Stories written by Raquel Garcia

Village candidate chases apparent political sign stealer all over Miami

The intersection of SW 168 St and Old Cutler Road where Village Candidate John Dubois witnessed alleged theft of his political signage

At 9pm on the evening of Wednesday, August 15, Palmetto Bay resident and Village Council candidate John Dubois was driving by SW 168 St and Old Cutler when he noticed a bronze GMC Silverado pick-up truck parked on the side of the road. As an area where political campaign signs are often staked, he found […]

Cathy Noe knows fitness

Cathy Noe prepares for her morning class at Gracie Bara Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Center.

When Cathie Noe first arrived in South Miami 32 years ago from Greensboro, North Carolina, close friend Cheryl Wiggins introduced her to the budding jazzercise movement. Ever since then, the super fit 63 year old personal trainer has been dancing and stretching her way to optimum health and taking her many students along for the […]

Armando Oliveros offers post-election reflections

Former Vice Mayor Armando Oliveros returned from an eight year prison sentence for money laundering to the city he built a life in. After the prodigal son humbly and contritely came back, the former lawyer decided to boldly throw his hat in the ring and campaign for commissioner this past February. Although he lost the […]

New athletic business venture helps runners hit their stride

Kendall runners gather before hitting the streets on National Running Day.

Business partners Jaime Vega, Ernie Mendoza, and Frankie Ruiz are perfect examples of how running brings people together. Ruiz, as co-founder of the ING Marathon and cross-country head coach for Belen Jesuit Academy, knew Vega and Mendoza from his visits to running retail establishments in town. The three discovered they also shared a goal of […]

Local not-for-profit Branches provides a home away from home for at risk youth

(Back, left to right) site coordinator Laurie Kahn and director of development Isabelle Pike with the Summer Shade youth program class.

When recent Flagler College graduate Mae Marino got her first 9 to 5 job after graduation she felt like she needed something more. So the AmeriCorps volunteer joined Branches South Miami, an after school enrichment program from South Florida Urban Ministries not for profit association. She now enjoys the kind of job satisfaction she knew […]

Disc golf course installed at Palmetto Bay Village Center

Miami Disc Golf Association president George Alvarez scores a basket.

The Miami Disc Golf Association (MDGA) recently installed an 18-hole championship disc golf course at the Palmetto Bay Village Center in hopes the fast growing sport will continue to catch on in the community. Similar to golf, the game involves throwing a Frisbee-like flying disc into a basket from approximately 230 feet away on an […]

Body builder Asha Hadley qualifies for nationals

Asha Hadley poses during competition.

While a student at the University of Florida majoring in nutrition and food science, Asha Hadley was flipping through fitness magazines one day and became inspired to take her work out program to the next level. Now at age 32, the Jackson South Community Hospital dietician just won second place at the 2012 National Physique […]

Glass Artist Gail Alexander uses the elements to forge her creations

Gail Alexander busy at her South Miami art studio

Art education teacher Gail Alexander’s bold flamboyant style captivated the hearts and minds of her students for decades. Although recently retired, there is no slowing down her creative spirit as she embarks upon new challenges as a local glass artist and private tutor for gifted students. A four time teacher of the year recipient for […]

Tibetan Monks from India visit Zen Village in Grove

Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Northern India perform a sacred ceremony before the dismantling of the sand mandala

In the heart of Coconut Grove, on Main Highway just west of the downtown hustle and bustle, is a quiet unobtrusive building painted in bright reds and greens — Zen Village. To local area devotees, the Tibetan Buddhist Temple Center is a sacred space for community gatherings and meditation. Founder and director of the not-forprofit […]

Nouveau Burger Stand Shake Shack opens on US 1

Shake Shack’s Aaron Diaz from New York City is all smiles

Neither Undaunted by lots of nearby burger competition nor the high turnover rate of shuttered eating establishments who tried to stay open on the same site, Danny Meyer’s Union Hospitality Group out of New York City recently opened its 16th Shake Shack location at 1450 South Dixie Highway. “Shake Shack is going to be a […]

Tibetan Monks from India visit Zen Village in Grove


In the heart of Coconut Grove, on Main Highway just west of the downtown hustle and bustle, is a quiet unobtrusive building painted in bright reds and greens — Zen Village. To local area devotees, the Tibetan Buddhist Temple Center is a sacred space for community gatherings and meditation. Founder and director of the not-for-profit […]

Vice Mayor Josh Liebman on his first six months in office


When recently elected Vice Mayor Josh Liebman arrived at his home on the Friday before his first city commission meeting, he had a special delivery from city hall awaiting him. The multi-inch thick binder he assumed was the city charter and perhaps development codes library turned out to be the back-up packet agenda for the […]

Local gym supports Olympic triathlete Manny Huerta

Pinecrest Fitness Owner Mike Estevez (left) and Olympic Triathlon
Manuel Huerta with
fellow athlete Michael Nunez
in the background.

Pinecrest Fitness recently hosted a spinning class fundraiser for Olympic-bound triathlete and Little Havana resident Manuel Huerta. Local athletes and friends hope to raise enough money to help Huerta take his family with him to London in August so they can watch him compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games Triathlon at Hyde Park. “It […]

Women driven business American Chariots celebrates 35th anniversary

(L to r) Judy Kilburn and Karla Cooper are the ladies behind the wheel at American Chariots

Maybe it was the salesman who was too busy asking Judy Kilburn out on a date rather than focusing on selling her a car that convinced her to go into business for herself as an auto broker. Her boyfriend (now husband) was in the business at the time. What started out as an entrepreneurial endeavor […]

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