, as were TV productions like “Four Weddings,” Univision’s “Nuestra Belleza Latina” and Telemundo’s “Pasion Prohibida.” So if the trend keeps going and growing, maybe Bill Sadowski Park, home of the Southern Cross Astronomical Society, won’t be the only place for “star gazing,” if you know what we mean.

Here’s an issue most everyone should be able to agree on, kids and reading. The Read to Learn Books for Free initiative in Miami-Dade County is being championed by The Center for Literature and Theater at Miami-Dade College and The Children’s Trust. The program aims to have all children in the county reading at or above grade level by third grade by making books accessible to children through strategically placed bookshelves filled with new and gently used age appropriate books in highly visited locations, such as government agencies, low income housing sites and health clinics, to name a few.

“During the second quarter of 2014 alone Read to Learn Books for Free delivered more than 25,857 books to children in need, but our supplies are running low and we need more!” says Lissette Mendez of MDC. “That’s why we are launching a virtual book drive, making it easy for companies, families and individuals to contribute books for the shelves. We need your help!”

There are far too few books available to youngsters in lower income communities, and the folks in the program are in the process of adding five new bookshelves to be placed in different Women, Infants and Children (WIC) centers. To support Read to Learn Books for Free, visit their webpage at www.thecenteratmdc.org/readtolearn/bookstore.html, or send an email to Lissette.Mendez@mdc.edu, or call her at 305-237-3298.

Thought of the Day:

Not to engage in the pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men.

— Mortimer Adler

Gary Alan Ruse 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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