The Library is Important to All of Us – An Open Letter from John Quick

This is an open letter to the community by John Quick, President of Friends of the Miami-Dade Libraries

Most of us were introduced to libraries as children by our teachers or parents a source for wonderful stories and information for school projects.

Over the years, public libraries were converted into community centers with meeting rooms, organized story time, academic tutoring and computer stations with free Internet connectivity, and computer literacy training for seniors. They also became a source for early literacy support for parents with small children, digital-media learning centers; free electronic books, audio books for the visually impaired and the disabled, door to door service for the infirmed, reading instruction for illiterate adults, and so much more.

But over the past few years, our libraries have been stripped of almost every public service. Operating hours have been cut and they are no longer open 7 days a week.
As a father of two young children, ages 4 and 2, I expected libraries to always be available for my kids and for future generations. I never realized we would have to fight to keep them open and available for future generations.

Libraries are not a relic of the past. They are critical to a vibrant, successful community with an educated workforce.

Please tell your Miami-Dade County Commissioner that libraries are central to the future of Miami-Dade County and let him or her know before the critical Thursday, September 18 County Commission meeting that will decide the future of our libraries.

Visit to find out how you can make a difference.

Highlight: Panorama Steel band Competition To Showcase The Rich Musical Heritage Of Trinidad and Tobago

Panorama Steel band Competition To Showcase The Rich Musical Heritage Of Trinidad and Tobago

Silver Stars USA Steel Orchestra Looks To Keep Coveted Title of Miami Broward Carnival Steel Band of The Year

panorama201310The scintillating and pulsating music of the steel pan has always played a significant role in the Miami Broward Carnival narrative. This year the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee Inc.(MBOCHC) will present their Panorama Steel Band competition on Friday, October 10, 2014 at Central Broward Regional Park from 6pm to 11pm. Silver Stars USA Steel Orchestra is the reigning 2013 Band of the Year. This year, the list of bands competing for the title of Miami Broward Carnival Steel Band Of The Year includes: Silvers Stars USA Steel Orchestra, Pantastics Steel Band, Lauderhill Steel, Resurrection Sound, Karibbean Knights Steel Orchestra and Steel Away Steel Drum Ensemble. Panorama is a favorite of many pan-lovers who will enjoy the melodic, rhythmic and soothing sounds of a music art form that is the heartbeat of the Carnival culture. The National Instrument of Trinidad & Tobago is the Steel Drum and is the only new instrument invented in the 20th Century, Although a part of Carnival for many years, the first Panorama was not held in T&T until 1963. In Miami the steel bands were always a part of Carnival and bands travelled from Orlando and even from New York, to participate in Carnival. The MBOCHC is committed to preserving this rich Caribbean tradition within the blueprint of #MiamiBrowardCarnival.

panorama20135“Pan is to carnival like water is to fish; it’s a survival thing. As they say, it’s the last created musical instrument that brings pride and joy to a nation. Its like reggae to Jamaica, classical music to Europeans; it is deeply rooted in our culture and the world is better for it.” Sydney Roberts, Vice Chair for Miami Broward Carnival.

“The main focus of Silver Stars USA Steel Orchestra is to introduce the art of playing the steel drums to the youth of South Florida and to broaden the exposure of steel drums in the United States of America. We have been able to expose our repertoire at many functions, such as Mrs. Michelle Obama’s grass roots rally in Ft Lauderdale and we are proud of our Miami Broward Carnival Steel Band Of The Year for the past two years.” stated Errol Christian.

panorama20139Special thanks to the Miami Broward Carnival sponsors:

Corporate – Coca Cola, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, 103.5 The Beat, Mega 94.9, Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Yellow Cab, Discovery Tours, LLC, The Check Cashing Store

Media – Caribbean American-Passport News Magazine, South Florida Caribbean News, Global 99.5FM,, Caribbean Connect, Weekends with the Breakfast Club, VibesUnite,, Caribbean National Weekly, Red Eye

Public Sector – Broward County Florida, Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Center

The Miami Broward Carnival is made possible with the support of Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

For more information about Miami Broward Carnival please visit or call 305-653-1877.

Follow on Social Media
Twitter – @MiaBroCarnival
Instagram – @MiaBroCarnival

Miami Broward Carnival Signature Events for 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014 – J’Ouvert Launch – The Warehouse 3500 NW 15th Street, Lauderhill, FL 33311. Time:10pm-5:30a.m. Admission: $20
Sunday, October 5, 2014 – Jr. Carnival Parade of Bands – Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium – 3700 NW 11th Street, Lauderhill, FL 33311. 1pm-8pm (Parade starts at 2pm) Admission: $10 and $1.50 Park Fee
Friday, October 10, 2014 – Panorama Competition/Kings, Queens, Individuals – Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium – 3700 NW 11th Street, Lauderhill, FL, 33311. Time: 6pm-11pm. Admission: $10. $1.50 Park Fee
Saturday, October 11, 2014 – Official J’Ouvert – Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium – 3700 NW 11th Street, Lauderhill, FL 33311- Time:7am-2pm. Admission: Advance Tickets $15.00
Sunday, October 12, 2014 – Miami Broward Parade of Bands and Concert – 30 Years of Miami Carnival Celebration – Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds – 10901 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33165. Time: 11am-11pm. Admission: Advance Tickets $25 online at; $27 at The Check Cashing Stores and select Caribbean-American retail outlets.


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News: Kevin O’Leary of “Shark Tank” to Keynote TigerDirect Innovation: IT Conference and Expo on 11/7/14


Kevin O’Leary of “Shark Tank” to Keynote TigerDirect Innovation: IT Conference and Expo

11 Breakout Sessions Hosted by Top Industry Leaders at Premier B2B Sector Event

TigerDirect, a subsidiary of Systemax Inc. (NYSE:SYX), today announced that Kevin O’Leary – aka Mr. Wonderful from ABC’s hit TV show “Shark Tank” – will keynote the company’s TigerDirect Innovation: IT Conference and Expo presented by Lenovo, an exclusive business-to-business (B2B) sector symposium to be held during the Third Annual TigerDirect Tech Bash on November 7, 2014 at the new Marlins Park in Miami.

The entrepreneur, author and TV fixture that has been known to serve heaping doses of tough love with his sage advice will kick off the inaugural event, addressing small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) about how technology is key to leveling the playing field with big companies.

“I am proud to be a part of TigerDirect’s first-ever business innovation event and hope that my keynote, along with the lineup of exciting sessions, inspires attendees to rethink their approach to technology,” said O’Leary. “The cloud, digital payment ecosystems and other tech trends are turning small and medium businesses on their heads, and this event will help them keep pace with technological advances and provide the edge they need to stay ahead of the curve.”

“As a company that is successfully serving the IT needs of the SMB and public sector markets for more than 25 years now, it is our responsibility to stay ahead of tech trends, encourage our customers embrace next-generation solutions and services in order to grow, and bring together industry power players – such as Kevin O’Leary – to show them how it’s done,” said Steven Leeds, Director of Corporate Marketing at TigerDirect.

O’Leary will be joined by a range of top companies and subject matter experts that will lead a series of breakout sessions at the TigerDirect Innovation: IT Conference and Expo regarding the latest technology trends and solutions for the B2B space. In addition to the three pre-announced breakout sessions by title sponsor, Lenovo, the event will include eight additional sessions, covering such topics as:

“Cloud Computing- How it’s transforming IT and what this means for your business?” Find out how you can leverage the cloud to centralize your data and increase your business’s efficiency.
“IT and Education – What does the 21st Century Classroom really look like?” The 21st Century classroom will deliver powerful learning outcomes using a dynamic and technologically driven environment. See what makes it all possible and why it is so exciting.
“Data is everywhere – find out how to secure your data.” Data is stored across many places – both private and public. Learn how to secure that data from an increasing amount of IT threats against your business.
“How the new IT is transforming healthcare.” Technological and digital innovations are transforming the healthcare sector as we know it. Learn about those driving forces and more.
“Migrate from Windows XP and Sever 2000 to the next great platform.” It’s time to upgrade! Find out why upgrading is vital, and how it will benefit your business.
“Bring Your Own Device To Work? Discover how best practices for small and large businesses.” Learn how employees bringing in their own devices to work will transform the workplace and why businesses of varying sizes should implement this practice.
“The Data Center – What is the right Server, Storage, and Networking strategy for your business?” Data centers are complex and crucial infrastructure for today’s modern businesses. Learn how to create an effective data center that will keep up with your business’ demands.
“Borderless and wireless networking – Fast and secure.” Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile computing devices continue to grow in popularity among businesses for their powerful on-the-go capabilities. Understand how to integrate and manage these devices to become a more agile business.

For more on the event, please visit:

About TigerDirect:
For more than 25 years, has served the technology needs of both personal and business users, selling consumer electronics, computers, digital media technology and peripherals via business-to-business, Internet and catalog channels. Beyond its vast product offerings, TigerDirect has become a trusted partner to hundreds of thousands of SMB and public sector organizations by providing a suite of IT solutions and services. is a subsidiary of Systemax Inc.

About Systemax Inc.:
Systemax Inc. (, a Fortune 1000 company, sells industrial and computer products through a system of branded e-Commerce websites, relationship marketers and retail stores in North America and Europe. The primary brands are Global Industrial, MISCO, Inmac Wstore and TigerDirect.

Public Art Wednesday: Cultural Souls Art Fair



The Cultural Souls Art Fair will begin August 22 through August 31, daily from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. The Cultural Souls Art Fair will consist of gallery owners, artists, and art enthusiasts looking to mix, mingle and shop for international masterpieces. Check out artwork displayed at this event from three phenomenal Dominican visual artists Alberto Ulloa, Guillo Pérez and Candido Bido. This art fair will also showcase the Enrique Guzmán Gallery, which features work by Dominican artists Mariano Sánchez, Amin Abel Pérez, Alonso Cuevas, Melchor Terrero, Orlando Menicucci, and Elvis Avilés.

On Friday, August 22, the VIP opening reception will kick off at 6:00pm where attendees can look at the art being presented while sipping on cocktails. Admission to the opening night is free if you pre-register and at door tickets are $25. Doors will re-open Satuday the 23  to the public at 11:00am. Prices for the Cultural Souls Art Fair will be $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

To purchase your tickets and for more information on this event follow this link. 

Do you know of any art fairs or festivals coming up in Miami? Let us know on Twitter at @Loop305 with the hash tag #PublicArtWednesday



-Samantha Wagner

Talk About it Tuesday: Protest Leads to Eight Arrests

Activists Protest Recent Police Violence Against Minority Youth Across US

This past Thursday eight protestors were arrested in Miami during a demonstration against the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and against the death of local teenager Israel Hernandez in 2013. Both killed were only 18 years of age and both were unarmed. Phil Agnew, who organized the protest stated that the death of both of these young men shows, “proof that racist police departments around the country will continue to use black and brown bodies for target practice.”

The protestors organized by Phil Agnew call themselves the Dream Defenders. Last Thursday they protested in the lobby of Miami’s federal justice building. They raised their arms in silence hoping to get a meeting with U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer, who works with the Southern District of Florida.

Eight protesters refused to leave the building when Police asked them to exit, as the building was about to close for the day. Those eight were arrested and put in plastic handcuffs. Marcia Olivo, one of those arrested, stated, “We’re the voice of the mothers in our community who live in constant fear of not seeing their children come back.” Another protestor arrested, Curtis Hierro stated, “We need more and more folks to take this type of action and make it very clear that we need action on the part of our elected leadership and the folks in the Department of Justice.”

As Miami residents how do you feel about the eight protestors being arrested? What do you think needs to be done to prevent more deaths like this from happening? Tweet us at @Loop305 with the hash tag #TalkAboutitTuesday


-Samantha Wagner

News: Miami Downtown Arts District Association

Miami Downtown Arts District Association

Lee Ann Lester, Director of Next Level Fairs and Sean McCormick, McCormick Place Miami announce the formation of the Miami Downtown Arts District (MDAD.) McCormick will serve as Chairman of the Board & Lester as Vice President.

MDAD is a non-profit organization that serves cultural institutions and museums; galleries, local artists and studios; as well as businesses, event venues, and restaurants that showcase both local and international artists. MDAD aims to unify the Downtown & Brickell Arts District by providing a variety of programs that allow the community to explore the arts district, such as First Friday Downtown Art Night, or provide exposure to smaller independent events through a variety of membership support services.

“MDAD will work in unison with community leaders and the DDA’s [Miami Downtown Development Authority] initiatives to develop Downtown Miami as the cultural and business epicenter of the Americas,” commented Lester. “Already over a billion dollars have been invested in arts and cultural institutions in the District drawing new culturally-minded, international visitors. Our goal is to provide artists, gallerists and the public with dynamic art venues, regular art programs and education to the greater Miami metro area.”

A growing number of organizations have already extended their support including Katy Stallfus from Artisan Lounge and James Echols of Life is Art, both MDAD Boardmembers, as well as MDC Museum of Art + Design at the Freedom Tower, Artisan Lounge, Dimensions Variable, Stephen Gamson Studios, SeaFair, McCormick Place Miami, CU-1 Gallery, AIA Miami, Florida Grand Opera, Life is Art and The Art Experiences.

The Association will hold a VIP Kick-Off event and Press Conference at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 19, 2014 at McCormick Place Downtown Miami, 111 SW 3rd St., Miami, FL 33130. The MDAD Association will announce its Board Members and guests will have an opportunity to know more about District events as part of DWNTWN Art Days, September 19-21, 2014 as well as future First Friday Downtown Art Night. The evening will include live performances, art installations, and more. A complimentary transportation service will be provided by FreeBee to participating arts venues.

For more information about Miami Downtown Arts District, visit the Facebook Page, or contact Sean McCormick at 305.206.4734 or

News: Related Group hosts 3 groundbreakings and 1 property launch

City Officials Joined The Related Group to Celebrate a Day of Milestones:
The launch of Paraiso Bayviews by Karim Rashid, and the start of construction at Paraiso Bay and Brickell Heights

The Related Group celebrated three milestones last week with groundbreakings at Brickell Heights and Paraiso Bay followed by the launch of their latest project, Paraiso Bayviews with Karim Rashid. Hundreds of VIP brokers attended the day’s events across Miami, and those involved in preconstruction sales took home more than $9 million in commission checks.

Mayor Tomas Regalado and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who were present at the two groundbreakings, congratulated The Related Group’s team on the new projects, which they noted are creating a 24-hour urban core in the Brickell area, and reenergizing the Edgewater neighborhood.

At Brickell Heights, located next to the two-million-square-foot development Brickell CityCentre, David Rockwell has created a sleek glass-walled lobby, glamorous amenity spaces with a private-club vibe, and lavish pool terraces. The 690 luxury residences will sit atop a 30,000-square-foot Equinox Fitness Center and SoulCycle, a state-of-the-art workout studio that will open its first Miami location at Brickell Heights.

At the launch of Paraiso Bayviews, international interior and industrial designer Karim Rashid was on hand to greet the guests. For his second project with The Related Group, Rashid has evolved his trademark colors and bold shapes for a more subdued organic design with softer hues and natural woods inspired in the Paraiso community’s garden bay front setting. Residents of Bayviews, described as the best value within the Paraiso community, will enjoy all of Paraiso’s luxury amenities including a rooftop swimming pool, tennis courts, a beach club, marina, gardens by Enzo Enea, a signature restaurant by Michael Schwartz, and more.

The Paraiso Bay property, set between Biscayne Boulevard and the Bay at NE 31st Street, is East Edgewater’s only master planned community. Celebrities who have already reserved homes there include DJ and music producer David Guetta, basketball star Manu Ginobili, and Spanish tennis legend Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.

Notable Guests: Karim Rashid, Designer of interiors for Paraiso Bayviews, Celebrity Chef Michael Schwartz, Mayor Thomas Regalado, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, Carlos Rosso, President of the Condo Division at The Related Group, Sonia Figueroa, Senior Vice President The Related Group, Arden Karson, Senior Vice President The Related Group acquisitions


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